We offer our readers our English translation of one of the most acclaimed patristic works dedicated to the significance of our Lord Jesus Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross. This homily was given by Archimandrite Philaret (Drozdov), the future Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, in the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg on Holy Friday, 1816.
And thou, soul, who in a godly manner seekest thy salvation, be taught by the word and example of the most blessed Virgin to what lofty heights we are led, how much is achieved, how perfectly God is pleased by this humble and seemingly obscure virtue,—obedience of faith: that obedience in its high, substantial, spiritual sense, means the subjection of the human will, created and dependent, unto the divine will, creating and sovereign.
St. Philaret left a voluminous inheritance of what can be truly called patristic works. He also composed prayers, one of which has become for many a part of many people’s morning prayers. It is a prayer not for what we want, but for what God wills—that He would always be before us, working in us His Holy will.
Following the Angels, we have entered into the feast of the Resurrection of Christ; we have gathered together along with the Patriarchs, the Prophets, and the Righteous, led into the Church for the feast like into Paradise and Heaven. Think then, what kind of celebration this must be! It must closely resemble the angelic; it must be worthy of communion with the Heavenly Church of Patriarchs, Prophets, and Saints; it must be worthy of Paradise and Heaven.
Whoever desires to be a dwelling place of the Son of God, must have his homeland only in God, and with all his ties to his earthly homeland, however natural and proper they may be, he must not compare it to the heavenly.