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    Prayer & Christian Devotion - Thread: SPIRITUAL MORSELS from the Ancient Fathers

    1. #51
      Arsenios's Avatar
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      “This is the soul’s espousal to Christ.
      All else is adultery and promiscuity.
      Only such a close union between the soul and Christ,
      that is most clearly mirrored for us in earthly marriage,
      can make the soul rich and fruitful.
      From all other close relationships that the soul may have
      are born thistles and weeds.”

      He goes on:

      “Whatever it is with which the human soul links itself most closely,
      that is in a kind of wedlock,
      whether with a living being or a dead thing,
      with the body, or its clothing,
      with silver or gold or any earthly possession,
      any sort of earthly glory or passion
      for anything in the created world,
      jewelry, food, drink, dancing, nature...
      Every such marriage by the human soul
      is outside the law
      and draws endless misfortune on the soul
      both in this world and in the world to come
      in a way similar though incomparably greater than,
      unlawful relations between a man and a woman.

      “The soul’s ardent love for God is its only legal marriage.”....
      ”Whatever a man or woman believes in, hopes in, or loves more than God,
      takes God’s place.
      That about which the person most often thinks,
      most zealously desires
      will gradually become the essence of his being. ....
      A man is saved or lost by his love in this life.
      There is only one saving love
      and that is love for God.
      There is only one saving marriage
      and that is marriage to God.
      Every other love
      that does not come forth from this marriage
      as rays from the sun,
      is cursing and damnation”


      St. Nikolai Velimirovich

    2. #52
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      • Hail, of paradise the portal!
        Tree of Life regained, immortal;
      • Whence, through thee, all sweetness floweth,
        And salvation’s fruit still groweth.
      • Thou our hearts aright inclinest,
        On our life’s way brightly shinest;
      • Us from God’s just anger savest,
        Who to man our Saviour gavest.
      • -
      • Hail! Blest shrine of God the Father,
        Thither sinners haste to gather;
      • Pardon for their guilt obtaining,
        Freedom from the foe’s enchaining;
      • Strength from thee the weak shall borrow,
        Comfort, thou, of all who sorrow;
      • From the final wrath tremendous,
        Mother of our Christ, defend us.
      • -
      • Star of ocean! Mother fairest!
        Who the name of Mary bearest;
      • In thy bright illumination
        Pales each star and constellation.
      • Hail, O Father! Hail, sweet Mother!
        Hail, O Son of God, our Brother!
      • Let the hosts of heaven adore thee,
        Every spirit bow before thee.

      Not as ancient as some yet older than I.

      God bless.

      From a sermon of St Bernard of Clairvaux
      His mother stood by the cross
      The martyrdom of the Virgin is set forth both in the prophecy of Simeon and in the actual story of our Lord’s passion. The holy old man said of the infant Jesus: He has been established as a sign which will be contradicted. He went on to say to Mary: And your own heart will be pierced by a sword.

      Truly, O blessed Mother, a sword has pierced your heart. For only by passing through your heart could the sword enter the flesh of your Son. Indeed, after your Jesus – who belongs to everyone, but is especially yours – gave up his life, the cruel spear, which was not withheld from his lifeless body, tore open his side. Clearly it did not touch his soul and could not harm him, but it did pierce your heart. For surely his soul was no longer there, but yours could not be torn away. Thus the violence of sorrow has cut through your heart, and we rightly call you more than martyr, since the effect of compassion in you has gone beyond the endurance of physical suffering.

      Or were those words, Woman, behold your Son, not more than a word to you, truly piercing your heart, cutting through to the division between soul and spirit? What an exchange! John is given to you in place of Jesus, the servant in place of the Lord, the disciple in place of the master; the son of Zebedee replaces the Son of God, a mere man replaces God himself. How could these words not pierce your most loving heart, when the mere remembrance of them breaks ours, hearts of iron and stone though they are!

      Do not be surprised, brothers, that Mary is said to be a martyr in spirit. Let him be surprised who does not remember the words of Paul, that one of the greatest crimes of the Gentiles was that they were without love. That was far from the heart of Mary; let it be far from her servants.

      Perhaps someone will say: “Had she not known before that he would not die?” Undoubtedly. “Did she not expect him to rise again at once?” Surely. “And still she grieved over her crucified Son?” Intensely. Who are you and what is the source of your wisdom that you are more surprised at the compassion of Mary than at the passion of Mary’s Son? For if he could die in body, could she not die with him in spirit? He died in body through a love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since his.

      A song from saint Peter.
      Last edited by MoreCoffee; 09-14-2018 at 07:22 PM.
      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

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