Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person – the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem
22. But what will be the sign of this second coming? Let no opposing force dare to imitate it. Matthew (24, 30) tells us that then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. And the real, distinctive sign of Christ is the Cross. The sign of the Cross in the form of light will precede the King and declare that it is He Who, in former times, was crucified. This is so that the Jews may see Him Whose side they pierced and Whom they conspired to murder and so that the whole nation and all the tribes separately (cf. Zach. 12, 10, 12) will mourn, saying: ‘This is He Whom we scourged; this He in Whose face we spat; this is He Whom we bound in fetters; this is He Whom we first crucified and then mocked’. Then they’ll say: ‘Where shall we go to escape His wrath?’ But since the Angelic ranks will surround and guard the world, there’ll be nowhere for them to go. The sign of the Cross will mean fear for its enemies and joy for the faithful who have believed in Him, or preached Him to the Gentiles or were martyred for His name’s sake.
So who, then, will be blessed enough to find themselves friends of Christ at that time? This most glorious King doesn’t disdain His own servants. Not He Who is guarded by angels, Who sits on the throne with the Father. And, so that His chosen ones won’t be confused with His enemies, ‘He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds’ (Matth. 24, 31). Given that He didn’t overlook one- I mean Lot- how would He overlook a great many of the righteous all together. And then He’ll say to all though who are riding on chariots of clouds and have been gathered together by the angels: ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father’ (Matth. 25, 34).
23. But some of those present will say: ‘But I’m poor, or maybe I’ll be ill in bed’. Or another: ‘I’m a woman and I might be at the mill. What’ll happen? Will we be overlooked or condemned because of these reasons? Be of good heart. The Judge is no respecter of persons: ‘He shall not judge according to appearance, nor reprove according to report’(Is. 11, 3). He doesn’t prefer the sophisticated to the simple, nor the rich to the poor. Even if you’re in the fields, the angels will take you.
Don’t imagine He’ll prefer land-owners and leave you who are a poor farmer. If you’re a servant or poor, don’t worry. He Who took the form of a servant (Phil. 2, 7) doesn’t disdain servants. And if you happen to be ill in bed, it’s been written: ‘I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left’ (Luke 17, 34). Even if, out of necessity, you’re busy at the mill, man or woman, or if you’ve got a servant at the mill and you’re forced to wait there, you won’t be overlooked by Him Who makes those in chains free and bold. He is the one who brought Joseph to a position of authority, from being a slave in prison. He will also deliver you from sorrows and bring you into the Kingdom of Heaven. Just take heart, work to do good, struggle willingly, because nothing goes to waste.
Every prayer you make or psalm you sing is recorded, every act of charity’s recorded, every fast. Every marriage that has remained with the bounds of morality is recorded, every form of restraint that was practiced for God’s sake. But of all the things that God will crown us for, pride of place goes to purity, for then you’ll shine like an angel.
When you’re happy to hear good things, by the same token, don’t be upset if you hear bad things. Everything’s recorded, all your greed, every licentious act, every oath you’ve set aside, every blasphemy, any magic, every theft, and every murder. All of these will be recorded, if you commit them after baptism, because anything done before is expunged.
(to be continued)
Read the previous part here
ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK
The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America originally commissioned by SCOBA to create a national, sustainable, and effective media witness for Orthodox Christianity and seekers around the world through media ministry. CLICK HERE to download our brochure.
This 501(c)3 is recognized as a leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty years. OCN shares the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week. Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, Orthodox media.
OCN has partnered with Pemptousia, a Contemporary post-modern man does understand what man is. Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.
Do you find it hard to keep focused on Christ when you’re on the go? OCN makes it easy! Give today to help you and your Orthodox community stay connected no matter the location.
ORTHODOX MOBILE APPS ARE HERE!
Click here to download the Spark OCN and Orthodox Prayer Book.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. OCN is on Social Media! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,