Saturday, September 5, 2015

Elder Ephraim: "Let us attend on high..."

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior (source)
"Contemplate the love of our Jesus; the love of Jesus will overpower every other natural love. The more we renounce, the more love of God we shall enjoy. Let us attend on high, where Jesus sits at the right hand of God. Let our eyes look on high, for the eternal and everlasting things are above, not below; for everything here is dust and ashes. 
Reflect on the luxuriousness of heaven: the infinite wisdom of God is there; inconceivable beauty is there; the angelic melodies are there; the riches of divine love are there; the life free from pain is there; the tears and sighs will be taken away there; only joy, love, peace, an eternal Pascha, and an unending festival are there. “Oh, the depth of the riches and knowledge of God!” (cf. Rom. 11:33 ). “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9 ). Attend to the prayer; persevere in prayer, and it will put everything in order. Do not yield at all; remain firm in your holy goal. 
Remain beside Jesus to live with spiritual happiness. There is no happiness anywhere except in Christ. So-called “happiness” outside of Christ is incorrectly called happiness, since it is obtained with reprehensible means and since it ends quickly and leads man to the eternal unhappiness. 
Struggle, my children; the angels are weaving crowns with flowers of paradise. Our Christ regards the struggle as a martyrdom—what is more excellent than to be a martyr for Christ!
-Elder Ephraim of Arizona
Icon of Christ Deisis, with the Holy Theotokos and the Precious Forerunner (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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