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.
"AND THERE APPEARED TO THEM DIVIDED TONGUES AS OF FIRE...AND THEY WERE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT." (Acts 2:3)
So that by gradual increase... and progress from glory to glory, the Light of the Trinity might shine upon the more illuminated...for this reason it was, I think, that He gradually came to dwell in the Disciples. He measured Himself out to them according to their capacity to receive Him: at the beginning of the Gospel, after the Passion, after the Ascension, making perfect their powers, being breathed upon them and appearing in fiery tongues...You see Lights breaking upon us, gradually, and knowledge of such order of theology, as is better for us to maintain, neither proclaiming things too suddenly nor yet keeping them hidden to the end...He said that all things should be taught us by the Spirit Himself, made clear at a later time, when such knowledge would be seasonable and capable of being received after our Savior's restoration; when it would no longer be received with incredulity because of its marvelous character. For what greater thing than this did either He promise, or the Spirit teach...If He is not to be worshiped, how can He deify me by baptism?...And indeed from the Spirit comes our new birth and from the new birth our new creation, and from the new creation our deeper knowledge of the dignity of Him from Whom it is derived...Look at these facts: Christ is born; the Spirit is His Forerunner, He leads Him up. He works miracles; the Spirit accompanies them. He ascends; the Spirit takes His place.
"If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink."
The eternal survival of the person as a unique, unrepeatable and free "hypostasis," as loving and being loved, constitutes the quintessence of salvation, the bringing of the Gospel to man. In the language of the Holy Fathers of the Church, this is called "divinization" theosis, which means participation not in the nature or substance of God, but in His personal existence. The goal of salvation is that the personal life which is realized in God should also be realized on the level of human existence. Consequently, salvation is identified with the realization of personhood in man...Patristic theology sees man in the light of two "modes of existence." One may be called the hypostasis of biological existence, the other the hypostasis of ecclesial existence...
Death is the "natural" development of the biological hypostasis, the cessation of "space" and "time" to other individual hypostasis, the sealing of hypostasis as individuality...In its attempt to affirm itself as hypostasis [it] discovers that finally, its "nature" has led it along a false path towards death...
The Holy Spirit provides every Gift: He inspires prophecy, perfects the priesthood, grants wisdom to the illiterate, makes simple fishermen to become wise theologians, and establishes perfect order in the organization of the Church. Wherefore, O Comforter, equal in nature and majesty with the Father and the Son, glory to You...
In the days of old, pride brought confusion of tongues to the builders of the Tower of Babel, but now the diversity of tongues enlightened the minds and gave knowledge for the glory of God. There, God punished infidels for their sin, while here Christ enlightened fishermen through the spirit; there the confusion of tongues was for the sake of vengeance, while here there was variety so that voices could be joined in unison for the salvation of our souls.
Redeeming THE Time
What he means is this. The time is not yours. At present you are strangers, and sojourners, and foreigners, and aliens; do not seek honors, do not seek glory, do not seek authority, or revenge; bear all things, and in this way, 'redeem the time'. Give up many things, anything they may require...only preserve the principal thing, i mean the Faith...So also Christ says, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (St. Matthew 6:34)...In what sense then does He call the days 'evil'?...It is not the essence of the thing, not the thing as so created, but it is the things transacted in time. In the same way, as we are in the habit of saying, "I have passed a disagreeable and wretched day.' And yet how would it is disagreeable, except for the circumstances which took place in it? Now the events which take place in it are good things from God, but evil things from bad men...What then? Are we to give thanks for everything that befalls us? Yes, be it even disease, be it even penury. For if a certain wise man gave this advice in the Old Testament and said, "Whatsoever is brought upon you take it cheerfully and be patient when you are changed to a low estate' (Eccles. 2:4); much more ought this to be the case in the New...Let us, therefore, give thanks not only for blessings which we see, but also for those which we do not see, and for those which we receive against our will. (Source: The Bible and the Holy Fathers for Orthodox)
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" - Saint John Chrysostomos
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God