Sunday, March 8, 2015

Honoring and Learning from St. Gregory Palamas

In the Orthodox Church, the veneration of the saints is always linked to our struggle to emulate them in striving towards the Kingdom of Christ. In fact, we might be so bold as to say that if we are not striving and struggling forward, applying in our own life the lessons gleaned from the lives of those who have completed the good fight and have received their crown, then we are not properly or fully venerating them.

On the Second Sunday of Great Lent, the Church hold up for our edification and instruction St. Gregory Palamas (14th c.), best known as the defender of the Hesychast tradition and the teaching that we can experientially know God through His Uncreated Energies, that we may apprehend His Grace.

The above are links to two posts of mine which explore a lesser known aspect of St. Gregory's life and ministry, how he was abducted by the Muslim Turks in 1354 and held for a year before being ransomed by the Serbian Orthodox. During this time he strengthened the faithful who were being subjugated under the Islamic yoke, and he bravely engaged in debate with his Muslim captors, at the risk of his own life.

Let us learn from St. Gregory's words and deeds during this trial in his life, in which his character was even more powerfully revealed, and may we be strengthened through his intercessions!