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On Prayer
An Example of True Prayer
Homily for the Sunday of the Blind Man

The Gospel reading about the blind man, dear brethren, reveals to us how to worship God, how to pray to Him.

Passing among people, Christ saw a man who was blind from birth. Being blind from birth, this man had never seen anyone. He had no notion of human form. Even Christ he had never seen. He only knew that Christ was passing nearby, that He was a miracle-worker and that He could give him his sight. So he started crying out, calling for Christ. The people around him tried to silence him, because he was disturbing them, preventing them from hearing Christs sermon, because he was disturbing the peace. Christ walked on, surrounded by His disciples. And they asked Him: Master! Who sinned this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered: Neither this man sinned, nor his parents, but this was given so that the works of God should be manifest in him. Having said that, He spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle and anointed the eyes of the blind man with this clay, saying to him: Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.

Christ heals the blind man
Christ heals the blind man

Let us imagine the state of this blind man. He is crying out, calling out He is being pushed around perhaps, he is being silenced, but he continues to cry out, to call out in other words, he is praying. Finally, the unseen Miracle-worker approaches him. But He does not perform an instant miracle. Quite the contrary. He does something that in human terms could be considered humiliating, unpleasant. He spits on the ground and makes clay out of the spittle and soil, and then anoints the eyes of the blind man with it. And if that were not enough, He sends him with this clay on his eyes to wash his face in the pool of Siloam. But the blind man does not protest; he goes off gropingly, stumbling, subject to the ridicule of passersby. Finally he reaches the pool and washes his face. And then, having done everything that was required of him, having suffered through everything, he finally regains his sight and comes back seeing.

Here is a wonderful example for us of prayer, dear brethren. We too are spiritually blind and unable to see the Lord. But we know that He is there. So let us call out to Him, cry out to Him, asking Him for help. And let us not feel dejected if we do not receive help instantly. Perhaps we must still travel a long way, down a difficult road, as was the blind mans road to the pool of Siloam. Along this way we might meet with troubles, humiliations, such as the clay represented for the blind man. Let us endure everything. Let us be patient and obedient. Let us do whatever the Lord wills, let us follow the way that He indicates to us, just as the blind man was told to go to the pool of Siloam. And when we do all that is required, then the Lord will respond to our prayer and will answer it, if such is His will. And the same thing will happen to as happened to the blind man. When through the circumstances of our life the Lord asks us: do you believe in the Son of God? we will answer: we believe, o Lord! and we will worship Him.

But when we pray we should avoid imagining anything, we should pray with a blank mind like the blind man, just knowing that the Lord is near, that He can do everything. And if for some reason things should happen contrary to our prayer let us not lose spirit, but let us hope, let us hope even against all hope. And the Lord will do what is needful for us. So let us take on the state of the blind man, which is the best example of prayer.

Christ is risen!

From the book of sermons by Archbishop Andrew,
The One Thing Needful
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