Nektarios the Wonderworker: We need to want to see in order to open our eyes to the brilliant, abundant light Friday, May 27 2016 

St NektariosA study of the history of the redemption of humankind reveals the Son of God, Who became a man in order to save all of us, treading the path to His voluntary passion, bearing the sin of the world, healing our wounds, fulfilling the great mystery of divine dispensation, reconciling us with God and yet in no way infringing our free will.

There you are! The gate of Paradise, which had been shut, was opened; the fiery sword which guarded the entrance was removed and the voice of the Lord invited excluded humanity to enter thereby into a place of peace and quiet. But we were left free to enter or not, as we choose.

[…] The prime agent in the work of our salvation is indeed the grace of God, because Christ the Saviour came as Light to those who were in the dark and shed the light of His Grace on those “dwelling in darkness and the shadow of death”.

He sought the lost sheep, called back those who had strayed, spoke secretly to people’s hearts and showed us the way to salvation. It’s the grace of God which perfects and saves, yet our own will should not be accounted of any less importance.

We should regard it as the outstanding gem in the crown of our salvation, since it’s the main lever that shifts our outlook that has been rendered inert by sin. This is what urges our footsteps to follow the Saviour, this is what strengthens our hearts to show self-denial, this is what bears the cross on the shoulder.

Because, although grace invites us, dispels the gloom and illumines the dark places, it’s possible  nevertheless, due to the carelessness and slothfulness, the contamination and spiritual idleness of the carnal view of life, for our free will to feign deafness, to close its eyes, to remain in darkness and to proceed in exactly the opposite direction: the one to perdition. In other words, our free will can act in total contradiction to what it actually wants.

So it’s necessary for us truly to want our salvation, to seek it. We have to want to hear, in order to hearken to the voice of  Him Who is calling us. We need to want to see in order to open our eyes to the brilliant, abundant light.

We have to want to move, to follow the Saviour, to refuse to be the people we once were, with our passions and desires, in order to take the cross upon our shoulders. We must follow the “strait and circumscribed road” so that we may pass through the narrow gate of Paradise.

Nektarios of Aegina (Orthodox Church; 1846-1920): Περί επιμελείας ψυχής, Athos editions, pp. 25ff @ Pemptousia.

Nektarios the Wonderworker: Blessed are they who hope in the Lord Monday, Nov 9 2015 

St NektariosContinued from here….

Those who hope in the Lord enjoy extreme peace; serenity reigns in their heart and their soul is governed by tranquillity.

When they have God as their helper, what shall they fear? What shall make them quake?

Should war arise against them, they will not founder, for they hope in the Lord.

If they are persecuted by evil-doers, they will not fear, for they know that all things are under the control of the Lord.

They do not hope in their bow nor their quiver, nor does their salvation depend on the sword, but on their Lord and God, Who is able to wrest them from the hands of those who war against them, from the trap of the sinner and from the tempest.

They are convinced of the power of the Lord and of “His high right arm” and the Lord will save them.

Those who hope in the Lord walk calmly in the struggle of life and stride along the path with no concern for tribulations.

They toil unceasingly for the good, the pleasing and the perfect, and God blesses their works. They sow with a blessing and reap the rich rewards of their efforts.  They have boldness before the Lord and are not diverted by the temptations which surround them.

Before the trials of life they do retreat, but hope, because when things seem at their most dire, that is when God shows the way through.

Through their faith, they also await the hope of righteousness. Those who hope in the Lord do not hope in riches, nor in the extent of their power, but are content with the assistance that the Lord will provide.

Those who hope in the Lord are full of faith and love towards God, they live with confidence in their pure conscience, they appear with the boldness of one of His children before their heavenly Father and call upon Him to send His kingdom to earth and ensure that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

Those who hope in the Lord are absolutely devoted to Him and raise their hearts to the good and immortal God. They ask of Him the supreme good, and immortality in the kingdom of Heaven. And God hears them.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Nektarios of Aegina (Orthodox Church; 1846-1920): Το γνώθι σαυτόν [To know yourself], Athos publications, pp.101-4 @ Pemptousia.

Nektarios the Wonderworker: The image of those who hope in the God who saves Tuesday, May 13 2014 

St NektariosHow wonderful, how pleasing, how charming is the image of those who hope in the God Who saves

— in God the compassionate, the God of mercy, the good God Who loves mankind.

People who hope in God are truly blessed.

God is their constant helper and they fear no evil, even if others provoke them.

They hope in God and do good.

They have set their every hope on Him and they confess to Him with all their heart.

He is their boast, their God and they call upon Him day and night.

Their mouths direct praise to God; their lips are sweeter than honey and wax when they open them to sing to God; their tongue, full of grace, is moved to glorify God.

Their heart is eager to call upon Him, their mind ready to be elevated towards Him, their soul is committed to God and “His right hand has upheld them”.

“Their souls will boast in the Lord”. They ask and receive from God whatever their heart desires.

They ask and find whatever they seek. They knock and the gates of mercy are opened.

People who hope in God rest upon untroubled waters. And God grants them His rich mercy.

The right hand of God directs their paths and the finger of the Lord guides them on their way.

Those who hope in the Lord do not fail. Their hope never dies. God is their expectation, the furthermost desire of their hearts.

Their hearts sigh before Him all the day long: “Lord, do not delay, arise, hasten, come and remove my soul from every necessity, bring my soul out of prison.

“I will glorify you with my whole heart, Lord. Every word which proceeds from my mouth will be directed to you”.

Those who hope in the Lord bless the Most High, His Redeemer and also sanctify “His holy name”.

They hope, and cry to God from the depths of their hearts: “Lord, when shall I come and appear before Your face”.

Those who hope in the Lord will call upon the Lord and enter into His holy place, in order to see and rejoice in His wonders.

And the Lord will hear the voice of their supplication.

Nektarios of Aegina (Orthodox Church; 1846-1920): from Το γνώθι σαυτόν [To know yourself], Athos publications, pp.101-4 @ Pemptousia.

Nektarios the Wonderworker: Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride! Wednesday, Jan 15 2014 

St NektariosRefrain: Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!

O Virgin pure, immaculate / O Lady Theotokos
O Virgin Mother, Queen of all / and fleece which is all dewy
More radiant than the rays of sun / and higher than the heavens
Delight of virgin choruses / superior to Angels.
Much brighter than the firmament / and purer than the sun’s light
More holy than the multitude / of all the heav’nly armies.

Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!

O Ever Virgin Mary/ of all the world, the Lady
O bride all pure, immaculate/ O Lady Panagia
O Mary bride and Queen of all/ our cause of jubilation
Majestic maiden, Queen of all/ O our most holy Mother
More hon’rable than Cherubim/ beyond compare more glorious
than immaterial Seraphim / and greater than angelic thrones.

Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!

Rejoice, O song of Cherubim / Rejoice, O hymn of angels
Rejoice, O ode of Seraphim / the joy of the archangels
Rejoice, O peace and happiness / the harbor of salvation
O sacred chamber of the Word / flow’r of incorruption
Rejoice, delightful paradise / of blessed life eternal
Rejoice, O wood and tree of life / the fount of immortality.

Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!

I supplicate you, Lady/ now do I call upon you
And I beseech you, Queen of all / I beg of you your favor
Majestic maiden, spotless one / O Lady Panagia
I call upon you fervently / O sacred, hallowed temple
Assist me and deliver me / protect me from the enemy
And make me an inheritor/ of blessed life eternal.

Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!

Nektarios of Aegina (Orthodox Church; 1846-1920): Source and translation: Holy Nativity Convent, Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.) @ http://www.serfes.org