In this video, Fr. Theodore talks about the poor in spirit and how they will start to experience bliss: “The poorness of spirit is the first, very first and most necessary condition, which allows a human being to cooperate with God – God Who Himself is Humility.” Archpriest Theodore Gignadze is the rector of the Elevation of the Holy Cross Orthodox Church (JC), Tbilisi, Georgia. This sermon was delivered on October 13th, 2022.
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A person without humility, a person who rejects the Lord’s commandment to be poor in spirit… What is this kind of person like?
They’re self-reliant, they think: “I’m wise”, “I’m smart”, “I know the truth”. If we go into the streets and ask people about the truth, we’ll find that they all know what it is, no matter what the topic, whether it be the topic of morality, family structure, relationships with one’s neighbors and relatives, politics, etc. Everyone is 100% sure about everything.
It’s very rare to meet someone who will say that he doesn’t know something.
Everyone knows everything and this is especially true when it comes to religion. This is a given.
And so, when a person thinks that he knows everything, when he believes that he has the best judgment, best ability to think, when he thinks that he is very smart and that this is all due to his own merit, when he believes that he is all these things, unlike his neighbor, who is not as smart, not as talented, not as educated, or virtuous.
How can God, who is humility, touch the heart of a person who thinks in this way?
And so the Lord tells us that we will start to experience bliss when we realize that in reality we have nothing and that if we do have something [it is from God], as Apostle Paul tells us: “what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”
And so a person begins to realize that he has nothing by his own merit. Did you decide for yourself to be born? Even life itself is a gift from Him. In other words, you have nothing that is your own merit. As soon as you realize this, this is the beginning of being poor in spirit – “I have nothing, Lord”
If we still think that we’re something, go to a cemetery and see what becomes of a human being after death, see what is left of him. “But what about the soul” – one might object
Yes, the soul which is full of egotism, self-interest, self-reliance and vainglory. The poorness of spirit is the first, very first and most necessary condition, which allows a human being to cooperate with God – God Who Himself is Humility.