In this video recording, Fr. Barnaba Missi talks about our inner cross and the passions (statues of Aphrodite) quoting St. Theophan the Recluse. Fr. Barnaba serves at the Our Lady Of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Jabal Ali, Dubai, UAE.
English translation by Waad Rabahie
Video source: Our Lady Of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Jabal Ali, Dubai, UAE, March 20th, 2023
Saint Theophan the Recluse says: “This is something similar to what happens with our inner cross when the devil controls over the noetic Jerusalem”. Aphrodite comes and sits inside our inner mind and soul and then our mind is occupied with Aphrodite and with matters of the flesh and life’s pleasures. And thus our mind is no longer directed toward Christ.
It is directed toward Aphrodite. Saint Theophan continues: “and in its place (the place of the Cross) instead of putting the venerated Cross inside our heart, (there’s no doubt that when we wear the Cross and venerate the Cross, it’s a beautiful practice and we should keep it), but “in its place (i.e. inside) we build up the statues of Aphrodite and worship it until God’s grace visits us”.
God’s grace visits us when we supplicate and humble ourselves as long as we are prideful and masters of ourselves thinking we are better than people and are taken by Aphrodite,
Aphrodite in the figurative meaning of the word, when the passions and pleasures are more important than God, then God’s grace won’t visit us.
When we worship and humble ourselves and say the common and favorable prayer since the beginning of Christianity: “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me, a sinner.”
“Then grace visits you and destroys the statues of sin.”
See how beautiful is this wording that God gives us through our prayers…
God inspired Saint Theophan during prayer to say these blessed words. “And lifts inside us the cross of” Of what? Not the cross of suffering. No, there’s no suffering in Christianity. We make ourselves suffer because of our passions. “The cross of mortification of passions”. And repentance follows it.
So we love Christ, we humble ourselves, He puts the Cross for us, we repent and enter the heavenly kingdom and rejoice in the Resurrection.