Saturday, October 24, 2015
Don’t expect to find joy and rest in anything that grieves your soul and upsets divine grace. Joy is a gift of God to our soul…
And if you dishonor it, it will not come back, unless you feel sorry and repent with much pain for every sin you committed. But what is the point of thoughtlessly chasing away the dove of grace, and then with regret and many sighs seeking it back again?
Many people have chased joy away by foolishly dishonoring it, and then it never came back.
Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Monastic Wisdom, Forty-ninth Letter, p. 23
The prayer of Mount Athos, who does not recognize it? It is comprised of one small phrase, of measured words.
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
With the loud cry “Lord”, we glorify God, His glorious majesty, the King of Israel, the Creator of visible and invisible creation, Whom Seraphim and Cherubim tremble before.
With the sweet invocation and summons “Jesus”, we witness that Christ is present, our Savior, and we gratefully thank Him, because He has prepared for us life eternal.
With the third word “Christ”, we theologically confess that Christ is the Son of God and God. No man saved us, nor angel, but Jesus Christ, the true God.
There follows the intimate petition “have mercy”, and we venerate and entreat that God would be propitious, fulfilling our salvation’s demands, the desires and needs of our hearts.
That “on me”, what range it has! It is not only myself, it is everyone admitted to citizenship in the state of Christ, in the holy Church; it is all those who are members of the body of the Bridegroom.
And finally, so that our prayer be full of life, we close with the word “a sinner”, confessing – since we are all sinners – as all the Saints confess and became through this sound sons of light and of the day.
Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra
Despite appearances and the unworthiness of the monks and clergy, the Church is an endless source of miracles.
It takes water and makes it Holy Water; it takes bread and wine and makes the Holy Eucharist; it takes man made of dirt and makes him a god!
But many people do not see the miracles. Because if they saw them they would not despise or hate the Church of Christ, but they would love and honor Her and would not be talking about Her with contempt as they do.
St. Paisios of Mount Athos