My beloved spiritual children in Chris 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.
"WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING" (St. John 15:5)
"When God is at work in us, every kind of virtue becomes our own, but when He is not, everything we do is sin. As the Lord says in the Gospel: "Without Me ye can do nothing" (St. John 15:5). Those who truly act virtuously are aware of this, and do not pride themselves on any of their achievements, but humbly glorify God, the fount of virtues, by whom they are filled with the light that bestows goodness. When the air is full of sunlight, the glory and radiance it displays are not its own but the sun's. So those who are united with God through fulfilling His Commandments are, according to Saint Paul, the sweet savor of Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 2:15). They have Christ's fragrance, and proclaim the virtues of Him who called them "out of darkness into His marvelous light" (I Peter2:9).
Through spiritual instruction, knowledge of things to come is instilled in us, and a right love for our soul engenders in us who believe, fear and longing for these future realities. This fear and longing results in turn in sincere, unceasing prayer and supplication to God. Then this continuous prayer brings love for Him and union with Him, through which every virtue is born, accompanied by humility, because we are aware of who has brought about these virtues within us...
"Let us cast off, brethren, the works of darkness, and let us perform the works of light, that we may not only walk honestly, as in the day" (cf. Romans 13:12-13), but also become children of the day (I Thess. 5:5). And come, let us go up the mountain where Christ shone forth, that we may see what happened there. Or rather, if we become children worthy of that day, the Logos/Word of God Himself will take us up when the times comes. Now, I beseech you, strive to lift up the eyes of your understanding towards the light of the gospel message, that you may be transformed by the renewing of your mind (cf. Romans 12:2), and having acquired the divine brightness from above, be conformed to the likeness of the glory of the Lord (cf. 8:29), whose face shone like the sun on the mountain...
"...The glory, kingdom and radiance share by God and His Saints are one and the same. That is why the psalmist and Prophet sing, "Let the brightness" of the Lord our God be upon us" (Psalm 90:17). But no one has yet dared to say that God shares one and the same essence with His Saints...So let us make our way towards the radiance of the light of grace, that we may acknowledge and venerate the Threefold Godhead, Who shines with a single indescribable radiance from one nature in Three Persons. Let us lift up the eyes of our understanding to the Logos/Word Who now sits, with His body, above the vaults of heaven. And he Who sits in Divine splendor on the Right hand of Majesty, utters these words to us as if from afar, "If anyone wants to stand in the presence of this glory, let him imitate Me as far as he can, and follow the way and the manner of life I taught on earth."
Let us look with our inner eyes at this great spectacle, our nature, which dwells for all eternity with the immaterial fire of the divinity. And let us take off the coats of skins (cf. Genesis 3:21), the earthly and carnal way of thinking, in which we were clothed because of our transgression, and stand on holy ground (cf. Exodus 3:5), each one of us hallowing our own ground by means of virtue and reaching up to God. In this way we shall have boldness when God comes in Light, and as we run to Him we shall be enlightened, and, once illumined, shall live forever to the glory of the one brightness in Three Suns, now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen"(Saint Gregory Palamas).
"Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it rubbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the Cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God and Father" (Philippians 2: 1-11).
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" -- Saint John Chrysostom
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God