Asceticism and the Trusting Life

Our consideration of the psychology of communion began with the observation that the formation of human identity required the trusting acceptance of our own limits. That is to say, there is an inherent and dynamic relationship between conformity and communion.  If I wish to be free and to freely enter into a life of communion, I must accept in trust and gratitude the fact of my own limitations.  This dynamic is with us from the first moments of our life.  Socialization, whatever else it may be, is the process by which I find myself in a world not of my making but which, if I accept these limitations, I am able to influence.  To speak more theologically, I can only become a co-creator with God if I first accept the fact that I am NOT God but a creature who receives his existence as a gift—and so from outside—or not at all.

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On the prayer before Communion – Για την προσευχή προ της Θείας Κοινωνίας

Praying Before the Communion, Megara. Painting of Theodoros Rallis 1890

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Every time we come to Communion we say to the Lord that we come to Him Who is the Saviour of sinners, but we also state that we consider ourselves as the greatest of all. How much truth is there in such a statement when we make it? Or how can we make such a statement? Is it true? Can we truly say that we do consider ourselves the worst of all sinners? John of Kronstadt in his «Diary» makes a point which I believe is very important; he says that he also asks himself this very question, and he can answer it in all honesty, because, he says, if others had been given so much love, so much grace, so much Divine revelation as was given to him, they would have borne fruit which he proved unable to bear.

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Communion of Saints and sinners

Metropolitan Antony of Sourozh

Perhaps in these days that follow the feast of the Resurrection of Christ more than ever can one perceive clearly, passionately, that all the life of the world is one, and all the life of the Church is held in that mysterious communion of saints and sinners, which is the world in becoming. The Liturgy, the common prayers of the Church cannot be understood, apart from this communion of saints and of sinners. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Struggle for True Communion

For many Protestants (and some others) whose Church experience has largely been shaped in the past few decades, one of the most disconcerting aspects of a first visit to an Orthodox Church is the fact that not everybody, not all Baptized Christians, are permitted to receive communion. Indeed, communion is restricted to Orthodox Christians who have made preparation to receive (that’s another topic). For some, this is a surprise, for others, not, and for still some few, this is a welcome fact. When I first visited an Orthodox Church I fell into this last group. I did not rejoice that I was not able to take communion, but I rejoiced that I was not allowed to (in the state of schism in which I was living). Someone was saying to me, “There are things in your Christian life that must be addressed before you approach the Cup.” I understood this as healthy. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Come – and listen to Him!..

Metropolitan Antony of Sourozh

When the Samaritan woman came back in haste to her town and called all those who lived around her to see Christ, she said: ‘Come! Here is a Man who has told me everything I have done!’ And the people flocked around, and listened to what Christ had to say.

At times we think, how easy it was for this woman to believe and how easy it was for her, from within this shattering experience to turn to others and say: Come! Listen to one who has spoken as no-one else has ever spoken, One Who, without a word of mine has seen into the depth of my heart, into the darkness of my life, has seen and known everything. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

L’Ancien Éphrem de Katounakia (6/12/1912 – 27/2/1998) – (5) Paroles sur la prière

L'Ancien Éphrem de Katounakia avec ses frères spirituels, les futurs Anciens Charalampos de Dionysiou et Joseph de Vatopaidi, debout

La plus belle prière, c’est celle que tu conçois sur l’instant. Ce n’est pas suffisant, si nous voulons, disons, communier le lendemain, de lire la veille au soir les prières avant la communion. Voici ce que nous lisons : « Mes lèvres sont souillées, mon cœur impur… », sans comprendre ce que nous lisons. Il faut que toi-même tu trouves une prière, toi-même : alors tu comprends ce que tu dis à Dieu. Cela acquiert une grande puissance, pour ainsi dire, une grande force !  Encore… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »