November 1, 2014

On Inner Christianity (Excerpt)

By Archpriest John Zhuravsky
Fr. John Zhuravsky was born into a priestly family in Latvia in 1867, later graduating from the Riga Theological Seminary. As a young man he met St. John of Kronstadt, whose example he sought to emulate during the entire course of his pastoral ministry, not only in prayer and asceticism, but also in his labors to help the poor and imprisoned. Noted for his gift of clairvoyance, he reposed in the Lord in Riga in 1964.     
The Saints of God came to know the innermost Mystery hidden in the Name of God; they came to know by experience the saving effect of this Name on the whole person: on the body, the mind, and the heart. They came to know that the greatness of the Name of the Lord Jesus is loftier than any attainment of reasonable creatures, either earthly or heavenly. They came to know that the Name of the Lord Jesus is above all names: It is the source of joy, the source of Divine life. It is Spirit. It grants life, transforms, refines, and deifies.  

The Name of the Lord Jesus Christ contains within itself a special, divine strength. The strength of this Name heals the body of ailments and the soul of passions. The demons tremble before the Name of Jesus, tormented by the fear of the greatness of its Divinity; they flee from it. Therefore the Fathers said: flog the foe with the Name of Jesus, for there is no greater weapon in heaven or on earth (St. John of the Ladder). For the sake of the Name of Jesus, invoked by the one who prays, help from God descends upon him and he is granted remission of his sins. For the sake of the Name of the Lord, our sinful prayers are heard; and for the sake of this Name salvation is granted unto us.

The power of the Name of Jesus frees the mind from the wavering and whirling of empty thoughts, while the will is strengthened in the fulfillment of the Lord’s commandments. The power of this Name enlightens the mind and permits God-pleasing thoughts and feelings, which belong to immaculate human nature, to dwell in the soul. There is no room left in it for alien thoughts and feelings (Bishop Ignatius (Brianchaninov), vol. II, p. 282 [in Russian]).

By the Name of the Lord Jesus, revival is bestowed upon the soul and sin is put to death. Christ the Lord Jesus is Life – and His Name is vivifying and full of Life. “His Name is Life Eternal” (St. Symeon of Thessalonica).

It grants life to those who invoke it with faith, making them partakers of Life Eternal. The Name of the Lord Jesus is holy and sanctifying for those who invoke it: it sanctifies the mouth, the tongue, the heart, and the whole body; it even sanctifies the surrounding air.

God hath given Him a Name above every name, the Apostle writes, “That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).