Visit FamilyCorner.com for tons of seasonal ideas!
quick link - go to our home page quick link - kid's crafts, family fun, printables, etc quick link - sign up for our free newsletter quick link - holiday crafts, recipes and ideas quick link - gardening, organizing, saving money, decorating and more quick link - our FunBook is filled with lots of quick ideas, tips and crafts quick link - join our bustling community of friendly members


Go Back   FamilyCorner.com Forums > > >

Quips, Quotes, Wisdom & Scriptures A place to share your quotes, scriptures, and other spiritual wisdom you would like to share.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 9 votes, 5.00 average.
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2004, 01:40 AM
ewriggs's Avatar
Nine Year Member
FamilyCorner Junkie
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Posts: 1,609
Monday, 10 / 23 August 2004

Sacrifice to God

A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit.
~*~Psalm 50:19~*~

Do not regard the external, but concentrate your gaze on the internal, gather up the entire world into the noetic cell of the soul, prepare for the Lord a temple which does not contain any idols.
~*~Venerable Nilus of Sinai~*~

God smells not matter or sensory aroma, but the noetic and spiritual. The most pleasant incense is the soul of the one who offers it. Through spiritual sacrifices we recognize not only the stifling of passions but also the dedication of all our natural powers to God, bringing them as a whole burnt offering to God in the fire of grace.
~*~Venerable Maximos the Confessor~*~

If you wish to offer gifts to God, emulate the widow and from your soul bring two mites - humility and love.

~*~Venerable Theognist~*~
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2004, 02:06 AM
ewriggs's Avatar
Nine Year Member
FamilyCorner Junkie
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Posts: 1,609
Explanation of the Creed

The Principles of the Orthodox Faith

Bishop Alexander (Mileant)
Edited by Donald Shufran

(Part I)

What is the Creed?

The word creed comes from the Latin credo, which means "I believe." In the Orthodox Church the Creed is usually called the Symbol of Faith, which means the "expression" or "confession" of the faith.

A person without faith is like a blind man. Faith gives man spiritual vision by which he can see and understand the essence of all that surrounds him: how and why everything was created, what is the goal of life, what is right and what is not, and ultimately what one must strive towards.

From earliest times, the Apostolic-period Christians have used the Creed to remind themselves of the principles of the Orthodox Faith. In the ancient church there existed various short creeds. But in the 4th century there appeared false teachings about the Son of God and the Holy Spirit. Thus it became necessary to complete these short creeds and more accurately define the Church's teaching.

A Historical Survey

The Nicean Creed was composed by the Fathers of the 1st and 2nd Ecumenical Councils. The first seven articles of the Creed were drawn up at the 1st Ecumenical Council, and the last five were drawn up at the 2nd Ecumenical Council. The 1st Council met in Nicea in 325 A.D. to confirm the true teachings about the Son of God and to oppose the false teachings of Arius. Arius believed that the Son of God was created by God the Father. The 2nd Council met in Constantinople in 381 A.D. to confirm the true teaching on the Holy Spirit and to oppose the false teachings of Macedonius. He rejected the divine origin of the Holy Spirit. The Creed is named the "Nicean-Constantinopolitan" after the two cities in which the Fathers gathered for the 1st and 2nd Ecumenical Councils. The Creed consists of twelve articles. In the 1st article we speak of God the Father; from the 2nd though 7th articles we speak of God the Son; in the 8th article about God the Holy Spirit; in the 9th about the Church; in the 10th about Baptism; and in the 11th and 12th about the resurrection of the dead and eternal life.

The Creed

I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light: true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made: Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried; And arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures; And ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life; Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the prophets. In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, And the life of the age to come. Amen.

We begin the Creed with "I believe." This is because the essence of our religious convictions depends not on external experiences but on our acceptance of God-given truths. Surely one cannot prove truths of the spiritual world by any laboratory experiments. These truths belong to the sphere of personal religious experience. The more a person grows in the spiritual life - the more one prays, thinks about God, does good - the more his inner spiritual experience develops, the clearer the religious truths become to him. In this fashion, faith becomes for him a subject of personal experience.

(Part II to follow)


Father (now Bishop) Alexander Mileant has written or compiled hundreds of leaflets, brochures and booklets on various aspects of the Orthodox Faith. They may be found at: Orthodox Christian Booklets and are available in several languages.

Last edited by ewriggs; 08-23-2004 at 02:10 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2004, 02:09 AM
ewriggs's Avatar
Nine Year Member
FamilyCorner Junkie
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Posts: 1,609
Explanation of The Creed (II)

The Principles of the Orthodox Faith

Bishop Alexander (Mileant)
Edited by Donald Shufran

(Part II)

What do we believe in according to the Creed?

We believe that God is one fullness of perfection; we believe that He is a perfect spirit, timeless, without beginning, all-powerful and all-wise. God is everywhere, sees all, and knows beforehand when something will happen. He is good beyond measure, just and all-holy. He needs nothing and is the reason for everything that exists.

We believe that God is one in Essence and Trinity in Persons (i.e., the one true God has appeared to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the Trinity, one in Essence and indivisible. The Father is not born and does not proceed from the others. The Son pre-eternally was born of the Father, and the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father.

We believe that all the Persons of the Holy Trinity are equaly in divine perfection, greatness, power, and glory. That is, we believe that the Father is true and perfect God, the Son is true and perfect God, and, the Holy Spirit is true and perfect God. Therefore, in prayers, we simultaneously glorify the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as one God.

We believe that the entire visible and invisible world was created by God. In the beginning God created the invisible, great angelic world, otherwise known as Heaven. As stated in the Bible, God created our material or physical world from nothing. This was not done at once, but gradually during periods of time which in the Bible are called "days." God created the world not out of necessity or need but out of His all-good desire to do so in order that His other creations might enjoy life. Being Himself endlessly good, God created all things good. Evil appeared in the world from the misuse of free will, with which God has endowed both angels and people. For example, the Devil (Satan) and his demons were at one time angels of God. But they rebelled against their Creator and became demons. They were cast out of Heaven and formed their own kingdom called "hell." From that moment on, they tempted people to sin and became our enemies and the enemies of our salvation.

We believe that all things are under God's control; that is, he provides for every creature and guides everything to a good goal. God loves and looks after us as a mother looks after her child. For this reason nothing bad can befall a person who trusts in God.

We believe that the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, came down from heaven for our salvation. He came to earth and took on our flesh by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. Being God from all eternity, He in the time of King Herod took on our human nature, both soul and body, and is therefore truly God and truly man, or the God-man. In one divine Person He combined two natures, divine and human. These two natures will remain with Him always without change, neither blending nor changing from one into the other.

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ, while living on earth, enlightened the world by His teaching, His example, and miracles. He taught people what they should believe and how they should live so that they may inherit eternal life. By His prayers to His Father, His complete obedience to the Father's Will, His sufferings and death, He defeated the devil and redeemed the world from sin and death. By His Resurrection from the dead, He laid the foundation for our resurrection. After His Ascension in the flesh to Heaven, which took place forty days after His Resurrection from the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ sat at the right hand of God the Father; that is to say, He received equal power with God the Father and since then together with Him governs the face of the world.

We believe that the Holy Spirit, proceeding from God the Father from the beginning of the world, together with the Father and the Son gives existence to all creation, gives life, and governs all. He is the source of a grace-filled spiritual life, both for angels as well as people, and equally with the Father and the Son is worthy of all glory and worship. The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament spoke through the prophets. Then in the beginning of the New Testament, He spoke through the Apostles and now lives in the Church of Christ, guiding her pastors and people in the truth.

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ founded the Church on earth for the salvation of all who believe in Him. He sent the Holy Spirit to the Apostles on Pentecost. Since that time the Holy Spirit abides in the Church, that grace-filled community or union of believing Orthodox Christians, and preserves her in the purity of Christ's teaching. The grace of the Holy Spirit abides in the Church, cleanses those who repent of sins, helps the believers grow in good deeds, and sanctifies them.

We believe that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. She is One because all Orthodox Christians, although belonging to different national, local churches, are one family together with the angels and saints in Heaven. The oneness of the Church depends on oneness of Faith and Grace. The Church is Holy because her faithful children are sanctified by the word of God, prayer, and the Sacraments. The Church is Catholic because what we believe is the same teaching held to be true by all Orthodox Christians, always and everywhere. The Church is called Apostolic because it preserves Apostolic teaching and the Apostolic succession. From ancient times, this Apostolic succession passes on without interruption from Bishop to Bishop in the sacrament of Ordination. The Church will remain of our Lord and Savior until the end of time.

We believe that in the sacrament of Baptism the believer is forgiven all sins. The believer becomes a member of the Church. Access to the other sacraments of salvation becomes available to him at this time. In the sacrament of Chrismation the believer receives the grace of the Holy Spirit. In Confession or Repentance, sins are forgiven. In Holy Communion, offered at the Divine Liturgy, the believer receives the very Body and Blood of Christ. In the sacrament of Matrimony, an inseparable union is created between a man and a woman. In the sacrament of Ordination Deacons, Priests, and Bishops are ordained to serve the Church. In Holy Unction, the healing of physical and spiritual illness is offered.

We believe that before the end of the world Jesus Christ, accompanied by angels, will again come to the earth in glory. Every person, according to His Word, will resurrect from the dead. A miracle will occur in which the souls of people who have died will return into the bodies which they possessed during their earthly life. All the dead will come to life. During the General Resurrection, the bodies of the saints, both those resurrecting and those still living will be renewed and become spiritualized in the image of the Resurrected Body of Christ. After the resurrection, everyone will appear before the Judgment of Christ, to receive what he is due, according to what he has done when he lived in his body, good or evil. After the Judgment, unrepentant sinners will enter into eternal torments and the righteous into eternal life. This will begin the Kingdom of Christ, which will have no end.

With the one word "Amen" we witness to the fact that we accept and acknowledge with our whole heart this Creed which we confess to be true.

The Creed is read by a Catechumen (one about to receive Baptism) during the sacrament of Baptism. During the Baptism of an infant, the Creed is read by the Sponsor. The Creed is sung at the Liturgy and should be read daily at Morning Prayers. An attentive reading of the Creed greatly strengthens our faith. This happens because the Creed is not just a formal statement of belief but a prayer. When we say "I believe" in a spirit of prayer, along with the other words of the Creed, we enliven and strengthen our Faith in God and in all those truths which are contained in the Creed. This is why it is so important for the Orthodox Christian to recite the Creed daily or at least regularly.

Father (now Bishop) Alexander Mileant has written or compiled hundreds of leaflets, brochures and booklets on various aspects of the Orthodox Faith. They may be found at: Orthodox Christian Booklets and are available in several languages.
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2004, 02:04 PM
ewriggs's Avatar
Nine Year Member
FamilyCorner Junkie
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Posts: 1,609
Wednesday, August 25 / August 12 (Church Calendar)

Afterfeast of the Transfiguration. Martyrs Anicletus and Photius (Photinus) of Nicomedia

Remembering the One Who Loved Us

The outstanding nature of God is Love (1 John 4:8). God is a limitless, all-encompassing and life-giving sea of love. From the largest to the smallest, everything in existence - visible and invisible, including every molecule in our being - is the work of His incomprehensible love and wisdom. Consequently, it is natural to expect that our daily need must be a ceaseless thanksgiving to our Creator - and not only for evoking us from non-existence by giving us life, but for His continuous fatherly caring for our welfare.

In need of no one, through His surfeit of goodness, God created us so that we could be in communion with Him in eternal life and ecstasy. His fatherly love unfolds with particular distinctiveness in the concern shown in establishing our human nature and the surroundings in which He intended us to settle. It would appear that mankind requires very little to survive and could have been limited to the bare daily essentials. However, through His generosity, God created this immense universe, containing countless galaxies and star systems in all their vastness and splendor that fascinates the mind and delights the heart. Who is worthy enough to competently describe the beauty of God's creation and do justice to it - the azure of the sky and the invigorating warmth of the sun, the immensity of the seas and grandeur of the mountain ranges, the vastness of the plains and the whiteness of the snow, the fragrance of grasses and flowers, the singing of birds, the bubbling of a brook?!

Just like a benevolent mother who is concerned for her children, our Creator has enriched our world with countless varieties of sustenance that strengthen and give us satisfaction, and with a diversity of plants to treat illnesses and fortify our health. In a word, all that is around us, right down to an insignificant blade of grass, is witness to the generosity and fatherly care of our Creator!

That is why learned thinkers and philosophers derived their brightest ideas in contemplating nature, while sensitive poets, composers, and writers, inspired by its beauty, created their works of genius, as exemplified by some of Lermontov's poetry:

When the yellowing wheat field ripples,
And the fresh forest rustles before the sound of the Breeze,
And a raspberry-colored plum hides
Under the shade of a delightful green leaf.
When, sprinkled with fragrant dew,
In the glowing evening or in the golden hour of morning
From under a shrub the silvery lily of the valley
Affably nods its head to me.
When a very cold stream plays along the ravine,
And, a thought, submerging in some vague dream or Other,
Babbles to me a mysterious saga
About a peaceful land from where it is rushing.
Then the uneasiness of my soul is subdued,
Then the wrinkles on my brow scatter,
And I perceive happiness on Earth,
And in Heaven I see God.
M. Lermontov (1814 - 1841).
Translated by Dimitry J. Hicks Hloboschin 8/XII/1999


From: "Remembering the One Who Loved Us," Bishop Alexander (Mileant)
http://www.fatheralexander.org/bookl...ish/love_e.htm
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 08-27-2004, 01:36 PM
ewriggs's Avatar
Nine Year Member
FamilyCorner Junkie
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Posts: 1,609
Friday, 14 / 27 August 2004

Forefeast of the Dormition. Prophet Micah

St. John of Karpathos, in Texts for the Monks in India:
If we truly wish to please God and to enjoy the grace of His friendship, we should present to Him an intellect that is stripped bare -- not weighed down with anything that belongs to this present life...
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", pp. 309-310, text 49)

St. Hesychios the Priest, in On Watchfulness and Holiness:
... When there are no fantasies or mental images in the heart, the intellect is established in its true nature, ready to contemplate whatever is full of delight, spiritual and close to God.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 178, text 93)

We should strive to preserve the precious gifts which preserve us from all evil... These gifts are the guarding of the intellect with the invocation of Jesus Christ, continuous insight into the heart's depths, stillness of mind unbroken even by thoughts which appear to be good, and the capacity to be empty of all thought.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 180, text 103)

Because every thought enters the heart in the form of a mental image of some sensible object, the blessed light of the Divinity will illumine the heart only when the heart is completely empty of everything and so free from all form. Indeed, this light reveals itself to the pure intellect in the measure to which the intellect is purged of all concepts.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 177, text 89)

To human beings it seems hard and difficult to still the mind so that it rests from all thoughts. Indeed, to enclose what is bodiless within the limits of the body does demand toil and struggle, not only from the uninitiated but also from those experienced in inner immaterial warfare. But he who through unceasing prayer holds the Lord Jesus within his breast will not tire in following Him, as the Prophet says (cf. Jer. 17:16.LXX). Because of Jesus' beauty and sweetness he will not desire what is merely mortal...
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 188, text 148)

... the delighted intellect delights in the light of the Lord when, free from concepts, it enters into the dawn of spiritual knowledge. By continually denying itself, it advances from the wisdom necessary for the practice of the virtues to an ineffable vision in which it contemplates holy and ineffable things. Then the heart is filled with perceptions of infinite and divine realities and sees the God of gods in its own depths, so far as this is possible. Astounded, the intellect lovingly glorifies God, the Seer and the Seen, and the Saviour of those who contemplate Him in this way.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 185, text 131)


Evagrios the Solitary, in On Prayer:
When your intellect in its great longing for God gradually withdraws from the flesh and turns away from all thoughts that have their source in your sense-perception, memory or soul-body temperament, and when it becomes full of reverence and joy, then you may conclude that you are close to the frontiers of prayer.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", pp. 62-63, text 62)

Stand on guard and protect your intellect from thoughts while you pray. Then your intellect will complete its prayer and continue in the tranquility that is natural to it. In this way He who has compassion on the ignorant will come to you, and you will receive the blessed gift of prayer.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 63, text 70)

You cannot attain pure prayer while entangled in material things and agitated by constant cares. For prayer means the shedding of thoughts.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", pp. 62-63, text 71)


St. Mark the Ascetic, in Letter to Nicolas the Solitary:
... for the soul is carried away captive through its inward assent to the thoughts with which it is constantly and sinfully occupied.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 147)

St. Thalassios, in On Love, Self-control and Life in accordance with the Intellect:
The intellect cannot dally with any sensible object unless it entertains at least some kind of passionate feeling for it.
("Philokalia (Vol. 2)", p. 316)
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 08-28-2004, 10:11 AM
ewriggs's Avatar
Nine Year Member
FamilyCorner Junkie
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Posts: 1,609
A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
by St. Gregory Palamas

Part I
--------------------------------------------------
Both love and duty today fashion my homily for your charity. It is not only that I wish, because of my love for you, and because I am obliged by the sacred canons, to bring to your God-loving ears a saving word and thus to nourish your souls, but if there be any among those things that bind by obligation and love and can be narrated with praise for the Church, it is the great deed of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. The desire is double, not single, since it induces me, entreats and persuades me, whereas the inexorable duty constrains me, though speech cannot attain to what surpasses it, just as the eye is unable to look fixedly upon the sun. One cannot utter things which surpass speech, yet it is within our power by the love for mankind of those hymned, to compose a song of praise and all at once both to leave untouched intangible things, to satisfy the debt with words and to offer up the first fruits of our love for the Mother of God in hymns composed according to our abilities.

If, then, "death of the righteous man is honorable" (cf. Ps. 115:6) and the "memory of the just man is celebrated with songs of praise" (Prov. 10:7). How much more ought we to honor with great praises the memory of the holiest of the saints, she by whom all holiness is afforded to the saints, I mean the Ever-Virgin. Mother of God! Even so we celebrate today her holy dormition or translation to another life, whereby, while being "a little lower than angels" (Ps. 8:6), by her proximity to the God of all, and in the wondrous deeds which from the beginning of time were written down and accomplished with respect to her, she has ascended incomparably higher than the angels and the archangels and all the super-celestial hosts that are found beyond them. For her sake the God-possessed prophets pronounce prophecies, miracles are wrought to foreshow that future Marvel of the whole world, the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. The flow of generations and circumstances journeys to the destination of that new mystery wrought in her; the statutes of the Spirit provide beforehand types of the future truth. The end, or rather the beginning and root, of those divine wonders and deeds is the annunciation to the supremely virtuous Joachim and Anna of what was to be accomplished: namely, that they who were barren from youth would beget in deep old age her that would bring forth without seed Him that was timelessly begotten of God the Father before the ages. A vow was given by those who marvelously begot her to return her that was given to the Giver; so accordingly the Mother of God strangely changed her dwelling from the house of her father to the house of God while still an infant . She passed not a few years in the Holy of Holies itself, wherein under the care of an angel she enjoyed ineffable nourishment such as even Adam did not succeed in tasting; for indeed if he had, like this immaculate one, he would not have fallen away from life, even though it was because of Adam and so that she might prove to be his daughter, that she yielded a little to nature, as did her Son, Who has now ascended from earth into heaven.

But after that unutterable nourishment, a most mystical economy of courtship came to pass as regards the Virgin, a strange greeting surpassing speech which the Archangel, descended from above, addressed to her, and disclosures and salutations from God which overturn the condemnation of Eve and Adam and remedy the curse laid on them, transforming it into a blessing. The King of all "hath desired a mystic beauty" of the Ever-Virgin, as David foretold (Ps. 44:11) and, "He bowed the heavens and came down" (Ps. 17:9) and overshadowed her, or rather, the enhypostatic Power of the Most High dwelt in her. Not through darkness and fire, as with Moses the God-seer, nor through tempest and cloud, as with Elias the prophet, did He manifest His presence, but without mediation, without a veil, the Power of the Most High overshadowed the sublimely chaste and virginal womb, separated by nothing, neither air nor aether nor anything sensible, nor anything supra-sensible: this was not an overshadowing but a complete union. Since what overshadows is always wont to produce its own form and figure in whatever is overshadowed, there came to pass in the womb not a union only, but further, a formation, and that thing formed from the Power of the Most High and the all-holy virginal womb was the incarnate Word of God. Thus the Word of God took up His dwelling in the Theotokos in an inexpressible manner and proceeded from her, bearing flesh . He appeared upon the earth and lived among men, deifying our nature and granting us, after the words of the divine Apostle, "things which angels desire to look into" (1 Pet. 1:12). This is the encomium which transcends nature and the surpassingly glorious glory of the Ever-Virgin, glory for which all mind and word suffice not, though they be angelic. But who can relate those things which came to pass after His ineffable birth? For, as she co-operated and suffered with that exalting condescension (kenosis) of the Word of God, she was also rightly glorified and exalted together with Him, ever adding thereto the supernatural increase of mighty deeds. And after the ascent into the heavens of Him that was incarnate of her, she rivaled, as it were, those great works, surpassing mind and speech, which through Him were her own, with a most valiant and diverse asceticism, and with her prayers and care for the entire world, her precepts and encouragements which she gave to God's heralds sent throughout the whole world; thus she was herself both a support and a comfort while she was both heard and seen, and while she labored with the rest in every way for the preaching of the Gospel. In such wise she led a most strenuous manner of life proclaimed in mind and speech.

Therefore, the death of the Theotokos was also life-bearing, translating her into a celestial and immortal life and its commemoration is a joyful event and festivity for the entire world. It not merely renews the memory of the wondrous deeds of the Mother of God, but also adds thereto the strange gathering at her all-sacred burial of all the sacred apostles conveyed from every nation, the God-revealing hymns of these God-possessed ones, and the solicitous presence of the angels, and their choir, and liturgy round about her, going on before, following after, assisting, opposing, defending, being defended. They labored and chanted together to their uttermost with those who venerated that life- originating and God-receiving body, the saving balsam for our race and the boast of all creation; but they strove against and opposed with a secret hand the Jews who rose up against and attacked that body with hand and will set upon theomachy. All the while the Lord Sabaoth Himself, the Son of the Ever-Virgin, was present, into Whose hands she rendered her divinely-minded spirit, through which and with which its companion, her body, was translated into the domain of celestial and endless life, even as was and is fitting. In truth, many have been allotted divine favor and glory and power, as David says, "But to me exceedingly honorable are Thy friends, O Lord, their principalities are made exceeding strong. I will count them and they shall be multiplied more than the sand" (Ps. 138:17). And according to Solomon, "many daughters have attained wealth, many have wrought valiantly; but she doth exceed, she hath surpassed all, both men and women" (cf. Prov. 31:29). For while she alone stood between God and the whole human race, God became the Son of Man and made men sons of God; she made earth heavenly, she deified the human race, and she alone of all women was shown forth to be a mother by nature and the Mother of God transcending every law of nature, and by her ineffable childbirth-the Queen of all creation, both terrestial and celestial. Thus she exalted those under her through herself, and, showing while on earth an obedience to things heavenly rather than things earthly, she partook of more excellent deserts and of superior power, and from the ordination which she received from heaven by the Divine Spirit, she became the most sublime of the sublime and the supremely blest Queen of a blessed race.


(Continued Below)

Last edited by ewriggs; 09-04-2004 at 04:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 08-28-2004, 10:14 AM
ewriggs's Avatar
Nine Year Member
FamilyCorner Junkie
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Posts: 1,609
A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
by St. Gregory Palamas

Part II
--------------------------------------------------

But now the Mother of God has her dwelling in Heaven whither she was today translated, for this is meet, Heaven being a suitable place for her. She "stands at the right of the King of all clothed in a vesture wrought with gold and arrayed with divers colors" (cf. Ps. 44:9), as the psalmic prophecy says con- cerning her. By "vesture wrought with gold" understand her divinely radiant body arrayed with divers colors of every virtue. She alone in her body, glorified by God, now enjoys the celestial realm together with her Son. For, earth and grave and death did not hold forever her life-originating and God-receiving body -the dwelling more favored than Heaven and the Heaven of heavens. If, therefore, her soul, which was an abode of God's grace, ascended into Heaven when bereaved of things here below, a thing which is abundantly evident, how could it be that the body which not only received in itself the pre-eternal and only-begotten Son of God, the ever-flowing Wellspring of grace, but also manifested His Body by way of birth, should not have also been taken up into Heaven? Or, if while yet three years of age and not yet possessing that super- celestial in-dwelling, she seemed not to bear our flesh as she abode in the Holy of Holies, and after she became supremely perfect even as regards her body by such great marvels, how indeed could that body suffer corruption and turn to earth? How could such a thing be conceivable for anyone who thinks reasonably'? Hence, the body which gave birth is glorified together with what was born of it with God-befitting glory, and the "ark of holiness" (Ps. 131:8) is resurrected, after the prophetic ode, together with Christ Who formerly arose from the dead on the third day. The strips of linen and the burial clothes afford the apostles a demonstration of the Theotokos' resurrection from the dead, since they remained alone in the tomb and at the apostles' scrutiny they were found there, even as it had been with the Master. There was no necessity for her body to delay yet a little while in the earth, as was the case with her Son and God, and so it was taken up straightway from the tomb to a super-celestial realm, from whence she flashes forth most brilliant and divine illuminations and graces, irradiating earth's region; thus she is worshipped and marvelled at and hymned by all the faithful . Willing to set up an image of all goodness and beauty and to make clearly manifest His own therein to both angels and men, God fashioned a being supremely good and beautiful, uniting in her all good, seen and unseen, which when He made the world He distributed to each thing and thereby adorned all; or rather one might say, He showed her forth as a universal mixing bowl of all divine, angelic and human things good and beautiful and the supreme beauty which embellished both worlds. By her ascension now from the tomb, she is taken from the earth and attains to Heaven and this also she surpasses, uniting those on high with those below, and encompassing all with the wondrous deed wrought in her. In this manner she was in the beginning "a little lower than the angels" (Ps. 8:6), as it is said, referring to her mortality, yet this only served to magnify her pre-eminence as regards all creatures. Thus all things today fittingly gather and commune for the festival.

It was meet that she who contained Him that fills all things and who surpasses all should outstrip all and become by her virtue superior to them in the eminence of her dignity. Those things which sufficed the most excellent among men that have lived throughout the ages in order to reach such excellency, and that which all those graced of God have separately, both angels and men, she combines, and these she alone brings to fulfillment and surpasses. And this she now has beyond all: That she has become immortal after death and alone dwells together with her Son and God in her body. For this reason she pours forth from thence abundant grace upon those who honor her-for she is a receptacle of great graces-and she grants us even our ability to look towards her. Because of her goodness she lavishes sublime gifts upon us and never ceases to provide a profitable and abundant tribute in our behalf. If a man looks towards this concurrence and dispensing of every good, he will say that the Virgin is for virtue and those who live virtuously, what the sun is for perceptible light and those who live in it. But if he raises the eye of his mind to the Sun which rose for men from this Virgin in a wondrous manner, the Sun which by nature possesses all those (lualities which were added to her nature by grace, he shall straightaway call the Virgin a heaven. The excellent inheritance of every good which she has been allotted so m uch exceeds in holiness the portion of those who are divinely graced both under and above heaven as the heaven is greater than the sun and the sun is more radiant than heaven.

Who can describe in words thy divinely resplendent beauty, O Virgin Mother of God? Thoughts and words are inadequate to define thine attributes, since they surpass mind and speech. Yet it is meet to chant hymns of praise to thee, for thou art a vessel containing every grace, the fulness of all things good and beautiful, the tablet and living icon of every good and all uprightness, since thou alone hast been deemed worthy to receive the fulness of every gift of the Spirit. Thou alone didst bear in thy womb Him in Whom are found the treasuries of all these gifts and didst become a wondrous tabernacle for Him; hence thou didst depart by way of death to immortality and art translated from earth to Heaven, as is proper, so that thou mightest dwell with Him eternally in a super-celestial abode. From thence thou ever carest diligently for thine inheritance and by thine unsleeping intercessions with Him, thou showest mercy to all.

(Continued Below)

Last edited by ewriggs; 09-04-2004 at 04:27 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 08-28-2004, 10:15 AM
ewriggs's Avatar
Nine Year Member
FamilyCorner Junkie
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Posts: 1,609
A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
by St. Gregory Palamas

Part III
-----------------------------------------------------

To the degree that she is closer to God than all those who have drawn nigh unto Him, by so much has the Theotokos been deemed worthy of greater audience. I do not speak of rnen alone, but also of the angelic hierarchies themselves. Isaiah writes with regard to the supreme commanders of the heavenly hosts: "And the seraphim stood round about Him" (Isaiah 6:2); but David says concerning her, "at Thy right hand stood the queen" (Ps. 44:8). Do you see the difference in position? From this comprehend also the difference in the dignity of their station. The seraphim are round about God, but the only Queen of all is near beside Him. She is both wondered at and praised by God Himself, proclaiming her, as it were, by the mighty deeds enacted with respect to Him, and saying, as it is recorded in the Song of Songs, "How fair is my companion" (cf. Song of Songs 6:4), she is more radiant than light, more arrayed with flowers than the divine gardens, more adorned than the whole world, visible and invisible. She is not merely a companion but she also stands at Cod's right hand, for where Christ sat in the heavens, that is, at the "right hand of majesty" (Heb. 1:3), there too she also takes her stand, having ascended now from earth into the heavens. Not merely does she love and is loved in return more than every other, according to the very laws of nature, but she is truly His Throne, and wherever the King sits, there His Throne is set also. And Isaiah beheld this throne amidst the choir of cherubim and called it "high" and "exalted" (Isaiah 6:1), wishing to make explicit how the station of the Mother of God far trancer Is that of the celestial hosts.

For this reason the Prophet introduces the angels themselves as glorifying the God come from her, saying, "Blessed be the glory of the L,ord from His Place" (Ezek. 3:12). Jacob the patriarch, beholding this throne by way of types (enigmata), said, "How dreadful is this Place! This is none other than the House of God, and this is the Gate of Heaven" (Gen. 28:17). But David, joining himself to the multitude of the saved, who are like the strings of a musical instrument or like differing voices from different generations made harmonious in one faith through the Ever-Virgin, sounds a most melodic strain in praise of her, saying: "I shall commemorate thy name in every generation and generation. Therefore shall peoples give praise unto thee for ever, and unto the ages of ages." Do you see how the entire creation praises the Virgin Mother, and not only in times past, but "for ever, and unto the ages of ages"? Thus it is evident that throughout the whole course of the ages, she shall never cease from benefacting all creation, and I mean not only created nature seen round about us, but also the very supreme commanders of the heavenly hosts, whose nature is immaterial and transcendent. Isaiah shows us clearly that it is only through her that they together with us both partake of and touch God, that Nature which defies touch, for he did not see the seraphim take the coal from the altar without mediation, but with tongs, by means of which the coal touched the prophetic lips and purified them (cf. Isaiah 6:6-7). Moses beheld the tongs of that great vision of Isaiah when he saw the bush aflame with fire, yet unconsumed. And who does not know that the Virgin Mother is that very bush and those very tongs, she who herself (though an archangel also assisted at the conception) conceived the Divine Fire without being consumed, Him that taketh away the sins of the world, Who through her touched mankind and by that ineffable touch and union cleansed us entirely. Therefore, she only is the frontier between created and uncreated nature, and there is no man that shall come to God except he be truly illumined through her, that Lamp truly radiant with divinity, even as the Prophet says, "God is in the midst of her, she shall not be shaken'(Ps. 45:5).

If recompense is bestowed according to the measure of love for God, and if the man who loves the Son is loved of Him and of His Father and becomes the dwelling place of Both, and They mystically abide and walk in him, as it is recorded in the Master's Gospel, who, then, will love Him more than His Mother? For, He was her only-begotten Son, and moreover she alone among women gave birth knowing no spouse, so that the love of Him that had partaken of her flesh might be shared with her twofold. And who will the only-begotten Son love more than His Mother, He that came forth from Her ineffably without a father in this last age even as He came forth from the Father without a mother before the ages'? How indeed could He that descended to fulfill the Law not multiply that honor due to His Mother over and above the ordinances of the Law?

Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy.

O divine, and now heavenly, Virgin, how can I express all things which pertain to thee? How can I glorify the treasury of all glory? Merely thy memory sanctifies whoever keeps it, and a mere movement towards thee makes the mind more translucent, and thou dost exalt it straightway to the Divine. The eye of the intelfect is through thee made limpid, and through thee the spirit of a man is illumined by the sojourning of the Spirit of God, since thou hast become the steward of the treasury of divine gifts and their vault, and this, not in order to keep them for thyself, but so that thou mightest make created nature replete with grace. Indeed, the steward of those inexhaustible treasuries watches over them so that the riches may be dispensed; and what could confine that wealth which wanes not? Richly, therefore, bestow thy mercy and thy graces upon all thy people, this thine inheritance, O Lady! Dispel the perils which menace us. See how greatly we are expended by our own and by aliens, by those without and by those within. Uplift all by thy might: mollify our fellow citizens one with another and scatter those who assault us from without-like savage beasts. Measure out thy succor and healing in proportion to our passions, apportioning abundant grace to our souls and bodies, s fficient for every necessity. And although we may prove incapable of containing thy bounties, augment our capacity and in this manner bestow them upon us, so that being both saved and fortified by thy grace, we may glorify the pre-eternal Word Who was incarnate of thee for our sakes, together with His unoriginate Father and the life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto the endless ages. Amen.

--------------------------------------------------

The End and Glory Be to God

Last edited by ewriggs; 09-04-2004 at 04:28 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 08-30-2004, 09:58 AM
ewriggs's Avatar
Nine Year Member
FamilyCorner Junkie
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Posts: 1,609
Monday, August 30 / August 17 (Church Calendar)

Afterfeast of the Dormition. Martyr Myron of Cyzicus. Martyrs Straton, Philip, Eutychian and Cyprian of Nicomedia. Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius and Coronatus, with others at Caesarea in Bithynia. Martyrs Paul and his sister Juliana of Syria. Martyr Patroclus of Troyes. St. Alypius the Iconographer of the Kiev Caves. St. Philip, monk of Yankov (Vologda). New-Martyr Demetrius of Samarina in Epirus. Blessed Theodoretus, Enlightener of the Laps (Solovki). Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos of "Armatia". Repose of Schemamonk Onuphrius of Valaam (1912).
O Holy God-Pleasers, Pray to God for Us!

People account it a great thing to have friendship and fellowship with an earthly king; how incomparably greater is the privilege of having fellowship and friendship with God, Who is the King of kings, and the Lord of lords and abides in light unapproachable! O how much have God's goodness and love toward man wrought! Look, O Christian, and you shall see the nobility and merit of Christians. They have communion with the great and incomprehensible God.

-St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 09-01-2004, 02:44 AM
ewriggs's Avatar
Nine Year Member
FamilyCorner Junkie
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Posts: 1,609
Wednesday, September 1 / August 19 (Church Calendar)

Commemorated Today:
Afterfeast of the Dormition.
Martyr Andrew Stratelates and 2,593 soldiers with him in Cilicia. Martyrs Timothy, Agapius and Thecla of Palestine. St. Pitirim, Bishop of Perm. Opening of the Relics of St. Gennadius, abbot of Kostroma. St. Theophanes, new Wonderworker of Macedonia (Mt. Athos). Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Of the Don".
O Holy God-Pleasers, Pray to God for Us!

People, until they come to know something greater, are satisfied with the little that they have. Man is like a village rooster who lives in a small enclosure with few people and farm animals about, who knows his ten hens and is content with this life, because he knows no more. But an eagle, who circles high in the clouds, and sees great distances with his sharp eyes, who hears the sounds of the earth and revels in its beauty, who knows many lands, seas and rivers, and sees a multitude of animals and birds, would not be content to live in a small enclosure with a rooster.

It is the same in spiritual life. Whoever has not known the grace of the Holy Spirit is like the rooster who does not know the flight of the eagle; he cannot comprehend the sweetness of tender emotion and love of God. He knows God from nature and from Scripture, he is satisfied with the law and is content with his lot as is the rooster, and does not feel sorrow that he is not an eagle. But he who has experienced the Lord through the Holy Spirit, he prays day and night, because the grace of the Holy Spirit calls him to love the Lord, and the sweetness of the Lord's love gives him the ability to carry the burdens of the world with ease; his soul pines only for the Lord and searches constantly for the grace of the Holy Spirit.

-Staretz Silouan of the Holy Mountain
Reply With Quote
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Christian support group for Gays? DeBora4BobbyL Prayer Requests 1 08-18-2016 02:29 AM
Eastern Orthodox Foodways ewriggs Ethnic Foods 20 11-22-2013 01:37 AM
Your current church trainlady Quips, Quotes, Wisdom & Scriptures 19 11-21-2013 12:07 PM
Different "religions" in the Christian Faith Lifestar Quips, Quotes, Wisdom & Scriptures 10 09-07-2006 06:03 AM
2 free books from Paul C. Jong's Christian Book Series bettdev Freebies 5 06-13-2004 11:24 AM



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:51 PM.


Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.

POPULAR AREAS OF FAMILYCORNER.COM

Our Family FunBook is packed full of ideas from parents just like you!

Our members say that they have never found a friendlier message board community than ours!

Our kid's craft section is filled with easy ideas for creative little minds.

We have tons of free printable coloring pages to keep your little ones happy.

We offer a wide variety of free newsletters delivered right to your inbox.

Our Household Hints & Tips have a wealth of information on cleaning, organizing, and more!
Go to the funbook Go to forums Go to kid's crafts Go to printables Go to newsletters Go to Hints & Tips

Home || Newsletters || Advertising || Terms of Use || Privacy || Services || Submissions || Contact Us || Media Opportunities || Link To Us || Shop || Feedback || Staff || e-Cards || Reminder Service



FamilyCorner.com® is sponsored in part by...




Visit our friends --> MomsMenu | Main Street Mom | She Knows | Baby University | Personal Fitness Zone | iChef.com

Copyright Notice | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use/Disclaimer