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Σάββατο, 9 Ιουνίου 2018

THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST








THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on his own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come."
Archbishop Damianos has raised his voice in warning against the choices of a society that chooses not to know Christ, deceiving itself into believing that His teachings could ever be outmoded; thus refusing to admit the obvious, that without His “present and eternal presence with us” – there is no hope.
“Man’s self-determination – the characteristic that makes him practically a god at his creation – was greatly wounded at the fall of mankind,” His Eminence says. “Had they not fallen, had they remained in obedience to God, the first humans would have easily progressed toward theosis (union with God); for having created man, God knew both the strengths and limits of this creature that he had fashioned differently from every other. This means that, provided with the self-determination that functions always in conjunction with rationality, the first humans knew that God understood their limits.
“Had man managed to remain unfaltering in obedience to God given this knowledge, he would have acquired the incorruptibility and immortality for which he was destined.
...
It is at the Ascension, at His last appearance as God on Earth, that the Lord reminds His Apostles for the last time, indeed with His parting words, to expect the gift of the Holy Spirit. With this grace, they will receive power to act as His witnesses “to the very ends of the earth” – the same grace of the Holy Spirit that was lost from Adam at the fall of mankind, and reclaimed by Christ on our behalf in the Jordan.

The same grace, bequeathed to all generations, of the Mysteries of the Holy Orthodox faith, instituted by Christ in fulfillment of the promise of His Ascension: Baptism and Holy Chrism, Confession and Holy Communion, Marriage, Ordination, and Holy Unction – in short, the restoration to health not only of human free will, but of every blessing bestowed on humankind for its perfection in that most evasive of all successes - incorruptible happiness, whether in this life, or the next ...


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