Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


46 Entries

…Let us also live in imitation of All the Saints, to have them always as aids and protectors. Let us imitate their struggles and virtues and especially humility, faith, hope and love… REF:Elder Joseph (trans. from Greek by Elizabeth Theokritoff), "Elder Joseph the Hesychast," (Mount Athos: The Great and Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi, 1999), pp. 195 - 198

It is a fact, brothers and sisters, that the path of the saints in this life is one full of troubles. They either endure the pain of longing for that which is to come, like the one who said, 'Woe is me that I have such a long pilgrimage' (Ps. 120:5, LXX) or they are distressed by their longing for the salvation of others, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, 'I am afraid that whey I come to you, God may humble me and cause me to weep and mourn over many who have sinned and not repented of impurity, fornication and licentiousness which they have practiced.' St. Athanasius

The godbearing Saints are the light of the world, the luminaries of the world, for this reason the darkness of sin cannot overcome them. They are not however light in and of themselves, but on account of Christ who is in them. They are only the faithful possessors and bearers of the light of Christ. REF:Fr Justin Popvitch +1979

Abba Poemen said that Abba John said that the saints are like a group of trees, each bearing different fruit, but watered from the same source. The practices of one saint differ from those of another, but it is the same Spirit that works in all of them. Sr. Benedicta Ward, "The Sayings of the Desert Fathers," (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1975), pp. 89-95

By the death of martyrs religion has been defended, faith increased, the Church strengthened; the dead have conquered, the persecutors have been overcome. And so we celebrate the death of those of whose lives we are ignorant. So, too, David rejoiced in prophecy at the departure of his own soul, saying: "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." He esteemed death better than life. The death itself of the martyrs is the prize of their life. And again, by the death of those at variance hatred is put an end to. St. Ambrose of Milan, On Belief in the Resurrection

Fortunate is the man who has come to have God as his helper and to have his hopes in Him alone. Let the Devil bear malice towards him, let all men persecute him and plot against him, let all his adversaries fight against him - he never fears anyone, because his has God as his helper. He remains always a victor, always glorified, always happy, always rich, always cheerful and joyful, even if he happens to fall into extreme poverty and into a great many adverse and grievous circumstances of this present life. For inasmuch as he hopes in Almighty God, he does not despair, he is not sorry, is not anxious, but expects help from Above. Fortunate, then, is such a man and worthy to be deemed happy, just as the Prophet-king David regards such a man as happy, saying: "Blessed is he whose helper is the God of Jacob, whose hoe is in the Lord his God." Such were all the Prophets, the Apostles, the Martyrs, the Holy Ascetics and all the Saints from the beginning of time. St. Nikephoros of Chios, Modern Orthodox Saints, V. 4

God's saints are near to believing hearts and, like the truest and kindest friends, are ready in a moment to help the faithful and pious who call upon them with faith and love. St. John of Kronstadt (My Life in Christ, Part 1; Holy Trinity Monastery; pg. 31)

If you are suffering for your faith in Christ, the Lives of the Saints will console you and encourage you and make you bold and give you wings, and your torments will be changed into joy. If you are in any sort of temptation, the Lives of the Saints will help you overcome it both now and forever. If you are in danger from the invisible enemies of salvation, the Lives of the Saints will arm you with the 'whole armor of God' and you will crush them all now and forever and throughout your whole life. If you are in the midst of visible enemies and persecutors of the Church of Christ, the Lives of the Saints will give you the courage and strength of a confessor, and you will fearlessly confess the one true God and Lord in all worlds - Jesus Christ - and you will boldly stand up for the truth of His Gospel unto death, unto every death, and you will feel stronger than all deaths, and much more so than all the visible enemies of Christ; and being tortured for Christ you will shout for joy, feeling with all your being that your life is in heaven, hidden with Christ in God, wholly above all deaths. Father Justin Popovich, from Introduction to the Lives of the Saints, in Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

In the Church, the past is contemporary; and that which is present remains so on account of the living past, since the God-man Christ Who is `the same yesterday, today and forever' (Heb. 13:8, continuously lives in His divine-human body by means of the same truth, the same holiness, the same goodness, the same life and establishes the past in the present. Thus, to a living Orthodox understanding and conscience, all the members of the Church, from the Holy Apostles to those who have recently fallen asleep, are contemporary since they continuously live in Christ. Further, today in every true Orthodox individual one can find all the Holy Apostles, Martyrs, and holy Fathers. For the Orthodox Christian these are more real than many of his contemporaries. St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

In the Lives of the Saints are shown numerous but always certain ways of salvation, enlightenment, sanctification, transfiguration, "christification," deification; all the ways are shown by which man conquers sin, every sin; conquers passion, every passion; conquers death, every death; conquers the devil, every devil. There is a remedy there for every sin: from every passion-healing, from every death-resurrection, from every devil-deliverance; for all evils-salvation. There is no passion, no sin for which the Lives of the Saints do not show how the passion or sin in question is conquered, mortified, and uprooted. Fr. (St.) Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

In the saints we see the dominance of the spirit over the flesh, because they live by the spirit and see the spirit throughout the whole world, the Wisdom, the Omnipotence, and the Goodness of God; they see in every phenomenon, in every work, the impress of the spirit. St. Gregory Palamas (Topics of Natural and Theological Science no. 2, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pgs. 346-347)

It is said that in the life to come the angels and saints ever increase in gifts of grace and never abate their longing for further blessings. No lapse or veering from virtue to vice takes place in that life. St. Gregory of Sinai, Philokalia, Vol. IV

It often happens that saints born of a saint retain from him birth both according to the flesh and according to the soul. In this way Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac of Jacob, and Jacob of Joseph; for they are descended from them in a human sense and also imitators of their virtue. Esau was begotten of Isaac only according to the flesh, since he was a stranger to him in intentions, for he became worthless. Seth, then, born to replace a just man, generates Enos: the just engendering one who is just; and the latter, instead of having a proper name of his own, is called `man.' Such a naming demonstrates the virtue of his soul which preserved that which was "in the image," and the truly real state of man, for in Hebrew Enos signifies `man.' St. Didymus the Blind, quoted in The Lament of Eve by Johanna Manley

It was revealed to Abba Anthony in his desert that there was one in the city who was his equal. He was a doctor by profession, and whatever he had beyond his needs he gave to the poor and every day he sang the Sanctus with the angels. The Desert Fathers

Just as a pauper, seeing the royal treasures, all the more acknowledges his own poverty; so also the spirit, reading the accounts of the great deeds of the Holy Fathers, involuntarily is all the more humbled in its way of thought. St. John of the Ladder (6th Century)

Just as the Father is never ignorant of the Son, nor the Son of the Father, just so neither are the saints. They are become gods by adoption through having God indwelling them. They can never be ignorant of each other, but shall look on one another and on each one's glory, like the Son the the Father's glory and the Father on the Son's. What then shall be the glory of the saints? It will be like the Son of God's. The latter Himself points out this very truth most clearly when He says: `The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one' (Jn. 17:22). St. Symeon the New Theologian, On the Mystical Life

Let the icons of the saints bring to your mind how many intercessors you have always praying for you before God, and how many allies fighting for you in your unceasing battles. Having themselves courageously fought the enemies throughout their lives and overcome them, they have revealed and shown you the art of waging war. If, with their help, you are alert in fighting your battles, you will, like them, be crowned with victory in the eternal glory of heaven. Lorenzo Scupoli (Unseen Warfare: Chapter 23)

Let us then honor the Saints and invoke their help, in order that they might strengthen us in our prayer. And we may rest assured that our prayer will be listened to by God. Modern Orthodox Saints Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos., by Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., 1990., pp. 145-155

O most strange and wondrous miracle: in these latter times, the most wise Nectarios hath shown forth upon the world like a most brilliant lamp; His blameless and holy life doth guide the faithful to seek after excellence; the good tiding of the Lord doth he proclaim by his sacred and godly words. Wherefore in the Holy Spirit was he glorified in truth, and doth freely grant healings unto those that call upon his name. Prosomion for the Feast of St. Nectarios of Pentapolis

On days when a Saint is celebrated, Christians ought to pray more ardently, with contrition and love, and entreat the Saint to intercede with God for the salvation of their soul. The feast day of every Saint is for Christians a serious reminder of the great sufferings which the Saints experienced for the sake of Christ's faith. They were glorified by God and with glory they received a place in the Kingdom of Heaven. Modern Orthodox Saints Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos., by Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., 1990., pp. 145-155

On days when a Saint is celebrated, Christians ought to pray more ardently, with contrition and love, and entreat the Saint to intercede with God for the salvation of their soul. The feast day of every Saint is for Christians a serious reminder of the great sufferings which the Saints experienced for the sake of Christ's faith. They were glorified by God and with glory they received a place in the Kingdom of Heaven. Let us then honor the Saints and invoke their help, in order that they might strengthen us in our prayer. And we may rest assured that our prayer will be listened to by God. St. Raphael of Lesvos

One fine girl who lived in a Judean city then called Joppa (today's Jaffa), a harbor of the Hebrew nation, had the name Dorcas or Tabitha in Hebrew which means gazelle. Dorcas, the young girl of Joppa, was a much loved person in her community. She was not the daughter of some rich or prominent family; no, she was a poor girl, a seamstress who lived by her needle. But this poor girl was a noble human being who held a spiritual treasure in her heart. That spiritual treasure, which has nothing to do with worldly treasures, was her virtues. From the moment she believed in Christ, was baptized and become a Christian, Dorcas proved that she didn't simply want to be called a Christian but wanted to live according to the commandments of the Bible. The most important commandment the Christ brought to the world is the commandment of love: "Love one another." In her life, Dorcas applied this commandment to an absolute degree.

Dorcas wasn't rich; she didn't have money enough to give alms to the poor. Many think that only the rich can give alms. "What can we give?" they say. "We need to be helped, not help others." However, Dorcas, this fine girl from Joppa, teaches us all that those who have love in their hearts can do a lot for others, even if they don't have money. Dorcas, as today's Epistle reading tells us, offered her professional abilities as a seamstress to the poor. She sewed clothes for orphans and widows for nothing. She performed many other kindnesses as well, which the Acts of the Apostles does not specifically mention but only says: "This woman was full of good works and alms deeds which she did." Dorcas wasn't, as they say, an empty glass but a glass full of the refreshing water of love. With it she watered and refreshed people who were thirsty for love, for help, and for benevolence. Dorcas was full of works of love and charity. What a blessed girl! While rich women and girls who lived in Joppa spent their time in vain amusement, paying absolutely no attention to the poor, the orphans, and the widows, Dorcas became a fountain of love - a fountain that flowed and gave charity to the world in spite of her poverty. When she became sick and died, all the poor, all the orphans, and all the widows who had found consolation and protection near her mourned. She had been an affectionate mother to this suffering world.

The Christians of Joppa, the orphans and widows that Dorcas cared for, believed that whatever God does is done for the best. They were only expressing with tears the pain they felt at her death. They didn't want Dorcas to die but to live many more years and to be with them. That is why, as soon as Dorcas fell sick and they saw that day by day the illness was becoming worse and she was in danger of dying, they sent for the Apostle Peter, who was at a nearby city. But by the time Peter arrived, Dorcas had died. Seeing the sorrow Dorcas's death brought on, Peter kneeled, prayed, and then said to the dead girl, "Tabitha, arise," and the miracle happened. The dead girl opened her eyes, sat up, and started speaking! The miracle became known throughout the whole district immediately, and the people believed in Christ.

Dorcas, this exemplary girl from Joppa, teaches us a lot. But pay close attention to a detail - the name of this fine girl. She was called Dorcas, and she proved herself to be a Dorcas. That is to say, just as the gazelle is an agile animal that runs everywhere and traverses great distances until it finds pure water, in the same way this daughter of Joppa ran and did not rest until she drank the water and was refreshed, or, to put it another way, until she could do good to other people. Doing good to others was like being refreshed herself. And just as the gazelle looks to the left and to the right so as not to fall into the trap of the hunters, this daughter of Joppa did the same thing. She was a very careful disciple of Christ. Spreading good works both to the left and to the right, she was careful not to fall into the traps of the Devil; she kept her body clean and freed from the sins of pride and vanity. Thus she lived up to the name that had been given to her. She was Dorcas not only in name, but also in deed.

We, beloved, have names greater than the name that this noble young woman of Joppa had. We have Christian names, names that the saints had, these great heroes of our Orthodox faith. These names were given to us at the time we were baptized to remind us always that we must live as the saints did. What a shame to live contrary to the lives of those saints whose names we have. IT is like insulting them and dishonoring their sacred memories. Even worse is to blaspheme and dishonor another name, which is above all other names - the name Christian. Our names call to us: O Orthodox Christians, either change your name or change your behavior.

May all of us who have Christian names realize our responsibility and live a perfect Christian life in accordance with the Bible so that there may be harmony between our names and our lives. Sermon on the epistle for the Sunday of the Paralytic from Sparks from the Apostles by Bishop Augoustinos of Florina

Only Thy word drew the saints to Thee, O Lord, For Thou didst say, "He who wishes to follow Me will desert kinsmen and parents." Eagerly they said farewell to all and, deprived of these things, followed Thee, The straight road and the spring of life, As they trust in Thy unhesitating purpose, O All-Merciful. Kontakia of Romanos. On All Martyrs

Our Faith has been made secure by wise and learned Saints, who both explained the Holy Scriptures precisely and have enlightened us through their divinely inspired discourses. Modern Orthodox Saints I, St. Cosmas Aitolos).Dr. Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN GREEK STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., pp.81-94

Someone might ask: Why was it that God deemed it good that these new Martyrs should appear in the present age? My answer is: For five reasons. Firstly, in order that they might be a renewal of the whole Orthodox faith. Secondly, in order that those of another faith might have no excuse on the day of Judgment. Thirdly, in order that they might be the glory and boast of the Orthodox Church, and a censure and disgrace of the heterodox. Fourthly, in order that they might be models of patience for all the Orthodox Christians who are oppressed under the heavy yoke of captivity. And finally, in order that they might be an encouragement and incitement to all other Christians who are forced to martyrdom by various circumstances to imitate in deed their heroic death, especially those who reached the point at an earlier time of denying their Orthodox faith. St. Macarios of Corinth, from The New Martyrologian, in Modern Orthodox Saints, Vol. 2

Such are the souls of the saints: they love their enemies more than themselves, and in this age and in the age to come they put their neighbor first in all things, even though because of his ill-will he may be their enemy. They do not seek recompense from those whom they love, but because they have themselves received they rejoice in giving to others all that they have, so that they may conform to their Benefactor and imitate His compassion to the best of their ability; 'for He is bountiful to the thankless and to sinners' (cf. Luke 6:35)." St. Peter of Damascus (Book 1: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg. 176)

Surely, then, the worshippers and friends and sons of God are to be held in honor? for the honor shown to the most thoughtful of fellow-servants is a proof of good feeling towards the common Master. These are made treasuries and pure habitations of God: `For I will dwell in them,' said God, `and walk in them and I will be their God.' The divine Scripture likewise saith that the souls of the just are in God's hand and death can not lay hold of them. For death is rather the sleep of the saints than their death. `For they travailed in this life and shall to the end,' and `Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.' What then, is more precious than to be in the hand of God. For God is Life and Light, and those who are in God's hand are in life and light. St. John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

The Church is the body of Christ, His bride, the world to come, and the temple of God. The members of His body are all the saints. However, not all of the saints who will please God have yet appeared, nor yet is thus complete, nor the world to come yet filled. I say this about God's Church. There are, though, many unbelievers in the world today who will believe in Christ; many sinners and debauched who will repent and change their lives; many undecided who will be persuaded. There are many, a great many, up to the sound of the last trumpet, who will prove well-pleasing to God and who have not yet been born. All those who are foreknown by God must be born, come into being, before the world beyond our world, the world of the Church, of the first-born, of the heavenly Jerusalem, is filled up. Then shall the end come and the fullness of the body of Christ be complete. St. Symeon the New Theologian, On the Mystical Life

The Lives of the Saints are holy testimonies of the miraculous power of our Lord Jesus Christ. In reality they are the testimonies of the Acts of the Apostles, only continued throughout the ages. The saints are nothing other than holy witnesses, like the Holy Apostles, who were the first witnesses - of what?, of the God-man Jesus Christ: of Him crucified, resurrected, ascended into heaven and eternally alive;... Fr. (St.) Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

The Lives of the Saints show forth those persons filled with Christ God, those Christ-bearing persons, those holy persons in whom is preserved and through whom is transmitted the holy tradition of that holy grace-filled life. It is preserved and transmitted by means of holy evangelic living. For the lives of the saints are holy evangelic truths which are translated in tour human life by grace and `podvigs' (asceticism). There is no evangelic truth which cannot be transformed into human life. They were all brought by Christ God for one purpose: to become our life, our reality, our possession, our joy. And the saints, all, without exception, live these Divine truths as the center of their lives and the essence of their being. For this reason the `Lives' of the Saints are a proof and a testimony: that our origin is in heaven; that we are not from this world but from that one; that a man is a true man only in God; that on earth ones lives by heaven; that `our conversation is in heaven' (Phil. 3:20); that our task is to make ourselves heavenly, feeding ourselves with the `heavenly bread' which came down to earth. St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

The candles lit before icons of saints reflect their ardent love for God for Whose sake they gave up everything that man prizes in life, including their very lives, as did the holy apostles, martyrs and others. These candles also mean that these saints are lamps burning for us and providing light for us by their own saintly living, their virtues and their ardent intercession for us before God through their constant prayers by day and night. The burning candles also stand for our ardent zeal and the sincere sacrifice we make out of reverence and gratitude to them for their solicitude on our behalf before God. St. John of Kronstadt

The fragrance of love! When we burn incense, we think of the fragrant heavenly aroma of love. The Holy Spirit, like a heavenly fire, brings the warmth of love into the human heart, and like a fresh wind, chases away the stench of sin and spreads the aroma of Christ to the world. That savor all the saints have borne within themselves. People have sensed it in living saints and in their relics. The Apostle speaks of this: "We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ," the sweet perfume of recognition of the truth and the sweetness of love (cf. 2 Cor. 2:14-16). Lessons in Divine and Christian Love from The Lament of Eve by JohannaManley

The lives and praises of the saints are like the stars in brilliance. Because of their number, we do not know the names of all the saints; still, they amaze us by their radiant majesty, as do the stars, which while fixed in their position in the heavens, illumine all that is below, being seen by the Indians, yet not concealed from the Scythians, shining upon the land and guiding by their light those at sea. Similarly, the radiance of the saints, though their relics be entombed in sepulchers, is not bounded by the ends of this earth here below. Therefore, we marvel at their lives and are amazed at how God has glorified them that please Him. St. Dimitry of Rostov, The Great Collection of The Lives of the Saints, Vol. 1

The lives of the saints are in fact the life of our God-man Christ, which is poured out into His followers and is experienced by them in His Church. For the smallest part of this life is always directly from Him because He is life, infinite and boundless and eternal life, which by His Divine power vanquished all deaths and resurrects from all deaths. According to the all-true and good tidings of the All-True One: 'I am the Resurrection and the life' (Jn. 11:25). Fr. Justin Popovich, Introduction to the Lives of the Saints in Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ.

The saints are required to offer repentance not only on their own behalf but also on behalf of their neighbor, for without active love they cannot be made perfect ... In this way the whole universe is held together in unity, and through God's providence we are each of us assisted by one another. St. Mark the Ascetic (as quoted in HOW ARE WE SAVED? by Bishop Kallistos Ware, pg. 23)

The soul that has been accounted worthy of becoming a partaker of Divine grace, because it has been sanctified, necessarily sanctifies its whole body, since the soul holds the body together and is present in all its parts. For this reason the grace of the Holy Spirit, just as it appropriates to itself the soul, so too it appropriates to itself the body. However, as long as the soul is united with the body, the All-Holy Spirit does not bring all of the body fully to its own glory, because it is necessary that the soul show its will until the end of this life. But when the end comes and the soul separates from the body, then, as the struggle has ceased and the soul has won and departs from the body with the wreath of incorruptibility, then I say, the grace of the Holy Spirit appropriates to itself and sanctifies fully the body of such a soul. And for this reason the bare bones and bodies of Saints emit remedies and cure diseases. St. Symeon the New Theologian quoted in Modern Orthodox Saints, Vol. 10:Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene

There are certain kinds of trees which never bear any fruit as long as their branches stay up straight, but if stones are hung on the branches to bend them down they begin to bear fruit. So it is with the soul. When it is humbled it begins to bear fruit, and the more fruit it bears the lowlier it becomes. So also the saints; the nearer they get to God, the more they see themselves as sinners. St. Dorotheos of Gaza, Discourses and Sayings

Therefore, the Lives of the Saints are nothing else but the life of the Lord Christ, repeated in every saint to a greater or lesser degree in this or that form. More precisely it is the life of the Lord Christ continued through the Saints, the life of the incarnate God the Logos, the God-man Jesus Christ who became man. This was so that as man He could give and transmit to us His divine life; so that as God by His life He could sanctify and make immortal and eternal our human life on earth. "For both he who sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one" (Heb. 2:11). Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ by (St.) Fr. Justin Popovich

Thus is the body of Christ's Church bound together in harmony by His saints from the beginning of the world. It is complete and entire in the union of the sons of God, the first-born, whose names are inscribed in heaven. It is to them that God says even now: `Do not rejoice in this, that the demons are subject to you' - which in the frivolous creates rather vanity and presumption - `but rejoice in that your names are written in heaven' (Lk. 10:20). ... all the saints are members of Christ, as in process of becoming one body with Him, and that this process will continue indefinitely. St. Symeon the New Theologian, On the Mystical Life

True reason belongs only to those who have become saints through acquiring purity. None who are wise in words have ever had pure reason, because, from birth, they let their reasoning powers be corrupted by unseemly thoughts. The sensory and prolix spirit of the wisdom of this age, so rich in words, which create the illusion of great knowledge but actually fill one with the wildest thoughts, has its stronghold in this prolixity, which deprives man of essential wisdom, true contemplation and the knowledge of the one and indivisible. St. Gregory of Sinai (Texts on Commandments and Dogmas no. 2)

We ought to have the most lively spiritual union with the heavenly inhabitants, with all the saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs, prelates, venerable and righteous men, as they are all members of one single body, The Church of Christ, to which we sinners also belong, and the living Head of which is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. This is why we call upon them in prayer, converse with them, thank and praise them, It is urgently necessary for all Christians to be in union with them, if they desire to make Christian progress; for the saints are our friends, our guides to salvation, who pray and intercede for us. St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

What are the Lives of the Saints? Behold, we are in Paradise, in which everything which is Divine, holy immortal, eternal, righteous, true, and evangelical grows and increases. For by the Cross in every one of the saints the tree of eternal, Divine, immortal life blossomed and brought forth much fruit. And the Cross leads to heaven; it leads even us after the thief, who for our encouragement entered Paradise first after the All-Holy Divine Cross-bearer - the Lord Christ - and entered with a cross of repentance. St. Justin Popovich, Introduction to the Lives of theSaints from Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God, and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither also are directed all its rays. Try to understand what this means. Elder Herman of Mt. Athos

All the saints will have their own brightness, different in each case, yet equal. Christ's judgment will not advance one at the expense of another's deserving merit. All will have Christ as their kingdom, light, life, and crown. Note how the teachers of the Old and New Testaments differ in their deeds but are paired in glory, for the one Wisdom issued twin Laws in the two Testaments, so equal distinction gives the same weight to differing powers. Peter did not divide the sea with a rod, but then Moses did not walk on the waters. However, both have the same bright glory, for the one Creator inspired both the cleavage of the waters with a rod and the treading of the waves underfoot. The God of the saints of old is also the God of the new. The Poems of St. Paulinus of Nola.

"God rests in holy places; that is (in) the Theotokos and all the Saints. These are they who have become likenesses of God as far as it is possible, since they have chosen to cooperate with divine election. Therefore, God dwells in them." St. John of Damascus

It is a fact, brothers and sisters, that the path of the saints in this life is one full of troubles. They either endure the pain of longing for that which is to come, like the one who said, 'Woe is me that I have such a long pilgrimage' (Ps. 120:5, LXX) or they are distressed by their longing for the salvation of others, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, 'I am afraid that whey I come to you, God may humble me and cause me to weep and mourn over many who have sinned and not repented of impurity, fornication and licentiousness which they have practiced.' St. Athanasius

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