“Of old the prince of this world was also called king of those in the waters; yet he is drowned by thy cleansing and cast down, as once was legion in the lake, O Savior; and by Thy mighty hand Thou hast vouchsafed liberation to the work of Thy hands, which was enslaved by him” (Canon at Compline, Jan 5, Eve of Theophany, Ode 6)
“And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.” (Mark 5:13)
Theophany is just around the corner (this coming Tuesday, Jan 6/19 2010) .
This sticheron shows that we can consider the drowning of the demons in the story of the demonic of the Gergesenes (or “Gadarenes”) to be a “type” (like a prophesy) of baptism.
The casting out of demons is part of the Orthodox baptism service.
Demons are real, and the effect of baptismal waters is real. Just as the sea drowned the Gergesenes demons, our baptismal water drowns our passions. In the former case, the effect was immediate, in our case, the drowning of our passions is begun with baptism, which gives us the ability to become holy, and completed only by our efforts and the grace of God.
“NB” is shorthand for “nota bene” ,which is Latin for “Note well”. These shorter posts are meant to be “noted well” more often because they are briefer than the usual blog posts. I have “noted well” that many of my flock does do not read the longer posts. I have a lot of stuff to tell you, so there will still be longer posts, but I also plan to post shorter “snippets” which will have “NB:” in the title.
Priest Seraphim Holland 2010. St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas
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