Who first sensed the presence of the Virgin Son in the world?

I entreat you, Seraphim, who first sensed the presence of the Virgin Son in the world?

"The unclean spirits were the first to sense His presence, and were filled with fear. Wherever there is fear, there is also servility; wherever there is servility, there is also impudence. Truly, the worst culprits always have the greatest fear of the judge, and when the judge approaches, they are the first to recognize him.

"The righteous man does not recognize the judge, because he is not thinking about him, nor is he waiting for him. Sin does not induce him to prick up his ears and look to see from which side of the courtroom the judge will appear."

I entreat you, Cherubim, how did the unclean spirits perceive the presence of the Virgin Son in the world?

"In the same way as darkness senses light. What is more sensitive to light than darkness? Still sleeping before dawn, neither mineral, nor vegetable nor animal has any inkling of day, before darkness has already sensed the coming of its devourer, and with trepidation prepares to flee.

"Thus the demons also sensed the coming of the Virgin Son before all the people of earth who were cleaner than they themselves."

I entreat you, Thrones, how did the Virgin Son subjugate the unclean spirits?

"Only to the earth do the unclean spirits simulate some sort of power. Heaven looks upon them as being already subjugated by their own wickedness. When the master of the house shows up on his own property, burglars flee to the fence and search for an opening to escape."

I entreat you, Dominions and Powers, what are the four victories which the Virgin Son won in the world?

"The four victories are the four victories over the four evils, which flow out of each other as a muddy river from a muddy spring.

"The first victory is over the unclean spirits, from which came sin.

"The second victory is over sin, from which came infirmity.

"The third victory is over infirmities, which end with death.

"The fourth victory is over death."

I entreat you, Authorities and Principalities, what is the greatest victory of the Virgin Son?

"None is greater and none is lesser. There is only a victory that is both first and final. The second victory could not have occurred without the first, nor was the third possible without the first and second, nor the fourth without the first, second, and third.

"All four represent one four-fold victory, which illuminates the east, west, north and south of the whole existent world."

I beseech you, Authorities and Principalities, what is the greatest victory of the Son, the celebrated victory of the Virgin Son?

"He who is able to comprehend this celebrated victory, senses it and embraces it.

"Whoever comprehends it, bows down before the Virgin Son day and night.

"Whoever senses it, weeps - for joy, because he has perceived it, and for shame, because he perceived it so late.

"Whoever embraces it, loses the wedded son within himself, and becomes even himsef a virgin son."

To you I fall down and pray, O ranks of saints and martyrs, who have understood, and sensed, and embraced the victory of the Virgin Son. Pray, together with all the angelic hosts, to the Virgin Son for us, who still stand on the field of battle.

Where do unclean spirits come from

Where do unclean spirits come from, Most Pure Mother of God?

"From an unclean woman; from her unclean marriage with her own son. The unclean mind defiles the soul, his mother, and out of the unclean soul come forth the unclean spirits, whose main fortress is the heart.

"From their main fortress, the unclean spirits thereupon make assaults on their parents with unclean passion, and they become multiplied both in the soul and in the mind."

How numerous are the unclean spirits, Most Pure Mother of God?

"There are more, far more unclean spirits than clean ones. For they are as weak as a shadow compared to clean spirits. And they gang up in legions against one clean spirit, against a single virginal spirit.

"They multiply most copiously in what is corrupted and they assault most violently what is virgin - attacking everything that represents chastity in body or in soul, in the male or the female, in the mind or in the heart.

"However many sinful desires as there are in the heart - however many poisonous passions, feelings of fear and feel­ings of hatred toward everything heavenly as there are - there are just as many unclean spirits in the heart.

'To whatever extent self-delusion about the world is present in the mind - whether in ideas and concepts, or in im­aginations and words - unclean spirits are to the same extent present in the mind.

"Moreover all the unclean spirits from the heart sow their seed in the mind. And all the unclean spirits from the mind sow their seed in the heart. And all together, from both the one fortress and the other, they sow their unclean seed in the field of the will. And in the soul, their greatest fortress, there are as many of them as there are shadows in the world.

"And they multiply from each other haphazardly and illicitly, since they are the accursed enemies of any law and order. They view their might and potential victory from the standpoint of quantity rather than quality. They are truly as fragmented as sand, and continue to fragmentize themselves more and more.

"They are multiplied not out of mutual love but out of hellish selfishness. Nor do they sense any bliss whatsoever from their existence. All their time is taken up with fighting over prerogatives and preeminence. Alas for the man, who becomes their battlefield."

What results from unclean spirits operating in man, Most Pure Mother of God?

"Sickness is produced within the inner man and, eventually, in the outer man as well. Sin is the seed of sickness. The seed of sin grows as wildly as weeds.

"All infirmities are the heir of sin. Truly, not only blindness and deafness and dumbness, but all the others as well. And however strange it may seem to say - death is also a disease, an inheritor of the same cause, a corruption from the same worm."

O Most Pure and Light-bearing Mother of God, set us free from unclean spirits; cleanse us from every sin; heal us from every infirmity, through the mercy of Your Son and the power of Your Holy Spirit.

From the midst of corruption we fall down on our knees and cry out to You: "With Your radiance, O Mother of God, burn up all the corruption that is suffocating us.

With fasting I gladden my hope in You, my Lord!

With fasting I gladden my hope in You, my Lord, Who are to come again.

Fasting hastens my preparation for Your coming, the sole expectation of my days and nights.

Fasting makes my body thinner, so that what remains can more easily shine with the spirit.

While waiting for You, I wish neither to nourish myself with blood nor to take life--so that the animals may sense the joy of my expectation.


"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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