Proclus of Constantinople: The powers of heaven are united with us in joyful celebration of Christ’s Resurrection Monday, Apr 13 2015 

Proclus_of_ConstantinopleGlorious is our paschal festival, and truly splendid this great assembly of the Christian people. And within this holy mystery are contained things both old and new.

The celebration of this week, or rather its joyfulness, is shared by such a multitude, that not alone does man rejoice on earth, but even the powers of heaven are united with us in joyful celebration of Christ’s Resurrection.

For now the angels, and the hosts of the archangels, also keep holiday this day, and stand waiting for the triumphant return from this earth of Christ our Lord, Who is King of heaven.

And the multitude of the Blessed likewise rejoice, proclaiming the Christ who was begotten before the day star rose (Ps. 109:3).

The earth rejoices, now washed by divine blood. The sea rejoices, honoured as it was by His feet upon its waters.

And ever more let each soul rejoice, who is born again of water and the Holy Ghost, and at last set free from the ancient curse!

With such great joy does Christ fill our hearts this day by His Resurrection, not only because He gives us the gladness of this day, but because He has also given us salvation through His passion, immortality through His Death, healing for our wounds, and resurrection from our fall!

And long ago, beloved, this Paschal Mystery, begun in Egypt, was symbolically pointed out to us in the Old Law, in the sacrifice of the lamb. And now, in the Gospel, let us celebrate the Resurrection of the Lamb: our Pasch.

Then a lamb of the flock was slain, as the Law laid down (Ex. 12); now Christ, the Lamb of God, is offered up.

There a sheep from the sheepfold; here, in the place of the sheep, the Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep.

There the sprinkled blood upon the doorposts was a sigh of deliverance for the people of God; here the Precious Blood of Christ was poured out for the deliverance of the whole world, that we might be forgiven our sins.

There the firstborn of Egypt were slain; here the manifold children of sinners are made clean confessing the Lamb.

There Pharaoh and his fearful host were drowned in the sea; here the spiritual Pharaoh with all His children are immersed in the sea of baptism.

There the children of the Hebrews, crossing over the Red Sea, sang their song of victory to their Deliverer, singing: Let us sing a hymn to the Lord, for He is gloriously magnified! (Ex. 15:1); here those found worthy of baptism sing their song of victory, singing: One Holy, one Lord Jesus Christ, in the glory of God the Father!

Proclus of Constantinople (d. 446 or 447): On the Holy Pasch, 1-2, in M.F. Toal: The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: Volume 2 – From the First Sunday in Lent to the Sunday After the Ascension, pp.234.

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Proclus of Constantinople: The Holy Mother of God is the Intended Paradise of the Second Adam Wednesday, Jan 15 2014 

Proclus_of_ConstantinopleOur present gathering in honor of the Most Holy Virgin inspires me, brethren, to say of Her a word of praise, of benefit also for those come unto this churchly solemnity.

It comprises a praise of women, a glorying of their gender, which (glory) is brought it by Her, She Who is at one same time both Mother, and Virgin.

O desired and wondrous gathering! Celebrate, O nature, that wherein honour be rendered to Woman; rejoice, O human race, that wherein the Virgin be glorified.

“For when sin did abound, grace did superabound” (Rom 5:20).

The Holy Mother of God and Virgin Mary has gathered us here. She is the pure treasure of virginity, the intended paradise of the second Adam.

She is the place wherein was accomplished the co-uniting of natures, wherein was affirmed the counsel of salvific reconciliation.

Who has ever seen, who has ever heard, that within a womb the limitless God – whom the heavens cannot circumscribe, whom the womb of a Virgin limits not – would make for Himself a habitation?

He who was born of woman is not only God and He is not only Man.  He made woman, who had been the ancient gateway of sin, into the gateway of salvation.

Where evil poured forth its poison, bringing on disobedience, there the Word made for Himself a living temple, into which He brought obedience. From whence the arch-sinner Cain sprang forth, there without seed was born Christ the Redeemer of the human race.

The Lover-of-Mankind did not disdain to be born of woman, since this bestowed His life.  He was not subject to impurity, being settled within the womb, which He Himself arrayed free from all harm.

If perchance this Mother did not remain a Virgin, then that born of Her might be a mere man, and the birth would be no wise miraculous. But since she after birth remained a Virgin, then how could it be that He who is born in this way be other than God?

It is an inexplicable mystery, since in an inexplicable manner was born He who without hindrance went through doors when they were locked.

When confessing in Him the co-uniting of two natures, Thomas cried out: “My Lord, and my God!” (Jn 20:28). The Apostle Paul says, that Christ is “to the Jews indeed scandal, and to the Gentiles yet folly” (1 Cor 1:23).

They did not perceive the power of the mystery, since it was incomprehensible to the mind: “for had they understood, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory” (1 Cor 2:8).

Proclus of Constantinople (d. 446 or 447): Sermon on the Annunciation; full text @ Preachers Institute.

Proclus of Constantinople: The Sun of Righteousness Washing in the Jordan, Fire Immersed in Water… Thursday, Jan 10 2013 

Proclus_of_ConstantinopleChrist appeared in the world, and, bringing beauty out of disarray, gave it lustre and joy. He bore the world’s sin and crushed the world’s enemy.

He sanctified the fountains of waters and enlightened the minds of men. Into the fabric of miracles he interwove ever greater miracles.

For on this day land and sea share between them the grace of the Saviour, and the whole world is filled with joy.

Today’s feast of the Epiphany manifests even more wonders than the feast of Christmas.

On the feast of the Saviour’s birth, the earth rejoiced because it bore the Lord in a manger; but on today’s feast of the Epiphany it is the sea that is glad and leaps for joy; the sea is glad because it receives the blessing of holiness in the river Jordan.

At Christmas we saw a weak baby, giving proof of our weakness. In today’s feast, we see a perfect man, hinting at the perfect Son who proceeds from the all-perfect Father.

At Christmas the King puts on the royal robe of his body; at Epiphany the very source enfolds and, as it were, clothes the river.

Come then and see new and astounding miracles: the Sun of righteousness washing in the Jordan, fire immersed in water, God sanctified by the ministry of man.

Today every creature shouts in resounding song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is he who comes in every age, for this is not his first coming.

And who is he? Tell us more clearly, I beg you, blessed David: The Lord is God and has shone upon us.

David is not alone in prophesying this; the apostle Paul adds his own witness, saying: The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all men, and instructing us.

Not for some men, but for all. To Jews and Greeks alike God bestows salvation through baptism, offering baptism as a common grace for all.

Come, consider this new and wonderful deluge, greater and more important than the flood of Noah’s day.

Then the water of the flood destroyed the human race, but now the water of baptism has recalled the dead to life by the power of the one who was baptized.

In the days of the flood the dove with an olive branch in its beak foreshadowed the fragrance of the good odour of Christ the Lord; now the Holy Spirit, coming in the likeness of a dove, reveals the Lord of mercy.

Proclus of Constantinople (d. 446 or 447): Sermon 7 on Holy Theophany Epiphany, 1-3 (PG 65, 758-759) from the Office of Readings for the Wednesday between the Feast of the Epiphany and the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord @ Crossroads Initiative.

Proclus of Constantinople: O Awesome and Wondrous Mystery! Wednesday, Dec 26 2012 

Proclus_of_ConstantinopleAmong the things celebrated at yesterday’s feast, was there anything which was not miraculous and wondrous, or awesome and glorious?

What was the marvel of yesterday’s feast day?

But first, I beg you, listen with forbearance, for a tongue of clay is trying to convey the mysteries of God.

What, then, was the marvel of yesterday’s feast?

The inexplicable mystery of divinity and humanity; a birth pang without pain; an enfleshment giving form to the one without shape;

an inconceivable birth; a beginning, but not the beginning of the One who was born.

For even though it was the beginning of His humanity, His divinity remained beginningless;

one form assumed another form, but the Trinity did not increase to a quaternity;

for this was a union of two natures, the birth of one Son, and the unconfused union of the Word with the flesh.

He who was born according to the flesh is God from the Father, and man from me. O awesome and wondrous mystery!

Who ever saw a king take on the appearance of a condemned man? Or when did the eye ever take in the sight of the entire sun?

And when was human flesh ever essentially united without change to God, if not yesterday?

When the Virgin was heavy with child, when the Word entered in through her sense of hearing,

when the Holy Spirit fashioned the living temple of the body,

when the Most High emptied Himself into the form of a servant (Phil. 2:7),

when the womb of a virgin contained within herself the mystery of the divine dispensation.

O womb wider than the heavens! O birth that bears salvation! O womb of clay and bridal chamber of the Creator!

O birth, a ransom for the sin of the world! O mystery, the manner of which I am unable to explain!

O birth, not the beginning of God’s existence, not a change of nature, nor a diminishing of power, neither a separation from the beginningless progenitor, but the essential union of God and flesh;

the blessing of birth; the advent of God; the wonder hidden by God from the ages; the indivisible mystery of divine and human natures;

the abolition of the curse; the overturning of the sentence which stood against us; the birth of the one and only Son,

His beginningless existence, His birth in the flesh from the Virgin and veneration by all creation, joyfully announced and freely given to all!

To Him be glory and dominion, unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Proclus of Constantinople (d. 446 or 447): On the Incarnation of the Lord; longer extract @ Mystagogy