Everything is a gift of the Incarnation of God the Word, of the deification of the humanity He has assumed, of the Resurrection of Christ, the victory over death, the co-resurrection of the entire universe through the Resurrection of Christ. How everything functions as a whole! How nothing is irrelevant, nothing is wasted! How the blessings go deeper than we hoped! You realize you are in the midst of the mystery of life, which has been bestowed upon you. You give thanks for that mystery, you do not claim it as a right and a privilege to yourself, because in that case you lose it.
There is a personal aspect to the Cosmos, and there is a cosmic aspect to the person. Man cannot be saved by any action of his own. His demands are too great and his desire too difficult to handle. He seeks the unattainable and the unachievable. And because of the way we are created, this is legitimate for man, and that is why, in order to live, we have need of God. If I want, I can breathe from a gas canister. But I cannot survive long breathing the gas. My internal organs are made for the air of the atmosphere. I cannot change their nature. And the internal organs of the human being as a whole are formed to breath in the space, the climate of the Orthodox Church. In the spaciousness of the Church, man is able to realize himself. There he can begin to grow, to flower, to bear fruit, to attain deification.
The Liturgical Rhythm of the Church, the ethos of the buildings, the rhythm of the singing, the distinctive quality of our worship reveal a truth that cannot be taught in an external way, because it is a participation in life. From generation to generation, this is passed on as a mystery of continuity; in the circulation of blood in the one body in which we are all one, both the living and departed alike. (1 Cor. 10:17) This framework, this order, provides the possibility for the development for each to consciously achieve personal maturity and stillness; for each to be able to find his own rhythm, to consciously say “Lord, have mercy” and to communicate with his own word with the One Word. This framework of worship, this world, this environment, is prepared by the Church, it is a structure crafted from life, which has room for each person, with his own name, at every stage of his life and journey. This framework is not a rigid mold which produces artifacts, but a living womb which creates personal beings with their own character and calling.
We have to know that the Church is not a human prison but God’s Kingdom, which is to say, an endless growth and expansion. When you begin to realize this, it is a joy for the whole world. We in the Church simply live. In the Church our stretching and expansion never ceases. Everything is tilled with life. Then, even the smallest thing receives great value exactly because it becomes a participant in a great cosmic mystery. However we need to wait patiently for all these great things and they will come by themselves. Our part is to pray and to say, ‘Glory to God!”
~ Elder Archimandrite Vasilieos