Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


6 Entries

'What then?' some one will say. 'We have been beguiled and are lost. Is there no salvation left? We have fallen: Is it not possible to rise again? We have been blinded: May we not recover our sight? We have become crippled: Can we never walk upright? In a word, we are dead: May we not rise again?'

He that woke Lazarus who was four days dead and already stank, shall He not, O man, much more easily raise thee who art alive? He who shed his precious Blood for us, shall Himself deliver us from sin.

Let us not despair of ourselves, brethren; let us not abandon ourselves to a hopeless condition. For it is a fearful thing not to believe in a hope of repentance. For he that looks not for salvation spares not to add evil to evil: but to him that hopes for cure, it is henceforth easy to be careful over himself. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Second Catechetical Orations

For Lazarus also, whom the Lord raised up, exuded so fetid an odor that no one could approach his tomb, as a symbol of Adam whose soul exuded such a great stench and was full of blackness and darkness. But you, when you hear about Adam and the wounded traveler and Lazarus, do not let your mind wander as it were into the mountains, but remain inside within your soul, because you also carry the same wounds, the same smell, the same darkness.

We are all his sons and we all inherit the same stench. Therefore, the passions that he suffered, all of us, who are of Adam's seed, suffer also. For such a suffering has hit us, as Isaiah says: "It is not a wound, nor a bruise, nor an inflamed sore. It is impossible to apply a soothing salve or oil or to make bandages" (Is 1:6). Thus we were wounded with an incurable wound. Only the Lord could heal it. For this he came in his own person because no one of the ancients nor the Law itself nor the prophets were able to heal it. He alone, when he came, healed that sore, the incurable sore of the soul.

Let us, therefore, receive God the Lord, the true healer, who alone can come to heal our souls, after he has borne so much on our behalf. For he is always knocking at the doors of our hearts in order that we may open up to him and that he may enter in and take his rest in our souls, and that we may wash his feet and he may take up his abode with us. For this purpose he endured many sufferings, giving his body over to death and buying our ransom from slavery so that he, coming to our soul, might make his abode there. St. Macarius, Spiritual Homilies, 30

In order that He might bring an end to the mourning of Martha, the Savior of all spoke to her and addressed these divine words to her: "I exist as the light of the world and the resurrection of all from the dead; He who believes on Me shall never die; It was for this end that I appeared to resurrect Adam and the descendants of Adam And on the fourth day to resurrect Lazarus taking pity, as a Merciful One, on The rears of Mary and Martha." The Kontakia of Romanos, On the Raising of Lazarus II

Lazarus is now two days in the tomb, and seeth them that are dead from all ages past; there he beholdeth strange terrors, and an innumerable multitude held in the bonds of Hades. Wherefore, his kinsfolk weep bitterly as they gaze upon his tomb. But Christ came to quicken His friend and to accomplish His plan for all: Blessed art Thou, O Saviour; have mercy on us. Sticheron from Vespers of Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Lent

Summoned by the faith of the women, He came, He Who of His own free will became physician of soul and body, And immediately He spoke to His friends: "Arise; let us go into Judaea where we were once; For I have received a letter which I read with pleasure For faith has dictated it and infallible hope wrote it, And love sealed it. Why should I keep from you what has happened? Mary and Martha With faith pray to Me on behalf of Lazarus, Since he is now ill. If I go to him now He will be resurrected, and he will rise up Saying, 'Thou art the Life and the Resurrection'. St Romanos the Melodist - On the Raising of Lazarus I

Today Lazarus hath given up the spirit, and Bethany doth mourn him whom Thou, our Saviour, shalt raise from the dead, to assure us, through Thy friend, of Thine awesome Resurrection, the annihilation of Hades and the granting of life to Adam. Wherefore do we praise Thee. Sticheron of Vespers, Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Great Lent

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