Церковные ВѢХИ

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church. For salvation is the revelation of the way for everyone who believes in Christ's name. This revelation is to be found only in the Church. In the Church, as in the Body of Christ, in its theanthropic organism, the mystery of incarnation, the mystery of the "two natures," indissolubly united, is continually accomplished. -Fr. Georges Florovsky

ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΙΑ Ή ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ!

ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΙΑ Ή ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ!
§ 20. For our faith, brethren, is not of men nor by man, but by revelation of Jesus Christ, which the divine Apostles preached, the holy Ecumenical Councils confirmed, the greatest and wisest teachers of the world handed down in succession, and the shed blood of the holy martyrs ratified. Let us hold fast to the confession which we have received unadulterated from such men, turning away from every novelty as a suggestion of the devil. He that accepts a novelty reproaches with deficiency the preached Orthodox Faith. But that Faith has long ago been sealed in completeness, not to admit of diminution or increase, or any change whatever; and he who dares to do, or advise, or think of such a thing has already denied the faith of Christ, has already of his own accord been struck with an eternal anathema, for blaspheming the Holy Ghost as not having spoken fully in the Scriptures and through the Ecumenical Councils. This fearful anathema, brethren and sons beloved in Christ, we do not pronounce today, but our Savior first pronounced it (Matt. xii. 32): Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. St. Paul pronounced the same anathema (Gal. i. 6): I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another Gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. This same anathema the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the whole choir of God-serving fathers pronounced. All, therefore, innovating, either by heresy or schism, have voluntarily clothed themselves, according to the Psalm (cix. 18), ("with a curse as with a garment,") whether they be Popes, or Patriarchs, or Clergy, or Laity; nay, if any one, though an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Thus our wise fathers, obedient to the soul-saving words of St. Paul, were established firm and steadfast in the faith handed down unbrokenly to them, and preserved it unchanged and uncontaminate in the midst of so many heresies, and have delivered it to us pure and undefiled, as it came pure from the mouth of the first servants of the Word. Let us, too, thus wise, transmit it, pure as we have received it, to coming generations, altering nothing, that they may be, as we are, full of confidence, and with nothing to be ashamed of when speaking of the faith of their forefathers. - Encyclical of the Holy Eastern Patriarchs of 1848

За ВѢру Царя И Отечество

За ВѢру Царя И Отечество
«Кто еси мимо грядый о нас невѣдущиiй, Елицы здѣ естесмо положены сущи, Понеже нам страсть и смерть повѣлѣ молчати, Сей камень возопiетъ о насъ ти вѣщати, И за правду и вѣрность къ Монарсѣ нашу Страданiя и смерти испiймо чашу, Злуданьем Мазепы, всевѣчно правы, Посѣченны зоставше топоромъ во главы; Почиваемъ въ семъ мѣстѣ Матери Владычнѣ, Подающiя всѣмъ своимъ рабомъ животь вѣчный. Року 1708, мѣсяца iюля 15 дня, посѣчены средь Обозу войсковаго, за Бѣлою Церковiю на Борщаговцѣ и Ковшевомъ, благородный Василiй Кочубей, судiя генеральный; Iоаннъ Искра, полковникъ полтавскiй. Привезены же тѣла ихъ iюля 17 въ Кiевъ и того жъ дня въ обители святой Печерской на семъ мѣстѣ погребены».
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Holy Mother Mary's Grace

Holy Mother Mary's Grace

Holy Mother Mary's Grace
Written by the Very Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky



"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, 'Hail, O full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!' ...and the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God'" (Luke 1:26,30)
Orthodox Christian theology does not limit the grace of the Lord given to Mary the Theotokos only to the conception and birth of the Son of God. We believe that following the Annunciation she continued to be blessed by the Holy Spirit. Her human nature was not left without grace, but rather she lived in the spiritual energy that came to her first at the Annunciation. Here we part company with Protestants, or better stated, where they leave our theology. Rather odd that they could be insensitive to the common sense that would recognize how precious grace would be to a teenage girl with the assignment of bringing into the world the Messiah, not only through pregnancy but at His birth and all that transpired following that saving event. How much more was she than a mere instrument for bringing an infant -- much less this child -- into the world. She became part of the process of humanity's salvation by virtue of her sharing in the ongoing events that followed. Need we list all those incidents that adorn our Nativity icon and fill the Christmas story with such an awesome panorama of mysteries?

Protestant doctrine has its own agenda for moving the Mother of God away from holiness apart from her role as the mother of our Savior. They feel it takes away some of His unique status. Sola Christus, Christ Alone, they insist; yet it would appear even stranger in our time, as we grow ever more aware of the influence of parents, especially mothers, on the nurturing and development of their offspring. Can we not acknowledge her impact on Jesus? Among His last words before being captured, or rather giving Himself over to those who came with Judas, He prayed so fervently: "Father, if it be Your will, let this cup pass from Me -- nevertheless not as I will, but as You will" [Matthew 26:39]. Do we not hear an echo of His mother's answer to Gabriel the Archangel: "How shall this be?" and then again, "I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" [Luke 1:34,38]. And why would she acknowledge Elizabeth's blessing for her belief that what Mary heard from the angel was a fulfillment from the Lord, and why would Mary then respond with the poignant magnification hymn expressing her awareness of what had happened to her, as well as Who it was she was bearing in her womb, and His affect on the world, if it were not for the grace of the Holy Spirit in her soul? "Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them." [Luke 2:19] Was she not inspired?

Even more theologically stated, The Son and Word of God descending into our world from the heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit unites two natures in Christ, but it takes into account the interpenetration within the God-bearer, Mary. Not only does she share in the human nature of Christ, she also had received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came to Mary at the Annunciation communicating to her the power of holy conception so that the Son of God was incarnated through the Holy Spirit who incarnates without separation or confusion. A simpler way to explain this awesome mystery is to realize that the Theotokos had a private and personal Pentecost long before the one we know that is recorded in the book of Acts.


http://www.oca.org/CHRIST-thoughts-article.asp?SID=6&ID=393

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