November 9, 2012

Holy Fathers on the Name of God: St. Symeon of Thessalonika

What shall we say of this divine prayer, in invocation of the Saviour, 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me'? It is a prayer and a vow and a confession of faith, conferring upon us the Holy Spirit and divine gifts, cleansing the heart, driving out devils. It is the indwelling presence of Jesus Christ within us, and a fountain of spiritual reflections and divine thoughts. It is remission of sins, healing of soul and body, and shining of divine illumination; it is a well of God's mercy, bestowing upon the humble revelations and initiation into the mysteries of God. It is our only salvation, for it contains within itself the saving Name of our God, the only Name upon which we call, the Name of Jesus Christ the Son of God. 'For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,' as the Apostle says (Acts iv, 12)

That is why all believers must continually confess this Name: both to preach the faith and as testimony to our love for the Lord Jesus Christ, from which nothing must ever separate us; and also because of the grace that comes to us from His Name, and because of the remission of sins, the healing, sanctification, enlightenment, and, above all, the salvation which it confers.
The Holy Gospel says: 'These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.' See, such is faith. And the Gospel adds, 'that believing ye might have life through his Name' (John xx. 31). See, such is salvation and life.

St. Symeon of Thessalonika, On Prayer.