My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,." (Matthew 5:3)
+ In the Name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth,
You are everywhere and fill all things.
Treasury of blessings and Giver of Life come
and abide in us, and cleanse us from every
impurity, and save our souls, O Good One!
The Great Theanthropos, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ "opened His mouth and taught them", the people on the mountain, who were listening to His every Divine word, and who sought the Kingdom of God, the kind of life that one must lead in order to attain Paradise.
The "poor in spirit…" are those who feel anguish within themselves due to the absence of Divine Grace (Holy Spirit) from their hearts and who turn to the All-Loving God and who constantly supplicate Him to bestow upon them His grace. Those who approach Him with faith in humility, who are never discouraged, and unceasingly seek His grace will inherit the Kingdom of God.
Unlike those who mistakenly and wrongly feel that they already possess God’s grace and who, at the same time, feel self-satisfied with the pleasures of this world. They are delusional and blind. They feel content and do not feel the necessity to pursue the grace from God the Holy Spirit. They sadly lost all hope and opportunity to gain the Kingdom of God while they could.
Our All-Merciful God and Pantokratora is "the God of all Grace" (1 Peter 5:10). In the epistle to the Ephesians Saint Paul writes, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that NOT of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, NOT of works, lest anyone boast" (Eph. 2:8). Also, grace is applied to the gifts of the Holy Spirit which have been sent down and continue to be sent down to Our Holy Orthodox Church for the sanctification of the faithful and their spiritual growth, and for the attainment by them of His Heavenly Kingdom.
Divine Grace is the power of God which is in the Holy Church and which "gives birth, gives life, perfects, and brings the believing and virtuous Christian to the appropriation of the salvation which has been brought by the Lord Jesus Christ." Saint Gregory Palamas affirms that the "resplended and edifying Energy of God, that defies (theosis) Energy of God, THAT DEIFIES THOSE WHO PARTICIPATE IN IT, CONSTITUTES Divine Grace, but it is NOT the Essence of God" (Philokalia, vol. 4, page 390).
The Orthodox Christian believer will find the Grace of the Holy Spirit only in the His Holy and Authentic Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Christian who attends the Divine Liturgy and participates in the other Mysteries of the Church attends not simply to observe an ancient Christian ritual or rite, but for the purpose of receiving SANCTIFICATION through the grace of the Holy Spirit. To be in the presence of Our Lord Christ, to be forgiven, to be healed, to be renewed, to be restored, to be spiritually regenerated, to be reborn through water and the Holy Spirit, to be granted life eternal through the reception of Holy Communion.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and CANNOT condone or accept heresy. Heresy distorts, destroys, and undermines the word of God. Why would God tolerate or condone heresy? Our Lord Jesus Christ condemns the scribes and Pharisees, the heretics of the time: " … Woe to you, Pharisee! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk or them are not aware of them". "There will be false teachers among you who will SECRETLY BRING IN DESTRUCTIVE HERESIES…" (2 Peter 2:1). "They are arrogant, sensual, and greedy, and they deny accountability in their lives…Being deceivers, they teach as though they possess true apostolicity" ( see Orthodox Study Bible, p. 564).
God’s judgment on heretics. "For God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment…" (2 Peter 2:4). "God’s past judgments indicate what awaits the heretics. He will divide the holy from the unholy in the life to come. We already have the example of the "angels who sinned" (v. 4), imprisoned in the lowest part of hell while awaiting the Final (Last) "Judgment. " In Verse 10 repeats two major sins of heretics: (1) IMMORALITY, and (2) DISDAIN for authority, especially that of Christ." ( see Orthodox Study Bible, p. 564).
It behooves us, as Orthodox Christian faithful, that we remain vigilant and totally alert of what is transpiring all around us and throughout the world. We must have authentic and true knowledge and discernment so as to be able to avoid making dreadful mistakes or of following the charlatans and "false teachers" in the world.
"The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and Father, and
the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all." Amen
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostom
+ + +
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry)
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George