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Friday, August 17, 2018

How to know God?


FAITHBOOK – ORTHODOXY



How to know God?

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/114043.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

How can we know God? The Creator Himself imparted to man the beginnings of wisdom and spirit, so that man might know Him and His will. Throughout our entire life, we are called to continually and ever more discover and know our Heavenly Father, to love Him, and to find our eternal blessings in Him. There is no creative work of any kind, whether in the realm of science, art, or other creative activity in the world, that is conceivable without that origin of reason and spirit. Through his faith, through higher intuitive comprehension, man begins to see and perceive God; with his inner hearing, man is capable of hearing Divine truth and love. The world was created with love that is greater than worldly love, and believers begin to love that love, to serve it amid all that is encountered in the world, all of the trials and tests the soul faces in preparing itself for its higher, eternal existence… The Gospel states that who has been faithful over a few things will be faithful over many things. The purpose and meaning of our earthly existence is to ascend through this brief, temporal, life, to eternal life on high.

All of the teachings of the Gospels are directed toward understanding of that very exalted, higher, meaning of life, love toward God and service to the Kingdom of love among men. Everyone is called to serve God and to help others, our brethren here on earth, in God’s truth. People are not simply one another’s brethren, but even more than brethren; they are blood relatives, brothers sharing the same Heavenly Father. Living in various countries, belonging to various peoples, they are all compatriots

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Life of the Holy Theotokos (God-Bearer): Whom the Grave Could Not Contain


HOLY VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD



The Life of the Holy Theotokos:

Whom the Grave Could Not Contain

Source:

http://deathtotheworld.com

http://deathtotheworld.com/articles/the-life-of-the-holy-theotokos-whom-the-grave-could-not-contain/

DEATH TO THE WORLD

The Theotokos (God-Bearer) was born of the elderly Joachim and Anna as an answer to their prayers. After being humiliated and run out of the Temple, Joachim stood in prayer and fasting, in the same cave as once did Elijah the Prophet, begging God to give him and his barren wife a child. In their garden, Anna stood in prayer also, fervently asking God to take away her sorrow. An angel appeared to them both telling them of the great mystery that would be given to them, a daughter who would bear the Life of the World.

Joachim and Anna made a promise that they would give the child back to God, and being very pious and devout, they offered Mary up to be raised in the Temple at the age of three. The High Priest Zacharias, the husband of Anna’s niece and father of John the Baptist, welcomed the child Mary with great delight. Seeing that she would be made the new Ark, carrying within her the New Covenant, he was filled with the spirit and exclaimed, “The souls of the condemned rejoice and the patriarchs exult. Our prophets hoped in thee that they might be delivered from the hands of the devil!” Taking her into the Temple he placed her in the Holy of Holies saying, “Enter into the Holy of Holies, for thou art much purer than myself… For thou art the Temple of God, therefore, remain in the Temple.” The High Priest said that she was the “dry rod of Aaron,” the “bush which burned without being consumed,” “the fleece of Gideon”, and he called her “the Queen David spoke of” saying “At Thy right hand stood the Queen, arrayed in a vesture of inwoven gold, adorned in varied colors”(Ps. 44:8)

The young maiden grew up in the Temple, frequently visiting God in the Holy of Holies. Her parents came to visit her every year until they died of old age. When Mary reached the age of 13, she was forced to leave the temple because, according to Jewish law, a woman became unclean when they started their minstrel cycle. Seeing that Mary was deeply grieved, because she wanted to live in virginity, Zacharias found an older man, Joseph, who would only betroth her. Being betrothed was like engagement, it was before a formal wedding. Betrothal was binding in the Jewish tradition, but during the betrothal period you did not engage in sexual relations. Because of Mary’s desire to stay a virgin, history records that Joseph and Mary stayed only betrothed until Joseph’s death. This is why the Early Church always viewed Mary as being ever virgin.

Not long after living outside of the Temple, Gabriel the Angel announced to Mary what is strange to the angels and to the minds of men, that the Uncontainable God would be contained in her womb. On this day “the Son of God became the Son of the Virgin, and Gabriel announces good tidings of grace. Therefore, let us also join him and cry aloud to the Theotokos: ‘Rejoice, thou who art full of grace: the Lord is with Thee!’”(Saint Ramonos). At this Mary was filled with joy and submitting to the will of God she said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”(Luke 1:38). Mary then went into the hill country to visit her cousin Elizabeth in the city of Judah. Upon seeing her, Elizabeth’s baby, the future John the Baptist, leaped in her womb and she cried out to