Tag Archives: Humanity

St. Maximus the Confessor: As I man I deliberately transgressed the divine commandment . . .

Icon of St. Maximos the ConfessorAs man I deliberately transgressed the divine commandment, when the devil, enticing me with the hope of divinity (cf. Gen. 3:5), dragged me down from my natural stability into the realm of sensual pleasure; and he was proud to have thus brought death into existence, for he delights in the corruption of human nature. Because of this, God became perfect man, taking on everything that belongs to human nature except sin (cf. Heb. 4:15); and indeed sin is not part of human nature, In this way, by enticing the insatiable serpent with the bait of the flesh. He provoked him to open his mouth and swallow it. This flesh proved poison to him, destroying him utterly by the power of the Divinity within it; but to human nature it proved a remedy restoring it to its original grace by that same power of the Divinity within it. For just as the devil poured out his venom of sin on the tree of knowledge and corrupted human nature once it had tasted it, so when he wished to devour the flesh of the Master he was himself destroyed by the power of the Divinity within it.

+ St. Maximos the Confessor, Various Texts on Theology, the Divine Economy, and Virtue and Vice 1.11, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 2)

St. John of Kronstadt: Sermon on the Nativity of Jesus Christ (Part 5)

Icon of St. John of Kronstadt“Human nature is deified for the sake of the boundless compassion of the Son of God; and its sins are purified; the defiled are sanctified. The ailing are healed. Upon those in dishonour are boundless honour and glory bestowed. Those in darkness are enlightened by the Divine light of grace and reason.”

+ St. John of Kronstadt, Sermon on the Nativity of Jesus Christ

Read Full Sermon at Pravoslavie

From the Russian text appearing in Chapter 2 of “Solntse Pravdy: O Zhizni i Uchenii Gospoda Nashego, Iisusa Khrista” [“The Sun of Righteousness: On the Life and Teaching of Our Lord, Jesus Christ”], by Protopriest [Saint] Ioann [John] (Sergiev) of Kronstadt, pp. 4-6. Translated into English by G. Spruksts.

St. Justin Popovich: All the European humanisms . . .

Icon of St. Justin Popovich“All the European humanisms, from the most primitive to the most sophisticated, from the fetishistic to the papal, are based on a belief in man as he finds himself in the midst of his given spiritual and physical empirical situation and his historical context. In this view the entire essence of every humanism is man (homo), and encapsulated in the ontology of every humanism is nothing other than humanism (homo hominis). Man is the highest value, the supreme value. Man is the principal criterion, the ultimate criterion. “Man is the measure of everything.” That, at its core (in nuce) is every humanism, every homanism. Therefore, all humanisms, all hominisms are, in the final analysis, idolatrous and polytheistic in origin. Pre-Renaissance, Renaissance, and post-Renaissance ─ Protestant, philosophical, religious, social, scientific, cultural, or political ─ all the European humanisms strive consciously or subconsciously, but they strive unceasingly, for one result: to replace faith in the God-man with a belief in man, to replace the Gospel of the God-man with a gospel according to man, to replace the philosophy of the God-man with a philosophy according to man, to replace the culture of the God-man with a culture according to man. In brief, they seek to replace life according to the God-man with life according to man.

This has been developing for centuries until in the last century, in 1870 at the First Vatican Council, all these efforts achieved their pinnacle in the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope. This dogma subsequently became the central dogma of the papacy. In our own times, during the Second Vatican Council, this doctrine was discussed so persistently and so skillfully that the notion of its inviolability and inalterability was strongly reinforced. This doctrine has an overwhelming significance for the fate of European civilization, and for the apocalyptic times into which it has brought itself. Through this dogma all European humanisms have built their ideals and their idol: man has been declared the supreme godhead, the ultimate godhead. The European humanistic pantheon has established its Zeus.”

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

St. Kosmas: What does our Christ instruct us to do? . . .

Icon of St. Kosmas“What does our Christ instruct us to do? Meditate on our sins, on death, on hell, on paradise, and on our soul, which is more precious than the entire world. We are to eat and drink moderately, similarly, to clothe ourselves moderately, and to use the remaining time for our soul-to make it a bride for our Christ. And then we can call ourselves human beings and earthly angels. But if we concern ourselves with what we shall eat and what we shall drink, how we shall commit sin, how to dress up this stinking body which tomorrow will be eaten by worms, and do not concern ourselves about our soul which is eternal, then we can’t be called human beings, but animals. So make your body a servant of the soul, and then you can call Yourselves human beings.”

— St. Kosmas Aitolos, The Life of St. Kosmas Aitolos Together with an English Translation of His Teaching and Letters