o not be afraid, Lazar," said the angel. "I am God's messenger, who stands before the face of the Most High King. And behold, I have been sent to you to tell you the answer to the question, which has been tormenting you more than the arrows stuck in your flesh. I have come to tell you the answer, so that I may cleanse your soul of dark doubts and, after it is cleansed — so that I may take it. And this man in the garb of a martyr of the Church is my brother, the holy prophet Amos. He is your patron saint, your Krsna slava, which you began to celebrate last night with bread and wine, but which today you celebrate with blood and death. Do not be afraid, but hear and rejoice!
     "I am that same messenger who brought to you the book from the Jerusalem on High. Invisibly I stood before you in your palace at Kruševac and left the book on your knee. While you were deliberating and trying to decide which kingdom you would choose, I stood at your right side. While awaiting your decision the holy heavens were silent, the holy Nemanjic dynasty were trembling with fear lest you would choose wrongly, and all the Serbian righteous who have reposed in the Lord were praying to God for you, so that He might guide you to the better choice. And after you made the blessed choice, the holy heavens burst into song, the holy Nemanjic dynasty rejoiced, and all the Serbian righteous offered up thanksgiving to God.
     "Do not be afraid, O man of God, you made the good choice, and have bequeathed a salvation-bearing testament to your people. Had you gained an earthly kingdom and bequeathed it to them, you would have enriched them less than you have with this testament. For true and glorious are those words of yours:

     The earthly kingdom lasts only for a brief time,
     But the heavenly kingdom always and forever.

     Look at these expanses opened before you. Look at the multitudes of blessed nations in these vast areas. This is only one tiny part of the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom that you chose. Physical eyes would never be able to see such a vast expanse and so many multitudes of people. Indeed, this is all infinitely greater in measurement and in quantity than the earthly kingdom. However, this is revealed only to spiritual sight; spiritual eyes can encompass and behold this with a glance. For those locked in the flesh, this mystery remains locked. Nevertheless our common Creator had compassion on your desperate cry and, being mindful of your good deeds, He has opened your spiritual sight, so that you may behold all this and be comforted."
     With this the messenger of God was silent. Then the hum of singing again arose, just as that first time, among the blessed nations of heaven. And Lazar grasped the meaning of some of the words:

     To every heart that burns with love
     An answer comes from heaven.
     To every being that glorifies God
     He reveals Himself in mercy.

     "This is the spiritual kingdom," continued the angel, "deified, divine, intransitory, incomparable, immortal. Truth, love, life and joy — these four are motivating these spiritual realms toward ceaseless song. They are presented to you as being physical, but they are actually incorporeal. Indeed, you are now looking at spirits through spirit Your eyes are shut, and you are seeing nothing with your physical eyes. Instead your free soul is looking directly at realms that are free and liberated from the flesh. The impressions, which you are now receiving as pictures, shapes, colors, voices and dimensions, are not coming from the physical, material world of symbols, but from the world that is non-material and real. And just as you now are seeing without your eyes and hearing without your ears, and are feeling content without flesh, so do the immortal spirits in this kingdom see, hear, and feel. The vision of spirits is incomparably further, their hearing is incomparably sharper, and their feelings are incomparably stronger than what a bodily man can see with his eyes, hear with his ears, or feel with his soul in the body. For this reason, I think, the true teachers of men were not mistaken, when they called the body a prison and the separation of the soul from the body liberation.
     "With regard to their perception of reality men are divided into three groups. The first group looks only with physical eyes at physical things, and thinks that they are seeing reality. They are the truly blind ones. They live in the complete darkness of ignorance, shaded by the dark shadow of created things.
     "The second group are those who go beyond the eyes with their human intellect, striving to grasp the meaning of the things, and in the process they trust only in their eyes and their intellect. And these people see nothing as they should, but only perceive a mystery of beings and objects that is incomprehensible to them. They maintain that an imperceptible world exists beyond all the perceptible world — and this is the culmination of their knowledge. Therefore they live in a tormenting twilight of dancing shadows, which hide the truth from them like a motley curtain.
     "But the third group does not give much credence to their eyes or to their intellect, but rather with childlike simplicity they accept revelation from the holy heavens, just as you have today. These revelations quench their thirst for earthly kingdoms and dominions, and create an insatiable hunger and thirst for the kingdom of heaven. Such are called 'the children of light.' It has been granted to them to see mysteries and, seeing, to walk the true way in earthly life. Not even they always and continuously see, as we heavenly inhabitants do, but only now and then, according to the will and grace of divine Providence.
     "In this third group was also found, in his earthly life, this amazing glorified saint of yours, the holy prophet Amos, together with the other prophets, clairvoyants, apostles, saints and righteous. And so you too, O glorious prince, are numbered in the ranks of these sanctified lovers of God."
     Thus spoke the angel of the Most High, and then was silent. Then the prophet Amos came closer to Lazar, took him by the hand, and began to speak.
     "Take courage, wondrous Lazar! Your soul is tormented by many questions. Behold, the herald of God is before you. Soon you will call him your brother in a kingdom of different kinship and citizenship from that on earth. Ask him freely about all that is tormenting your soul."
     From this touch and the words of the holy prophet, Lazar felt an awesome and vivifying effluence, which filled and strengthened his entire soul; and he decided to ask questions.