Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An Image of the Church

“The kingdom is like a grain of mustard seed and leaven. A small grain of mustard seed grows up into a big bush; leaven penetrates the whole lump of dough and makes it leavened. Here, on the one hand, is an image for the Church, which in the beginning consisted only of the apostles and several other people, then spread and became most numerous, penetrating all of humanity; on the other hand, it is an image of the spiritual life revealed in every person. Its first seed is the intention and determination to be saved through pleasing God, upon faith in the Lord and Saviour. This determination, no matter how firm, is like a tiny dot. In the beginning it embraces only one’s consciousness and activities; then from this all of the activity of a spiritual life develops. Its movement and strength multiply and mature within its own self, and it begins to penetrate all the powers of the soul—the mind, will, feelings, then fills them with itself, makes them leavened according to its spirit, and penetrates the entire constitution of the human nature, body, soul, and spirit in which it was engendered.” 

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120628.htm