Category: Elder Porphyrios

Starry, Starry Night

by Andrea Elizabeth

More from St. Maximus’ Ambigua translated in The Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ

It is absolutely necessary that everything will cease its willful movement toward something else when the ultimate beauty that satisfies our desires appears. In so far as we are able we will participate without being restricted, as it were, being uncontainably contained. All our actions and every sublime thought will tend eagerly towards that end “in which all desire comes to rest and beyond which they cannot be carried. For there is no other end towards which all free movement is directed than the rest found in total contemplation by those who have reached that point,” as our blessed teacher [Gregory Nanzianzen in his Oration 21.1] says. For nothing besides God will be known, nor will there be anything opposed to God that could entice one to desire it. Instead, when God’s ineffable majesty is made known, all intellectual and sensible things will be encompassed by him. It is like the light from the stars. The stars do not shine in the day. When the greater and incomparable light of the sun appears, they are hidden and connot be seen by the senses. With respect to God this is even more so, for God is infinite, and uncreated things cannot be compared to created things.

Yes, but there are many goods, including the stars. Wasn’t it necessary and good to look at Elijah and Moses on Mt. Tabor before they were swallowed up into the Light? Maybe this has already occurred and everything is already God, and it is our deceived senses who do not comprehend it. So if the stars and the sun are God, then we don’t comprehend Him when we are sinning. The sin is being distracted by a destructive force which still exists. But it’s a figment of our imagination. A figment is still a thing, in the definition of a noun. The Saint isn’t deceived by the figment and sees God everywhere. He decodes the funhouse mirror, as it were. Even Adam had not grown into this ability, but still he could have asked God for help when he became confused. Lord have mercy on me, a sinner. He was deceived in thinking he could decipher on his own – thank God for the Church, the Councils, and her Saints!

With the Spirit of God we become incapable of every sin

by Andrea Elizabeth

(Elder Porphyrios cont.)

We need to find the way of purifying the depths of our soul from every evil. When our soul is sanctified, it radiates goodness. We then silently emit our love without words.

Certainly, to begin with this is somewhat difficult. Remember St. Paul. That’s what it was like for him too, in the beginning. He said in distress: for I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want, that I do. And he continues, I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? He was very weak then, and couldn’t do what was good, even though he desired it and longed for it.

That is what he said at the beginning. But when in this way Paul devoted himself ever more fully to the love and worship of God, God, seeing the disposition of heart, entered into him and divine grace came to dwell in him. In this way he succeeded in living in Christ. Christ Himself entered into him, and the man who had said “I cannot do what is good, even though I desire it”, succeeded by the grace of God in becoming incapable of evil. At first he was incapable of doing what was good, but after Christ entered within him, he became incapable of doing what was evil. Indeed he proclaimed: It is no longer I who live; Christ lives in me. Where did that wretched man that I am go? It disappeared. The grace of God within him completed its work. From being wretched he became filled with grace. Grace permeated him, after he had first been humbled.

If we abandon ourselves to the love of Christ, then all will be overturned, all will be transfigured, all will be transformed, all will be transubstantiated. Anger, resentment, jealousy, indignation, censure, ingratitude, melancholy and depression will all become love, joy, longing, divine eros. Paradise!

The Mysteries of God are revealed to the person who posesses a healthy soul

by Andrea Elizabeth

“The person who is worthy of God is filled with the Holy Spirit. He has divine grace. God, in the mystery of Christ, gives him joy, peace, meekness, and love. He gives him those characteristics by St. Paul: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, continence…. God knows no past, present, or future. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and opened to His eyes… Thus also the mysteries of God are revealed to the person who possesses a healthy soul, and His counsels are made known to him to the degree that God permits.

There are, however, preconditions for divine grace to come and dwell in a person. Only the person who has humility receives these gifts from God; he attributes them to God and he uses them for His glory. The good, humble, devout man who loves God, the man who possesses virtue, is not, by the grace of God, deluded or lead astray. He feels in his heart that he is truly unworthy, and that all those things are given to him so that he may become good, and for that reason he makes his ascetic struggle.

On the contrary, the grace of God does not go to egotists, to people who have no awareness of what is happening to them. The person who has Luciferic egotism believes that he is filled with divine grace, but he is deluded; he is a man of the devil.

All those who loved and adhered to their elder took from him the charisma which he possessed.

God gave me this grace (clear site) as a result of my obedience to my elders. All those who loved and adhered to their elder took from him the charisma which he possessed. St. Prochoros took from St. John the Theologian. Proclos took from St. John Chrysostom. St. Symeon the New Theologian from his elder. And in the Old Testament we see that the prophet Elijah gave his gift of prophecy to his disciple, the prophet Elisha.”

– Elder Porphyrios, Wounded by Love