Nativity Epistle: Archbishop Vladimir

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Nativity Epistle: Archbishop Vladimir

Beloved of Christ fathers, brothers and sisters!
 
Greetings with the great feast of the Nativity of Christ: Christ is born, glorify Him! Christ comes from the heavens to earth, go out and meet Him, the Saviour of the world.
 
Glory and thanksgiving be to our Lord having given us, in this very year, the joy and comfort of prayerfully glorifying the Birth of the God-Child, the Eternal God.
 
 Let us thank the Lord for this past year. That He preserved our Russian Church Abroad from misfortune amidst the storm of the worldly sea. That he did not forsake us sinners of His mercy and grace. We thank the Lord not only for the joys sent to us, but for sorrows as well; not only for His abundant mercies, but for the tribulations allowed to us sinners for our salvation. As the Holy Apostle Paul writes: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thes 5, 18). And in the words of St. John Chrysostom: “Glory to God for all, but especially for sorrow.”
 
All of our Lord’s creation brings thanksgivings this day to the divine Child: The angels a song, the heavens a star, the earth a cave, the magi a gift, the shepherds prophecise a miracle, the wilderness a stable. What gift do we offer, what thanks do we bring to our Creator and Saviour?
 
Before all else – heartfelt and sincere prayer. Not only from our lips but from our whole heart and soul, for only such prayer ascends to the Throne of our Lord of Glory. Let us bring such prayer for those near us as well as our enemies, for the merciful shall be shown mercy. Let us offer to our Merciful Lord contrition over our sins, for a humble and contrite heart God will not despise.
 
Besides this, let us bring to our Lord glorification of the Holy Virgin with the triumphant words of the Church this day the Virgin gives birth to the Pre-eternal One i.e the one existing always, before all people, before the world. Here, the Virgin bears the Pre-existent as a Child. The Child is born for our sake, for our salvation. As such, glorifying Him, we glorify His Most Holy Mother in song singing: Magnify my soul, the most Pure and Glorious of heavenly powers, the Most Holy Theotokos, Magnify my soul our redemption from the curse, O come let us sing to the Mother of our Salvation. O Theotokos, pray unto Him incarnate of You for our salvation.
 
By Her prayers, may He born in Bethlehem in a cave, come to dwell in our souls and hearts with His divine grace and heavenly blessings.
 
May our Lord grant us this joy not only in the days of this Feast, but in all the days of our earthly life; that in the kingdom to come, with the heavenly hosts we may exclaim: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will to men. O most holy Theotokos pray unto your Son and our God for our salvation! Amen.
 
+Archbishop Vladimir
Nativity 2010 .
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