Let us prepare ourselves to come open, empty – to be filled with the Spirit

See also: “Α true canon of the Christian faith”.

Sunday before Pentecost

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

During the Last Supper our Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples that separation was near, that He was to ascend to His God and to His Father as He would repeat again to the women who came to the grave. And when their hearts were filled with sorrow at the thought that they will not see Him again, He said, “Your hearts are full with sorrow and yet, you should rejoice for Me that I am returning to My Father. But I will not,” he added, “leave you orphan, I will send you the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father, whom I will send to you and who will teach you all things.” And so do we here now while we are still in the light of the Ascension. 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 seasons in life (video)

The seasons in a man’s life are all equally imortant. Watch the video that follows …More… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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The Holy Prophet Elijah

Saint Elijah, one who saw God, a miracle-worker and a zealot for faith in God, was born of the tribe of Aaron from the town Tishba for which he was called the Tishbite. When St. Elijah was born, his father Savah saw an angel of God hovering around the child, wrapping the child in fire and giving him a flame to eat. That was a foreshadowing of Elijah’s fiery character and his God-given fiery power. He spent his entire youth in godly thoughts and prayers withdrawing frequently into the wilderness to contemplate and to pray in solitude. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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Venerable Athanasius of mount Athos

Saint Nikolai Velimirovch

Athanasius was born in Trebizond of God-fearing parents. He became orphaned at an early age but, by the Providence of God, a commander took him under his care and brought him to Constantinople to be educated. Because of his meekness and humbleness, he was the favorite of his peers. During the children’s games, the children chose one to be an emperor, one a commander and Athanasius as abbot as though it was some kind of foretelling! Having completed his education, Athanasius (who before tonsuring was called Abraham) withdrew into the desert of Maleinos near Athos, the Holy Mountain, where he lived the life of an ascetic as a disciple of the then renowned Michael Maleinos. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Let us prepare ourselves to come open, empty – to be filled with the Spirit.

Sunday before Pentecost

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

During the Last Supper our Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples that separation was near, that He was to ascend to His God and to His Father as He would repeat again to the women who came to the grave. And when their hearts were filled with sorrow at the thought that they will not see Him again, He said, “Your hearts are full with sorrow and yet, you should rejoice for Me that I am returning to My Father. But I will not,” he added, “leave you orphan, I will send you the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father, whom I will send to you and who will teach you all things.” And so do we here now while we are still in the light of the Ascension. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

God — the Supreme Being

The first question we wish to deal with is, what proof have we that there is a God? This is the question which all infidels ask. They want you to prove to them in so many words and by reasoning and the power of logic whether God lives. But the burden of the proof falls to the lot of those who doubt or deny that God lives, and they should be asked, what proof have they that there isn’t a God? One of the great proofs of the presence of God is the beauty and unity of this universe in which we live. No one could be so blind as to deny that there is a God at the control of the universe. Who can look up at the sky on a bright, clear night, and, having watched the myriads of stars and planets whirling through space, was not awed with the majesty, the beauty and magnificence of this world, this home of ours. Who would not be impressed without feeling awed by a sense of reverence and join the Sacred Writer in saying, «The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork. This is indeed my Father’s world and He made everything for man to enjoy it lawfully.» Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

All things new in the Resurrection!!

The Resurrection of Christ is the one of the most important and central aspects of our Orthodox Christian faith.

Father Stanley S. Ηarakas

I n three of the Gospels, an event is described in which Jesus Himself was challenged by the leading Sadducees, who rejected belief in the resurrection. Jesus countered their denials with an affirmation of resurrection (Mark 12:18-27); Matthew 22:23-33; Luke 20:27-40), saying “You are quite wrong!” (Mark 12:27).

In John 5:29 Christ taught that “those who have done good, (will come) to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. Elsewhere He declared, «I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Gospel for the Raising of Lazarus

John 11:1-45

Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. {2} (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) {3} Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. {4} When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. {5} Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. {6} When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. {7} Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. {8} His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? {9} Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day?

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Angel in my dreams

A loving angel came to me in dreams,

And showed me life’s not always what it seems,

And brought me to a place where sweet dreams live,

And gave to me a gift that I now give: Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village

A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

«Not very long.» they answered in unison.

«Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?»

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.

«But what do you do with the rest of your time?»

Read more...

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Message of the day


 

 

 

Laugh about your mistakes,
But, learn from them.
Joke over your troubles,
But, gather strength from them.
Have fun with your difficulties,
But, overcome them.
That’s the way to live LIFE.

 
 Good Morning!!  
 

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The battle against despondency, slothfulness and weakness

Christ the Redeemer by St. Andrei Rublev (ca. 1410, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow).

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

When this happens, occupy the mind with the thought of death.

Come mentally to the grave; behold there one who has been dead four days: how he grows dark, bloated, and gives off an intolerable foul odor, is eaten by worms, having lost his fair appearance and beauty. Then look in another place: here there lie in the grave the bones of young and old, the beautiful and the ugly; and consider: who was fair, or ugly? Who was a faster, a continent man, an ascetic, or a careless man? And did it bring benefit to rich men that they had repose and enjoyment in this world?

Remember then the endless torments of which the holy books speak: the fire of Gehenna, the outer darkness, the gnashing of teeth, the infernal Tartarus, the unsleeping worm. And depict to yourself how sinners cry out there with bitter tears, and no one delivers them. They lament and weep over themselves, and no one has pity on them. They sigh from the depths of the heart, and no one has compassion on them. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Life of the faithful Christian is a continuous Feast

A Homily of the Late Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens

Translated and edited by Protopresbyter George Dion. Dragas, PhD, DD, DTh

 Note: This year’s Celebration of the Feast of Christmas and the Feasts of the Twelve Days of Christmas, invite us to reflect on the important meaning of the Feasts which the Church has instituted for our life. All the church Feasts are connected with the Divine Economy, i.e. with the becoming man of the Son and Word of God, the Mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ, which constitutes the basis and the perspective of our salvation and the salvation of the world. This great and vital matter is the subject of the present Homily of Archbishop Christodoulos of blessed memory who fell asleep in the Lord on 28 January 2008.

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ABORTION: THE ORTHODOX VIEW

Again we pray for the children of God condemned to death by the unjust judgement of men: that the Lord our God would soften the hearts of those who seek their violent destruction, and rescue those who are being led forth to the slaughter, we diligently pray Thee, O Lord, hearken and have mercy!

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Life is a precious gift of God. It is given to us so that we, while completing our earthly course, should acquire Divine Grace, should become members «of the household of God» and spiritual «fellow citizens with the Saints» (Ephesians 2:19). It is for this reason also that the Lord has established His Holy Church. In the life of the Church, of this Kingdom of God on earth, we are already destined for blessedness, and partake of it in proportion to our piety.

But the fall of our forefathers introduced sin deeply into our life. Sin has poisoned it, has become a property of this world: that is why the Apostle John can say that «the whole world lieth in wickedness» (1 John 5:19). This evil surrounds us and lures us with particular force when the opposition to it on the part of the society around us weakens. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

IN THE TEMPLE OF BROKEN HEARTS (PART 2)

the power of the cross

“Search for me,

A needle in a haystack,

Find where I lie,

Pain hidden by a rag,

Here I hide – from you? –

Blood wounds, undried and shining,

I hide, fearing

Your loving hands hold salt”.

(from a Belarusian poem)

Continued from (1)

Monk Alexander

Source: Orthodox Research Institute

The Beginning of Love

True love starts when we let others be the way they are, rather than adjusting our impression of them to our own liking. Otherwise, we will love only our own fixed perception of them. It is necessary to understand ourselves and everyone else as God’s creatures, to see God’s image and dignity in ourselves and in others. He granted it to everyone of us, and if we hurt this dignity in others, we actually hurt ourselves.

We have no power to change another person, and we should not waste our time analysing why he behaves this way or that. Let him follow his own path. We should accept people as they are, otherwise our intrusion can prove to be destructive. A person might know what we expect of him and behave the opposite way.

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IN THE TEMPLE OF BROKEN HEARTS (PART 1)

woman

Monk Alexander

Source: Orthodox Research Institute

We have no power to change another person, and we should not waste our time analysing why he behaves this way or that. Let him follow his own path. We should accept people as they are, otherwise our intrusion can prove to be destructive.

The Moral Schism

The faith and love of every man is put to the test by something – misfortunes, psychological difficulties, moral perplexities, even by our happiness. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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ON DEATH

metropolitan anthony of sourozh

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

Death is the touchstone of our attitude to life. People who are afraid of death are afraid of life. It is impossible not to be afraid of life with all its complexity and dangers if one is afraid of death. This means that to solve the problem of death is not a luxury. If we are afraid of death we will never be prepared to take ultimate risks; we will spend our life in a cowardly, careful and timid manner. It is only if we can face death, make sense of it, determine its place and our place in regard to it that we will be able to live in a fearless way and to the fulness of our ability. Too often we wait until the end of our life to face death, whereas we would have lived quite differently if only we had faced death at the outset.  Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

THE ISSUE OF EVIL AND THE MEANING OF SUFFERING AND SORROW IN OUR LIFE

Man's sin was turning away from God, Who Himself is the source of what is good, and trusting the devil. Consequently, the Lord with much displeasure allows for us to see what the snake really is and how much it is to be trusted.

The Original Sin and the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the paradise of Eden. Man's sin was that he turned away from God and trusted the devil. Consequently the Lord has allowed for us to see what the snake really is and how much it is NOT to be trusted.

By Fr. Serapheim Starkoff
All of us encounter suffering in our lives. Sometimes we deserve to suffer, sometimes we do not. Curiously enough, our sufferings force us to reflect upon both their nature and origin; suddenly a world of questions and outlooks appear in front of us.

Suffering is closely connected to the so-called issue of evil in our lives. Where does the evil come from? For this reason, we have to describe the Orthodox perception of the world, based on the Holy Scriptures and Tradition. These two sources exist in unity; they are not religious systems, but a description of the divine economy in the life of the Ecclesiastical community.

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About how death and life depend on the tongue

lastjudgment_5x10

«Death and life are in the power of the tongue» (Proverbs 18:21).

Did not our Lord Himself confirm this when He said that for every empty word men will give an answer before the Dread Judgment? Didn’t He explicitly say: «But I tell you, that of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the Day of Judgment. For by your words, you shall be justified and by your words, you shall be condemned» (St. Matthew 12: 36-37). Whoever is justified will receive life. Whoever is condemned will receive death. Therefore, do you see how life and death are in the power of the tongue? The Apostle James says: «For in many things we all offend. If anyone does not offend in word, he is a perfect man, able also to lead round by a bridle the whole body» (St. James 3:2). 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 »