fatherpatrick

Posts Tagged ‘hesychasm’

On pursuit of the divine eros…

In reflections, ephemera on November 10, 2008 at 6:46 am

My heart longeth for Thee in a land where there is no water, untrodden, wasteland…

I melt for Thy love, O Lord!  My flesh trembleth in holding Thy divine Communion within, as I journey forth from the holy Liturgy.  Today, when we commemorated Thy friend, our father Nektarios the wonderworker of Aigina.  Where else can I find this sweetness?  Where else is my repose, my rest?  Thou, O Lord, my Lover, O Thou Who seekest out the lost and beareth them on Thine own Shoulders to the place of green pastures.  My heart cannot contain this Love; my eyes drip with tears in Thy mercy. I am wax melting in the dew-breeze of Thine uncreated Fire.  How can any filthy passion still endure?  How can I dare utter any mean thing about my neighbor? I must keep silence before Thee!  I can barely utter any of Thy words without the running waters of the baptism of tears.  I am all dust and ashes; Thou dost consume every stubble in the heat of the Thy Love!  Truly, THOU ART!

Doxa Theo yper panta!  Glory to God for all things!

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The Divine Liturgy in detail: a guide to attentive participation. Part VI of the series…

In Commentary on the Divine Liturgy for laity on July 16, 2008 at 6:51 pm

The Divine Liturgy is an ascent in silence to the Holy Mountain of God! There, with the holy ones, we rejoice in word-less wonder as we tremble with reverence before the Lord and His Saints.

In general, prayerful participation in the Divine Liturgy calls for preparation well before coming to the church temple. It is important to find silence and inner composure before coming to church. Remember the long period of silence in which righteous Job immersed himself before speaking about God. Also, the Lord himself observed silence with His disciples before ascending the Mount Thabor, when He was transfigured in glory. Practically speaking, in our busy world, we should at least keep the evening before the Liturgy in quietness and prayer.  The practice of “partying” on the eve before the Liturgy should be laid aside. Find a “holy excuse” from such revelry and opportunities for too much talking (in which sin is not lacking) or gossip. If you are with group of people, do not stay late. Excuse yourself at a decent hour, go home, try to keep quiet and say the pre-communion canon from your prayerbook before going to sleep. Try to avoid rich foods and much wine after Vespers in Saturday evening; that can affect your calmness on Sunday morning. Take a little water before bed, since you will be keeping a strict fast in the morning after arising.

Holding our hearts in prayerfulness, and not speaking too much before the time, we depart to church. It is amazing how often the evil one succeeds in getting us to argue with our loved ones before church! Rob him of this by deferring any important family decision-making until after the Liturgy.

Now let us take a closer look at the Liturgy… with a copy of the Divine Liturgy in our hands, let us walk through it, seeking to understand what we are doing. The emphasis here falls not on exhaustive liturgical commentary, something desirable for theological students and clerics, but rather on a practical way of understanding which will yield more active and more attentive participation in the movement of the Liturgy as prayer. In the material which will be provided in further posts, we begin with the priest’s opening exclamation of the Liturgy of the Catechumens, “Blessed is the Kingdom…”  So, keep posted!