Catechism #4 The Son

I believe and confess that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the Word of God before
the ages, the co-eternal Son of the unoriginate Father, and that He Himself is also without
beginning. He is true God of true God, Light of Light, the uncreated and Only-begotten Son. He is consubstantial with the Father, that is, He is of one essence with the Father yet remains unconfused with the Father.

The Father begets the Son outside of time and without beginning, and there was never a
time when the Father was without His Son, through Whom all things visible and invisible were created. He became incarnate in time in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit and became man. I believe and confess that He was perfect God and perfect man from the very moment of His Incarnation.

I confess that He has two natures: the fullness of the divine nature, for, according to the
Scriptures, “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9), and the fullness of human nature, even as He proclaims Himself to be the “Son of Man.” I worship two inseparable and unmingled natures in Him, united in one person. (Consider as an example an iron made red hot by fire: one may cut with the iron and burn with the fire; although the two elements are distinct, yet, in this case, they are inseparable.)

I confess Christ as being not subject to suffering in His Godhead, but subject to suffering
in His manhood. He descended to earth while yet filling the Heavens. He became incarnate in the virginal womb without departing from the bosom of the Father. I confess a condescension of the Godhead but not a change of place.

I also acknowledge that there are two wills and operations (or energies) in Him, the
divine and the human, even as He Himself demonstrated to us at the tomb of Lazarus. The two wills and operations are in harmony, but the one does not absorb the other. I worship two natures and two wills and two energies, but one Person and one Hypostasis.

According to Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, He is the visible of the invisible Father, even as the
Father is the invisible of the Son, and it is through the Son that we are created in the image of God.

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If someone says…

If someone says “I weep over my sins”, but commits another, he is foolish. If he says “I weep over my sins”, but keeps another (sin), he is deceiving himself. The person who searches for quietness, but does not take care to remove the passions, is blind to the holy building of the virtues. The one who ignores his sins but is anxious to correct another is lazy in his requests of the heart and his exhortations to God.

Abba Isaiah of Scetis

Sometimes we do not see…

Sometimes we do not see any outlet, any escape from our sins, and they torment us: on account of them, the heart is oppressed with sorrow and weary. But Jesus looks upon us, and streams of tears flow from our eyes, and with the tears all the tissue of evil in our soul vanishes. We weep with joy that such mercy has suddenly and unexpectedly been sent to us.
St. John of Kronstadt

We who used to…

We who ourselves used to have pleasure in impure things now cling to chastity alone. We who dabbled in the arts of magic now consecrate ourselves to the good and unbegotten God. We who formerly treasured money and possessions more than anything else now hand over everything we have to a treasury for all and share it with everyone who needs it. We who formerly hated and murdered one another and did not even share our hearth with those of a different tribe because of their customs, now, after Christ’s appearance, live together and share the same table. Now we pray for our enemies and try to win those who hate us unjustly so that they too may live in accordance with Christ’s wonderful teachings, that they too may enter into the expectation, that they too may receive the same good things that we will receive from God, the Ruler of the universe.

St. Justin the Marty, First Apology

Love for God begins…

Love for God begins to manifest itself, and to act in us, when we begin to love our neighbor as ourselves, and not to spare ourselves or anything belonging to us for him, as he is the image of God: “For he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The Whole Life…

The whole life of a man is very short, measured by the ages to come, wherefore all our time is nothing compared with eternal life. And in the world everything is sold at its price, and a man exchanges one equivalent for another; but the promise of eternal life is
bought for a trifle.
For it is written, The days of our life in them are threescore years and ten, but if they are in strength, fourscore years, and what is more than these is labor and sorrow. Whenever, therefore, we live full fourscore years, or even a hundred in the ascetical discipline, not for a hundred years only shall we reign, but instead of a hundred we shall reign for ever and ever. And though we fought on earth, we shall not receive our inheritance on earth, but we have the promises in heaven; and having put off the body which is corrupt, we shall receive it incorrupt.
St Anthony the Great

Men Have Fallen …

Men have fallen into unbelief because they have either completely lost the spirit of prayer, or they never had it at all, nor have it now- in short, because they do not pray. The prince of this world has full scope for action in the hearts of such men; he becomes their master. They have not asked and do not ask God’s grace in prayer (for God’s gifts are only given to those who ask and seek) and thus their hearts, corrupt by nature, become dried up without the vivifying dew of the Holy Spirit, and at last from their extreme dryness they take fire, and blaze with the infernal flame of unbelief and various passions, and the Devil only knows how to inflame the passions that keep up this terrible fire, and triumphs at the sight of the ruin of the unfortunate souls that redeemed by the blood of Him Who has trampled the power of Satan underfoot.
St. John of Kronstadt