St Maximus the Confessor: Are You Routing the Enemy of Humanity?

Feast of St Amos the Prophet

Maximus_Square.jpgAFTER THE ASCENSION of Christ, she, the treasure house of all good things, being thus in her own country, took charge of every good thing, and while she was dwelling in the land, she was herself the model and leader of all good things. Thus, after His Ascension, the holy mother of Christ was the model and leader of every good activity for men and for women through the grace and support of her glorious king and son. And that is why she then instructed the holy apostles in fasting and prayer, and they were devoted to fasting and prayer and supplication until the fiftieth day was completed, and they were filled with the grace of the comforting Holy Spirit. And from there the worthy apostles went forth to preach the gospel, and they spread the word of life in Jerusalem and all Judea, and after a little while they went forth to the ends of the earth, wherever the Holy Spirit ordered them. And they made disciples of all nations and baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, according to the command of the Lord.

Nevertheless, the mother of the Lord was dwelling in the house of the beloved disciple on Zion, and in accordance with her glory and praise, she completed the holy and immaculate days of her divinely graced life, for how extremely wonderful and beyond the limits of nature was her life after that time! And I will say that it was more exalted and more wonderful than her earlier life, excepting only her awesome and ineffable conception and giving birth, for this mystery is exalted beyond every order and concept of nature. But I will speak about her ministry and godly life, for her final actions were not at all inferior to her earlier ones. Therefore, consider not the supernatural birth and wonderful rearing, which conceived and gave birth to the Son and Word of God, king and God of all, an inconceivable, unattainable, and inexpressible act. But from that time she has shown activity exceeding the limits of nature all the days of her life, and through many actions she showed unvanquished triumphs over nature and routed the enemy of humanity entirely. And then she struggled in the fulfillment of His contendings and endured many afflictions, tribulations, sorrows, and lamentations at the Crucifixion of the Lord, and in every instance she was arrayed with victory and assumed myriad crowns of victory and was ordained queen of all creatures. And then, what is the greatest of all, she saw her son resurrected from the tomb and ascending into heaven with the nature that He had received from her, the Son and Word of the Father, true God and king of all things. After all this glory, she did not then win an easy and effortless life and was not made carefree from all labor and ministry—far from it! Rather, as if she began her godly life and ministry only now, she “gave neither sleep to her eyes nor slumber to her eyelids nor rest to her body” (Ps. 131.4). But when the apostles were dispersed to the entire world, the holy mother of Christ, as the queen of all, was dwelling at the center of the whole world, in Jerusalem, at Zion with the beloved disciple, who had been given to her as a son by the Lord Jesus Christ.

—St Maximus the Confessor, The Life of the Virgin

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