‘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 »

Letter by Charlie Williams, 12, about his battle with cancer

wil_2115784bThis is a story of a child called Charlie who was diagnosed with cancer when he was only five years old. In fact, on the fifth day of the fifth month of 2005.

My name is Charlie Williams. I could have died by now. I recently found out I was not going to die. At Addenbrookes Hospital I had to endure medical treatments that included radiotherapy, which involved me going into a cylindrical tunnel for about half an hour, which is quite scary for a 6 year old, as I was at the time.

I also had several MRI scans, also in a cylindrical tunnel, with all kinds of noises while you are inside. The chemotherapy was through a drip which was inserted into my body, in my upper chest, like a transfusion, and went on for a few hours at a time every month. I also had to have lots of blood transfusions. Needles aren’t the nicest thing in the world, and I used to be petrified of them, so you can imagine what it felt like for me to have them inserted into me so often as a child. But I’m used to them now.

Do you think you could cope with all that medical treatment? How do you think it would change you as a person? Being ill, and knowing that there may be a chance that you will lose the things that make up your life, makes you value those things. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Manet and woman: Portraying Life

manetgirlwashingtonAs an exhibition of portraits by the great French painter opens in London, Adrian Hamilton asks why he treated his male and female subjects so differently

The Royal Academy claims its new exhibition of the painter Edouard Manet is the largest so far in Britain and the first to be devoted to his portraiture. Can it really be true of an artist whose work is so well known over here, of whom one thought there was nothing to left say beyond glorying in his deep blacks, those wondrous whites and the endless experiments with traditional forms put to new work in contemporary life?

The answer is that there is always something fresh to be learnt about this most sociable and elusive of artists, friend of most of the novelists and critics of his day, revered as a radical father figure by younger artists and respected as a regular contributor to the salons of the establishment. Portraiture, which he pursued in oil and later in pastel throughout his relatively brief career of some two decades (he died aged 51 in 1883), is as good a way as any of exploring his varied works.

Not that you go to Manet for penetrating portraiture. Although he used models as well as friends and insisted on painting only from prolonged and frequent sittings, it wasn’t to explore the character or dig deep into the psyche of his subjects. It was to comment on their place through their appearance. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

You have a missed call

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I was looking at you when you woke up this morning. I was expecting you to tell me one or two things, thanking me for everything that was happening to you, asking for my assistance for whatever you were about to do today.
I realized that you were very busy trying to find what to wear for work. I was hoping that you 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

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Myra-Andriake Excavations
DISCOVERY A section of the 13th-century chapel at Myra.
By JENNIFER PINKOWSKI
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.

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«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»
Published by Η ΜΕΤΑΜΟΡΦΩΣΙΣ ΤΟΥ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΜΗΛΕΣΙ ΑΤΤΙΚΗΣ

source: http://www.pentapostagma.gr/2012/12/blog-post_7844.html#ixzz2F1KWtehH

Bearing the Shame of Confession

ntropi stin eksomologisi

From «Remember thy First Love» by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou

Question: In taking the steps which you have presented W to us, the most difficult thing, I think, is to overcome the rear of shame. This is what I try to do in my parish. People will not come to confession although their souls are burdened and things are driving them crazy, because they cannot overcome the shame to admit their sins. How do you lead people in this direction?

Answer: I think that the strength to bear shame is a gift from God. When I was a young and inexperienced spiritual father, Elder read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Ένδυση Λειτουργικών Υφασμάτων/ Οrthodox Liturgical Garments

Στην προσπάθεια υλοποίησης εκπαιδευτικού video για την των Ορθόδοξων Λειτουργικών Ενδυμάτων στα πλαίσια του μαθήματος Ιστορία Υφάσματος του Τμήματος Προστασίας & Συντήρησης Πολιτισμικής Κληρονομιάς του ΑΤΕΙ Ιονίων Νήσων,σε συνεργασία με την Ι. Μητρόπολη Ζακύνθου & Στροφάδων, η φοιτήτρια κα. Ιλόνα Ντελιανίδου του τμήματος μας, δημιούργησε το επισυναπτόμενο video στα ελληνικά με αγγλικούς και ρώσικους υπότιτλους.

The Righteous Nikephoros the Leper

osiosnikiforosleprosFr. 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 cleric he fled to Chios where there was a home for lepers, in which was a priest, Fr. Anthimos Vagianos, later St. 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).

 

There was a unique spiritual relationship between St. Anthimos and monk Nikephoros, who “did not separate himself from him by even a step”, as mentioned by Fr. Theoklitos of Dionysiou in his book “St. Anthimos of Chios”. Fr. Nikephoros prayed for endless hours at night, performing countless prostrations, not offering a word to anyone nor spoiling his heart on anyone, and was the head chanter of the church. Because of his illness, however, slowly he lost his eyesight and most of the hymns were chanted by others. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

An elder teaches his disciple how to pray

It is not necessary to mention the many spiritual gifts one receives when talking to spiritual elders. It is self evident… We are talking about treasures whose huge benefit will only be revealed with the passing of time. At times like these, when we demolish rather than build spiritual values, all the more people recognize these assets and do not hesitate to seek spiritual fare derived from the experience of revered hermits. Thus we hear mellifluous words which truly ‘stick’ to the soul, calm and revive it. Nevertheless, whoever truly wishes to find such elders, may find them next to him. ‘Whoever seeks…shall find’… Then it is certain that he will gain a lot… What follows is a story of a disciple who visits his elder in order to receive the benefits from prayer.

Going to my elder’s cell today, I wanted him to speak to me about prayer, which is at the centre of a Christian’s spiritual life.

– ‘Bless me, my elder’. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St.Herman of Alaska Monastery (Black&White)

The St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood is a monastic-missionary Orthodox Christian brotherhood that is part of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Loukia and Michael Zampelas Art Museum

Michael Zampelas, together with his wife, Loukia Zampelas, has been collecting and supporting the work of many Cypriot, Greek and foreign artists for over forty years. The turn of the millennium and the couple’s love for the arts fuelled their desire to promote the work of upcoming as well as established artists, and to bring their work to the public. Hence they found­ed the company Zampelas Art to make their dream reality.

An open call for a competition to create a cata­logue of the 100 best Cypriot artists of the 3rd millennium was the first Zampelas Art venture. Art critics from the UK, Italy, Greece and Cyprus studied 500 submitted works and selected 100 of these for inclusion in the catalogue Cypriot Art­ists of the 3rd Millennium, which can be found in museum libraries around the world. Zampelas Art also acquired these works.

 

Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation Events & Publications

 

The Foundation is devoted to preserving and promoting the island’s cultural and natural heritage in both Cyprus and abroad

 

The Exhibition will showcases portable icons, golden embroideries, metalworking and manuscripts.

The Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation was established in 1984, a decade after the Turkish invasion and the beginning of the ongoing occupation of the northern part of the island. The Foundation was born out of the Bank’s desire to assist in the rescue of the island’s cultural heritage, which has been pillaged or stolen by Turkish forces in the occupied areas, and to promote the Hellenic culture of Cyprus at a professional and scholarly level. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The court process against Archbishop Jovan, the Bishops, monastics and believers of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric has begun

The court process against Archbishop Jovan, the Bishops, monastics and believers of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric has begun

On November 1, 2012, at 10 AM, in the Court of First Instance Skopje I, in Skopje, the new staged court process against Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid, against the Bishops Marko of Bregalnica and David of Stobi, against the priest-monks Mojsej and Irinej, abbess Kirana, prioress Olimpijada, nuns Magdalina and Pelagija and against another ten believers of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric has begun.

The state persecution against Archbishop Jovan is reaching big proportions. Until now he has been imprisoned for “inciting national, racial and religious hatred”, for “evasion”, for “autarchy”, and among all these accusations, the latest one is being to the list, for alleged “money laundering”! The political tendency of all these convictions in the past ten years can be summarized in the recent statement of Metropolitan Amfilohij of Montenegro, during his visit in Skopje, that “if they could, the authorities of FYROM would pronounce a death sentence for Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid!”

Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Five Saints – Confessors: Victims of Catholic ‘Love’

During the 18th Century, Transylvania was under the occupation of Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Catholics, wishing to recoup their losses after the schism with the Protestants began an offensive against Orthodoxy. They used both violence and diplomacy to subdue the orthodox, which they considered as ‘backward’.

Under the pretext of Unia they tried to proselyte them to Catholicism. Their ways are still used to this day. Nevertheless even those days, there were people who were resisting such efforts of massive conversion and became martyrs and confessors. Such people were monks, like Saints Vissarion and Sophroni, who could not tolerate the discrimination suffered by those orthodox people who were not following Unia and were treated as second class citizens.

Thus they dedicated their lives assisting their neighbor and restoring the orthodox faith in Transylvania. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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Miracle of St. Demetrios is a translation from a 9th century text of Anastasius the Librarian

You all know the famine which occurred a short while ago not only in this city of Thessalonica, but almost everywhere else also, to such an extent that scarcity of not only corn but of other things even seized the queen of cities herself also. Therefore, since the city was being crushed by the affliction of such a great famine, that holy martyr Demetrius, at the instruction of God, sent to them ships from many different regions filled with various produce, fresh and dry, and with every goodness of human food, so that their desperation for these necessities was immediately brought to an end, just as you have already heard. There was a certain man who had been posted by his lord on the island of Chios in order to buy the corn which the ships were bringing there. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Let’s not shoot at people in the name of Christ! (Elder Paissios the of Hoyly Mount Athos)

I told someone once: ‘What are you? Are you Jesus’ warrior or a fighter for the tempter? Do you realize that there are also fighters for the evil one? A Christian ought not to be a fanatic but ought to love all people’.

Whoever speaks without discretion, he harms people even when he is right. I met a writer who was very devout, but when he was talking to laymen, he was very blunt to the extent that they were shocked. He told me once: ‘I said such and such to a lady during a meeting’. However, he had talked in such a way that he had ‘damaged’ her, offending her in front of everyone.

‘Look’, I said to him. ‘You throw wreaths with diamonds at people. But the way you do it, breaks their heads, even the heads which are not very sensitive. Let’s not throw stones at people, in the name of Christianity. Whoever… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Patriarchal Encyclical on the occasion of the Indiction

Prot. No. 718

+ BARTHOLOMEW
By the Mercy of God
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome And Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Fullness of the Church
Grace and Peace from the Creator and Sustainer of All Creation
Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ

Beloved brothers and children in the Lord, Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Ecumenical Patriarchate

The Ecumenical Patriarchate expresses profound concern about the resurgence of violence currently spreading throughout the world. From America to Africa and throughout Europe and Asia, continents are confronted with the phenomenon of intolerance that not only undermines world stability and peace, but also constitutes a denial of human dignity. Racial murders, genocide, ethnic cleansing, anti-semitism, destruction of places of worship etc, constitute barbaric acts that must be denounced publicly, particularly when they are masked with the veil of religion in an effort to justify them. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Η επίσκεψη του κρυπτοχριστιανού ιερέως-στρατηγού

Συνεχίζουμε την δημοσίευση πραγματικών ιστοριών από την ζωή των Κρυπτοχριστιανών στην Τουρκία και στον ιστορικό Πόντο  από το θαυμάσιο βιβλίο Το Συναξάρι των κρυφών Ονείρων -του Γ. Πρίντζιπα.

Λόγω της μεγάλης έκτασης των κειμένων του βιβλίου, τα κείμενα που δημοσιεύονται εδώ έχουν διαμορφωθεί κατάλληλα, ως προς την έκταση και μερικές φορές και στον τίτλο.

Το σημερινό κείμενο, που για πρώτη φορά δημοσιεύεται Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »