Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Resurrection and the Cross.

Metropolitan Anthony Bloom.

   We must at no moment forget that the end of our journey is our meeting with the Risen Christ. Some people, whilst admitting the importance of the Resurrection in the experience of the Apostles, wonder how this apostolic experience can have the same central significance for us. But is it enough for us simply to believe in the words of others and to found our faith on something totally unverifiable?. Of all the historic events in the world, the Resurrection of the Lord belongs equally to past history and to present reality. Christ dead on the Cross on one particular day, Christ risen from the tomb in His glorified human flesh on one particular day belongs to the past as an historic fact; but Christ, once risen, living forever in the glory of the Father belongs to the history of each day and each instant, because living, according to his promise, he is with us, now and always.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

To Be a Person Is to Love

   If within the Trinity the persona expresses itself in its mutual kenosis (Self emptying) and in its love toward the world, this is also true of the human persona. There is love toward God, other human personae and the created order. Fr Sophrony makes an explicit and direct connection between the divine mode of being, charac­terized by kenotic love, and its image - the multihypostatic body of human­kind. In humankind as in God love emerges as a uniting principle:
   The attitude of love is natural for the persona made in the image of God, of love. He does not determine himself oppositively, by contraposing himself over against the "not I." Love is the most intrinsic content of his essence. Embracing the whole world in prayerful love, the persona achieves ad intra (with effect or result only in one's own mind, self, internally) the unity of all that exists. In the creative act of his becoming, he aspires to universal unity ad extra (With effect or result in the outside world as opposed to one's own mind, self, in the world at large; externally, perceivably) also. In love lies his likeness to God Who is Love (1 Jn 4:16).
   In the human hypostasis there is the same "divine" capacity for the ultimate transference of being - the ultimate self-giving (emptying) and ultimate receiving (fullness) - the modus patiendi (receptive mode) and modus agens (active mode) in persona's existence.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The building up of the heart
by the grace of repentance.

Father Sophrony in the middle surrounded by Father Zakharia
and Father Symeon, Father Kyrill and Father Raphael
   Christ’s Gospel begins with the words: "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." These words resume the dialogue between God and man, which was severed in Paradise by the disobedience of our fore­fathers. But these words are now proclaimed with a new creation in view, a new generation, whose Head is Christ, the Creator Himself. It follows that repentance is the begin­ning of our turning against sin, so that God's original pur­pose for man and His creation of man in His image and after His likeness may finally be fulfilled.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Unprofitable servants!.

St Nicholai Velimirovitch.

   "Unprofitable servants!”, Thus speaks the Lord of Life and Vanquisher of death:
   "Can you increase your stature by a single cubit?. Can you make a hair turn white or black?. And when you cannot do what is least, why do you worry about the rest?.
   The master of a house, who hires servants, gives them a field and tools and food. Even so does the Heavenly Father provide for His servants!.

Saturday, April 2, 2016


St Nicholai Velimirovitch.

   Repent of your ways, inhabitants of the earth. Behold, the eye of the Master of the world is keeping watch deep within you. Do not trust your seducible eyes, let the Eye illumine your way. Your eyes are curtains over the Eye of God.
   Repentance is admission of the way of sin. Repentance opens up a new way. The penitent's eyes are open to two ways: to the way which he is going, and to the way he should be going.
   There are more who feel repentant than there are who turn their wheels onto a new way. I tell you: the penitent must have two types of courage - he must have the courage to weep over his old way, and he must have the courage to prepare himself for a new way.
   What good is it for you to feel repentant and still tread the old way?. How do you describe a person who is drowning and shouts for help, but when help arrives will not grab hold of the life line?. I liken such a person to you.

Will you not endure
everything for My love?.

   There is nothing else that can help appease anger and all the passions as much as love for God and for every fellow man. It is with love rather than with other struggles that you can win easily. In addition, when love reigns in your nous you feel no pain while struggling. For this reason, "Love never faileth" (1 Cor 13: 8)!. As long as you constantly steer the soul's rudder towards it. And no matter what happens, you shout your maxim: "For the sake of Thy love, Jesus, my sweet love, I will endure curses, disgraces, injustices, toils, and all afflictions that I might encounter!", and at once, while you are pondering these words, the burden of pain is lightened, and the demons' bitterness ceases.