Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


26 Entries

...every soul believing in a Resurrection is naturally careful of itself; but, disbelieving it, abandons itself to perdition. He who believes that his body shall remain to rise again, is careful of his robe, and defiles it not with fornication; but he who disbelieves the Resurrection, gives himself to fornication, and misuses his own body, as though it were not his own. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 18 no. 1)

Are we only dying with the Master and are we only sharing in His sadness? Most of all, let me say that sharing the Master's death is no sadness. Only wait a little and you shall see yourself sharing in His benefits. 'For if we have died with Him,' says St. Paul, `we believe that we shall also live together with Him.' For in baptism there are both burial and resurrection together at the same time. He who is baptized puts off the old man, takes the new and rises up, `just as Christ has arisen through the glory of the Father.' Do you see how, again, St. Paul calls baptism a resurrection? St. John Chrysostom, Baptismal Instructions

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’s Resurrection became life and healing from passions for those who believe on Him, that they might live in God and bring forth the fruits of truth. Venerable Abba Isaiah

He has lifted me to the Heavens; you He has put to flight; For the rest of time I share the throne, I am no longer subject to you. He took my body that He might make it new; He will make it immortal and cause it to share His throne. I shall reign with Him, for I have been resurrected with Him. No longer are you my master; but I rule over you. My pledge of surety is now on high, But you are trampled on below by those who cry, `Where, O Death, is your victory, or where your strength? God has destroyed your strength Through the Resurrection.' St Romanos the Melodist - On The Resurrection III

If God has the power to create out of nothingness whatever He wishes, then he can as well renew an already existent body which has returned to the earth. Venerable Isidore of Pelusium

If it is preached about Christ that He rose from the dead, then how can some of us say that there is no resurrection from the dead? If there is no resurrection from the dead, then Christ was not resurrected. And if Christ was not resurrected, then our preaching is in vain, and our faith is in vain… And if we hope in Christ only in this life, then we are the most unfortunate of all people (I Corinthians 15:13-14, 19). Advice from the Holy Elder St. Leo (Nagolkin) of Optina

In the Lord's Resurrection, as in a lens, the greatest proofs of Christian Truth are concentrated. Gospel preachers, let the Resurrection of the Lord be the center of your teaching. Refer to it constantly.

Do you want to preach about the holiness, the sinlessness of Christ? Preach about His Resurrection. This is the greatest tangible proof of His blameless, sinless life; for, being impure and guilty through original sin and our own sin, everyone without exception falls under the penalty, the sword of death. Death is the reward of sin, but there is One who committed no sin, who was without guile. He is outside original sin, free of any sin of His own, devoid of sin. Proof? The Resurrection.

Death could not hold the sinless One. It had no power over Him. Do you want to preach that the sacrifice on Golgotha was unique, that it was offered to remit the sins of the world, and that the Blood of Jesus Christ purifies us of every sin? Use the Lord's Resurrection. This is the answer of Heaven, that the sacrifice on the Cross was accepted.

This is like another fire which once descended from the sky and consumed the sacrificial offering of the prophet Elijah and certified that the sacrifice was accepted. Do you want to console those who are grieving the death of a loved one? Show them the empty tomb. Just as the Lord rose from the dead, so the dead will arise and on their tombs will be written, "they are not here." Do you want to show that the power of evil and deception is temporary, that the victory ultimately belongs to purity and truth? Use the Resurrection. It is the triumph of the Righteous One.

Do you have before you sinners -- and who isn't? -- who can groan under the heavy burden of their sins, and who cannot, with all their knowledge and philosophy, budge this burden, who live a wretched life, worse than a thousand deaths in their multifarious graves of sin? Do you find yourself before sinners? Ah, then, above all preach with all your lungs' power, with all the vehemence of your believing heart, the Resurrected Lord. He who rose from the dead can raise those dead in transgressions from their graves of sin. He "grants resurrection to the fallen."

Gospel workers, open your Bibles. See how the prophets and Apostles preached, above all the Apostle to the Nations, St. Paul. Study the appropriate New Testament passages which extol the magnificence of the Resurrection and see how priceless a diadem comes from this foundation of truth (Matt. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20 and 21; Acts 3:15, 5:30, 10:40-41; Romans 1:4, 4:25, 5:1-11, 6:4; 1 Corinthians 15; Phillipians 2:7-11; Col 3:1-4; I Thessalonians 4:14; Hebrews 13:20-21; I John1:1-4; Revelation 1-18). "Follow Me," by Bishop Augoustinos N. Kantiotes (Bishop of Florina in Greece), (Belmont, Massachusetts:Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 1989), pp. 265-269

Jesus Christ arose them, as from a sleep; He violently bound the hands of Hades, Crying to those in Hades, "Rise up, and mock Hades, crying out to him, And saying`Where is your victory?' As for him, I shall hand him over to chains in Tartarus, Since I have freed Adam entirely from the debts for which he was liable. And treading on his neck, cry out, `Now Hades is consumed Along with Death, and he has cast down his power.' For it is for you that I appeared on earth and became man, I Who have destroyed the weapons of Belial, the victory of Hades, and the sting of Death." St Romanos the Melodist - On the Resurrection V

Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has rendered the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits(13) by raising Him from the dead. Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. The night sinks to sleep, and the day arises; the day [again] departs, and the night comes on. Let us behold the fruits [of the earth], how the sowing of grain takes place. The sower(1) goes forth, and casts it into the ground; and the seed being thus scattered, though dry and naked when it fell upon the earth, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its dissolution the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raises it up again, and from one seed many arise and bring forth fruit. The First Epistle Of Clement To The Corinthians, Chapter XXIV

Let us consider, beloved, how the Master continually calls our attention to the future resurrection, the first fruits of which He has made the Lord Jesus Christ by raising Him from the dead. Let us consider, beloved, the kind of resurrection that occurs at regular intervals. Day and night give us examples of resurrection. The night sleeps, the day rises; the day departs, the night comes on. Let us take the crops. The sowing - how and in what manner does it take place? The sower goes out and puts each of the seeds into the soil: when they fall on the soil, they are dry and bare, and decay. But once they have decayed, the Master's wondrous Providence makes them rise, and each one increases and brings forth multiple fruit. St. Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians

Now He Who has raised Him from the dead will raise us also, provided we do His will, make His commandments our rule of life, and love what He loves; if we abstain from every kind of wrongdoing, avarice, love of money, slander, and false testimony; ... St. Polycarp, Epistle to the Phillipians in The Didache

O strange and inconceivable thing! We did not really die, we were not really buried, we were not really crucified and raised again, but our imitation was but a figure, while our salvation is in reality. Christ was actually crucified, and actually buried, and truly rose again; and all these things have been vouchsafed to us, that we, by imitation communicating in His sufferings, might gain salvation in reality. O surpassing loving-kindness! Christ received the nails in His undefiled hands and feet, and endured anguish; while to me without suffering or toil, by the fellowship of His pain He vouchsafed salvation. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, On the Christian Sacraments

Overcome by love, He came into the world to seek His creature who had wandered. Without beginning, and Ineffable, Son of God and our God, Wisely and with divine providence, as a God, He makes the search. He is made flesh from his mother whom He cleansed (as though swept clean) and sanctified; And He offers His body as a lamp to the fire and oil Of His divinity which illumines all. For fire and clay always make light. Thus from His divinity and Incarnation, Christ Shed the light of the Lamp -- The Life and Resurrection. The Kontakia of Romanos, On the Resurrection IV

Paul says, 'For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality' (I Cor. 15:53). For this body shall be raised, not remaining weak as now; but raised the very same body, though by putting on incorruption it shall be fashioned anew, - as iron blending with fire becomes fire, or rather as He knows how, the Lord who raises us. This body therefore shall be raised, but it shall abide not such as it now is, but an eternal body; no longer needing for its life such nourishment as now, nor stairs for its ascent, for it shall be made spiritual, a marvellous thing, such as we cannot worthily speak of. 'Then,' it is said, 'shall the righteous shine forth as the sun' (Matt. 13:43), and the moon, 'and as the brightness of the firmament' (Dan. 12:3). St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 18 no. 18)

Taking a commendable courage from the voice of the angel, The women wisely answered as follows: "Truly the Lord is risen, as you say; You have proved to us by your words and by your attitude That the Merciful One has risen; For if He had not raised up and departed from the tomb, you yourself would not be seated. For when would a soldier of the king Be seated and conversing if the king were present? Indeed if such things are not in order on earth, Certainly they are not done on high Where there is the invisible throne, and the Ineffable One is seated, He Who offers resurrection to the fallen." St Romanos the Melodist - On the Resurrection VI

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 root of all good works is the hope of the Resurrection; for the expectation of the recompense nerves the soul to good works. For every laborer is ready to endure the toils, if he sees their reward in prospect; but when men weary themselves for nought, their heart soon sinks as well as their body. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 18 no. 1)

The women, with mingled joy and fear, rejoicing and sorrow, Turned away from the tomb, as the Bible teaches, To meet the apostles; and they said: "Why are you disheartened? Why do you hide your faces? Lift up your hearts, Christ is risen; Form choruses and say along with us: `The Lord is risen.' He has shone forth, He Who was created before the dawn; So not be downcast, but take courage; Spring has appeared; come to bloom, ye branches, Producing fruit and not misery. He Who offers resurrection to the fallen.' St Romanos the Melodist - On The Resurrection VI

Thou art without beginning and without end, Creator and God of truth, Who hast caused death to Death and hast made man immortal, In the last hour, when Thou dost come to resurrect me, For Thou wilt come, my Savior, not as now from the tomb, but from the firmament; Then, seeing Thee, I rise up, O Lover of men, for loving Thee, I possess Thee. Do not then condemn me, I pray, so that I may say, "Not for my punishment, but to redeem me The Lord is risen." St Romanos the Melodist - On the Resurrection II

Thou, O Saviour, didst come forth unbegotten From the Virgin's womb, leaving her virginity unsullied; Just so now Thou has abolished Death in death. Thou has left in the tomb the fine linen of Joseph, But Thou has raised from the tomb the ancestor of Joseph; For Adam came following Thee; Eve came after Thee, Eve serves Mary, But all the earth is prostrate before Thee as it sings the song of victory: The Lord is Risen! St Romanos the Melodist - On the Resurrection I

Today the Angels leap with joy and all of the Heavenly Powers rejoice, elated because of the salvation of mankind. If because of the repentance of a single person there is joy in Heaven and earth, moreso is this true because of the salivation of the world. Today did Christ liberate the nature of man from the tyranny of the devil and restored it to its previous nobility. St. John Chrysostom, A Homily on the Holy Pascha (The True Vine, Vol. 4, #4.)

True life on earth indeed begins from the Resurrection of the Savior, for it does not end in death. Without the Resurrection of Christ human life is nothing else but a gradual dying which finally inevitably ends in death. Real true life is that life which does not end in death. And such a life became possible on earth only with the Resurrection of the Lord Christ the God-man. Life is real life only in God, for it is a holy life and by virtue of this an immortal life. Father (St.) Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

We shall be raised therefore, all with our bodies eternal, but not all with bodies alike: for if a man is righteous, he will receive a heavenly body, that he may be able worthily to hold converse with angels; but if a man is a sinner, he shall receive an eternal body, fitted to endure the penalties of sins, that he may burn eternally in fire, nor ever be consumed. And righteously will God assign this portion to either company; for we do nothing without the body. We blaspheme with the mouth, and with the mouth we pray. With the body we commit fornication, and with the body we keep chastity. With the hands we rob, and by the hand we bestow alms; and the rest in like manner. Since then the body has been our minister in all things, it shall also share with us in the future the fruits of the past. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 18 no. 19)

Well, they say, if then the flesh rise, it must rise the same as it falls; so that if it die with one eye, it must rise one-eyed; if lame, lame; if defective in any part of the body, in this part the man must rise deficient. How truly blinded are they in the eyes of their hearts! For they have not seen on the earth blind men seeing again, and the lame walking by His word. 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,' 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. St. Justin Martyr, Fragments On the Resurrection

Were there not the Resurrection, then how could the truth of God have been preserved, when so many evil people flourish and so many good ones suffer and end their lives in suffering? Where do all of these people receive their just reward, if there is no Resurrection? St. John Chrysostom

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