The Nativity of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary

The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary: The Most Holy Virgin Mary was born at a time when people had reached such a degree of moral decay that it seemed altogether impossible to restore them. People often said that God must come into the world to restore faith and not permit the ruin of mankind.

The Son of God chose to take on human nature for the salvation of mankind, and chose as His Mother the All-Pure Virgin Mary, who alone was worthy to give birth to the Source of purity and holiness.

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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 »

Why study the signs of the times? (Fr. Seraphim Rose) Part 1

In the following talk, Fr. Seraphim speaks to us from almost twenty years ago, and yet his words are quite relevant to our times as we approach the end of the second millennium. Although some of the individual examples he gives are now dated, there are now even more extreme examples of the same phenomena of which he speaks. As always, he humbles his understanding before the holy Scriptures and their interpretation by the Orthodox Holy Fathers, and thus his teaching about the times remains timeless, free of the intellectual fashions and prejudices of this world. As time goes on, the Orthodox world-view from which he received his wisdom will become ever more  necessary for the spiritual survival of true Christians. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Miracles by the Holy Belt of Most Holy Theotokos (Virgin Mary) [Volume 7]

9. The deadly plague is stopped
22 August 1827. Father Savvas writes: “At Enos, the deadly plague has stopped on the 15th of June with the grace of the Holy Belt”. From Enos, the Holy Belt was transported to Didimotichon. In another letter, dated 12th September, the same priest writes: “Here, the deadly plague has stopped as it did at Enos, with the grace of the Holy Belt”.
10. We have been freed from the onslaught of lucusts. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Miracles by the Holy Belt of Most Holy Theotokos (Virgin Mary) [Volume 6]

5. Fr Daniel Katounakiotis is cured of an inflammation of the kidneys.
In his book, “Contemporary Figures of the Holy Mountain”, Vol. 4, the late Archimandrite Cherubim describes how Father Daniel Katounakiotis had been miraculously cured of an acute inflammation of the kidneys. We quote the account: “No sooner did he reach Vatopedi than he suffered an acute inflammation of the kidneys. This “thorn in the flesh” afflicted him very seriously this time and he had to stay in bed for weeks.
The fathers at the monastery have been nursing him with a lot of affection. But even more affection was shown by the great Doctor of the Mountain, the Mother of God. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Miracles by the Holy Belt of Most Holy Theotokos (Virgin Mary) [Volume 5]


The Holy Belt has performed innumerable miracles over the years. We will only refer to some of them, here.

1.    The ship stays montionless
Once, the inhabitants of Ainos invited the Holy Belt. The monks who were accompanying it were being offered hospitality at the house of a priest, whose wife secretly cut off a small piece.     When the monks boarded the vessel, the ship stayed motionless, even though the sea was calm. When the woman saw this extraordinary event she realized her mistake and handed back the missing piece. The ship sailed off only after the piece was handed over. Since then a second casket was crafted to accommodate this piece to this day. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Miracles by the Holy Belt of Most Holy Theotokos (Virgin Mary) [Volume 4]

The history of the Holy Belt chapter

The Holy Belt of the Mother of God, divided these days in three parts, is the only relic or remains, which endures from her life on earth and is being safeguarded at the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi. According to the tradition, the belt was woven from camel hair from the Mother of God herself, and after her Repose, while she was ascending to heaven, she handed it over to Thomas the Apostle. The apolytikio of the feast for the deposition of the Holy Belt of the Mother of God says: “While you were ascending to the forthcoming glory, you have given your most venerable belt to Thomas the Apostle”.  read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Miracles by the Holy Belt of Most Holy Theotokos (Virgin Mary) [Volume 3]

The Holy Apostles became the vessels of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. Miracles are events beyond nature, which use and are being energized by material things (handkerchiefs and aprons), which are full of Grace. Our Orthodox Church celebrates the worship of the “chains” of Saint Peter in January. When he had been imprisoned by Herod in Jerusalem, his hands were chained. An angel sent by the Lord, freed him. The Christians have preserved the chains and they have been honoring and worshiping them for the benefit of their souls. The chains have received “eternal grace” and became “the cure of ailments, the consolation of those afflicted, the harbor for those distressed”. In a troparion of the Canon of the feast it is written: “Peter, drive away demonic disturbances, pacify the tempest of sin and eradicate all sicknesses, dangers and afflictions as well as the assaults by barbarians from all those who revere your chains”. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Miracles by the Holy Belt of Most Holy Theotokos (Virgin Mary) [Volume 2]


Introduction

Our Church honors the holy and sacred relics, whether they are derived from the bodies of Saints, or are items belonging to them. One such relic, the only one which has been found to this day and belongs to the Most Holy Mother of God, is her Holy Belt. It constitutes a precious treasure and the most sacred relic which the Great, Holy Monastery of Vatopedi possesses. The Grace of the Holy Spirit continues to act through the holy relics. As Saint Chrysostomos says: “Jesus Christ, honoring the struggles, the blood they have shed and the martyrdom of the saints, has safeguarded their souls in heaven. But He left on earth their body and their holy relics to assist in our salvation”. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Miracles by the Holy Belt of Most Holy Theotokos (Virgin Mary) [Volume 1]

 

Prologue

The works of God and His Saints, which cannot be rationally explained, are called miracles. God performs miracles ad infinitum. This is revealed by our Lord Jesus Christ who says: “My father is working until now” ( John 5, 17). By His uncreated energies, God provides, preserves and controls the whole universe, the whole creation. That is, God preserves the creation in the mint condition He had created it. He conserves and protects it by His divine consideration. Therefore, God’s uncreated energies are constantly and incessantly being revealed in the physical world and cause natural and physical results.Therefore, we are living a constant miracle. All of our abilities are being set in motion by God’s will. If God withdraws His energy from one of our abilities, we are going to lose it. Now I am able to see. I can see because God allows it. If God withdraws his energy I will become blind. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Elder Paisios on Spiritual Study

— Geronda, what books should be read by those who are beginning their spiritual search?

— First, they should read the New Testament to learn the meaning of Christ, to be shaken up a little; later they can read the Old Testament. Do you know how hard it is when they have read nothing and yet they come to ask for help? It is like an elementary school child going to a university professor and saying, “Help me.” What can the professor tell him? “One plus one equals two”? Others, again, are not spiritually restless; they come and say, “Father, I have no problems and I am just fine; I only dropped by to see you.” Man can never say that he has no problems, no concerns; he will have something. The struggle for the spiritual life never ends. Or some people come and tell me, “Tell us spiritual things.” It is as if they went to the grocery store and said, “Give us some groceries.” The grocer is at a loss and needs to know what they need. They need to say, “I want so much sugar, so much rice, and so on, but they only say, ‘Give us groceries.’ “It is like going to the pharmacy and saying, “Give us medicines,” without first saying what their illness is, or whether or not they went to the doctor, and what he advised them to do. Go figure! You see, whoever is seriously concerned over his spiritual condition knows, more or less, what he is lacking, and once he seeks it, he benefits.

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God versus Mammon

money

«No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.» (Matt 6:24, New King James Version) 

The New Testament contains 2,084 verses dealing with money and finance. Sixteen of Jesus’ thirty-eight parables deal with money. The reason Jesus spoke so much about money was because He was always trying to see where a person’s loyalty resided. «For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also» (Matt 6:21, New King James Version). He said a person could not serve two masters. Instead, he will love one but hate the other. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

PRAYER. PRIVATE AND IN CHURCH.

titian16 st catherine

St Catherine of Alexandria at prayer. Painting by Tiziano Vecellio (1567-8).

In order to answer to frequently asked questions about Prayer, it is necessary to clarify the meaning of Prayer and its place in our life. Prayer is communication with God. As an example, we could use “Our Father”, the Prayer given to us by the Lord, where we can see clearly that we address the Lord. Also, for our topic we have to define the place of Man in the universe. The entire Creation, Universe and Man are related to the created reality in comparison with the uncreated God. Creation, participating in divine energies becomes existence out of non-existence [1]. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

On Holy Scripture, By Elder Cleopa of Romania

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Ch. 2 from The Truth of Our Faith:: A Discourse from Holy Scripture on the Teachings of True Christianity

Inquirer: What do we mean by the term “Holy Scripture?”

Elder Cleopa: The term Holy Scripture denotes the sum of holy books that were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit within a time period of close to 1,500 years, namely, from Moses, 1,400 years before Christ, until the writer of the Apocalypse, nearly 100 years after Christ. 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 »

How to read the Bible and why

 “John the Apostle”: An icon of St. John, as he is sitting in the Cave of the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos, writing the Gospel of John. This is from codex 676, a 13th century Greek Gospels manuscript.

“John the Apostle”: An icon of St. John, as he is sitting in the Cave of the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos, writing the Gospel of John. This is from codex 676, a 13th century Greek Gospels manuscript.

by Archimandrite Justin Popovich

The Bible is in a sense a biography of God in this world. In it the Indescribable One has in a sense described Himself.

The Holy Scriptures of the New Testament are a biog­raphy of the incarnate God in this world. In them it is related how God, in order to reveal Himself to men, sent God the Logos, who took on flesh and became man–and as a man told men everything that God is, everything that God wants from this world and the people in it. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »