Archbishop Averky (Taushev, +1976)
Nativity Address to the St Vladimir Youth, 1956
"Christ is born, glorify him. Christ is from heaven, go to meet him. Christ is an earth, be ye lifted up!" With these joyous words of the Nativity prayers I greet you, dear-in-the-Lord Russian Orthodox Youth, on this great day of the Nativity of Christ.
Do your hearts echo these inspiring and powerful words calling you to Christ, Who on this day became incarnate in Bethlehem from the Groomless and Most-Pure Virgin Mary?
"God from on high appears on earth a meek man;" do you sense with all your being this greatness, all the all-peaceful joy of this wondrous holiday?
Glorify this day with all your soul your Lord, Who so immeasurable diminished Himself and taking upon Himself the image of a servant, for the sake of mankind and for our salvation.
Are you prepared in your soul to greet Him, Who comes from heaven to earth, with warmhearted jubilation?
He "descends to earth to raise us to the heavens:" likewise should you, with your minds and hearts rise to heaven with a feeling of the most profound gratitude and devotion to Him.
If the Nativity of Christ is for us not only a "seasonal holiday" when you greet each other and give presents, but is a genuine spiritual feast of faith, elevating us high above this sinful world, then we, as your spiritual guides, should thank God for you, that our labors do not remain unfruitful…
May it be so, by the mercy of the One Who was born in the world, the Incarnate Lord!
Spiritual Father of the St Vladimir Russian Orthodox Youth Society