‘I am not parting from you – I am with you’

An icon of Christ Pantokrator (Almighty)

An icon of Christ Pantokrator (Almighty)

IF God be for us, who can be against us?

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31, 35, 38-39.

**

CHRIST is new life.

How can I say that? Christ is everything!

He is joy, he is life, he is light, the true light, which makes a man rejoice, gives him wings, makes him understand everything, understand everyone, he makes him feel pain for everyone, makes him want to have everyone together with him, he makes him want everyone to be at Christ’s side.

When we find a treasure of any kind, we do not want to speak of it at all.

But the Christian, when he finds Christ, when he turns to Christ, when Christ has buried himself in his little soul and he [the Christian] feels it, he wants to shout out and tell it everywhere, he wants to talk about Christ, what Christ is.

You love Christ, and there is nothing you would rather have than his love.

Christ is everything, he is the source of life, he is the summit of all that is desirable, he is everything. Everything that is beautiful is to be found in Christ.

And far off from Christ, tribulation, melancholy, anxiety, depression, persistent memories of the traumas of life, of the hours of pressure, struggle.

All those things our our life we live out there. And we go here and we go there, and nothing, and nowhere, brings rest to us.

Where we find Christ, as if in a cave [i.e. like Bethlehem], we sit down and we fear to leave, in case we lose Christ.

Read, and you’ll see. Ascetics, who came to know Christ, did not want to leave that cave, or to go out and do anything else: they wanted to be there, where they felt Christ together with them.

Christ is everything!

Elder Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite. Original at Γέροντες της εποχής μας. This is my amateur translation.

**

WE have all said, ‘We love you more than all’.
Then do not leave us. Take us in your arms, you who fill all things.
Enclose us and say to us,
I am not parting from you. I am with you and there is no one against you’.

From a Kontakion on the Assumption (Ascension) of Christ by St Romanos the Melodist. Translation by Archimandrite Ephrem Lash.

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