Spiritual counsel from St. John Maximovitch

The Blessed Archbishop John Maximovitch, striving to awaken his flock to a more conscious participation in the Church, published the following appeal in his weekly diocesan bulletin (Shanghai, November 24, 1941, no. 503):

Perhaps it will happen that you will die without having once in your life read in full the Psalter of David… You will die, and only then will good people read over your lifeless body this holy Psalter, which you had no time even, to open while you lived on earth! Only then, at your burial, will they sing over you the wondrously instructive, sweetly-wise-but alas, to you completely unknown-words of David: “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord… Blessed are they who search His testimonies. who keep His revelations, and seek Him with their whole heart.” Do you hear: “Blessed are they who search His testimonies, seek out the revelations of the Lord;” and you had no time even to think of them! What will your poor soul feel then, your soul to which every word of the Psalmist, repeated by a reader or singer over your coffin, will sound as a strict reproach that you never read this sacred book?… Open now, before it is too late, this wondrous book of the Prophet King. Open it and read with attention at least this 118th Psalm, and you will involuntarily feel that your heart becomes humble, soft, that in the words of David are the words of the merit of God, and you will repeat involuntarily, many times, with sighing of heart, the verse of this Psalm: “I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; seek out Thy slave, Lord!”

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