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"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

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Sunday, 31 July 2011

FR LEV GILLET (Orth): EVERY MOMENT A PASCH

thanks to: http://megfunk.com/entry.php?id=501

Jesus A Dialogue with the Saviour
Chapter XXXIII: Reading the Signs

“With desire I have desired to eat this pasch with you.” It is not a question only of the pasch which preceded the first Good Friday nor of the pasch which we celebrate each year. Every moment can become a pasch. 

A pasch is an intimate meal with Jesus in which we are united to the divine life which is given for the salvation of the world, a union with the broken body and the shed blood. This special union distinguishes the pasch from union with Christ in a general sense. 

The whole paschal mystery, the cross and the resurrection is in the Lord’s Supper. The mystery of the Last Supper is not limited to the visible participation in the Eucharistic gifts, in the assembly of the faithful. An internal, invisible, purely spiritual Last Supper can take place in my soul at every moment and everywhere.

“If any man or woman opens the door to Me, I will come in to him/her and will sup with him/her.” The invisible Last Supper is no less real than the visible one but it is of another order and to distinguish between these two orders we must have a very deep respect.

“With desire I have desired to eat this pasch with you.” To which pasch does he refer? The last one which Jesus will celebrate before His death. The one in which He will reveal to His disciples the mystery of the true paschal lamb. The paschal meals which He longs to eat with me will enable me to discover the lamb.

Jesus puts this question to the master of the house: Where is My refectory where I may eat the pasch . . .?” 

This question takes on a much richer meaning if we refer to the Greek text of St. Mark: katalyma mou, My dwelling, My reception room.

In this question there is a blending of humility and command. Jesus asks where “His” room is. He demands this with assurance, with the authority of ownership. This room is His, He has engaged it. 

But He was obliged to borrow it from a man. Jesus begs for my soul in order that He may celebrate His paschal meal there. For my soul belongs to Him. He is willing to come as a guest, He demands my hospitality.

“The Master saith, My time is near at hand, with thee I make the pasch with My disciples.” “With My disciples . . .” because the Master’s pasch is always social. It is never only individual.

Even if it is a question of that invisible Last Supper which Jesus can celebrate at any moment in the upper room of my soul, this room must remain open to all of Christ’s disciples. If I am with Jesus, I have to be with Peter, Andrew, James, John, Paul and all the apostles, and all those who either in past centuries or today, have been or are the Saviour’s disciples.

Jesus speaks of His disciples in these terms: “Go, tell My brethren . . .” I cannot isolate myself from the Saviour’s brethren without separating myself from Him. I must commune with them in the same faith, with the same affection. 

The phrase which shows us Jesus getting up to wash His disciples’ feet begins in this way: “Knowing that the Father had given Him all things into His hands . . .” The full awareness of divine authority which is invested in Him becomes for Jesus the very basis for an act of humility.

Simon Peter’s attitude at the time of the washing of feet clearly indicates the temptations which can assail a sincere disciple. 

The impulsive Peter exaggerates in two opposite senses. First of all he does not want Jesus to wash him, then he wants Jesus to wash not only his feet, but his head. 

We would often like to decide what the Master should do and how He should do it. What Jesus desires is that we let ourselves be directed. This is loving submission to His initiatives even though we do not understand them.

If, in imitating Jesus, you kneel to wash another’s feet, it is at this point that the towel with which you wiped them will become for you Veronica’s towel: on it the Saviour’s face will be impressed.

Jesus knows that Judas is betraying Him. During the Last Supper He gives him, before the others, “bread dipped.” 

The episode is disturbing. Is there in it a sign of condemnation or a last appeal of grace? “And after the morsel Satan entered into Judas . . .” Perhaps we are allowed to think that the external mark of predilection which Judas receives shows again mercy on the part of the Saviour. He is offered one last chance.

If we consider carefully the circumstances in which we fall into sin and especially the immediate prelude to our falls, we see that until the last minute the Master multiplies His veiled interventions, His discreet appeals, the descending movements of grace, the touches of secret affection, in order to sustain our weakening will. 

The history of each of our sins is also the history of a manifestation in extremes, as it were, of divine piety. If only we knew, we could read the signs!


Father Sophrony and St Silouan of Mount Athos (click)




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