Excerpt From St Gregory Palamas Homily On The Dormition
It is fitting that she, who held Him Who fills all things and is above all things, should herself outstrip all, and become higher than all in her virtues and great honor. She embraces in their entirety the virtues which, distributed among the noblest of every age, were sufficient to make them great, and the various graces with which angels and men have individually been favored by God, and perfects them all in herself alone with inexpressible excellence. Also, she is superior to everyone in that after death she became immortal, and she alone lives in her body with her Son and God in heaven. Thence she pours down abundant grace on those who honor her and bestows on them the possibility of reaching up to her, the receptacle of such great graces, who lavishes the highest benefits upon us in her goodness, and never ceases to yield a rich harvest and plentiful gifts for us. Anyone observing her help and generosity in everything good would say that, for those who live virtuously, the Virgin radiates virtue as the sun radiates visible light for those dwelling below. But were you to shift your mental gaze to the Sun Who marvellously shone forth to mankind from her, and Who possesses by His very nature everything bestowed on her by grace, and far more besides, then the Virgin would immediately seem like heaven to you. Having a far more abundant share in God’s good things than all other recipients of His grace in heaven or below, she is as much greater than them as the heavens are greater than the sun, though the Sun is brighter….
God requites us according to the measure of our love for Him, and he who loves the Son is loved by Him and by His Father, and becomes a place for them both to dwell, secretly living within him and going about with him, as the Lord promised (cf. John 4:21–23). But who could love the Son more than His Mother, who did not just bear Him as her only child, but gave birth alone to Him without a husband, such that her parental love was twice as strong, since it was not shared with a spouse? Or who could be more loved by the only-begotten Son than His Mother, especially as He came forth ineffably from her alone in the last times, as He had come forth from the Father alone before time began? How could He Who came down to fulfill the Law (cf. Matt. 5:17) fail to increase many times over, in addition to the loving disposition expected of a son, the honor due to His Mother under that Law?….
O holy and now heavenly Virgin, how can I fully describe you? How can I glorify the treasure-house of glory? Just the remembrance of you brings hallowing. Simply turning towards you makes our mind more lucid, and takes it straight up to divine heights. Through you the eye of our understanding is sharpened; through you our spirit is enlightened by the Coming of the divine Spirit. You have become the treasurer of graces and their store, not so you might keep them for yourself, but that you might fill the universe with grace.
“Give me a word!”
[H]e who wants more grace, must prepare himself better for temptations...
-St Seraphim of Sarov
Give your intentions in prayer to God, Who knows everyone, even before our birth. And do not ask that everything will be according to your will, because a man does not know what is profitable for him. But say to God: Let Thy will be done! For He does everything for our benefit.
-St Gennadius of Constantinople
Here is the luminous teaching of our Savior: Thy will be done. (Matt. 6:10). Whoever sincerely pronounces this prayer leaves his own will and puts all things in the will of God. But the will inspired by the demons consists is self-justification and trust in ourselves, and then they easily subject a man who receives this sort of thought.
-St Barsanuphius the Great