Thursday, June 13, 2013

St. Silouan the Athonite on the Joy of the Ascension of Christ

The Ascension of Christ (source)
St. Silouan the Athonite on the Joy of the Ascension of Christ (amateur translation)
After the Ascension of the Lord, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem with great joy, as the Gospel says (Luke 24:52).

The Lord knows what joy He gave them, and their souls experienced this joy.

Their first joy was that they came to know the true Lord Jesus Christ.

Their second joy was how He loved them.

Third, how they came to know eternal, heavenly joy.

And their fourth joy, how they yearned for the salvation of the world, as their own.

And finally, they rejoiced, because they came to know the Holy Spirit, and saw how He worked within them.

The Apostles went throughout the earth and preached to the people the good news regarding the Lord and the Kingdom of Heaven. Their souls, however, yearned and thirsted to behold the beloved Lord, and because of this, they did not fear death, but they met it with joy. And if they desired to live on the earth, this was only for the joy of the faithful, who loved them.

The Apostles loved the Lord, and because of this they did not fear any suffering. They loved the Lord, and they loved the people, and this love casted out every fear from among them. They did not fear martyrdom, nor death, and because of this the Lord sent them into the world to enlighten the people.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!


Peggy said...

Glory to God !

Peggy said...

Our Ascended Lord: The Saving Swallow Who Opened the Way to the Eternal Spring

by the Blessed Bishop Nikolai (Velimirovich) (†1956)

When swallows run short of food and the cold weather is coming, they set off to warm climes, where there is plenty of sun and food. One swallow flies ahead, testing the air and showing the way, while the rest of the flock follows after.
When our souls run short of food in the material world, and when the cold of death draws near—ah, is there a swallow like that one, to take us to a warm place, where there is plenty of spiritual warmth and food? Is there such a place? Is there, oh, is there such a swallow?
Outside the Christian Church, there is no one who can give any sort of reliable answer to this. The Church alone knows, and knows with certainty.
It has seen that part of Paradise for which our souls yearn in the frozen twilight of this earthly existence. It has also seen this blessed swallow, the first to fly to that yearned-for place, dispersing the darkness and cutting through the heavy atmosphere between earth and Heaven with its powerful wings,opening the way to the flock behind it. Apart from this, the Church on earth can tell one of innumerable flocks of swallows that have followed the first Swallow and flown off with it to that blessed land, a land abounding with all good things—the land of eternal Spring.
You will see from this that, by this saving Swallow, I am thinking of the ascended Lord Jesus Christ.
Has He not said of Himself that He is theWay? Did He not Himself say to His Apostles:“I go to prepare a place for you...and if I go...I will receive you unto Myself”(St. John 14:2–3)? And did He not say to them before this:
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me”
(St. John 12:32)? This that He Himself said began to be fulfilled a few weeks later, and has continued to be fulfilled right down to our own day, and shall be to the end of time. That is, being the beginning of the first creation of the world, He became also the beginning of the second creation, or the blessed renewing of the old. Sin clipped Adamʼs wings and those of all his descendants, and they all fell away from God, went off, and were blinded with the dust from which their bodies were created. Christ, as the New Adam, the first Man, the Firstborn among men, was the first to rise up to Heaven on spiritual wings, to the throne of Eternal Glory and power,thus cleaving the way to Heaven and opening all Heavenʼs gates to His followers, with their spiritual wings—as an eagle cleaves the way for its eaglets,as the swallow which goes ahead, showing the flock the way and breaking the airʼs heavy resistance.