January 28, 2013

Holy Fathers on the Name of God: St. Ambrose of Milan

Love is shed abroad by the Holy Spirit, Who, prefigured by the mystical ointment, is shown to have nothing common with creatures; and He, inasmuch as He is said to proceed from the mouth of God, must not be classed with creatures, nor with things divisible, seeing He is eternal.
... God, then, sheds forth of the Spirit, and the love of God is also shed abroad through the Spirit; in which point we ought to recognize the unity of the operation and of the grace. For as God shed forth of the Holy Spirit, so also “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit” Romans 5:5, in order that we may understand that the Holy Spirit is not a work, Who is the dispenser and plenteous Fount of the divine love.
In like manner that you may believe that that which is shed abroad cannot be common to the creatures but peculiar to the Godhead, the Name of the Son is also poured forth, as you read: “Thy Name is as ointment poured forth.” Of which saying nothing can surpass the force. For as ointment closed up in a vase keeps in its perfume, so long as it is confined in the narrow space of that vase, though it cannot reach many, it yet preserves its strength. But when the ointment has been poured out of that vase wherein it was enclosed, it spreads far and wide; so, too, the Name of Christ before His coming amongst the people of Israel was enclosed in the minds of the Jews as in some vase. For “God is known in Judah, His Name is great in Israel;” that is, the Name which the vases of the Jews held confined in their narrow limits.

Even then that Name was indeed great, when it remained in the narrow limits of the weak and few, but it had not yet poured forth its greatness throughout the hearts of the Gentiles, and to the ends of the whole world. But after that He by His coming had shone throughout the whole world, He spread abroad that divine Name of His throughout all creatures, not filled up by any addition (for fullness admits no increase), but filling up the empty spaces, that His Name might be wonderful in all the world. The pouring forth, then, of His Name signifies a kind of abundant exuberance of graces and copiousness of heavenly goods, for whatever is poured forth flows over from abundance.

On the Holy Spirit, Book I .

January 26, 2013

The Name of God in Early Church Writings: Didache

We give thanks to Thee, O Holy Father, for Thy Holy Name which Thou didst make to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality which Thou didst make known to us through Jesus Thy Child. To Thee be glory for ever. Thou, Lord Almighty, didst create all things for thy Name's sake, and didst give food and drink to men for their enjoyment, that they might give thanks to Thee, but us hast Thou blessed with spiritual food and drink and eternal light through Thy Child. Above all we give thanks to Thee for that Thou art mighty. To Thee be glory for ever.

Didache, The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, 5.

January 21, 2013

The Name of God in the Lives of Saints: Holy Martyr Abo

For fearful and holy, powerful and wondrous, lordly and almighty is His Name; it is not possible for us to fathom the richness of His Name.
Life of the Holy Martyr Abo the Perfumer (+786)

Icon: copyright and courtesy of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, MA.

January 19, 2013

The Name of God in the Divine Services: The Great Blessing of the Waters

“... that the prayer of us sinners over this water may be acceptable to Thy goodness, and that Thy blessing may be granted through it unto us and all Thy faithful people, unto the glory of Τhy holy and worshipful Name.

“That by elements, by Angels, and by men, by things visible and by things invisible, Thine all-holy Name may be glorified, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”

The Great Blessing of the Waters

January 16, 2013

The Name of God in the Holy Scriptures: Prophet Malachias

For from the rising of the sun even to the going down thereof my Name has been glorified among the Gentiles; and in every place incense is offered to my Name, and a pure offering: for my Name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord Almighty.

Malachias, 1:11

January 15, 2013

The Name of God in the Lives of Saints: St. Basil of Ancyra

“My chief name is ‘Christian,’ derived from ‘Christ,’ the Name that is eternal and beyond human understanding.”

Life of the Holy Hieromartyr Basil of Ancyra (+362)

January 11, 2013

Holy Fathers on the Name of God: St. Justin the Philosopher

“Moreover, in the book of Exodus we have also perceived that the Name of God Himself which, He says, was not revealed to Abraham or to Jacob, was Jesus, and was declared mysteriously through Moses. Thus it is written: ‘And the Lord spake to Moses, Say to this people, Behold, I send My angel before thy face, to keep thee in the way, to bring thee into the land which I have prepared for thee. Give heed to Him, and obey Him; do not disobey Him. For He will not draw back from you; for My Name is in him.’ Now understand that He who led your fathers into the land is called by this name Jesus (Joshua), and first called Auses. For if you shall understand this, you shall likewise perceive that the Name of Him who said to Moses, ‘for My Name is in him,’ was Jesus.

St. Justin the Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Ch. XXV

January 9, 2013

Holy Fathers on the Name of God: St. John Chrysostom

For this cause too the angel came bringing His Name from Heaven, hereby again intimating that this is a wondrous birth: it being God Himself who sends the Name from above by the angel to Joseph. For neither was this an empty name, but a Name full of ten thousand blessings.

St.  John Chrysostom, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Homily IV

January 7, 2013

The Name of God in the Holy Scriptures: Book of Tobit

Many nations shall come from far to the Name of the Lord God with gifts in their hands, even gifts to the King of Heaven.

Tobit 13:11

January 4, 2013

The Name of God in the Holy Scriptures: Prophecy of Michaeas

And thou, Bethlehem, House of Ephratha, art few in number to be reckoned among the thousands of Judah; yet out of thee shall one come forth to me, to be a Ruler of Israel; and His goings forth were from the beginning, even from eternity. Therefore shall he appoint them to wait till the time of her that travails. She shall bring forth, and then the remnant of their brethren shall return to the children of Israel. And the Lord shall stand, and see, and feed His flock with power, and they shall dwell in the glory of the Name of the Lord their God: for now shall they be magnified to the ends of the earth.

Michaeas 5:1-3

January 2, 2013

Holy Fathers on the Name of God: St. John of Kronstadt

When you forbid the devil in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, then this Name, the sweetest to us, and the most terrible and grievous to the demons, itself creates power, like a two-edged sword. Equally, if you ask anything of the Heavenly Father, or do anything in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, then the Heavenly Father, for the sake of the Name of His beloved Son, shall give you all things in the Holy Spirit, in the Mysteries, if you fulfill His commandments, and will in nowise consider your unworthiness; for wherever the Name of God is made use of with faith, there it creates power: for the very Name of God is power.

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ, p. 436