Fom The Synod

From Dioceses

St. JOHN of Kronstadt

Discussion on the Divine Liturgy

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 of bread.

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.

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