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.
We don’t take Holy Communion just because we’re in church and something’s moved us to do so, or because others are, or because we’ve become used to doing so. We have to be prepared. First of all, we have to be aware what a special gift Holy Communion is for us. Christ Himself, our God, is being given to us. And, as we’ve seen, He Himself has said that He wants us to receive Him with a pure heart, a heart which loves and has forgiven all other people. So we have to cleanse our heart regularly through confession, and, before Holy Communion, become reconciled with everyone, especially those we’ve wronged or been angry with. We must strive to ensure that our life is guarded and pure, in accordance with the holy will of God. The mouth which receives Holy Communion shouldn’t swear or speak obscenities, the eyes which will gaze upon Him shouldn’t have been looking at exhibitions of indecency or immorality. The fast on the eve of Holy Communion helps us to concentrate our minds on what we’re about to do, to pay greater attention.
And there’s a special service for the preparation for Holy Communion, containing prayers, psalms and hymns, which helps us to realize the gravity of the sacrament of which we’re going to partake. In most places, this service is freely available, so it’s a good idea to get a copy and read at least some of the preparation prayers and hymns.
How often we take Holy Communion is a matter between us and our spiritual guide.
Of course, it remains true that, whatever we do, we’re never ‘worthy’ to take Holy Communion, which God, in His infinite love for us, offers us as a free gift.
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OCN has partnered with Pemptousia. A Contemporary post-modern man does not 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”.