All His Works Are Infinitely Great: Greeting and Advice to Communicants

Words to the Communicants of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, Part 4

Part 1, 2, 3

Beloved brethren! I greet you with joy in the Lord, Who has vouchsafed you to receive the most precious gift—His holy, all-pure, and life-giving Body and life-giving Blood.

Worthily partaking of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, you become partakers of the Divine nature (2 Pt. 1:4), one with the Lord: He is in you, and you in Him (cf. Jn. 6:56). The same Lord Jesus Christ, Who was born of the Virgin, Who suffered for us and rose again, Who sits at the right hand of the Father, Whom the angels worship, Who is Lord of all—He is with you, in you, beloved brother, and you are in Him. Reverently receive this Heavenly guest, abide with Him, and pray that this Most Holy visitor of souls might be with you.

Don’t be surprised and don’t doubt that you have such a great guest. He is such in His essence; all His works are infinitely great: If He loves, then He loves infinitely: He not only gives everything that belongs to Him, that was created by Him, to those He loves, but He gives Himself, to bear His beloved in Himself and to be borne by those who love Him. Whoever clings to Him with his soul, He embraces with a tender hand, as it says in the Psalm: My soul hath cleaved after Thee, Thy right hand hath been quick to help me (Ps. 62:8).

Won’t some say: “I don’t really feel the Lord’s close fellowship with me—why is that?” Isn’t it because you didn’t pay due attention to this Heavenly guest: When He came to you, you left Him: He came to your house, and you left. Instead of taking care to receive Him, to converse with Him, you occupied yourself with vanity, with empty conversations with friends. How can He reveal Himself to you when you turn away from Him?

But try, stay at home, enter into the cell of your soul, stand mentally before the Lord, prayerfully call out to Him—and perhaps He won’t hesitate to declare Himself in His goodness, if He finds you worthy of such. If He isn’t pleased to reveal Himself to you quickly, don’t be disconcerted by this: He sometimes hesitates to appear to those who seek Him in order to arouse greater zeal for seeking Him in them. He sometimes comes secretly, as it were, to those who seek Him: He speaks to them but they don’t recognize His voice. Thus, after the Resurrection, He appeared to those traveling to Emmaus, but they didn’t recognize Him (Lk. 24:15-16). On the mountain, He appeared to 500 of the brethren. Some of them recognized and worshiped Him, while the others doubted (Mt. 28:16-17).1

So it happens now: The faithful receive Him with joy, but those who doubt don’t recognize Him. However, let none think that He can be found simply by strained thought, or an intensified desire to sense His approach. He doesn’t appear when those who question Him would like it, but whenever He pleases. Moreover, He doesn’t reveal Himself to all those who cry out to Him: “Lord! Lord!”—but to those who love Him and fulfill His word. He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me … and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him (Jn. 14:21), He told His disciples, Who loved Him. So, He Himself will appear, He will reveal Himself, He will say to your heart: “Here I am!” and you’ll easily recognize Him, without strained thought: Your heart will sense Him, as if seeing Him, and it will rejoice in Him.

May the Lord Who has vouchsafed you to receive Him help you to hold Him, behold Him, and rejoice in Him. When this happens, then everything else will seem insignificant and insufferable for you, and He alone will be your desired, dear, beloved, inextinguishable, sweet visitor of souls.

Part 5

St. Makary (Nevsky), Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna
Translation by Jesse Dominick


1 In 1 Corinthians 15, St. Paul mentions Christ appearing to 500. Many believe this occurred in Mt. 28, although Matthew doesn’t explicitly mention the 500.—Trans.

Pfmd3/28/2023 10:05 pm
Jesse Dominick: Were you born into Orthodoxy? My point is that western “religious organizations” of the protestant type preach and stress the Old Testament beyond what is natural for a church that is based on the “new covenant”. I think that is based on the fact that some of these “churches” do not even believe in the Trinity and do not preach it. If they deny the Trinity what is left for them to preach to their unfortunate followers. They therefore rely and teach too much of the Old Testament and the essence of Pharisaism dominates and permeates in their message. This is not an oversight or accident but a deliberate action. ”jews” or should I say “Judeans” believed in a harsh and punishing god that was too powerful and Untouchable to man. Man could only fear and tremble in his presence. God had to be “idolized” without question or his wrath would be swift and unmerciful to those refusing to idolize him. All that changed with the “new Covenant”. Man was now able to directly commune with God during his time on the earth, and not wait until death. Read George Palamas, the Hesychast and others who prove through “philosiphical and reasonable” arguments the claim of direct communication with God through the “uncreated light”. I was born into Orthodoxy and as baby I believed in direct communication with the Trinity. This truth did not need to be taught to me as an adult using “reason” and “argument”. I have read the bible and know what it says. It is unto the faithful to stress what he sees as more important according to his upbringing, teaching. and beliefs. Simply “translating” a text may not pass onto the reader the intended message of the original writer.
Jesse Dominick 3/27/2023 9:00 pm
Pfmd, try cracking open a Bible: Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father Which is in Heaven (Mt. 7:21).
Pfmd3/25/2023 10:49 pm
The more I read and examine this article the more I get a sense of a Pharisaic interpretation of God. If this is the Russian Orthodox version of Orthodoxy and God, I hasten to say that you have not progressed much beyond the practices of the Old Testament. The jews believed God was distant and man was unable to commune with him. Thousand of years have passed however, but you still preach Pharisaic principles and idolatry.
Pfmd3/25/2023 8:26 pm
If I cannot call on God for comfort when needed during my life on earth, then what good is God to anybody, especially to Christians that don’t exclusively feel that their reason for faith in God is a reward of an afterlife?
Pfmd3/25/2023 8:14 pm
“He doesn’t reveal Himself to all those who cry out to Him: “Lord! Lord!”, is perhaps a misprint or a mistranslation or a Pharisaic interpretation of God. Crying out to the Lord in times of despair and need is in my understanding of Orthodoxy when most individuals recognize their bond and the love Christ has for man. When one suffers or is in dire straights and calls out for God, this is when he most acutely realizes how close God is to him, and that only he (God) is always present to comfort and help him.
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