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LINKS TO INTRIGUING BYZANTINE INFORMATION
History of Hagia Sophia
The Eastern Catholic Church
Byzantine and Eastern Catholicism Links
Byzantine Icon Gallery
(Icons by Various Artists)
The Glory in Christ, Our King
The Holy Trinity
Our Most Holy Mother of God
Archangel Michael by T. Tsagalakis
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Christ the Pantokrator
The Desert Fathers, Writings and Information
Please enjoy this beautiful Easter homily by St. John Chrysostom. There is no one who would not be moved upon reflection of these inspired words!
(more links follow after the sermon)
A re there any who are devout lovers of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Are there any who are
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!
Are there any weary from
Let them now receive their due!
If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their reward.
If any have come after the
let them with gratitude join in the feast!
Those who arrived after the
let them not doubt; for they shall not be short-changed.
Those who have tarried until
the ninth hour,
let them not hesitate; but let them come too.
And those who arrived only at
the eleventh hour,
let them not be afraid by reason of their delay.
For the Lord is gracious and
receives the last even as the first.
The Lord gives rest to those who come at the eleventh hour,
even as to those who toiled from the beginning.
To one and all the Lord gives
The Lord accepts the offering of every work.
The Lord honours every deed and commends their intention.
Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!
First and last alike, receive your reward.
Rich and poor, rejoice together!
Conscientious and lazy,
celebrate the day!
You who have kept the fast, and you who have not,
rejoice, this day, for the table is bountifully spread!
Feast royally, for the calf
Let no one go away hungry.
Partake, all, of the banquet of faith.
Enjoy the bounty of the Lord's goodness!
Let no one grieve being poor,
for the universal reign has been revealed.
Let no one lament persistent
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death,
for the death of our Saviour has set us free.
The Lord has destroyed death
by enduring it.
The Lord vanquished hell when he descended into it.
The Lord put hell in turmoil even as it tasted of his flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he
"You, O Hell, were placed in turmoil when he encountering you below."
Hell was in turmoil having been eclipsed.
Hell was in turmoil having been mocked.
Hell was in turmoil having been destroyed.
Hell was in turmoil having been abolished.
Hell was in turmoil having been made captive.
Hell grasped a corpse, and
Hell seized earth, and encountered heaven.
Hell took what it saw, and was overcome by what it could not see.
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
Christ is risen, and you are cast down!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life is set free!
Christ is risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead.
For Christ, having risen from
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Christ be glory and power forever and ever. Amen!
ADDITIONAL LINKS FOR YOUR READING ENJOYMENT
Original Poetry And Meditations By Monica Ellen Smith
POETRY BY Monica Ellen Smith:
I Am Here
To See God
To See God
If you wish to see God close your eyes and open your heart. It is there you will find Him; for He came in love to offer the gift of Himself, which is all love--pure and powerful and all-embracing: To see Him become like Him!
We must be mirrors to allow others to see Christ through us. In so doing, we reflect the life-giving Light, nourishing others that they, too, may grow in holiness.
I Am Here
(A Poem Inspired by Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ")
more can you offer,
The Icon's Meaning:
In the passing seasons is seen
cycle of our lives
The infant spring gives way
to the heated passion of youth--
like the summer, we think
it will never end
But as certain as autumn is to follow
so, too, adulthood and the cooling
of youthful desire
The winter wind wails and moans
and beneath the mournful cry
echoes "too soon, toosoon"
But the unending cycle brings again
the promise of spring
Winter's death is but a passing
into the realm of the Spirit
where we, transfigured,
put on the garment of New Life
How can we be happy when sorrow enslaves so many. . .
How can we expect to have our fill when there are those who suffer impoverishment. . .
How can we take comfort in our freedom as long as there are those who suffer the throes of oppression. ..
What promise can there be of tomorrow, when today, we focus our efforts on finding new and more efficient means of destruction. . .
What hope for life do we have when we, without remorse, kill our unborn. . .
How can we contemplate salvation when we reject the Savior. . .
No one knows my suffering,
the uncertainty and fear
in my hours of desperation;
I call out to God to hear.
When this sadness overpowers
and I stumble through thenight,
my soul remains in darkness;
I want only to see the Light.
When at last I feel His presence,
it is then my fear departs;
for Light and dark cannot abide
within a single heart!
heads held high
His praise to sing
As I look to heaven
This I see:
Of God's majesty
In memory stored
Of our awesome Lord
In the stillness of a winter night
as the snow began to fall,
I heard him through a distant light.
To me he faintly called.
I answered, though I did not see
the one whose voice I heard.
I knew him when he spoke to me
and bade me "do not fear."
I've sensed his presence times before
in sadness, joy and in need.
In a poor man knocking at my door
he revealed himself to me.
I've felt him softly touch my hair
as autumn winds would blow--
a reminder that he's ever near.
How his love doth freely flow!
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* Background Music by Parma Byzantine Diocesan Choir, Michael E. Stinich, Director ("Let Thy Holy Spirit)