Author Topic: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers  (Read 182954 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.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #280 on: September 14, 2015, 12:25:28 PM »
The true faith is this: He descended and mixed [His] Godhead with [our] manhood and the immortal with the mortal, so that He could make us participants in the immortality of His Godhead; thus, when the Son of God, equal to the Father, came with His flesh to the right hand of the Father, He united (lit. “mixed”) us to Godhead.

St. Gregory the Illuminator of Armenia, 4th Century

He [Christ] took real flesh for us and sowed in us, by faith, the divinity, and wrought miracles and signs so that we might become faithful believers in His divinity.

St. Sahak and St. Mesrob Mashtots, 5th Century

quoted from Council of Chalcedon and the Armenian Church
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 TITL

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #281 on: October 14, 2015, 11:26:48 AM »
"It does not matter if you are a sun, the moon, or stars. What matters is that you be in the sky"

Pope Tawadros II

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #282 on: November 12, 2015, 06:16:55 PM »
Seek after the fulfillment of these words and you will find them on your lips and on the lips of your children.  When you celebrate a feast and are joyful, (say) ‘Jesus.’  When you are grieving in heart and are distressed, (say) ‘Jesus.’  When your sons and daughters laugh, (say) ‘Jesus.’  The one who draws water, ‘Jesus’.  The one who runs in the face of barbarians, ‘Jesus’.  Those who see wild beasts and something frightening, ‘Jesus’.  Those who are suffering with pains and illnesses, ‘Jesus’.  Those who are taken as prisoners of war, ‘Jesus’.  It is sufficient . . . Those who have suffered perversion of justice and violent treatment, ‘Jesus’.  The name of the One who is on their lips is their salvation and their life, he himself along with the Father.

St. Shenoute of Atripe, circa 445 AD
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 Tonedawg

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #283 on: June 08, 2016, 12:20:43 AM »
Probably my favorite quote from St. Kyrillos VI:

“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age
where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends
prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to
smell His sweet fragrance in us. There is, upon the Church, a critical
duty at this juncture through which the world is passing today. It is
upon her to advocate faith in hearts, to spread virtue, to bring peace
and serenity into every weary soul, so that tranquility might abound
and well-being might be plentiful. For the message of Lord Christ is
the guarantee of virtuous life for mankind: “I have come that they may
have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10);
the chaste, pure, peaceful, calm and effective life which forms good,
fruitful citizens and active members of the Church, who know how to be
ever faithful to God, their homeland and the worldwide human
community, co-operating with everyone, in a spirit of synergy,
brotherhood and selflessness."
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

Offline RichC

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #284 on: July 20, 2016, 08:43:21 PM »
I am EO but I really love the OO Fathers, especially Sadhona (Martyrius).  Oh, that his works would be translated to English.  Check out Gorgias Press for a goldmine in OO theology and Fathers.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #285 on: July 20, 2016, 08:50:53 PM »
I am EO but I really love the OO Fathers, especially Sadhona (Martyrius).  Oh, that his works would be translated to English.  Check out Gorgias Press for a goldmine in OO theology and Fathers.

You'll need a gold mine to buy them.  :P
OCnet is KGB.
I hail Mor Ephrem as our Secretary General.

Quote
Oh you Greeks, you are all dumb!

An Athonite

Offline RichC

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #286 on: July 20, 2016, 10:21:28 PM »
Yeah I know. And their in Syriac. Gack! That Gorgias Press site is a killer,

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #287 on: August 04, 2016, 04:47:44 PM »
Discrimination against the Copts is a daily reality in Egyptian life. Like many priests, when seen in the streets in their flowing black clerical robes, Abouna Bishoy [Kamel] was the object of spitting and buffeting. He would return home with the spit of Muslims dripping from his clothing. Tasouni Angel was often very annoyed. Abouna told her that the spit was "the treasure of Christ."

There was one young lad in the neighbourhood who would shout out anti-Christian abuse and regularly pelt the approaching priest with orange peel. One day Abouna heard that this boy had broken his leg in an accident. The Christian priest went out of his way to visit the Muslim family. The parents were deeply apologetic for the boy’s behaviour. They were overwhelmed by Abouna Bishoy’s kindness and by the gift of oranges for the sick child.


About Abouna Bishoy Kamel, +1979
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 05:05:30 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 #288 on: August 22, 2016, 09:15:31 PM »
Arise! why are you lying in the grave? Array yourself in your soul in order to come with me to my Father, Goodness itself, and the Holy Spirit, as they yearn fervently for you.

Arise, O body that had built up within you my flesh, without knowing it, take your soul that has been for me a dwelling place.

Arise, you who are free, go and proclaim to the whole world that liberty with which I bought all my creation.

Arise, O holy body, get united to that blessed soul, regard her as your resurrection in the face of all the creation.

The inhabitants of heaven will carry you away when they will see you arrayed in your immortal soul. They will say to each other:

"Who is this one that has risen from the dead ahead of all the universe, arrayed and adorned in this manner? Could it be the house of the Lord, the gate of heaven?  Let us sing a song of praise to our God on her behalf, for the Lord loves her more than all the dwellings of Jacob, which is the choir of the saints."

My Living Father and the Holy Spirit will embrace you, to receive and keep you, for you have been a dwelling for their unique nature.

The four beasts, the chariot of the Trinity's throne, that are full of eyes on all sides will be indeed amazed, when they will see you clothed and adorned with my Divinity's glory.

Arise, to be united with your soul as of old, I am waiting for you.


Pope St. Theodosius the Great (and golden-mouthed) of Alexandria, 6th century, words of Christ to the Theotokos in his Homily on the Dormition and Assumption
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 09:17:57 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 #289 on: June 24, 2017, 04:24:20 PM »
Christianity: the truth of dogmas and the preparation for a glorious life.
--St. Severus of Antioch, Homily 72 (6th 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 #290 on: August 18, 2017, 04:34:24 PM »
He saw that the enemy was dissembling in the guise of a friend of mankind approaching us as the counsellor.
But God revealed his love toward us as a good God to the envy and consternation of the enemy.

As I said before, the devil envied us, carrying us into slavery;
God summoned us to sonship.

The enemy let us be cast out of Paradise,
but the Lord opened the gate of heaven to us.

We were wronged in the Paradise of delight,
but the one who acted wickedly toward us in the place of our rest was thrown out of the heavens down upon the earth, and you, the man of earth, were taken up to heaven.


--St. Rufus of Shotep, fifth exegesis on Luke 1:26-27, (late 6th, early 7th 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.

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #291 on: February 16, 2018, 12:13:30 AM »
We celebrate the feast of the Nativity because of our partaking of God's glory.  Maybe this reason may be too heavy for our sensitive ears to hear.  The natural reaction is "God forbid, astaghfirullah!"  What do you mean by "partaking of our Lord's glory"? 

Well, there is no true glory except the glory of God.  When Paul describes the glory of the flesh, he usually talks about it sown in corruption, dishonor, weakness, of dust (cf. 1 Cor. 15).  If then the one and true persisting glory is that of God, God the Word came and dwelt in and united with our human nature and granted this nature His own glory, as He prayed to the Father in John 17, "The glory which You gave Me [before the world was], I have given them".  He granted us this glory, and gave us a hint of our glorification on the event of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, with the divine glory. 

In celebrating our partaking of the glory of God, we are celebrating the transfer of a humanity that was prone to life of dust into the life of the glory of Jesus Christ.  As Paul said, "to those He justified, He glorified" that they may be "conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" (cf. Romans 8 ).


--HG Bishop Angelos, Papal Exarch in North America, Feast of the Nativity, January 6, 2018
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.

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #292 on: December 08, 2019, 03:00:02 AM »
As long as you think you can know God through proofs, signs, and testimonies, you are forging cold iron; faith as a grain of mustard seed is not in you yet

Mor Gregorios Yuhannon bar'Ebroyo
"As far as possible never do evil to anyone: or it will ruin you, your children and your house. Hold on steadfastly to prayer, fasting and works of charity. Do them with faith and devotion ".
-Saint Gregorios Geevarghese Chathuruthil (Parumala Thirumeni)

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #293 on: December 22, 2019, 03:36:03 PM »
1. My Lord, this day gladdens kings, priests and prophets, for on it were fulfilled and realized all their words.

Refrain: Glory to You, Son of our Creator!

2. Since today the Virgin has given birth to Emmanuel in Bethlehem, the word Isaiah spoke was accomplished today.

3. He Who registers the peoples was born there; the psalm that David sang has been fulfilled today.

4. The word that Micah spoke was realized today, for a shepherd went out from Ephrata, and his staff herded souls.

5. "Behold, a star shone forth from Jacob, and a prince arose from Israel." The prophecy that Balaam spoke found its meaning today.

6. The hidden light descended, and its beauty shone forth from a body; the dawn of which Zechariah spoke lights up Bethlehem today.

7. The light of kingship glorifies him in Ephrata, the city of kings; the blessing that Jacob pronounced found its fulfillment today.

8. “The tree of life brings hope" to the dying; the hidden saying of Solomon found its explanation today.

9. Today a child was born, and he was called "wonder," for it is a wonder that God reveals Himself as an infant.

10. The Spirit spoke a parable in the worm, for it reproduces sexual union; the type the Holy Spirit fashioned receives its meaning today.

11. He rose up like a shoot before Him, a shoot from the parched earth; something spoken secretly occurred openly today.

12. Since the King was hidden in Judah, Tamar stole Him from his loins; today shone forth the splendor of the beauty whose hidden form she loved.

13. Ruth lay down with Boaz because she saw hidden in him the medicine of life; today her vow is fulfilled since from her seed arose the Giver of all life.

14. Man imposed corruption on woman when she came forth from him; today she has repaid him-she who bore for him the Savior.

15. He gave birth to the Mother, Eve--he, the man who never was born; how worthy of faith is the daughter of Eve, who without a man bore a child!

16. The virgin earth gave birth to that Adam, head of the earth; the Virgin today gave birth to [second] Adam, head of heaven.

17. The staff of Aaron sprouted, and the dry wood brought forth; his symbol has been explained today-it is the virgin womb that gave birth.

18. Put to shame is the people that holds the prophets to be true, for if our Savior had not come, their words would have become lies.

19. Blessed is the True One Who comes from the True Father. He fulfilled the words of the true [prophets], and they are complete in their truth.

20. From Your treasury, my Lord, let us fetch from the treasures of Your scriptures the names of the just men of old who said they saw Your coming.

21. That Seth who took the place of Abel resembled the murdered son to dull the sword that Cain brought into the creation.

22. Noah saw the sons of God, the holy ones, who were suddenly made wanton, and he anticipated the Holy Son by Whom fornicators would be made chaste.

23. The two brothers who hid Noah looked for the Only-Begotten of God to come and hide the nakedness of man, intoxicated with pride.

24. Shern and Japheth, as compassionate [men] anticipated the compassionate Son Who would come and free Canaan from the servitude of sin.

25. Melchizedek anticipated Him; he the vicar was watching to see priesthood's Lord Whose hyssop cleanses creation.

26. Lot saw the Sodomites who perverted nature; he looked for the Lord of natures Who gave chastity beyond nature.

27. Aaron anticipated Him-he who saw that if his staff swallowed reptiles, His cross would swallow the Reptile that swallowed Adam and Eve.

28. Moses saw the fixed serpent that healed the stings of basilisks, and he anticipated he would see the Healer of the first Serpent's wound.

29    Moses saw that he alone received the brightness of God, and he anticipated the One to come-by His teaching, the Multiplier of the godlike.

30. Kaleb, the scout, came carrying the cluster on a pole;he anticipated seeing the Grape Whose wine would console creation.

31. Joshua bar Nun anticipated Him-he who represents the power of His name; if by His name he is thus magnified, how much more would he be exalted by His birth!

32. That Joshua who also plucked and carried with him some of the fruits anticipated the Tree of Life Who would give His all life-giving fruit to taste.

33. Rahab beheld Him; for if the scarlet thread saved her by a symbol from [divine] wrath, by a symbol she tasted the truth.

34. Elijah yearned for Him and without having seen the Son on earth, he believed and increased his prayers that he might ascend and see Him in heaven.

35. Moses and Elijah looked for Him; the humble one ascended from the depth,and the zealous one came down from the height, and they saw the Son in the middle.

36. They represented a symbol of His coming: Moses was a type for the dead, and Elijah a type for the living who will fly to meet Him when He comes.

37. Because the dead have tasted death, He will repair them first, but those not yet buried will be snatched up to meet Him at the end.

38. Who will bring me to the end of enumerating the just men who anticipated the Son, whose number cannot be encompassed by our weak mouth?

39. Pray for me, my friends, that I may be strengthened once more to set forth their qualities again in another account as much as I am able.

40. Who is able to glorify the true Son Who rises for us, Whom just men yearned to see in their lifetimes?

41. Adam anticipated Him Who is the Lord of the Cherubim and was able to have him enter and dwell near the boughs of the Tree of Life.

42. Abel yearned for him to come in his days,so that instead of the lamb he  sacrificed, he might see the Lamb of God. 38

43. Eve looked for Him, for the shame of women was great, but He would be able to clothe them not in leaves but rather in the glory they had shed.

44. The symbol of the tower that many built envisages One Who would come down and build upon the earth a Tower that goes up to heaven.

45. Even the type of the ark of animals envisages our Lord, Who would build the holy church in which souls take refuge.

46. In the days of Peleg the earth was divided into seventy tongues; he anticipated that One Who would divide the earth by tongues for His apostles.

47. The earth that the Flood drowned called her Lord silently; He came down and opened baptism by which people were drawn out to heaven.

48. Seth and Enosh and Kenan were named sons of God; they anticipated the Son of God, for they were brothers to Him in mercy.

49. Slightly less than one thousand years Methuselah lived; he anticipated the Son Who gives eternal life as an inheritance.

50. For their sake by a hidden symbol, grace was asking their Lord to come in their lifetimes to fill their needs.

51. For it is the Holy Spirit, Who for their sake by quiet contemplation in them stirs them up to see by Her the Savior for whom they yearned.

52. The soul of just men perceived the Son, the Medicine of life, and sheeagerly desired that in her days He would come and she would taste His sweetness.

53. Enoch yearned for Him, and without having seen the Son on earth, he increased his faith and was made righteous so that he ascended to see Him in heaven.

54. Who will refuse grace? For this gift that the ancients did not acquire [even] with great effort has come freely to the people of today.

55. Even Lamech looked for the Compassionate One to come and console him from his labor and the work of his hands and from the earth that the just One cursed.

56. But Lamech saw his son Noah in whom the symbols of the Son are portrayed; instead of this distant Lord the nearby symbol consoled him.

57. Even Noah yearned to see Him, for he tasted of his benefits: if [even] His type preserved the animals, how much [more] does He save souls.

58. Noah anticipated Him-Noah who surmised that by Him the ark stood still; if His type saved in this way, how much more will He save in His reality.

59. By the Spirit Abraham perceived that the birth of the Son was distant; for his own sake he eagerly desired even in his day to see Him.

61. Isaac who tasted of His salvation yearned to see Him; if His sign is saved in this way, how much more will He be saved in His truth.


An excerpt from the "Hymns on the Nativity" by St. Ephrem the Syrian, translated by Dr. Kathleen E. McVey

Apologies for formatting errors.
"As far as possible never do evil to anyone: or it will ruin you, your children and your house. Hold on steadfastly to prayer, fasting and works of charity. Do them with faith and devotion ".
-Saint Gregorios Geevarghese Chathuruthil (Parumala Thirumeni)

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #294 on: December 23, 2019, 09:10:58 PM »
I am EO but I really love the OO Fathers, especially Sadhona (Martyrius).  Oh, that his works would be translated to English.  Check out Gorgias Press for a goldmine in OO theology and Fathers.

You'll need a gold mine to buy them.  :P

The sister of the owner is a friend of mine.  Unfortunately I still am not getting any discounts.  :P

Council of Nicea:
Εθη ἀρχαῖα κρατείτω. 
Mores antiqui obtineant.
The ancient ways shall prevail.

The sentiment of Nicea in Greek and Latin, translated into English.

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #295 on: January 12, 2020, 03:10:15 PM »
The pure soul becomes expert in knowledge not for the sake of the glory that the knowing acquire in the world, but in order that its longing for the face of the Lord of all may be increased and it may be enabled to go into and be hidden in the divine cloud.

Mor Gregorios Yuhannon bar'Ebroyo, Book of the Dove
"As far as possible never do evil to anyone: or it will ruin you, your children and your house. Hold on steadfastly to prayer, fasting and works of charity. Do them with faith and devotion ".
-Saint Gregorios Geevarghese Chathuruthil (Parumala Thirumeni)

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Re: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers
« Reply #296 on: February 23, 2020, 04:54:22 PM »
He has commanded us to fast and to keep watch at all times, so that by the power of pure fasting, we might obtain rest.

St. Aphrahat the Persian, Demonstrations
"As far as possible never do evil to anyone: or it will ruin you, your children and your house. Hold on steadfastly to prayer, fasting and works of charity. Do them with faith and devotion ".
-Saint Gregorios Geevarghese Chathuruthil (Parumala Thirumeni)