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.
Elder Ephraim of Arizona †
When I was abroad in 1987 I saw Geronda again in my sleep after finishing my vigil. He looked very happy and much younger than he was when he passed away. He said to me: “My child, know that when you are obedient, you help make my petitions and intercessions more accepted by God because I am praying for people who are forceful in their spiritual struggle.”
“Yes, Geronda, we are trying to be obedient, and I try to do everything you told me. I have held on to everything you taught me, and. now I live—in a simple way—as you used to live.”
He was delighted to hear that, and when I woke up I was thoroughly renewed. It is very comforting to know that people like my elder and Gero-Arsenios are helping us work out our salvation. I believe that now that Geronda is up in the other world, he is concerned for us that we not lose our salvation and all those good things he is enjoying. He must be thinking: ‘Just as we had to face spiritual dangers, they too are facing dangers, and they need help now.’
He can already foresee what will be given after the Second Coming to those who have conquered sin, the passions, and the demons. He realizes what will be revealed after the Second Coming when Christ, the Lamb Who was sacrificed, will be in Paradise together with the entire brotherhood of victors (the saints). Paradise will open for them with resurrectional joy. When they enter, He will tell them: Behold, Paradise. Behold, God’s gift to you.”
Geronda is fully aware of all this, and he is worried that some of us might lose our souls and not see all those things and be deprived of these great blessings and riches from God. He is worried that, instead, we might go down to fearsome, eternal hell to live with the demons. Being aware of this, he is anxious and is praying and entreating God that no one will fall away and lose his soul.