Monday, March 24, 2014

St. John of Kronstadt on the Annunciation

The Annunciation of the Theotokos (source)
"Behold: how the image of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God gleams! Yet, She is also human.... What exalted Her to such incomparable heights? What made Her so glorious and so great -- loftier than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Seraphim?

It was the three supreme virtues: humility, purity and a fiery love for God -- a love that is alien to earthly, to external, love.

She Herself confesses that the Lord has looked upon the humility of His hand-maiden (Luke 1, 48).

Do thou also, O Christian, begin to love, and implant deep within thine heart that humility which is divinely-pleasing; acquire also, through exerted labors lasting thine entire life, a purity of heart -- do this by [means of] fasting, prayer, meditation upon God, tears, and especially by a frequent and worthy communion of the holy Mysteries of Christ.

Begin, also, to love God, thy Creator and thy Saviour, with all thine heart, and prefer nothing that is in the world to His holy love. 

Meditate ever upon Him and upon His wondrous works; live Him and breathe Him; nourish thy soul with Him,; attire thyself in Him; purify thyself, enlighten thyself, sanctify thyself, establish thyself, adorn thyself, praise thyself, console thyself, through Him. By means of Him, vanquish the temptations and impositions of foes, visible and invisible. 

Whatsoever ye do, do all with thought of Him, and for His sake. Wheresoever ye might be, be everywhere with Him, as He is always with us, being everywhere, and filling all things (Tropar' to the Holy Spirit)."

-St. John of Kronstadt
(source; for the full sermon see here)
The Annunciation of the Theotokos (source)
Most-holy Theotokos, save us!
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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