The Kingdom of Heaven

The Kingdom of Heaven is the ultimate treasure offered by  Jesus  Christ
to  the faithful as the permanent and glorious state of His sovereignty.
Christ proclaimed the Kingdom of Heaven as being "near at hand" for  man
to  enter into it through the gate of repentance; also, Christ began the
Sermon on the Mount  referring  to  the  same  Kingdom  and  called  the
faithful  to  enter it in humility; Christ taught His disciples to pray,
"Thy Kingdom come", and as Founder and Head of His Church pronounced the
Church  as  His  Kingdom.   The Kingdom, then, is a reality of communion
between God and the faithful who are members of the Militant  Church  on
Earth,  or  belong  to  the Triumphant One in Heaven.  The faithful one,
through repentance and humility, prepares himself or  herself  for  this
Kingdom  which is his or her communion with God, beseeching Almighty God
to abide in him or her and remain forever.

                Through the Prayers of our Holy Fathers

The Orthodox Church holds the Truth that the Christians  who  constitute
the  Church  are not only the living, but also all the faithful who have
departed.  Also, the Orthodox Church holds  the  Truth  that  Christians
pray  for  each  other to Almighty God.  The Apostle Paul, for instance,
asks Christians to pray for him and for the success  of  the  Gospel  of
Christ.   The  Orthodox  Church  declares  the  Truth  that the departed
faithful do not disappear but that their souls are separated from  their
bodies  and are living before the countenance of the Lord.  Almighty God
is the God of the living and not of the dead.  This is the  reason  that
the  Christian  refers  in  prayers  to  the  Apostles, the Fathers, the
Martyrs, and to  all  the  departed  faithful,  asking  remembrance  and
intercession  for them from Almighty God.  This intercession to Almighty
God is not an act that blocks the direct communion between the  faithful
and  God.   The Saints of God are not mediators for the salvation of the
faithful.  On the contrary, these intercessions and the prayers  of  the
Holy Fathers and Saints stress the teaching of the Christian Church that
its members both living and departed are living members of the  Mystical
Body  of  Christ,  by  Whom  and through Whom alone, the faithful one is
saved.  The intercession of the Saints and the Fathers is not an act  of
salvation  on  the  part  of them.  Salvation of the faithful comes only
from Almighty God through His mercy.  The  Orthodox  Church  honors  the
Saints  and  Fathers,  but  does  not  worship them or attribute to them
qualities that belong only to Almighty God.