Sunday, March 26, 2006



From today, I propose that all Christians proclaim themselves to be God's fools in solidarity with our Afghan brother, Abdul Rahman, who is charged with apostasy from Islam and threatened with death.

CNN carried a piece this morning, quoting former Supreme Court judge Waheed Mudja, who said President Karzai "has two choices: he has to either choose Afghanistan or the international community.

"Karzai, as the leader of an Islamic country, is not authorised to change the Sharia ... The only way out of it is to prove the man is mad or will come back
to Islam."

So Abdul Rahman, who has chosen Christ as his Lord and Saviour, could be adjudged to be mad as a result.

Wikipedia tells us that the "yurodivy (юродивый) is the Russian version of the holy fool. The role can be traced at least as far back as the medieval period.

"The yurodivy is traditionally an eccentric figure who is outside conventional society. The madness of the yurodivy is ambiguous, and can be real or simulated. He (or she) is believed to be divinely inspired, and is therefore able to say truths which others cannot, normally in the form of indirect allusions or parables. He had a particular status in regard to the Tsars, as a figure not subject to earthly control or judgment.

"The Russian Orthodox Church numbers 36 yurodivys among its saints, most prominently Saint Basil. Originally an apprentice shoemaker in Moscow, he adopted an eccentric lifestyle of shoplifting and giving to the poor. He went naked and weighed himself down with chains. He rebuked Ivan the Terrible for not paying attention in church. He is buried in St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, which was commissioned by Ivan and is named after the saint.

1 Cor 1:18-25

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

Where [is] the wise? where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Cor 3: 18-19

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. Posted by Picasa


poetreader said...

"How hard it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom," said the Master. We come near to an understanding of that with regard to the one rich in things, but what of the one rich in rationality or in learning or even in genuine wisdom? Read Ecclesiastes for a description of how much good that did Solomon (or whoever the 'Preacher' actually was). Yes, learning and rationality and wisdom are valuable things, but how easy it becomes for the 'wise' to think themselves superior to the 'simple'!

The legion of the 'fools for Christ' reminds us that we are not. It is the pure, the meek, the simple, the childlike that are declared by Christ to be the pattern. One of the glories of the Christian East is that it stands much more ready to recognize those distinguished by this nearly incomprehensible form of holiness.

Thank you, Albion, for introducing the blog to such as these. It is as one that fancies himself to be among the learned and wise that I express my boundless admiration for such as Basil the Blessed, St. Xenia, St. Simon Stylites, St. Benedict Joseph Labre and the many other impractical and apparently foolish saints with whom God has adorned His Church.

All ye fools for Christ, ora pro nobis.

The Lemonts said...

Let us ask for the Intercessions of St. Nicholas the New Martyr who was killed for his apostasy from Islam.

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Warwickensis said...

And the above message precisely demonstrates the foolishness of this world which is concerned with its own pleasure rather than the plight of those in physical and spiritual difficulties at this time.

No, give me the folly of belonging to Christ, of daring to pray to a being (THE Being) unseen with the eyes of this world, of living my life devoted to His will rather than the pressures of the ambient society.

Holy St Nicholas, Holy St Basil, pray for us!