Thursday, April 28, 2016

St. Leo the Great on the joyous and overwhelming Passion of Christ

The Deposition of Christ from the Cross, Detail, Vatopedi Monastery (source)
"...And among all the works of God, before which the mind grows faint with awe, which so rejoices yet overwhelms the soul as the Passion of our Saviour? For as often as we dwell, as best we can, upon His Omnipotence, which He shares with the Father in one and the same nature, more wondrous does His lowliness seem to us than His power; and with more difficulty do we grasp His emptying Himself of the divine Majesty, than His sublime uplifting of the form of a servant. Yet it helps us greatly to understand, that while One is the Creator, one the created - One the inviolable Divinity, one the suffering flesh - what belongs to either nature meets in the single Person; so that whether in might or in suffering His the humiliation Whose also the glory.
-St. Leo the Great, 'On the Passion of the Lord'"
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Friday, April 22, 2016

"The abysses are afraid before You O Lord..."

Christ raising Lazarus from the dead (source)
The abysses are afraid before You O Lord, the Source [of life], all the waters serve You, and the gates of hades tremble before You, O Christ, and their bars are broken through Your might, as You raised Lazarus from the dead through Your voice, O Almighty Savior, Who loves mankind.
-from Canon II of the Orthros on the Saturday of Lazarus
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord, Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Elder Aimilianos: "The Divine Liturgy is a betrothal to Christ, it is a wedding"

Christ serving the Divine Liturgy with the Holy Angels (source)
The Divine Liturgy is a bethrothal to Christ, it is a wedding. It places us in His Kingdom.

Later, we will go out again, we will go back to our house with our passions, with our sins, and with our miseries.

It doesn't matter. Again we will go to Liturgy, and again we will seize Christ, He will deify us again. And thus, with continuous struggle, with a continuous path, with the Priest before us and we behind, we will reach the Kingdom of Heaven.

Do we go to the Liturgy with this desire? We obtain the Kingdom of the Heavens.
-Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra

The Holy Angels depicted serving the Divine Liturgy (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Monday, April 11, 2016

St. Porphyrios on Holy Humility

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (source)
"Complete trust in God – that’s what holy humility is. Complete obedience to God, without protest, without reaction, even when some things seem difficult and unreasonable. Abandonment to the hands of God. The words we repeat during the Divine Liturgy say it all: ‘Let us commend our whole life to Christ our God.’ The secret prayer of the priest says the same thing: ‘We commend our whole life and hope to You, O loving Master, and we entreat You and beseech You and supplicate You…’ To you, O Lord, we leave everything. This is what trust in God is. This is holy humility. this is what transfigures a person and makes him a ‘God-man’.
The humble person is conscious of his inner state and, however unsightly it is, he does not lose his personality. He knows he is sinful and is grieved by the fact, but he does not despair and does not annihilate himself. The person who possesses holy humility does not speak at all, that is, he doesn’t react. He accepts to be criticized and rebuked by others, without getting angry and defending himself. He does not lose his equilibrium. The opposite happens with the egoist, the person who has a sense of inferiority. To begin with he seems humble, but if he is goaded a little, he immediately loses his calm and is irritated and upset.
The humble person believes that all things depend on Christ and that Christ gives His grace and in that way he makes progress. The person who possesses holy humility lives even now in the earthly uncreated Church. He always has the joy of Christ, even in the most displeasing circumstances….."
-St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia
St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!