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|Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky|
Orthodox dogmatic theology
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Self-Sufficing and All-Blessed.
These two expressions are close to one another in meaning.
Self-Sufficing must not be understood in the sense of “satisfied with oneself.” Rather, it signifies
the fullness of possession, complete blessedness, the fullness of all good things. Thus, in
the prayers before Communion we read: “I know that I am not worthy or sufficient that Thou
shouldest come under the roof of the house of my soul” (Second Prayer). Again, “I am not worthy
or sufficient to behold and see the heights of heaven” (Prayer of Symeon the Translator).
“Sufficient” signifies here “spiritually adequate,” “spiritually wealthy.” In God is the sufficiency
of all good things. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” Exclaims
the Apostle Paul, “for of Him and through Him, and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:33,
36). God has no need for anything, since “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” (Acts
17:25). Thus God is Himself the source of all life and of every good thing; from Him all creatures
derive their sufficiency.
All blessed. The Apostle Paul twice calls God in his epistles “blessed”: “According to the
glorious Gospel of the blessed God” (1 Tim. 1:11); “which in His times He shall show, who it
the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). The word
“all-blessed” must be understood not in the sense that God, having everything within Himself,
would be indifferent to the sufferings of the world created by Him; but in this sense: that from
Him and in Him, His creatures derive their blessedness. God does not “suffer,” but He is “merciful.”
Christ “suffereth as mortal” (Canon of Pascha) not in His Divinity, but in His humanity.
God is the source of blessedness. In Him is the fullness of joy, sweetness, rejoicing for those wholove Him, as it says in the Psalm, “Thou wilt fill me with gladness with Thy countenance; delights
are an Thy right hand forever” (Ps. 15:11).
The blessedness of God has its reflection in the unceasing praise, glorification, and thanksgiving,
which fill the universe, which come from the higher powers . the Cherubim and Seraphim, who
surround the throne of God, flaming it with fragrant love for God. These praises are offered up
from the whole angelic world and every creature in God's world: “The sun sings Thy praises; the
moon glorifies Thee; the stars supplicate before Thee; the light obeys Thee; the deeps are afraid
at Thy presence; the fountains are Thy servants” (Prayer of the Great Blessing of Water,
Menaion, Jan. 5; Festal Menaion, p. 356).