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Glorify Him! Let us lift our eyes to the heavens and see the skies open to let down the King of the universe upon earth. Let us open our mouths in joyful song and gladness, thanking God and praising him, for in his love for us, he took the first step in reconciling us to him.

Run quickly, hand in hand, to meet him who is the source of peace, the ransomer of our souls. Is there anyone who does not rejoice today in the richest of hopes for tomorrow and forever? Is there anyone who does not feel every tear wiped dry from eyes worn out with weeping?

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Is there anyone whose footstep is not lighter, evaluarea cremei de zi anti-imbatranire that the Son of God walks with him, leading to paradise and carrying our burden? If there is such a person, then let us tell the story — parents to children and children to friends; Christian to stranger.

Let us stretch out our hands and open our hearts to those for whom Christ also came.

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Let those of us who indulge in the riches of material blessings be temperate, knowing that the Christ child had a simple birth, and millions of his brothers and sisters are deprived of what we take for granted. Let those of us who deck our homes with festive ornamentation be sure to adorn our souls with prayer, good works and righteous song; and, let us who erect the evergreen tree in the midst of our loved ones and drape it with artificial lights, reestablish the precious tree of the cross in our homes, and bask in the radiant light shining from it, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Let us who prepare special foods and eat heartily not neglect the hunger of the soul for the precious Body and Blood of the Lord, offered to us by his own hand, and which alone is nourishment for everlasting life. Let us who don holiday apparel in festive spirit thank Sav nikon swiss anti aging for the immaculate robe of salvation at Holy Baptism by which we are made guests at the heavenly banquet. Raise your heart with that of the Holy Virgin Mary, giving thanks to the Father for the gift of his divine Son.

Praise to God, all praise! Honor to God, all honor!

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Peace to all who seek His Holy Face! This is a high Christology indeed. Commenting on these verses, St. Athanasius the Great pointed out that only the same Word who created the world could redeem it. In other words, only the Person who is Himself the express image of God, in whose image man was created, could restore that image when it was corrupted cf. Col Christ not only restored the image but also delivered us from this corruption, which is death.

The restoration of the image of God in man began when the Son of God, the Image of God, became man, the image of God, to restore man to his proper state of communion with God within a gracefilled immortality. Yet, we have another notso-sublime aspect: a distortion of the image of God in us, through which we are inclined to egotism, to sin, anger, etc.

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We always have the image — yet at times do not have the likeness. We stand in the middle, as St. Paul says, bearing both the heavenly and the earthly in us 1 Cor. Nevertheless, the image of God and His glory are not something that any human being can ever fully lose, because we were created that way. The image of God is part of what makes us human.

Therefore, this is not only a high Christology; this is a very exalted view of humanity. What does this mean? In the history of Christian thought, various Fathers through the ages have taken the image to refer to our reason, our ability to relate as persons in loveor to our freedom to make choices.

Freedom is the foundation of love and of reason.

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Some Fathers have placed the image of God in the human mind or soul. Others have taught that it extends to the human body, for example, in all the expressiveness of the eyes or human face. When we look into the face of an infant child, for example, we see something divine, something so pure, so noble and so by lovely that it could only have been created by God.

Both have something to say. For example, they view human intelligence vis-à-vis the intelligence of animals to be a difference not in degree but in kind. Animals do not have the ability to speculate on non- existent things, to invent something new, such as cal- culus or the transistor. This kind of intelligence is based on the ability to ask questions, to investigate.

Along this line of reasoning, one scholar has noted that not only can man alone ask such questions, but only man can ask the ultimate question that encompasses all other questions: what is the meaning of existence?

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The only answer to this question is: God. Man does not understand himself — we have a spiritual depth within us that our minds cannot grasp. This also is an image of God, who is the supreme Mystery.

All this might be theologically correct and philosophically coherent, but how can we understand the image of God from a practical perspective? Do we truly reflect divinity in our human existence?

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If we understand an image to be a reflection, then this means that mankind was created as a reflection of the Divine, the Holy, the Eternal. The image is a superlative honor, a gift which comprises our very existence, not something given after we exist. Therefore, anyone who bears the image of God has been honored by God and should be honored by others.

On the other hand, we do not always reflect this image. Sav nikon swiss anti aging Cathedral, Cleveland, Ohio. The first portion of plenary discussion was given to reviewing and acceptance of reports presented by the administration, departments, commissions, hierarchs, etc.

A great deal of time was then given to discussing the reports of the Legal and Financial Due Diligence committees called for by the Congress. The Proposal was the product of the long-standing Joint Dialogue Commissions, established with the sav nikon swiss anti aging of the hierarchs and endorsement of their respective congresses after the fall of communism.

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Mary Cathedral in Cleveland. The due diligence studies were thus seen as integral to any decision regarding such a future unity. There had also been lengthy discussion of the Proposal and Due Diligence in the Clergy Conference, and the Episcopate Council which subsequently passed its recommendation to Congress. This, he emphasized, has direct bearing on our Episcopate, the Orthodox Church in America i.

A final Proposal, a refinement of the text, was Cont. One of these differences is the fact that, while Great Lent is a very ascetical lent, the guidelines of the Church for the Nativity Lent are much more permissive before December 20 ththere are many days with dispensation for fish, oil and wine, while during Great Lent, there is only one day with dispensation for fish: March 25 ththe Sav nikon swiss anti aging Day of the Annunciation.

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Why is this? If we think of the purpose of these two fasts, if we try to understand what the Church is trying to help us experience in each of these fasting periods, then the austerity of Great Lent or the leniency of the Nativity Lent make a lot more sense.

Sergei Bulgakov said, to prepare us to die and to be resurrected and taken with Christ, through the Holy Spirit into the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, the intention of the Nativity Lent is to get us ready for the coming down of God to us. After forty days of lent, we will experience the real, bodily birth sav nikon swiss anti aging the eternal Word of God, His circumcision on the eighth day, His presentation into the Temple as a baby on the fortieth day, and His baptism into the very earthly waters of the Jordan River.

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This takes us to another difference in emphasis between the two fasts: if Great Lent is emphasizing prayer and fasting, without leaving aside the impor- by Fr. Cosmin Sicoe tance of giving alms, the Nativity Lent is stressing the giving of alms, without forgetting about the importance of prayer and fasting. Once again, this is just a difference in emphasis, having, in fact, the two lenten periods complementing each other for wholly fulfilling the teaching of the Lord in His Sermon on the Mount Matthew The missionary and charitable character of the Nativity Lent is exposed in the life of the Church even before the beginning of lent itself.