July 21, 2023

Homilies on the Litany of Completion of the Divine Liturgy - Our Real Interests (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

The Litany of Completion of the Divine Liturgy 
Our Real Interests
By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou
We often hear people refer to their interests. The word "interest" means the benefit one derives from something one pursues, mainly at an individual level. There are individual interests, family interests, social interests, national interests. Usually, the word "interest" is used on an individual-personal level and refers to material goods. We say: "this is not in my interest to do", "this threatens my interests".

The liturgical language also speaks of interests, but it means other interests, good ones, which refer to our soul: "For that which is good and of interest for our souls, and for peace for the world, let us ask the Lord", that is, let us ask the Lord to give us good and beneficial things for our soul and peace in the world.

The use of the word "soul" here does not mean that the body is bypassed and belittled, since man is a unity of soul and body and the whole man will be saved or destroyed. Mainly spiritual benefits, spiritual interests are meant, not material ones. Man cannot limit himself exclusively to physical, material, social interests, but he must also look after his spiritual interests.

There are cases where we struggle for the necessities of life, the material, the professional, and this does not offer us inner peace, but rather increases our insecurity. When one exclusively clings to the external and leaves his inner psychic world desolate, he quickly feels a void in his life. This is precisely why effort is required for psychic, spiritual benefit.

What are these psychic, spiritual benefits? Just as the body has sensations and various physical needs, so the soul has psychic sensations and psychic needs. These are faith in God, prayer - which is the breath of the soul, love, the divine Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ. In general, the real need of people is God Himself. When these psychic needs are not satisfied, then the inner world goes wild, we remains hungry, our great desires are unfulfilled, man becomes unhappy.

Together with the "interests of our souls", we ask God to give peace to the world. Man cannot feel alone in society, he cannot be interested only in himself and be indifferent to the world. The soul is not isolated and man is not alienated from society and the world. Psychic and spiritual needs must also be connected with the peace that must prevail in the world.

Of course, prayer alone is not enough and God alone cannot help us, if we are not interested, if we do not struggle, do not suffer, do not seek to obtain our real interests and do not strive for the prevalence of peace in the world. However, as long as we are good psychically and spiritually, so our social things improve. Peace in the world does not just come with ideas, systems, pressures, but above all with people who feel inner fulfillment.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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