From Metropolitan Vitaly
Christmas Epistle

CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!

I greet you all on this joyous and great festival. The Almighty God Himself becomes a man - the God-man, in order to console us with His Divine compassion in the often grievous lot of our earthly life. In the Old Testament we were given very simple commandments - not to kill, not to steal, not to indulge our passions of the flesh, and so on. In the New Testament the Lord gives us the commandments in the Beatitudes, which we proclaim when we sing them at every Liturgy: "Blessed are the poor in spirit..." Finally, in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, the Holy Apostle Paul puts before us further new commandments relating to our daily spiritual conduct: "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. For every thing give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (Ch. 5 16-18). "Without ceasing" can have no other meaning than "to pray without ever stopping." We are left with the question - how can we pray without ceasing? With the mind? No, because our mind soon becomes tired and stops praying. However, it is precisely with the mind that this real labour must begin. Seeing our labours, the Lord in a miraculous fashion draws this prayer down into the heart, which is the source of man's spiritual energy, and then the whole man prays. The Holy Fathers affirm that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself prays together with us to His Heavenly Father, "Who is greater than Me." This is the real school of prayer. I wish for all of you to enter this Great School, where through prayer the Lord Himself will teach all things. This is the Highest School of all schools and admission to it is always open to everyone.

I should also greet all of you with the second millennium of the existence of the Church of Christ on earth. Our Lord Jesus Christ never founded such a thing as "Christianity," but He established His Church, and He promised that it would remain unassailable and invincible until His dread Second Coming. In other words, the members of this Church are the true Christians. And this means that the whole spiritual meaning of our earthly life is this, that we should be and abide in this Church of Christ, which is my heartfelt wish to all of you. Amen.

Metropolitan Vitaly
Nativity of Christ, 1999 - 2000

Ìèòðîïîëèòú Âèòàë?é

Ðîæäåñòâåíñêîå Ïîñëàíiå

ÕÐÈÑÒÎÑÚ ÐÀÆÄÀÅÒß! ÑËÀÂÈÒÅ!

Ïîçäðàâëÿþ âñ?õú ñú ýòèìú ðàäîñòíûìú è Âåëèêèìú Ïðàçäíèêîìú. Ñàìú âñåìîãóùié Áîãú ñîä?ëûâàåòñÿ ?åëîâ?êîìú-Áîãî?åëîâ?êîìú, ?òîáû íàñú óò?øèòü Ñâîèìú Áîæåñòâåííûìú ñîñòðàäàíiåìú âú íàøåé ?àñòî ïå?àëüíîé ó?àñòè çåìíîé æèçíè. Íàìú âú Âåòõîìú Çàâ?ò? äàíû î?åíü ïðîñòûå çàïîâ?äè - íå óáèâàòü, íå êðàñòü, íå áëóäèòü è ò.ä. Âú Íîâîìú Çàâ?ò? Ãîñïîäü ïðåïîäàåòú íàìú çàïîâ?äè Áëàæåíñòâà, î êîòîðûõú ìû èçâ?ùàåìú, ïîÿ íà êàæäîé Ëèòóðãiè - «Áëàæåííè íèùiè äóõîìú ... ». È íàêîíåöú, âú Ïåðâîìú Ïîñëàíiè êú 1/2åññàëîíèêiéöàìú, Ñâ. Àïîñòîëú Ïàâåëú íàìú ïðåäëàãàåòú åùå íîâûå çàïîâ?äè åæåäíåâíàãî íàøåãî äóõîâíàãî ïîâåäåíiÿ - «âñåãäà ðàäóéòåñü, íåïðåñòàííî ìîëèòåñü, çà âñå áëàãîäàðèòå: èáî òàêîâà î âàñú âîëÿ Áîæiÿ âî Õðèñòå Ièñóñ?» (5 ãë. 16-18). Íåïðåñòàííî äðóãîãî ñìûñëà íå èì?åòú êàêú íå ïåðåñòàâàÿ ìîëèòüñÿ. Îñòàåòñÿ âîïðîñú, êàêú ìîæíî íåïðåñòàííî ìîëèòüñÿ? Óìîìú?! Íåòú, ò.ê. íàøú óìú ñêîðî óñòàåòú è ïðåêðàùàåòú ìîëèòüñÿ. Îäíàêî ýòîòú íàñòîÿùèé òðóäú íåîáõîäèìî íà?àòü èìåííî ñú óìà. Âèäÿ, ?òî ìû òðóäèìñÿ, Ãîñïîäü ?óäåñíûìú îáðàçîìú ýòó ìîëèòâó ñïóñêàåòú êú íàøåìó ñåðäöó, ýòîìó èñòî?íèêó äóõîâíîé ýíåðãiè ?åëîâ?êà, è òîãäà âåñü ?åëîâ?êú ìîëèòñÿ. È óòâåðæäàþòú Ñââ. Îòöû, ?òî Ñàìú Ãîñïîäü Ièñóñú Õðèñòîñú ìîëèòñÿ ñú íàìè Ñâîåìó Îòöó Íåáåñíîìó, «Êîòîðûé áîë?å Ìåíå åñòü». Ýòî è åñòü íàñòîÿùàÿ øêîëà ìîëèòâû. Æåëàþ âñ?ìú âñòóïèòü â ýòó Âåëèêóþ Øêîëó, à ?åðåç ìîëèòâó Ñàìú Ãîñïîäü âñåìó íàó?èòú. Ýòî Âûñøàÿ Øêîëà âñ?õú øêîëú è âõîäú âú Íåå âñåãäà îòêðûò êàæäîìó.

Ñ?èòàþ ñâîèìú äîëãîìú ïîçäðàâèòü òàêæå âñ?õú ñú äâóõòûñÿ?åë?òiåìú ñóùåñòâîâàíiÿ íà çåìë? Öåðêâè Õðèñòîâîé. Ãîñïîäü íàøú Ièñóñú Õðèñòîñú íèêîãäà íèêàêîãî «õðèñòiàíñòâà» íå ñîçäàâàëú, íî îñíîâàëú Ñâîþ Öåðêîâü, è îá?òîâàëú Åé íåñîêðóøèìîñòü, íåïîá?äèìîñòü äî Ñâîåãî Ñòðàøíàãî Âòîðîãî Ïðèøåñòâiÿ. Äðóãèìè ñëîâàìè, ?ëåíû ýòîé Öåðêâè è ñóòü íàñòîÿùiå õðèñòiàíå. È ýòî çíà?èòú, ?òî âåñü äóõîâíûé ñìûñëú íàøåé çåìíîé æèçíè - áûòü è ïðåáûâàòü âú ýòîé Öåðêâè Õðèñòîâîé, ?åãî è æåëàþ Âàìú îòú âñåãî ñåðäöà. Àìèíü.

Ìèòðîïîëèòú Âèòàëié

Ðîæäåñòâî Õðèñòîâî
1999-2000 ã.





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