By Abbot Tryphon, August 28, 2011
Today the Living Ladder is Assumed into Heaven
How does He, who dwells in the splendor of His glory, descend into the Virgin’s womb without leaving the bosom of the Father?
How is He conceived in the flesh, and does He spontaneously suffer, and suffer unto death, in that material body, gaining immortality through corruptibility?
And, again, ascending to the Father, He drew His Mother, according to the flesh, to His own Father, assuming into the heavenly country her who was heaven on earth.
Today the living ladder, through whom the Most High descended and was seen on earth, and conversed with men, was assumed into heaven by death.
Today the heavenly table, she, who contained the bread of life, the fire of the Godhead, without knowing man, was assumed from earth to heaven, and the gates of heaven opened wide to receive the gate of God from the East.
Saint John of Damascus
~Abbot Tryphon, The Morning Offering, https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2011/08/dormition-of-mother-of-god-today-living/
The Ever Virgin Mary
By Abbot Tryphon, February 11, 2018
All the early reformers, including Luther and Calvin, believed Mary to be Ever Virgin. The practice at the time was to refer to all cousins as siblings, and none of the early Christians believed Mary had born any children other than Jesus. The veneration of the Virgin did not begin with Rome, but began in the Early Church.
The designation of Mary as Theotokos can be found on an Egyptian papyrus fragments from the year 250 A.D., proving it was not an invention of the fifth century. The problem with many of our protestant brethren is that everyone becomes the authority, and the memory of the teachings and practices of the Early Church are forgotten, replaced with the mess that followed with individual interpretation of the Scriptures.
When we do not have Holy Tradition and Holy Scripture held side by side in importance, we go astray. The key to Orthodoxy’s claim to being the Ancient Apostolic Church preserved in all her purity, can be seen in her insistence that Holy Tradition has kept her way of worship, and her dogma, unchanged. No need for change, for the Church knows the truth of the words, “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3)”.
The ancient practice for the veneration of the Holy Virgin can clearly be seen in the prayer found in Egyptian papyrus fragments from the year 250:
we take refuge
Mother of God;
may our petitions
not be abandoned
but from danger
It is liberating to discover we need not search the Bible to understand the meaning of the Word of God for ourselves. There is no need to reinvent Christianity for this modern age, in a feeble attempt to make Christianity relevant. We can even avoid the prideful arrogance of thinking we can decipher the meaning of the Bible, for we need only look to the Church for the truth that has been preserved from the very beginning. We can say with certainty that we keep to the faith of our fathers. The veneration of the Holy Virgin Mary is but one example of our connection, unbroken, with the Early Apostolic Church.
With love in Christ,
~Abbot Tryphon, The Morning Offering, https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2018/02/ever-virgin-mary/