Talk 78: Why Do the Demons Tremble When We Read the Lives of the Saints?

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Set of 3 Audio CD's

(Duration: 4hrs) 

Veneration of the saints and reading their lives is essential to the Christian way of life. Yet Protestants reject these customs, and accuse the Orthodox Church of placing more emphasis on the saints than on the Holy Bible—a view encountered even among some Orthodox Christians. What these people fail to realize is that the lives of the saints are the key to understanding the Holy Bible and to progressing spiritually.

In this talk, Father Kosmas uses the teachings of saints and elders to explain that the demons fear the lives of the saints because they teach us how to fulfil the Lord’s commandments. He describes how the lives of saints enlighten and transform those who read them, and emphasises that our Orthodox saints would themselves read the lives of the saints that lived before them.

The following questions are also discussed: can those who do not read the lives of the saints rightly be called “spiritual prunes”? What did one priest notice about his parishioners who read the lives of saints? What did St. Clement mean when he said, “Come to the saints, for they who unite themselves to them shall be made holy”? What did one holy bishop mean when he said, “In these lives the Gospel truth shines forth in examples”? Why do some priests urge parents not to send their children to heterodox schools? Why did a Serbian saint praise the Greek Orthodox?

Other points covered in this talk include: how the lives of saints can help us better understand the Antichrist, the number 666, and the end of the world; why some modern “Orthodox” theologians prefer to de-emphasise the lives of the saints; how St. Paisios referred to the lives of the saints as spiritual vitamins; how reading the lives of the saints is like learning another language; how as a university student St. John of San Francisco would read the lives of the saints instead of attending lectures and studying; and how possibly the greatest dogmatic theologian of the 20th century had the daily custom of bowing to every saint’s icon in his room.