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Iconography and Hand painted icons

Let us open our arms and throw ourselves into Christ’s embrace.St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite

St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite (2 December)

Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς_Jesus-Christ_Иисус-Христос-Byzantine Orthodox Icon5_ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ-ГосподWe must become filled, replete with the Holy Spirit. This is where the essence of spiritual life lies. This is an art–the art of arts. Let us open our arms and throw ourselves into Christ’s embrace.

Whoever experiences Christ within himself, experiences ineffable things––holy and sacred things. He lives in exultation.

Often, neither toil, nor repentance, nor the sign of the cross attract grace. There are secrets. The most important one is to avoid forms and go to the substance. Everything that happens must happen with love.

All the confused are going to the heretical groups – confused children of confused parents.

Love for Christ is unlike anything else. It doesn’t end, you can’t have enough of. It transmits life, gives strength, grants health, it keeps giving…and the more it gives, the more one wishes to fall in love. Whilst human love may wear one out, drive him crazy. When we love Christ, all other loves recede. Other loves have a saturation point…Love for Christ doesn’t have one. Carnal love has a saturation point. Jealousy, complaining or even murder may follow. It may convert to hate. Love in Christ does not deteriorate. Worldly love can be maintained for a little while and then it slowly fades, whereas divine love keeps growing and deepening. Any other love may bring a person to despair. Yet divine love, raises us to God’s domain, gives us serenity, joy, completion. Other pleasures tire while this one you can’t have enough of. It’s an insatiable pleasure, that no one ever gets tired of. It’s the utmost of goods.

We need to feel Christ as our friend. He is our friend. He confirms this Himself when He says: “You are my friends…” (John 15:14). We need to look at Him and approach Him as a friend. Do we fall? Do we sin? We should run to Him with feelings of familiarity, in love and trust; not in fear of punishment but in courage granted by the sense of friendship. And say to Him: “Lord, I did it, I fell, forgive me”. But at the same time we need to feel He loves us, and tenderly accepts us with love and forgives us. We need not be separated by sin from Christ. When we believe that He loves us and we love Him, we will not feel estranged and divided, even when we sin. We have secured His love and no matter how we may behave, He loves us.

We need to ask that God’s will is done; this is the most beneficial, the safest for us and for those we pray for. Christ will grant us everything abundantly. When there is even just a little egoism, nothing happens.

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Psalm 11

Save me, O Lord; for the godly man has failed; for truth is diminished from among the children of men. 2 Every one has spoken vanity to his neighbour: their lips are deceitful, they have spoken with a double heart. 3 Let the Lord destroy all the deceitful lips, and the tongue that speaks great words: 4 who have said, We will magnify our tongue; our lips are our own: who is Lord of us? 5 Because of the misery of the poor, and because of the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord, I will set [them] in safety; I will speak [to them] thereof openly. 6 The oracles of the Lord are pure oracles; as silver tried in the fire, proved [in] a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou, O Lord, shalt keep us, and shalt preserve us, from this generation, and for ever. 8 The ungodly walk around: according to thy greatness thou has greatly exalted the sons of men.

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