March 25, 2016

Saint Paisios the Athonite on the Joy of the Annunciation

Elder, can you chant the Megalynarion you wrote for the Panagia?

Come let us chant it together:

"You found much Grace from God, Mother of the Master, Great in Grace, truly Full of Grace, as Gabriel cried out; Queen of the Angels, guard your servants."

Let me tell you also a dogma: The Panagia was a Maiden and a Mother, Servant and Queen, the Queen of the world. Can such a thing be contained within the mind of man? And the Annunciation to the Theotokos was something supernatural, beyond reason.

I pray that the Panagia will give you the joy of the Annunciation and the Angel will bless you, that you may spiritually progress. Amen.

Elder, a hymn says: "Rejoice, the joy of Eve, for you ceased her sorrow by your Child, Pure One."

Whatever good thing a human being can say about the Panagia, will not be able to express her grandeur. By her obedience the Panagia once again opened for us Paradise, which was shut by the disobedience of Eve.

Eve broke the link that united us with God and brought sorrow and pain to the world; the Panagia united again this link and brought to the world paradisaical joy. She connected us with God, since Christ is the God-man.

The Archangel Gabriel brought to the world the joyful announcement that because of the Panagia humanity found "grace from God." The Panagia rejoiced, because the Word of God was incarnated and redeemed us from sin. We rejoice, because the Panagia represented us honorably. This is why we chant at Christmas: "The desert offers to Christ the manger, and we people offer Him His Mother, the Panagia."

Source: From Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, Spiritual Counsels 5, Passions and Virtues, Souroti, Thessaloniki, 2010, p. 153. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.