My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
A PRAYER TO OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST
+In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
As You send the light it goes on its way, O Lord; as You cause the sun to dawn upon the righteous and the unrighteous, upon the evil and the good; as You bring about the morning and give light to the whole world, O Lord of all, illumine also our hearts. Grant to us the possibility to please You on this day; protecting us from every adverse and evil influence that comes each day, through the intercessions of our All-Pure Lady, the Theotokos, of the immaterial ministering spirits and heavenly powers, and of all the Saints, who have pleased You from the beginning. For it is Your will to show mercy and to save us, our God, and to You we offer up glory, to the Father and to the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the age of ages. Amen.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy upon us and save us. Amen.
INSPIRED ORTHODOX POSITIONS
By Saint Nicolas of Ochrid
The Lord said: "Repent and believe in the Gospel." True repentance is not only to grieve over the sins one has committed but a complete return of the soul from darkness to light, from the worldly to the heavenly, from me to God.
What does faith in the Gospel mean? It means to believe in the Good News that the Heavenly Messenger (Angel), the Son of God and God brought to the human race. In other words, it is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Revelation. The Revelation of Christ is the greatest revelation since the creation of the world. It is the only revelation that can change the man-worm into man-god and a son of God.
Only "the One Who descended from heaven, the Son of Man Who is in heaven" (St. John 3:13), could bear witness to the world what exists in heaven, Who God is, what the spiritual reality is in the other world, how the spiritual world is that encompasses God, and what happens to human souls after bodily death. "What we saw we preach and what we heard we confess (St. John 3:11).
We could say His witness is on a spiritual level, completely empirical. He does not bear witness according to worldly logic, or according to the conclusions of human understanding, or according to the wisdom of philosophies of the earthly man but according to Him Who has seen and heard. He is the Heavenly Messenger of the heavenly reality. "And to this end am I come to this world, that I should bear witness to the truth (St. John 18:37), which no one of those born on earth could bear witness to accurately. He Himself called this witness Good News.
The Heavenly Messenger of the Good News bears witness that: God is One, in the Triune harmony of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; that God is not only the Creator but also Father, namely the most beloved and closest relative of all who wish to become His children; that God as Father is true love, and out of love for the human race He sent His Only-Begotten Son to save the world and that there are legions of innumerable Angels in that world who-sometimes invisibly and at other times visibly, ceaselessly nonetheless-work for people in the events of this world; that after their death, the righteous of this world shine like the sun in the other world; and that the Son of God came down to the world with the purpose of making worship men the sons of God, to make them gods, according to the Will and Mercy of the Father. He bears witness to the just judgment of God, the Resurrection of the dead and Eternal life, and to many more things-one more joyous than the other.
Christ called men to believe this Good News; repent and believe in the Gospel. This means that He called us to believe Him and in Him, in His every word. Since for humans there is no other way to come to the knowledge of the truth about the most important questions of life and existence, other than accepting to believe His words, seeing as He is an eyewitness to the heavenly and spiritual truths. Either they will believe in Christ or they will continue to walk in the dark and stormy seas of life, guessing and hypothesizing about the earth and the edge of the ocean. A third solution does not exist in the history of the human anthill to this day.
From this it becomes obvious that the Christian faith does not in the least resemble the other faiths and theories of the world, since the other faiths are manmade, from the earth and of the earth, by people who spoke about the spiritual world, either according to their natural reasoning or through the deceit of evil spirits. None of the founders of other religions said about himself that he had descended from heaven, or that he had been sent by the Father, or that he bears witness to that concerning heaven which he saw and heard and that he will return to heaven. For this reason, there can be no talk about the equality of or similarity between the witness of Christ and that of the other religions and confessions of the rest of the world.
The Orthodox Church-the only Church of Christ in the world-has kept the faith in the Gospel, without looking right or left, without being supported by other faiths, or by pagan philosophies or by the natural sciences. For if one follows a far-sighted and keen eyed leader, it is useless and laughable to ask the crooked and blind for directions.
While Christ says: "without Me you can do nothing" (St. John 15:5), the heretic world in thousands of ways expresses the following saying: "Without Christ we can do everything". The entire contemporary culture is turned against Christ. All the modern sciences compete in seeing who will succeed is serving the hardest blow to Christ's teaching. It is a revolution of the vulgar servants against the mistress of the house, a revolution of worldly science against the heavenly science of Christ. However, this whole revolution in our days boils down to what has been written with such clarity: "professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:22).
Truthfully, no one knows where the greatest insanity of the modern world that has fallen away from Christ lies: in the each person's private life or in marriage? In school or in politics? In the economic structure or legislation? In war or in peace? Everywhere one sees what we call vulgar and barbaric. Falsehood and violence triumph.
Just as the faithless Jews once trampled upon the Commandments of God, one after the other, and marched according to the wishes of the world and their hearts, they now have done the same with the teaching of Christ, the Master of all teachings. They have undermined and abolished one dogma after the other. They have gotten rid of all the Gospel Commandments. They have rejected the Apostolic and Patristic decrees. They have ridiculed all the sayings of the Saints, and the ascetic examples they have reduced to myths.
The strongest blow the heretic theologians have imparted to the Gospel is in their questioning the Divinity of the Messiah of the world, some doubting it and others totally rejecting it. This was followed by a whole string of denials of spiritual truths such as: the existence of Angels and Demons, of Paradise and Hell, of the Eternal Glory of the Saints, and the Just, fasting, the power of the Cross, the value of prayer, etc.
Simply put, the heretic theologians have concerned themselves with adaptations and homogenizations (of different faiths), even since the schism of the Latin West from the Orthodox East, with greater emphasis in the last 150 years. They conformed the heavens to earth, Christ to other "founders of religions" and the Good News to other religions: the Jewish, Muslim and pagan. Everything allegedly in the name of "tolerance" and "for the benefit of peace" between people and nations. However, this is where the beginning of wars and revolutions lie, such as have never been heard of before. For the Truth can in no way tolerate joining with half-truths and lies.
The theosophical view that the Truth is scattered among all the religions, philosophies and mysteries got the best of the heretic theologians of the Western world. Thus, they say that there must be some truth in Christianity, as well as in Islam, and Hinduism or Brahmanism, in Plato and Aristotle, in Zed-Avesta, in Tantra and Mantras of Tibet. If it were so, then the ark of humanity would keep on sailing without hope in the dark seas of life, without compass or captain.
Then, why did Christ say this strange saying: "I am the Truth" (St. John 14:6). He did not say, I am a part of the truth but the Truth. Also, 'I am the Light of the world" (St. John 8:12). So, He is the whole Truth and the whole Light. Moreover, according to His word, He is the only guide to the path to eternal life and the only one who knows God. He said to the Jews: "and you have not come to know Him but I know Him and if I say that I do not know Him I will be a liar like you..." (St. John 8:55). Is it possible Christ was deceived? Or perhaps He deceived us?
May God forgive us for putting such questions. We do not pose them ourselves, but the heretics posed them from very early on. And they are constantly answering them, one so and so and another differently-the one like the Jews, that Christ was a deceiver, and the other like the theosophites, that He was deceived. For us such a case does not exist.
The Orthodox Christians believe and confess that Jesus Christ is the one and only Messiah, Savior of the world, the one Who has redeemed the human race from sin and restored it, the Son of God Who was Incarnate of the Ever-Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit, god of God, the fulfillment of Truth, the source of life, the victor over death, the cause of resurrection, the only path toward the proper goal, the judge of the living and the dead.
(To be continued)
MY BLESSING TO ALL OF YOU
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God