Sermon on the Sunday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [2011]

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,

today’s Gospel [Mark 8, 34-38; 9, 1] is not about imaginary fears like the electronic chips or the Antichrist, and is not dealing with Masonry or postmodern ideology but…with the inner following of Christ.

Because in this sunday, Church speaks to us about the spiritual life as the inner crucifixion of the passions and our desires for to fill us with the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.

And no other collateral problem, as those above, is more important that the mystical life, divine in Christ, our Lord. For he that is rooted in mystical and liturgical life of the Church is not afraid of any real or imagined problems that haunts our contemporaries.

But the mystical life in Christ is based on the willingness to deny of ourselves [v. 9]. And all in the same verse, the 9th, the acceptance of the cross is the assuming of all His commandments and of a spiritual mind, to live in holiness.

And the spiritual life is a struggle with fear, with extremes, with passions of all kinds, with the secular way of thinking and living.

Only that the liturgical life, full of the theological readings and the prayer of the heart, forgiveness and the ascetic is what gives us the important answers that escape us from the hilarious, unorthodox fear.

And the demonic fear is an unorthodox one. Because the demonic care for the present and the future is what keeps us away from the peace and spiritual beauty of our liturgical services.

And „whosoever will save his life shall lose it” [Mark 8, 35, acc. KJV], because he seeks an escape/ a salvation after his mind. And those who make from secondary problems or non-problems the agenda of the orthodox life confuse what should be with what is useless.

Because Orthodoxy has a single agenda: the holy life in Christ. And who fully enjoys in his struggles, he has no real fear. For the real fear is incompatible with the real joy, because the joy of holiness casts out from us the fear.

Therefore the Lord says: „whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospel’s, the same shall save it”[Ibidem]. Because the loss from this verse means to deny any thought, feeling, facts, concepts that are not compatible with evangelical, patristic, dogmatic, canonical, liturgical thought and with all experience of the Church.

Why should I be afraid of the barcodes? Why should we see them as the 666, when the 666 could be something else? And who entire at his mind is interested about these things and about Antichrist…if he continually prays to Christ?

But this symptomatology of the fear is found in those without stable foundation in the Church. Because the authentic orthodoxies dealing with the liturgical and ascetic life, which is continuous, with the real and great problem of cleaning their passions, and in this state are shattered any fear, which insinuates itself that the most important in the world.

For he who lives for Christ and for His Gospel gives up from him, step by step, all that is improper with the holiness. And one like this is who does „not taste of death” [Mark 9, 1, acc. KJV], who will not taste the eternal death, because, still here, he tasted the uncreated life of God.

How can we resist the Antichrist…without being filled with the life of Christ? And who else is interested about what are doing the occult and demonic institutions, if we live in Christ and if our death, for us, is a gain?

 But the bad fear is always ideological and telluric. And who did not get rid of it and speaks in the middle of it does nothing more than to convey a distorted perspective of the life and the expectations that has the Orthodox Church.

We expect „life of the age that will come”, namely „a new heaven and a new earth” [Revelation 21, 1, acc. KJV], both transfigured through the glory of our Holy Trinity.

We expect, therefore, something unsaidly beautiful and not a planetary catastrophe. And the beauty of the new world springs from our Churchs, from us, from each of us, because that beauty is the uncreated grace of God.

And if we trampled the fears of all kinds, we fill us with the glory of God, the everlasting beauty. And this beauty, the beauty of God’s glory, is what will save and transfigure all creation.

But the Cross is the one who beautifies the world, because assuming it fills us with the beauty of salvation. And be but, we fill ourselves with all of His glory, which we know the mercy and His goodness for always. Amen!

Cărțile, studiile și articolele teologice ale lui Vladimir și ale Olgăi Moss

E vorba despre doi scriitori englezi stiliști, aparținând ROCA, soț și soție, Vladimir Moss prezentând o operă absolut impresionantă ca volum și diversitate tematică.

În mod gratuit, ni se oferă aici, pe saitul lor, 42 de cărți (engleză, rusă, sârbă) personale, studii și articole numeroase, în materie de sanctologie, istorie bisericească, dogmatică, probleme contemporane.

Pe lângă accentele defectuoase, de la sine înțelese, ale unora dintre scrierile lor, un astfel de efort teologic este salutar și absolut necesar pentru oricine este implicat total în viața bisericească.

Iar faptul că doar la această familie, în 5 ani de zile, am găsit un astfel de efort teologic recuperator, deplin asumat, la nivel online, mă face să mă întreb ce fac…majoritatea familiilor ortodoxe din toată lumea pentru Biserica lor?

The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [16]

Here, parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

Our greek font.


2. 2. 2. The Personalistic Dimension

If in The Theological Discourses, Saint Symeon is connected at the alive treasure of Tradition, presenting the triadological dogma as a spiritual contemplation, in Hymns we are dealing with doxological statements started from the largest communion with Holy Trinity.

In his prayer, the trinitarian God is not a God about Who you talk to others, but with Who you are talking, to Which you adress through the prism of love that links you to Him.

Having the experience of the fact that „the divine light of Trinity is in all” [1] that are in existence, Symeon feels a direct relation with God through the sight of His glory.

In 11, 36-38, He presents Christ as One who opens the heaven and bends/ inclins toward him, together with the Father and the Ghost.

Holy Trinity is known by him as „Fwti. tw/| trisagi.w/|”  (threefold-holy Light)[2], because it is „e;n o;n evn toi/j Trisi. kai. e`n e`ni ta. Tri,a” (one in Three and Three are in one)[3].

The verb paraku,ptw used at 11, 37, with the acceptation to look out/ in outside[4], defines the ecstasy as an act of mercy of the Trinity to the faithful, descenting to him, looking at him.

The Trinity, continues Symeon, is the one Light „that lights my soul more than the sun and shines my mind that is dark”[5].

In the first line, the divine light overwhelms the mind one who sees (right for that it is stronger than the visible sun) but the brightnesses of it illuminates the mind, purifies it. And this cleansing of the dark passions can not be made by the rays of the heavenly star, but only by the divine light ecstatic seen.

Symon emphasizes in this context the reality of the sight of the divine light and its spiritual character, overwhelming and paradoxical in the same time, that to be an initiator in the knowledge of the Trinity.

Thus, „in light of the Ghost concerning those who see, and those who look see in it the Son, and the worthy to see the Son looks the Father [acc. Jn. 14, 9] and who looks to the Father, who contemplates the Father together with the Son”[6].

In outside of the divine light, with other words, we do not know in clear mode, from experience, but only from books, about the eternal communion, interpersonal, of the trinitarian persons, about the being unity of the Trinity and about His the ever-being light that sanctifies us.

The sight of the Trinity’s glory is what brings the true knowledge of God and puts us in an abyssal, paradoxical relation with our God.

Just therefore at tranei/ qewri,a| (the limpid/ clear contemplation)[7] reaches few, for that this contemplation is given to the Son, Who is more-before-of-all-ages with the Father and the Ghost[8].

In the Hymn 15, Symeon specifies the fact, that those receiving the light from the Son are believers and they are not from outside the Church: „Your glory, [the glory] the divine Divinity only believers (pistoi.) see it, while all unbelievers (a;pistoi) seeing You remain blind, the Light of the world!”[9].

The faith in the Trinity is what helps us not to be blinded by too overwhelming evidence of the divine glory. Christ, says Symeon, ever shines on those who see Him[10].

But the scope of the divine sight is not that to take us out of the world and to separate us from the world – as and how the world would be an evil or would the devil work –  but to live in paradoxical mode, both in the world and above the world and the our senses, our relation with Trinity through the sight of His glory.

The Trinity’s light raises us to the divine sight, which is beyond of those felt (tw/n aivsqhtw/n) and of those seen (tw/n o`rwme,nwn) in this world, for that we want to be, always, enlightened by His light and we want to make immortal (avqana,touj) from mortals and gods (qeoi.) who see God[11].

[1] SC 156, Hymns, I, 226, p. 174 / Ică jr. 3, p. 57.

[2] Idem, Hymns, XI, 38, p. 234 / Idem, p. 77.

[3] Idem, Hymns, XI, 39, p. 234 / Ibidem.

[4] Both recent romanian translations of the Hymns translate paraku,ptonta, from SC 156, Hymns, XI, 37, p. 234, wiht: „They bend/ inclin [towards him]”, acc. Ică jr. 3, p. 77 şi Hymns, ed. Stăniloae, p. 361.

[5] SC 156, Hymns, XI, 41-42, p. 234 / Ică jr. 3, p. 77.

[6] Idem, Hymns, XI, 50-53, p. 236 / Ibidem.

[7] Idem, Hymns, XII, 15, p. 244 / Idem, p. 79.

[8] Idem, Hymns, XII, 15-17, p. 244  / Ibidem.

[9] Idem, Hymns, XV, 88-90, p. 284 / Idem, 92.

[10] Idem, Hymns, XV, 96, p. 284 / Ibidem.

[11] Idem, Hymns, XV, 103-108, p. 284-286 / Idem, p. 92-93.