December 24, 2016

Christ Came to Pass Through All the Ranks of the Priesthood

The following is taken from the Saying of the Desert Fathers.

A certain elder who counseled against fornication said the following:

“Be like a man who passes through a street of taverns, and who smells the odor of boiling meats, or the whiff of something which is being roasted; he who wishes enters into one of them and eats, and he who does not wish to do so smells the meats as he passes by and then goes on. Drive away then from yourself the fetid smell of evil thoughts, and stand up and pray, saying, ‘O Son of God, help me.’ The same thing is also to be said about other thoughts, for we are not the roots of the thoughts, but are those who strive against them.”

This same elder spoke the following:

"Now on your account, O son of man, Christ was born, and the Son of God came that He might make you to live.

He became a Child, becoming a man, being also God.

He who was the Lawgiver became a Reader, and He took the book in the synagogue, and He read, saying, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and for this reason He has anointed me, and has sent me to preach the gospel unto the poor.'

Like a Subdeacon He made a whip of rope, and He drove forth from the temple all those who sold oxen, and cattle, and doves, and other things.

Like a Deacon He girded a napkin about His loins, and washed the feet of His disciples, and He commanded them to wash the feet of their brethren.

Like a Priest He sat among the priests, and taught the people.

Like a Bishop He took bread, and blessed and brake it, and gave to His disciples.

He was beaten for your sake, that is to say, for your sake He was crucified, and for your sake He died. Yet you for His sake will not even endure insult!

He rose as God. He was exalted as God. All these things for our sake, all these things by Divine Providence, all these things properly and in due order did He do that He might redeem us.

Let us then be watchful, and strenuous, and constant in prayer, and let us do everything which will please Him, and will gratify His friends, so that we may be redeemed and live. Was not Joseph sold into Egypt, and did he not live in a foreign land? And the three simple young men in Babylon, had they not men who opposed them? Yet, because they were fearing God, He helped them, and made them glorious."