Nikolai Velimirovich: The Son Abides in a Ceaseless Communion of Mutual Love, Obedience and Joy with the Holy Spirit and with the Father (1) Tuesday, Jun 25 2013 

Nikolai Velimirovich(on Acts 2:1–11; Jn.7:37–52; 8:12)

Oh, how perfect love is always ready for perfect obedience! After all, perfect love cannot be perfectly expressed in any other way than by perfect obedience.

Love is always vigilant in its desire and readiness to obey its beloved. And from perfect obedience flows, just like a stream of honey and milk, perfect joy, which is the content of the attractive power of love.

The Father has perfect love for the Son and the Spirit. The Son has perfect love for the Father and the Spirit. And the Spirit has perfect love for the Father and the Son.

According to this perfect love, the Father is in the most zealous obedience to the Son and the Spirit, and the Son is in the most zealous obedience to the Father and the Spirit; and the Spirit is in the most zealous obedience to the Father and the Son.

Perfect love makes the Father the perfect servant of the Son and the Spirit; and the Son, the perfect servant of the Father and the Spirit; and the Spirit, the perfect servant of the Father and the Son.

Just as no love in the created world can be compared to the mutual love of the Divine Hypostasis, neither also can any obedience be compared to Their mutual obedience.

I have glorified Thee on earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do (Jn. 17:4). May Thy will be done. Are these not the words of the Son’s perfect obedience to the Father?

Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me. And I knew that Thou hearest me always, said the Lord Jesus Christ at the resurrection of Lazarus; and later He would exclaim: Father, glorify Thy name.

Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again (Jn. 11:41–42; 12:28). Is this not the perfect obedience of the Father to the Son?

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you (Jn. 16:7).

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever… But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me (Jn. 14:16; 15:26).

And truly, on the fiftieth day after the Resurrection, the Comforter, Spirit of Truth descended upon those to whom it was promised. Is this not the perfect obedience of the Holy Spirit to the Son?

Nikolai Velimirovich (1880-1956; Orthodox Church): The Day of the Holy Trinity. Pentecost: The Gospel of the Descent of the Holy Spirit @ Pravoslavie.

Nikolai Velimirovich: The Ascent of the Swallow Thursday, Jun 13 2013 

Nikolai VelimirovichWhen swallows run short of food and the cold weather is coming, they set off to warm climes, where there is plenty of sun and food.

One swallow flies ahead, testing the air and showing the way, while the rest of the flock follows after.

When our souls run short of food in the material world, and when the cold of death draws near—ah, is there a swallow like that one, to take us to a warm place, where there is plenty of spiritual warmth and food?

Is there such a place? Is there, oh, is there such a swallow? […] The Church…has seen that part of Paradise for which our souls yearn in the frozen twilight of this earthly existence.

It has also seen this blessed swallow, the first to fly to that yearned-for place, dispersing the darkness and cutting through the heavy atmosphere between earth and Heaven with its powerful wings, opening the way to the flock behind it.

Apart from this, the Church on earth can tell one of innumerable flocks of swallows that have followed the first Swallow and flown off with it to that blessed land, a land abounding with all good things—the land of eternal Spring.

You will see from this that, by this saving Swallow, I am thinking of the ascended Lord Jesus Christ. Has He not said of Himself that He is the Way?

Did He not Himself say to His Apostles: “I go to prepare a place for you…and if I go…I will receive you unto Myself”(St. John 14:2–3)?

And did He not say to them before this: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” (St. John 12:32)?

This that He Himself said began to be fulfilled a few weeks later, and has continued to be fulfilled right down to our own day, and shall be to the end of time.

That is, being the beginning of the first creation of the world, He became also the beginning of the second creation, or the blessed renewing of the old.

Sin clipped Adamʼs wings and those of all his descendants, and they all fell away from God, went off, and were blinded with the dust from which their bodies were created.

Christ, as the New Adam, the first Man, the Firstborn among men, was the first to rise up to Heaven on spiritual wings, to the throne of Eternal Glory and power, thus cleaving the way to Heaven and opening all Heavenʼs gates to His followers, with their spiritual wings—as an eagle cleaves the way for its eaglets ,as the swallow which goes ahead, showing the flock the way and breaking the airʼs heavy resistance.

Nikolai Velimirovich (1880-1956; Orthodox Church): from Homily 27: The Ascension of the Lord in Homilies (Birmingham: Lazarica Press, 1996, Vol. I, pp. 296-299; full text @ Kandylaki.

Nikolai Velimirovich: “My Son, Give Me Your Heart” Friday, Jun 7 2013 

Nikolai Velimirovich“With closest custody, guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

In the heart is the will, in the heart is love, in the heart is understanding, in the heart is the face of the All-holy and Divine Trinity.

The heart is the home of the Father, the altar of the Son and the workshop of the Holy Spirit.

God wants the heart: “My Son, give me your heart” (Proverbs: 23:26).

Let the mountains be overturned, let the seas dry up,

let your friends abandon you, let your wealth fail you,

let your body be consumed by worms,

let the world pour upon you all the ridicule which it has but be not afraid.

Only guard your heart, guard and affix it to the Lord and give it to the Lord.

From the heart comes life. From where does life in the heart come if the breath of the Lord and Source of Life, God, does not dwell in it?

“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (St. Matthew 12:35).

These are the words of the Lord Who fills the treasury of your heart with His riches.

What is that “good man?” That is the good treasure of the heart.

What is that “evil man?” That is the evil treasure of the heart.

“For out of the heart [of an evil man] proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (St. Matthew 15:19).

And from the good heart proceeds “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Do you see how great a warehouse is the heart of man? Do you see what all can fit in the heart of man?

O brother, God the Holy Spirit Himself, when it pleases Him, can fit in the heart of man.

Not only can He, but He will. He only waits for you to prepare your heart for Him;

to convert it into a temple, for God the Holy Spirit only dwells in a temple.

Just as a serpent protects its head so you, also son, guard your heart.

Above everything that is guarded, son, guard your heart!

For in the heart enters life and from it proceeds life, life which is from the Living God.

O Life-giving Lord, help us to guard our heart for You, for You the Lord!

Nikolai Velimirovich (1880-1956; Orthodox Church): Prologue from Ohrid, June 6th.

Nikolai Velimirovich: God the Holy Spirit Caresses Us in the Heart of Our Very Being Sunday, May 19 2013 

Nikolai VelimirovichThe Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16).

He who has the Spirit of God in himself – only he has the witness that he is the child of God.

Without the Spirit of God there is no such witness. Not even the entire universe can give this witness.

The universe, alone, without the Spirit of God – what else does it witness to us other than that we are its slaves, its victims, which it unmercifully swallows?

In essence, the pagans thought that also. The opponents of God today, do they not think likewise? They do think so.

For indeed, it is difficult to take that thought away from man who did not recognize the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God, the Witness of Heaven.

The same apostle says: “For you have not received the spirit of bondage” (Romans 8:15). What is this spirit of bondage? It is every other spirit except the Spirit of God, Who Christ the Lord sends to those who love Him.

The spirit of bondage is the spirit of materialism, the spirit of fortune-telling, the spirit of naturalism, the spirit of pessimism, the spirit of despair, the spirit of vice.

Only the Spirit of God is the All Holy Spirit of adoption and freedom.

O what happiness, O what peace, O what joy when the Spirit of God cuddles in the cleansed heart of man as a sparrow does in its nest!

Then our hope opens hundreds of doors in the prison of the universe and our embrace, wider than the universe, stretches out to the One Who is greater and more merciful than the universe.

To Whom? To the Father! And then we cry out: “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15).

The witness of God, which comes through the eyes, can even lead us to doubt that we are the children of God.

But, the witness which comes to us from the heart, from the Spirit of God, does not leave even the slightest doubt.

God witnesses about God. What kind of doubt can there be? God the Holy Spirit caresses us in the heart of our very being.

Can there be any kind of doubt there? No; for then we know and feel completely confident that God is the Father and we, the children of God. No one’s servants, no one’s slaves, rather the children of God.

O Lord God, Holy Spirit come abide in us and remain with us as a Witness of the Trinity and the Kingdom, as a Witness of the immortal Paradise.

Nikolai Velimirovich (1880-1956; Orthodox Church): Prologue from Ohrid, May 21st.

Nikolai Velimirovich: “The Love of God is Shed Abroad in Our Hearts by the Holy Spirit” Wednesday, May 15 2013 

Nikolai VelimirovichThe love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Love is joy and love anoints the heart of man with joy. Brethren, love is power and love anoints the heart of man with power.

Love is peace and love anoints the heart of man with peace. And from joy, power and peace, courage is born and love anoints the heart of man with courage.

The love of God, as a fragrant oil, is shed abroad in our hearts by no other than the Holy Spirit, the All-gentle and All-powerful Spirit.

Completely undeserved by us, the Spirit of God is shed abroad in us: the love of God in our hearts in the Mystery of Chrismation.

However, in time we neglect this love and by sin we alienate ourselves from God and fall into the disease of spiritual paralysis.

And the Holy Spirit unwilling to abide in an impure vessel, distances Itself from our heart.

When the Holy Spirit distances Itself from us, then joy, power, peace and courage also departs from us immediately.

We become sorrowful, weakened, disturbed and fearful. But the All-good Spirit of God only distances Itself from us but does not abandon us completely.

He does not abandon us but He offers to us who are sick, remedies through the Mystery of Repentance and the Mystery of Holy Communion.

When we again cleanse ourselves through the Mysteries of Repentance and Communion then He, the Holy Spirit of God, again abides in us and the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.

We fall, we rise, we fall and we rise! When we fall, the Spirit of God stands by us and raises us if we desire to be raised.

However, when we are raised, the Spirit of God stands within us all until we, by sin and foolishness, do not desire to fall.

Thus, we in this life interchangeably become a fertile field and a wilderness, sons of repentance and prodigal sons, fullness and emptiness, light and darkness.

O All-good Holy Spirit of God, do not depart from us either when we want You and when we do not want You.

Be with us all the time until our death and save us for life eternal.

Nikolai Velimirovich (1880-1956; Orthodox Church): Prologue from Ohrid, May 24th.

Nikolai Velimirovich: The Spirit of God then Rejoices in Us and Our Entire Being Trembles from Certain Inexpressible Joy Saturday, May 11 2013 

Nikolai Velimirovich“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, where by you are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).

[…] Even in normal relations between men, happy is the one who gives the gift and happy is also he who receives the gift. Giving is joy on both sides. The greater the gift, the greater the joy.

God rejoices when He gives the Grace of His Holy Spirit: why then should men not rejoice who receive it?

The needy one who receives usually rejoices more than the rich man who gives; why then should not miserable men rejoice who receive this enormous gift from the rich God?

In what way do men grieve the Holy Spirit? The apostle who commanded that we not grieve the Spirit of God immediately adds, by what means is the Spirit grieved:

“All bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking (swearing) and all malice. All of that to be put away from you” (Ephesians 4:31), says the apostle.

In other words, the Spirit of God is grieved by our every sin. Let every sin be put away from us and the Spirit of God will be joyful and by Him we will be rejoicing.

When we have an important guest in our home we endeavor to do everything that is well pleasing for that guest. Can there be a greater guest than the Holy Spirit of God?

Since He is our greatest and most desired guest, we need to invest the utmost effort to please Him.

We know with what we please the Spirit of God – with the same, with which we please Christ the Lord. The Lord said: “If you love me, keep my commandments” (St. John 14:15).

He who, therefore, keeps the commandments of Christ has love toward the Son and toward the Holy Spirit. He who pleases the Son, keeping His commandments, also pleases the Father and the Holy Spirit.

The apostle especially recommends: “be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another” (Ephesians 4:32). If we are kind, if we are tenderhearted [merciful], if we forgive one another, by this we please the Spirit of God Who is a guest in our hearts.

The Spirit of God then rejoices in us and our entire being trembles from certain inexpressible joy.

O my brethren, let us take care that we not grieve our Most High Guest Who comes to us with the richest gifts.

O God the Holy Spirit, forgive our negligence toward Your Immortal Majesty and do not leave us empty and worthless without You.

Nikolai Velimirovich (1880-1956; Orthodox Church): Prologue from Ohrid, May 23rd.

Nikolai Velimirovich: Being “in Adam” and “in Christ” Tuesday, Apr 30 2013 

Nikolai Velimirovich“For just as in Adam all die, so too, in Christ, shall all be brought to life” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Following Adam’s example, life is sown in shame, and following Christ’s example, life is raised in glory.

Sin is from Adam and justice is from Christ. Weakness and death come from Adam and strength and life come from Christ.

Accordingly, in Adam we all die. Accordingly, in Christ, we shall all be brought to life.

That one is the earthly man [Adam], this one is the heavenly man [Christ]. That is the bodily man [Adam] and this is the spiritual man [Christ].

Christ did not resurrect for His sake but for our sake – just as He did not die for His sake but for our sake.

If His resurrection does not signify our resurrection, then His resurrection is bitterness and not sweetness.

Where, then, would the love of God be? Where, then, would the meaning of our miserable earthy experience be? What, then, would be the purpose of Christ’s coming to earth?

There, where Adam ends, Christ begins. Adam ends up in the grave and Christ begins with the resurrection from the grave.

Adam’s generation, i.e., the seed underground that rots and decays, does not see the sun, does not believe that it can emerge from beneath the earth to blossom into a green plant with leaves, flowers and fruit.

Christ’s generation is a green field upon which wheat grows, turns green, becomes covered with leaves, blossoms and bears much fruit.

“In Adam” does not only mean that we will die one day, rather it means that we are already dead; dead to the last one.

“In Christ” does not only mean that we will revive one day, but rather that we are already alive, i.e., that the seed in the ground has already begun to germinate and to break through to the light of the sun.

The complete expression of death is in the grave, but the complete expression of eternal life is in the kingdom of God.

The mind of the sons of Adam are in accordance with death, reconciled with being decayed and sink even deeper into the ground.

The mind of the sons of Christ rebel against death and decay and exert all the more, to burgeon a man toward the light, which the Grace of God helps.

O resurrected Lord, sober the minds of all the sons of man that they would flee from darkness and destruction and reach out toward the light and life eternal which is in You.

Nikolai Velimirovich (1880-1956; Orthodox Church): Prologue from Ohrid, April 11th.

Nikolai Velimirovich: The Horror of Nature at the Death of Christ Saturday, Mar 30 2013 

Nikolai Velimirovich“The earth quaked, rocks were split” (St. Matthew 27:51).

O, what a terrible reproach against mankind! Even dead nature recognized Him Whom men were unable to recognize.

All mute things trembled and began to protest, each in its own way and in its own language. The mute earth quakes–that is its language. The stones split apart–that is their language. The sun withholds its light–that is its language.

All of creation in its own way protested. For all of creation is submissive to Him, as it was to Adam at one time in Paradise, because all of creation recognizes Him as it did Adam in Paradise.

How is it that irrational creation knew Him and was obedient to Him, we do not know. It is some kind of inner instinct of irrational creation, which came to them from the word of God, by which they were created.

That instinct of irrational creation is more valuable than the mind of man when darkened by sin. Of all the things which are in existence, nothing is more blind than the mind of man when darkened by sin.

Not only does he not see what was created to be seen, rather, he sees that which is contrary to being, contrary to God, and contrary to the truth.

These are the degrees of the blindness; beneath blindness; these are numbers below zero. This is man of lower creation.

For when the priests of God in Jerusalem did not recognize their God, the storms and winds recognized Him; vegetation and animals recognized Him; the seas, the rivers, the earth, the stones, the stars, the sun and even the demons recognized Him.

O what kind of shame it is for mankind!

The earth quaked, the rocks split, the sun darkened, as much in anger as in sorrow. All creation grieved over the pain of the Son of God.

Protests and sorrow and fear! The whole of creation was frightened at the death of Him Who cried to them arise from nothing and rejoice in your being.

As though it wanted to say: with whom do we remain and who will now uphold us when the Almighty gives up the Spirit?

O brethren, let us be ashamed of this protest, these sorrows and this fear of the mutes of creation!

With repentance let us cry out to the Lord, the Victor: forgive, O Compassionate Lord, for indeed, whenever we sin and offend You, we do not know what we are doing.

Nikolai Velimirovich (1880-1956; Orthodox Church): Prologue from Ohrid, March 28th.

Nikolai Velimirovich: The Blood of this Sinless and Meek Lamb was Destined for All Times and All Generations Wednesday, Mar 27 2013 

Nikolai Velimirovich“Like a lamb lead to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7).

Throughout the many centuries of time the discerning Prophet Isaiah foresaw the awesome sacrifice on Golgotha.

From afar he saw the Lord Jesus Christ led to the slaughter as a lamb is lead to the slaughter.

A lamb permits itself to be led to the laughter as it is led to the pasture: defenseless, without fear and without malice.

Thus, Our Lord Christ was led to the slaughter without defense, without fear and without malice.

Neither does He say: “Men, do not do this!” Neither does He question: “Why are you doing this to Me?”

Neither does He condemn anyone. Neither does He protest. Neither does He become angry. Neither does He think evilly of His judges.

When blood poured out over Him from the thorny wreath, He was silent. When His face was soiled from being spat upon, He was silent.

When His Cross became heavy along the way, He endured. When His pain became unbearable on the Cross, He did not complain to men but to the Father.

When He breathed His last, He directed His gaze and sigh toward heaven and not toward earth. For the source of His strength is heaven and not earth.

The source of His consolation is in God and not in men. His true homeland is the Heavenly Kingdom and not the earthly kingdom.

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). This was the first cry of St. John the Baptist when he saw the Lord.

And, behold, now on Golgotha that prophecy was fulfilled. Behold, under the weight of the sins of the entire world, the Lamb of God lay slaughtered and lifeless.

O brethren, this is a costly sacrifice even for our sins. The blood of this sinless and meek Lamb was destined for all times and all generations, from the first to the last person on earth.

Christ also felt the pains on the Cross for our sins even those of the present day. He also wept in the Garden of Gethsemane for our wickedness, our weakness and our sinfulness. He also destined His blood for us.

Brethren let us not then despise this indescribable costly price by which we have been redeemed. Because of these sacrifices of Christ we, indeed, have some worth as people.

Without these sacrifices, or if we disavow these sacrifices, our worth, by itself alone, is equal to nothing. It is equal to smoke without a flame or a cloud without light.

O Lord, unequalled in mercy, have mercy on us also!

Nikolai Velimirovich (1880-1956; Orthodox Church): Prologue from Ohrid, April 1st.

Nikolai Velimirovich: Then the Small Heaven in Man Begins to Resemble that Great Heaven of God… Friday, Jan 11 2013 

StNikolaiVelimirovichI indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me…shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire (Matthew 3:11). 

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit and the water and the blood: and these three are together” (1 John 5:7-8).

When we read Holy Scripture, we should be alert to keep an eye on every word.

To the rapid reader, for example, this distinction which the Evangelist draws between the Heavenly Trinity and the earthly trinity will not become apparent.

Concerning the Heavenly Trinity, he says, “And these three are one;” and concerning the earthly trinity, he says, “And these three are together.”

There is an enormous difference between “being one” and “being together.”

The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are One, whereas the spirit, water and blood are only together and are not one.

Even enemies could be together as one, but are not one. All the people on earth are together, but they are not one.

Water and blood constitute the body and the spirit is the spirit. “For the flesh has desires against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh” (Galatians 5:17).

However, they are not one, but they are still together.

When man dies the union is broken apart and ceases to exist. Blood and water go to one side and the spirit goes to another side.

Whereas the [Heavenly] Divine Trinity in the heavens not only are they together but they are also one.

There is also another trinity in the inner heaven of man which should be, not only a unity, but a oneness so that man could be blessed in this world and in the other world.

That is the union of the mind, heart and will. As long as these three are only in togetherness, man will be at war with himself and with the Heavenly Trinity.

However, when these three become one, so that neither one rules and that neither one is enslaved, then man becomes filled with “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) – man’s every word, every explanation, every fear and every sorrow.

Then the small heaven in man begins to resemble that great heaven of God, and the “image and likeness of God” becomes apparent in man.

O Triune God, help us to resemble, at least, those who resemble You.

Nikolai Velimirovich (1880-1956; Orthodox Church): Prologue from Ohrid, January 6th.

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