St. Nikolai on Forgiveness

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February 13, 2013 by Orthodox Whitehorse

Today’s edition of Fr. John Jillions’ Chancellor’s Diary features a reflection on forgiveness by our patron saint, Bishop Nikolai of Zhitsa.

Saint Nikolai of Zhitsa, 1950s.

Saint Nikolai of Zhitsa, 1950s.

Forgiveness
(Saint Nikolai Velimirovich)

“That God may forgive us, let us forgive men.
We are all on this earth as temporary guests.
Prolonged fasting and prayer is in vain
Without forgiveness and true mercy.
God is the true Physician; sins are leprosy.
Whomever God cleanses, God also glorifies.
Every merciful act of men, God rewards with mercy.
He who returns sin with sin perishes without mercy.
Pus is not cleansed by pus from infected wounds,
Neither is the darkness of the dungeon dispelled by darkness,
But pure balm heals the festering wound,
And light disperses the darkness of the dungeon.
To the seriously wounded, mercy is like a balm;
As if seeing a torch dispersing the darkness, everyone rejoices in mercy.
The madman says, “I have no need of mercy!”
But when he is overcome by misery, he cries out for mercy!
Men bathe in the mercy of God,
And that mercy of God wakens us to life!
That God may forgive us, let us forgive men,
We are all on this earth as temporary guests.”

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