The Life in Christ

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Nicholas Cabasilas
Translated from the Greek by Carmino J. deCatanzaro
With an Introduction by Boris Bobrinskoy
Publication Data: Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1998
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: 229
Dimensions (l × w × h): 21.5 cm × 13.7 cm × 1.6 cm
ISBN: 0‒913836‒12‒5

Nicholas Cabasilas
Translated from the Greek by Carmino J. deCatanzaro
With an Introduction by Boris Bobrinskoy

“The life in Christ originates in this life and arises from it. It is perfected, however, in the life to come, when we shall have reached that last day. It cannot attain perfection in men’s souls in this life, nor even in that which is to come without already having begun here. Since that which is carnal, the mist and corruption which derive from the flesh cannot inherit incorruption (1 Cor. 15:50), it casts a shadow over that life in this present time. Therefore Paul thought it to be a great advantage to depart in order to be with Christ, for he says, ‘to depart and to be with Christ is far better’ (Phil. 1:23). But if the life to come were to admit those who lack the faculties and senses necessary for it, it would avail nothing for their happiness, but they would be dead and miserable living in that blessed and immortal world. The reason is, that the light would appear and the sun shine with its pure rays with no eye having been formed to see it. The Spirit’s fragrance would be abundantly diffused and pervading all, but one would not know it without already having a sense of smell.”
—“THE FIRST BOOK: How the life in Christ is constituted by means of the divine Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, and Holy Communion”


Translator’s Foreword
§ 1. How the life in Christ begins in this life
§ 2. The life in Christ consists of union with Him
§ 3. The intimacy of our union with Christ
§ 4. In this union Christ is all-sufficient
§ 5. We attain to this union by newness of life
§ 6. Christ bestows this new life through His Mysteries
§ 7. Christ’s saving work as the foundation of the new life
§ 8. How the righteous under the Old Covenant looked forward to their deliverance by Christ
§ 9. How Christ opens to us the gates of life
§ 10. The ransom which Christ has paid for us
§ 11. The Mysteries as the means by which we appropriate Christ’s saving work
§ 1. How the Holy Mysteries unite us to Christ
§ 2. Baptism as the new birth in Christ
§ 3. How the various ceremonies preceding Baptism prepare for the new life in Christ
   a) The exorcism
   b) The insufflation
   c) The stripping of the candidate
   d) The renunciation
   e) The recitation of the Nicene Creed
   f) The anointing before Baptism
§ 4. The baptismal act and its significance
§ 5. The invocation of the Three-fold Name
§ 6. How we in Baptism appropriate the saving acts of Christ
§ 7. Baptism and original sin
§ 8. The deliverance which Baptism obtains for us
§ 9. How Baptism confers newness of life in Christ
§ 10. Excursus—on the resurrection of the dead
§ 11. How apostasy cannot destroy Christ’s gift
§ 12. Baptism and the powers of the age to come
§ 13. How the effects of Baptism are shown
§ 14. The examples of the martyrs for Christ
§ 15. How Baptism enables us to endure all things for Christ
§ 16. How experience prepared the saints
§ 17. How Baptism has converted scoffers to Christ
§ 18. Baptism as a personal experience of God
§ 19. How this experience engenders love for Him
§ 20. The testimony of Saint John Chrysostom to this effect
§ 21. How Baptism is an illumination
§ 22. Summary: The effects of Baptism
§ 1. How Scripture links the gifts of the Spirit with anointing and imposition of hands
§ 2. How Christ Himself was anointed with the Holy Spirit
§ 3. How Christ is the Source of our spiritual anointing
§ 4. How Chrismation confers the gifts of the Holy Spirit
§ 5. The efficacy of the holy chrism
§ 6. The Sacraments as means of our salvation
§ 7. Summary: Chrismation makes us partakers of Christ, the Anointed One
§ 1. The greatest of all the Mysteries
§ 2. How the Eucharist completes Baptism and Chrismation
§ 3. The Eucharist perfects the other Mysteries
§ 4. Excursus—Christ’s atoning work
§ 5. The Eucharist as the application of the atonement
§ 6. How this Mystery unites us to Christ
§ 7. How Christ’s flesh sets us free from the law of the flesh
§ 8. How the Eucharist enables us to worship “in spirit and in truth”
§ 9. How the Eucharist makes us sons of God
§ 10. How the Eucharist forms the new man in Christ
§ 11. The Eucharist compared with Baptism
   a) with regard to the purification bestowed
   b) with regard to the co-operation required of us
§ 12. Christ as our Ally in the struggle
§ 13. How, in the Eucharist, Christ is the reward for victory
§ 14. Excursus—a comparison of martyrdom and Baptism
§ 15. The sanctifying effects of the Eucharist
§ 16. How this union with Christ delivers from sin
§ 17. How Christ re-creates us through the Eucharist
§ 18. How Christ by setting us free becomes our King
§ 19. How our very bodies benefit from the new life
§ 20. The future glory of those who live in Christ
§ 1. The altar and the sacred Mysteries
§ 2. The ceremonies of consecration
§ 3. How the rites signify man’s consecration to God
§ 4. The meaning of the ceremonies of purification
§ 5. The meaning of the anointing of the altar
§ 6. The appropriateness of the sacred relics
§ 7. The remaining sacred rites and their significance
§ 1. The necessity of preserving the grace which we have received
§ 2. How we must cleave to Christ, the source of our life
§ 3. How the love of Christ leads to detachment from the things of earth
§ 4. How Christ in His love is united to us
§ 5. How we should esteem ourselves as members of Christ
§ 6. How love of Christ leads to true repentance
§ 7. How we must constantly meditate on these things
§ 8. The law of the Spirit is the law of love
§ 9. How we must apply our minds to this law
§ 10. The spiritual profit of meditation on Christ
§ 11. On the Beatitudes of Christ
   a) The first Beatitude—poverty of spirit
   b) The second Beatitude—godly sorrow
   c) The third Beatitude—gentleness
   d) The fourth Beatitude—hunger and thirst for righteousness
   e) The fifth Beatitude—compassion
   f) The sixth Beatitude—purity of heart
   g) The seventh Beatitude—striving for peace
   h) The eighth Beatitude—suffering reproach for Christ
§ 12. Christ the Exemplar of our perfection
§ 13. How meditation is based on constant prayer
§ 14. The benefits of frequent Communion
§ 1. Perfection in virtue resides in the will
§ 2. How the Mysteries influence our wills for goodness
§ 3. How pleasure and pain test the will
§ 4. How true sorrow consists of hatred of sin
§ 5. The Christian as the temple of God
§ 6. The virtue of detachment
§ 7. How we ought to sorrow over sin
§ 8. Such godly sorrow springs from the love of God
§ 9. The Christian’s joy
§ 10. The source of our joy is love for God
§ 11. How the love of God issues in self-giving and self-surrender
§ 12. How self-surrender leads to joy
§ 13. How love for God leads to forgetfulness of self
§ 14. Examples of selfless service for Christ
§ 15. The life in Christ may be summed up by love and joy
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