Tag Archives: Divine Love

St. Justin Popovich: Only the gospel of Christ fully knows the mystery of sin and the problem of sin . . .

Icon of the Prodigal SonOnly the gospel of Christ fully knows the mystery of sin and the problem of sin and everything which hides within it. The prodigal son of the Gospel is the perfect example of the repentant sinner. The Gospel shows us that man, through his free will, can share his life with Earth and with Heaven, with Satan and with God, with paradise and with hell. Sin gradually strips man of everything divine in him, paralyzes his every divine inclination and desire, until it finally throws him into the bosom of Satan. And then man reaches the plight of grazing the swine of his master, the Devil. The swine are passions, which are always greedy and gluttonous. In such a life, the unfortunate man is nothing more than insane. In a shocking parable of the Gospel, the Lord says about the prodigal son, ‘he came to himself,’ (Luke 15:17) How did he come to himself? He came to himself through repentance. Through sin, man becomes mad, insane. Every sin, even the most seemingly insignificant one, is always an insanity of the soul. Through repentance, man comes to his senses becomes complete again, comes to himself. Then he cries out loud to God, runs to Him, and cries towards Heaven, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and in thy sight’ (Luke 15:21). And what is the heavenly Father doing? He is always infinitely merciful upon seeing His child in a state of repentance. He has compassion for him, runs, embraces him, and kisses him. He orders His heavenly hosts, the holy angels: ‘Bring forth the best robe and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: for this is My son who was dead, and is alive again; and he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.’ (Luke 16:22-24) And this is taking place for each and every one of us, and for the sake of every sinner who repents. Namely, joy and happiness is taking place in the heaven of the All-merciful Lord and God, and together with Him, all of the holy angels.Book St Justin Popovich Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

+ St. Justin Popovich, From the preface to the book of Fr. Justin, Sinful Souls, Belgrade, 1968; quoted from Orthodox Faith & Life in Christ, “Select Writings of Fr. Justin”

St. Justin Popovich: Is there a way out of these innumerable humanistic hells? . . .

Icon of St. Justin Popovich“Is there a way out of these innumerable humanistic hells? Is there resurrection from these innumerable European graves? Is there a remedy for those innumerable deadly sicknesses? There is, there certainly is: repentance. That is the eternal message of the Gospel of the God-Man: “Repentance so that you may know the truth” (2 Tim. 2:25). Otherwise, it is not possible for anyone to believe in the all-saving Gospel of the God-man. “Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). Repentance before the God-Man is the only medicine for the sin, the unique medicine for all sins, even for the greatest of sins. There is no doubt. Repentance is the medicine even for this, the greatest sin of the papacy, centered in the arrogant dogma of papal infallibility, as it is also for every one of its sins, every humanism individually, and all humanisms together. Yes, yes, yes. From his beloved great sin of infallibility, European “infallible” man, European humanistic man, can only be saved through whole-hearted and all-transforming repentance before the wondrous, all-merciful, all-virtuous Lord Jesus Christ the God-man, the only Savior of the human race from all sins, from each evil, from each hell, from each devil, from each humanistic rationalism, from any of the sins which the human imagination is able to conceive.” Book St Justin Popovich Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ

+ St. Justin Popovich, “Reflections on the Infallibility of European Man,” Orthodox Faith & Life in Christ

St. Justin Popovich: The Second Vatican Council resulted in the rebirth of all European humanisms, the rebirth of cadavers. . . .

Icon of St. Justin Popovich“The Second Vatican Council resulted in the rebirth of all European humanisms, the rebirth of cadavers. Since Christ the God-man is present in this terrestrial world, each and every humanism is a cadaver. Matters reached this stage because the Council persisted in maintaining the dogma concerning the infallibility of the pope (= the man). Examined from the vantage point of the eternally living God-man, the historic Lord Jesus, all humanisms resemble criminal utopias to a greater or lesser extent. In the name of man they find various ways to murder man, to exterminate him as a spiritual and physical entity. All the humanisms arrive at one tragic, irrational result; they strain at a gnat and they swallow a camel. In the matter of papal infallibility, the notion has been elevated to dogma. And it is a horror, a horror in the extreme. Why? It is because the very dogma regarding the infallibility of man is nothing other than the shuddering funeral of every humanism, from the ideas that the Vatican has established as dogma to the satanic humanism of Sartre. In the humanistic pantheon of Europe, all the gods are dead, with European Zeus at the forefront. Dead, until such time as there arises in their withered hearts a complete, self-denying repentance, accompanied by the lightening and thunder of Golgotha, with its resurrectional earthquakes and transformations, and with its richly yielding storms and ascensions. And then? Then, their doxologies to the living, eternal, wondrous God-man, the only lover of mankind in all the worlds, will be unending.”

— St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith & Life in Christ, “Reflections on the Infallibility of European Man”

St. Mark the Ascetic: The forgiveness of insults is a sign . . .

Icon of St. Mark the Ascetic“The sign of sincere love is to forgive wrongs done to us. It was with such love that the Lord loved the world.”

+ St. Mark the Ascetic, “On Those Who Think They are Made Righteous by Works: Two Hundred and Twenty-Six Texts” No. 48, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 1)

St. Ephraim: Glory be to Him, Who never felt the need of our praising Him . . .

Icon of St. Ephraim the Syrian“Glory be to Him, Who never felt the need of our praising Him; yet felt the need as being kind to us, and thirsted as loving us, and asks us to give to Him, and longs to give to us. His fruit was mingled with us men, that in Him we might come near to Him, Who condescended to us. By the Fruit of His stem He grafted us into His Tree.”

— St. Ephraim the Syrian

St. Macarius of Optina: The Lord calls to him all sinners . . .

Photo of St. Marcarius of Optina“The Lord calls to him all sinners; He opens His arms wide, even to the worst among them. Gladly He takes them in His arms, if only they will come to Him.”

— St. Macarius of Optina

St. John Chrysostom: Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue . . .

Icon of St. John Chrysostom“Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God’s mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.”

—St. John Chrysostom

St. Makarios of Egypt: It is significant how deeply attracted men are by the spectacle of an earthly king . . .

Icon of St. Marcarius the Great“It is significant how deeply attracted men are by the spectacle of an earthly king and how eagerly they seek after it; and how everyone who lives in a city where the king has his residence longs to catch a glimpse simply of the extravagance and ostentation of his entourage. Only under the influence of spiritual things will they disregard all this and look down on it, wounded by another beauty and desiring a different kind of glory. If the sight of a mortal king is so important to worldly people, how much more desirable must the sight of the immortal king be to those into whom some drops of the Holy Spirit have fallen and whose hearts have been smitten by divine love? For this they will relinquish all amity with the world, so that they may keep that longing continually in their hearts, preferring nothing to it.”

— St. Makarios of Egypt, The Philokalia

St. Porphyrios: The Lord Himself will teach us how to pray. . . .

Icon of St. Porphyrios“The Lord Himself will teach us how to pray. We won’t learn prayer on our own, nor will anyone else teach us it. Don’t let’s say to ourselves, ‘I have made such -and-such a number of prostrations, so now I have secured divine grace,’ but rather let us make entreaty for the pure light of divine knowledge to shine within us and open our spiritual eyes so that we may understand His divine words.

In this way, without realizing it, we love God without contorting ourselves and without exertion and struggle. What is difficult for man is easy for God. We will love God suddenly when grace overshadows us. If we love Christ very much, the prayer will say itself. Christ will be continually in our mind an d in our heart.”

— St. Porphyrios, Wounded by Love

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk: If we want, Christian, to have our heart filled with divine love . . .

Icon of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk“If we want, Christian, to have our heart filled with divine love we must first empty them of the love of this world, its frivolous and sinful customs and then turn our hearts to the one God, our only good and happiness and eternal beatitude.”

— St. Tikhon of Zadonsk,  “True Christianity”