Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

apostles

12 Entries

Be strong in Me; and you, too, Andrew; just as you were the first to find Me, you were found by me; so find the one who has wandered; Do not forget your first skill; from it I shall educate you for this new art. Formerly, naked into the deep sea, now naked into life; Formerly, hunting with a fishing-rod, now taught to fish with the cross; Formerly, you used a worm as bait; now I order you to hunt with My flesh. I alone know what is in the heart. St Romanos the Melodist - On the Mission of the Apostles



Be strong in Me; and you, too, Andrew; just as you were the first to find Me, you were found by me; so find the one who has wandered; Do not forget your first skill; from it I shall educate you for this new art. Formerly, naked into the deep sea, now naked into life; Formerly, hunting with a fishing-rod, now taught to fish with the cross; Formerly, you used a worm as bait; now I order you to hunt with My flesh. I alone know what is in the heart. Kontakia of St. Romanos, On the Mission of the Apostles

For we learned the plan of salvation from no others than from those through whom the gospel came to us. They first preached it abroad, and then later by the will of God handed it down to us in Scriptures, to be the foundation and pillar of our faith. For it is not right to say that they preached before they had come to perfect knowledge, as some dare to say, boasting that they are the correctors of the apostles. For after our Lord had risen from the dead, and they were clothed with the power from on high when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they were filled with all things and had perfect knowledge. They went out to the ends of the earth, preaching the good things that come to us from God, and proclaiming peace from heaven to men, all and each of them equally being in possession of the gospel of God. St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies III

I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!" (Lk. 12:49). The holy apostles accepted this divine fire into their hearts, and fired with flaming love toward the Lord, left the world and everything in it and followed Christ. They gave themselves to Him both in soul and in body, and renounced both their will and reasoning, so that they could say with great joy: "Lo, we have left everything and followed You" (Mt. 19:27). They kept this holy obedience to the Lord in their hearts to the end of their lives, imprinting it in our memories through their experience of innumerable temptations, diverse deaths, and the pouring out of their blood unto the last drop. ... And this same fire of divine grace was accepted by all the truly holy servants of Christ, people of all ranks and calling, who meticulously observed the soul-saving Gospel commandments, without the fulfillment of which salvation is impossible through faith alone. Starets Paisius Velichkovskii by Fr. Sergii Chetverikov

In everything they the Apostles did, they thought of God and lived in constant devotion to Him. This spiritual state was their unceasing prayer. St. Basil the Great

Observe what Andrew says to his brother: 'We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.' You see how, as far as he had learned in a short time, he showed the wisdom of the teacher who persuaded them, and their own zeal, who cared for those things long ago, and from the beginning. For this word, 'we have found.' is the expression of a soul which travails for His presence, and looks for His coming from above, and is made overjoyed when the looked-for thing has happened, and hastens to impart to others the good tdings. This is part of a brotherly affection, of natural friendship, of a sincere disposition, to be eager to stretch out the hand to each other in spiritual things. St. John Chrysostom, Homilies of the Gospel of St. John

The Apostles call themselves `witnesses of the resurrection' of Christ, though their ministry was to bear witness not of His resurrection alone, but also of His whole doctrine. So important do they deem the truth of the resurrection to be. And indeed as soon as this truth is confirmed, so soon is also confirmed thereby the truth of all that which our Lord did and taught. But inasmuch as the truth of Christ's resurrection is important to faith, the truth of our resurrection is important to our life. When this truth is confirmed, all the rules of a holy and godly life become firmly established in us. Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, Select Sermons

The Leader gathered together the lambs whom fear had scattered at the time of the crucifixion after the resurrection, And standing on the mountain top, He sang a sweet song, giving courage to the flock, A bit as though speaking with hints for timid men, He said: "Be of good courage, I alone have conquered the world, I alone have scattered the wolves, no one was with me; I was the one, the only one, Who alone knows what is in the heart." The Kontakia of Romanos, Vol. I: On the Mission of the Apostles

The Lord of all gave to His apostles the power of the gospel, and by them we also have learned the truth, that is, the teaching of the Son of God - as the Lord said to them, `He who hears you hears Me, and he who despises you despises Me, and Him Who sent Me' [Lk.10:16]. For we learned the plan of our salvation from no other than from those through whom the gospel came to us. The first preached it abroad, and then later by the will of God handed it down to us in Scriptures, to be the foundation and pillar of our faith. For it is not right to say that they preached before they had come to perfect knowledge, as some dare to say, boasting that they are the correctors of the apostles. For after our Lord had risen from the dead, and they were clothed with the power from on high when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they were filled with all things and had perfect knowledge. They went out to the ends of the earth, preaching the good things that come to us from God, and proclaiming peace from heaven to all men, all and each of them equally being in possession of the gospel of God. St. Irenaeus, Against the Heresies, III

When the Prophetic Spirit speaks and foretells the future, he says, "'The Law shall come out of Zion and the Lord's word from Jerusalem. And he will judge the Gentiles and reproach many people, and they will beat their swords into plows and their spears into pruning hooks. And nation will not raise its sword against nation, and they will no longer learn the arts of war." You can believe that this prophecy, too, was fulfilled. For twelve men, ignorant and unskilled in speaking as they were, went out from Jerusalem to the world, and with the help of God announced to every race of men that they had been sent by Christ to teach the word of God to everyone. And we who formerly killed one another not only refuse to make war on our enemies but in order to avoid lying to our interrogators or deceiving them, we freely go to our deaths confessing Christ. St. Justin Martyr First Apology 39.2-3

The Apostles received this way of life from Christ and made it their own, renouncing the world in response to His call, disregarding fatherland, relatives and possessions. At once they adopted a harsh and strenuous way of life, facing every kind of adversity, afflicted, tormented, harassed, naked, lacking even necessities; and finally they met death boldly, imitating their Teacher faithfully in all things. Thus through their actions they left behind a true image of the highest way of life. St. Neilos the Ascetic, Ascetic Discourse, Philokalia, Vol. I

"Moved by love the apostles ran that unceasing race and cast on the whole world the fishhook and net of the word to drag it up from the deep of idolatry and bring it safe into the port of the kingdom of heaven. Moved by love the martyrs shed their blood that they might not lose Christ. Moved by it our God-bearing Fathers and teachers of the world eagerly laid down their lives for the catholic and apostolic Church." St. Symeon the New Theologian (The Discourses, I: On Charity no. 5; Paulist Press pg. 45):





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