Saint Nikephoros the leper

osiosnikiforoslepros (1)Fr. Nikephoros (in the world, Nicholas) was born in a village of Chania, in Serikari.

His parents were simple and pious villagers, who while he was still a small child, died and left him an orphan.

Thus, at the age of thirteen he left his home, traveled to Chania and began to work in a barbershop.

There he started to show the first signs of Hansen’s disease (i.e. leprosy).

At that time, lepers were exiled to the island of Spinaloga, because leprosy was a transmissible disease and was treated with fear and horror. Nicholas, when he was sixteen years old and when the signs of his disease began to be more visible, to flee from enclosure on Spinaloga fled with a boat for Egypt.

There he remained working in Alexandria, again in a barbershop, however the signs of his disease became even more evident, especially on his hands and face. Due to the suggestions of a clertche fled to Chios where there was a home for lepers, in which was a priest, Fr. AnthimbsVagianos; JaterSt. Anthimos of Chios.

Nicholas reached Chios in 1914 at the age of 24. At the leper home in Chios, where there was a grouping of many beautiful little homes, was a chapel of St. Lazaros, where was preserved the wonder-working icon of Panagia of Ypakoe (Obedience). In that place was opened the stadium of virtues for Nicholas. Within two years St. Anthimos-discerned that he was ready for the angelic schema and tonsured him a monk-with the name Nikephoros.

The disease progressed and evolved in the absence of suitable medicines, and brought many great changes (the medicine was found later, in 1947).

Fr. Nikephoros lived with indiscriminate, genuine obedience, with austere fasting, working in gardens. He also compiled in a catalogue the miracles of St. Anthimos, which he had seen with his own eyes (many took the place of healing of the demon- possessed). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Archbishop Ieronymos of Greece to Visit U.S.

ieronymos_400Theodore Kalmoukos

Special to The National Herald

Archbishop Ieoronymos of Athens and All Greece will visit the U.S. from May 15-21 upon the invitation of Archbishop Demetrios of America. His Beatitude will start his visit in Boston where Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology will honor him with an honorary of Theology Degree. He then will visit New York where he will officiate at the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedrals. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

In the Tomb of Lazarus


St. Lazarus’ tomb, Bethany.

Largely ignored by much of Christendom, the Orthodox today celebrate ”Lazarus Saturday” in something of a prequel to next weekend’s Pascha. It is, indeed a little Pascha just before the greater one. And this, of course, was arranged by Christ Himself, who raised His friend Lazarus from the dead as something of a last action before entering Jerusalem and beginning His slow ascent to Golgotha through the days of next week (Orthodox celebrate Pascha a week later than Western Christians this year). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

A Word on Anger

Geroge CalciuFr. George Calciu

Man today lives under such overwhelming pressure that his nerves are strained to the limit, and even the slightest provocation arouses in him the sin of anger.

Causes for anger could be the child who does not listen to us, or the husband or wife who contradicts us, or the driver who cuts us off with his car, or only seems to us to cut us off, giving a motive for us to be roused to anger.

Even if, through self-restraint, our anger is not outwardly expressed or is not heard by the one who provoked it, it is still a sin, because it harms our soul and our heart  It is an action against one’s own self, under the temptation of the devil to be angry.


The savior warns us in severe terms concerning anger that gives birth to verbal conflicts and the use of abusive words. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Reading in Communion

orthodox-nun“Seeing they do not see and hearing they do not hear…” (Matt. 13:13)

This is Jesus’ description of those who encountered Him but did not understand. Just because we see something doesn’t mean we see it. Just because we hear something doesn’t mean we’ve heard it. This is particularly true of Holy Scripture. Just because we read it doesn’t mean we’ve read it.

Why do we read the Scriptures?

I assume that anyone who is “reading the Scriptures” is, in fact, a believing Christian, otherwise they would just be reading a collection of ancient writings held in esteem by Christians. For the books of the Bible to be “Scripture” is to say that they are considered somehow inspired and somehow authoritative. But to read them as Scripture also asks the question: “Whose Scripture?” The answer is, “The Christian Community’s – the Church’s.”

Some point famously to Paul’s admonition to Timothy: Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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The Tree Heals the Tree


Readers of the New Testament are familiar with St. Paul’s description of Christ as the “Second Adam.” It is an example of the frequent Apostolic use of an allegoric reading of the Old Testament (I am using “allegory” in its broadest sense – including typology and other forms).

Christ Himself had stated that He was the meaning of the Old Testament (John 5:39).

Within the Gospels Christ identifies His own death and resurrection with the Prophet Jonah’s journey in the belly of the fish.

He likens His crucifixion to the serpent raised on a staff by which Moses healed the people of Israel.

Without the allegorical use of the Old Testament – much of the material in the gospels and the rest of the New Testament would be unintelligible.

Orthodox Christians are very accustomed to this manner of handling Scripture – the hymnography (largely written during the Patristic period) of the Church’s liturgical life is utterly dominated with such a use of allegory. The connections between New Testament and Old – between dogma and the allegory of Scriptural imagery is found in almost every verse offered within a service.

Those who are not familiar with the Eastern liturgical life are unaware of this rich Christian heritage and of its deep doctrinal piety and significance. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

“Greece will be saved and will stand on its own feet soon”- Elder Efthymios , the Hayiorite.

300(18)By George Theocharis

Fr Efthymios, the Hayiorite, is a quiet and humble monk, filled with God’s grace. I was taken aback by the absolute serenity in his movements and in the tone of his voice. He lives in a cell at Kapsala, underneath Karyes, with five other monks. He is only fifty years old yet he is already famous throughout the world. He is believed to be Fr Paisios’ successor.

Dozens of pilgrims visit him every day from all over the world to pay their respects and find a solution to their problems. Most come to hear him speak, finding solace away from the currents of everyday turbulence as if anchoring at a quiet port. .. We did the same thing twenty odd days ago. Two former Mps who had voted in favor of the two bailouts for Greece were amongst the group.

-“Niko, I told you not to do this”, he told one of the Mps, who had already met him on a previous occasion.

“You must know, my children, that this financial crisis will benefit Greece a great deal. You will notice this in a little while. It is like a storm which will pass. This is an opportunity to reinforce our faith to our Triune Lord”, the elder explained humbly. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The ‘slogan’ of Great Lent

ΚΕΡΙΑ_1“ let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light”

The so called ‘slogan’ which we hear throughout Great Lent is the recommendation by Paul the Apostle, who calls upon us to cast off all our dark deeds and dress into the armor of light. “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” (Rom. 13, 12)

The first thing the Apostle points out is that we ought to accept that we often fall under the spell of darkness, namely of sin, and therefore our deeds are sinful. Indeed there is no man, particularly no Christian, who does not readily confess in a general and vague manner, that he is a sinner.

“Is there anyone who is not a sinner?’ we are often asked when we engage in this kind of talk. Nevertheless, such a general and vague acknowledgement is not what the Apostle seems to have had in mind. Because the vague recognition of our sinful condition most probably serves as an alibi of sin itself in the sense that we are all in the same boat so… In other words, we profess the sinfulness of human nature in order to justify it as something normal!

The Apostle however gives a dramatic tone to his call that we need ‘to cast off the works of darkness’ and of sin: Namely that whatever we do, whatever we talk about or even think about, if it is cut off from Jesus, who is the source of light, constitutes a sin and therefore is darkness. At the end of the day, he who does not act and live Jesus’ life, he lives a nonexistent life, even if his deeds seem great and important. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Why Does It Take So Long?

i45tinypiccom9zy88xSo often, with great expectations, we will renew our commitment to the Orthodox Way of Life by making significant changes in our life and how we spend our time.  

We will increase our time in prayer, participate more regularly in services and sacraments, begin to read Scripture and the lives of the saints daily.  

Yet, we find we are still confronted with the same desires and distractions that keep us separated from God.  We expect instant success and we do not find it.  We grumble that we followed the instruction from a wise elder yet do not experience any improvement in our relationship with God.  Why do we expect such instant success? Why is it so difficult? Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The life and wonder works of St Joseph the New-Metropolitan of Timisoara (1568-15 August 1656)

S.fosifBy Alekos Christodoulou,Theologian

St Joseph the New, this holy hierarch and Jesus’ dwelling, the toast of Mount Athos and jewel of the Great and Holy Monastery of Vatopedi, was born in Ragouza ( Dubrovnik of Croatia) in 1568.


His father John hailed from Venice and was a wealthy skipper. While staying at the Greek isle of Limnos, he met and married Katherine, a Greek girl. Young James, who was later to be given the name ‘Joseph’, grew up alone with his orthodox and devout mother because his father was travelling a lot.

At the age of twelve his father drowned and his ship sank to the bottom of the sea. He and his mother sought refuge at her brother’s place in Ocrid (in today’s Skopje).

St Joseph attends school for three years. At the same time he loves going to the church and reading the scriptures. At fifteen with his mother’s blessing, he enters the monastery of the Most Holy Lady at Ocrid, under the guidance of a hieromonk who was her cousin. He stays there up to the age of twenty.

In 1588, he hears the Lord’s calling “Follow Me”. The Lord’s love pierced his heart like an arrow and like a thirsty deer he hastens to the garden of the Most Holy Lady. Abandoning the vainness and the disorder of this world he enters the Holy monastery of Pantocrator at the Holy Mountain along with a novice called Nikodeme. Jacob is thereafter named ‘Joseph’.

He continues his unrelenting spiritual struggles, assisted by the brunt of his youth, in order to accomplish virtue, particularly obedience and prayer. He bears Christ’s benign cross and slowly ascends the ladder of the beatitudes, acquiring the garment of the divine and Christ’s humility by deadening his self-will. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Should Jesus scare us?- By Elder Porfyrios

 image01 (5)“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (A John, 4, 18)


When you love Jesus, despite your many weaknesses and your awareness of them, you rest assured that you have overcome death because you are in communion with Jesus’ love.

We ought to feel that Jesus is our friend. He is our friend. He confirms it Himself when He says: ‘You are my friends…” (John 15, 14).We ought to look up to Him and approach Him as our friend. If we fall, if we commit an offence, we ought to approach Him with love and courage and be filled with trust bestowed to us by our mutual friendship without fearing His punishment. We ought to tell Him: ‘Yes, Lord I have done this, I have fallen, forgive me”. At the same time we ought to feel that He loves us, that He receives us with tenderness and love and that He forgives us. Let our trespasses not separate us from Jesus. If we believe that He loves us and that we love Him, we will not feel strangers, neither we will feel separated from Him, not even when we commit a sin. We have secured His love and no matter what we do, we know that He loves us.
Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Healing the ‘sickness’ of the Pharisees

Untitled1By the Metropolitan of Limassol, Athanasios.

As promised I am going to resume what we were talking about yesterday …

One may wonder what the purpose is of all the things we do as part of our worship, namely our visits to holy places, the lighting of candles, the all night vigils, the prayers, the fasting, alms giving etc. The response to this question is very significant since it will reveal whether or not we are leading a proper spiritual life.

Let me give you an example. I often ask the kids at the camps which is the most important commandment the Lord gave. And they all give me various answers: ‘Do not steal’, ‘do not lie’, ‘do not harm other people’, ‘respect your parents’ etc, yet no child ever suspects that none of these is the first command given by the Lord.

They often believe that the first commandment is ‘love thy neighbor’, yet when I told them that this is not it, one child once said: ‘Yes, I know the first commandment. It is ‘multiply and fill the earth’! Of course this isn’t the first commandment either! Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Jesus’ cv!!!!



Hello! My name is Jesus- the Christ. I have sent you my CV because I am seeking to apply for the top executive position in your heart. Please examine my credentials as cited below.


  • I have created the earth and the Heavens ( Proverbs 3, 19)
  • I have created man from earth ( Genesis 2, 7)
  • I have given him the breath of life (Genesis 2, 7)
  • I have redeemed him from the curse of the law ( Galatians 3, 13)


  • I have had only one employer,(Luke 2, 49)
  • I have received only the greatest of recommendations ( Matthew 3, 15-17)

SKILLS AND WORK EXPERIENCE Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The healing mission of the Church

praying in churchThe main mission of the Church is to heal a person. In other words, when a person becomes part of the Church is healed if he follows the therapeutic regime which aims to assist him to return to the natural state which God gave him when He had created him.


After the fall of our forefathers, our nature was corrupted. When man severed his relationship with the Lord after disobeying His command, all his mental and physical capacities were immediately corrupted and perverted; his mind turned away from its unbreakable communication with the Lord, which was his natural state, towards the creation and matter, passions and sin. From that moment sickness and perversion entered man’s nature.

This is the reality of the fall, the sin of the forefathers, namely the hereditary sickness which passes on from one generation to another because we are natural descendents of our forefathers. Thus, each man has inherited this condition of spiritual sickness; the perversion of his nature.

Jesus Christ is called the ‘New Adam’, because He enters history at a certain point in time and accomplishes a mission. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »


images (25)Dear Brothers and Sisters, Please allow me to take you at a slow pace trough one mysterious but indeed real story. It was 29th of November 2011 when three men, coming from the city Banja Luka (Republika Srpska), began their trip to monastery Ostrog (Montenegro) to bow down to the holy relic of the saint – Holy Vasilije.

When they arrived early in the morning in front of the monastery, the door was closed. One of the three said: “Don’t worry brothers! When we have managed to arrive in front of the door, the Saint will recognize our wish and will bless our intention.”

At this moment a running fast monk appeared from nowhere, as if he came out directly from the surrounding mountains, unlocked the heavy iron door of the church and said: “Please come in and bow down in front of Holy Vasilije – honor to him”. The monk opened the coffin with the holy relic of the saint. At this moment, the church got full of an indescribable smell which God decorated with his power. He cures sick people, gifts faith to unbelievers, and love to those who hate.

After praying to God and to saint Vasilije from Ostrog, the three men went out of the Holy place, radiating joy and happiness across their face.

Afterwards, the three men spontaneously decided to take the way in direction of the city Cetinje (Montenegro) where the monastery of the Saint Petar Cetinjski is located. The hand of Saint Johannes Baptist is guarded in this monastery as well.

When they arrived, the door of the monastery was open and the three men went in. They bow down in front of holy relics, prayed and took bless. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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“Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation”

gerontas_athanasios_ekdBy the Metropolitan of Limassol, Athanasios

The Church offers us Lent (or Great Fast) as the grand and joyful stage set for spiritual struggles. It calls us to begin this period with great joy and eagerness in order to work spiritually harder on the virtues, while offering this time as a present to the Lord through our repentance and our spiritual struggle.

We hear “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (B Corinthians 6, 12) during the vespers of Lent. This is the time favorable to the Lord, the time for repentance and redemption. Lent is distinguished by the presence of the virtue of repentance, which attracts the grace of the Holy Spirit into people’s hearts. The Church sets forgiveness as the prerequisite of Lent, right from the very first day. Thus, the first vespers of Lent ( katanyktikos esperinos) are called the ‘vespers of forgiveness’. Just as Jesus said: “If you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”(Matthew 6,14-15). One needs the presence of grace in order to wage any spiritual struggle.
Fasting during Lent is not a diet which one may follow just by sheer will for health reasons. Fasting here has a totally different purpose: the advent of grace in one’s heart, the avoidance of sin which kills one’s soul and the acquisition of divine illumination which leads one to the Kingdom of Heaven. Thus, one needs the assistance and the presence of the Lord along with the physical struggle and the pain of fasting. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Who is Christ?

im   age01One of the major questions which have preoccupied mankind has to do with Jesus. “Who is Jesus Christ really?’

This is a question first posed by Jesus Himself when speaking to His disciples: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”(Matthew 16, 13) and “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16, 15) The same query was also raised against the Pharisees, just before He finished His mission on earth:  “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”(Matthew 22, 42)

Jesus posed these questions because He wished to prove that all prophesies of the Old Testament were being fulfilled in Him, not in an anthropological way as the Pharisees were expecting, but in the way the Lord wished.


The Pharisees were expecting the Messiah to be the one, who was going to lead his people to glory; who was going to prove how special he was; who would be able to pass on the spiritual and secular authority to those who would receive him.


Yet Jesus speaks of the God-man nature of the Messiah. He says that He was not just a perfect man, a special person, but that God Himself assumed human nature. Therefore, whatever He was going to offer was not exclusive to the Jews but it would be a gift and a blessing to all men and all peoples, irrespective of time and human understanding. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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‘Our Father’- The Lord’s Prayer

paterymon-2by Archimandrite Vassileios,
 ex Abbot of the Iveron Monastery

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our transgressions, as we forgive those who transgress against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Amen.

I have selected a passage from the Gospel, the prayer known as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, since I believe it is the most representative prayer  – the prayer handed down to us by the Lord Jesus Christ.

I believe that the Lord has taught us the prayer He has created; He gave us the life He has lived and taught us how He was. And this is Jesus’ truth.  He had said once: “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15, 5). Just as the relationship between the vine and the branches is organic and the juice flows easily from the vine to the branches, in the same way Jesus flows in our existence by giving us His entire being. Therefore, I believe that through this prayer we live in Jesus Christ, provided we consciously pray and experience the prayer.

Let us begin by reciting this prayer and studying it piece by piece.

The first phrase says:
“Our Father who art in heaven”
I believe we commit one major sin. We sometimes become demoralized and forget one thing: the Lord loves us even though we are weak. If we hold on to just one thought this is it: that the Lord loves us and that the Lord is our Father.
We normally say that the parents love their child not because it is a good child but because it is their child. Therefore it is a major consolation to us if we manage to consciously accept and feel that we too could call the Lord “Father”. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St Luke, Bishop of Crimea, the Surgeon: The death of the sinners and the death of the righteous!

image03Before King David, the prophet, became king of Israel, he was serving under King Saul, who trying to kill him because he knew that David was going to succeed him on the throne. Thus when his life was in danger, David told his friends: ‘Only one step separates me from death’.

I remembered these words now because I had to remind them to myself only a week ago. There was only one step separating my life from death. For a while I was near dying, having almost no pulse and my heart almost stopped beating. And yet the Lord had pity on me. I am still weak and can only talk to you while seated. But I want to say something important. I want to speak to you about death, since death is so close to us, as it was close to me last Saturday. Each one of us may die suddenly without expecting it. You already know that peoples’ lives end suddenly and unexpectedly.

You always ought to remember and keep in your hearts Christ’s words: “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning” (Luke 12, 35). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The following passage forms part of a letter written by Saint Seraphim of Vrats to a Bishop, a spiritual child, who was imprisoned. Lord, the Creator offers consolation to a man’s soul.

14635_1169525710744_1006014402_30430337_1997215_n‘Have you ever thought that whatever concerns you, concerns Me? Since everything that concerns you concern the apple of My eye. When temptation strikes and the spiritual struggle begin to surge like a current, I want you to know that it was from Me.
I want you to learn that your weakness needs My power and your safety depends on you allowing Me to protect you.
 I want you to know that when you find yourself in tricky situations and amongst people who do not understand you neither care whether you like it or not and take you away, this was from Me. I am your Lord. Whatever happens to you is in My hands. You did not find yourself in this position by chance. It is exactly the position I have determined for you.
Didn’t you pray that I teach you humility? Here it is! I have placed you in exactly the proper situation, in the proper ‘school’ where humility is being taught. Your close circle and those who live with you only execute My wishes.
Are you in a financial difficulty and having trouble making ends meet? Learn that this was from Me. I want you to know that it is Me Who manages your assets; you ought to come to Me for help, knowing that you depend on Me. Learn that My resources are infinite and rest assured that I keep My promises. May it never happen that people will come to you in your hour of need and tell you: ‘Do not believe in your Lord, your God’.
Have you ever had a sleepless night drowning in sorrow because of you relatives and your loved ones? I have permitted this, so that you will turn to Me and find eternal consolation and relief in Me.
Has a friend or someone else to whom you have opened up your heart cheated you? It was Me who has allowed this disappointment so that you learn that your best friend is the Lord.
I want you to bring everything before Me and tell Me everything.
Have you been slandered? Leave it to Me. Attach yourself to Me. I am your refuge in the face of dispute between nations. I will let your righteousness and your entire life radiate like the midday sun.
Have your plans been ruined and your soul is exhausted? It was from Me. You had made your own plans and had your own designs. You have brought your plans to me to bless. Yet I want you to let Me guide you and handle all of your affairs because you are not the protagonist but only the second fiddle. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Sealed Under Turkish Mud, a Well-Preserved Byzantine Chapel


Myra-Andriake Excavations
DISCOVERY A section of the 13th-century chapel at Myra.
Published: January 7, 2013


DEMRE, Turkey — In the fourth century A.D., a bishop named Nicholas transformed the city of Myra, on the Mediterranean coast of what is now Turkey, into a Christian capital.

Nicholas was later canonized, becoming the St. Nicholas of Christmas fame. Myra had a much unhappier fate. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The loss of a civilization – Destruction of cultural heritage in occupied Cyprus

We are 100% Turks and Christians

Ahmet and Dezla Ozgiunes, who have become Orthodox Christian in the last couple of years, speak to Alexandros Massavetas of ‘Kathimerini’ newspaper.τουρκικη σημαια

We kept meeting every year in one of the Greek parishes at Nichori of Vosporos during the Easter Service as if we had been keeping an appointment. I thought they were just like the many other Turks who come to the Service out of curiosity to experience the Greek traditional Easter or to celebrate among Christian friends and be part of a multinational and mixed religious congregation.

tourkoi_xristianoi_1The couple, elegant, educated and well travelled, is among the thousands of Turks who have recently decided to change their religion and among the very few who do not keep their decision secret. They have decided to share with the readers of ‘Kathimerini’ their internal quest which led them to espouse Orthodoxy, as well as to explain to us what it means to be a Turk and a Christian. The interview took place a few months before they were due to emigrate abroad.

Several articles in the newspapers on the recent baptisms of Muslims insisted that these involved Turks who were of Greek or Armenian origin and thus they were just ‘returning to their roots’. Was such an origin the reason which led you to espouse Christianity? Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

God often isolates those whom He chooses.



«Alison was witness to incidents which indicated how Eugene was «going crazy» and trying to «break the bonds» without really knowing how to do so. She recalls the night when Eugene and John’s argument about God came to a head. John, Eugene, Alison, and a few others had gone to the top of Mount Baldy, another local meeting place of the group of friends.

Everyone became drunk with wine, except Alison. «John was crying and ranting about how he had to give up women for God.» Alison recall, «and Eugene became totally disgusted with the whole scene.»

Then something unexpected happened. Eugene stood up and began shouting at John. «There is no God!» he bellowed. «Your God is a fable! If there was a God, He wouldn’t torment his followers. You believe that God is having fun sticking pins in people. Such a God does not exist!»

In his drunken rage, Eugene proceeded to pour win over John’s head, saying, «I’m John the Baptist!» Then, raising a fist to heaven from the top of the mountain, he cursed God and dared Him to damn him to hell. «See! Nothing happened,» he cried, looking at the distraught Alison with wild eyes. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Elder Porfyrios: How to deal with depression

Γέροντας ΠορφυρίοςAlmost all illnesses are caused by our lack of trust in the Lord. This creates stress. Stress is caused by the negation of the religious sentiment. Unless you love the Lord and preoccupy yourself with holy deeds, you will certainly have depression and nasty feelings.

There is one thing which helps someone who is depressed: work and showing an interest in living: For example having a garden, some plants, flowers, trees, or getting outside, going for a walk in the countryside, or for a simple walk. All these create an interest and stop a person’s apathy. They act like medicine.

Moreover, being interested in music or the arts is very beneficial. But I specially emphasize the need to show an interest for the Church, for the Gospel and the liturgical services. Just by studying the Lord’s word one is healed without realizing it.

We ought not to be discouraged or be in a hurry. We ought not to judge things superficially or by their external appearance. If for example you happen to see a naked woman or one who is dressed inappropriately, do not criticize her but try to enter her soul. She may have a good heart and may express her existential worries through her wild appearance. She may process an inner strength and wish to show off arousing interest. She may have a distorted view of things because of her ignorance. Imagine what will happen if she does actually come to know Christ. She will become a believer and will direct all this passion towards Christ. She will do anything to attract divine grace. She will become a saint.

Because of our anxiety and our fears we often cause harm to someone without meaning to and without realizing it, even if we love him very much, like a mother does her child. A mother may transfer to the child all her anxiety about his life, his health and progress, even though she does not express it with words. This kind of love, this natural love, may sometimes cause harm. However, this does not happen with the love of Christ which is coupled with prayer and a careful way of life. This love sanctifies and calms a person, since God is love.

Translation of excerpts from the book «ΓΕΡΟΝΤΟΣ ΠΟΡΦΥΡΙΟΥ ΙΕΡΟΜΟΝΑΧΟΥ Ανθολόγιο Συμβουλών»