My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
Prayer to God the Holy Spirit
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth,
Thou art 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!
Saint John Chrysostom writes, "Who is there that is not surprised and does not marvel at the love of God, which He demonstrates by rendering such a great honor to human beings in making them worthy to pray and to converse with God Himself! When we converse with God at the time of prayer we become similar to the Angels and dissimilar to the irrational beings. For the work par excellence of the Angels is prayer and worship. By praying with much awe and presenting themselves to us as an example, the Angels teach us to learn and to know that we must pray to God with joy and with fear. We must pray both with fear of being found unworthy of the prayer which connects us with God, but also with fulness of joy for the magnitude of honor which is bestowed upon the human race through the very possibility of prayer. Divine Providence has made us capable of enjoying constant communion with God, through which we appear not to be mortal and transient. Even though by nature we are mortal, IT IS THROUGH OUR CONVERSATION WITH GOD THAT WE ARE TRANSFORMED INTO IMMORTAL LIFE. For the one who holds conversation with God must be by necessity above death and every moral and spiritual corruption. And by the same token, as it is most essential for one who enjoys the rays of the sun to be free of darkness, so also the one who enjoys conversation with God must no longer be mortal, precisely because the magnitude of this honor transfers us into the realm of spiritual immortality. It is impossible for those who pray and speak to God to have mortal souls. THE DEATH OF THE SOUL IS PRECISELY IMPIETY AND A SINFUL LIFE, WHILE THE LIFE OF THE SOUL IS THE WORSHIP OF GOD AND A WAY OF LIFE IN THE BELIEVER THAT IS BECOMING TO SUCH WORSHIP." [An Homily on Prayer]
Psalm 139: 7-12 reveals God’s Omnipresence: "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me. And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You." There is no place whether in heaven or on earth where God is not present. It is, therefore, indispensable that the Christian believer maintains communion with His Creator through prayer and worship. Prayer must be united with quiet and godly behavior.
Our prayer should be a prayer of faith. Each person has a "measure of faith" as Saint Paul mentions in his epistle to Romans 12:3. We, as Orthodox Christians live out this faithful relationship to God in our Holy Church, the body of Christ, with (1) humility–contentedness with one’s role,(2)self-control (to think wisely), especially control over the sinful passions; (3) proper use of spiritual gifts and ministries. Ministry (diakonia) requires working together for the good of all with love and integrity of heart.
It is most important that we are not swayed by the unbelievers that man is in control of the world. Man is not in control of anything including his own life or future. It is foolish for a person to believe that he or she is in charge of what God Himself has created from nothing. Therefore, mankind should submit to God’s authority and commandments for we depend on God for everything, including the very air that we breathe. God’s love for us is infinite and life-giving. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is our supreme example of this Divine love Who sacrificed His life on the Cross to save the human race from evil and death.
"Obedience to the faith" (Romans 16:26) includes both surrender of the will to God and acceptance of Church doctrine. It is, therefore, significant that before the Divine Eucharist in our Holy Orthodox, the Nicene Creed is recited by all the faithful, showing that all have the same faith in God the Father, His Son our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Church "unto ages of ages." By faith, we actively participate in God’s grace given to us, His "Righteousness." By continuing in it we are gradually transformed internally and externally into His likeness. Faith is far more than possessing mental belief. Since neither faith nor righteousness originates in us but in our All-Merciful God, true faith transforms our lives, making us Godlike, bearing the fruit of the Spirit. It is the power and life of the Holy Spirit active in those who by faith in Christ live out their baptism and chrismation to the fullest possible degree. This makes the righteousness of God gained by faith real in one’s life.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch writes: "Let [others] be instructed by you, at least by your works. With their wrath, you be mild, with their boastful speech you be humble-minded, with their abuse you offer prayers, with their deceit you be firm in faith, with their cruelty you be gentle, not eager to imitate them" (To the Ephesians). The holy mission of every Orthodox Christian is, by the grace of God, to teach others by example, how to live in harmony with one another. To be loving, kind, gentle, compassionate, forgiving, humble, truthful, merciful, patient, hopeful, and faithful. We are constantly bombarded with deceitful messages, distortions, and with accusations of all kinds. Do not listen to it but instead, turn to our Savior Jesus Christ and seek His guidance and Divine wisdom, "that you would walk worthy of God Who calls you into His own Kingdom and Glory" (1 Thessalonians 2:12).
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God