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Posts Tagged ‘Patristics’

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According to Abba Apollo, a desert father who lived about 1,700 years ago, the devil has no knees; he cannot kneel; he cannot adore; he cannot pray; he can only look down his nose in contempt. Being unwilling to bend the knee at the name of Jesus is the essence of evil. (Cf. Is 45:23, Rom 14:11) But when we kneel at Jesus’ name, when we bow down in service of others, and when we bend the knee in adoration, we are following in the footsteps of the Magi, we are imitating Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, and all the saints and angels in heaven. Letter of Bishop Thomas Olmsted

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What we eat and what we drink the Holy Spirit has elsewhere made plain by the prophet, saying, “Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man that hopes in Him.”  In that sacrament is Christ, because it is the Body of Christ, it is therefore not bodily food but spiritual. Whence the Apostle says of its type: “Our fathers ate spiritual food and drank spiritual drink,” 1 Cor10:3 for the Body of God is a spiritual body; the Body of Christ is the Body of the Divine Spirit, for the Spirit is Christ, as we read: “The Spirit before our face is Christ the Lord.” Lam 4:20 And in the Epistle of Peter we read: “Christ died for us.” 1 Peter 2:21 Lastly, that food strengthens our heart, and that drink “makes glad the heart of man,”  as the prophet has recorded. St. Ambrose: On the Mysteries

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When the priest conducts the Divine Sacrifice, angels station themselves about him and in a choir they chant a hymn of praise in honor of the Victim Who is sacrificed. St John Chrysostom

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We depict Christ as our King and Lord, and do not deprive Him of His army. The saints constitute the Lord’s army. Let the earthly king dismiss his army before he gives up his King and Lord. Let him put off the purple before he takes honour away from his most valiant men who have conquered their passions. For if the saints are heirs of God, and co-heirs of Christ, (Rom. 8.17) they will be also partakers of the divine glory of sovereignty. If the friends of God have had a part in the sufferings of Christ, how shall they not receive a share of His glory even on earth? “I call you not servants,” our Lord says, “you are my friends.” (Jn. 15.15) Should we then deprive them of the honour given to them by the Church? What audacity! What boldness of mind, to fight God and His commands! You, who refuse to worship images, would not worship the Son of God, the Living Image of the invisible God, (Col. 1.15) and His unchanging form. I worship the image of Christ as the Incarnate God; that of Our Lady, the Mother of us all, as the Mother of God’s Son; that of the saints as the friends of God. St. John Damascene: On Holy Images

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See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution  of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper  Eucharist, which is [administered] either  by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. (Epistle of St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans)

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It is not without reason or by chance that we worship towards the East
Since, therefore, God is spiritual light, and Christ is called in the Scriptures Sun of Righteousness, and Dayspring, the East is the direction that must be assigned to His worship.

Moreover the Scripture also says, And God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed, and when he had transgressed His command He expelled him and made him to dwell over against the delights of Paradise, which clearly is the West. So, then, we worship God seeking and striving after our old fatherland.

Moreover the tent of Moses had its veil and mercy seat towards the East. Also the tribe of Judah as the most precious pitched their camp on the East. Also in the celebrated temple of Solomon the Gate of the Lord was placed eastward.

Moreover Christ, when He hung on the Cross, had His face turned towards the West, and so we worship, striving after Him.

And when He was received again into Heaven He was borne towards the East, and thus His apostles worship Him, and thus He will come again in the way in which they beheld Him going towards Heaven; as the Lord Himself said, As the lightning comes out of the East and shines even unto the West, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be.

So, then, in expectation of His coming we worship towards the East. But this tradition of the apostles is unwritten. For much that has been handed down to us by tradition is unwritten. (St. John Damascene: Orthodox Faith)

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At the hour of Sacrifice, in response to the priest’s acclamation, the heavens open up; the choirs of angels are witnessing this Mystery; what is above and what is below unite; heaven and earth are united, matters visible and invisible become united. (Pope St. Gregory the Great)

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