Are You the One who is to come?



"Are You the One who is to come?" the sons of earth ask the One born of your Virgin, O my soul.

But the One born of the Virgin glistens with matinal light amid the sons of earth, who are as dark as extinguished days.

The flaming Seraphim shine in His eyes; the sapient Cherubim sit upon His lips; the Lordly Thrones3 bolster His stance. Seeing Him alone, a Leader without an earthly army, every sane man is convinced that this could be a leader of an awesome and enormous army of invisible powers.

And behold, surrounded by the angelic hosts your Leader, O soul, opens His mouth and speaks:

"In truth, I am the One for whom you have been waiting; do not hope for another. If you have been searching for the way, I am the Way.1

"I am your Tomorrow from today until the end of time. Everything good, that you have been expecting from the days of tomorrow, is within Me. Today your tomorrow is fulfilled in Me. And no day, from now until the last day, will bring you what I am bringing you. Lo, I am the day that has no beginning and no end.2

"I am the treasury of every future that exists and I am the way to that treasury. The future in its entirety cannot give you so much as a.kernel of good, unless it borrows it from Me.


"All the prophets have pointed out the way that leads to Me. All the ways of the prophets come to an end and lose themselves in Me. From this time forth I am the only Way, and outside Me are only regions without roads or ways. Like many streams flowing into a single river and then losing their way, so have all the prophets flowed into Me, and from this time forth I direct the course of Life. Whoever continues to follow the ways of the prophets further, will be following paths that no longer exist and will injure themselves.

"The prophets came to show the way; I have come to be the Way.

"Whoever wishes to follow Me, must follow Me not with his feet alone, but with all his soul, with all his heart, and with all his mind.3

"My way is long, and whoever trusts solely in his feet will drop from exhaustion.

"When children want to keep up with giants, they must forego walking on their own feet and sit on the shoulders of giants.


"Whoever wants to keep up with Me, must renounce his feet, his soul, his heart, and his mind. Whoever renounces all this, I shall take onto My feet, into My soul, into My heart, and into My mind. And he will not be heavy for Me, nor shall I be tiring for him. However, anyone who fails to renounce everything, cannot overtake or detain Me along the way.4

"I am the Way, and he who follows My Way, does not journey alone but with Me. The prophets used to point out the way hither or thither or over in that direction, because they were not themselves the way. I cannot point out the way: hither, thither, or over in that direction; nor can I leave any of my wayfarers to journey without Me. Whoever wishes to follow My Way, I Myself shall carry.5


"I tell you one thing more: I am what is desired tomorrow and the Way to tomorrow. Without Me you cannot find the way to what you desire tomorrow, nor can you expect it."

O God-bearing Son, have mercy on us and begin leading us Yourself.

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1. John 14:6.

2. Rev. 1:8.

3. Matt. 22:37.

4. Matt. 16:24.

5. Matt. 11:29-30.

Cleanse thyself

The door of repentance is yet open - enter and cleanse thyself from thy corruption.
+ St. Ephraim the Syrian

Mat 5: 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Acts 2:38 Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

My soul runs after truth

 

My soul runs after truth, O Son of Truth, and there is no end to her running and no term adequate to describe her exhaustion.

It would be better to be at peace, my soul, and to attract truth to yourself by means of your peace. What would you think of someone who said at midnight: "I cannot bear to be without light, I must run to the sun to bring back some rays?"


Why begin a race of a thousand years, when light is faster than you and can fall into your lap in a matter of seconds?

Open yourself to light, O soul, and light will come into you.



The walls that stand between you and truth and loom up before you like colossal mountains, which you have been trying to cross by running to the point of exhaustion, are your own creation and are more fragile than the white foam on the lake. If only you could open your eyes wide enough not to see them. Truly, the existence of these walls depends upon your seeing them. If you did not wish to see them, they would not exist.

I once watched a chicken on top of a blackboard running around inside a circle that had been drawn on it with white chalk. I watched him for a long time as he ran to and fro and hesitated to jump over the white line, which he probably perceived to be a living creature or a high wall.

This is like my soul, I said in sorrow, when she thinks that she is cut off from her freedom either by some mighty giants or by frightful towering walls. In actual fact, between her prison and her freedom there exists only an imaginary line, thinner than a hair.



All the walls of your prison, my soul, consist of your fear of the world, of your desire for the world and of your thoughts about the world. All these walls you yourself have built according to the instructions of your senses from the material that they have given you, a material that is truly more fragile than foam.

In the beginning you did not have senses, my soul, and you were not separated from truth. After you became blind, you sent out your senses to chase after truth. And those greyhounds have been chasing and fetching the closest and easiest game, and bringing back wolves to their blind master, who has been eating them as though they were venison.

Do not run, my soul, for it is characteristic of the senses to run. Servants and slaves run, but a master remains peacefully still.

Behold, in that corner of profound peace and virginal purity left within you, your pre-eternal eye has opened. This eye does not see the walls of your prison, therefore neither does it run up mountains that do not exist. This eye is the Son of Truth, one of the Trinity that rules over all the heavenly kingdom, from which you barred yourself by wanting to be the "Fourth." Truly I tell you, a "fourth" does not exist anywhere throughout what exists. His name is - Nonexistent.

By your playing and clowning around with me in the dark­ness, my soul, you have made me into a "fourth." All your people out of the world of "fourths" will cast stones at the Son of Truth. Flee, wretched soul, flee from the world of "fourths." Totally unshackle yourself from it, totally reject it, totally despise it and--bow down before the Truth of the Trinity, which is given to you through the Son of Truth.

O Lord of Truth and Life, help my soul to prostrate herself before You and sob: "You are my Being, my Life and my Truth, O beloved Son of the Holy Trinity. You are my everything, and I surrender myself, naked and poor, to You. I no longer have anything to reject or to scorn or to despise, because nothing even exists except You. Have mercy on me, and receive me into Your arms' embrace."

Whoever does not accept Me


"Who are You?" the children of the world ask the Son, O my virgin soul.

For they see Him walking among them as a King among slaves. And they listen to His powerful words, but fail to understand. And they behold His powerful deeds, and are filled with fear. And they feel power going out of Him, and are confounded.

But your Son--the fairest among the sons of men, with the clear eyes of an ox, with the peacefulness of a lamb, with the strength of a lion, with the soaring loftiness of an eagle, and with the face of an angel - answers them: "I am the Truth. I have come from the Truth, I bear you a gift from the Truth, and I am returning to the Truth.1

"If truth were in you, you would have recognized Me and would not have asked: 'Who are you?'

"Truly, you do not even know how to ask who you are; how then will you understand if I tell you - who I am?
"Lo, you are nothing by yourselves alone. You are like a dream separated from the dreamer. You are neither two seconds in time nor two paces in space. As when smoke drifts over the lake and its shadow dances on the water, so is your life also an empty and non-existent dancing of shadows.
"Only you still have not forgotten how to utter the word 'truth,' but this is all that remains to you of the Truth. You call the glitter of matter truth, as though you were a lifelong captive in a dungeon who had only heard of the sun, and called an insect - a firefly - the sun.

"When someone comes to know the Truth, Truth takes up its abode in him. He becomes one with the Truth and is no longer half a man but a whole man. Truth heals him and makes him whole, while illusion chops a man up into pieces and grinds him into powder.

"Just as it is no longer possible for the scattered ashes of a tree to recognize a verdant tree, so is it impossible for you to recognize Me.

"Truly I am the Truth, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.2 The Spirit of Truth, who is with Me, He it is who also speaks through Me and He it is who lives within Me. Without Him I would be nothing, just as you yourselves are. But because of Him living within Me, I am the One Who Is.

"I have come down from on high, like frightful rain, to fill a parched river bed, which you always used to call a river.

"Others brought laws, but I bring the Truth.3 Others cleared the river bed of its dried mud and prepared it for water, but they could not supply the water. I am supplying the water; I am filling the river bed; and I am justifying the river's name.

"I have not come to your drought-stricken land to teach you how to dig for ground water; rather I - the Living Water - have come so that thirsty souls may drink Me.4

"Neither have I come to teach you how to make bread, but rather to be bread for all souls that hunger.5

"Neither have I come down into your darkness to teach you how light is created, but rather to illumine you. Indeed, even the sun - a light far dimmer than Myself - does not teach how light is emitted, but instead illumines.

"Neither have I descended into this maniacal quivering of shadows to teach you what reality is, but rather to be Reality, in regions of emptiness and nothingness.

"Truly, I have not come to you as a teacher of wisdom, but as Wisdom itself.

"Whoever does not accept Me, does not eat Me, does not drink Me, does not breathe Me, and thereby does not become one with Me, remains outside Me - which means he remains outside of Life and Truth."

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1. In the vision of Ezekiel, the prophet saw four winged creatures in a whirlwind. Each of the four had the face of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle (cf. Ezek. 1:10). In patristic writings and Christian iconography, these symbolize the four evangelists; i.e., the angel of St. Matthew, the lion of St. Mark, the ox of St. Luke, and the eagle of St. John. The "lamb" would symbolize Christ as "the Lamb of God" (cf. John 1:29 and Rev. 4:7 and 5:6).

2. John 14:6 and Heb. 13:8. In Serbian, the words for "truth" (istina) and "the same" (isti) share a common stem.

3. "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17).

4. John 7:38.

5. John6:22-59.

O Son of life, fill the earth of my body and soul with Your life




O Son of life, fill the earth of my body and soul with Your life, so that I may have something with which to appear among the living angels.

Without Your life I would be unable to breathe the air that the angels breathe, or to eat the bread that angels eat. I would again be an exile outside the gates of the heavenly kingdom, before which gates even now I lie like a paralytic.

The world lures me to its bread, and then stones my soul.
It lures me to a fish, and then stones my heart.
It lures me to light, and then shrouds my mind in darkness.
I do not despise one who is poor, but the world has become despicable to me; because, though it is poor, it pretends to be rich.

Neither do I despise one who is selfish, but the world has become despicable to me; because, though it is selfish, it pretends to be generous.

Nor do I despise one who is insane, but the world has become despicable to me; because, though it is insane, it pretends to be sane.

Nor do I despise one who is sick, but the world has become despicable to me; because, though tuberculous, it intentionally contaminates the water of the healthy.

I despise the imposter and the charlatan, O Lord, who bury my life with earth while speaking continuously to me about heaven.

There was once a rich shopkeeper who died. His shop and its goods were bought up by neighbors and his shop stood there empty, but always with the name of the deceased merchant still over the doors, together with lists of all the valuable gifts in the shop.

"I too am like this sort of shop," I say to myself in shame. "I still bear the name of life, but my life is all bought up by my neighbors." O Son of God, Son of Life, fill my earthliness with life.

First clear the stones from my soul, and nourish it with true bread.1 Purge my heart of serpents and fill it with Yourself. And dispel the darkness from my mind, and flood it with the light of heaven.
For I shall not truly return to life, if only my soul returns to life while my heart remains stuffed with mortal desires.  Nor shall I be resurrected into Your Kingdom, O Lord, if only my heart is purified while my mind still remains filled with darkness.

Truly, until all three fountainheads within me are clarified, my life will be bereft of life. If one is clarified, the other two will muddy it.

If two are clarified, the third is sufficient to muddy them both. Each of the three fountainheads within me is either the contaminator or the saviour of the other two.

O Son of Life, fill my earthliness with life. You are my Wisdom, for in You lies not only divine mentality, but also divine virginity and divine sanctity. For had You not been born out of divine virginity and divine sanctity, You would not have been Wisdom, but finite human knowledge and expertise.

O Son of God, You are the only nourishing bread of my life. I beseech You, do not turn

Your face away from me, a sinner. You are the only living water that can water the parched desert of my life.2
 
I beseech You, do not turn Your face away from me, a sinner. You are the only fresh air, that can heal the infirmity of my life.

I beseech You, do not turn Your face away from me, a sinner. But have mercy on me and save me!
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1. Cf. John 6:22-40.
2. Cf. John 7:38.

Seal yourself with the Holy Cross

Do not do anything without signing yourself with the sign of the Cross! When you depart on a journey, when you begin your work, when you go to study, when you are alone, and when you are with other people, seal yourself with the Holy Cross on your forehead, your body, your chest, your heart, your lips, your eyes, your ears. All of you should be sealed with the sign of Christ’s victory over hell. Then you will no longer be afraid of charms, evil spirits, or sorcery, because these are dissolved by the power of the Cross like wax before fire and like dust before the wind.
+ Elder Cleopa

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"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honoring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshiping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honoring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration. This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world."
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