Sunday, April 24, 2011
Additional Quotes of the Fathers on the Resurrection of Christ
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
Christ descending to Hades to raise the dead (http://iconreader.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/resurrection2.jpg)
Additional Quotes of the Fathers on the Resurrection of Christ
"That light which far outshines the day and sun, first pledge of resurrection, and renovation of bodies long since dissolved, the divine token of promise, the path which leads to everlasting life — in a word, the day of the Passion — is arrived, best beloved doctors; and ye, my friends who are assembled here, ye blessed multitudes who worship Him who is the author of all worship and praise Him continually with heart and voice, according to the precepts of His holy word.
But thou, Nature, parent of all things: what blessing like to this hast thou ever accomplished for mankind? Nay rather, what is in any sense thy workmanship, since He who formed the universe is Himself the author of thy being? For it is He who has arrayed thee in thy beauty; and the beauty of Nature is life according to Nature’s laws.
But principles quite opposed to Nature have mightily prevailed, in that men have agreed in withholding His rightful worship from the Lord of all, believing that the order of the universe depended, not on His providence, but on the blind uncertainty of chance. And this they did, notwithstanding the clearest announcement of the truth by His inspired prophets, whose words should have claimed belief, but were in every way resisted by that impious wickedness which hates the light of truth and loves the obscure mazes of darkness.
Nor was this error unaccompanied by violence and cruelty, especially in that the will of princes encouraged the blind impetuosity of the multitude, or rather itself led the way in the career of reckless folly.
Such principles as these, confirmed by the practice of many generations, became the source of terrible evils in those early times: but no sooner had the radiance of the Saviour’s presence appeared, than justice took the place of wrong, a calm succeeded the confusion of the storm, and the predictions of the prophets were all fulfilled.
For after He had enlightened the world by the glorious discretion and purity of His character, and had ascended to the mansions of His Father’s house, He founded His Church on earth, as a holy temple of virtue, an immortal, imperishable temple, wherein the worship due to the Supreme Father and to Himself should be piously performed."
St. Constantine the Great
"Brethren, how fine a thing it is to move from festival to festival, from prayer to prayer, from holy day to holy day. The time is now at hand when we enter on a new beginning: the proclamation of the blessed Passover, in which the Lord was sacrificed. We feed as on the food of life, we constantly refresh our souls with his precious blood, as from a fountain. Yet we are always thirsting, burning to be satisfied. But he himself is present for those who thirst and in his goodness invites them to the feast day. Our Savior repeats his words:
'If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.'
He quenched the thirst not only of those who came to him then. Whenever anyone seeks him he is freely admitted to the presence of the Saviour. The grace of the feast is not restricted to one occasion. Its rays of glory never set. It is always at hand to enlighten the mind of those who desire it.
Its power is always there for those whose minds have been enlightened and who meditate day and night on the holy Scriptures, like the one who is called blessed in the holy psalm:
'Blessed is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, or stood where sinners stand, or sat in the seat of the scornful, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.'
Moreover, my friends, the God who first established this feast for us allows us to celebrate it each year. He who gave up his Son to death for our salvation, from the same motive gives us this feast, which is commemorated every year. This feast guides us through the trials that meet us in this world.
God now gives us the joy of salvation that shines out from this feast, as he brings us together to form one assembly, uniting us all in spirit in every place, allowing us to pray together and to offer common thanksgiving, as is our duty on the feast. Such is the wonder of his love: he gathers to this feast those who are far apart, and brings together in unity of faith those who may be physically separated from each other.
St. Athanasios the Great
"The Lord, having put on human nature, and having suffered for him who suffered, having been bound for him who was bound, and having been buried for him who was buried, is risen from the dead, and loudly proclaims this message:
'Who will contend against me? Let him stand before me. It is I who delivered the condemned. It is I who gave life to the dead. It is I who raised up the buried. Who will argue with me? It is I, says Christ, who destroyed death. It is I who triumphed over the enemy, and having trod down Hades, and bound the Strong Man, and have snatched mankind up to the heights of heaven. It is I, says Christ. So then, come here all you families of men, weighed down by your sins and recieve pardon for your misdeeds. For I am your pardon. I am the Passover which brings salvation. I am the Lamb slain for you. I am your lustral bath. I am your life. I am your resurrection. I am your light, I am your salvation, I am your King. It is I who brings you up to the heights of heaven. It is I who will give you the resurrection there. I will show you the Eternal Father. I will raise you up with my own right hand.'"
St. Melito Bishop of Sardis
"Most men believe in the resurrection of Christ, but very few have a clear vision of it. …That most sacred formula which is daily on our lips does not say,
'Having believed in Christ’s resurrection,'
'Having beheld Christ’s resurrection, let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, who alone is without sin.'
How then does the Holy Spirit urge us to say,
'Having beheld Christ’s resurrection',
which we have not seen as though we had seen it, when Christ has risen once for all a thousand years ago, and even then without anybody’s seeing it? Surely Holy Scripture does not wish us to lie? Far from it! Rather, it urges us to speak the truth, that the resurrection of Christ takes place in each of us who believes, and that not once, but every hour, so to speak, when Christ the Master arises in us, resplendent in array and flashing with the lightnings of incorruption and Deity.
For the light-bringing coming of the Spirit shows forth to us, as in early morning, the Master’s resurrection, or, rather, it grants us to see the Risen One Himself. Therefore we say,
'The Lord is God, and He has given us light' (Ps. 118:27)
and we allude to His second Coming and add these words,
'Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord' (Ps. 118:26).
Those to whom Christ has given light as He has risen, to them He has appeared spiritually, He has been shown to their spiritual eyes. When this happens to us through the Spirit He raises us up from the dead and gives us life. He grants us to see Him, who is immortal and indestructible. More than that, He grants clearly to know Him who raises us up (Eph. 2:6) and glorifies us (Rom. 8:17) with Himself, as all the divine Scripture testifies.
These, then, are the divine mysteries of Christians. This is the hidden power of our faith, which unbelievers, or those who believe with difficulty, or rather believe in part, do not see nor are able at all to see.
St. Symeon the New Theologian
Christ raising the dead (http://rel.gr/photo/displayimage.php?album=33&pos=152)
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
Truly the Lord is risen!