What Christ Accomplished on the Cross

 by Hieromonk Damascene

A talk delivered at the Annual Lenten Clergy Confession of the New Gracanica Metropolitanate and the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Jackson, California, March 4/17, 2004.

The topic of today’s talk—what Christ accomplished on the Cross—is of course a prime subject of contemplation during the Lenten season, as we prepare to prayerfully commemorate Christ’s passion, death, and the inevitable consequence of His death: His holy Resurrection. As we call to mind and repent of our sins during the Holy Fast, we also call to mind that which has saved us from the eternal consequences of sin. We call to mind Christ’s life-creating death on the Cross, which He underwent for the salvation of each one of us.

The Orthodox dogma of our redemption—which includes the doctrines concerning Christ’s incarnation, death and Resurrection—is the chief dogma of our Faith, together with the dogma of the Holy Trinity. I have been especially contemplating and reading Patristic writings on this subject for a few years now. It is a vast subject. In this lecture I will try to outline its main points in a linear and chronological fashion. I will speak about the state of man before the Fall and after the Fall, and then speak about how Christ saved us from the consequences of the Fall through His incarnation, death and Resurrection. Finally, I will summarize all the present and future accomplishments of Christ’s redemptive work. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Prayer to the Guardian Angel

O Angel of God, my holy guardian, given to me from heaven, enlighten me this day, and save me from all evil. Instruct me in doing good deeds, Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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Humility and purity of heart, crowned by the Holy Spirit, is the key to understanding, this… is Wisdom

Mexican Pentecost Icon

On this day, the fiftieth after Easter, we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost when the fullness of the Holy Trinity was revealed through the coming of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

What Is the Mark of the True Christian?

by St. Anastasius the Sinaite

St. Anastasius was a priest and abbot of Mt. Sinai. His zeal for true faith led him to travel through Egypt, Arabia, and Syria to combat the errors of the Acephalites and Eutychians. His writings show not only a thorough command of Holy Scripture and a wide knowledge of the writing of the Church Fathers and other Christian writers, but also classical erudition and a solid grounding in Aristotelian philosophy. Of his prolific output the most important works are Guide Against the Acephalites and Answers to Questions. It is from the latter that the present passage is translated. St. Anastasius died in great old age in 686. [1] Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

What Christ Accomplished on the Cross

 by Hieromonk Damascene

A talk delivered at the Annual Lenten Clergy Confession of the New Gracanica Metropolitanate and the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Jackson, California, March 4/17, 2004.

The topic of today’s talk—what Christ accomplished on the Cross—is of course a prime subject of contemplation during the Lenten season, as we prepare to prayerfully commemorate Christ’s passion, death, and the inevitable consequence of His death: His holy Resurrection. As we call to mind and repent of our sins during the Holy Fast, we also call to mind that which has saved us from the eternal consequences of sin. We call to mind Christ’s life-creating death on the Cross, which He underwent for the salvation of each one of us.

The Orthodox dogma of our redemption—which includes the doctrines concerning Christ’s incarnation, death and Resurrection—is the chief dogma of our Faith, together with the dogma of the Holy Trinity. I have been especially contemplating and reading Patristic writings on this subject for a few years now. It is a vast subject. In this lecture I will try to outline its main points in a linear and chronological fashion. I will speak about the state of man before the Fall and after the Fall, and then speak about how Christ saved us from the consequences of the Fall through His incarnation, death and Resurrection. Finally, I will summarize all the present and future accomplishments of Christ’s redemptive work. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

THE CALLED AND THE CHOSEN

the chosen

In one of the Sunday Gospel readings we hear the parable of the Royal Son’s wedding feast.

In a direct historical sense this parable refers to the Jews, who were called, but who disdained the honor of their heavenly calling. However, just like the entire Gospel in general, this particular parable is not limited to a single meaning, but contains greater depths.

The image of the man who came to the feast without wearing wedding garments reveals to us the principle that for our salvation it is not enough to be among those who are called. We still need “our own” clothes, i.e. personal striving in life which transforms us from the “called” into the “chosen.” Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

ΕΙΜΑΣΤΕ ΟΛΟΙ ΜΕΛΗ ΤΗΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣ

Τρούλλος του ιερού ναού Αγίας Τριάδος στο Charlotte, North Carolina.

Τρούλλος του ιερού ναού Αγίας Τριάδος στο Charlotte, North Carolina,USA.

Μ. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΟΥ

Όλοι είμαστε μέλη ο ένας του άλλου, «έχουμε δε διαφορετικά χαρίσματα ανάλογα με τη χάρη του Θεού που μας δόθηκε». Γι’ αυτό: «Δεν μπορεί το μάτι να πει στο χέρι, δεν σ’ έχω ανάγκη» η το κεφάλι στα πόδια, δεν σας έχω ανάγκη». Όλα τα μέλη συμπληρώνουν το σώμα του Χριστού (την Εκκλησία) με την ενότητα του Αγίου Πνεύματος, ανταποδίδουν δε αναγκαστικά το ένα στο άλλο την ωφέλεια των χαρισμάτων τους. Ο Θεός δηλαδή έθεσε τα μέλη στο σώμα, το καθένα από αυτά όπως Αυτός θέλησε. Τα μέλη λοιπόν φροντίζουν μεταξύ τους για το κοινό καλό, επειδή υπάρχει συμπάθεια μεταξύ τους λόγω της πνευματικής τους ενότητας. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

What Is My Life?

Η Αγία Τριάδα

I have written often on the subject of “personhood,” drawing to a large extent on the writings of the Elder Sophrony, and to a lesser extent on the theology of Met. John Zizioulas. The heart of their thought is to direct us to the reality that to exist as “persons” is precisely the same thing (or similar) when we speak of the “persons” of the Holy Trinity. And further, that this is true existence for human beings.

In our popular speech, we use the word person in a manner that is interchangeable with individual. This is to equate personhood with a word that stand for its near opposite.

We are used to thinking of ourselves in individual terms – terms which emphasize our role as active, choosing agents. A collection of individuals is especially a collection of unique and competing wills. Thus it is always possible that the competing wills with whom I associate will be in direct competition with myself. Their good and my good may not be at all the same thing.

Thus we wind up with various versions of the social contract, in which we agree by various means, to give as much room to other competing wills as possible, while allowing sufficient attention to our own. It is like belonging to a merchant’s organization.

These social contracts exist primarily to keep us from killing each other and to help maximize one another’s profits, whether they be profits of the material kind or otherwise. It is so strong a force in our culture that even Christians, within the “mega church” movement, speak of their “target” congregation as a “market.” We are defined by the market to which we belong. We are the consumers of religious product. This has a way of working and even of prospering, in that a market approach tends to separate Christians from one another before they become “competing agents.” A congregation that is a statistical slice of our culture would argue over music, sermon, reason for existence, etc. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra (3)

blag_don

In 1380, Prince Dimitry Donskoy of Moscow came to seek St. Sergius` blessing before leading his army for the Orthodox faith and for the liberation of his native land from the Mongol yoke, which greatly oppressed Russia since 1237. Having received the saint’s blessing to go against the godless enemies, the Grand Prince won a great victory over the army of the Tartar Khan Mamai on the Kulikovo Field on the 8th of September. It was the first major Russian victory against the Tartars. After that, Moscow Princes became the patrons of the Trinity monastery. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »