Saturday, September 24, 2022

The Power of Jesus Prayer - Saint Sophrony the Athonite


Saturday, September 17, 2022

The action of God in us.
Saint Sophrony the Athonite.


Saint Sophrony the Athonite.
        Nowadays there are people all over the world in search of a solution to their quest. This widespread unallayed spiritual thirst is a historical event that is really tragic. Many are on the edge of despair. Every one of them, according to his own measure, in the depths of his spirit suffers from the absurdity of contemporary life. They are inconsolable in their grief; their own individual efforts are not enough to free them from the enclosing world of confusion, and stay their minds on the most important thing of all.  

Ours is sometimes called the post-Christian age. But I personally, from what I know of the history of the world and of Christianity, am convinced that Christianity in its true dimensions has never yet been properly grasped by the great mass of people. Kingdoms pretending to the name of 'Christ­ian', and their peoples, have worn the mask of piety, while 'denying the power thereof' They have lived, and live, like heathens. Strange as it may be, it is precisely the Christian countries who keep the greater part of the universe in the iron grip of slavery. In these latter years they have shrouded the world in a dark cloud of expectation of apocalyptic fire: 'the heavens and the earth, which are now ... reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.'

In the present crisis of Christianity among the popular masses it is quite justifiable to discern a rebellion of the natural conscience against the distortions which the Gospel teaching has suffered in its historical destinies.

We are living again in the atmosphere of the first centuries of our era: unto us 'it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake'. More than once have I rejoiced in the thought that, for the most part, my life has coincided with harassment of Christianity. This allows me the more acutely to feel myself a Christian, to realise the incomparable honour in times like these of following the only-begotten Son of the Father on His path to Golgotha. Persecution is rife everywhere but in different forms - none of which, however, is easy to bear. May the God of love deliver every soul from the calamity of being a tormentor even of 'one of these little ones'.

In 'suffering for his sake ' there is an especial blessing and even election: he who suffers, by the very force of circumstances places himself in constant association with Jesus Christ, is led into the sphere of Divine love and becomes God-bearing.

There are two ways for theology: the one, widely familiar in previous centuries, appertaining to the professional theo­logian; the other, which means being crucified with Christ. knowing Him in the secret places of the heart. The first of these types is accessible to the majority of the intellectually endowed having a preference for philosophical subjects - genuine belief in the Divinity of Christ expressing itself in a life lived according to the spirit of His commandments is not needed. The second is the theology of the confessors, which is born of a profound fear of God in the fiery flames of repentance, leading to existential reality through the appearance of Uncreated Light. Academic theology com­bined with living faith affords blessed results. But it can easily degenerate into abstract theory, and cease to be what we see in the lives of the Apostles, Prophets, Fathers - the direct action of God in us. 'No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him ... It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard' [in his heart] 'and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me'.

The Holy Trinity is the God of Love. The love of which the Gospel treats is the uncreated life-force of unoriginate Divinity. The property of this Love is to unite us in very being. He who dwells in this unity with God gradually grows to realize what is happening to him. 'But God hath revealed [knowledge of Him] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God ... We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God: that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth. 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God'.

And as Jesus answered, 'flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto him [peter], but my Father which is in heaven'. 'Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory'. And this is natural growth in the Spirit through dwelling in the Divine realm by keeping Christ's commandments. The mind straightway apprehends knowledge and formulates it in human terms. It happens like a flash of lightning, when the heart is burning with love. This is the 'marvelous light' of eternity to which we are called.!..




On Prayer. Archimandrite Sophrony Sacharove. 1996.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Se charger de sa croix.
Saint Sophrony l'Athonite.

Saint Sophrony, jeune moine
 au Mont Athos.

 Toute «œuvre» chrétienne est nécessairement liée à l'ascèse; l'amour, œuvre suprême entre toutes, nécessite le plus grand effort. En sa réalité profonde, la vie du chrétien consiste à suivre le Christ: «Que t'importe [ce qui peut arriver à autrui]? Toi, suis-moi» (voir Jn 21,2). En vertu de cela, chaque croyant répète à un degré ou à un autre la voie du Seigneur. Mais ce n'est pas par ses propres forces qu'il prend la croix sur ses épaules pour aller à Gethsémani puis au Golgotha, «car hors de Lui nous ne pouvons rien faire» (voir Jn 15,5). Ceux qui ont reçu cette redoutable bénédiction ont anticipé leur résurrection, le lot des autres, c'est la foi en la miséricorde de Dieu. 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Tears of Love
Mother Mariam Zacca


Mother Mariam Zacca.

O My Lord and God!!!

My soul is in the tomb, whereby You reside, so how could it die?!

And how do I die, if Your hand touched me and You live in me.?!. Your body and blood enter my insides every time they are offered at the altar, a secret sacrifice of love!

You resurrected, my God!. Death did not conquer You! The soldiers were only able to hurt Your earthly body with wounds!. However, You went down to the tomb and resurrected wearing the clothes of glory, which is why Mary was not able to recognize You!

She came to You with myrrh, to embalm You, to embalm the corruption of the flesh, so You became like the myrrh flowing down on her head and heart.! …

Along came the women to Your tomb, to untie what tied Your arms and legs, so You tied them with Your voice and the light of Your face saying: “Go and declare the Resurrection”.. You said to Mary: “I’m Resurrected, o Mary, so don’t be afraid anymore!”.. and Mary got afraid!

And I am afraid too, O my Lord, I’m afraid.!...

In our weak flesh, in our attachment and love for You, we are afraid because You left us, and the world despises us!..

Father, we became like dirt, it is how the devil threatens us!…

 He strives to rip us from our place, from waiting You, from bringing myrrh to Your tomb, from our tears, from our love for You!..

But, we will wait for You!.. Yes, every day, we wait for You in the tomb, and what’s beyond the tomb!..

Father…under the cross, in the garden of Gethsemane!.. The women were not present there, initially, but they were in their houses, waiting for Your call, waiting for a sign from You, waiting for You to summon them!..

They were embalming themselves to welcome the Groom, instead of pouring the myrrh of their tears on their bodies, cleansing and preparing themselves for You!..

What can we offer You, o Lord.?!. Only tears of love, and the presence with You, because we love You?!..

Please, prevent us from wars O Lord, hide us in the shadow of Your wings, and give us Your peace, and grant us Your fortitude!!. Settle our life in your home, your monastery!

Nail us on the Cross of your love, on praising Your name, on calling You! For there, on the cross of Your love, Your Resurrection emerges, so fix us on the cross, and in the resurrection, o Lord, since it is the joy with You, it’s the repose in You, it’s the feeling of peace, and that we arrived to the end of the journey…

Now, we will never stumble, now, we are firm, and we won’t fear wars anymore, and the enemy will not conquer us!!.

Forgive us, O Lord, and secure us more and more on Your love cross, so we witness Your Resurrection in us as joy, peace, and love for You and only You!..


… And mercy for everyone who needs You!!..


Translated from Arabic. Original article here.