profess God’s being as “inexpressible, invisible, incomprehensible.. All-Holy
Trinity in One.” God is a Trinity in three Persons, and there is not a senior
or a junior Person among Them. His completeness is expressed in the Trinity;
God is over us, God is with us, God is in all the creation and us.
us is God the Father — the ever-flowing Source, according to the Church prayer,
the Basis of all existence, our Father, our love and we are His children, creation
of His hands.
us is God the Son — His birth was due to His divine love, in order that He may
appear to people as a Human, so that we would know and see with our own eyes
that God is with us, in a perfect image, “genuinely” uniting with us.
us and all creation is God the Holy Spirit — filling all things: Who fulfils
everything, Lifegiver that Lives in everything and everyone with His own
providential power, cascading His blessing of sanctity on God the Son’s Church,
on the faithful so as to elevate and make them worthy of communion with God in
this world, and make them worthy of eternal life in God.
Paul teaches us: “One God and Father of all, who is above all (as the
Holy Fathers interpret, God the Father), through all (God the Son) and
in you all” (God the Holy
Spirit; Eph. 4:6).
the Feast of Pentecost, our Church sings: “One
Might, One Substance, one Godhead, which we all worship, saying, Holy God who
created everything through the Son with the help of the Holy Spirit; Holy
Mighty, in whom we knew the Father, and through whom the Holy Spirit came into
the world; Holy Immortal One, the comforting Spirit, proceeding from the Father
and resting in the Son; O Holy Trinity, glory to Thee.”
is needed so that faith becomes steady, not shaky, that it controls us, directs
our actions, is active, salutary, curative, comforting? What is needed so that
life’s questions do not agonize, don’t direct us out of spiritual equilibrium?
What is needed so that we are not like reeds that sway with every wind?
we must belong to the Church — both in spirit and body — and live the one life
with Her. A sole individual in the field of war is not a significant force.
While in the Church — one for all and all for one, under Christ’s guidance and
in the grace of the Holy Spirit — the situation is totally different. In Church
— like children in our parental homes — we are protected on all sides, have
concern over us, spiritual nourishment, spiritual warmth and light. We bring
our sorrows to Her, and we find cures for our physical and spiritual illnesses
We find the
fullness of Church life in the temple. In this holy place of worship, we are born
through baptism for eternal life, and in this house, we will have our final
farewell with earthly life. It will be here that memories of us will be
preserved, and upon our death, prayers for us will be raised to heaven.
Would you like to know a person who never
demanded anything for himself from life and was always happy with his lot; who
never worried about his health — but was always full of energy, was always
vigorous even nearly without any rest; didn’t have riches yet gave away
thousands; treated the gravely ill without reference to any medicines; never
sought glory but was known to all the people; never sought any pleasures and
was always joyous; who always has peace in his heart, predisposition toward
people, devoid of malice, envy, animosity, feelings of umbrage: full of
humility yet performs great deeds; whose mind is lucid and whose heart is open
to all; who lives his own deep internal life and at the same time, full of
active love for both those close and distant to him?
was Saint John of Kronstadt, a contemporary to the current older generation.
From where did the Kronstadt pastor draw his strength? Father John responds to
this question a number of times in his diary with one and the same expression: “The
Lord is everything to me.” Here are his words:
calms me both in thoughts and in my heart, is submitted graphically into my
memory for the continual tranquillity of my heart, among life’s concerns and
bustle. So what is it? That is the Christian, full of living trust and
wonderful, calming power of the statement: the Lord is everything to me. Here
is the priceless treasure! Here is a preciousness, with which one can be calm
in any situation, with which one can be rich in poverty, and with the
acquisition of wealth — generous, and be affable with people; with which even
after sinning, one doesn’t lose hope. The Lord is everything to me.”
is everything to me: He is the strength of my heart and light of my mind; He
directs my heart toward everything that is good; He strengthens it; and He
gives me righteous thoughts; He is my tranquillity and joy; He is my faith,
hope and love; He is my food, my drink, my attire, He is my abode. Just as a
mother is to an infant: the willpower, sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, and
food, drink, attire, hands and legs, — so is the Lord all this for me, when I
totally submit myself to Him.
is more perfect than all the goodness, what I think, feel or do. O, how
boundlessly wide is the Lord’s active grace within me! The Lord is everything
to me, and so clear, so constant. Mine — is only my sinfulness, mine — are only
is my being, the Lord is the deliverance from eternal death, the Lord is my
eternal life, the Lord is the cleansing and deliverance from many sins and is
my enlightenment, the Lord is the strength against my weaknesses, in my pusillanimity
and despondency, the Lord is the life-giving fire in my coldness, the Lord is
the light in my darkness, the serenity in my apprehensions, the Lord is the
protector in my temptations. He is my thoughts, my aspirations, my activity —
love and thank the Lord incessantly! Praise the Lord my soul, and don’t forget
all His rewards that cleanse all your iniquities, cure all your infirmities,
endows you with kindness and generosity, that fulfils all your good requests.”
is everything to us, and we by ourselves can do very little.”
This is the
source of strength and happiness and life that Saint John sees for himself, and which he is
pointing out to us.
stands a living person before us: his eyes are focused on us, his ears alert
and listening; before us is his body and soul, which we see his body but not
his soul. Meanwhile, while we do not see his thoughts, his desires, intentions,
there isn’t an instant that his soul was not thinking and living according to
its lifestyle. In precisely the same manner, there is a visible nature before,
near and inside us, the whole wonderful world of God; we see life in it
everywhere, harmonious order, activity — yet we do not see the Cause of life
and order, we don’t see the Artist. But in the meantime, He is there at all
times and in every place, just like the soul in a body, only not confined by
it. There isn’t a short moment in which He, as the All-complete Spirit,
All-wise, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, did not think, didn’t pour blessings and
wisdom upon His creation. There is not even a split-second when He doesn’t
apply His wisdom and omnipotence, because God is a self-activator that is eternally
producing. Therefore, in viewing the world, note its Source — God, as being
everywhere in it, as the fulfiller, activator and arranger of everything.”
omnipresence is spatial and mental, i.e. God
is everywhere — in relation to space and thought: wherever I go physically or
mentally, I will meet God and He will be before me everywhere.”
these magnificent words, uttered by Saint
John, sufficient to convince the doubting mind?
Missionary Leaflet # E77c
Copyright © 2003 Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission
466 Foothill Blvd, Box 397, La Canada, Ca
Editor: Bishop Alexander
Fr. Tadros Malaty