Is there anyone who loves God more than the One, whose Birth we celebrate today? But is there someone who has been beloved by God more than she is? What other divine creature is more pure than Her, or equal to Her, or even slightly close to Her? The Most Pure Mother of God, the image, the ideal, the perfection of Divine love. And because She is such, she sets an example for every soul who is burning with desire to follow Her holy immaculate life, in humbleness and constant communion with God. As the divine Gregory Palamas has written: “While (the Mother of God) was staying there (in the Holy of Holies), distancing herself from all the material desires, She rejected every worldly attachment and since She overcame even the (natural) compassion towards the body, focused Her mind, directing it to Him only, with soberness and constant divine prayer. Thus, when She attained control over herself and rose above all various multitudes of thoughts, in other words, above every kind, She created a new, inexplicable path to heaven, which could be called a silent prayer of the mind. Having Her mind attached to the contemplation of God She rose above all those (earthly) things and saw the glory of God even better than Moses, and envisioned the Divine grace which in no case can be available to the senses, but is rather a most blessed and holy experience given only to those pure of mind and soul”.
So this Most Holy Mother of ours, in Her great Sanctuary, the Precista Monastery near Kichevo, chose for herself such pure souls, who protected by Her constant maternal care, would strive to follow Her divine life in the Holy of Holies. Tonight on the holiday of Her birth by the Holy Righteous Parents Joachim and Ann, She sent her maternal blessing, for the first time after whole 54 years, for the angelic monastic life of our sisters Vesna from Ohrid and Vesne from Prilep. Being tonsured for holy monastic fit by the hands of our respected Bishop, the Metropolitan of Debar and Kichevo, Mr. Timothy, they were given the new names Fevronia and Pelagia, accepting the call to look upon and follow the holy lives of those Saints whose names they carry now. As newly planted branches in the Prechista garden of the Divine Mother, wisely raised by the attentive care of our beloved Elder, and well rooted in the fit, by his life – giving morals and example, today they bloomed in all the beauty of their monastic souls. As faithful brides, they took these first flowers of obedience, humbleness, purity, and total crucifixion for the world, presenting them as a gift for the beloved Groom of their souls, asking Him not to deprive them from His graceful strength and to lead them along the path of hard fits, serious tempests and trials, to the tranquil port of His Kingdom of joy. And in the gorgeously adorned church overcrowded with monk-loving souls, as if in the Wedding Chamber of Christ, a sweet spiritual feast was prepared, so that they could freely nourish upon the wonderful chanting of the monastic choirs, this time worthily enriched by the angelic voices of our precious guests, the monks John and Ephraim from the monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos – Hamatura in Lebanon. This was a really especial and most joyful experience – to celebrate God and His Most Pure Mother in Slavic and Arabic language, beautifully blended into a graceful symphony.
And our beloved Archipastor didn’t miss to reward our souls with his festive sermon in honor of the One Who brought joy to the entire Universe with Her birth.