OrthodoxPhotos.com
HOME | PHOTOS:
Holy Fathers
Orthodox Elders
Athonite Hermits
Holy Relics
Icons & Frescoes
Holy Land
Monasteries, Churches
Pascha Holy Light
Monasticism
Monastic Obedience
Various Photos
SEARCH:
THE ORTHODOX FAITH:
What's Orthodoxy?
Who started it?
Is it 2000 year old,
before catholicism
and protestantism?

BYZANTINE HYMNS:
Athos Monks[play]
Meteora[play]
Th. Vassilikos[play]
EXTERNAL LINKS:
Orthodox Prayer Ropes
The Jesus Prayer & the Orthodox Prayer Rope (resources)

hosted by chotki.com

"We have seen the true Light."


The brightness of God emanates onto the world. It descends into and penetrates the human souls. We dare think that it penetrates not only the souls of Christians, but also the souls of those whose hearts yearn upward, who thirst for the knowledge of God.

It is important to remember that the words "light of faith" are not only a "symbol" of the experience of faith. They express the genuine enlightenment or brilliance of the soul. That same St. Gregory the Theologian gives us the following examples of this faith, expressed in the Psalms in the Old Testament, in his words on the feast of Epiphany ("the Feast of Light"):

"Lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death" (Ps. 12:3).

"Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart" (Ps. 96:11).

"Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey" (Ps. 75:4).

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? (Ps. 26:1).

"O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me" (Ps. 42:3).

"Lord, lift thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us" (Ps. 4:6)

"In Thy light we shall see light" (Ps. 36:9).

In the New Testament Church this shining light is stronger and more abundant. It was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah: "Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of His people" (30:26)… And also: "Arise, shine; for Thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee…and the Gentiles shall come to thy light" (60:1-3).

The fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy is noted in the first lines of the Gospel, particularly in the Gospel from John, in the first Easter reading, which is the beginning of the annual Liturgical Gospel readings. In this reading, the words about the appearance of Light into the world are repeated six times, as if proclaiming the light of God’s love to the entire world (1, 4,5,7-9).

The Savior taught His disciples: "You are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works…" (Matt. 5:14, 16). And about Himself to the Pharisees: "I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12)

We cannot forego mentioning the Apostolic letters to the newly converted, at least briefly.

The Apostle Peter thus describes the meaning of entering Christ’s Church: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).

The Apostle John the Theologian: "For the Life was manifested, and we have seen It, and bear witness, and she unto you that eternal Life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us…God is Light…If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1).

The Apostle Paul: "Ye shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:15).

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6).

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18).

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9)

Together with this illumination of the soul, this elevated enlightenment of reason, the Word of the Bible teaches us, a joy, or breath of bliss, is introduced into the soul.

"Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart" (Ps. 126, Ps. 96).

St. John the Forerunner says of himself: "The friend of the bridegroom… rejoiceth greatly…this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:29-30) (in matters of public service). The Apostle Paul, when confessing about himself: "I am crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20) (such were the troubles caused by the enemies of his preaching), is filled with Christian joy and passes this on to his spiritual children: "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say: Rejoice." (Phil 4:4). "My brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown" (Phil. 4:1). This message from his letters to the Philippians is present as well in his other holy letters. Christ’s confidant, the Apostle John, expresses this more strongly: "And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." (1 John 1:4). We see here the truth that a growing moral perfection is accompanied accordingly with a joyous state of the soul. Concurrently, as we see even from these short excerpts from the epistles, there is a growth of love, of a loving, meek, and kind attitude towards everyone. In addition, those striving toward the Light clearly see their own defects, and even more so their downfalls, they are not enamored of their own acts. This produces a natural noble humility, and particularly, the fear of God is instilled, which is expressed in the 85th Psalm, as well as in the priest’s prayer during vespers: "May my heart rejoice to fear Thy name." Such is the specter of a Christian’s spiritual states. This is what "Living in the Light" means. Thus the Light of God is poured out into the world.

Return to the first page





[ Orthodox Resources / Multimedia / Screen Savers ]
[ Feedback / Donations / Bookmark OrthodoxPhotos.com / Homepage ]

Recommended books for: orthodox & non-orthodox people





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Copyright © 2003 - 2014 OrthodoxPhotos.com All rights reserved.