Author Topic: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers  (Read 80779 times)

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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #270 on: May 21, 2015, 06:23:25 PM »
There is no darkness in heaven

...The light in God's city will not be physical light, but God will be the Light of heaven.  In this way, we understand the prophet's words of old, "In Your light we shall see light" (Ps. 35:9).

There is no ignorance in heaven, only perfect knowledge

We have been living in the body by faith in the world.  Faith offers us knowledge, as in a mirror, similar to a puzzle.  But in heaven, we shall live a life of visualization.  We shall see everything face to face.

...

When men was on earth, the created things gave him the desire and means to know God.  Thus, Saint Paul says, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20).  We know God through the visible creation.  In other words, we come to know God through what we see in creation.

But the situation is reversed in heaven, for God will become the means by which we will know everything.  It will be through Him that we know everything.  He will be like a big telescope through which we can see, and in Whom we can see all the minute details.


HG Bishop Youannis of Gharbia, 1974 (+1987)
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #271 on: May 22, 2015, 08:17:42 PM »

The conclusion, dear brethren, is that in heaven we shall reign with God.  Can you imagine this?  Has not the Lord of Glory said, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34)?  The weak and worthless man will reign with God!  We certainly do not know our worth in God's eyes.  Although we are made of worthless dust, we have this worth by Christ's blood that has been shed on the Cross.  In light of this, we are able to understand the words of Saint Paul the Apostle, "justified freely by His grace" (Romans 3:24).  Yes, freely, for we have not paid anything and we were incapable of paying anything.  Meditate on David's words:  "who lifts up the poor from the earth, and raises up the needy from the dunghill" (Psalms 112:7).

God has revealed the depth of His love for mankind by lifting them up out of the dust so they will not only sit with princes, angels or saints, but He will allow them to sit with Him personally!



HG Bishop Youannis of Gharbia, 1974 (+1987)
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 08:32:41 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #272 on: May 22, 2015, 11:42:24 PM »

Love is the fullness of joy.  Love, in the human sense, always aims at possessing the beloved completely. This will happen in heaven. There, the desire of the bride will be fulfilled as declared in the book of the Song of Solomon, "My Beloved is mine, and I His: He feeds His flock among the lilies" (Song of Songs 2:16).

No one will interrupt our harmony, and our peaceful joy.  When the Lord Jesus was in the flesh, He hid His divine glory in His incarnation when He denied Himself and took the form of the servant, and came in the likeness of man (Philippians 2:7).  But in heaven, we shall see Him as He is. ...(1 John 3:2).

...

Dear brethren, the greatest reward man is given in heaven is that God will give Himself to man.


HG Bishop Youannis of Gharbia, 1974 (+1987)

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #273 on: May 24, 2015, 04:18:35 PM »
When a baby wakes up from his sleep and does not find his mother, he cries out because he does not find her beside him, and tries to call her through crying and screaming.  His mother then has pity on him when she hears his voice, and runs to wipe his tears and makes him rest in her bosom.

Be like this baby.  You will be restless until you have God with you, and He has you with Him.  If you cannot reach Him, cry and scream, so that He may have compassion on you.  He will relent for your situation more than the mother does for her child.

...

The bird cannot fly high in the sky without wings, and your human nature cannot allow you to ascend unless you are united fully and truly with the divine nature.

The human nature is sinful, impure, profane, and falls short of everything, but if it unites with God, it will be sanctified and can be raised above its ego.  It can be holy and not submissive to the malicious targets.

The more it yearns and aims for God, and uses all its strengths to seek Him, He inclines to it and gets closer until He unites with it and dwells in it; for He is watching over it, and looks at its desires, being acquainted with what it wants.

Seek Him with all your soul, with all your heart, with all your strength, and you will find Him present before you.  You will then remove the curtain that covered your mind, and see God clearly, enjoy His beauty, and will be filled by His sweetness.


St. Habib Guirguis, early 20th century (+1951)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2015, 04:21:15 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #274 on: May 26, 2015, 04:59:43 PM »
Now let us turn to the happy and glorified ranks
          of the saints,
some of whom stumbled slightly but were steadied,
some who doubted a bit but were enlightened
by the radiant purity of the Holy Spirit,
thus exhibiting the faults of the ordinary humans
on the one hand, while on the other,
the ways and virtues of angels,
transcending the laws of nature.

And now, those who are blessed
by the divine mouth of our Father Christ,
commanding all alike, the chosen, celebrated, adored,
          and praised,
who are worshiped as members of the body of Christ
and who are prepared as temples of the Holy Spirit,
in whom there is no hint of darkness,
but who are instead completely guileless
and glow with righteousness
and are godly as much as humans can be:
their faces are open and unashamed,
their piety uplifting and intrepid,
their lives sober and irreproachable,
their worship stalwart and unwavering,
their ways courageous and unflagging,
their truth uniform and unshakable,
their valor strong and indomitable,
their vision is bright and unconfused,
their wisdom is heavenly and invincible,
their image is clean and incorruptible.
By their examples and in the memory of their names
God taught us to pray and
through them find help amid troubles,
as your word, Creator, teaches.


St. Grigori Narekatsi, 10th-11th Century
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #275 on: May 26, 2015, 05:03:52 PM »
I heard an innocent person once speak
in a most unfitting manner to the One
before whom no earthly being can be justified,
and it was not pleasing as he boasted,
“I have never committed adultery
or fornication or tasted any other mortal pleasures
of this world.” Saying this is no less impious
than those deeds. May God forgive him,
for even if what he said were true
by bragging he shows he has not progressed
as far as he has fallen.
Repeating Zechariah’s words to the people of Israel:
“Praise the Lord that we are great,” (Zech. 11:5)
echoing the voice of the Pharisee who exalted himself.


St. Grigori Narekatsi, 10th-11th Century
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #276 on: May 27, 2015, 10:30:08 AM »
One of Satan's most effective weapons is his deception.  The following story portrays the extent Satan is able to deceive man.

It is said that Satan came up to a man, and he made the man believe he was on the verge of death.  When the man got scared of facing death, Satan smiled at him cunningly, and told the man he is able to deliver him from death, but only on one condition.  In great eagerness, the man showed his willingness to comply with any condition, so he would be delivered from death.  Therefore, Satan said to him that he loved the man, and thus he was giving the scared man the option of three choices.  He was to choose one and carry it out, so he would save him from death.  He must chose either to kill his servant, beat his wife, or drink liquor until he gets drunk.

The man thought within himself and said, "How terrible it is to kill my honest servant.  I also love my wife; how can I beat her?"  The only option left was that of the liquor which seemed to be the least worst of the three options.  He, therefore, bought the liquor and drank until he got drunk.

No sooner had the liquor reached his senses that he began to behave indecently.  When his wife came in to advise him to cease his indecency, he flared up in anger and beat her intolerably.  When the servant heard her screams, he came in to save his mistress from his master's hand.  The liquor made the man think this was unheard of that the servant intervenes between a man and his wife.  He though the servant had personal motives for this intervention, and it could be motives that touch honor!  At the peak of his wrath, he caught a deadly weapon and killed the servant.  In this way, Satan deceived the man and carried out his three requests in such a way that the man was aware of!

This is the methodical plot Satan uses.  He pretends to be compassionate for his victims until he makes them fall into sin.  The same system was used by Satan towards the Lord Jesus Christ, glory be to Him, in His tribulation in the wilderness.  Satan came before the Lord, as if telling Him, "I pity You for You have been fasting for forty days, eating nothing at all.  Have pity on Yourself.  If You are truly the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread!"  This is one kind of Satan's tricks.  But the Lord Jesus overcame Satan in the three tribulations.


HG Bishop Youannis of Gharbia, 1974 (+1987)


Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #277 on: May 28, 2015, 11:51:29 AM »
I am needy of the prayers of others,
which rise to you, compassionate doer of good,
with the dew of tears amplifying
the sighs of the faith-filled pleas
of my wretched voice.
Joining in my prayer, they chant
the responsive hymn to you, whom I praise,
          the sign of your cross of salvation, which I worship,
          the truth of your resurrection, which I believe,
          the revelation of your glory, which I praise,
          the sternness of your judgment, which I confess,
          the reprimand of your words, which I fear,
          the guiding companionship of your Holy Spirit,
                    which I revere,
          the anointing seal of the Lord at last unction,
                    which I embrace,
          the reigning with you, Lord Jesus,
                    for which I pray.
And though it was abandoned, rejected, cast away,
broken, though it fled, flew, gave way in the tumult of life,
your hope, which is a gift from you,
perseveres as a permanent and indelible reminder.


Look with mercy upon me in my doubts and perils,
glorified Son of God, who alone are compassionate
and will pardon, heal, save, protect, renew, restore,
          lift up, support,
and create me again in blissful purity.
Yours is the power, yours is the salvation, and
          yours the mercy.
Nothing is impossible for you.
Yours is might, exaltation, dominion
and kingdom without end, true essence and selfhood,
all-encompassing absolute being,
goodness and light, glorified as Lord,
to which nothing can be added or taken away,
adored in the Holy Trinity with inexplicable mystery
and given thanks forever also in the Holy Trinity
in the same act of worship equally with the same honor,
yesterday, today and forever.
Amen.


St. Grigori Narekatsi, 10th-11th Century

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #278 on: May 28, 2015, 11:59:31 AM »
Heavenly king, Lord of all,
patient toward all in all things,
Son of the living God, beyond our understanding,
your true mercy is manifest when
the expectation of reward is cut off.


St. Grigori Narekatsi, 10th-11th Century


Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #279 on: June 25, 2015, 01:18:26 AM »
We are lucky that we are living not with our own breath, but Christ's.  And for that reason our teacher St. Peter, in his letter says that we are "partakers of the divine nature".  Partakers of the divine nature how?  Do we commit no sin?  No!  Then, what does this partaking mean?  The life of God is now in us.  This is our partaking of the divine nature.  God's life is in us, received through the communion (Eucharist).

For this reason, the non-Orthodox, with all due respect to them, teach about the faith to the people but not bring up communion, then the story is missing somewhere.  It's not explained, so people wonder why this whole story of salvation?


His Grace Bishop Raphael, General bishop, 2011
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.