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The Word of St Gregory Palamas On the Honest and Life-giving Cross

The Word of St Gregory Palamas On the Honest and Life-giving Cross

20.07.2018
Tags:Religion, Christianity

Since ancient times the Cross of Christ has been foretold and presented in the form of images, and if there was no power of the Cross, no one could ever reconcile with God. Because after the ancestral crime the sin revived through the tree in the paradise of God, we died, and before the death of the body were subjected to the death of the soul, which consists in the removal of the soul from God. The life that we lived after the crime was a life of sin and a life according to the flesh; But sin does not obey the law of God, nor can it submit; so those who are in the flesh can not please God. And since, as the apostle says, "the flesh desires the contrary to the spirit, and the spirit is against the flesh" (Gal. 5, 17), God is the Spirit and itself is Kindness and Virtue, and our spirit was created in the image and likeness of Him, but because of sin, and because of sin has become unfit for use, until the sin is abolished and the life according to the flesh is brought to nothing, how could anyone be renewed in everything and become acceptable to God? The cross of Christ is the abolition of sin. Therefore, one of our God-bearing fathers, being asked by one of the infidels: does he really believe in the Crucified? - replied: "Yes, in the Crucified." Many before, even before the appearance of the Cross of Christ, who were before the Law and after the Law, were witnessed by God Himself as friends of God, and the king and prophet David, like himself then among the friends of God, says: "How sublime to me your thoughts, God "(Psalm 138,17). But how, before the Cross, have they been proclaimed friends of God? I'll explain this to you if you are careful.

For example, even before the advent of the "man of sin, the son of perdition" (2 2, 3) (antichrist), beloved Christ the Theologian says: "Now there are many antichrists, then we learn from that which is the last time" (1 Jn. 2, 18). So the Cross was with the patriarchs and before that time, as it came to execution. And the great Paul, even more clearly teaching us that even before the time when the Antichrist comes, he is already among us, says that "the mystery of lawlessness is already in operation" (2 Thess. 2, 7). So the Cross of Christ, not yet appearing, was already among the forefathers, for his mystery was accomplished among them. I will not speak about Abel, Seth, Enos, Enoch, Noah, and about those who before God pleased God and who in general belong to the period that we start from Abraham, who was called "the father of many nations": the Jews - according to the flesh, according to our faith. So, I will begin with this according to the spirit of our Father and from the very beginning of his valor characteristic, and from the first call of his God. What were the first words God told him? "Go out of your land, and from your kindred to the land that I will show you" (Gen. 12, 1). Thus, in these words the secret of the Cross was contained, for it is about this that Paul says, boasting about the Cross: "For me the world is crucified" (Gal. 6, 14). Because for the fleeing from the fatherland or from the world the earthly homeland and the world have died and forgotten, and this is the Cross.

But even before he fled from cohabitation with the wicked. God says to Abraham: "Go out of your land ..." into the earth (which I will give you, but which I will show you), these words seem to point to another, spiritual earth. What were the first words of God to Moses after he fled from Egypt and ascended the mountain? "Take off your shoes from your feet" (Ex. 3, 5). Here another mystery of the Cross opens, which naturally follows from the first. For although you, he says, ran away from Egypt, and rejected service to Pharaoh, and despised the opportunity to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter and, as far as you depended, abolished and ended the world of evil slavery, but you must add yourself to that. What does it mean: "Take off your shoes from your feet?" This means: drop the leather garments into which you have dressed and in which sin acts and removes you from the holy land. So, the words: "Take your shoes off your feet" means: do not live more in flesh and in sin, but let the life and reasoning of the flesh, contrary to God, be abolished and mortified, and the law in the members, which opposes the law of the spirit and captivates the law of sin; let him no longer triumph and act, slain by the power of the vision of God. Is not this the Cross? For the Cross, again according to the divine Paul, means: crucify "the flesh with passions and lusts" (Gal. 5, 24). So, "Take off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you stand is the holy land" (Ex. 3, 5). These same words showed him the future sanctification, which was to come on earth thanks to the Cross, after the appearance of the Lord and God and our Savior Jesus Christ. For then, looking at the greatness of the spectacle - the bush, irrigated in the fire, - he foresaw the future coming of Christ, because contemplation in God is the mystery of the Cross, and it springs from the second mystery (that is, from the crucifixion to the world), which is greater than the first (that is, the very distance from the world). Both of these are inextricably linked, the great Paul and our divine fathers showed: the first, saying not only: "For me they were crucified," but adding: "And I am for the world," and they - ordering us not to hurry to ascend the cross before the cross, for, of course, both are expressions and mysteries of the Cross. So, the first mystery of the Cross is to move away from the world and close ones according to the flesh, if they interfere with piety and the way of life that answers to it, and in bodily asceticism, which in itself is of little use, as Paul says (1 Tim. 4, 8). Thus, according to this first mystery of the Cross, for us, peace and sin are crucified when we run away from them. The second secret of the Cross consists in crucifying oneself for peace and passions, when they flee from us. But they can not, of course, run away from us, nor can we act rationally, unless we are contemplating God. For when, as an exercise in virtue, we rise to contemplation and when we decorate and purify our inner man, seeking the divine treasure hidden in ourselves, and again viewing the Kingdom of God within us, then we crucify ourselves to the world and passions. For a kind of warmth comes to the heart from such thoughts, which, like flies, drive out evil thoughts, and produce spiritual pacification and consolation in the soul, and gives sanctification to the body, as the Psalmist says: "My heart burned with me: my mind burned fire" (Ps. 38, 4). And this is exactly what one of our God-bearing fathers taught us: "Make every effort to have your inner activity in God, and then you will conquer external passions." The great Paul also draws our attention to this: "Follow the spirit, and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh" (Gal. 5, 16). Therefore, in another place, he writes to us in exhortation: "Be ye girded with your loins by the truth" (Eph. 6, 14), for contemplation strengthens and cherishes good aspirations, and suppresses carnal desires. And the great Peter even more clearly demonstrated to us what is the loins and what is the truth. "Girding," says, "the loins of your mind, being awake, completely rely on the grace given to you in the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1, 13).

So, since neither the bad passions and the world of sin can be completely remote from us, nor the reasonable action to be performed in our souls, unless we are in contemplation of God, this contemplation that crucifies the world that has been awarded to it is also the secret of the Cross. So under Moses this contemplation of the burning bush showed the mystery of the Cross, greater and more perfect than the one that was in the calling of Abraham. Does this mean that Moses was more fully ordained in the mystery of the Cross than Abraham? And what argument could anyone back this up? For when Abraham was called, by the calling himself he was not yet initiated into this third mystery of the Cross, that is, contemplation, but this took place later, after the calling, not once or twice, but often, although we do not have the opportunity to tell about everything . I remind you only of that most wonderful contemplation, when he clearly saw the One Triune God, who had not yet been proclaimed in the Trinity. For it is said: "The Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre ... He lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, they stood before him. Seeing, he ran to meet them. " He saw the One God he saw in Three Persons. Therefore it is said: "The Lord appeared to him ... and, behold, three men." But, having run up to meet Him, he talks as if with One: "Lord! If I have found favor in Thy sight, do not pass by Thy servant. " And they, Troy, who are like Odin, talk with him. For it is said, "They said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? ... I will be with you again at this time ... and there will be a son with Sarah your wife. " When Sarah heard and laughed, "the Lord said to Abraham: why is this ... laughed Sarah?" (Gen. 18, 1-13). Behold, the One God is the Three Hypostases, the Three Hypostases - and the One God, for it is said: "The Lord said."

And thus the mystery of the Cross was accomplished on Abraham. Isaac himself was the image of the Nailed, being obedient to his father even to death, like Christ (to God the Father). And this instead of him, Aries, foreshadowed the Lamb of God, given for sacrifice for us. And the thicket in which the ram was entangled by the horns was the secret of the image of the Cross, why it is called "the shepherd Savec," that is, "the thicket of Abandonment," just as the Cross is called the saving tree.

And on James, the son of Isaac, the mystery and image of the Cross was accomplished, for by the tree and water the herd multiplied. For that tree represented the crossed tree, and that water is the divine Baptism, which in itself concludes the mystery of the Cross: "He was baptized into death" (Rom., 6, 3), says the apostle. And Christ by the Tree and Water, that is, by the Cross and Baptism, multiplied the verbal flock to Himself on earth. But even more clearly Jacob showed the image of the Cross: when he bowed to the edge of the staff and when he blessed his grandchildren, putting his hands crosswise. Moreover, being obedient from the beginning to the end, and therefore beloved and blessed, and therefore hated by Esau, he thus valiantly endured all temptation, and in all his life the mystery of the Cross was accomplished. Therefore, God said: "I loved Jacob, and Esau hated" (Malachi I, 2-3).

Something similar is also being done to us, brethren. For obedient to the spiritual fathers according to the apostolic commandment: "Children obey your parents in the Lord" (Eph. 6, I), obediently similar to the beloved Son of God, and he himself is beloved of God, disobedient as a stranger to the beloved Son, and God is we hate. And as concerning the fulfillment not only of Jacob and Esau, but always of all, the wise Solomon says: "A wise son hears the instruction of his father, but a violent one does not listen to reproof" (Proverbs 13, 1). But was not the son of obedience Jacob, moreover, devoted to the mystery of the Cross, in particular, into contemplation, so that a man more fully crucified and dies for sin and lives for virtue? Yes! For he himself testifies of himself and of contemplation and salvation: "I saw God face to face, and my soul was preserved" (Gen. 32, 30).

Where are those of our environment who discover an empty and non-Orthodox way of thinking? Let them hear that Jacob saw the face of God, and not only did not lose this life, but, as he himself says, "his soul" is preserved, even though God himself says: "Man can not see Me and remain alive" (Ex. 33, 20). So, perhaps, there are two gods: one - having a person subject to the vision of the saints, the other - having a face superior to all the possibility of seeing? Away with such absurdity! But (this must be understood in the sense that) the visible face of God is nothing but that divine grace and action, which is presented to the worthy. And under a person that a person can not see, it implies a superior description and vision of the nature of God, because no one, as it is written. God did not see and did not announce in person and in nature.

So, contemplation in God and the divine mystery of the Cross not only drives away the evil passions and demons that produce them, but also refutes false opinions and their bearers and expels them from the fences of the Holy Christ Church, in the depths of which we are pleased to celebrate and clarify the divine grace and the action of the Cross, performed on the forefathers before the appearance of the Cross into the world.

So, as the mystery of the Cross was performed on Abraham, his son himself became the prototype of the One who was subsequently crucified, so the mystery of the Cross was committed throughout the life of Jacob. Joseph, son of Jacob himself, was the prototype and the secret of the crucified God-Man of the Word, for he (Joseph), by envy, was led to slaughter and also by flesh-related relatives, for which he was sent to them by his father, as then Christ. If Joseph was not killed, but was sold, then there is nothing surprising, because Isaac was not sacrificed, because they did not in themselves represent reality, but were only images of the future reality. But, perhaps, it is necessary for them to see the profound mystery of the two natures of Jesus: that they were led to murder, by this they prejudiced the passions according to the flesh of the God-man, and that they did not suffer, that they pre-discerned the dispassion of the Divine. The same can be found with regard to Jacob and Abraham: although they endured temptations, they won, which was clearly written in relation to Christ.

So, of the four who became famous for virtue and piety before the Law, two - Abraham and Jacob - learned the mystery of the Cross in matters relevant to their lives, and the other two-Isaac and Joseph-miraculously pre-disguised the mystery of the Cross. Not by the tree and the water, even before the Law, Moses was saved, the first who accepted the Law from God and passed it to others when he was put in a basket and given to the streams of the Nile, and then he himself saved the people of Israel by a tree and water: the same water - divine Baptism? Like Paul, the master of the mysteries, even more clearly declares that "all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea" (1 Corinth 10, 2). And before the sea and the rod (the sea that has cut the sea), he (the Apostle Paul) testifies to Moses that he voluntarily accepted the Cross of Christ: "Christ's defilement was considered a greater wealth for himself than the Egyptian treasures" (Heb. 11, 26). The reproach of Christ on the part of the unreasonable is the Cross, as again Paul himself speaks of Christ, that He "endured the cross, despising the disgrace" (Hebrew 12, 2). Before Christ, Moses himself very clearly portrayed Him and the image of the Cross, and salvation through this image: by directly setting the rod, he stretched out his hands on it, and so in the image of the Cross, having presented himself on the rod, turned Amalic into flight. Also, having exposed the cross of the bronze serpent and thus popularly erecting the image of the Cross, he ordered the stung among the Jews to look at him, as if on the Savior himself, and so he cured snakes from bites.

There is not enough time to tell about Jesus (Joshua) and the judges and prophets who were after him, about David and those who were after him, who, by the action of the mystery of the Cross, held back the rivers, stopped the sun, ruined the wicked cities, won victories in the war, drove off the regiments of strangers, escaped the sword, they quenched the power of fire, they blocked the mouths of lions, defeated kings, incinerated the fifties, resurrected the dead, closed the heavens with a word and again resolved them, so that the clouds in the sky did not give birth to rain, and then they were fruitful again, for if Paul says that all this is done ooze faith, but faith in salvation, and therefore all things are possible to him that believeth. This, of course, is the Cross of Christ for believers. "The word about the cross, - you can say again with the lips of Paul, - for those who perish foolishness is, but for us, the saved - the power of God" (1 Corinth 1, 18).

But that we include in the number of those saved by the cross power and all those who were in the Old Testament time before the Law and under the Law, is not Christ Himself, through Whom and Whom everything said, before the Cross's coming: "Who does not take his cross and follows By me, he is not worthy of Me "(Matthew 10, 38)? You see that before the Cross was destined to erect. Was the cross already saving? Also, when the Lord openly foretold His suffering and death through the Cross to the disciples, Peter, while listening, could not restrain himself, but knowing that it was in His power, he implored: "Be merciful to Myself, Lord! Let it not be with You! "(Matthew 16, 22), the Lord forbade him, as a thinker of Him," not that God is but that which is human. " Calling on the people together with His disciples, He said to them: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." For whoever wants to save his life, will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel, will save it "(Mark 8, 34-35). Therefore He calls the people together with the disciples and then testifies and announces the great and transcendent nature and truly not human, but Divine thoughts, to show that this is required not only from His chosen disciples, but from all who believe in Him. To follow Christ means to live according to his gospel, showing every virtue and piety. He who wants to follow Him must reject himself and take up his cross, and no longer spare himself if he calls for time, but be prepared for a shameful death for the sake of virtue and the truth of divine dogmas. Rejecting oneself and betraying extreme disgrace and death is great and higher than nature, but it is not unfair: the earthly kings deserve to follow, especially when they go to war, only those who are ready to die for them. So what is surprising, if the King of Heaven, according to the promise of dwelling on the earth for the sake of struggle against the common enemy of the human race, seeks such people to follow Him. But the earthly kings can not return life to those killed in the war, nor even approximately equate to reward those who have laid down their lives for them. For what does the one who is no longer in life get from them? But even for them, if they laid down their lives for the pious (kings), there is a trust in the Lord. To those who, following Him, have put their lives in danger, the Lord rewards the Life of the Eternal.

And the earthly kings are looking for their environment to be ready to die for them, and the Lord Himself delivered to death for us. We, not for His own sake, but for our own sake, admonish us to be ready for death. And showing that it is for our own sake, he adds: "For whosoever will save his life, he will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel will save it." What do these words mean: "For who wants to save ... will lose, and who will lose ... will save"? The person is twofold: the external - his body and the inner - his soul. Therefore, when our outward man betrays himself to death, by this he destroys his soul, dwelling in him. When, however, for Christ and for the Gospel he thus destroys her, then, in truth, he will save and gain it by bringing her heavenly and eternal life. And in the universal resurrection, thanks to such a soul and according to the flesh, it will become as heavenly and eternal. The one who loves his soul, but because of his love for the temporal and for those things that belong to this age, who is not prepared in this way (that is, for Christ and the Gospel) to destroy it, will damage his soul, depriving her of true life, and himself together with her will be punished, betraying her, alas, to eternal torment. And as if mourning such a man and showing all the horror of the situation. The all-merciful Master says: "What is the use of man, if he gains the whole world, but hurts his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? "(Matthew 16, 26). For his glory does not come down with him to him and nothing else from the honors and pleasures of this century, which he preferred to save for his soul the deaths for Christ and the Gospel. What would he have found among the things of this age for a ransom for an intelligent soul, to which the whole world is not of equal value?

So, if one could acquire the whole world, brethren, then no one would benefit from it if he did damage to his soul. How much more terrible, when acquiring some insignificant small part of this world because of a predilection for this slightest will damage his soul instead of giving preference to the adoption of the cross (both in the image and in the concept) and following the Giver of Life ?! For both the Cross itself is honored, and the meaning of this image. But there was already talk about the concept and mystery of this image, and we explained it, better to say, before we explained it to Paul, who, boasting of the Cross, judged not to know anything except the Lord Jesus the Crucified. What does he say? The cross is the crucifixion of the flesh "with passions and lusts" (Gal. 5, 24). Do you think that only with regards to pleasures and impure carnal passions does he say this? But why then does he write to the Corinthians: "If there is envy among you, disputes and disagreements, are you not carnal?" (1 Corinth 3, W)? Thus, a person who loves fame or simply wants to insist on his own will and thus gain the upper hand in rivalry is a carnal thing, I walk according to the flesh. For this reason there are strife, just as Jacob, the brother of God, says: "Where do you have enmity and strife? Is it not from this, from your lusts fighting in your members? Do you want - and do not have; kill and envy - and can not reach; you contend and are at enmity "(James 4, 1-2). So, to crucify the flesh with passions and lusts means to become inactive for everything that is not pleasing to God. If the body pulls down and insists on its own, then everyone should try to raise it to the height of the cross. What I mean? Being on the ground. The Lord lived the life of a poor man, and not only lived like this, but preached this: "He who does not give up everything he has can not be My disciple" (Luke 14, 33).

But no one grieves, brothers, I pray, hearing us, blandly announcing the good and the pleasant, and the perfect will of God, and do not rumble, believing that these commandments are impracticable, but let first of all realize that the Kingdom of Heaven is taken by effort and it is and let them listen to Peter, the coryphaeus of the apostles of Christ, who says that "Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example so that we follow His steps" (1 Pet. 2, 21). Then let him justly weigh that although the disciple truly remains a teacher's debt until he repays all, but if he modestly offers what he has in his power and gives it away, and with respect to the remaining unpaid will humble himself before him, then his compassion will draw such humility to himself and this will fill the missing. Therefore, if one sees that his thought is directed towards wealth and a lot of possession, then he knows that the image of his thinking is carnal, and let it be a reason for awakening. For the nailed to the cross can not have such impulses. So, it is necessary for him to ascend to the height of the cross, so as not to fall away from the crucified Christ.

But how to begin to ascend to the height of the cross? Having hope for Christ, the Craftsman and the breadwinner of everyone, let him give up all the income that comes unjustly, and those that are acquired in a righteous way, being not too attached to them, let them use nobly, if possible, giving from them to the needy. For although the commandment prescribes to renounce the body and receive the cross, however those who are God by God and live by God, have in their possession property: not too sticking to it, they use it as needed, as if an employee, ready if they called upon time, and reject it. So, the one who does this in the way of material acquisitions and needs, when he has no strength for anything more, still lives godly and pious.

Then, does anyone see in himself a cruelly struggling prodigal scheme, let him know that he has not crucified himself yet. How can he be crucified? Let him avoid curious views on women and improper intimacy with them, as well as inappropriate conversations, let them reduce the material that feeds lust, let it not allow excessive consumption of wine, intoxication, polyphagia, many-sidedness; and to this distance from evil, let him add humility, in breaking the heart, invoking God to help against passions. Then he himself will say: "I saw a wicked man who was formidable, expanded, like an entrenched, multi-branched tree, but he passed, and here it is not; I seek him (in prayer and humility) and do not find it "(in myself) (Psalm 36, 35-36). Then, does the vain intention worry? But you alone, and before the court of your conscience, remember the Lord's advice about this in the Gospel: do not try to show yourself above others; Do virtue in secret, only for God's sake and being seen by Him alone, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you explicitly.

If, however, after you have dealt a decisive blow to the pathogens of each of the passions, you will again be troubled by the inner intention, do not be afraid - let it be for you an occasion to receive the crowns, for it no longer inclines and does not act, but is only a powerless movement , as defeated in your struggle for God.

This is the "word of the Cross", which not only among the prophets before its commission, but now, after committing, is truly a great and divine mystery. In appearance, it seems that the one who lowly puts himself and resigns himself in everything, dishonors himself; and he who flees from carnal pleasures, hurts himself and pain; and the one who distributes his property, himself condemns himself to poverty. But by the power of God this poverty, and pain, and dishonor, produce eternal glory and unspeakable enjoyment, and inexhaustible wealth for the present century and the future. And those who do not believe in this and do not show faith in the works of Paul count to the deceased, and even to the Hellenes (ie the Gentiles): "We preach Christ crucified, for Jews the temptation (because of their unbelief in saving passion), and for the Greeks madness (like nothing not placing above temporal things in complete disbelief in the divine promises), for the same called ... Christ, God's power and wisdom of God "(1 Corinth 1, 23-24).

So, this is reflected in God's wisdom and power: to overcome through infirmity, to rise through humility, to grow rich through poverty. But not only the concept of the Cross ... its mystery, but also the most sign of it is divine and appreciative, being a holy and honest Seal, sanctifying and fulfilling God-given to the human race the unnatural and unspeakable blessings, a curse and condemnation that destroys decay and death, delivering Eternal Life and blessing. The cross is the saving tree, the royal scepter, the divine trophy over the enemies visible and invisible, although unreasonable heretics are in their madness and do not like such veneration of the Cross of the Lord. For they did not comprehend the meaning of the apostolic prayer (Eph. 3, 14-19) to know with all the saints what is the breadth and length, depth and height, for the Cross of the Lord announces all the Housebuilding of His Coming in the flesh, and embodies all this mystery, and extends to all ends, and all embraces: what is above, what is below, what is around, what is between. They expose a certain excuse, which, on the contrary, they should have if they had the mind, together with us worship the Cross - they turn away from the symbol of the King of Glory, which the Lord Himself, ascending to him, clearly calls His exaltation and His glory. When the time comes for His future Coming and Appearing, He will foretell with power and glory many this sign of the Son of Man. On it, these heretics say, the crucified Christ died, and therefore we do not bear either the Cross or the tree of His death. But what was the nailing of the sin of ours, which happened because the hand of the Forefather stretched to the tree? And because of what it was blotted out, and we again entered into the blessing of God? Because of the tree of disobedience, power over our nature began and the power of evil spirits - Christ did not overthrow the Cross and completely drove them away. triumphant, disgraced, and we embraced freedom? On what was the mediastinum of the barrier destroyed, and our enmity towards God was abolished and reduced to nothing? And through what have we reconciled with God and for the world with Him took the gospel? Is it not on the Cross and not through the Cross? Let them hear the words of the apostle writing to the Ephesians: Christ "is our peace ..." destroyed the standing in the middle of the barrier ... in order to create one new man from among the two, creating peace, and in one body to reconcile both with God through the Cross, killing the enmity on him "(Eph. 2, 14-16). To the Colossians he writes: "And you who were dead in sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, revived with Him, having forgiven us all our sins, destroying the teaching about us that was against us, and He took it from the environment and nailed it to the cross; having robbed the powers of the authorities and authorities, imperiously subjected them to shame, triumphing over them with Himself "(Col. 2, 13-15). So, how can we not honor and not use this Divine victorious sign of the general liberation of the human race, and whose very form leads to the flight of the evil serpent, and overcomes and shames it, announces defeat and destruction, glorifies and exalts Christ, showing the world victory Him?! And if indeed the Cross should not be respected for the reason that Christ assumed death on it, and admit that this death was not Sacred and saving, then why, as the apostle says, we were baptized into his death? How, then, will we be participants in His Resurrection, if we do not become akin to Him and in the likeness of His death? Moreover, if one were to worship the sign of the cross that does not have the inscription of the name of Christ, then such, perhaps, would be justly condemned as doing something beyond what is due, but when every knee of the heavens, earthly and infernal worships before the name of Jesus Christ, and the Cross carries this self-imposed name, then what madness does not kneel before the Cross of Christ ?!

But we, together with our knees, bowing our hearts, will come and worship with the psalmist and prophet David the place where His feet stood, and where the all-embracing hands were stretched out, and where for us the Life-giving Body was tortured extensively. And, bowing with faith and kissing, we will draw and preserve abundant sanctification, so that in the glorious future of the coming of the Lord and our God and Savior Jesus Christ, seeing it (the cross is the sign of the Son of Man) preceding in glory, rejoice and rejoice with unceasing joy, and stand at the right hand , and hear the words, and seize the blessing of the promised bliss to the glory of the Son of God crucified for us in the flesh. For glory befalls him with his original Father and the Blessed and Gracious and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and forever and ever. Amen. St. Gregory Palamas (65, 105-120).

The Monk Theodore the Studite gives such an interpretation of these words of the apostle Paul: "The strengthening of the flesh weakens the spirit, and the strengthening of the spirit weakens the flesh. Let us be cautious in eating food, drinking, sleeping, and everything else, we will keep a strict measure, otherwise the body will not take the upper hand over the soul, but, on the contrary, that the soul should triumph over the body "(69, 416). - Note. trans.

That is before and after the Legislation of Moses. - Note. trans.

"Contemplation" is sometimes translated by less powerful terms: "contemplation" or "meditation", is in its primary meaning the result of a high degree of asceticism. Being in the world and worldly vanity, it is almost inaccessible. The Monk Makarius the Great gives this state: "Everyone should know that there are eyes that are internal to these eyes, and there is a rumor that is internal to this rumor. And how these eyes sensually see and recognize the face of a friend or loved one, so that the eyes of the soul are worthy and faithful, enlightened by divine light, spiritually see and recognize the true Friend, the sweetest and most beloved Bridegroom, if the soul is illumined by the venerable Spirit. And thus the soul, mentally contemplating the coveted and one uninhabited beauty, is wounded by divine love, is tuned to all spiritual virtues and as a result acquires boundless and inexhaustible love for the Lord for her (66, 266). Concerning "contemplation" of the Monk Theodore Studit, we read: "A monk is one who looks at one God, he desires a single God. God is one. God is trying to please the one, the world has God and becomes the culprit of peace between others. Then the soul is at rest from the destructive passions, which means to have peace to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, in which, when established, the soul rejoices in the joy of the great and enjoys the sweetness of the insatiable, loving to enter into the thoughts of God and deepen into contemplation of His unspeakable ones itself "(69, 485, 501). - Note. trans.

In the Russian translation - otherwise, see Gen. 22, 14. - Note. trans.

That is, the passions rose and were powerful, like the cedars of Lebanon, but God destroyed them and there was not a trace left; in prayer, in a humble affliction of spirit, I examined my soul and - did not find in it a trace of the previous passions. - Note. trans.

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