Reader comment on Andrew Cohen's passage ...

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    On Aug 20, 2011 Dan Duncan wrote:

    From Hymn Of Entry by Archimandrite Vaselios of Iviron Monastery, Mt Athos

    ''Thou hast taken me captive with longing for thee, O Christ, and hast transformed me with Thy divine love. Burn up my sins with the fire of the Spirit, and count me worthy to take my fill of delight in Thee, that dancing with joy I may magnify both Thy Comings, O Lord who art good.''

    —9th Ode—Transfiguration Canon

    ''You are not isolated and separated from other people and things. You are not stifled by the condemnation of living in time. Your life is not a glass of water which does not quench your thirst if you drink it, and goes bad if you do not. You are not a mechanically operating section of a limitless whole, not an individual in an anonymous multitude. The Author of life has shattered the bonds of purely mechanical existence. You are an organic part of a theanthropic mystery. You have a specific task, a small, minute task, which makes you a partaker in the whole. The mystery of life is summed up and worked out in your being, in your character. You are an image of God. You are of value not for what you have but for what you are and even more for what you are not; and you are a brother of the Son of God, of the Son of the Unknown and Unknowable, by Whom you are known. Thus we all enter into the feast of the firstborn. God, who is above all, may be recognized in the very texture of your person, in the structure of your being. You see Him dwelling within you. And you discern traces of Him in your insatiable thirst thirst for life and in your love. The fruit of the struggle to reach Him is the very vision of His face. The search for that vision is the fundamental principle of your being.

    "The Liturgy is not just a sermon. It is not something to be listened to or watched. The Liturgy never grows old. No one can say he has got to know it or got used to it because he has understood it once or once been carried away by the attraction of it. The faithful are not like spectators or an audience following something that makes a greater or lesser emotioal impression on them. The faithful partake in the divine mystery. The mystery is celebrated in each of the faithful, in the whole of the liturgical community. We do not see Christ externally, we meet Him within us. Christ takes shape in us. The faithful become Christs by grace.

    "What happens is a miraculous interpenetration by grace and an identification without confusion. The whole man, in body and in spirit, enters the unalloyed world of the uncreated grace of the Trinity. And at the same time he receives into himself Christ, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The whole of God is offered to man. "He makes His home with Him." (John 14:23) and the whole man is offered to God: "Let us commend ourselves and each other and all our life unto Christ our God "

    Archimandrite  Vasilios

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