Christmas Epistle - 1999
Metropolitan Vitaly

CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!

Russian Version (PDF)

I greet you all on this joyous and great festival. The Almighty God Himself becomes a man - the God-man, in order to console us with His Divine compassion in the often grievous lot of our earthly life. In the Old Testament we were given very simple commandments - not to kill, not to steal, not to indulge our passions of the flesh, and so on. In the New Testament the Lord gives us the commandments in the Beatitudes, which we proclaim when we sing them at every Liturgy: "Blessed are the poor in spirit..." Finally, in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, the Holy Apostle Paul puts before us further new commandments relating to our daily spiritual conduct: "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. For every thing give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (Ch. 5 16-18). "Without ceasing" can have no other meaning than "to pray without ever stopping." We are left with the question - how can we pray without ceasing? With the mind? No, because our mind soon becomes tired and stops praying. However, it is precisely with the mind that this real labour must begin. Seeing our labours, the Lord in a miraculous fashion draws this prayer down into the heart, which is the source of man's spiritual energy, and then the whole man prays. The Holy Fathers affirm that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself prays together with us to His Heavenly Father, "Who is greater than Me." This is the real school of prayer. I wish for all of you to enter this Great School, where through prayer the Lord Himself will teach all things. This is the Highest School of all schools and admission to it is always open to everyone.

I should also greet all of you with the second millennium of the existence of the Church of Christ on earth. Our Lord Jesus Christ never founded such a thing as "Christianity," but He established His Church, and He promised that it would remain unassailable and invincible until His dread Second Coming. In other words, the members of this Church are the true Christians. And this means that the whole spiritual meaning of our earthly life is this, that we should be and abide in this Church of Christ, which is my heartfelt wish to all of you. Amen.

Metropolitan Vitaly
Nativity of Christ, 1999 - 2000

Russian Version (PDF)





Redeeming the Time

↑ Grab this Headline Animator





We confidently recommend our web service provider, Orthodox Internet Services: excellent personal customer service, a fast and reliable server, excellent spam filtering, and an easy to use comprehensive control panel.

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas