How and by what processes does the dispensation of grace occur? How did the Christians pray in the ancient church? From where did they get such an extraordinary holiness? How did they manage to grow, from strength to strength, and reach the Celestial Kingdom? How, by the power of the Life-Giving Cross, were demons hunted and miracles happened? All these questions will be discussed in the next issues of our investigations. They concern the practical side of the Orthodox faith in connection with the Orthodox mysticism.

Let's start with prayer. The Orthodox prayer consists of the words, texts, sign of the cross, specific liturgical rites, it’s from outside, and of the Life-Giving Cross, from inside. What is it? The theme of the Life-Giving Cross was completely removed from the synodal theology, because the Life-Giving Cross is the main threat to the devil.

This is a situation we have in our Church. In fact, the Life-Giving Cross is the Asterisk, the tetramorphs, the four evangelical sacred animals, and the sign of the cross with two fingers; all this constitutes a unique system that connects God, the four sacred animals, all Creation and man in the same system, in a single unit. From here comes the extraordinary power of the cross, because it is a basis of the created being. The Life-Giving Cross is a fundamental angelic force, if we know how to pray and make the sign of the cross properly, then the most interesting things start to happen.

As we know, there is a formal prayer, which does not bear fruit, and a living prayer in spirit. For the Lord could hear us, for the prayer could illuminate our soul by Light and hunt the darkness, it is necessary for us to know its inner secrets. The secrets are not so numerous, but we must follow them to the letter. First, if the man does not participate in Orthodox divine office and sacraments, it is impossible to learn prayer. We need to live by the Church, to love God, not just in words, but to sacrifice, in reality, something earthly for the sake of heavenly, and then our mind will be infused with the heavenly light that illuminates, guides and reveals the mysteries of the invisible world.

Secondly, the prayer is an interaction with the spiritual energies, the sacred angelic energies. Externally, we pronounce the words, while, internally, our heart is making a path to the high Mount of the Lord, and if we climb to the top, the prayer brings love, joy, peace and serenity. When we feel a return, when our soul is illuminated by divine light, it means that the angels had established a connection with God, the purpose of prayer is reached, and that from the Throne of God, through angelic hierarchies, a living water of the Heavenly Jerusalem had been poured in our hearts.

Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish between external and internal life of prayer. Prayer is like a living being: the text and lyrics are his body, while the inner spirit is its wings. If the prayer is only read, its wings will not grow; it will remain inanimate on the earth. Prayer is a mystery; it is not read, but served to God and is enlivened by the spirit of the heart. We will discuss it, in detail, later.

For prayer can revive the soul, we need a preliminary preparation. Prayer is a small liturgy that is why, before each prayer, like the priests in the church clothe the liturgical garments before the liturgy, we must clothe ourselves in royal priesthood. What does it mean?

The royal priesthood is both king and priest. The king of his inner realm, and the priest of the Most Holy Trinity. In the sacrament of baptism, man is anointed to the throne of his soul, his inner realm, that is to say, all Orthodox people are kings, in the direct sense of this term.

Initially our kingdom is just a flat ground or a planet, not seeded and without any construction. And God set us a goal to build in heart of each of us, the Heavenly Kingdom of God.

It is built by means of the holy sacraments and prayer. We stand, as priests, before the face of God, pray and serve Him, and the Lord gives us His Holy power, in reward for our service, which we already use to build our inner realm.

Thus, the royal priesthood is a sacrament of creation of the holy world, a mystery of the dispensation of divine grace; therefore before prayer, we need to tune to this great and mysterious act, because our inner world is vivified by the same angelic forces which stay near the Throne of God, vivify and pass our world from nothingness to being.

It is with these energies that we interact. Thus, in prayer, we interact with the energies of Creation, that is to say, the Kingdom of God; and, for our prayers be meaningful, it is necessary for us to use this invisible power of the Saviour for its intended purpose, namely, to vivify, in ourselves, the Kingdom of Heaven, not just to say some pious words.

When we pray, we interact with supreme power of God, the seven Spirits of God, which is in the hand of Lord Almighty; therefore, the true prayer is a mystery of the interaction with supreme power God. However, all our theory will remain empty words, if we do not unravel the mystery of the Life-Giving Cross. It allows animating our prayer and bringingour soulsto thestate of salvation, holiness and expulsion of darkness.



# The Mystery of the Life-Giving CrossDeloras 2017-07-10 16:44
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