April 28, 2013

Holy Fathers on the Name of God: St. Cyril of Alexandria

By the holy prophets therefore the Saviour and Lord of all is called, "He that cometh." For the prophet David in a psalm declares: "Blessed be He That cometh in the Name of the Lord." And what means that expression "in the Name of the Lord?" it means in Godlike glory, and lordship, and all transcending majesty. And this again he has signified in what follows: "The Lord is God, and hath shone forth upon us." For Moses indeed came, and appeared in his season, and by his instrumentality the law was spoken to the Israelites: and then after him Jesus the son of Navi commanded the host, and then in order the blessed prophets. And they were indeed holy men, honourable beyond comparison, and endowed with a spiritual and all-excelling splendour: but no one of them shone forth upon the inhabitants of earth in the Name of the Lord, in the glory that is of Godhead and dominion. But the only-begotten Word of God shone forth upon us as being in His nature and verily God and Lord.

Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke, Homily 37
(Robert Payne-Smith ed. 1859)

April 25, 2013

Holy Fathers on the Name of God: St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

"The Name of the Lord is above every name. It is the fountain of sweetness, fountain of joy, fountain of life; it is spirit; it vivifies, transforms, refines, deifies."

On the Prayer of Jesus, Ascetical Experiences, Vol. II, p 252 (Russian ed. Jordanville, 1985)

April 20, 2013

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

Either do away with the veneration and worship due to all these things [i.e Holy Places, Holy Gospel, etc.], or submit to the tradition of the Church and allow the worship of icons, which are sanctified by the Name of God and of His friends, and for this reason are overshadowed by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

St. John of Damascus,
Against those who decry the veneration
of the Holy Icons, Book I, XVI.

April 15, 2013

The Name of God in the Divine Services: Matins

“Jesus, Thine is the Name that saveth!”

Aposticha of the Praises
Matins of Monday of Fifth Week of the Lent

April 14, 2013

Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi on the Name of God

"The Name of our Lord is not a mere word. His Name is power, energy, resurrection and life."

Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi Athonite Conversations
St. Petersburg, 2004, p. 139 
(Russian edition)

April 12, 2013

Holy Fathers on the Name of God: St. Hesychius the Presbyter

We write of what we know; and for those who want to understand what we say, we bear witness to all that we have seen as we journeyed on our path. He Himself has declared: ‘If a man not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch; and men gather it, and cast it into the fire, and it is burned. If he abides in Me, I abide in him (cf. John 15:5-6). The sun cannot shine without light; nor can the heart be cleansed of the stain of destructive thoughts without invoking in prayer the Name of Jesus. This being the case, we should use that Name as we do our own breath. For that Name is light, while the evil thoughts are darkness, it is God and Master, while evil thoughts are slaves and demons.

St. Hesychius  the Presbyter, On Watchfulness and Holiness, 170. (The Philokalia, Vol. I, trans. Palmer, et al)

April 8, 2013

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

For we have, we surely have, spiritual charms, even the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Power of the Cross. This charm will not only bring the serpent out of his lurking places, and cast him into the fire (Acts 28:5), but even wounds it healeth. But if some that have said this Name have not been healed, it came of their own little faith, and was not owing to any weakness in what they said. For some did throng Jesus and press Him (Luke 8:44-45), and got no good therefrom. But the woman with an issue, without even touching His Body, but merely the hem of His garment, stanched a flux of blood of so long standing. This Name is fearful alike to devils, and to passions, and to diseases. In this then let us find a pleasure, herewith let us fortify ourselves. It was thus Paul waxed great, and yet he was of the like nature with ourselves, so the whole choir of the disciples.

Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Homily VIII
(Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Vol. XI)

April 3, 2013

The Name of God in the Holy Scriptures: Wisdom of Sirach

I will thank Thee, O Lord and King, and praise thee, O God my Saviour. I do give praise unto Thy Name. For Thou art my defender and helper, and has preserved my body from destruction, and from the snare of the slanderous tongue, and from the lips that forge lies, and has been mine helper against mine adversaries. And hast delivered me, according to the multitude of Thy mercies and greatness of Thy Name, from the teeth of them that were ready to devour me, and out of the hands of such as sought after my life, and from the manifold afflictions which I had; From the choking of fire on every side, and from the midst of the fire which I kindled not; From the depth of the belly of Hades, from an unclean tongue, and from lying words. By an accusation to the king from an unrighteous tongue my soul drew near even unto death, my life was near to the Hades beneath. They compassed me on every side, and there was no man to help me: I looked for the succour of men, but there was none. Then thought I upon Thy mercy, O Lord, and upon Thy acts of old, how thou deliveredst such as wait for Thee, and savedst them out of the hands of the enemies. Then lifted I up my supplications from the earth, and prayed for deliverance from death. I called upon the Lord, the Father of my Lord, that he would not leave me in the days of my trouble, and in the time of the proud, when there was no help. I will praise Thy Name continually, and will sing praises with thanksgiving; and so my prayer was heard. For thou savedst me from destruction, and deliveredst me from the evil time. Therefore will I give thanks, and praise Thee, and bless Thy Name, O Lord.

Wisdom of Sirach 51:1–12