The Ecclesiological Chapters of St Justin Popović, 26–30.

26. When the holy Apostle orders us men: “be filled to all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3.19), he does not seek something impossible, for amongst us is found the God-Man Lord Jesus, in whom “dwells all the fulness of the Divinity bodily” (Col. 2.9), and who gives us his divine powers through the holy mysteries and the holy virtues, in order that we may reach to the fulness according to the measure of our holy struggles (Eph. 3.20). Everything necessary for the the achievement of his aim, Christ has given to us in his Church. He gave us, that is to say, holy and God-bearing men – the apostles, the prophets, the Evangelists, the shepherds and teachers – “for the building of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4.11–12), that we may be incorporated into the God-Man Christ, that we may become concorporants of his divine-human powers and of his holiness, in order that we may all reach through the Church and in the Church “into a perfect man, to the measure of maturity of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4.13). Therefore we increase together and wholly “with all the saints”, and not separately from the holy Apostles and Prophets and Evangelists and the rest of the faithful. All with the help of each, but with the help of all, mystically and holily circulating amongst one another (περιχωροῦντες ἐν ἀλλήλοις) spiritually and engracedly (κεχαριτωμένως), “speaking truly in love,” we increase “in every way into him, into Christ, who is the head” (Eph. 4.15).

27. The unspeakable, incomprehensible, and innumerable goods, bestowed on us by Christ, in his divine-human economy of salvation, are so great and unintelligible and beyond man, that they transcend infinitely even our thought about them. Furthermore, these things transcend also our prayers (“requests”) for them. For in each of our prayers, even if it is perfect and comprehensive, we cannot include the unutterable goods, which the Lord Jesus gives to us through his Church. Likewise, all these goods flow into our existence and life through innumerable and invisible veins in the divine-human organism of the Church. And we live beyond concept and beyond prayer by the mercy of the all-merciful and all-compassionate Lord, who by the operations of his divine grace mystically “works in us” (Eph. 3.2) and brings about our salvation, our deification, our transfiguration, sanctification, enchristification, ecclesiastification, triadification. Human thought could never understand completely the sacred mystery of the Church of Christ and the wonderful worship of salvation in it, a workshop of deification and of transfiguration, of resurrection, and of ascension. Therefore these always remain unconfusedly more unintelligible than that which can be understood. (Διότι πάντοτε παραμένουν ἀσυγκρίτως περισσότερα τὰ ἀκατανόητα ἀπὸ ἐκεῖνα τὰ ὁποῖα δύναται νὰ κατανοηθοῦν.) For this reason, faith is really our only way into these mysteries, for faith is the way beyond intellection of our existence, found and ecclesiastified, in the Church (ἡ πίστις εἶναι ὁ ὑπὲρ νόησιν τρόπος τῆς ἐν τῇ Ἐκκλησίᾳ εὑρισκομένης καὶ ἐκκλησιαστικοποιημένης ὑπάρξεώς μας). And through this faith there “works in us” the grace beyond intellection of the man-loving Lord, this ever-flowing, deifying and sanctifying and christifying and triadifying power (operation), which emerges wholly from Christ and leads us all into him by means of the mysteries of the Holy Spirit in the Church of Christ. He leads not only us, but also those in every generation to come “to believe upon in into eternal life” (1 Tim. 1.16). Therefore Christ is in the Church through the Holy Spirit, and the Church is through the Spirit in Christ. Christ is the head of the body of the Church, and the Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church.

28. “Until we arrive … at the measure of maturity of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4.13). This signifies that man be increased and that he come in to all the divine perfections of Christ, that he be united spiritually and by grace with him. … Or, that he live Christ, the fulness of the Godhead in him, as his omni-value (παναξία), as his eternity, as his perfect goal and his perfect meaning, as unique true God and unique true man, perfect God and perfect man. In a word, that he live him as God-man, as the whole meaning (καθολικὸν νόημα) of of all the God-created worlds … And this comes to be only through the Church and in the Church, through which alone men reach to the perfect goal and the perfect meaning of human existence in all the worlds.

29. The organism of the Church is the most composite organism of those known to the human spirit. Why? Because it is this unique divine-human organism, in which all the mysteries of God and of man, all the divine and human powers, constitute one body. Only the all-wise and all-powerful God, the Lord Jesus, could combine and join together all these in one body, his own body, of which he is the head, the eternal Head. All life within this wonderful and wonder-working body is directed by him, the wonderful and wonder-working God and man. Every member of it lives through all the body, but also the whole body lives in each of its members. All live in each and through each, but also each lives in all and through all. Each member increases with the (common) increase of the body, but also all the body increases with the increase of each member. All these manifold members of the body, all these organs, these sense-organs, these cells, the same God-Man Christ unites them in one ever-living divine-human body, adapting the operations of each member to the whole life of the body … The evangelical activity of each member of the Church, even if it be completely specific and personal, is always from every standpoint whole and general. The work of each member of the Church is always personal–collective, personal–whole. Even when it seems that one member of the Church works alone by himself (e.g. the exercise [ἄσκησις] of a hermit), he works in reality by means of the whole. Such is the structure of the divine-human organism of the Church, which Christ himself directs and leads.

30. The “new man” is whole from the truth of Christ; he has been centred through this, whole in Christ, in his divine-human body; through this he lives also within him and around him and through him. Therefore within the body of the Truth of Christ, i.e. in the Church, “we are members of one another“. Because we constitute one body, therefore we live with one spirit, with one heart, with one truth and one life. All things are common for us: both pain and joy and sadness and tribulation and love and hope. Each lives in all and through all, but also all live in each and through each. Therefore each is responsible for all and all for each. Each one, belonging to the Church, belongs to all and all to each, for we are all one body, one soul, one heart.