ON OUR JOURNEY TO MEET THE SAVIOR CHRIST…

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, the Incarnate God,

CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

ON OUR JOURNEY TO MEET THE SAVIOR CHRIST…

As we continue on our spiritual journey to meet our Savior Jesus Christ our souls and our hearts overflow with profound joy. We come to understand that the holy days which we observe throughout the ecclesiastical year are not just any events or traditions. They are, for those who truly comprehend their purpose, spiritual opportunities to grow closer to our Savior Christ and by doing so to grow in spiritual maturity and knowledge. During our journey, we are nourished by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Our spiritual growth corresponds to the different stages in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. "While we are infants in need of milk (cf. Hebrews 5:12) we are suckled on the milk of the introductory virtues acquired through bodily discipline, yet this of but limited profit (cf. 1 Timothy 4:5) to us once we begin to grow in virtue and gradually leave our infancy behind."

Hopefully, during our journey to meet Him, we come to realize more clearly who we are and increase in stature and grace (cf. Luke 2:52). For this is a personal journey with a deeper meaning and goal. Along the way, we are spiritually cleansed through the Mysteries of our Holy Church. So long as we are learning the basic principles physically and spiritually we will succeed in our endeavors and objectives.

We, of course, believe that the Birth of our Savior took place historically in the city of Bethlehem but as followers of Christ, we also believe that His Birth is not only geographical but also spiritual. We, as Orthodox Christians, believe that He is born in our hearts. Our journey is not an external journey to meet Him but most especially internal. If we cannot find Him in our hearts we have failed in our journey. The true meeting with Him takes place within us. When this has taken place within, the Holy Spirit cries in our hearts, Abba! Father!, making it known to us and revealing our intimate communion with the Father. And He abides in us and converses with us as sons, daughters, and heirs of God through Christ our True Redeemer.

We grow in our knowledge. faith and love in God, The Sun of Righteousness enlighten our inner world which up to now dwelt in darkness. The Divine Child penetrates deep into our souls and dispels all kinds of darkness and despair. Our Lord and Creator restore the pristine beauty within us once again. We are no longer citizens of this earthly place but citizens of Paradise. We find that what is worldly is of no importance to us. What is important is our sincere relationship with our Savior, the Heavenly Father.

"When you perceive that the passions are no longer active within you, and when because of your humility tears of compunction flow from your eyes, then you must know that the kingdom of God has come upon you…and when you perceive the Spirit moving and speaking in your heart, inciting you to proclaim in the greater congregation the saving powers and Truth of God (cf. Psalm 40:10), do not keep your lips sealed for fear of provoking the unbelievers but shouted from the rooftops."

Pray to our All-Loving God to ignite His love within you. When His love overtakes you and you are engulfed in it, your entire life and perception of everything around you take a different form and meaning. Everything within you is brought to light, everything is rejuvenated and enlivened. One sure thing is in the absence of fear and apprehension you begin to discover how beautiful and wonderful God’s world truly is. You love people, you love nature, you love your enemies, and above all you love God.

The celebration of Christ’s Nativity is not one specific day or time but an authentic encounter and communion with God. A communion that will endure for all eternity. Our Most Powerful God uses His power not to take away our freedom but to transform us from earthly beings to His heavenly sons and daughters. He is gentle, forgiving, merciful, peaceful, loving, compassionate, and kind. He takes our barren and parched souls and turns them into fertile fields. He is our Creator and our Fashioner and as such, He knows better than us what is best for us.

Do not allow the world to interfere with your faith and relationship with our Savior Christ. Christians throughout the centuries struggle to defend, and maintain their faith in Christ. Evil forces are determined to prevent you from believing in God. To indoctrinate you not to believe in living a virtuous life, a life of dignity, and in a grace-filled life. By guarding your heart and maintaining its purity you protect it and yourself from various evil influences. Our Lord God, the only true Friend of mankind, is ready to rekindle the fire in the hearts of all who believe in Him. "A devouring fire is the Lord your God" (Dt, 9:3), Who destroys matter and evil habits, Who enlightens your mind and His Light and fills it with the Light of knowledge and discretion. Thus through this spiritual work you will establish the whole of your inner self to be a temple and a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, while your heart especially will be a holy altar, a sacred sanctuary. Your mind, moreover, will be a priest; your will and disposition will be a sacrifice; your prayer of the heart to God will be an offering of spiritual fragrance," according to Saint Basil the Great.

The soul that loves our Savior Jesus Christ is a blessed soul. Saint Isaac the Syrian told us: "When the mind is moved to rember God, the heart is directly moved in love and the eyes produce many tears. It is the habit of love to shed tears whne remembering the beloved person." By remembering Jesus and saying the Jesus Prayer with sincere faith, we cultivate in our heart love for Him and His divine commandments. After all what is more blessed, what is more glorious than the beloved name of Jesus? Saint Paul reminds us: "Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Hiim the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11).

Keep your sights on our Savior God and you will not be disapointed. We can never take our eyes away from Him and we must seek His guidance. Our best guide is the Holy Scripture. Read the Holy Scripture, and be immersed in them, receive the divine food, wisdom, and knowledge that comes from above. Study them carefully and with faith and do it for your own benefit, because you will find there the remedy for all your infirmities. The holy Apostle Paul writes: "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may complete, equipped for ever good word" (2 Timothy 3:16).

_______________

"Glory Be To GOD
For
All Thngs!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

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