St Elizabeth the New-Martyr (+1918) – July 18

st elizabeth the new-martyr

 Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna of Russia (Елизавета Фёдоровна), née Her Grand Ducal Highness Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Luise Alice of Hesse and by Rhine (February 24, 1864 – July 18, 1918), was the wife of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, the fifth son of Emperor Alexander II of Russia and Maria Alexandrovna (née Princess Marie of Hesse-Darmstadt). After the assassination of her husband, she went on to found a convent dedicated to ministering to the poor. She was later martyred by the Bolsheviks, and more recently she has been glorified as a new martyr.

Early life and Marriage

Elizabeth was the second child and daughter of Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, a daughter of Queen Victoria. She was also the elder sister of Alexandra Fyodorovna, the last empress of Russia. Elizabeth was affectionately called Ella by her family. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

SUNDAY OF THE MAN BORN BLIND

BBC188963Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

At the end of today’s reading, words stand that we pass by very often. The blind man says to Christ, «And who is the Son of God?» and Christ answers, «You have seen Him and He is speaking to you».

For us, the first words are so natural; the first event of our life, the first event of a meeting is that we see a person, but what was this wonder of this man who had never seen anything in the world and who, touched by the life-giving hand of Christ, of a sudden saw! And the first person he saw was his Lord and his God, Christ, the Son of Man.

I remember a Romanian writer telling us in his biography what definitive, what profound impression the face of the first man he remembers made. He remembers himself as a child, and over him – the inexpressibly beautiful face of his father who was a priest, looking at him, with all human love, with all the tenderness, and all the depth of a human gaze. And he says that this was a first vision for him in the icon which a human face can be when it is lit from inside by love and by understanding, by depth and by eternity, a vision of God. Here this man saw God in the features of Him who was God and who had become the Son of Man. 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 »

Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco blasts Met. Jonah for persecuting the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

VatopaidiFriend: Rev. Fathers, dear brothers in Christ, The main aim of the contributors of the vatopaidi.wordpress.com is to work for the worldwide unity of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, namely Orthodoxy. Any texts concerning the Orthodox spiritual life, any news about Orthodoxy or other relevant information is welcomed. Our aim is to publish and/or republish Orthodox information from all Patriarchates and all jurisdictions that are in communion with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Within this context, we avoid to interfere with church politics. In some cases the latter has more to do with human errors than with divine illumination. Human errors are to be corrected with spirit of love in Christ and humility. We support all Orthodox Patriarchates (Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Moscow, e.t.c.) and all Orthodox jurisdictions. However, we always keep in mind that as the Ecumenical conventions have decided, the primary (among equals) patriarchate is the one in Constantinople. For this reasons we decided to republish the letter of His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco.

 

mount-sermon2Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you,
and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward
in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:11-12).


Dearly Beloved in the Lord,
Christos Anesti!

The Church of Constantinople, tracing her apostolic roots back to St. Andrew the First Called of the Apostles, continues to preserve the integrity and sanctity of our Christian Orthodox Church. The apostolicity of the Throne of Constantinople is further acknowledged by the historical fact that the Apostle and Evangelist John preached in Asia Minor.

For over 2000 years, faithful Orthodox Christians have kept the Church in Constantinople alive. This is especially true of the last 556 years, since the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans. Each day the faithful of the Ecumenical Throne, both clergy and laity, live their lives witnessing to our precious Faith in a Muslim world. Their world is one of sacrifice and persecution that comes from outside the Church. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

repentance

Dearly Beloved in the Lord:

Christ is in our midst!

Our Church has gone through a tragic and bitter episode in her history. Many souls suffered shipwreck, demoralized by the sins of a few. That is over. But the lingering bitterness and mistrust, resentment and desire for retribution, hang over us. We must heal this, both on an individual as well as corporate level. The only way to do this is repentance, using this season of repentance to make changes in our lives, cleanse our hearts and minds, and embrace the hope that can only be grasped by forgiveness. Unless we forgive others from our hearts, we cannot accept God’s forgiveness for our own sins. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »