The Prodigal Son
„And he said: a certain man had two sons.” Luke 15: 11
I shall take only verse eleven.
Christ gives unique examples. The prodigal son is a magnificent subject on which great preachers in the world have read notable sermons and drawn lessons on how generations should live. As far as I know, all the preachers from the time of Christ till the present time have only confined to the prodigal son after his transgression and return home; however, Christ meant something more profound by this example. The transgression of the prodigal son is a consequence and we should know the reason why the younger son left his father. Everyone says the younger son was prodigal; one could suffer in this world but we may not know the reasons. Let me give you an analogy about these two brothers: a gentleman came to a famous priest in Russia to confess his sins; this gentleman was a criminal who had committed a murder. He confessed his crime and the confessor advised him how to absolve of his sins. As you know there are certain rules that oblige confessors not to disclose the secrets revealed to them; however, the murderer went out of the church and met a policeman whom he told who had committed this crime. Having in mind the present law, people may ask: “If he has committed a crime, does he deserve to be pardoned?” This is how people who have superficial understanding of the world think. However, those who understand will tell really whom to blame.
Then what are the reasons? I see the young son was gallant minded because he had the valour to say to his father: “Father, I want to study so I shall let my elder brother succeed to your throne. For you do not need me that much in your home, give me my portion of the patrimony.” I see what this son did was much better than what your sons did: after sending them abroad they spend forty-fifty thousand leva. This young man was noble because he put the question before his father and we see the father raised no objection but gave him the respective part of the property, and later the son squandered it living lecherous life with women, eating and drinking. Is it possible a crime to be committed in this world, evil to be done or intrigue made without the participation of a woman!
They say that after wasting everything the son went to a man and asked to work for him: “I am accustomed to hard working; when I was at my father's house I used to work.” The man sent him to feed swine. The young man preferred feeding swine rather than committing suicide; preferred feeding swine rather than going out stealing; preferred feeding swine rather than cheating people. I ask: in the modern society, how many people follow the example of the prodigal son; in the church, how many people follow the example of the prodigal son? That is why Christ in His parable gives the prodigal as an excellent example. They say that after grazing swine the son came to his senses and went back to his father; the father realized his son's good quality and killed a calf in his honour. Christ knows from the Jewish history that Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau; unlike his brother, Jacob liked to tell fibs and because of a lie he went abroad and served for fourteen years for lentils and two women; they cheated him when he was given his first wife. Therefore, you can also try to tell a lie but you will be a servant for fourteen years, i.e. you will expiate your crime in some way or another.
Christ says in the parable that the elder brother became angry that his father had killed a calf for a man who was prodigal. He went to his father and told him: “Yet you never gave me a kid that I might make merry with my friends.”
So, all the people who sin in the world are the younger brother; all publicans are the younger brother, and the cabinet ministers, bishops, chiefs, judges and teachers are the elder brother; they teach the people and say: “We always rule wisely.” In fact, the young son left his father` s home because of the elder brother, since the latter was very envious and quick-tempered; the young one said: “I am afraid you could lie to me the way Jacob lied to his brother.” The law says that debauchery always comes from the big people: if the woman is wrong, the man is to blame; if the man is wrong, the woman is to blame. For the one who is wrong is the smaller: children are always wrong, and the smarter and the older, even if they go wrong, law does not catch them; they may steal but they do in such a way not to be caught, and the fool who steals will certainly be caught because he does not understand the “supreme” law on which modern society lies.
It is said in the parable that when the son came back, his father was filled with joy. Why? Because this young man brought a noble feeling to his father's house. He came back with humbleness and said: “Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and in thy sight, and I do not deserve your home.” – he showed real Love. And when Christ says we should become servants he means we must be humble.
And now, you have never fornicated but you know how to be angry. Yes, I know a lot of preachers and bishops who are saints; however, hatred will inevitably appear in their hearts; they will want the calf killed for them saying: “Only we, the holy people, can teach the world.” The woman often says to her husband: “You will serve me!” and the husband says to his wife: “You will serve me!” Some other time the man says: “I command you and you will serve me”, but the woman will not serve like a sinner. The characteristic on which Christ emphasizes is the deep humbleness every human soul should have. It has a deeper meaning but I do not want to touch it because it is a controversial point.
Now, we know how to blacken people with smoke; do you know what tobacco is for? The devil blackens people with tobacco and all the people who smoke cense the devil and he becomes tame; therefore, if your wife is angry burn tobacco at her. One night a priest had no tobacco left and became very angry; all people began to ask themselves: “What happened to the priest?” but as soon as they burned tobacco at him he became tame. In the same way, the young son who knew how greedy his brother was gave him some “tobacco”. Let us say that someone is angry at you; burn some tobacco at him. For example, a priest is angry at you; burn some tobacco at him, give him something; if you put in his pocket five, ten, twenty, hundred leva, he will smile; burn tobacco at all priests and bishops. Some people say they do not want to give money; give in order to get rid of it! The situation with the bigger brother is the same; his father comforts him by saying: “All I have is yours, i.e. he censes him. And when someone asks me how the world will get better I tell him this is the way: become a servant and tell your father to give everything to the other brothers; the bigger sinner you are in their minds, the better for you.
Contemporary people preach about culture; I am not afraid of the word culture but I notice the clergy is not contented with it because the clergy asserts that culture debauches people. Culture means to cultivate something: a field, fruit, strawberries, cherries. However, the present-time clergymen think that if people become a little cleverer the world will go bad; they say: “Let us keep them ignorant in order to know they do not have rights.” And when Christ came to Earth he went to his elder brother and said: “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve the world.” However, they did not believe Him, frowned again and said to the father: “Get him out of here! If he enters he will ruin everything we have.”
So, where all this could find application? All of us love such Christians as today’s sons or daughters who are cavaliers and tell their fathers to give them their due; after finishing their studies they will feed their fathers in their old ages. But when the son graduates from the university do you know what he does to his father? He feels ashamed to call himself his son and keeps his father at a distance. The false understanding of Christianity lies exactly here: all people who have property are righteous; there is no exception: give the rascal ten-twenty thousand leva and he will start loving order. Therefore, the anarchists in the world who want to destroy present-time order are the elder brothers; however, Christ recommends the younger brother. For no matter how we reorganize modern society, if we do not transform our own thoughts and wishes, the system will always protect those who have money and they will always be powerful.
Now the servant wants to become a master. The woman looks for a man who is rich, erudite, and skilful at some art; she is a gentlewoman who wants to live opulently, she does not want to be a servant. The man is the elder brother: he is looking for a rich woman and says it is indecent for a man to work in the world. The husband leaves his wife because another one takes her place; however, Christ gives us an example what to do: to allow the younger brother enter our family. Therefore, we can accept another woman at home only if she says like this son says: “Father, I have sinned”. Christ says that a man does not have the right to leave his wife except for benevolence; however, if the wife comes to the humbleness of becoming his servant, he must accept her; if he accepts her, this will be God` s Will. This is the teaching of Christ. And what are you doing now? A man sins and his wife is looking for another more righteous husband; she finds another and he also sins; then she looks for a third husband, etc. But a married woman is not allowed to have two husbands; neither a man is allowed to have two wives; if contemporary people allow themselves that …
Using the two sons from the parable, Christ shows what relations should be like: He shows the deep Love that the little son had for his father; and the little son also knew that his father understood him.
People often ask me how a man could be saved. I have heard preachers say that people are saved through the blood of Christ. In contemporary medicine, there is a physiological fact that if an anaemic person` s vein is opened and blood is transfused then his ill body recovers. Well, if the blood of Christ saves is this blood running in your veins, are you ready to receive this blood? If one is ready to receive this blood in his veins, he can be helped. If you have never given from your blood you have saved no one. Christ has been saving for two thousand years: He sends this blood through the mother of each newborn child; that is why Christ says that if a man is not born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Therefore, one should accept this blood. I would like us to test all the preachers from all the churches how much they love the world; if we hang them on four nails they will curse. Yes, it is very nice to preach Christianity when you have two thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand leva! This is how it is in America: there are preachers there who are paid a hundred thousand leva each. Christ says: “You cannot serve both God and Mammon at the same time.” You cannot preach the Word of God for money; priests do not have the right to preach for money. Those of them who are heralds of Truth let them preach for free; let everyone have his own occupation and work for his living. And now, when the prodigal sons begin to come back, the preachers are indignant. If we take from the blood of Christ that runs in the modern preachers and test it, we shall see that there are impure thoughts, impure desires in it. I shall kiss those of them whose blood is pure. And when we boast we shall be taken some blood for test; every preacher or priest before becoming a bishop should be blood tested as a touchstone, and then he shall be told: “You have Christ` s blood.” This blood of Christ should be in the veins of all of us; only this blood will save us, only this blood will generate the Love that Christ preaches.
I wish no one ill; whatever I have I shall give it; my rule is to serve. I do not want to rule over people but you cannot get rid of this law. Your blood will yield fruit in you; when you acquire this blood it will yield all the fruits your soul needs to feed on. And this blood runs on Heaven in all the heavenly fruit-bearing plants; therefore, we send sap to these fruits and when we enter the Kingdom of God we shall feed on them; those who preach something else do not understand the Teaching of Christ. We speak of what we have experienced.
And now, does the example of the young son coming back to his father live in us? Some people will say: “How is it possible a prodigal son to live in us?” Yes, I wish there were ten sons like this living in us; I wish I could have this great virtue of being humble. Humbleness gives birth to culture, the humble man gives birth to culture; show me a supercilious man who has done something great. The elder brothers have invented war; they have ruled. And all the little brothers will inherit the Kingdom of God; they say:”We shall give everything”. I am telling you: it will make good of a son who says: “Father, give me my share.” You may say such a man could surrender to the vice; let him fall but he will come back to you; and the other son who stays with you will torment you and be angry at you that you have not paid a kid for him. There are Christians who sit on two chairs at one and the same time.
And now, there are people in the church who disagree with me. Let anyone of them prove to me the contrary and I will give him a blessing. No, he should have the courage to go to the priests and say: “Give me this.” – give the man the freedom to try this Divine world. The woman does not want to live with her husband: give her share; the man does not want to live with his wife: give him his share, set him free and let him go. You may say this is not a Christian teaching; if your wife wants give her own place /space / the due place; if your son wants give him the portion that belongs to him. The teaching I preach to you is not for feeble-minded people; those of you who are feeble-minded, who cannot think, let them forget what I have said; but those of you who can think, think on this subject. And those of you, who do not have spines, should not put this rucksack on their backs because this is a heavy teaching. The woman renounces you and wants freedom: give her own place /space / the due place. But you will say: “If we act like this, what will happen?” as if the social order is favourable the way you act now! Gentlemen, this is not an order, this is not a teaching! We must be born from one father and one mother. Eve gave birth from two men and sinned; every woman who gives birth from two men commits a sin. So when coming back home the prodigal son said: “I have sinned because of deep lying reasons in Life; I will fornicate no more so make me a servant and I will serve with the greatest of pleasure.”
And now, let us go back to our Father. He is in the world; some people say that God is in Heaven; in my opinion, God is on Earth, in your homes. Some people preach that the one who dies will see God - this is a whopping lie; the one who lives will see God. I say that people do not die; I want them to rise from the dead. Now people say: “All of us will die; therefore, let us save some money to prepare shirts /to be buried with/”. Those of you, who prepare shirts this way, will never see God; this is not how the prodigal son came back. And what are you doing? “Let us dress up for a party and go to God this way.” You cannot to go to Him this way. How did Christ go back to God? The Father put him on the cross to be baptized with a pledge; this is the Divine law of Love. And now you, as Christians, say: “Which priest is going to bury me?” When these priests start not burying you but raising you from the dead, then they will lead you into the Kingdom of God; otherwise any priest would perform a funeral service over you for money; what a pity for such a buried sinner! Therefore, when we prepare ourselves we should live; do not put in your minds the idea to be buried and performed a requiem by priests. You should leave the body as property and say: “I am leaving you my body as legacy; put it in a grave; I am going to my Father, He will give me a new one” I would like God` s Angels to sing for me and God to rest my soul only when I go to my Father and say: “Father, I have sinned.” Thus, I will set an example to the whole society, and Christ will say: “Today this man has humbled himself; this son was dead and came back to live.” I would like to kill a calf for such a son and call all my friends to eat for him.
Of course, I shall not make a feast like the American whose relative died and left him a legacy of thirty million dollars; he was a cowherd and after receiving the legacy he feasted the citizens of San Francisco who ate and drank for three days; and what happened: they started tumbling down the streets; and when this man spent all the money he became a cowherd again and said to himself: “It is better for me to be a servant.” Now you may say: “If I have thirty million leva, I will buy a car, house, and piano, I shall take a teacher”; you will even give a hundred thousand leva to talk about you. I wish the real Bulgarian would come back like this son and say to his father: “Father, I have sinned; I want to be your servant”. I wish I could see more priests like this and my heart will fill with joy for them; I would rejoice as I have never done it before! And now everybody says: “What, we cannot stand this son!” Christ is not in us, yet. Not to bear any hatred in us: this is a great Divine law, this is the prodigal son.
Now, I am asking you: are you ready to let your husband go if he wants to leave you? If I started to explain the law of inheritance, you would understand why Christ preached this way. Christ preached for the present times and gave the parable of the prodigal son because of us. And when we construct this prodigal son in the next culture, we should put up his bust; this is our opinion. I am asking you who is capable of examining the Divine books? When a man dies he does not become a saint; he is saint when he lives; I do not believe people have become saints after their death because one who lives, who does not die, is a saint, and one who dies is not a saint. I love Christ because He came back to life; and all those who are like Christ are saints. When we begin to understand things this way, then we shall become saints; if you are capable of renouncing yourselves you are saints. When the saint enters a certain society he gives Joy all over the place; this is a saint! Speaking of the dead, there are lots of saints is Bulgaria. Stambolov is a saint for the stambolovists, Karavelov is a saint for the democrats, etc. Of course, all these people have their right...
So do not think that after death you will become a saint; no, you will die and suffer. We fight against the process of dying with the process of Resurrection: “Father, I have sinned”. And this son resurrects: his father put a ring on his hand, dressed him and he rose from the dead. Therefore, the slaughter of the calf is an allegory: the calf is a child; the prodigal son is the child coming back. It is true both in the physical and the spiritual world, and when a man is born he becomes a victim.
Now, I want you to keep two things in your minds. First, put in you the conviction not to sit on two chairs at one and the same time. If you are Christian believers say that you are. What kind of Christian are you? “I am Orthodox.” What do you believe in? “I believe the blood of Christ is in you, and the Spirit of Christ is in you”. And second, we should be humble; each one of you is in torment because he lacks humbleness, e.g. somebody looks askance at you and you take offence. You should know you are a servant and ask to receive the grace of God. We should have the courage of that gentleman who was told by a friend: “You are a scoundrel and a thief”, and he passed him by and thanked for not telling everything: this is the prodigal son. And what are modern people doing now? When the devil bribes us, we bring people to trial instead of bringing the devil to trial. This is the teaching of Christ: we should go back to our fathers and Love should reign in our minds; to become warm-hearted and sincere. What is Good before God is Good for all mankind; I believe only in the blood of Christ that bears good fruit. I believe in a church that has such fruit; I believe in the church that bears the fruit of Christ: Love, humbleness, forbearance. And I do not believe in people who do not have such fruit in them. Let us say that you are rich, you have a thousand leva; we should come back like the prodigal son and know that we have nothing in us. All those who preach you about the Truth are poor men; and who says he does not know Christ is a liar. Christ established a church of Love. It is our duty to love the priests because of God since they are our brothers; I know they have certain weak points; I take all these things into consideration. I wish there were heroes in every church; then we shall be a Christian people living in the Christian tradition. And if the world says something on your behalf … In this world, you will have no other welcome.
I wish I was in the place of the prodigal son. I play the part of the little brother because I am among the sinful people in the world; I am not more righteous. Yes, I may seem righteous to you but I am not righteous before God; much water will flow under the bridge before I become the one God wants me to be. I do not want you to think anything more about me; I want you to try, then you will say: “We have tried”. If something is not right, tell me; do not talk behind my back that it is not right, as we should preach a teaching based on experience. Like the little son, I would like to play the part of being humble. It is not easy; it is hard to be tormented by your wife. There is no struggle bigger than the one when a man becomes humble and comes to his inner self - awareness. It is very hard, it is an act of heroism, for only the great souls are capable of playing this part; only the little brothers can play this part. And Christ was one of the little brothers; He was the first to serve people for all their sins but God raised Him because the Divine blood was running in him. He said: “Father lives in Me.”
I and all of us should have the blood of Christ; only then this blood will give birth to priests, teachers, men and women; only then you will have the children you want to have.
Try to hand down to the young people only when you have the blood that Christ has; if you do not have such pure blood open your arteries to receive it. Then, you will feel such Joy that no one is able to erase from your soul. Then, you will be connected to the Invisible world and will talk to people by seeing not by touching.
I am asking you: what part do you want to play? Some will say it is very hard. Try and God will bless you.
27 June 1915, Sofia