JOHN of Kronstadt
Discussion on the Divine
My dear ones, I will now tell you about the Divine Liturgy.
If we gather all the treasures of all the world and put
them on a scale and on the other side put the Divine Liturgy,
the latter side would weigh more. But mankind does not understand
what a treasure he possesses until this joy is taken away
from him. Unfortunately, mankind does not value the sun,
nor the air, nor light. Come darkness, should the air be
taken away, leaving nothing to breathe--then man will know
what he had and what he lost. He who has the opportunity
to attend Divine Liturgy does not go, and he who does stands
inattentively, bearing with him thoughts and troubles of
daily life. Why is this so? It is because he does not think
about what Liturgy is. Mankind does not understand the depth
and importance of that great Mystery which is being performed
before his eyes. At the same time, of all the miracles--the
most imporant is Divine Liturgy. It is for the Divine Liturgy
that the sun shines by day, the moon at night, and the stars
in the skies, the thousands of them emitting their own light,
it is why the earth brings forth fruit, and why we can eat
I repeat, the earth only brings forth wheat and grapes because
bread and wine is daily brought to the holy altar for the
performance of the Liturgy. Not for us sinners, covered
with wounds, does the earth give its fruit--we do not deserve
it--the earth gives it for the Divine Liturgy, and will
do so while the Divine Liturgy continues to be performed
on earth. Be there no Liturgy--the sun will die, the earth
will cease to give its fruit...
The first Liturgy of Jesus Christ was established at the
Last Supper. And now bread and wine is brought to the altar,
but during Divine Liturgy they become the Flesh and Blood
of Christ. And people, ingesting the Flesh and Blood of
Christ, commune with Divine light. In this way the Lord
entered the house of their soul, and the soul became the
temple of God. Oh, what a great joy that is!
The Lord enters a sinful soul and heals within it all lawlessness,
and the human soul becomes the house of God. And so, the
Savior leaves for us a sort of testament: to perform the
Divine Liturgy and to eat of the life-giving Flesh and Blood.
Liturgy is a wondrous gift of Jesus Christ. Liturgy is a
bridge across which one can pass into eternal life. Remember
this testament of Jesus Christ. Walk along this golden bridge
which will save us from the abyss of hell. Do not listen
to those, beloved ones, who run from the Chalice of the
Savior. These are poor, lost, wretched people far from the
river of Christ falling into the abyss. Oh, how pitiful,
how unhappy are these people who exchange the divine service
for daydreams of this world, whom the fuss of daily life
keep from the temple of God! My dears! Love God's temple!
It is the perpetual presence of God. Rush to the temple,
especially on holidays.
There you will find Light illuminating and edifying each
person. There you will find the Holy Sacrifice of the Flesh
and Blood of Christ, strengthening us, vivifying us, cleansing
our soul. The liturgy we also call the "obednya"
(supper). This is our supper and feast, to which the Lord
calls through His servants (the servants are the pastors),
but how many among us there are who do not heed the call
of the King and do not with to hear the voice of Christ
and the Holy Gospel; it is not enough that they do not go,
but they hinder others from going, mocking them.
Oh, how unfortunate are the despondent who deprive themselves
of the invaluable gift, in their confusion tread upon the
aromatic rose--the Divine Service of Christ. My dears, love
the Divine Liturgy, consider the day when you could not
attend Liturgy as wasted, especially on holidays. St. John
Chrysostom says that the Divine Liturgy is the great miraculous
gift: angels of God envy us humans, who are given the joy
of communing of the Divine Flesh and Blood. By the billions
they convene there where the Bloodless Gift, and, trembling,
attend the holy altar, covering their faces and glorifying
the great Mystery being performed there. The Divine Liturgy
is the axis of the world: just as a wheel can only rotate
around an axis, so our world can only rotate with the Divine
Liturgy. It is the basis of all of life on earth. And if
not, our terrible, sinful world would end and die from filth
and lawlessness, if it were not sanctified by these great
Mysteries, the terrifying manifestations of the Divine Atoner.
At this moment the altar is sanctified, the temple, and
all those in prayer are sanctified; the earth, the very
air gives one everything needed for life for no other reason
than that upon the altar table is the Holy Lamb, our Jesus
Christ, on the diskos and in the Chalice, in the guise of
bread and wine. My dears, thank the Lord for allowing us
to hear the Divine Liturgy and commune of His Most-Pure
Flesh and His Life-giving Blood.
We pray Thee, Lord, for those who in their confusion do
not desire, do not seek the solace in the salvific Holy
Gifts, but give them wisdom, Lord, and bring them to repentance,
so that they will come to know Your saving power. Amen.