Jump to content

THE BLESSED (February 4, 1917, in Sofia.)

Recommended Posts



Blessed are they that

have been persecuted for

righteousness’ sake: for

theirs is the Kingdom of



I shall take the word blessed in this verse. Christ does not call blessed those who have much money, many houses, those who are very learned or powerful, but says, "Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness' sake." The word persecute, or chase, in Bulgarian has a good and a bad meaning. If a person is not persecuted, they will not progress: there must be movement in the world. When a Bulgarian wants to thrash his wheat, he chases his horses on the thrashing-floor. Why is he chasing them? In order that his sheaves of wheat may be thrashed. All things in life have meaning. Those who understand the inner sense of life need not be hindered by the contradictions which exist in the world. All contradictions are an expression of a great Truth which has two aspects, two faces: sufferings and joys. Sufferings are the dark side of this life; joys are the highest things, the light side of life. All this is in accordance with the Laws of Nature. In the course of 24 hours, the Earth changes its face—the one side is light, the other dark. Therefore, in the course of 24 hours in you life, you also will be dark and light, you will suffer and you will be joyful. This is an unchangeable Law, which, however, has nothing in common with sin.
Sometimes sin becomes entangled in suffering, but these two things should not be linked. Suffering is a great Law. There is no person who has not suffered or is not suffering now. Even God suffers together with us. No one suffers more than He. When someone says they are suffering, I say to them, "You have barely started this science." It is not a bad thing to suffer. The feelings by which you experience the most pleasant things in life are the same by which you experience the most unpleasant things as well. When your eye is irritated and is not in harmony with Light, you will feel Light in a most painful and unpleasant way; but when your eye is in order, i.e. in harmony with Light, you will have the most pleasant feelings. Therefore, when a certain disharmony appears in you, it shows that you are out of balance. Only by suffering can balance be restored in you. Those who play the guitar often tune up their guitar to a specific pitch for certain songs; suffering is also a kind of tuning up—the scale must be changed from major to minor or chromatic.
In people who are aspiring to what is noble, this aspiration is linked with suffering. Suffering and joy are two opposite poles in life. Those who want to grow and develop will inevitably suffer; suffering is a doorway, a prerequisite for joy. If you avoid suffering, you will never attain joy in life. Joy and sorrow are two daughters of God. Of which God? Of the One manifested in humanity. You ask, "Does God have daughters?" Yes, He does. He has daughters and sons both on earth and in heaven. The words brother and sister are Divine ideas; they are much greater notions than the ones you perceive and understand. Our brotherhood and sisterhood reaches only a span above the Earth. When a brother takes a span of land from someone's field, they quarrel and the brotherhood is spoiled. Take for instance the relations among doctors, merchants, priests, preachers and others; their brotherhood has reached only a span above the Earth. This is the contemporary social development people have attained in their conception of brotherhood.
Christ says, "Blessed are you when you are persecuted for righteousness' sake." You will say, "Why should they persecute me?" I ask, "Why should they not persecute you?" It is often said that muddy water is more favorable to the soil than pure water for when the former passes through the soil, it leaves certain sediments which the plants use. In this way, every year the river Nile deposits millions of tons of humus alluvium in which ancient Egypt produced enormous quantities of wheat.
Suffering is that divine sediment that comes from the heights and when it is deposited in your fields, it fertilizes them and God says, "Now you must sow!" Out of these sediments—sins, misunderstandings—will come the best bread and you will say, "Thank God, how good all these things have been!" If there is no suffering, there will not be bread. Christ says, "I am the living bread." He is actually living bread because people are nourished by Him daily.
"Blessed are you when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake." If people speak evil of you when you deserve it, it is not praise-worthy; you deserve it, if you are to blame. You must suffer for righteousness, for the rights of God. Now many people suffer for wrongdoing. I ask, if Christ should come today, what teaching would He give to the world? All people want to be happy and blessed, to have good husbands, wives, children, but where will you take these good husbands, wives and children from? If you sow the best wheat in sand, it will grow weak. But if you fertilize this sand, after a time the wheat will grow better. I understand this Law inwardly. What is happening in the world? Everything is going normally there— what is happening there must happen.
The apostle Paul says in a letter, "We all live and move in God." If you live and move in God, what are you afraid of? You sit in a boat in the sea, a storm comes up and you are frightened. I ask, where is your faith? "We shall sink!" If you are sinful, you will sink. If you are like gold, silver, iron, you will sink. However, if you are a light feather, you will remain on the surface, but the others who are bearing a heavy load will sink— woe unto them! Therefore, never burden your minds with thoughts that make you heavy! It is not important what people think of you, the important thing is what God is thinking. God is everywhere where rational beings are found. He is neither in the dead nor in the sinful. By the word God I understand the pleasant feelings and thoughts you are experiencing in your consciousness and by means of which you understand Him. God lives in us and He has the power to resurrect us. If God is not in contact with me, if He cannot cause me to live, what need have I of such God? What is the use then of the existence of a God? That is why Christ says, "If my words abide in you and you abide in Me, whatever you ask for will be given you, will come to life." Christ says that He is living Word, "The words I speak to you are in you, they are living." That is why Christ's teaching which is within us has power by itself.
"Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is you reward in heaven." This means that these people are to have a future life. What does a future life imply? Some think that when they die, they shall go to another world. No, they will not go to another world, but simply pass from one state to another as it is with a cocoon. When a worm is on a leaf nibbling, it thinks this is its world, but after it turns into a butterfly and obtains wings, it begins to visit the flowers and changes its views of the world. So long as we nibble the leaves of material life, we are also caterpillars; but when we pass through the cocoon stage and become souls dressed in beautiful clothes, we shall comprehend life in its higher manifestations. Do not get offended, but many people today are in the state of caterpillars. They say, "We need to save money for rainy days," but this is the life of a caterpillar. "We need houses for rainy days"—this is the way a caterpillar thinks, because it needs the leaf. I ask, if the caterpillar becomes a butterfly of what use these leaves will be to it? When you begin to rise, you will say to your brothers, "I leave these leaves to you as a gift." That is why Christ says, "What you do not need, give it to those who are in your state, let them use it." Truly, the teaching of Christ is for everybody, but all people are not equally prepared to comprehend it and to apply it. Each one can apply it according to their stage of development. This means that you must become conscious of your state. Those who are behind or ahead are not to be judged or envied for somehow you will all pass this way voluntarily or by necessity. If you do not thrash voluntarily, God will come with a whip, rein you as a horse to a thrashing machine and thrash the wheat. When they ask you why you have become horses, you will answer, "To thrash the wheat."
A great number of people today thrash on the Divine thrashing-floor. When I see a horse thrashing wheat, I say, he is doing his work well. Then I ask myself if I am doing my work well. If people today want to understand Christ's teaching well, a Divine harmony must be restored among them. Can you sense how blessed you are? You can. People complain all the time and say, "I am unhappy." You are blessed, because Christ says, "Blessed are the unhappy." Someone is ill. What is illness? A sign that the Divine Light is working on you wishing to resurrect you. You have troubles in your development and cannot resolve some problem. The Divine thought wants to raise you and illumine you. "My heart is heavy"—the Divine life is working, wishing to soften your heart. God is working in us. People today are like children who like to raise dust in the classrooms. When the teacher enters and sees dust everywhere, she begins to sneeze. I see sneezing everywhere: teachers, preachers, mothers, fathers—all are sneezing. Why? There is dust. Open the windows, air the rooms, wash the floor and the sneezing will stop. If you do not want to sneeze, see that your room is cleaned. Sneezing means that there is dust, suspicion, doubts. Light is necessary, if you would understand the sense of life.
I ask, "How long have you been on earth? Where were you 200 years ago? Where were your ancestors—father, grandfather, grandmother one thousand years ago?" You will say that you need not know this. You need not know it, but when your grandfather leaves you an inheritance, you go around the banks to look for it and to find out everything about it. Why? Because you have something to inherit. But if your grandfather has a debt, you pretend not to know him, because otherwise you will have to pay for him. This is not chivalry. You are not cavalier—that is, you cannot ride a horse, you cannot rule your mind, you are not able to manage your thought, you are not a sensible person. Christ says, "Blessed are those who understand the sense of life this way." Then wealth is hidden in our brain, in our thought, in our heart. A rich young man falls in love with a poor girl. She may be poor, but there is hidden wealth in her. It is expressed in her face.
There are thousands of cases when kings or other eminent men have fallen in love with poor girls and have risen by that, but these girls have an inner wealth which Christ has deposited in them. When a person is virtuous and just, possessing the Divine Love, Wisdom and Truth—all these things are vividly inscribed on that person. I have met Virtue and have spoken with it—what blessings spring from it! Do you know what beautiful daughter of God is Virtue? I have also met the Divine Righteousness—she, too, is beautiful, but strict, she does not forgive the mistakes. You may say to her, "I am weak." "Weak or strong you must not violate the command of your Father." Love is very beautiful and delicate, she does not see people's mistakes. No matter what you do before her, she will kiss you, pat you, clean and dress you in nice clothes and take you home. Men and women must love one another! Someone says, "My wife does not love me". You have not found the woman who loves you. Your wife on earth is a shadow of Love. A woman says, "I shall marry him because he is rich, he has a house and an income of 10,000 leva." This woman takes, she does not give, and therefore she cannot make her husband happy. The man says, "I married her because she is rich, although she is quite ugly." This man also cannot make his wife happy, because every teaching which takes but does not give, cannot make people happy.
Self-sacrifice is in the basis of the Christian teaching. There are two kinds of sacrifices; either you will sacrifice yourself, or others will sacrifice you. For instance, why do people kill lambs on St George's Day in Bulgaria? First, they put a wreath round their necks and after a dedication ceremony, they kill them. Why do they make this sacrifice? For eating. There are spirits in this world who someday will put a wreath on you too, place you on the sacrificial altar and kill you, so you will die. People will say that a certain person has died. I say, he is not dead; he is alive. One day you will also be on the table of death where you will be eaten up. They will say, "What a nice, well-fed body this is! What muscles, what a heart, what lungs, wonderful!" People die, because they eat meat. When they stop eating meat, there will be no death in the world. The flesh of the sinners is very tender; the same is true for all low quality stuffs. Clothes made of good fibers are tough and lasting; they do not wear out easily. The flesh of the righteous is tough and hard, that is why they do not eat it. There is no death for the righteous39.
Therefore, the Divine teaching will create in us sound thoughts, a sound mind and a strong heart. Those who would attempt to destroy a good thought, a Divine desire, will destroy themselves. Such a person will come to the state of the crocodile that swallows small frogs. In the river Niles there are small frogs which the crocodiles often swallow. The crocodile opens his mouth, the small frog jumps into it and he swallows it whole. However, when the frog enters the stomach of the crocodile, it wants to get out and in order to do that, it slowly makes a hole in the stomach and gets out through it, then the crocodile's stomach gets filled with water, he turns on his back and dies. Some people complain and say, "They ate me up!" If God is with you, those who will attempt to eat you up will pay dearly for that. If you have faith, you should fear nothing. The living God is with you.
The spirit of God is already coming down as the Light which comes to the Earth. He is coming, bringing great Light, fire and life which will purify the world. Contemporary people will experience these things and be witnesses of the Restoration of the Kingdom of God on earth. By His coming on earth God will unite all people and malice will gradually vanish. All misunderstandings spring from the mistrust and suspicion people have of each other. I shall quote the example of the frost, the wind and the Sun. These wanted to try and see which of them could make a shepherd take off his leader coat. The frost started first. It became bitter cold. The frost said, "Now I shall make him take off his furs," but the shepherd wrapped himself more tightly and walked faster for his home. The frost did not succeed. Then the wind began to howl and rage, tearing down trees and scattering away all things on its way. But the shepherd wrapped himself still more tightly and hurried home. Last spoke the Sun, "You made your attempt; now it is my turn." The Sun smiled kindly and joyfully, sending all its love down. The shepherd began to feel warmer and warmer until he could not bear the heat and took off his coat.
Two teachings are preached in the world: of the frost and of the wind. Now, the teaching of Love remains, which will take down the fur-coats. Some ask, "What do you think?" Look me in the eyes and you will see what I think. When I see you, I do not ask what you are thinking for I know your thoughts. You think of a two-story house, more furniture, you think of marrying, of having children and so on. I meet a scientist and what thoughts do I see in him? He is making scientific investigations. I meet another person who intends to steal. Everything a person thinks is written on their face. God has opened the book already and everything written on it can be seen clearly. If Christ should decide to judge the world, He would pass the verdict immediately and say, "According to such and such an item of God's Law this is what you deserve for what you have done." But the mission of Christ is quite different now. He is summoning humanity to a sane life.
You should not consider yourselves very saintly—you must know this. A saint must be an excellent person, knowing how to serve, to have a sound body, a sound mind, strong legs and arms, strong muscles, to be with empty hands, i.e. not to be rich, but not to be poor either. However, such a one must be in Tolstoy's state—to distribute his goods to the poor and to help them. Such is a real saint. In heaven God classifies the saints into great and small. Those who have been much spoken of, who have suffered much and have endured everything with dignity, are saints. Why do people revere Christ today? Because He paid all their debts and bore all their sins. If Christ had not suffered, if He had not given anything of Himself to people, He would have been an ordinary person. Everyone must serve God and know they have their place on the Earth. You will say that the apostle Paul was a great man. I say that if you fulfill your role on earth well, you will also be a great person. A woman who has lived for 20 years with her husband carrying his heavy yoke, who has cooked for him and borne everything with patience, while he has maltreated her—such a woman will be a saint. The same thing will be said of a man. If he has endured patiently all unpleasant things caused by his wife, who has maltreated him, he will be a saint. Only such men and women will be saints in heaven.
Everyday on earth I see women decked with diamonds, necklaces who live luxuriously, leading a carefree life—such women will be poor in the other world with ragged clothes. Someday you will find yourselves in the state of that rich miser of a woman who had a poor but virtuous servant. Although the servant received only 60 leva a month, he gave all his money to the poor. His mistress often told him that he was foolish giving his money away, because he would need it for "rainy days." One night the lady had a vivid live dream: she saw a beautiful marble palace and asked, "Whose is this palace?" "It is your servant's palace." "How could such a poor man have so much money to build himself such a wonderful palace?" "All that he gained on earth, he sent it to the other world to have a palace built there." A little farther she say a small hut. "And whose is this hut?" "It is yours," was the answer. I say, you may be great personalities in this world, but in the other world God will judge you according to your deeds and give everyone what they deserve.
You should not delude yourselves, but you must know the Truth and place a definite boundary between the Divine and the human. You say that you understand the word Love. No, you do not understand it. Not only don't you understand the word Love, but the words Righteousness, Truth and Wisdom are incomprehensible to you as well. When I enter a house and see an angered woman, is this Wisdom? When the word Wisdom is pronounced, a change must take place in one's state! The sense of every word must be understood! If you enter a theater where thousands of people are sitting and cry out, "Fire!"—everybody will rush to the exits for they will be terrified at the thought of impending death. Why is that so? Because all people understand the sense of this word. But if someone should come among them and pronounce the word Love, they will all look at one another jokingly and take that person is out of their mind. They will say, "What does that one mean by this word?" This shows that people do not understand the deep sense of the word Love, for if they did, it would have produced the same effect as the word fire only in an opposite sense. If I meet a sad person and pronounce the word Love, all his suffering and discontentment should disappear; he should become joyful, become bright as an angel and turn from a worm into a butterfly.
You often say, "Oh, my God!"—but you do not understand this word either. I seldom pronounce the name of God in my soul; I pronounce it only when I have a heavy burden and then I am relieved of the whole burden. This word contains everything for me. In Bulgarian I substitute this word by the words I can. Never say, "I am weak." Say, "I can do everything through Christ." Put aside everything else! Put Christ in the first place. You will understand Christ, you will understand God only by the words I can. I am not disturbed by darkness; when the Earth revolves in a day and night, this is the order of things. When it is dark in someone's mind, I say that his sun has set so there is darkness in his mind. This person should lie down and rest, not worry, because in twelve hours the Sun will rise again inside them—their Lord will come. Then Love will enter them and they will begin to understand the deep sense of life. This is what Christ taught before; this is what He teaches now. All are waiting for Christ to come from heaven. No, He has come down once already. He will not come down to earth a second time. God came down to earth when He made it, when he created the world. He has been working on the world ever since and will stay here until He puts complete order. After that He will return to heaven with all His children. This God is always with us and He is working together with us. He will gather us and form a tree of life out of us in which we are roots, branches, leaves and fruit: every leaf will be for healing and every fruit— living food. Then we shall be one with God just as every cell, every root, every branch and every leaf are parts of the tree.
"Blessed are you when they persecute you." You are blessed, because then you are moving forward, because the work you are doing is for the good of humanity. Since such is the case, your reward in heaven will be great. When someone needs you and tells you, you are a bad person, he has told you what is right—become good! You are ugly; he has said the right thing— become beautiful! You are malicious; he has said the right thing—become kind! People are speaking so much about me that if I pay attention to all that the hairs of my head will have all fallen off. I say, these people are right, I am a dangerous man. Why? Because I am a mirror. When someone meets me, he sees himself in my mirror and says, "You are a vagabond." You are saying the right thing. "You are a dodger!" You are right. See yourself in your mirror and correct yourself! People are like an American preacher who was out of his mind and one day when he looked himself in a mirror, he did not recognize himself and said, "You must repent or God will send you to hell!" I enjoy looking myself in people and when I meet a good person, I want to see myself in them; that is why I look in a mirror. There must be two kinds of mirrors: those in which we can look ourselves and those, our own, in which other people will look themselves. Only in this way can people correct their mistakes. Woe unto those nations, societies and churches that have no mirrors! Doctors today also use mirrors in their daily practice. When they examine your throat, for instance, they use a mirror. Christ's teaching also bears a mirror. In order to understand the deep sense of sufferings, you must keep in mind that they are necessary for the happiness and blessedness of our future life.
Sufferings are the greatest good God is sending to people. This is what Christ says, "When someone is suffering and feels very burdened, let him come to me. I shall buy off his sufferings by giving him something else, we shall make an exchange on a purely brotherly basis." And now Christ is coming to earth in glory to take the burden of humanity; that is why He says, "Lay your burden upon the Lord!" You will make an exchange: God will take your sufferings and in exchange He will give you joys. By having come to earth, He wishes to make you happy. In order to be happy, you must be sensible and wise. Pronounce the word Wisdom only when you cannot explain some difficult question. Pronounce the word Wisdom and wait for 10 minutes after which a certain clarification will come to you. You will be like a blind person who begins to see and notices the beauty of the world. This person says, "I see everything in the world and understand how great the Lord is!" And we must thank God for having created this world, for having created the home, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, women, children, and even the misfortunes along with all those other things, we should thank Him for everything. Those who have started on the way of Christ, must thank God for everything. When we thank God, we shall come to an understanding of one another. And when we pronounce the word Love, if we are sad, we shall feel immediately joy, warmth which will fill our body and our frozen limbs will start to move. Then we shall clearly see angels descending from above. This is what to become clairvoyant means.
Some people expect to become clairvoyant and see everything after they die. Do not wait for your death, but while you are still alive you should resurrect in the Lord. Do not say, "When I die, I shall understand life." On the contrary, say, "When I change my clothes, when I turn from a worm into a cocoon and from a cocoon into a butterfly then I shall see God and understand life." You say, "I shall die and be buried in the black grave, but what will become of me when the worms attack me?" The worms are your smaller brothers. They will come to you and say, "Let us have a taste of you! Christ is living bread for you, but you will be living food for us." Be not afraid, people are not in the graves, I do not see them in the graveyards. I repeat that there are two kinds of people—the first kind are the living dead whom we meet every day in Sofia, the others are the dead living. Christ says, "Blessed are the dead living who died for the Lord." It is not said anywhere, "Blessed are the living dead." The latter are caterpillars. The dead living are butterflies and they are not dangerous, because they do not eat the leaves of the trees. When a thought which is distractive enters your mind, it is a caterpillar, throw it out! But when a thought which raises you enters your mind, it is a beautiful butterfly, retain it. Therefore, everyday you should throw out the thoughts which eat up the leaves of your life. This is the teaching of Christ.
Christ says, "Blessed are you when they persecute you, because great is your reward in heaven." I shall explain the deep sense of these words. When you sow a grain of wheat, it begins to decay and many enemies attack it, microbes, but as soon as it looks up to the Light, the Sun shines on it and its enemies run away. Therefore, you must also be persecuted in order to grow upward. When Christ says, "Blessed are the persecuted," He means that blessed are those who grow up, those who produce roots, leaves, blossoms and fruit. Great is this reward when the Lord comes and finds their fruit ripe. Has this teaching any sense? It has. This is what it means to be persecuted for the sake of Christ. If they persecute me and I have no fruit, I deserve to be persecuted. If, however, I am persecuted to give fruit to God and I have fruit, this persecution makes sense, for it means growth. It will give the necessary impulse, an impetus for work.
When we reason this way, we shall begin to think rightly and to understand why we live. That is why we must pray for all people! The Scripture says, "Bless and curse not, say the Truth right in the face as to a brother, or a friend and never speak evil of anyone!" Speaking evil is like vomiting the food you have eaten, but the mouth was not created for vomiting, but for the sweet words of Love. This is the Teaching the saints bring down from above; this is the Teaching that the righteous have been preaching to the world for thousands of years; this is the teaching of the small angels who descend to earth. When Christ comes, He will bring the same Teaching. The white horse on which He is coming is the symbol of His Teaching of Light, "Blessed are those who know the Lord" means those who have grown up and have developed, having roots, branches, leaves and fruit, because God will visit them and reward them.
I wish all of you to be in such a state—to be blessed so when God comes He will find fruit in your garden and you would invite Him to visit your home, your heart. Then He will give you the spirit of the new Teaching.
"Blessed are you when God visits you, for great is your reward in heaven."
Sermon held on February 4, 1917, in Sofia.
38. Matt. 5:10.
39. Probably reference to the non-decaying bodies of saints. In Bulgaria St John of Rila (≈876–946) is such an example. After the death of his parents, he gave away his modest inheritance to the poor and needy. Until his death, he led a humble and devout life as a hermit in the Rila Mountain, where he subsisted on wild berries and plants. His non-decaying body now rests in the Rila Monastery (ed. note).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...