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Theotokos. Temple of God Category: Theotokos Our Lady of Ostrabrama

Theotokos
Frontier between created and uncreated nature

Must be truly illuminated through Her

Therefore, she only is the frontier between created and uncreated nature, and there is no man that shall come to God except he be truly illumined through her, that Lamp truly radiant with divinity, even as the Prophet says, «God is in the midst of her, she shall not be shaken» (Ps. 46:5).

If recompense is bestowed according to the measure of love for God, and if the man who loves the Son is loved of Him and of His Father and becomes the dwelling place of Both, and They mystically abide and walk in him, as it is recorded in the Master's Gospel, who, then, will love Him more than His Mother? For, He was her only-begotten Son, and moreover she alone among women gave birth knowing no spouse, so that the love of Him that had partaken of her flesh might be shared with her twofold. And who will the only-begotten Son love more than His Mother, He that came forth from Her ineffably without a father in this last age even as He came forth from the Father without a mother before the ages'? How indeed could He that descended to fulfill the Law not multiply that honor due to His Mother over and above the ordinances of the Law?

St. Gregory Palamas
Homily XXXVII
A Homily on the Dormition of
Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

God after God

St. Gregory Palamas: Theotokos is god after God.

We owe much to the Panagia. This is why our Church honours and venerates the Theotokos. This is why St. Gregory Palamas, summarizing Patristic theology, says that our Panagia holds the second place after the Holy Trinity; that she is god after God; the borderline between the created and the uncreated. ‘She leads those being saved’, according to another fine expression by a theologian of our Church. And St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, the steadfast luminary and teacher of the Church, pointed out that the angelic ranks themselves are illumined by the light they receive from the Panagia.

Archimandrite George Kapsanis
Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life

…[W]e cannot agree with the opinion of some theologians in the Orthodox sphere who claim that the Virgin’s mediation or intercession, as they hasten to call it, does not differ essentially from the intercession of other saints. It is known that a few decades ago, the Tradition of the Church of Christ which prays “Most Holy Theotokos save us” was doubted. Only God, they say, saves. The All Holy Virgin Mary can only intercede like every saint.[Mavromatis George, She is Truly Theotokos, pp 190] Certainly, the Church prays “by the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior save us” but also chants “and I have you as a mediatrix towards the philanthropic God,” and since our Lady is “More Honorable than the Cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim,” — “the Saint greater than saints,” — “God after God,” all this implies that her intercession — her mediation — is incomparably higher than that of the saints and angels.

C. Zalalas
The Most Holy Theotokos
According to Saint Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain
Presented in San Francisco, October 6, 2012

Our Most Holy Lady, the Ever-Virgin Mary is a wonder and mystery which not even the angels can understand: “Heaven was astonished and the ends of the earth amazed, for God appeared bodily to mankind, and your bosom became broader than the heavens. Therefore, Mother of God, the leaders of the orders of angels and of men magnify you”, writes the poet of the Paraclitic Canon. She is, as Gregory the Theologian says, “God after God”. Of course, the Fathers also refer to her position elsewhere, clarifying it: “Let Mary be held in honour. Let the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be worshipped, but let no-one worship Mary”, (Saint Epifanios).

Our Lady the Mother of God
and the Paraclitic (Intercessionary) Canons

“Most holy Theotokos, save us”

Fr. Sergius Bulgakov: Christians cry out to the Mother of God with the same address as they do to the Saviour: "Most holy Theotokos, save us" (whereas to all the saints we appeal "pray God for us").

On the one hand she is magnified as "the heavenly all-sovereign queen," "all the elements, heaven and earth, air and sea obey you, and all the contrary spirits tremble seized by dread, fearing your holy name," "for you can do what ever you want"; to her Christians cry out with the same address as they do to the Saviour: "most holy Theotokos, save us" (whereas to all the saints we appeal "pray God for us"). But at the same time it is indicated perfectly clearly that this power of the Mother of God is derivative, conditioned by her "holy and almighty prayers," with which she "unceasingly" "prays to Christ our God for all, and works for all to be saved." And in this capacity, the Mother of God is only the first in a series of holy intercessors, as this is fixed, for example, in all prayers of dismissal: "Christ, our true God, by the prayers of Your Most Pure Mother," etc.

A similar place for the Mother of God is set aside in the order of the Proskomedia. She is the petitioner on behalf of the human race and the mediator between God and human beings as a glorified and divinized human.

Sergius Bulgakov
The Burning Bush
Ch.VI. The Glorification of the Mother of God

On the other side of resurrection and last judgement

Fr. Sergius Bulgakov: As a creature, she does not participate in the divine life of the Most Holy Trinity according to nature, as does her Son; she only partakes of it by the grace of divinization.

As a creature, she does not participate in the divine life of the Most Holy Trinity according to nature, as does her Son; she only partakes of it by the grace of divinization. But this grace is given to her already in a maximum and definitive degree, so that by its power she is the Heavenly Queen. Between her and all the saints, no matter how exalted, angels or men, there remains an impenetrable border, for to none of them does the Church cry out save us, but only pray to God for us. With respect to the whole human race she is already found on the other side of resurrection and last judgement; neither the one nor the other has any force for her. She only attends the Last Judgment at the right hand of her Son, again as that unfailing intercessor just as St Andrew saw her in Blachernae "praying for us in the air." She is the already glorified creation before its general resurrection and glorification; she is the already accomplished Kingdom of Glory, while the world still remains "in the kingdom of grace."

Sergius Bulgakov
The Burning Bush
Ch.VI. The Glorification of the Mother of God

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