Mystical Liturgical Encounter with the Preacher of Grace

Filled with grace and jubilation from yesterday’s radiant welcome of the venerable and miraculous icon of Saint George the Great Martyr, our hearts today continued with spiritual celebration and exaltation at the Monastery of the Victorious One in Rajčica, commemorating our Father among the Saints Gregory Palamas, beacon of the Orthodox Church, tireless defender of hesychasm, and preacher of Divine grace. The monastic feast was truly not only a veneration of his holy life and teachings but also a call to his words and example as a source of inspiration and strength on our own spiritual journey. For, the saint himself teaches us about the significance and transformative power of prayer, of practical Christian living in virtues, and of contemplation as blessed means through which we can reach Divine light, feel God’s grace present in our lives, and transform into the image and likeness of God.

At the heart of today’s festive Sunday of the Great Lent stood, of course, the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil, in which hundreds of faithful gathered as one body in Christ, to thank the Lord for His eternal sacrifice and to partake in His greatest holy Mystery. Under the guidance of our beloved Elder, His Grace Bishop Partenij of Antania, we were blessed to commune and mystically fellowship with our most sweet God, Jesus Christ. The love and devotion with which the Bishop served the bloodless sacrifice of the Savior illuminated our souls with spiritual light from God and reminded us of the essential importance of community, love, and mercy in our life as Christians. Today’s Holy Liturgy was a seal of our faith, of our unity in Christ, and of our movement towards salvation. The chapel of the three holy Fathers, Gregory Palamas, John Koukouzelis, and Nectarios of Bitola became a place where heaven and earth unite, where time and eternity meet.

“Let us beseech, my beloved, our father and teacher on the path to deification, Saint Gregory Palamas, to intercede with God for mercy and enlightenment for us, so that among all Christians may arise a desire for communion with the uncreated Divine light, in the beauty and joy of God! Amen!”

(Bishop Partenij)