In this recording from mid-80s, Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (+2 December 1991) talks about the beauty of Orthodox liturgical life and texts. A canon is a theologically rich hymn used in a number of Orthodox services, it consists of nine odes or songs. Canons are used most notably at Matins and at Great and Small Compline.
#christian #orthodox #porphyrios
Audio source: balanthsberoia
It is a great thing to run to the Services and follow the Canons.
The greatness lying in the Canons of the Saints, of the martyrs, of the prophets.
Listen to the Canons and the so beautiful things they say. There lie treasures, treasures. Depth and wisdom and knowledge of God. Take the Canons and read them by yourselves. You will find so beautiful things.
“Do you agree?”
How else will your soul rejoice, if not in this greatness of God [i.e., the Canons]? While you read them, little by little, the Grace [of God] will come. And when the Grace comes, you [will feel] like Apostle [Paul] who used to say I am poor man. But when the Grace [of God] came, everything else goes away. At first, he was not able to do a single good deed. His soul was unable to do a good deed. He tried to do a good deed, but he ended up doing an evil one. Afterwards, however, little by little, the Grace of God came. The Grace of God “covered” [ενέσκυψε] his soul. And then, he started crying, “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;” [Galatians 2:20] He entered the Church and neither death nor anything touches him now. He was unified with Christ. And he cried with great joy for this thing God gave him. Wherever he [Apostle Paul] went, he cried about it, “at first, I tortured myself, I wanted to do the good and yet I did the evil. I was unable to do the good. I could not do it.” “But now, my children, the opposite happens. I am unable to do the evil. I cannot do it. I cannot.” The tables have turned. At first, he was unable to do the good. Now with Christ inside him, [he cannot do the evil].
“Do you understand me?”
Children, the things the Gospel says and Christ asks are not difficult! They are most simple. All of them. “For My yoke is easy… and My burden is light.” “My soul longs and faints for the courts of the Lord;” [Psalms 83:3]
Forgive me if I am not citing them correctly. Are these things just fairytales? They are not heavy. All are easy, joyful. I learnt to read in Mt. Athos, I did not know how to read. I only knew how to syllable beforehand.
“At what age did you go [to Mt. Athos], elder?”
“12-13 years old, quite young.”
“And at what age did you leave?”
“20 years old. I got sick and I left. Otherwise, I would not have left.”
May God make me worthy to come and feel this greatness [must be referring to Mt. Athos]. When you enter there, your soul opens to the love of God. Your monastery is really sanctified. All monasteries are sanctified, but I feel it [more] for this one. In the past, there was a good man there who had gathered fine souls who are now up [in Heaven]. This is the greatness of monasticism. Farewell!