Saturday, April 17, 2010

Patriarchal Proclamation

Each Easter, the Patriarch of Constantinople, composes a proclamation to be read in all Orthodox churches. Below is part of Patriarch Bartholomew's proclamation for this year. It can be found in its entirety HERE.

. . . Christ has risen from the tomb as divinely human and humanity has risen with him! The tyranny of death belongs to the past. The hopelessness of hades' captivity has irrevocably gone. The only powerful Giver of Life, having through His Incarnation voluntarily assumed all of the misfortune of our nature and all that it entails, namely death, has already "brought death to hades by the lightning of divinity", granting us life - and "life in abundance" (John 10:10).

. . . The devil assaults Life by means of the sinful tendency that exists within us like "old rust", using this to entrap us in either tangible sin or delusional belief. Hubris is the offspring of that "rust", while both comprise the sinister couple responsible for disrupting relationships within ourselves, with others, as well as with God and the whole creation. Accordingly, it is imperative that we purify ourselves of this rust with great attentiveness and carefulness in order that the profuse life-giving light of the Risen Christ may shine in our mind, soul and body, so that it may in turn dispel the darkness of hubris and pour the "abundance" of Life to all the world.

This cannot be achieved by philosophy, science, technology, art, or any ideology; it can only be achieved through faith in what God has condescended for us human beings through His Passion, Crucifixion and Burial, descending to the depths of hades and rising from the dead as the divine human Jesus Christ. It is also expressed in the sacramental life of the Church as well as through laborious and systematic spiritual struggle. The Church as the Body of Christ unceasingly and to the ages experiences the miracle of the Resurrection; through its sacred mysteries, its theology and its practical teachings, it offers us the possibility of participating in that miracle of sharing in the victory over death, of becoming children shaped by the light of the Resurrection and truly "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) . . .

East and West . . . Patriarch Bartholomew with Pope Benedict.


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