Δόξα τω Θεώ, πάντων ένεκεν. - Αγ. Ιωάννης Χρυσόστομος

Κυριακή, 14 Μαΐου 2017

DON'T BE A CUT FLOWER

My beloved spiritual children in Our Risen Lord and Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,

CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!  ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!

DON'T BE A CUT FLOWER

   When a flower's stem is cut, it is abruptly severed from its support system-namely, the roots of the plant.  This is a shock to the flower's system.  Normally, a flower gets water and minerals from the soil through the roots.  Once the stem is cut, there is no way for the plant to get minerals from the soil.  Even though the flower is placed in water, it is not enough to feed the plant.  Without the necessary minerals and nutrients the flower will wilt with no water to help keep it upright, and the flower will die.

   Similarly, a person who cuts himself from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Church, inevitably, will. just as the cut flower, die spiritually.  The Church is a living, dynamic organism, the living Body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is the support system for all Christian believers.  In it, the believer, receives divine nourishment, the word of God, the Living Water, Christ.  Our Savior says clearly: "Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me...If anyone does not abide in Me,  he is cast out as a branch and he is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned (St. John 15:4-6).  Life flows from the Vine to the branches, from Christ to the believers.

   Saint Porphyrios says that the true religion is based on our love of God, not on the form but on substance of this love.  He calls it Eros or love with passion.  He says when we have this kind of love for God we receive His Life-Giving grace.  We live in His Light.  Man, animals and plants, all need light to live and grow, without it there is only death.

   Through the Church we become united with the True Light, the Light of the world.  Through the Mysteries (Sacraments) Christ penetrates our inner being.  This includes the purification of Baptism, anointing of Holy Chrism, and our partaking of Him in Holy Communion.  Saint Nicholas Cabasilas says that it is by the medium of the Holy Mysteries that "Christ comes us to us and dwell in us; He is united to us and grows into one with us. 

   Humans, as well as, the animals and plants, need constant food to continue on living.  Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." "Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life.  Jesus reemphasizes that He is the Bread of Life.  He makes it abundantly clear that He is the living bread come down from heaven.  He deepens the message and makes it more graphic saying the living bread is His flesh and unless we eat it and drink of His blood, we have no life in us.

   This Heavenly Bread, the Holy Eucharist,  can only be given in the Church.  There is no Eucharist outside the Church.  The Living Bread that bestows eternal life can be found only within the Church of Christ. 

   When one cuts himself from the Church, he or she, is destined to die spiritually.  There is life outside the Church, away from Christ.  Our support system is the Holy Church.  In it we find all the nourishment that we need to continue on living.  "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good".  When we eat His Body and drink His Blood, we receive His divine life and abide in His salvation, receiving forgiveness, healing, transformation, and the power of the Holy Spirit.  It is also what binds us together one with another as the Church.  Saint Paul reminds us when he says, "We how are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread" (1 Cor. 10:17).  The Holy Eucharist is thus the source of our common unity in Christ.

   There is no time to loose.  It is never too late to return home.  Our Lord awaits your return and so, are we.

We sincere and unconditional love for you,

+Father George

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