“The fathers of the Church say that this bliss is a pledge of great blessings for us, perhaps greater than the holy apostles were accounted worthy of, but on condition that we, like the apostles, full of this blessedness, must give our entire lives to Christ, and serve His Gospel evangelism. This is the condition for felicity. Such a great gift the Lord gives us: We are more blessed in this world than the apostles.“
The feast of the “Life-Giving Spring” Icon of the Theotokos is celebrated on Friday of Bright Week. According to the Church Typikon, the blessing of water is celebrated today with a Paschal procession.
The Spirit of God teaches a man humility, that is, the awareness and sense of one’s own infirmity. Grace sometimes conceals its actions, but sometimes God’s grace powerfully acts on a man, as if returning to him his wings, enlightening his mind, making every word of prayer coming forth from his lips a fiery arrow, soaring into Heaven.
In the words of parishioners I met there, he now continues to live in their hearts. In his words: “I love you but God loves you more.” I had the rare blessing to meet this priest a number of times back in Greece, in my hometown Thessaloniki, on his way to Mount Athos. The last time we met, shortly before he reposed, his face was so radiant, transparent and otherwordly, words cannot describe.
Оn the night imbued with the Divine light, replete with great solemnity and spiritual joy in the Lord of the world who has vanquished death, I address you all with the ancient exclamation that testifies steadfastly to our immutable hope: CHRIST IS RISEN!
What does it mean to live with Christ? To live with Christ means to dwell with Him in unity; and unity with Christ is nothing other than our love for Him, the desire of our hearts to ever contemplate Him, to ever prayerfully converse with Him, and to do only that which is pleasing to Him.