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God’s Power Is with Us, We Have Peace with God: Excerpts from the Writings by Hryhorii Skovoroda (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2



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Hryhorii Skovoroda was an 18th century philosopher, poet, and composer of religious music. A number of his writings can be found in his songs, several of which have been adapted to Ukrainian folk music. Skovoroda’s work contributed to the culture of both Russia and Ukraine. He has been called “Socrates,” both as a moralist and one whose Socratic style is intended to stimulate thought and self-introspection. In recognition of his works and numerous contributions, Hryhorii Skovoroda’s portrait was printed on the second largest banknote in circulation in Ukraine, the 500-hryvnia note.

We now share with you excerpts from his writings in “A Conversation Among Five Travelers Concerning Life’s True Happiness.” God’s Power Is with Us, We Have Peace with God. “You have to stand bravely and give no ground to the devil: if you resist, he will flee from you. It is shameful to fail in resisting one idle invader or even a small party of them. O Lord! How remiss we are in winning and keeping that peace of the heart that is the most precious thing on earth or in Heaven! A man should think only of this when he is alone and speak only of this when he is with others, whether at home or on the road, lying down or getting up. But when do we think of it? How little self-knowledge have we attained, having forgotten our house, which was not built by men, and its head–our soul, and the soul’s head–the God-like paradise of peace.”

“Who can read the part of his epistle that is read on the day of his victory without being amazed? It is a spectacle of the most wonderful miracles that captivate the heart’s eye. What a miracle! What brings others bitter disappointment brings Paul mirth because his breath or soul is like a healthy stomach, which thrives on the coarsest and hardest food. Is this not to have a diamond heart? The heaviest blow shatters everything else but strengthens him. Oh peace! You are God’s and God is yours! This is true happiness: to obtain a heart encircled by diamond walls and to say: ‘God’s power is with us: we have peace with God.’”

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