The Behading of the Holy and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John (Part II)

Looking toward the East, he said to the entire the human race, from Adam to our days, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." The Kingdom of Heaven? Here it is: the Lord Jesus [come] from Heaven. In Him is the Kingdom of Heaven. Looking toward the West, and seeing people drowning in sins and death, he called to them as well, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." He looked to the North and to the South [and saw]-the same people, all slaves to sin, slaves to death, salves to the devil. To all he announced the glorious, holy, salvific Gospel Gospel: "People, repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." He was such an Evangelist, someone possessed of great power!

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The Behading of the Holy and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

The divine Baptist, the Prophet born of a Prophet, the seal of all the Prophets and beginning of the Apostles, the mediator between the Old and New Covenants, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, the God-sent Messenger of the Incarnate Messiah, the Forerunner of Christ's coming into the world (Isaiah 40:3; Mal. 3:1); who by many miracles was both conceived and born; who was filled with the Holy Spirit while yet n his mother's womb; who came forth like another Elias the Zealot, whose life in the wilderness and divine zeal for God's Law he imitated: this divine Prophet, after he had preached the baptism of repentance according to God's Command;

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Love For All Creation

The love of Saint Silouan extends not only unto all mankind, but includes all of creation. He does not limit his love to intelligible beings, such as man and the Angels; his love embraces every living creature, that is to say, the whole of God's creation. [Elder Sophrony writes, "Charity...seeketh not her own (1 Cor. 13:5) but is entirely concerned with others, embracing the whole world--the Divine and the created--in humility. Thus all that is forms the content of this love." We shall See Him as He Is, p. 128)]. Saint Silouan refers to specific examples. For instance, flies, bats, snakes, trees, flowers--even leaves--are all included, as creatures of God, in his compassionate love for all creation.

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Prayer for the Salvation of All Mankind

"I want only one thing: to pray for all men as for myself."--St. Silouan the Athonite

We have seen that St. Silouan considered prayer as a natural expression of love. ("The more ardent the love, the more fervent the prayer" St. Silouan the Athonite, p. 365). However, the type of prayer which he spoke of most often and which could encapsulate his entire message, may be termed 'prayer for the salvation of all mankind'; that is to say, prayer for the personal salvation of each and every human being.

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