Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

jesus_christ

59 Entries

There is, after all, only one Physician: both flesh and spirit, begotten and unbegotten, God Incarnate, in death, true life, both of Mary and of God, first passible, then impassible, Jesus Christ our Lord. St. Ignatius of Antioch



…soul and Christ you need…These two guard; do not lose them. St Kosmas Aitolos

…Only our Christ is the Son of God and True God, the life of all…Our Teacher is Christ alone. St Kosmas Aitolos

This is the way we should see Christ. He is our friend, our brother; He is whatever is good and beautiful. He is everything. Yet, He is still a friend and He shouts it out, "You're my friends, don't you understand that? We're brothers. I'm not...I don't hold hell in my hands. I am not threatening you. I love you. I want you to enjoy life together with me." Elder Porphyrios

Christ is Everything. He is joy, He is life, He is light. He is the true light who makes man joyful, Christ is Everything. He is joy, He is makes him soar with happiness; makes him see everything, everybody; makes him feel for everyone, to want everyone with him, everyone with Christ. Love Christ and put nothing before His Love. Christ is Everything. He is the source of life, the ultimate desire, He is everything. Everything beautiful is in Christ. Elder Porphyrios

Somebody who is Christ's must love Christ, and when he loves Christ he is delivered from the Devil, from hell and from death. Elder Porphyrios

"[Our Saviour] has the dignity of His Lordship from nature, and is not called Lord improperly, as we are; but is so in verity, since by the Father's bidding He is Lord of His own works. For our lordship is over men of equal rights and like passions, nay often over our elders, and often a young master rules over aged servants. But in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ the Lordship is not so; but He is first Maker, then Lord: first He made all things by the Father's will, then, He is Lord of the things which were made by Him. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures Lecture 10 no. 5)

'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ'(2 Cor. 1:3). Blessed also be His Only-begotten Son. For with the thought of 'God' let the thought of 'Father' at once be joined, that the ascription of glory to the Father and the Son may be made indivisible. For the Father has not one glory, and the Son another, but one and the same, since He is the Father's Only-begotten Son; and when the Father is glorified, the Son also shares the glory with Him, because the glory of the Son flows from His Father's honor: and again, when the Son is glorified, the Father of so great a blessing is highly honored. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 6 no. 1)

...in the character of the Form of a Servant, He [the Son] condescends to His fellow servants, nay, to His servants, and takes upon Him a strange form, bearing all me and mine in Himself, that in Himself He may exhaust the bad, as fire does wax, or as the sun does the mists of the earth; and that I may partake of His nature by the blending. Thus He honors obedience by His action, and proves it experimentally by His Passion. For to possess the disposition is not enough, just as it would not be enough for us, unless we also proved it by our acts; for action is the proof of disposition. St. Gregory Nazianzen (Fourth Theological Oration no. 6)

...the Saviour comes in various forms to each man for his profit. For to those who have need of gladness He becomes a Vine; and to those who want to enter in He stands as a Door; and to those who need to offer up their prayers He stands a mediating High Priest. Again, to those who have sins He becomes a Sheep, that He may be sacrificed for them. He is 'made all things to all men' (I Cor. 9:22), remaining in His own nature what He is. For so remaining, and holding the dignity of His Sonship in reality unchangeable, He adapts Himself to our infirmities, just as some excellent physician or compassionate teacher... St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lecture

...we were enemies of God through sin, and God had appointed the sinner to die. There must needs therefore have happened one of two things; either that God, in His truth, should destroy all men, or that in His loving-kindness He should cancel the sentence. But behold the wisdom of God; He preserved both the truth of His sentence, and the exercise of His loving-kindness. Christ took our sins 'in His body on the tree, that we by His death might die to sin, and live unto righteousness' (I Pet. 2:24). St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures:Lecture 13 no. 33)

A certain God-given equilibrium is produced in our intellect through the constant remembrance and invocation of our Lord Jesus Christ, provided that we do not neglect this constant spiritual entreaty or our close watchfulness and diligence. Indeed, our true task is always the same and is always accomplished in the same way: to call upon our Lord Jesus Christ with a burning heart so that His holy name intercedes for us. In virtue as in vice, constancy is the mother of habit; once acquired, it rules us like nature. St. Hesychios the Priest(On Watchfulness and Holiness nos. 97)

Adam received the sentence, 'Cursed is the ground in your labors; thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you' (Gen. 3:17,18). For this cause Jesus assumes the thorns, that He may cancel the sentence; for this cause also was He buried in the earth, that the earth which had been cursed might receive the blessing instead of a curse. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 13 no.18)

All things which the Saviour did, He did in the first place in order that what was spoken concerning Him in the prophets might be fulfilled, 'that the blind should receive sight, and the deaf hear' (Isa. 35:5), and so on; but also to induce the belief that in the resurrection the flesh shall rise entire. For if on earth He healed the sicknesses of the flesh, and made the body whole, much more will He do this in the resurrection, so that the flesh shall rise perfect and entire. In this manner, then, shall those dreaded difficulties of theirs be healed. St. Justin Martyr, Fragments of the Lost Work of Justin, quoted in Isaiah Through the Ages by Johanna Manley.

At the moment before His greatest humiliation, the Lord Jesus, of His own free will and for our instruction and salvation, would not claim all the rights and power that later, risen and glorified, the victorious Lord was to possess. Only when He had risen, when He was glorified in the flesh, and when He was victorious over Satan, the world and death, did the Lord declare to His disciples: 'All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth' (Mt. 28:18). But we must, to this whole interpretation, add something more, something that shows the Lord's most wise and all-seeing care in the dispensation of man's salvation. He wishes to show that there is here no prejudice, no partiality, 'for there is no respect of person with God' (Rom. 2:11). Bp. Nikolai Velimirovic, Homilies, Vol. I

Christ calls all to Himself, but not all respond to His voice. Whoever opens his heart to Him becomes His temple. The Lord comes to him and dwells in him. The heart then is filled with peace, and the soul with inexpressible blessedness and love; the will is strengthened in goodness, and the mouth glorified God in heaven. St. John Maximovitch, Sermon on the Nativity of Christ

Christ is miracle beyond comprehension. He is the all-perfect revelation of God. He is also the all-perfect manifestation of man. Archimandrite Sophrony (His Life is Mine, Chapter 13; SVS Press pg. 93)

Christ is miracle beyond comprehension. He is the all-perfect revelation of God. He is also the all-perfect manifestation of man." Archimandrite Sophrony (His Life is Mine, Chapter 13; SVS Press pg. 93)

Christ is the head, we are the body.... He is the foundation, we are the building; He is the Vine, we are the branches; He is the Bridegroom, we are the bride; He is the Shepherd we are the sheep; He is the Way and we are the travelers; again we are the temple and He is the occupant; He is the firstborn, we are the brothers, He is the Heir, we are co-heirs; He is the Life, we are the living; He is the Resurrection, we are the resurrected; He is the Light, we are the illumined.... St. John Chrysostom, (Patrologia Graeca 55,199)

Christ made all things, whether you speak of Angels, or Archangels, of Dominions, or Thrones. Not that the Father wanted strength to create the works Himself, but because He willed that the Son should reign over His own workmanship, God Himself giving Him the design of the things to be made. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 11 no. 23)

He then, Whom no man hath seen at any time, whom can we reckon Him to resemble, so that thereby we should understand His generation? And we, indeed, without ambiguity apprehend that our soul dwells in us in union with the body; but still, who has ever seen his own soul? who has been able to discern its conjunction with his body? This one thing is all we know certainly, that there is a soul within us conjoined with the body. Thus, then, we reason and believe that the word is begotten by the Father, albeit we neither possess nor know the clear 'rationale' of the fact. The Word Himself is before every creature eternal from the Eternal, like spring from spring, and light from light. St. Gregory the Wonderworker, On the Trinity

I want you to know this, that Jesus Christ our Lord is Himself the true Mind of the Father. By Him all the fullness of every rational nature is made in the image of His image, and He Himself is the head of all creation, and of His body the Church (Col. 1:15-18). Therefore we are all members one of another, and the body of Christ, and the head cannot say to the feet, 'I have no need of you'; and if one member suffers, the whole body is moved and suffers with it (Eph. 4:25). But if a member is estranged from the body, and has no communication with the head, but is delighted by the passions of its own body, this means that its wound is incurable, and it has forgotten its beginning and its end. And therefore the Father of creatures, moved with compassion towards this our wound, which could not be healed by any of the creatures, but only by the goodness of the Father, sent forth to us His Only-begotten, who because of our bondage took upon Himself the form of a bondservant, and gave Himself up for our sins; for our iniquities humbled Him, and by His wound we are all healed; and He gathered us out of all regions, till He should make resurrection of our hearts from the earth, and teach us that we are all of one substance, and members one of another. Therefore we ought greatly to love one another. For he who loves his neighbor, loves God: and he who loves God, loves his own soul. the letters of St. Anthony the Great (+ 356)

If the salvation of the world is in no other, but in Christ alone, then the fathers of the Old Testament were saved by the incarnation and passion of the same Redeemer, by which we also believe and hope to be saved. For although the sacramental signs differed by reason of the times, nevertheless there was agreement in one and the same faith, because through the prophets they learned as something to come the same dispensation of Christ which we learned through the apostles as something which has been done. For there is no redemption of human captivity [to sinfulness] except in the blood of Him Who gave Himself as a redemption for all. The Venerable Bede, Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles

If, therefore, anyone wishes to show piety towards God, let him worship the Son, since otherwise the Father accepts not his service. The Father spoke with a loud voice from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased' (Matt. 3:17). The Father was well pleased; unless you also be well pleased in Him. you have not life. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures Chapter 13)

In Christ we possess everything. Let every soul approach Him, be it sick with sins of the flesh, infixed by the nails of worldly desires, admittedly still imperfect, progressing by intense meditation, or already perfect in its many virtues. Everyone is in the Lord's power, and Christ is all things to us. If you desire to heal your wounds, He is your doctor; if you are on fire with fever, He is your fountain; if you are burdened with iniquity, He is your justification; if you need help, He is your strength; if you fear death, He is your life; if you desire heaven, He is your way; if you are fleeing from darkness, He is your light; if you are seeking food, He is your nourishment: Taste and see that the Lord is good. Happy is the man who takes refuge in Him. St. Ambrose of Milan, On Virginity

In Christianity truth is not a philosophical concept nor is it a theory, a teaching, or a system, but rather, it is the living theanthropic hypostasis - the historical Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Before Christ men could only conjecture about the Truth since they did not possess it. With Christ as the incarnate divine Logos the eternally complete divine Truth enters into the world. For this reason the Gospel says: "Truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). St. Justin Popovich

In Christianity truth is not a philosophical concept, nor is it a theory, a teaching, or a system, but rather it is the living theanthropic hypostasis -- the historical Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6). Before Christ men could only conjecture about the Truth since they did not possess it. With Christ as the incarnate divine Logos the eternally complete divine Truth enters into the world. For this reason the Gospel says: `Truth came by Jesus Christ' (Jn. 1:17). St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

In the life and soul of an Orthodox Christian nothing takes place according to man's desire or will but everything occurs according to the God-man. Through the exercise of evangelical virtues, the Orthodox Christian concentrates on God - his spirit, soul and will concentrate through the aid of the Holy Spirit. Whatever belongs to him is gathered and universalized in the God-man. With his entire being, he understands that the Orthodox Church is always holy and catholic and that the attribute of divine humanity is the unaltered characteristic of the Orthodox Church. Fr. (St.) Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

It is Christ who gives us the power to walk, and He is Himself the Way; He is the lodging where we stay for the night, as well as our final destination. Nicolas Cabasilas (as quoted in "How are We Saved?" by Bp. Kallistos Ware pg. 2)

Jesus Christ, radiant center of glory, image of our God, the invisible Father, revealer of His eternal designs, prince of peace; Father of the world to come. For our sake he took the likeness of a slave, becoming flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, for our sake, wrapped in swaddling bands and laid in a manger adored by the shepherds and hymned by the angelic powers, who sang: Glory to God in the heavens and on earth peace and good to men. Make us worthy, Lord, to celebrate and to conclude in peace the feast which magnifies the rising of Thy light, by avoiding empty words, working with justice, fleeing from the passions, and raising up the spirit above earthly goods. Bless Thy Church, formed long ago to be united with Thou through Thy life-giving blood. Come to the aid of Thy faithful shepherds, of the priests and the teachers of the Gospel. Bless Thy faithful whose only hope is in Thy mercy; Christian souls, the sick, those who are tormented in spirit, and those who have asked us to pray for them. Have pity, in Thy infinite clemency, and preserve us in fitness to receive the future, endless, good things. We celebrate Thy glorious Nativity with the Father who sent thee for our redemption, with the life-giving Spirit, now and for ever and through all ages. Amen an ancient Syriac liturgy

Just as children do not realize the sacrifices their parents and teachers make to bring them up and pass on to them the hard-earned experience of a lifetime, so generally men did not understand Christ - and even the rare exception only partly understood. Thus the Word of Christ which calls for a radical altering of our whole life came as a cruel wound. When Christ beheld our distress He suffered more than any of us. And He bore this cross all the years of His service in the world. Golgotha was only the last act, the culminating point, as it were, uniting the whole: the mental distress of an infamous death, the wild vindictive laughter of those to whom He had caused offence, the physical pain of being crucified, the grief of His Spirit because men had spurned the tidings of the Father's love." Archimandrite Sophrony (His Life is Mine, Chapter 13; SVS Press pg. 93)

Just as the portrait painter is attentive to the face of the king as he paints, and, when the face of the king is directly opposite, face to face, then he paints the portrait easily and well. But when he turns his face away, then the painter cannot paint because the face of the subject is not looking at the painter. In a similar way, the good portrait painter, Christ, for those who believe in him and gaze continually toward him, at once paints according to his own icon a heavenly man. Out of his Spirit, out of the substance of the light itself, ineffable light, he paints a heavenly icon and presents to it its noble a and good Spouse. If anyone, therefore, does not continually gaze at him, overlooking all else, the Lord will not paint his image with his own light. It is necessary that we gaze on him, believing and loving him, casting aside all else and attending to him so that he may paint his own heavenly image and send it into our souls. And thus carrying Christ, we may receive eternal life and even here, filled with confidence, we may be at rest. St. Macarius, Spiritual Homily 30.4

Now the ark of the covenant was placed within this curtain of the temple [Ex. 26:33] because after His passion and resurrection from the dead, the Mediator between God and humankind, the man Christ Jesus, Who alone is privy to the secrets of the Father, has ascended above the highest heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. The sanctuary and the holy of holies are divided by this curtain because the Church, which consists of the holy angels as well as human beings, partly still sojourns below and partly reigns in the eternal homeland above, as its citizens are still separated from another by the dividing curtain of heaven. The Venerable Bede, On the Tabernacle.

Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, dearly beloved, sometimes connects us by His words and sometimes by His actions. His very deeds are commands, because when He does something silently, He is making known to us what we ought to do. He sent His disciples to preach two by two because there are two commandments of love, of God and neighbor, and there can be no love between fewer than two. Strictly speaking no one is said to have love for himself; love becomes possible when one reaches out toward someone else. The Lord sent His disciples to preach two by two, to inform us silently that no one who has no love for another person should undertake the duty of preaching. St. Gregory the Great, Forty Gospel Homilies

The God-man Christ is so extraordinarily new and unique that in reality the "Truth" came from Him (Jn. 1:17), and through Him remained in our human world. Before Him and without Him - now and forever - Truth does not exist. Verily, it does not exist because only the Hypostasis of the God-man is Truth. "I am the Truth" (Jn. 14:6). And since man does not exist independently of the God-man there can be no truth for him independently of the God-man. Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ by St. Justin Popovich

The One Who used humble words with Paul, His persecutor, used the same humble words with the Pharisee. Humility is so powerful that even the all-conquering God did not conquer without it. Humility was even able to bear the burden of a stiff-necked nation in the desert. Moses, the humblest of men, was given charge of the nation that was the most stubborn of all men. God, Who needed nothing to save His people, later found Himself in need of the humility of Moses just to abide the grumbling and complaining of (His) critics. Only humility could tolerate the perversity of a nation that dismissed signs in Egypt as well as wonders in the desert. Whenever pride caused divisions in the nation, the prayer of humility healed their divisions. Now, if the humility of a tongue-tied man endured six hundred thousand, how much more does His humility endure, Who granted speech to the tongue-tied! For the humility of Moses is a (mere) shadow of the humility of our Lord. St. Ephrem the Syrian, Homily on Our Lord

The Only-begotten Son is Lord of all, but the obedient Son of the Father, for He grasped not the Lordship, but received it by nature of the Father's own will. For neither did the Son grasp it, nor the Father grudge to impart it. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 10 no. 9)

The Son of God dawned upon the world like the day, And the darkness vanished whereby all creation had been stifled. The great Sun of Righteousness showed Himself And put to flight the gloomy shadows from every quarter. He came into the world and had been in the world before He came, He came to His own and was not received by the lawless. Having been born without beginning, He was hidden in His Father, And in these last times He came openly and was not received. A Homily by Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh, in The True Vine, Winter 1990

The Son, wishing to assure us of the truth of this, His Divine birth, has appointed His works to serve as an illustration, that from the ineffable power displayed in ineffable deeds we may learn the lesson of the ineffable birth. For instance, when water was made wine, and the five loaves satisfied five thousand men, beside women and children, and twelve baskets were filled with the fragments, we see a fact though we cannot understand it; a deed is done, though it baffles our reason; the process cannot be followed, though the result is obvious. It is folly to intrude in the spirit of carping, when the matter into which we enquire is such that we cannot probe it to the bottom. For even as the Father is ineffable because He is Unbegotten, so is the Son ineffable because He is the Only-begotten, since the Begotten is the Image of the Unbegotten. St. Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity.

The Word is the expression of the truth; the truth itself being and deed. The Word precedes every being, every thing, as the cause of their being - past, present, or future. `I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come, the Almighty.' Thus spoke the creative Word of the Father. In Him - in the Word - is the cause of all creatures - present, past, and future. St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

The child Jesus born within us advances by different ways in those who receive Him in wisdom, in age, and in grace. He is not the same in every person, but is present according to the measure of the person receiving Him. He comes either as an infant, or a child advancing in age, or as one fully grown after the example of the cluster. Christ is never seen with the same form upon the vine, but He changes His form with time - now budding, now blossoming, now mature, now ripe and finally as wine. Thus the vine holds out a promise with its fruit. It is not yet ripe for wine, but it awaits maturity. Meanwhile it does not lack any delight, for it gladdens our sense of smell instead of our taste with its expectation of the future; by its fragrance of hope it sweetens the soul's senses. A faith firm in a grace we hope for becomes a delight for us who wait in patience. St. Gregory of Nyssa, Commentary on the Song of Songs

The child Jesus born within us advances by different ways in those who receive Him in wisdom, in age, and in grace. He is not the same in every person, but is present according to the measure of the person receiving Him. He comes either as an infant, or a child advancing in age, or as one fully grown after the example of the cluster. Christ is never seen with the same form upon the vine, but He changes His form with time now budding, now blossoming, now mature, now ripe and finally as wine. Thus the vine holds out a promise with its fruit. It is not yet ripe for wine, but it awaits maturity. Meanwhile it does not lack any delight, for it gladdens our sense of smell instead of our taste with its expectation of the future; by its fragrance of hope it sweetens the soul's senses. A faith firm in a grace we hope for becomes a delight for us who wait in patience. St. Gregory of Nyssa, Commentary on the Song of Songs

The humility of our Lord Jesus Christ is a matter for as great wonder as are His miracles, together with His Resurrection - that Wonder of wonders. Clothing Himself in the cramped human body of a slave, He became the Servant of His servants... Why do men try to appear greater and better than they are? The grass in the field does not attempt this, and neither do fish in the water or birds in the air. Why, then, do men do this? Because they were, in reality, at one time greater and better than they are now, and the shadow of this memory urges them to exaggeration of their greatness and goodness- on a string pulled taut and let go by the demons" St. Nicolai Velimirovich

The one act which makes the God-man Christ, in particular, the most valuable of all beings is that He is the first and only to have completely and effectively resolved the age-old dilemma of life and death. He has done this by revealing in His God-man person, the incarnate one, immortality and eternal life. This is especially demonstrated by His Resurrection and Ascension to the eternal life of the divine One. The entire theanthropic life of Christ both before and after His resurrection is evident proof that He is the personification of immortality and eternal life and therefore the master over death. by His resurrection He insured for human nature victory over death, and by His Ascension immortal life in the eternity of the Triune God. For this reason, he alone among the human St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

The one act which makes the God-man Christ, in particular, the most valuable of all beings is that He is the first and only to have completely and effectively resolved the age-old dilemma of life and death. He has done this by revealing in His God-man person, the incarnate one, immortality and eternal life. This is especially demonstrated by His Resurrection and Ascension to the eternal life of the divine One. The entire theantropic life of Christ both before and after His resurrection is evident proof that He is the personification of immortality and eternal life and therefore the master over death. by His resurrection He insured for human nature victory over death, and by His Ascension immortal life in the eternity of the Triune God. For this reason, he alone among the human race is justified in saying: "I am the Resurrection and the life." St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

The prophets, after they had received special insight from Him, prophesied concerning Him. And He submitted so that He might break the power of Death and demonstrate the resurrection from the dead -- thus it was necessary for Him to be manifested in the flesh. Also [He submitted] so that He might fulfill the promise to the fathers and, while He was preparing the new people for Himself and while He was still on earth, to prove that after He has brought about the resurrection He will judge. The Letter of Barnabas

The transcendently and absolutely perfect Goodness is Intellect; thus what else could the which proceeds from It as from a source be except Intelligence-content or Logos? But the divine Logos is not to be understood in the same way as the human thought-form that we express orally, for that proceeds not from the intellect but from a body activated by the intellect...Thus the supreme Logos is the Son, and is so described by us, in order that we may recognize Him to be perfect in a perfect and individual hypostasis, since He comes from the Father and is in no way inferior to the Father's essence, but is indistinguishably identical with Him, although not according to hypostasis; for His distinction as hypostasis is manifest in the fact that the Logos is begotten in a divinely fitting manner from the Father." St. Gregory Palamas (Topics of Natural and Theological Science no. 35, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 360)

There is realized the most radical, rational, and perfect unity of the present life with the life that lies beyond in the divine-human person of Christ. Likewise, there is also found in the person of Christ the unity of the present knowledge and the knowledge of the beyond as well as the unity of human and divine feelings. This means that the life, thought, and feelings of man have bridged the abyss which separates man from God, the abyss between this world and the other. It is for this reason that a man living a life in Christ vividly experiences the unity of this world with the other, the unity of God with man, the worldly with the transcendent, the natural with the supernatural. Fr Justin Popovich, Faith and Life in Christ

There remains, I conceive, no possibility of doubt but that the words, `I and the Father are One,' were spoken with regard to the nature which is His by birth. The Jews had rebuked Him because by by these words He, being a man, made Himself God. The course of His answer proves that, in this `I and the Father are One,' He did profess Himself the Son of God, first in name, then in nature, and lastly by birth. For 'I and the Father' are the names of substantive Beings; `One' is a declaration of Their nature, namely, that it is essentially the same in Both; `are' forbids us to confound Them together; `are one,' while forbidding confusion, teaches that the unity of the Two is the result of a birth. Now all this truth is drawn out from that name, the Son of God, which He being sanctified by the Father, bestows upon Himself; a name, His right to which is confirmed by His assertion, `I and the Father are One.' For birth cannot confer any nature upon the offspring other than that of the parent from whom that offspring is born. St. Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity

Though He is the uncircumscribed God, and thou He is of all, for our sake He as a mortal was circumscribed in the flesh. And thus, while He stood within the temple's court, He poured forth for ye purified in your souls; quench the burning heart of the passions consuming fire. Let no one be deprived of this draught, for on him that doth drink do I bestow the divine grace of an immortal and better life. And he shall share with Me, the Creator, in the Kingdom, and thus be glorified. Stichera from Vespers of Monday of the Samaritan Woman (Pentecostarion)

Throughout his entire history, man appears as a unique type of creature who has laboriously sought the fundamental and essential truth upon which the foundation of the cosmos rests. Man has attempted to answer the quest for truth in various ways -- mythologically, philosophically, atheistically, spiritually, and materialistically. However, he has not been able to solve the problem since he has tried to solve it with the categories of pure, autonomous, and atheistic humanism. Only in the miraculous person on the God-man Christ is the entire eternal Truth revealed, without any defects. Further, the search for eternal truth is completed in the revelation of the absolute divine Truth within the boundaries of human nature. Thus, from the mouth of the God-man Christ came the most courageous declaration that a human being could possibly give: 'I am the Truth' (Jn 14:6). This means that the God-man Christ, as a person, is the truth in all His theanthropic perfection and reality. Fr. Justin Popovich, Highest Value and Last Criterion in Orthodoxy,:in Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ.

We in accordance with the true doctrine speak of the Son as neither like, nor unlike the Father. Each of these terms is equally impossible, for like and unlike are predicated in relation to quality, and the divine is free from quality. EPISTLE VIII: A defense of his withdrawal, and concerning the faith, http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/St.Pachomius/Greek/basil8.html

We preach not one advent only of Christ, but a second also, far more glorious than the former. For the former gave a view of His patience; but the latter brings with it the crown of a divine kingdom. For all things, for the most part, are twofold in our Lord Jesus Christ: a twofold generation; one, of God, before the ages; and one, of a Virgin, at the close of the ages: His descents twofold; one, the unobserved, 'like rain on a fleece' (Ps. 72:6); and a second His open coming, which is to be. In His former advent, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger; in His second, He 'covers Himself with light as with a garment' (Ps. 104:2). In His first coming, 'He endured the Cross, despising shame' (Heb. 12:2); in His second, He comes attended by a host of Angels, receiving glory. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 15 no. 1)

What is the essence of Orthodoxy? It is the God-man Christ. Everything that is Orthodox has a divine-human character: knowledge, the senses, the will, the mind, morality, dogma, philosophy, and life. Divine humanity is the only category in which all the manifestations of Orthodoxy are received and fully operate. In all creation, God occupies the first place, man the second. God leads while man is led; God acts and man cooperates. God does not act transcendentally. He is not the abstract God of deism, but rather the God of the most immediate historic reality, the God of revelation, the God who became man and lived within the categories of our human existence while appearing everywhere as absolute holiness, goodness, wisdom, justice and truth. St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

What is truth?" inquired Pilate of the incarnate Truth, wanting to hear with his own ears that which he did not perceive with his eyes, as though it was not the same soul that was hearing through his ears and seeing through his eyes. The God-man Christ is the Truth, not as word, neither as teaching nor as concrete energy, but as a most perfect and eternally living divine-human Hypostasis. It is only as a theanthropic Personality that He is the criterion of truth. It is for this reason that the God-man not only said, "I am the Truth," but also that, "I am the Way" (Jn. 14:6), that is, He is the way to Truth itself, the criterion of Truth itself, the essence of Truth itself. The criterion of Truth is the Truth itself, and the Truth is the God-man Christ. Thus, whatever does not come from Him is not from the Truth. The Truth cannot ontologically exist outside of his divine-human personality. Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ by Fr. (St.) Justin Popovich

You look into a mirror so that you may know what is in your face, whether there are any blemishes in it, and having seen blemishes, you cleanse them. Let the immaculate life of Christ be a mirror to your soul, look into it often and know what is in your soul. Does it desire the same things that Christ desires? And does it do what Christ did when He lived on earth? An in it you will see what is contrary to the life of Christ, and you will cleanse it all like blemishes with repentance and contrition of heart. Christ the Lord despised honor, glory and riches in this world, though He was able to have everything as the Master of all. Do you not seek honor, riches, and glory in this world? St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven

...coal is by nature wood, only it is entirely filled with fire and acquires its power and energy. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, in my view, may very appropriately be conceived of in the same way. 'For the Word became flesh and dwelt among us' (Jn. 1:14). But although He was seen by us as a man, in accordance with the dispensation of the Incarnation, the fullness of the Godhead nevertheless dwelt in Him, by means, I would emphasize, of the union. Thus it may be seen that He has the energies most appropriate to God operating through His own flesh. Accordingly, he touched the bier and raised the widow's dead son (cf. Lk. 7:11-16). And indeed by spitting and anointing their eyes with mud, he enabled the blind to see (cf. Jn. 9:6,7). Emmanuel is therefore very appropriately compared to a burning coal (cf. Isa. 6:6), for when He touches our lips He wipes away our sins completely and cleanses us of our transgression. St Cyril of Alexandria (Commentary on Isaiah, Isa. 6:6-7, Cyril of Alexandria written and Translated by Norman Russell; Routledge pg. 77)

Every kind of help comes to our souls through Him, and an appropriate title has been devised for each particular kind of care. When He presents a blameless soul to Himself, a soul which like a pure virgin has neither spot nor wrinkle, He is called Bridegroom, but when He receives someone paralyzed by the devil's evil strokes, and heals the heavy burden of his sins, He is called Physician. Because He cares for us, will this make us think less of Him? Or will we not be struck with amazement at our Savior's mighty power and love for mankind, Who patiently endured to suffer our infirmities with us, and condescended to our weakness? St. Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit.

There is, after all, only one Physician: both flesh and spirit, begotten and unbegotten, God Incarnate, in death, true life, both of Mary and of God, first passible, then impassible, Jesus Christ our Lord. St. Ignatius of Antioch





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