Justin PopovichChristians are Christ-bearers…. The Saints are the most perfect Christians, for they have been sanctified to the highest degree with the podvigs (i.e.ascetic struggles) of holy faith in the risen and eternally-living Lord Christ and no death has power over them.

Their life is entirely from the Lord Christ, and for this reason it is entirely Christ’s life; and their thought is entirely Christ’s thought; and their perception is Christ’s perception.

All that they have is first Christ’s and then theirs. If the soul, it is first Christ’s and then theirs: if life, it is first Christ’s and then theirs.

In them is nothing of themselves but rather wholly and in everything the Lord Christ. Therefore, the Lives of the Saints are nothing else but the life of the Lord Christ, repeated in every saint to a greater or lesser degree in this or that form.

More precisely it is the life of the Lord Christ continued through the Saints, the life of the incarnate God the Logos, the God-man Jesus Christ who became man.

This was so that as man He could give and transmit to us His divine life; so that as God by His life he could sanctify and make immortal and eternal our human life on earth. “For both he who sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one” (Heb. 2:11).

[…] Having become man but having remained God, the God-man led a holy, sinless, Divine-human life on earth, and by this life, death, and Resurrection, annihilated the devil and his dominion of death and by this act gave and constantly gives His grace-filled energies to those who believe in Him, so that they may annihilate the devil and every death and every temptation.

[…] The lives of the saints are in fact the life of the Godman Christ, which is poured out into His followers and is experienced by them in His Church. For the smallest part of this life is always directly from Him because He is life, infinite and boundless and eternal life, which by His Divine power vanquished all deaths and resurrects from all deaths.

According to the all-true and good tidings of the All-True One: “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). The miraculous Lord who is completely “resurrection and life” is in His Church in His whole being as Divine-human reality, and consequently there is no end to the duration of this reality.

His life is continued through all ages; every Christian is of the same body with Christ, and he is a Christian because he lives the Divine-human life of this Body of Christ as Its organic cell.

Justin Popovich (1894-1979; Orthodox Church): Introduction to the Lives of the Saints.

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