The Orthodox Christian Doctrine of Salvation in Christ

Commemoration of the Founding of Constantinople

Commemoration of the Founding of Constantinople

My beloved spiritual children in Our Risen Lord, Redeemer, God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!

KONTAKION HYMN

Thou, O Deathless One, didst descend into the grave, Thou didst destroy the power of Hades and as Victor, Thou didst rise again, O Christ Our God. Thou didst greet the Myrrh-bearing women, saying: Rejoice! Thou didst bestow peace upon Thy Disciples, and resurrection upon Those that are  fallen.

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Let us who have beheld the Resurrection of Christ, worship our Holy Lord Jesus, Who is alone without sin. We worship Thy Cross, O Christ, and praise and glorify Thy Holy Resurrection. For Thou art our God, and we know none other beside Thee, and we call upon Thy Name. Come, all ye faithful, let us worship Christ's Holy Resurrection, for behold, through the Cross, joy has come to the whole world. We praise His Resurrection, and forever glorify the Lord. He endured the Cross for us, and by death destroyed death. Jesus, having Risen from the grave, as He foretold, has given to us Eternal Life and the Great Mercy. Amen.

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TODAY'S SYNAXARION (THE COMMEMORATION OF TODAY'S SAINTS):

On May 11th Our Holy Orthodox Christian Church commemorates, honors and entreats the holy intercessions the following Saints, Forefathers, Fathers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Preachers, Evangelists, Martyrs, Ascetics, Teachers and of every righteous soul made perfect in Our Holy Orthodox Christian faith: On the eleventh of this month we commemorate the consecration of the city of Constantinople, which was dedicated especially to Our Holy Lady the Theotokos (Mother of God); Holy Hieromartyr Mocius of Amphipolis; our Holy Fathers among the Saints Cyril and Methodius of Thessaloniki, the Equals of the Apostles and Enlighteners of the Slavs; Holy Martyr Dioscorus of Smyrna; Holy New Martyr Arguros of Thessaloniki was perfected in martyrdom by the sword; Saints Mamertos, Bishop of Vienne in Gaul; Holy Martyrs Mar Bassus of Persia, Susanna his sister, and Mar Stephen and Mar Longinus their teachers; Holy Righteous Martyr Olympias of Karyes in Mytilene, the newly revealed; Saints Nicodemos, Archbishop of Perch in Serbia; our righteous Father Sophronius the Recluse of the Kiev Caves; holy Hieromartyr Joseph, Metropolitan of Astrakhan.

+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints, Holy Martyrs, Holy Hieromartyrs, Holy Fathers, Holy Mothers, Holy Bishops, Holy Righteous, Holy Archbishops, Holy Teachers, Holy Missionaries, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

SAINTS CYRIL AND METHODIUS, EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES AND ENLIGHTENERS OF THE SLAVS. Born in Thessaloniki, Saint Methdodius was a military man before becoming a monk on Mount Olympos. His brother Constantine, known as the Philosopher because of his erudition, was Librarian at the Cathedral church of Agia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) in Constantinople; he later became a monk with the name of Cyrilos. The Emperor Michael sent him with his brother Methodios to the Khazars in response to their petition for teachers to expound to them the Christian Faith. On their way, they stayed in Cherson, where they recovered from the Black Sea the holy relics of Saint Clement of Rome. Later, they were called by Prince Rostislav of Moravia to instruct his people in the Orthodox Christian Faith (Saint Rostislav died a martyr's death and is celebrated October 15). The Saints devised an alphabet for the Slavs, and used it to translate the Greek books into the language of the people. In their apostolic labors throughout the Balkans, the holy brothers were slandered by certain Germanic bishops who opposed the use of the vernacular in the church services. Summoned to court at Rome in 867 AD, they presented their Slavonic translations to Pope Adrian II, who received them with love and full of approval. Two years later, Saint Cyril reposed in Rome on February 14 and was buried in the church of Saint Clement. Saint Methodios was made Bishop of Moravia, but at the intrigues of certain Latin (Roman Catholic) clergy, was cast into prison by the "holy Roman emperor" (the Germanic emperor of the West), where he was cruelly tortured for some three years. In 847 AD, through the defense of Pope John VIII, he was freed and made Archbishop of Moravia. Because he reproved the lax morals of the German priests in Moravia, he was soon accused of heresy by them, and was forbidden to celebrate the Liturgy in Slavonic. Summoned to Rome again in 879 AD, he was completely exonerated and allowed once again to use the Slavonic tongue for the divine services. He reposed on April 6, 885 AD.

THE HOLY HIEROMARTYR MOCIUS, who was of Roman parents, lived during the reign of Diocletian, and was a priest in Amphipolis of Thrace. One day as the idolaters were assembled, and the Proconsul Laodicius was offering sacrifice to Dionysos, St. Mocius entered the temple and overturned the altar. After many tortures, through which he was preserved whole by grace divine, he was sent to Byzantium, where he was beheaded about the year 288 AD. Saint Constantine the Great built a magnificent church in honor of Saint Mocius in Constantinople, where his holy relics were enshrined. He is one of the Holy Unmercenaries.

Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Fourth Tone

Since ye were equal in character to the Apostles, and teachers of the Slavic lands, O divinely-wise Cyril and Methodius, pray to the Lord of all to strengthen all nations in Orthodoxy and unity of thought, to convert and reconcile the world to God, and to save our souls.

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Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of Saint Mocius

In serving Christ our King as a priest of His mysteries, thou wentest forth self-called unto contest, O Mocius, to offer thyself to Him through the pains of a willing death. Wherefore, crowned by Christ both as a priest and a martyr, thou dost heal the ills of all who fervently honor thy holy memorial.

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TODAY'S SACRED SCRIPTURAL READINGS ARE THE FOLLOWING:

Holy Epistle Lesson: Acts 12:12-17
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. John 8:51-59

INSPIRING SAYINGS FROM THE HOLY ASCETICS, HOLY FATHERS AND HOLY MOTHERS OF THE CHURCH:

"The potential of moral discernment is like a seed sown in every human heart; and this seed grows only if it is nurtured though reflection, education, prayer, and practice." (Saint John Chrysostom).

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ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SALVATION IN CHRIST
By Dumitru Staniloae (Source: Theology and the Church)

What follows will be a brief description of the new life and power which the Incarnate Son of God, crucified, resurrected, and exalted gives us, through the Holy Spirit, as the content of "salvation" according to the Orthodox understanding of that word. The Son of God communicates this life and power in their eschatological fullness to the humanity which He assumed, but He communicates them to us by degrees through His own humanity, and we receive them as principle of growth, as a gift and a promise implying eschatological development and therefore hope. For as long as Jesus Christ is "full of grace and truth" and as long as He is "the perfect man", then we have only the first fruits of the fullness of Christ (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:14), and we must grown in Him into the perfect man according to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). The life and power communicated by Christ to His humanity are manifested in three directions: towards god, towards human nature as such, and towards his fellow human beings. This new life and power which the Son of God, through the humanity He assumed, communicates to those who believe in Him, are also manifested in the same three directions. And just as the Son of God communicated them to His assumed humanity through His Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension, He communicates them in the same way to those who believe in Him, that is, through the acts which He accomplished and the states which He reached as man.

We will now consider the new life and power which Christ has brought us, and the ways in which it is manifested through His Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension.

a.) Even through His Incarnation the Son of God brings man a new life and power in his dealings with God, with himself and with his neighbor. Christ unites humanity with God through the Incarnation in a manner which is most intimate and at the same time indissoluble, inseparable and definitive. The Son of God made man becomes, even in His quality as man, the Son of God. His eternal and perfect filial love for the Father fills His humanity also, and therefore as Saint John Damascene says, "the Incarnation is a modality of the second personal subsistence (τρόπος δευτέρας υπάρξεως) accommodated solely to the Only Begotten Son in such a manner that is personal individual attribute might remain unchanged...

b.) But of the three ways in which the new life and power of Christ are manifested it is much more by His death on the Cross that Christ has affected the restoration of human nature. The Cross of Christ represents a new step in the work of our salvation. Without the Cross of Christ salvation would not have been achieved. In His death Christ gives Himself to the Father not merely by an exemplary life but also by the very renunciation of life itself. As man He gives the Father everything and holds nothing back for Himself. In His death the loving kenosis reaches its climax...

c.) "...Through the Resurrection Christ combines within Himself the condition of victim and the state of resurrection, the full revelation of the divine life in His humanity. And to those who believe in Him He imparts this same combined nature. Saint Paul says, "We always carry in the body the death of Jesus that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh" (2 Corinthians 4:10-11). And Saint Athanasius says in turn: "Christ, to whom these all bear witness, Himself gives the victory to each, making death completely powerless for those who hold His faith and bear the sign of the Cross." Through Christ we have the power to die to selfish passions and appetites and to die to ourselves; but we also have the power to live a new life, a life triumphant in us, born in our spirit but revealed in our body as well. It is a power which we know does not come from ourselves but has its objective source beyond ourselves. From the Risen Christ His Spirit shines forth most powerfully, giving us a foretaste of the likeness of His death and Resurrection and leading us at the same time towards perfect likeness to Him...

"...Christ has laid in Himself the foundation and supplied the power for this reunion of all mankind in Himself by means of His Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection and Ascension, and by sending out His Holy Spirit who is at work secretly in the world and visibly in the Church. Henceforth the Spirit of Christ is imparted to us continually as the unifying power of Christ..."

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CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!

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Glory Be To GOD For  All things!

Δόξα Σοι ο Θεός, πάντων ένεκεν!

With sincere agape in Our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George