(1In 4, 18)
How will I sing, how will I glorify, how worthily I will praise my God, who has prevailed over my many sins? How in general do I look at the height? How can I raise up my eyes, how shall I open my mouth, Father? How do I move my lips, how will I stretch my hands to the height of heaven? What words do I find, what utterances will I use? How dare I speak? How shall I ask for the remission of boundless falls and many of my transgressions? Verily I have done deeds exceeding all forgiveness. You know. Savior, what I'm talking about. By unnatural deeds, I surpassed all nature and became worse than the dumb, all the animals of the sea and all kinds of cattle on the earth. Having transgressed Your commandments, I have truly become worse than creeps and beasts. So, having defiled my body and soul, how will I appear to You? How shall I look on You? How can I ever dare to stand before Your face? How can I not run away from Your Glory and the shining Light of Your Holy Spirit? How can I not go alone into darkness, having done the works of darkness and being excommunicated from the host of saints? As I, who bear already from here condemnation according to my works, will endure then Your voice, sending me into darkness? All trembling and trembling, possessed by fear and horror, I cry out to You: I know, Savior, that no one else has sinned before You, as I, nor did Such Acts, which I, the unfortunate one, did, having been the cause of death for others. But, on the other hand, I know and I am sure, my God, that neither the grandeur of crimes, nor the multitude of sins, nor the shame of actions, never exceed your immense love for mankind and exceed the mind and word of your mercy, which You abundantly pour out on the penitents sinners, purifying and enlightening them, without envy, making participants in the Light and associates of His Divinity and (which is wonderful for the Angels and for human thoughts) you often talk with them as with true friends of yours.
O Unlimited Grace, O unutterable Love! Therefore, I come to You, hotly crying out: As you accepted the prodigal son and harlot who came to You, so accept, the Most Gracious, and me, from the heart of repenting ... Having imputed, Christ, the drops of my tears as if to sources, always flowing, wash them my soul, wash and defile my body, which are from passions. Purge and my heart from all guile, because it is the root and source of sin. It is the seed of the wicked sower; but where it is, it grows there, and rises, and produces many branches of wickedness and. anger. His - then the roots of the depths, having wrung out, my Christ, and cleansing the field of my soul and heart, put in them your fear, the Most Gracious. Let him take root and rise well, so that he will grow high in the watch of your commandments, which will be multiplied every hour by the multiplication of tears and tearful streams, irrigated by which it grows ever more and rises. In proportion to fear and with it humility also increases, from humility all passions disappear, and with them a horde of demons is driven. Yet other virtues around this queen of virtues are like guards, girlfriends and servants accompanying the mistress. When they are gathered together and connected to each other, then among them, "like a tree planted with streams of water" (Ps. 1, 3), the fear that is planted by You grows, and little by little unusually blossoms. Unusually, I said, because every breed gives birth to its kind and the seed of each tree happens according to its kind. Your fear also grows in the flower of an extraordinary breed and brings forth a fruit that is also extraordinary and unlike it, since fear, naturally, is full of despondency and. those who gain it constantly grieve, making them as slaves deserving many strikes, which from hour to hour expect deaths, seeing its braid and not knowing only the last moment. Having neither hope nor full confidence in the perfect pardon, they tremble and fear the end, languishing in uncertainty and constantly awaiting the final judicial verdict. So, the color that brings fear is inexplicable in form and even more inexplicable in the image, because when it blooms, it can be seen, but immediately disappears, which is not natural and not consistent, but in spite of nature it surpasses all nature. Meanwhile, the color seems so beautiful that it surpasses every word and carries my whole mind to contemplation of myself, not allowing him to remember anything inspired by fear, but makes me forget everything then and soon ... flies away. The tree of fear again happens without a flower; When, surrendering my sorrow, I sigh and cry warmly to You, again I see a flower on the branches of a tree. I fixed my eyes on Christ, one flower, I do not see a tree, but an ever more blossoming flower, which, attracting me to myself with love, passes into the fruit of love and disappears. This fruit does not tolerate that it bears a tree of fear, but when it is fully ripe, then it seems to be one without a tree, because in love there is absolutely no fear, but without fear this fruit can not be born in the soul.
Truly this is a miracle that surpasses the word and every thought that a tree cultivated with the help of labor gives color and yields fruit, and the fruit of it, eradicating the whole tree, remains alone in itself. How the fruit is without a tree - I can not explain at all. Meanwhile, love remains and remains without fear, which gave birth to it; so she is truly all joy, and whoever has acquired it, fulfills joys and fun, harassing him with a feeling outside the world, which is absolutely impossible to produce fear, because, being among the visible and sensible things, how can he remove from them , who has it, and the feeling of combining all of it with the invisible? The color and the fruit born of fear, being outside the world, is capable of admiring the mind, and raising the soul with it and taking it away from the world. But you say: "I would like to know exactly how love carries them out of the world." It is impossible to express this clearly, as I said before; but listen, and I will tell you.
This love is the Divine Spirit. The disciples spoke of this when the Lord became invisible to them. It is that all-fulfilling and enlightening Light that was in them. However, this Light is not from the world, not even anything from the world, and it is not created, for He is uncreated and resides outside all creatures, like the uncreated among the created things. Know what I'm telling you, child. For He is separate from them. Uncreated, in no way, can become a creature. But if he wished, then it is also possible for Him to do it, because the Word by the help of the Spirit and the good pleasure of the Father has indeed become a perpetually perfect man. Being by nature God uncreated. In an indescribable manner it became created and, having adored the perceived, in two acts and two wills showed me a double miracle: visible and invisible, held and uncontrollable, which appeared as a creation among all creatures, and not accidentally and ghostly became a creation, as some thought. It was not entirely ghostly, but, being among the sensual creations, the Word was apparently connected with the perceived, as a creation. Having perceived the created and hiding or elevating it to the height in His Glory, this is His dwelling, Glory, which transcends our understanding. Then it suddenly disappeared. For the Creator of all, being incompatible with all creatures, like God, filling everything, how else could he hide himself? Or you will change the Lord from one place to another and you will assert that He thus disappeared from the eyes of the holy apostles. Away, so that by ignorance you will not fall into blasphemy.
If you like, then listen to the actions of Love - and you will know how it is above all. What exactly is it all about? But did you not hear the words of the apostle (1Cor. 13, 1-3) that having Love is higher than saying with tongues angelic and all human, have all the faith, so that the mountains can be rearranged, have all knowledge and know the depth of the sacraments, wealth itself and become a beggar, and even a body betrayed for Christ to be burned? Love is so much above all this, that without it, none of these virtues, or all of them together, will at all benefit the person who gained it. Therefore, whoever is deprived of both Love and all these virtues, then where will he tell me? What will he do? How dare those who question him call themselves faithful?
So, listen to my words about Love. Whether I am sitting in a cell at night or in the afternoon, Love is invisible and unknown to me. Being outside of all creatures, but at the same time and with all. It is Fire and Light, It is a cloud of Light and becomes the Sun. So, like the Fire, It warms my soul and ignites the heart, exciting in them a desire and love for the Creator. When I am inflamed by the soul and made like fire, it flies around me like a luminous radiance, piercing my soul with sparkling rays and enlightening my mind and making it visible, makes it capable of the height of contemplation. This is exactly what I called earlier a flower of fear. Seeing this Light and being filled with unspeakable joy, I did not long, however, rejoice in what I saw, for, bringing me divine joy. He withdrew, having cogitated with himself my mind, and the feeling, and every worldly desire. Having followed Him, my mind wanted to catch the Light that appeared to me, but did not find Him created, and could not myself be completely outside the creatures to catch this uncreated and elusive Light. But my mind went around trying to see Him: he searched the air, turned around the sky, seemed to be searching for all the abysses and ends of the world, but he found nothing in all this, for all this is a created one. Therefore, I cried, mourned and burned internally, and, being in a frenzy as if unfeeling, spent so much life. Afterwards He came when He wanted, and, descending in the form of a light cloud on my head, all seemed to envelop me and make me, who was in a frenzy, shout. However, again flying away. He left me alone; when I carefully searched for Him, I suddenly found all of Him in me and found out, when I saw inside my heart, it was really like a star or a disk of the sun. Having appeared in this way and being clearly recognized by me. He fled a crowd of demons, drove out timidity, inspired me with courage and, exposing my mind from worldly feelings, put me in the garment of an intelligent feeling. He excommunicated me from the visible and combined with the invisible. He let me see the Undisputed and rejoice that I have separated from the things created, visible and quickening, and have connected with the Undisputed, the Immortal, the Uncreated and for all the Invisible. For this is Love.
Let us hasten, faithful, zealous for labor, hasten, negligent, awake, lazy, that, having Love, we shall become even more Her partakers, and, thus passing from here and being with Her and beyond visible things, With Her also appear Creator and Lord. Otherwise, if we are without Her, that is, without Love, among visible things and among creatures, we were not left, like creatures, in fire and Tartar and terrible torment. If it were possible to be saved without Her, about Christ, then how? No, no, it's impossible in any way. If we separate from the Light, then how can we avoid darkness? If we are deprived of joy, then how can we be free from sorrow? Once outside the bridal chamber, how are we going to rejoice inside him with those who are there? Being cast out of the Kingdom, from Yours, I say. Savior, look, what other can we find salvation, what consolation or in any other place? It is truly and utterly impossible to find such a place, even if some were unreasonable and it was represented. For he who speaks of him is unreasonable. . But, perhaps, someone, objecting, will say unreasonably: as outside the Kingdom of Heaven, outside the hall and the assembly of the righteous there will be no other place of salvation or rest? Unreasonable, says Love, did you not hear that your ancestor Adam, having transgressed one commandment in paradise, was bared from the divine Glory and, together with Eve, was immediately expelled from paradise, having received, instead of enjoyment, a life full of sweat and a righteous sentence from God to live and die. So, suppose, it will be in the time of the Court with someone who really will be naked from the divine Glory, like Adam. The first of all virtues, the queen and lady, is truly Love. She is their head, clothing and glory to them all. Without a head, the body is dead and soulless. Equal and the body without clothes will not be naked? So virtues without Love are vain and useless; so naked from the divine Glory and he who does not have Love, and even if he had all the virtues, will appear naked and, not daring his nakedness, wish to hide better, since together with shame he will have both condemnation and hear from the Judge all: I do not know you. Upon coming to earth, the Creator took on the soul and flesh, and gave us the Divine Spirit, which is Love. So, if you want and want to receive the Divine Spirit, completely believe in God, renounce yourself as well, without hesitation, take the cross on your shoulders and die, child, in order to become a partaker of Life immortal. Let the deceivers deceive you with their false speeches that (not from now on, but only) on death the dying people receive Life in order to believe that you have not neglected or lost the sacrament of Life. Listen to the words of God, listen to the apostles and teachers of the Church. What does Christ call every hour? The rivers of the divine source of ever-living water will flow from the belly of those who believe in Me (Jn. 7, 38). Speaking in a way that He calls water, how is it not the grace of the Spirit? He appeases the pure in heart (Matt. 5, 8), saying that they will see God here. And all the apostles and teachers affirm that from here we must still perceive both the Holy Spirit and Christ Himself, if only we wish to be saved. Listen to the voice of the Lord, listen to the words of the Word, as He explains Heavenly Kingdom, which people must still perceive from here, saying that it is like a pearl of many values (Matt. 13, 45). Hearing about the pearl, what do you mean? Will you say that it is a stone, or is it something substantial and visible at all? Get away from blasphemy, for it is a mental pearl. And the merchant who found her, tell me now how he found her? If she is weightless and invisible, then where did he find her, as he saw, teach me? How, all sold, bought something that he could not see, hold, or invest in the bowels? By one faith, of course, and with hope he was as attuned as if he had had her, you will answer. But Vladyka did not say how you think he hoped to find her, hoping to receive and sell the property. Why should you be mistaken, why rely on empty hopes? You expose yourself that you do not want to seek, you do not want to find, you do not want to sell your property and take the Kingdom of Heaven that is inside of you, if you will, as Vladyka said.
But, perhaps, you are a beggar and have no gold, no estates, no riches, and when you hear that this priceless pearl is bought by selling all the property, you will say: how will I, the have-not, have the opportunity to acquire this divine and beautiful pearl? Therefore, I ask you to listen prudently. If you possessed the whole world and that which is in the world and, having squandered, all this would give out to orphans and widows and needy beggars, and you yourself would become a beggar, and you would think that you paid an absolutely equal price, saying: give me a pearl , because I gave everything my own, I would immediately hear from the Lord: what do you call yours? Naked you came out of your mother's womb and naked, of course, again you will go to the grave; what, unreasonable, do you call yours? You are completely unfeeling, you have not embraced the Kingdom and you will not receive a pearl. If you had completely squandered all your property, if you had become very impoverished and started, saying: "Look." The Savior, on heart and soul broken, terribly tormented and strongly palimuyu; look, Vladyka, at me, naked, perplexed, alien to every virtue and not having that which is to give in ransom for You, the Word, and have mercy on me, the one unshakable God of my God! For what will I find worthy in the world, O my God, what could I give in the price for You who created everything? For what did the harlot give to you, what did the robber offer? Or what wealth have the prodigal son brought to You, my Christ? If you say this, you will hear: yes, they brought me gifts, they truly brought me riches: having given what they had, they received a pearl more valuable than the whole world. If you like, bring it to me, and, of course, you will. Do this to Me, and I will immediately show you the pearl that they have received. If you give the very soul, do not think and do not think that you paid something absolutely worthy. For I, of course, have power, I also have pearls, which if the whole world perceived and with this world a myriad of other worlds, then from one of my treasures there will not be a single pearl left; and if you come to Me, as the harlot has done, I will give you a gift as she bestowed. So God will tell you and teach how the robber and harlot that were glorified in the world came to Him, and how the prodigal son was converted, just turned. The robber, by faith, escaped, although he did a lot of evil. And righteousness, because at the time when all were denied from Me, everyone was offended, when I hung on a tree, he alone confessed Me as God and King and with all his heart called to Me as to the immortal. Therefore, he received the Kingdom first of all. And the love of a harlot? What words will express it? Wearing it in my heart, she came to Me, as to God and Lord of all visible and invisible, and brought her so generously as none so long. Seeing this harlot, I received her and did not take from her that love; but, giving her a pearl, she also left her with love, better yet, she even more kindled, turning her into a great flame, and dismissed her as the purest virgin. For suddenly the whole Law, like a wall, having passed away, or as a ladder, having surpassed all virtues, it reached the end of the Law, which is Love, and left Me, unharmedly keeping it to death. Similarly, the prodigal son, turning from the bottom of his heart, repented sincerely, and although he was my son, he came to me not as a son, but asked me to become as one from my hirelings. And not only did he speak with his mouth, but with his soul and deeds he showed what he said in words. His humility pushed me to compassion: immediately enriching him, I immediately glorified him, for I saw him with all my heart who came to me, I saw that he did not turn back completely in the heart, as many do. Therefore, whoever has come to Me in this way, without hypocrisy having fled before me (let every creature hear), I will immediately receive it. But if anyone would want to receive my grace with cunning and come hypocritically, having anger inside or relying on his deeds, being possessed by arrogance or envy, he will have absolutely no part with me. This is to you and to all God through us every hour announces.
If you like, I and other arguments will clearly prove to you that here you must still perceive the whole Kingdom of Heaven, if you wish to enter it after death. Listen to God, again speaking to you in parables. To what shall I liken the kingdom of heaven? Take heed: it is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and it has risen and become truly a great tree (Matthew 13, 31). So, tell me, listener, what is this grain? What do you think about him? Tell me frankly; otherwise I will speak and I will tell the truth. Of course, He named the Kingdom of Heaven for you. Grain is the grace of the Divine Spirit. And the field is the heart of each of the people, where the person who perceives the Spirit casts it, hiding it in the inner parts, so that no one sees it, and keeps it with all diligence, that it grows and, having become a tree, ascends to heaven. So, if you say that not everything is here, but after the death, all the kingdoms of heaven will receive it, ardently desiring it, then you distort the words of the Savior and our God. For if you do not take the grain of the mustard, of which He said, unless you sow it in your field, you will remain without seed at all. If you took the seed, but drowned it with thorns, or you gave the grain for the plunder of the birds, or you leave your field in negligence without irrigation and your seed does not rise, grow and bear fruit, then tell me what you will benefit from this seed? When at another time, if not now, will you receive this seed? After death, you say. But you evade the natural order: in which field, I ask you, will you hide the grain then? What works will you cultivate it to grow? Truly, brother, you are full of delusion and completely deceived. For this time is the time of labors, and the future is the time of the crowns. Here you must get yourself a pledge, said Vladyka; here must accept the seal. If you are prudent, here, light the lamp of your soul, before darkness comes and the gates of doing are shut up. Here I am to you a pearl that you can buy. Here I am for you wheat and like a grain of mustard. Here I am a leaven for you and I am mixing your mixture. Here I am to you water and fire to the enjoyer. Here I come to you with clothes, food, and every drink if you wish. So says the Lord. So if from these things you will know Me in this way and this way, you will also have Me there, and I will become in every way incalculable to you all. If you go away from here, ignorant of the actions of My grace, you will find in Me only a ruthless Judge. For my Christ and my God, do not condemn me then, and do not punish the many who sinned against you, but accept me as one of your last mercenaries, and henceforth be able to serve you, my Savior, and receive your Divine Spirit-the pledge of the Kingdom, and there to enjoy the glory of Thy palace, beholding Thee, O my God, for ever and ever. Amen.Reverend Simeon the New Theologian (59, 24-36) .
These are the disciples of Luke and Cleopas (Luke 24, 31-32). -Red.
This refers to the Ascension of Christ. -Ed.
The ascension of Christ must be understood in accordance with His Divine nature; this is clear from the foregoing words: "For the Creator of all, being incompatible for all creatures, as God filling everything, how else could he hide himself?" Therefore, when Christ disappeared from the eyes of those present, like God, He did not move in space, although as man moved in space; about which the Monk Symeon also testifies when he writes about the Ascension of Christ: "Having perceived the creature (that is, its humanity) and hiding it or elevating it to the height of His Glory (this is the spatial movement of Christ as a human being). It (the Word) then suddenly disappeared. " -Note. per.
Anthem. 2. The fact that fear gives birth to love; Love, being a Divine and Holy Spirit, eradicates fear from the soul and remains in it alone.
As it is impossible to swim the sea without a ship and a boat, so no one can achieve love without fear. The stinking sea between us and the mental paradise can only pass to the boat of repentance, on which there are paddlers of fear. But if these oarsmen of fear do not rule the ship of repentance, on which, by the sea of this world, we pass to God, then we sink in this stinking sea. Repentance is a ship, and fear is its helmsman, love is a divine wharf. Therefore, fear leads us to the ship of repentance, carries us through the stinking sea of life and leads to the divine wharf, which is love. All those who are laboring and are burdened with repentance come to this pier. And when we reach love, then we have reached God, and our path has been completed, and we have come to the island of the world where the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are.Rev. Isaac the Syrian (55, 391-392).