Metropolitan Kallistos, Part Two

Today, the program of discussions led by Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware), Building the Body of Christ, continued and concluded. Below are expansions of my notes for the first half of the day, which one should not take to represent precisely His Grace’s addresses to us. As notes usually, are, they pick up the gist of things, so must really only claim to be a set of somewhat interpretive abstracts. If I hear of recordings being made available, or transcripts thereof, I’ll post information on them. As in Part One, the “I” of these notes is Metropolitan Kallistos, not myself. We continue.

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Saturday 23 February. Morning session: “Giver of Life: The Holy Spirit in our Daily Experience.”
My grandmother long ago once wondered, “Why is the Holy Spirit never mentioned in sermons? Hearing of Him is liking hearing news of an old friend one hasn’t heard of in a long time.” We will hear of news of this old friend today. St Symeon the New Theologian wrote this invocation to the Holy Spirit:

Come, true light.
Come, life eternal.
Come, hidden mystery.
Come, treasure without name.
Come, reality beyond all words.
Come, person beyond all understanding.
Come, rejoicing without end.
Come, light that knows no evening.
Come, unfailing expectation of the saved.
Come, raising of the fallen.
Come, resurrection of the dead.
Come, all-powerful, for unceasingly your create, refashion and change all things by your will alone.
Come, invisible whom none may touch and handle.
Come, for you continue always unmoved, yet at every instant you are wholly in movement; you draw near to us who lie in hell, yet you remain higher than the heavens.
Come, for your name fills our hearts with longing and is ever on our lips; yet who you are and what your nature is, we cannot say or know.
Come, Alone to the alone.
Come, for you are yourself the desire that is within me.
Come, my breath and my life.
Come, the consolation of my humble soul.
Come, my joy, my glory, my endless delight.

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Metropolitan Kallistos, Part One

Tonight I attended the discussion with Metropolitan Kallistos I mentioned earlier, titled “My Lord and My God: Personal Faith in Christ, the Savior.” There were roughly five hundred people in attendance. Below I expand my notes as far as my memory will allow, in order to share what His Eminence shared with us this evening. If recordings or a transcript are made available of these, I’ll post about them. In the meantime, these will give you at least an outline of his talk. Please note that the “I” in the below notes represents Metropolitan Kallistos, not myself. We begin.

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The title of this talk is “My Lord and My God: Personal Faith in Christ, the Savior.” That “My Lord and my God” is a quotation of St Thomas the Apostle [John 20.28], his words of recognition and acclamation at recognizing the risen Christ. Though he is often referred to as “Doubting Thomas” it would be better to refer to him as “Believing Thomas” for he travelled from doubt to belief. Note the very personal nature of this acclamation: my Lord, and my God. This personal relation is something for all of us. It is not just that some time ago, as an historical even, Christ was born, was crucified, and died, but that Christ is born for me, was crucified for me, died for me.

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