Monday, January 19, 2015


     Many have experienced being in real danger, and uttered cries for help, are familiar with the combined feeling of hope and  despair. The cry out for help is usually a form of SOS accompanied by flashers and red or yellow flag on the antenna.  Cries are made  to a passerby or on a cell phone. We Orthodox Christians when in need of help use the same procedure with one difference. Rather than seeking only for  human help which of course may not always be available, when troubles come we do as we do  in church, crying out: Kyrie eleeison or Lord have mercy,   This plea  is used repeatedly  in the Orthodox Church. It is a fact that more than any other expression in Church we hear: “Lord have mercy! A big difference is found in the fact that when we cry out to the Lord, there is no combined feeling of hope and despair but only great and firm hope that lightens any burden we may be carrying. For we know that He hears our plea before it is uttered when it is a thought, it reaches the Lord, and we are sure that He will do what is best fo  Here is the wonderful thing about our Faith. God is always with us and always hears  the sound of our plea. Every Lord have mercy is heard by Him and given His attention.  So when we have any type of trouble we call to Him: “Lord have mercy upon me.” We never need to get His attention nor does He miss a single plea or prayer, and all that is required is our firm faith. We call to God not only for spiritual things but for everything. When we meet as church here are a few of the things, mentioned by the Priest and which we seek from the Lord. “Peace from above, for the temple or building, for our Bishop, the clergy and laity, for the president, civil authorities, Armed Forces, and our country, for every city and country and those who dwell in them. For seasonable weather, abundance of crops, peaceful times. Also we pray for those at sea, travelers by land sea or air, for the sick and suffering, captives and for their salvation, for our deliverance from affliction, danger, necessity.”v Orthodox Christians seek not only their own good but what is good for all mankind.

     Christ teaches that those who seek Him can find Him in His Church, and He told His disciples::
“The kingdom of God is within you.” We need no communication device, just our thoughts are sufficient.. With faith in Christ, we cry for help for minor and major things, for the good things we need from this world to the good things for which we  hope for in the heavenly world. We can say, Lord have mercy or just have the thought , Lord have mercy upon me, both are completely acceptable if they are pure thoughts from a pure heart.r us.

      As we see in the next petition, our devotion is totally directed to Christ. The Priest intones: “Commemorating our most pure, most blessed, and glorious Lady, Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and one another, our whole life to Christ our God.   

     Our whole life? Is that much? There is no better investment available. Our life on earth is some where above or below a ninety or a hundred years. But when we ask God, Lord have mercy, we are talking about billions, trillions of eons, immeasurable and infinitely multiplied - it is called eternal life. This should be our main goal in life, and this is what we ought to be seeking.


Christ is ranked as being the central point and most important thing in Orthodox lives. This is more than devotion for it is a total dedication, and the cry of: Lord have mercy,  is not just a cry for some local danger. But for the greatest danger of all which we are continuously reminded about: Again the Priest intones:  “That the end of our lives may be Christian, without pain, blameless and peaceful, for a good account at the fearful judgment-seat of Christ, let us ask of the Lord,”Lord have mercy upon us! Before the fearful judgment seat of Christ, each and every human being that ever existed will be summoned to give an account of his works on earth. Do not think that somehow any of us can avoid judgment, for there is no escape. Those who broke Christ’s commandments without repentance will be cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth as Christ had warned. Think of this and then examine yourself. “The Lord said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your mind, and heart and soul and your neighbor as yourself.

     We stand in awe beholding Christ in action within Orthodoxy? The Lord willingly endured suffering, with great patience, as He underwent  His voluntary Passion and died for us by His crucifixion on the Cross,  He spared nothing and gave everything. He came forth from the Virgin as Godman to defeated the Devil through the Cross then relieved him of his authority.   Christ desired the Cross for through it He knew that He would be victorious. If a person looked at Him on the Cross it can be with great sympathy due to the extreme agony. But we see something else, We see the greatest battle ever fought, the greatest Champion, and  the greatest victory ever won.  The Cross, as used by Christ,  was the weapon of weapons, for behold through the Cross joy has come into the world! 

    Lord have mercy! The Victory! Jesus the Life of all men is about to die on the Cross!  When He bows His head and gives up the Spirit, the battle draws to a close and Christ is victorious! For how can Life be put to death? M Instead Life has put death to death. By His death Jesus tramples down death putting it to death.. Death’s authority was terminated when He bowed His head and gave up the spirit! Victory, for the death H died, becomes life-giving and  puts death to death, stripping the Devil of his authority, and enabling all of us to walk in the newness of life with no fear of death for Christ has conquered death and granted us eternal life.

     In Orthodoxy, no man can be the exalted head of the Church, no man receives glory and honor due to being the head, no man has authority and power because he is the head.. No one but Christ hears our cry: Lord have mercy! Everything, all honor and glory  belongs to Jesus Christ our King and our God.  And to Him we fervently cry out: Lord have mercy!  We glorify the Cross of Christ by which He put death to death, and we are baptized into His death wherein all our sins are washed away as we are buried with Him in triune Baptism. St. Paul says:”If we were baptized into a death like His we certainly shall rise in a resurrection like His.”

So we cry out: Lord have mercy!
     On most Sunday Divine Liturgies, after the Doxology and right before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, this victory song is sung to Jesus Christ:

 Today has salvation come into all the world.
         Let us sing to He who is risen from the tomb
         Who is the author of our life;
 For by His death He has vanquished death,
 And granted us the victory and the great mercy.


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