February 13, 2013

Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra on the Name of God

There is nothing left for the monk except this one thing:  to wash the eyes of his heart with the tears of his face while repeating with the Psalmist:  "Every night I flood my bed with my tears;  I drench my couch with my weeping"  (Ps. 6:6), and to touch the fringes of Jesus' cloak (cf. Matt. 14:36) while crying, like the blind man of the Gospel:  "Lord have mercy on me, that I may receive my sight!"  (Luke 18:39-41), such that the darkness may be scattered by the invocation of the Name of the Lord.  The Name of Jesus, of One of the Holy Trinity, becomes thus the personal and inner echo of the divine voice that the disciples heard on Tabor coming from the cloud in order to bear witness to the Savior's divinity.  Christ makes Himself present here through the sacrament of His Name, and dim night is transfigured into "bright cloud," into a darkness where God dwells.

In the dimness of the night, struggling against the darkness of egoism and the attacks of "the world rulers of this present darkness"  (Eph. 6:12),  repelling every false brilliance, that is, every thought, product of imagination, or apparition coming from the devil who knows how to "disguise himself as an angel of light" (1 Cor. 11:14), the monk clings to nothing other than the Name of Jesus alone, not in order to analyze it, but to taste the Lord's presence.  Then the lack of light within his cell is transformed into that "swift cloud" upon which the Lord of glory sits (Isa. 19:1).

Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra
The Way of the Spirit: Reflections on Life in God