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

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Old 08-08-2004, 11:58 AM
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Eastern Orthodox (Christian) Thoughts

I'm starting this Thread to post some of the classics of Orthodox Christian Spirituality - not only from centuries past, but from this century.

Elizabeth
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Old 08-08-2004, 12:02 PM
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Bless My Enemies O Lord

St. Nikolai Velimirovich was a Serbian bishop in the last century who spoke out courageously against Nazism until he was arrested and taken to Dachau where he underwent torture and starvation for several years. After WWII was over, Saint Nikolai came to the US and taught at St. Tikon's Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. He died there, and recently was Glorified (recognized as a Saint) by the Serbian Orthodox Church.


Bless My Enemies O Lord
St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Enemies have driven me into your embrace more than friends have.

Friends have bound me to earth, enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.

Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world. Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath your tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world.

They have punished me, whenever I have hesitated to punish myself.

They have tormented me, whenever I have tried to flee torments.

They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself.

They have spat upon me, whenever I have filled myself with arrogance.

Bless my enemies, O Lord, Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me foolish.

Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a dwarf.

Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background.

Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand.

Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they have wakened me from sleep.

Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life, they have demolished it and driven me out.

Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of your garment.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me:

so that my fleeing to You may have no return;

so that all hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs;

so that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul;

so that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins, arrogance and anger;

so that I might amass all my treasure in heaven;

ah, so that I may for once be freed from self-deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.

Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself.

One hates his enemies only when he fails to realize that they are not enemies, but cruel friends.

It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies.

Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and enemies.

A slave curses enemies, for he does not understand. But a son blesses them, for he understands.

For a son knows that his enemies cannot touch his life.

Therefore he freely steps among them and prays to God for them.

= = = = =
From Prayers by the Lake by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich, published by the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of New Gracanica, 1999.
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Old 08-09-2004, 12:06 PM
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The Dormition Fast

The Dormition Fast

The Dormition Fast begins on August 14 and continues until the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, August 28. The Dormition Fast is one of four major fast periods in the Orthodox Church. Great Lent, the Nativity Fast, and the Apostles Fast are the other three major periods of fasting.

Serious Orthodox believers fast with joyful anticipation. Serious Orthodox Christians firmly believe in the value of fasting. Serious Orthodox Christians consider fast periods as times to redirect life toward the Kingdom of God.

The Dormition Fast concerns itself with the Mother of God. The Mother of God is near and dear to Orthodox Christians. The Mother of God is unique among women in salvation history. Out of all women, in all centuries, Mary was chosen to give birth to Jesus Christ. She has an unprecedented and unduplicated relationship with Jesus Christ.

Prayers are offered to the Mother of God with regularity. Orthodox Christians beseech the Mother of God to intercede with her Son. Miracles are attributed to the Mother of God. Books have been written about the Mother of God. Churches have been named after the Mother of God. People and communities have been named after the Mother of God.

A person could spend a lifetime researching everything written about and attributed to the Mother of God. The Dormition Fast is an opportunity for Orthodox Christians to seriously contemplate the Mother of God.

The Dormition Fast is an opportunity for Orthodox Christians to reflect upon the Annunciation of Jesus Christís birth. The Dormition Fast is an opportunity to think about the Nativity of Jesus Christ. The Dormition Fast is an opportunity to remember Jesus Christís first miracle at the wedding of Cana.

The Mother of God holds a prominent position on the iconostasis of each Orthodox Church. The Mother of God is referred to with great consistency in the services of the Holy Orthodox Church. The Mother of God is held carefully in the heart of each Orthodox Christian.

The Dormition Fast invites us to reach deep within our hearts and minds to consider the purity of the Mother of God. The Dormition Fast invites us to reach deep within our hearts and minds to reverence the Mother of God. The Dormition Fast invites us to reach deep within our hearts and minds to consider the obedience of the Mother of God.

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Romans: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God."(Rom.12:2)

The Dormition Fast provides us with a great period for renewal. The value of the Dormition Fast increases for each person when he or she uses the time seriously for spiritual wellness.

The Dormition Fast has a direct benefit for the world. By the action of the Church, by the actions of Orthodox Christians in the Dormition Fast, life improves. Enough attention is not given to the value of the Fasts of the Church in the betterment of communities.

Periods of fasting, the Dormition Fast included, are times for increased prayer. Everyone is to pray. Orthodox Christians are familiar with certain prescribed prayers and times for prayer. The Holy Apostle Paul set the lasting standard of prayer for all believers. He told the Thessalonians: Rejoice always and pray without ceasing."(I Thessalonians 5:17)

The goal for each Orthodox Christians is the goal of praying without ceasing. Fast periods increase attention to prayer and give impetus to strive toward the goal of unceasing prayer.

The Mother of God lived on earth. She was born to earthly parents.

Her earthly existence is recorded in Holy Scripture. She was chosen by God from among all women to give birth to Jesus Christ.

The world is different due to the birth of Christ. The world is different to the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Mary is a constant figure in the life of Christ. She was cared for by Him when He hung upon the Cross.

Centuries have passed. Interest in the Mother of God continues.

Orthodox believers speak of the Mother of God in the present tense. Though she gave birth to Jesus Christ centuries and centuries ago, time is transcended when one talks about the Mother of God.

Distance is transcended when Orthodox Christians speak of the Mother of God. She is considered near to Orthodox believers regardless of their geographic location.

The earthly life of the Mother of God came to an end. This end is given great attention on the Feast of the Dormition. The end of the Mother of Godís earthly life in no way ended her being venerated by Orthodox Christians. The end of the earthly life of the Mother of God in no way ended her ability to intercede with her Son.

The value of intercessory prayer is known among Orthodox believers. It is common for Orthodox Christians to pray for each other and to ask for the prayers of others particularly in times of illness.

A person does not have to spend much time in an Orthodox environment before realizing prayers are offered to the Mother of God that she may intercede with her Son.

Akathist services to the Mother of God are served in Orthodox Churches around the world. Miraculous icons of the Mother of God draw large crowds of believers coming to venerate them.

The Dormition to the Mother of God Fast is time limited. The Fast is a two week period of time. A believer can find many ways to benefit from the Dormition Fast and many ways to observe the Fast.

While fasting is an expectation for Orthodox Christians, Orthodox Christians exercise the choice to fast freely. Each person knows him or herself the best. Each person knows when he or she is honoring the fast.

God is not to be fooled. God will not be fooled. God knows when a person is fasting in the intended spirit of the fast. Fasting to win earthly accolades from others has no lasting benefit.

The Dormition Fast affords the believer the opportunity to reach beyond the self to God. The Dormiton Fast affords the believer the opportunity to act in faith.

The goal of each fast period is to arrive at the feast as a better person.

During the fast, believers are to set aside ways of life which hinder the life in Christ.

St.Paul gives us much to think about in his words to the Corinthians when he says: "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."(II Cor.3:18)

The Dormition Fast brings us directly to our relationship with God. The Dormition Fast brings us directly to our relationship with the Mother of God. The Dormition Fast calls us to examine ourselves carefully and seriously as Orthodox believers.

We have a great responsibility as Orthodox Christians. We are expected to live our lives as Orthodox Christians. When our burden is heavy, Jesus is present to help us find rest for our souls(Mt.11:29)

The Dormition Fast draws us toward the joy of Jesus Christ. The Dormition Fast draws us toward the Mother of God. The Dormition Fast is a daily reminder of the presence of the Mother of God.

The love of Jesus Christ showed forth from the Cross. He showed love for His Mother. He showed love for all humanity in all centuries. Mary has been a witness to and for Jesus Christ unlike any other.

We do well when we invest our time in studying the life of the Mother of God and in respecting the fast bearing her name. The investment we make in honoring the Dormition Fast will be known to God. It is an investment in our life for God and an expression of our love for God.

When we honor the Mother of God, we honor her Son. When we think about the Mother of God, we come to think more about the Son of God, about her being chosen by God and about the action of the Holy Spirit.

God honored Mary by choosing her from among all women. We do well when we treat the Dormition Fast with great seriousness, that we may come to know Christ more, that we renew our hearts and minds, and live more consistently with the teachings of our Lord and Savior.

St.George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania. Originally given July 29/August ll, 2002.

Re-issued July 26/August 8, 2004. Father .Rodney Torbic
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:59 PM
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13 August 2004

A few quotes from the Philokalia - a collection of the writings of revered Holy Saints:

Beyond human knowledge and understanding
(Quotations from The Philokalia)

Evagrios the Solitary, in On Prayer:
If the intellect has not risen above the contemplation of the created world, it has not yet beheld the realm of God perfectly. For it may be occupied with the knowledge of intelligible things and so involved in their mulitplicity.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 62, text 58)

St. Mark the Ascetic, in No Righteousness by Works:
Knowledge of created beings is one thing, and knowledge of the divine truth is another. The second surpasses the first just as the sun outshines the moon.
Knowledge of created beings increases the more we observe the commandments actively; but knowledge of the truth grows the more we hope in Christ.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 137, text 144-145)


St. Theodoros, the Great Ascetic in Theoretikon:
Natural knowledge is that which the soul can acquire through the use of its natural faculties and powers when investigating creation and the cause of creation -- in so far, of course, as this is possible for a soul bound to matter... Supranatural knowledge, on the other hand, is that which enters the intellect in a manner transcending its own means and power; that is to say, the intelligible objects that constitute such knowledge surpass the capacity of an intellect joined to a body, so that a knowledge of them pertains naturally only to an intellect which is free from the body. Such knowledge is infused by God alone when He finds an intellect purified of all material attachment and inspired by divine love.
("Philokalia (Vol. 2)", pp. 39-40)

St. Theognostos in On the Practice of the Virtues, Contemplation and the Priesthood
By spiritual knowledge, I do not mean wisdom, but that unerring apperception of God and of divine realities through which the devout, no longer dragged down by the passions, are raised to a divine state by the grace of the Spirit.
("Philokalia (Vol. 2)", p. 365)
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Old 08-15-2004, 11:06 AM
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St. John of Damaskos in On the Virtues and the Vices:

For desire is drawn towards three things: the pleasure of the flesh, vain self-glory, and the acquisition of material wealth. As a result of this senseless appetite it scorns God and His commandments, and forgets His generosity; it turns like a savage beast against its neighbour; it plunges the intelligence into darkness and prevents it from looking towards the truth. He who has acquired a spiritual understanding of this truth will share, even here on earth, in the kingdom of heaven and will live a blessed life in expectation of the blessedness that awaits those who love God.
("The Philokalia (Vol. 2)", p. 339)
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Old 08-15-2004, 02:12 PM
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What Is the Orthodox Church?

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What is the Orthodox Church?


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Close to two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth and founded the Church through His Apostles and disciples for the salvation of men. The teachings of the Apostles and the Church spread far in the years which followed; many Churches were founded, but all were united in faith, worship and the partaking of the sacraments.

To the group of Churches founded by the Apostles themselves belong the five Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem and Rome. The Church of Constantinople was founded by St. Andrew, the Church of Alexandria by St. Mark, the Church of Antioch by St. Paul, the Church of Jerusalem by St. Peter and St. James, and the Church of Rome by St. Peter and St. Paul. Those founded in later years through missionary activity of the first Churches were the Churches of Sinai, Russia, Greece, Yugoslavia, Roumania and many more.

All of these churches are independent in their administration, yet they are in full communion with one another with the exception of the Church of Rome which separated in the year 1054. In faith, doctrine, Apostolic tradition, sacraments, liturgies and services they are exactly alike. Regardless of the language of each, they exist in fellowship and together constitute and call themselves the Orthodox Church.

The teachings of the Church are derived from two sources: Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition, which complement each other. As written in the Gospel of St. John, "and there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world could not contain the books that should be written." These unwritten teachings were transmitted orally by the Apostles and come down to us in Sacred Tradition.

The faith and doctrines of the Church can be found in the Scriptures, the writings of the Church Fathers and in the canons and decrees of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly God, the Saviour, and the Son begotten of the same substance of the Father before all ages. He is also true man, like us in all respects except sin. We believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, this being confirmed by the Second Ecumenical Council in the words used in the Symbol of Faith, "And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father..."

The Orthodox worship God in Trinity, and honor and venerate the Saints and ask their intercession before God. Of the Saints, the Mother of God holds a special place because of the supreme grace and call she received from God. According to the canons of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, we venerate the sacred icons and relics not in themselves, but as representations of God and the Saints.

We recognize seven Sacraments: Baptism, Chrismation, Holy Eucharist, Confession, Ordination, Marriage and Holy Unction. Baptism and Chrismation (Confirmation) are the means of entrance for the Christian into the Church. For without dying to the old man and putting on the new in Baptism, we cannot receive the inheritance of the Kingdom which Christ restored to us. With Chrismation, we receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit. As the Spirit of God in the form of a Dove alighted on Christ, we receive Him in the Holy Chrism, becoming partakers in the fulness of Christ. In the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, we partake of the true Body and Blood of Christ, in the form of bread and wine, for the remission of sins and for life eternal. As it is written, Except ye eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink of His blood ye have no life in you. In confession we receive forgiveness of the sins we commit after Baptism if we truly repent of them. The foregoing three sacraments are essential for the life of all Christians.

By the laying-on of hands of a canonical Bishop, divine grace descends on him who is being ordained. This basic sacrament has provided uninterrupted succession to Orthodox clergy from the Holy Apostles and the establishment of the Church on the day of Pentecost. Divine grace sanctifies the union of two people in Matrimony as Christ blessed the wedding at Cana by His presence and the performance of His first miracle. Infirmities of the body and soul are healed through the sacrament of Holy Unction.

These, briefly, are some characteristics of the Orthodox Church. The Church is one because our Lord Jesus Christ founded only one Church. It is holy through the sanctification of its Founder and Head, Jesus Christ and the operation of the Holy Spirit. It is catholic because it is universal, and knows no limitations of place or time. It is apostolic because it was founded by the Holy Apostles. This is the Orthodox Church-the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

( Reprinted from "A Short History of the Holy Trinity Monastery", Jordanville, N.Y. 1972.)

(1980)
Used with permission
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Old 08-16-2004, 05:14 AM
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Venerables Isaac, Calmatus, and Faust; Venerable Cosmas, the eunuch; Venerable Anthony, the Roman; St. Salome, the myrrh-bearer.

REFLECTION
(St. Nikolai Velimirovich)
Holy souls read Holy Scripture with great diligence concentrating on every word and placing themselves before the mirror of the Word of God as before the Dread Judgment. Their diligence was so great in this that some of the ascetics undertook distant journeys in order to come to a spiritual sage who would interpret for them a word or a saying from Holy Scripture. Whenever it was possible, this was accomplished through correspondence. It is from this that a complete collection of the letters of the saints remained [survived] such as those of Saints Basil, Gregory, Chrysostom, Isidore of Pelusium, Nilus of Sinai and many others. One day St. Cosmas pondered on the words of the Lord Christ when He, in the Garden of Gethsemane, asked His disciples whether they had a sword. When His disciples said to Him: "Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said to them, it is enough" (St. Luke 22:38). Being unable to explain these words himself, St. Cosmas decided to cross over the wilderness to the distant Lavra called Pirga to the illustrious Abba Theophilus to inquire of him. With great difficulty did St. Cosmas succeed to reach his goal. Theophilus explained to him: "The two swords signify the two-fold order of a god-pleasing life: deeds and visions, i.e., labor and awakening of the mind to godly thoughts and prayer. Whoever has both of these, he is perfect."

HOMILY
(St. Nikolai Velimirovich)
About human ingratitude unseen even among the animals

"The ox knoweth hisowner and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, My people doth not consider" (Isaiah 1:3).

The ingratitude of man is most strongly exposed by the gratitude of animals. When the irrational ox knows who his master is and when the ass knows from whose crib it is fed, how then can rational man not know about God, His Creator and Nourisher? The word Israel means "one who sees God." And every rational man should by his rationality be "one who sees God", to know God, to feel the presence of God and to serve God as once did the meek and wonderful Jacob. But when rational man, whose entire dignity is in the knowledge of God, does not know God, i.e., when the "one who sees God" becomes blind toward God, then the dignity of the ox and the ass is raised in dignity above such a man. For an ox, without exception, recognizes his master and the ass, without exception, recognizes the one who feeds him while among men there exists exceptions, i.e., there exist men and, very often leaders of men, who do not recognize their Lord nor their Nourisher. In all of created nature, godlessness is a disease only among men for godliness is the condition of normality and health only for men and not for animals. Thus, godlessness is not the disease of animals but of men; alas, only of men, only they who are destined to be "ones who see God" and who, when they lose their godliness, become poorer than the ox and the ass.

This is the vision of Isaiah, the son of Amos, the Prophet of God.

O God of meek Jacob, of Israel, enlightened one "who sees God", help us to maintain our human dignity, the dignity of one "who sees God" and that in every day and every hour, we may know and recognize You with gratitude, as our Lord and Nourisher.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.

[from: The Prologue From Ochrid]
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Old 08-18-2004, 03:17 PM
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The Sacrament (Mystery) of Christian Baptism
St Cyprian of Carthage
From a Letter written to a new convert, 246 A.D.

I promise to share with you the grace God in His great mercy has shown me, and to tell you as simply as I can what I have experienced since I was baptized.

Until that time, I was still living in the dark, knowing nothing of my true life. I was completely involved in this world's affairs, influenced by all its changing moods and troubles, and exiled from the light of truth.

I had indeed been told that God offered men and women a second birth, by which we could be saved, but I very much doubted that I could change the kind of life I was then living.

Frankly, I could not see how a person could cast off his fallen nature, and be changed in heart and soul while he still lived in the same body as before. How was it possible, I asked myself, to change the habits of a lifetime instantaneously.

How can one suddenly rid oneself of accumulated guilt and break with sin that has become so deeply rooted in one's life? Can a man whose life has been characterized by feasting and luxury, learn frugality and simplicity in a single moment? A person who craves public distinction and honor cannot bear to be passed over and unnoticed.

Another who is accustomed to throngs of flattering attendance, takes it a terrible penance to be left alone. Is every species of temptation suddenly to lose its force? Should we no longer feel the enticement of wine and good living, where pride no longer swells our heads or anger blazen our breasts? Shall we no longer be troubled by covetousness or cruelty or ambition or lust?

These were my thoughts. My past life was so burdened with so many sins, that I saw no way ever to be rid of, that I had grown accustomed to giving way to my weakness.

I despaired of ever being any better.

Consequently, I simply humored my evil inclinations, and made no attempt to combat them.

But at last I made up my mind to ask for Baptism. I went down into those life-giving waters, and all the stains of my past were washed away.

I committed my life to the Lord. He cleansed my heart and filled me with His Holy Spirit. I was born again, a new man.

And then in a most marvelous way, all my doubts cleared up, I could now see what had been hidden from me before. I found that I could do things that had previously been impossible.

I saw that as long as I had been living according to my lower nature, I was at the mercy of sin, and my course was set for death. But that by living according to my new birth in the Holy Spirit, I had already begun to share God's eternal life. You know, as well as I do, what sins I died to at that moment, just as you know the gifts the Holy Spirit gave me with my new life. I have no desire to boast, but it is surely right to thank God for His free gift. It was through faith in Him, that I received the power to break with the sins into which my own folly had led me.

We have received the seal of the Holy Spirit. Our task now is to preserve the integrity of what we have received by living a truly Christian life. We must give time to prayer, and to the study of scripture. Now speaking to God; now listening to His word to us, and letting His teaching mold us. He has enriched us with a treasure no one can take away.

We have eaten and drunk at His heavenly banquet, and can never again know the pinch of poverty.
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:51 AM
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6 / 19 August 2004
Today is Holy Transfiguration - the Feast celebrating the Transfiguration of Christ on Mt. Tabor.

The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Matthew 17:1-9

Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid." When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead."

Christ offers each person the opportunity to be transfigured, to share in the light of Christ. Christ offers each person the opportunity to be united with Him as we partake of His precious Body and Blood.

The Holy Liturgy summons believers to draw near in the fear of God and with faith. The Holy Liturgy is where believers partake of Christís precious Body and Blood.

The mountains of God summon the believer. The mountains of God challenge the believer. The mountains of God inspire the believer.

Each year the Feast of Transfiguration is celebrated. Each year believers must come to terms with the Transfigured Christ. Each year the lives of believers change due to the Transfiguration of Christ.

The Holy Gospel tells us about Christ upon Mt.Tabor. The Holy Gospel tells us of the presence of Peter, James and John. The Holy Gospel depicts the presence of Moses and Elijah.

The minds of believers are transformed by the Transfiguration. The minds of believers cannot fully comprehend the Transfiguration. The minds of believers are never the same after learning of the Transfiguration.

The loving God enables believers to learn of the Transfiguration. The forgiving God enables sinners to draw near to the Transfigured Christ. The charitable God offers His Son.

At the Transfiguration Peter said: "Lord, it is good for us to be here." At each Feast of the Transfiguration, we can say to the Lord God, it is good for us to be here.

Wherever we are located on the Feast of the Transfiguration, we can give thanks to God. We can pray to God. We can think about God.

Some years ago, two travelling Orthodox clergymen used an airport chapel for simple prayer on the Feast of Transfiguration. Time and distance prevented access to an Orthodox Church. The lives of these clergymen were affected as were the lives of other travelers coming to use the chapel.

Believers near to Orthodox churches have a responsibility to attend the Divine Liturgy on the Feast if they can. Men and women and children travellingÖ men, women and children far from Orthodox Churches benefit by taking time to pray to God on the Feast of Transfiguration..

The goodness of God exceeds our ability to comprehend. We express our appreciation for the goodness of God by loving God and loving our neighbor. May the Transfigured Lord transform our hearts that we may always live in His light.

(Father Rodney Torbic, St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels PA)
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Old 08-20-2004, 01:49 AM
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The one who is perfect in love and has reached the summit of detachment knows no distinction between one's own and another's, between faithful and unfaithful, between slave and freeman, or indeed between male and female. But having risen
above the tyranny of the passions and looking to the one nature of men he regards all equally and is equally disposed toward all. For in him there is neither Greek no Jew, neither male nor female, neither slave nor freeman, but Christ is everything and in everything. .............

St Maximus the Confessor
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