O Lord Jesus Christ,
"The Jesus Prayer"
O Lord Jesus Christ,
"The Jesus Prayer"
umbly, I am presenting to you the "Selected Passages from the Teachings of St. Cosmas." This presentation is taken from the Book "MODERN ORTHODOX SAINTS, St. Cosmas of Aitolos, written by Dr. Constantine Cavarnos. I would spiritually suggest that you obtain this book to futher learn of the life of St. Cosmas, and this book can be obtained from: Holy Cross Seminary Bookstore, 50 Goddard Aveune, Brookline, Massachusetts.
N.M. Vaporis of Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts wrote a short review in regards to the life and teachings of St. Cosmas: "Among the religious figures who have appeared among the Greeks during the past two centuries, none has been as universally acclaimed as Cosmas of Aitolos (1714-1779). In addition to being given the tile "Equal to the apostles,' he is numbered among the "Teachers of the Nation'. The honor of introducing him to English speaking readers belongs to Professor Constantine Cavarnos, who has written widely on subjets dealing with the religious and philosophical concerns of the modern Greeks."
The following are the Apolytikion, Kontakion, and Megalynarion to St. Cosmas, and his feast day is commemorated in the Orthodox Church on August 24th:
By teaching the Divine Faith, thou hast richly adorned the Church and become a zealous emulator of the Apostles; for having been lifted up by the wings of divine love, that hast spread far and wide the message of the Gospel. O glorious Cosmas, entreat God that He grants us His great mercy.
The Teachings of Saint Cosmas
God, the all-good and most merciful, my brethren, is one, and whoever says that there are many Gods is a devil. He is triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; yet one nature, one glory, one kingdom, one God. He is all light, all joy, all compassion, all love.
This All-holy Trinity we pious Orthodox Christians glorify and worship. He is the true God, and all other so-called gods are demons. And it is not we along that believe, glorify, and worship the Holy Trinity, but angels, archangels, and all the heavenly hosts, as numerous as the stars of the heavens and the grains of the sand of the sea unceasingly praise in hymns and worship and glorify this All-holy Trinity. Again, out of their love for the Holy Trinity men and women as numerous as the stars of the heavens and the grains of the sand of the sea spilt their blood, and as many renounced the world and went to the deserts and led a life of spiritual endeavor, and still as many lived in the world with temperance and virginity, fasting, prayer, almsgiving and other practices; and all went to Paradise and rejoice forever.
Let us have love for God and for our fellow men. Then God comes and brings us joy and implants the eternal life in our hearts, and we fare well in this life and also go to Paradise, there to rejoice forever.
Fortunate is the man who has these two loves in his heart, that for God and that for his brethren. He surely has God; and whoever has God has every blessing and does not bear to commit sin. Again, wretched is the man who does not have these two loves. Surely he has the devil and evil, and always sins. God, my brethren, asks us to have these two loves. As He Himself says in His Holy Gospel: "On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets." Through these two loves all the Saints of our Church, men and women, attained sainthood and won Paradise. Whoever has blessed love, firstly for God and secondly for his fellow Christian, becomes worthy of receiving the Holy Trinity in his heart.
If you wish to be saved, seek no other thing here in this world as much as love.
Know my brethren that love has two characteristics, two gifts. One of them is to strengthen man in what is good and the other is to weaken him in what is evil. I have a loaf of bread to eat; you do not have. Love tells me: Do not eat it alone, give some to your brethren and you eat the rest. I have clothes; love tells me: Give one garment to your brother and you wear the other one. I open my mouth to accuse you, to tell you lies, to decieve you; but at once I remember love and it deadens my mouth, and does not allow me to tell you lies. I stretch out my hands to take what belongs to you, your money, all your possessions. Love does not allow me to take them. Do you see, my brethren, what gifts love has?
Those of you who earn your bread by means of your toil and sweat should rejoice, because that bread is blessed; and if you give a little of it as alms it is reckoned as much. But those who live by means of injustice and grasping should mourn, for what you thus acquire is cursed; and if you give alms out of these they do not benefit you at all, being fire that consumes you.
The Martyrs won Paradise through their blood; the Ascetics, through their ascetic life. Now you, my brethren, who have children, how will you win Paradise? By means of hospitality, by giving to your brothers who are poor, blind, or lame
My Christian, you must love your wife as your companion, not consider her as your slave, for she is a creature of God, just as you are. God was crucified for her as much as for you. You call God Father, she calls Him Father, too. Both of you have the same Faith, the same Baptism, the same Book of the Gospels, the same Holy Communion, the same Paradise to enjoy. God does not regard her as inferior to you.
THE JESUS PRAYER -ALSO KNOWN AS "THE PRAYER OF THE HEART"
MEDITATION ON DEATH
Have death before your minds: the time when you will leave this unreal world and will go to the other one, which is eternal.
LIFE AFTER DEATH
TEACHING OF THE SCRIPTURES
I have found the words and the commandments of Christ pure, holy, true, splendid, brighter than the sun; and whoever believes in Christ and calls Him God and lives in accordance with His teaching, contained in the Holy Gospels, is fortunate and thrice-blessed.
The Holy Spirit illumined firstly the holy Prophets, and they wrote the Divine Scripture; seondly, He illumined the holy Apostles; and thirdly, He has illumined the holy Fathers, and they have explained the books of our Church, in order that we may know how to conduct ourselves.
Our Faith has been made secure by wise and learned Saints, who both explained the Holy Scriptures precisely and have enlightened us through their divinely inspired discourses.
(Source: Modern Orthodox Saints I, St. Cosmas Aitolos)., by (Dr.) Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN GREEK STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., pp.81-94.)
Pray Unto God,