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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa

Archdiocese of Good Hope


ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF
AGES. AMEN.
REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN,
TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD.
AMEN.

2nd Sunday of Great Lent Tone (5) Plagal 1


28 February 2010

Sunday of St Gregory Palamas – Sunday of the Paralytic (& his


four friends)
Feast of St Basil the Confessor; St John Cassian the Confessor; St
Kyranna the New Martyr of Thessalonika

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION – TONE (5) PLAGAL 1

Ton sinanarhon Logon Patri ke Pnevmati, ton ek The Word, Who with the Father and the Spirit has no
Parthenou tehthenta is sotirian imon, animnisomen, beginning, and Who, for our Salvation, was born of a
pisti, ke proskinisomen. Oti ivdokise sarki anelthin Virgin, let us Faithful Believers hymn and adore. For
en to Stavro ke thanaton ipomine ke egire tous it was His Good Pleasure to ascend the Cross in the
tethneotas en ti evdoxo Anastasi Aftou. Flesh, and to Suffer Death, and through His own
Glorious Resurrection to raise the dead.
APOLYTIKION OF ST GREGORY PALAMAS

Othodoxias O Fostir, Ekklisias to stirigma ke Orthodoxy’s Great Star, Support and Teacher of the
didaskale, ton Monaston i Kalloni, ton Theologon Church, the beauty of the Monks, and invincible
ipermahos aprosmahitos, Grigorie Thavmatourge, Protector of the Theologians, O Gregory, Worker of
Thessalonikis to kafhima, krix tis haritos, iketeve Miracles, the Pride of Thessaloniki, Preacher of Grace,
dia pantos, sothine tas psihas imon. forever dost thou intercede, that our souls may be
saved.
KONTAKION OF THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

Ti Ipermaho Stratigo ta nikitiria, Os litrothisa ton dinon Unto Thee, O Theotokos Invincible Champion, Thy City in
evharistiria, Anagrafo Si i Polis Sou Theotoke, All’ thanksgiving Ascribes the Victory for the deliverance
os ehousa to kratos aprosmahiton, Ek pantion me from sufferings. But having Thy Might unassailable,
kindinon eleftheroson Ina krazo Si, Here Nimfi Free me from all dangers So that I may cry out to
Animfevte! Thee: “Hail! O Bride Ever Virgin!”
Matins Gospel 5 : Luke 24 : 12 – 35 - OUR RISEN LORD JESUS APPEARS ALONG THE ROAD TO EMMAUS
The Epistle of St Paul to the Hebrews 1 : 10 – 2: 3
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST – THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD – IS WITHOUT BEGINNING AND THE CREATOR OF EVERYTHING

Brethren: to the Son God says: “Thou, O Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the
Heavens are the Work of Thy Hands. They will perish but Thou remain; and they will all grow old like
a garment; like a cloak Thou will fold them up, and they will be changed but Thou art the same and
Thy years will not fail.”
But to which of the Angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy Footstool.”?
Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who will inherit Salvation?
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away, for if the word spoken
through Angels proved reliable and every transgression and disobedience received a Just Reward, how shall we
escape if we neglect so great a Salvation, which at the first began to be spoken of by our Lord, and was confirmed
to us by those who heard Him.
St Paul used a quotation from Psalm 101:26 – 28 in which God Like us they, too, are intellectual beings who have been
the Father addressed Another Person as “Lord,” which created with free will and they most joyfully and faithfully
meant He, too, is God – i.e. God the Father spoke to God serve God in absolute Obedience.
the Son Who is Co-equal in all Divine Attributes. St Paul admonished (cautioned) against wilful negligence and
The role of certain of God’s Heavenly Hosts – the Angels or carelessness through a gradual drifting away from God’s
Messengers of God – minister – take care of, guide, True Path.
protect and communicate God’s Will – to “those who will He emphasised the fact that if the Hebrews were expected to
inherit Salvation” – i.e. those who are faithful servants and obey the words of created beings like the Heavenly Angels
adopted heirs of God. of God or suffer the consequences, how much more must
In the early years of Christ’s Holy Church, many Hebrews we heed what God Incarnate has taught us through His
believed that the Angels of God mediated the Old Holy Apostles – especially when His Divine Truth has been
Covenant and although they certain served “The Angel of confirmed by many Divine Miracles of the Holy Spirit –
God” – i.e. the Son of God - in His New Covenant with us, factual proof that the Kingdom of God has come!
God’s Holy Angels served our Lord and Saviour in His During the Divine Liturgy, we beseech God for the “... pardon
Humanity. and remission of our sins and transgressions...” and
Furthermore, instead of ruling over mankind, the Heavenly “... a good defence before the dread Judgement Seat
Angels are partners in Divine Service with us. of Christ...” whereby we affirm the Truth of a Just Reward
They are our Guardian Angels who ensure that the Will of God or Divine Retribution – a very real Divine Judgement!
is fulfilled at all times.

The Holy Gospel According to St Mark 2 : 1 – 12


CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR HEALS A PARALYTIC (PRESENTED BEFORE HIM BY FOUR FRIENDS ) BY THE FORGIVENESS OF HIS SINS
At that time, our Lord Jesus entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house and
immediately many gathered together so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door.
And while He preached the Word to them, they came to Him, bringing a Paralytic who was carried by four men. But
when they could not come close to Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof above where He was so
that, when they had broken through, they could let down the bed upon which the paralysed man lay.

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When Jesus saw their Faith, He said to the Paralytic: “Son, your sins are forgiven you!” But some of the Scribes
were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts: “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive
sins but God alone?”
Immediately, as Jesus perceived in His Spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them: “Why do
you reason about these things in your heart? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic: ‘Your sins are
forgiven you...’ or ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk!’? So that you may know that the Son of Man has
the Power to forgive sins...” and turning to the Paralytic He said: “I say to you: Arise! Take up your bed
and go to your house.”
Straight away he arose, took up his bed, and went out in the presence of them all so that all were amazed and glorified
God, saying: “We never saw anything like this!”
FAITH IS AN INDISPENSABLE CONDITION FOR SALVATION. Having done so before a multitude of witnesses, HE DREW
FAITH IS ALSO COLLECTIVE AS WELL AS PERSONAL because, THEM TO GOD WHOM THEY GLORIFIED FOR HIS GREAT
as in this particular case, the friends of the paralysed man MERCY.
helped in his healing. The significance of the four friends of the Paralytic is
Three signs of our Lord Jesus’ Divinity are evident: noteworthy for THEY NOT ONLY TOOK THE TROUBLE TO
CARRY HIM TO WHERE OUR LORD WAS BUT THEY DID NOT
✥ HE KNOWS THE SECRETS OF ALL SOULS
ALLOW ANYTHING TO PREVENT THEM FROM PRESENTING
✥ HE FORGIVES SINS – A DIVINE POWER THAT BELONGS THEIR FRIEND TO CHRIST FOR HEALING – FULLY
TO GOD ALONE CONFIDENT THAT IT WOULD OCCUR.

HE HEALS BY THE POWER OF HIS WORD The determination of the Paralytic and his friends was so
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PURPOSES OF THE impressive that they have been commemorated ever since
INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD IS TO FORGIVE SINS that day as A GOOD EXAMPLE OF CONFIDENCE AND FAITH
AND THUS SET US FREE FROM ITS DEADLY ENSLAVEMENT. IN GOD.
THE FORGIVING OF SINS IS A GREATER DIVINE POWER THAN IT IS ALSO A GOOD EXAMPLE OF TRUE LOVE (AGAPE) FOR ONE
PHYSICAL HEALING for as the Scribes so correctly ANOTHER: DOING EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO ASSIST
understood, GOD ALONE CAN FORGIVE SINS. AND TO ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER AS WE JOURNEY
Therefore, the “easier task” was for Christ to grant the TOWARDS GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
paralysed man physical healing and although Christ is fully The conniving Scribes and Pharisees was thwarted once again
Divine and has the Authority by His own right to forgive by our Lord Who is All knowing, when He used an
sins, He condescended to those who were gathered there alternative method of healing and forgiving the Paralytic.
at the time by healing the Paralytic. This passage is read on the Second Sunday of Great Lent,
called “Sunday of the Paralytic” and the Commemoration
of St Gregory Palamas.

Sunday of the Paralytic (and his friends)


In one of the Psalms we read: “Those who have And so we have begun to rejoice by preparing for this
sown with tears will reap with Joy...” wonderful Miracle, this great Wonder of the
During our preparation for Great Lent in the last few Incarnation - softly, in an almost inaudible way, as
weeks, we have observed all that is ugly and the Church chanted the Canon of the Resurrection:
unworthy in us, which is mirrored in the Parables Christ is risen from the dead! -— because it is
we have heard. not a promise for the future!
If we have humbly stood before the Judgement of God It is a certainty of the present - opened like a door for
and of our conscience, then we have truly “sown us to enter through Christ the Door, as He called
with tears” our own Salvation. Himself, into Eternity.
And yet, there is still time, because even when we And today we commemorate St Gregory Palamas, one
enter into the Spiritual Harvest, God grants us a of the great Saints of Orthodoxy.
respite. Against heresy and doubt, with the experience of the
As we progress towards the Kingdom of God, towards Ascetics and of all believers, he proclaimed that
the Day of the Resurrection, we still can - at every the Grace of God is not a created Gift.
moment, against the background of Salvation, in The Grace of God is God Himself, communicating
the face His Divine Victory - turn to God with directly with us so that we are imbued with His
gratitude and yet, broken-heartedness, and say: “O Divine Presence when we willingly receive Him and
Lord! I am perhaps the worker of the Eleventh open our hearts and souls to Him.
Hour, but receive me as Thou promised to do!” Consequently we become transparent or at least
Last week we commemorated the Triumph of translucent with His Divine Light so that we
Orthodoxy, the day when the Holy Church of Christ become embryonic but ever-increasingly partakers
proclaimed the legitimacy and justification of of His Divine Nature.
writing1 Holy Icons of Christ – the Incarnate Son of This is not simply a Promise; this is a certainty that has
God. transpired with thousands and thousands of Saints
It was not a declaration about art; it was a deeply who have become partakers of the Divine Nature –
Theological Proclamation of the Incarnation. a clear revelation and certainty of what we are
The Old Covenant forbade any Icons of God because, called to be and to become.
being an infinite, unfathomable Mystery, we could And today is one more step that brings us into the Joy,
not depict Him in any shape or form. the Glory of Easter.
He was not mentioned by Name except the Mysterious In a week’s time we venerate the Holy Cross of Christ.
Name that only the High Priest knew or could utter The Cross, which was a terrifying instrument of
with much fear and reverence. excruciating punishment for criminals and
However, according to the New Covenant, and having dissidents of the Roman Empire, has now become a
experienced physical contact withour Incarnate Sign of Victory and Salvation, because it signifies
God – Jesus Christ – Who has dwelt amongst us and God’s Infinite, all-embracing Love.
Who continues to dwell amongst us, although The Holy Cross is as tragically Victorious as God is.
invisible at present, His human Face can be The Holy Cross of Christ is awe-inspiring - the quiet,
represented in Holy Icons. Joyful Light of which we sing in Vespers.
In the New Covenant, God has a human Name: Jesus Let us prepare ourselves for the Vision of the Holy
Christ, and He has a human Face that can be Cross so that we might look at it and see it asthe
depicted on Holy Icons, which are thus Sign of Divine Love with the renewed certainty of
proclamations of our certainty that God became our possible Salvation.
Man to achieve ultimate, tragic and glorious As the Choir chants the Canon of the Resurrection
Solidarity with us, to be one of us so that, through more loudly, let us contemplate how step by step
Him, we may become of the Children of God. God leads us towards the Victory He has won, and
He became Man so that we may become gods, as Holy which He wants to share with us.
Scripture states. Let us pay close attention to the teachings of St
Gregory Palamas who revealed how to receive the
1
I.E. PAINTING HOLY ICONS

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Divine Grace that God offers us and how to become We are being Called to be enfolded by Divine Victory -
worthy of Him. to respond to it with earnest gratitude that will
Afterwards we will behold the Divine Victory in St Mary make Renew our humanity, filled with Joy and
of Egypt as we approach the threshold of Holy responding to the Love of God with joyful tears and
Week. a conscientious commitment to God.
Nevertheless, we must remember that we are now in ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “SUNDAY OF THE PARALYTIC” BY METROPOLITAN ANTHONY
OF SOUROZH www.metropolit-anthony.orc
the time of Newness - a time when God's Victory is
being revealed to us.

St Gregory Palamas – On Created Grace and Uncreated Grace


St Gregory Palamas wrote: “There is nothing “However, all is not alike in what God grants us...
strange in using the word ‘Grace,’ both for God has said by the mouth of Ezekiel: ‘A new heart
the created and the Uncreated, and in will I give you, and a new spirit will I put
speaking of a created Grace distinct from the within you; and I will take away your heart of
created.” (HOMILY 45) stone, and give you a heart of flesh... I will
In what sense can we use the same word “Grace” put My Spirit into you.’ (EZEKIEL 36:26; 37:5)
about fundamentally different realities? “Do you see the difference between the Gifts?
St Gregory Palamas was aware of the many meanings “The new spirit and the new heart are created
of the word and he defined the matter thus: things – that is what St Paul referred to as ‘... a
“All that flows from the Holy Spirit towards new creature...’ because it is Recreated and
those who have been Baptised in the Holy Renewed by the Coming in Flesh (THE INCARNATION)
Spirit according to the Gospel of Grace, and of Him Who first created it - (OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST) –
who have been rendered completely whereas the Spirit of God given to the new
Spiritual, comes from the Source. heart is the Holy Spirit.” (LETTER TO ST ATHANASIOS)
“It all comes from It, and also remains in It.” (Ex “There is a created Grace and another Grace
aftis te est ke en afti.) Uncreated... but since the Gift that the Saints
So the word is the same because the Origin is the receive and by which they are Deified, is
same. none other than God Himself, how can you say
People “... received by the Grace of God, and not that that too is a created Grace?” (AGAINST AKINDYNOS)
through themselves, what they have Likewise, THE RISEN/RESURRECTED BODY OF CHRIST
received, for God alone does not possess WAS CREATED, but it is plain that THE DIVINITY,
their realities through Grace. WHICH GAVE HIM IMMORTALITY, WAS UNCREATED.
“In this context the word ‘Grace’ indicates that it was
granted to them (BY GOD.)
On the Diversity of Divine Charisma/Gifts
Among Western Theologians, all more or less simply received the Grace of the Divine
depended on Augustinian writings against Pelagios Spirit, all have Charisms (DIVINE GIFTS), greater or
concerning infant Baptism, the Doctrine of Grace less great, in their own field.
generally has a Soteriological and Juridical “Thus St Paul thanks God because he (ST PAUL) speaks
character. (SALVATION & JUDGEMENT) languages better than others, but he who has less,
WE HAVE NEED OF DIVINE GRACE FOR WE CANNOT also has a Gift of God: ‘Seek for the greatest
SAVE OURSELVES... Charisms...’ wrote St Paul, therefore there must
The Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Holy Fathers, be lesser Charisms. (1 CORINTHIANS 12:31)
with its insistence on THE ULTIMATE GOAL SET “And indeed, one star differs in glory from another...
BEFORE FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS – DEIFICATION OR yet no star is totally devoid of light.” (1 CORINTHIANS
THEOSIS – could not avoid going deeply into the 15:41)
meaning of the passages of St Paul’s Epistles Does that diversity of the Gifts of Grace break the
concerning the diversity of the Charisma (DIVINE GIFTS), Unity of Salvation, to that extent?
while plainly maintaining their Soteriological Unity. By no means, for SALVATION ESSENTIALLY CONSISTS
St Gregory Palamas too, in dealing with DIVINE GRACE OF CONTACT RE-ESTABLISHED WITH THE LIVING
IN RELATION TO OUR FREE EFFORT TOWARDS GOD , GOD PRESENT IN COMPLETENESS IN EACH DIVINE
GIFT.
recognised that this effort NEVER CAN BE ENOUGH,
REDEEMING GRACE IS not a divisible object, but CHRIST
FOR THE WHOLE AMOUNT OF THE GIFTS REQUIRED
HIMSELF WHO GIVES HIMSELF COMPLETELY TO US.
FOR DIVINE LIFE BECOME ACCESSIBLE IN CHRIST.
“What we receive is never more and a part of Here is a characteristic passage dealing with St
what is given; he who receives the Divine Gregory Palamas’ teaching concerning the Divine
Energy cannot contain the whole of it.” (HOMILIES) Energies:
THE DIVINE EPHIPHANY/THEOPHANY IN JESUS CHRIST IS “Everyone worthy of it participates differently in
THEREFORE LIMITED BY HUMAN CAPACITY TO the Great Gift of the Holy Spirit.
RECEIVE IT, AND ALSO BY THE INFINITE VARIETY OF “This corresponds to the degree of personal
OUR PERSONAL PATHS TO GOD. purity, mingling with the harmony of that
Its personalist quality is one of the essential Beauty.
characteristics of St Gregory Palamas’ thought: “But even he who has but little and that little
“The Lord dwells in mankind in many and obscure compared to the endowments of
various ways according to the worth and others... also unites himself to the whole of
conduct of those who seek Him. the very Divine Light, for it divides without
“He appears in a certain way to the practical person, in dividing Itself after the manner of bodies...
another to the contemplative, and in yet another to “That unique Light belongs indeed to the unique
the one who is endowed with Vision; the zealous Christ.” (AGAINST AKINDYNOS)
receive it in one way, and those who have already IT EQUALLY BELONGS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO ALSO
become God’s, in another.” APPEARS IN COMPLETENESS IN ITS
Commenting on the passages concerning the Holy MANIFESTATIONS. (HOMILY 24)
Spirit in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, St The Unity of Salvation and the diversity of Charisms
Gregory Palamas wrote: are thus preserved in a personalist conception of
“Those who prophesy, those who heal, those Redemption.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “A STUDY OF GREGORY PALAMAS – CHRIST & DEIFIED
who see, and all those in general who have HUMANITY” BY JOHN MEYENDORFF – ST VALDIMIR’S SEMINARY PRESS

Wisdom from Mount Athos: The Soul’s Yearning for God


MY SOUL YEARNS FOR THE LORD. THE LORD LOVES US GREATLY: THIS I KNOW BY THE
How could I not seek Thee? For Thou first sought me; HOLY SPIRIT Whom the Lord granted me in His
Thou granted me delight in Thy Holy Spirit, and my singular Mercy.
soul rejoices for Thou art my God and my Lord. I am an old man, preparing for death, and I WRITE OF
In the first year of my life in the Monastery MY SOUL TRUTH FOR THE SAKE OF THE PEOPLE.
BEHELD GOD IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. The Spirit of Christ Whom I have from the Lord desires
the Salvation of all, that ALL SHOULD KNOW GOD.
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The Lord granted the (REPENTANT) Thief Paradise; THUS these words he utters from the fullness of Faith and
WILL HE GRANT PARADISE TO EVERY (REPENTANT) Love.
SINNER. What more could the soul seek on earth?
With my sins I am odious and unclean, but I TURNED Here is a Great Miracle: THE SOUL SUDDENLY KNOWS
TO GOD FOR FORGIVENESS, AND HE GRANTED ME HER CREATOR AND HIS LOVE!
NOT FORGIVENESS ALONE BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT,
AND IN THE HOLY SPIRIT I KNEW GOD. ✥ WHEN THE SOUL SEES HOW MEEK AND HUMBLE OUR
Do you see God’s Love for us? And who shall describe LORD IS, SHE HERSELF IS THOROUGHLY
HUMBLED, AND DESIRES NOTHING SO MUCH AS
His Mercy? THE HUMILITY OF CHRIST.
O my Brethren! On my knees I beg you to BELIEVE IN And however long the soul might live on earth, she will
GOD – BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A HOLY SPIRIT WHO
ALWAYS DESIRE AND SEEK THIS HUMILITY which
BEARS WITNESS TO HIM IN EVERY CHURCH AND IN
MY SOUL! passes all comprehension, which she cannot forget.
IF THE LORD HAS LEFT US IGNORANT OF THE ORDERING
✥ THE HOLY SPIRIT IS LOVE; AND THE SOULS OF ALL OF MANY THINGS IN THIS WORLD, THEN IT MEANS IT
THE HOLY WHO DWELL IN HEAVEN OVERFLOW IS NOT NECESSARY FOR US TO KNOW: we cannot
WITH THIS LOVE.
encompass all Creation without our minds.
✥ AND ON EARTH THIS SAME HOLY SPIRIT IS IN THE However, THE CREATOR HIMSELF OF HEAVEN AND
SOULS OF THOSE WHO LOVE GOD! EARTH AND EVERY CREATED THING GRANTS US
ALL HEAVEN BEHOLDS THE EARTH IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, KNOWLEDGE OF HIM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.
AND HEARS OUR PRAYERS AND CARRIES THEM TO IN THIS SAME HOLY SPIRIT WE KNOW THE EVER
GOD. BLESSED THEOTOKOS, THE HOLY ANGELS AND THE
My soul knows that the Lord is Merciful, but His Mercy SAINTS, AND OUR SPIRIT BURNS WITH LOVE FOR
surpasses portrayal. THEM.
OUR LORD IS EXCEEDINGLY MEEK AND LOWLY, AND Quite the opposite are THOSE WHO WILL NOT LOVE
WHEN THE SOUL PERCEIVES HIM SHE2 IS ALL THEIR ENEMIES and consequently they CANNOT
TRANSFORMED INTO LOVE TOWARDS GOD AND HER COME TO KNOW OUR LORD AND THE SWEETNESS OF
NEIGHBOUR, AND BECOMES MEEK AND LOWLY THE HOLY SPIRIT.
HERSELF.
✥ But IF WE LOSE DIVINE GRACE WE WILL WEEP LIKE
✥ THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES US TO LOVE OUR
ENEMIES, SO THAT THE SOUL PITIES THEM AS IF
ADAM DRIVEN FROM PARADISE! THEY WERE HER OWN CHILDREN.
Adam wept and the whole desert heard his sobbing; PEOPLE WHO DESIRE THE DESTRUCTION, THE TORMENT
his tears were bitter with affliction and he wept IN HELL-FIRE, OF THEIR ENEMIES, OR OF THE
(bitter tears) for many years. ENEMIES OF THE HOLY CHURCH HAVE NOT LEARNT
In similar manner THE SOUL WHO HAS KNOWN AND FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT THE LOVE OF GOD, FOR
LOST THE GRACE OF GOD YEARNS FOR GOD and THOSE WHO HAVE LEARNT THE LOVE OF GOD WILL
SHED TEARS FOR THE WHOLE WORLD.
cries: “O how my soul yearns after God, and I
You say that so-and-so is an evil-doer and you hope he
seek Him in tears!”
THE GRACE OF GOD GIVES US STRENGTH TO LOVE THE
burns in Hell-Fire.
BELOVED; AND THE SOUL IS DRAWN TO PRAY But I ask you: SUPPOSING THAT GOD WERE TO GIVE
UNCEASINGLY AND CANNOT EVEN, FOR A MOMENT, YOU A FAIR PLACE IN PARADISE AND YOU SAW SUCH
FORGET THE LORD. PEOPLE SUFFERING THE TORTURES OF HELL,
My soul languishes on earth and longs for the things of WOULD YOU REALLY EVEN THEN NOT FEEL PITY FOR
THEM, WHOEVER THEY MIGHT BE, EVEN ENEMIES OF
Heaven. THE CHURCH?
✥ THE LORD CAME DOWN TO EARTH TO RAISE US TO ✥ THERE IS NO PLACE FOR HEARTS OF STONE IN
WHERE HE HIMSELF DWELLS WITH HIS MOST PARADISE WHICH REQUIRES HUMILITY AND LOVE
HOLY MOTHER, WHO SERVED HIM ON EARTH OF GOD THAT PITIES ALL HUMAN BEINGS, FOR
FOR THE SAKE OF OUR SALVATION, AND WITH THE GRACE OF GOD IS NOT IN THOSE WHO DO
ALL THE DISCIPLES AND THE FOLLOWERS OF NOT LOVE THEIR ENEMIES!
OUR LORD.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “WISDOM FROM MOUNT ATHOS” – STARETZ SILOUAN (1866
THE LORD CALLS US THITHER, IN SPITE OF OUR SINS! – 1938) – COMPILED BY ARCHIMANDRITE SOPHRONY; TRANSLATED BY ROSEMARY
There shall we behold the Holy Apostles in Glory for EDMONDS; PUBLISHED BY ST VLADIMIR’S SEMINARY PRESS

their preaching of the Holy Gospel; there shall we


see Saintly Monks who wrestled in Fasting to During their earthly life, the Saints are filled with the
humble their souls; there shall we see those who Grace of the Holy Spirit.
assumed folly for Christ’s sake are GLORIFIED After their departure Divine Grace remains in their
BECAUSE THEY OVERCAME THE WORLD.
immortal souls and in their Sanctified bodies.
There ALL THOSE WHO HAVE CONQUERED THEMSELVES
WILL BE GLORIFIED, AND ALL THOSE WHO PRAYED
Consequently, that very same Divine Grace is present
FOR THE WORLD AND BORE THE BURDEN OF THE and active in their Sacred Images and Icons!
ST JOHN OF DAMASCUS
WHOLE WORLD’S SORROWS BECAUSE THEIRS WAS
THE LOVE OF CHRIST, AND LOVE CANNOT SUFFER A
SINGLE SOUL TO PERISH.
It is there that the soul would take up her abode; but
NOTHING UNCLEAN SHALL ENTER where those who
come in, arrive by way of great tribulations and
chastening of spirit and many tears; and ONLY
CHILDREN WHO HAVE NOT LOST THE GRACE OF
HOLY BAPTISM, ENTER THEREIN WITHOUT
AFFLICTION, and there IN THE HOLY SPIRIT THEY
KNOW OUR LORD.
My soul yearns for God and prays day and night, for
THE NAME OF OUR LORD IS SWEET AND DEAR TO
THE PRAYERFUL SOUL, AND WARMS THE SOUL TO
LOVE GOD.
We live a long time on this earth, and we love the
Beauty of Creation: the sky and the sun, gardens,
sea and river, forest and meadow, music too, and
all the beauty of this world.
But WHEN THE SOUL COMES TO KNOW OUR LORD JESUS
CHRIST SHE HAS NO FURTHER DESIRE FOR THE
THINGS OF THE EARTH.
Wondrous are the Works of our Lord: out of the earth
He created mankind, and granted this creature of
the earth to know Him in the Holy Spirit so that
mankind exclaims: “My Lord and my God!” And

2
THE SOUL IS REFERRED TO AS BEING FEMININE – LIKE THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST
– THE BRIDE OF CHRIST.
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