The Temptation of Sunday

"Diveevo. The Troitsk cathedral". By Sergei Glushkov

I talked further with this simple brother who gave me shelter and he told me about his life and his ideas. «I had quite a good position in the life of our village,» said he. «I had a workshop where I died fustian and linen and I lived comfortably enough, though not without sin. I often cheated in business. I was a false swearer, I was abusive, I used to drink and quarrel. In our village there was an old dyachok who had a very old book on the Last Judgement. He used to go from house to house and read from it, and he was paid something for doing so. He came to me too…

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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 »

A task that we as Orthodox Christians have…

The first and most important thing to remember is that we do not bring anyone into the Church – its not our job. We do not attract people to the faith, we do not convince people of the Truth, we don’t do any of that. God is the One Who attracts people, Who brings them in the door, Who convicts their hearts, Who brings them to repentance, Who convinces them of the Truth!

We do none of this.

Too often the individual person is made responsible for doing God’s task, but in attempting to do God’s work, he neglects his own!! What is our task? Our task is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit (St. Seraphim), our task is the working out of our salvation, our task is to repent and weep for our sins, our task is to enter the Kingdom of God. This more than anything else is what we must do. This is an evangelistic task – indeed the primary evangelistic task.

There are other «tasks», however, which derive from this one which are a bit more specific to «evangelism». It is God who brings people to the door of the Church and who convinces them that they should enter – however, we must keep the door to the Church open and visible!!! Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

«Satan, the Great Deceiver»

God will judge The Prince of evil on the last day - The Day of Judgment

«Satan can only deceive he cannot pluck us out of the hand of God»

Deceive – to mislead by a false appearance or statement

By Fr. Timothy Evangelinidis

When I was much younger and attending university in my home-town of Sydney (in those days a much smaller and less busy place), I was allocated a particular lecturer who prided himself on being an atheist. «Religion is something for weak people, those who cannot think or live for themselves». Arriving at his first lecture this man proudly announced that with a few premises, sub-conclusions and a watertight conclusion, he would prove beyond any doubt that God did not exist. It went something like this: Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Lord, Crown Me!

In his Epistle to Timothy, his beloved spiritual son, St. Paul admonishes him and us as well, that we watch, that we be diligent in all things, that we endure afflictions, that we do the work of an evangelist, the work of those who spread the Good News of the Gospel throughout the world, that we make full proof of our ministry. Each of us Orthodox Christians as disciples of Him Whom we call Lord and Saviour, has a ministry, a special function that we are to fulfill in our lives. If we are truly evangelists of the Lord, if in our lives we bear witness to Him, we testify to Him, if our lives are living sermons for all people to look at and admire and to know that we are His Disciples, then we deserve the name “Christian”, we maintain the citizenship that is granted us in His Kingdom when we are baptized and when we repent, and when we come to the chalice to receive His precious Body and Blood. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Palm Sunday- the Entrance of Our Lord into Jerusalem

The Saturday of Lazarus from the liturgical point of view is the pre-feast of Palm Sunday – the Entrance of Our Lord into Jerusalem. Both feasts have a common theme; triumph and victory. Saturday reveals the Enemy, which is Death. Palm Sunday announces the meaning of victory as the triumph of the Kingdom of God. Palm Sunday announces the acceptance by the world of its only King, Jesus Christ.

In the life of Jesus the solemn entrance in the Holy City was the only visible triumph. Up to that day, He consistently rejected all attempts to glorify Him. But six days before the Passover, He not only accepted to be glorified, He Himself provoked and arranged this glorification by doing what the prophet Zacharias announced: «behold, Thy King cometh unto thee… lowly and riding upon an ass.. «(Zac. 9:9). He made it clear the He wanted to be acclaimed and acknowledged as the Messiah, the King and the Redeemer of Israel.

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ON BECOMING AND REMAINING AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΥΛΟΓΩΝBy Fr. Andrew Phillips

A Talk given at the Orthodox Pilgrimage to Felixstowe in August 2001

INTRODUCTION

We sometimes hear people talking about how they came to join the Orthodox Church. Although each story is interesting and may even be extraordinary, I think that the stories of how people remained faithful Orthodox Christians despite temptations may be more helpful. As it is written in the Gospels: ‘In your patience possess ye your souls’.

Moreover, I have called this talk not, ‘On Joining the Orthodox Church’, but, ‘On Becoming and Remaining an Orthodox Christian’. For joining the Orthodox Church or becoming a member of the Orthodox Church, which is concerned with external changes, is not at all the same as ‘Becoming an Orthodox Christian’, which is all about internal changes. And remaining an Orthodox Christian is even more important, which is why I have devoted three times as much time to it here as to becoming an Orthodox Christian.

ON BECOMING ORTHODOX

CONVERSION AND INTEGRATION

Let us define our terms by talking of a number of words which are used in this context. First, there is the useless phrase ‘born Orthodox’. This does not exist. Nobody is ‘born Orthodox’, we are all born pagans. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Becoming «All things to all people in order to save them.» (Elder Porphyrios)

03_04_12

The holy elder Porphyrios.

Elder Porphyrios throughout his whole life received all those who came to him; becoming, like St. Paul, «All things to all people in order to save them.»

All kinds passed by his humble cell; both holy ascetics and sinful thieves, Orthodox Christians and people of other denominations and religions, insignificant people and famous personalities, rich and poor, illiterate and literate, lay people and clergy of all ranks. To each one he offered the love of Christ for their salvation.

This does not mean that all those who went to the Elder or who knew him, for however long, adopted his message or acquired his virtue, and thus were as worthy of our complete trust as he was. A great deal of care, vigilance and good sense is required, because as the Elder becomes well known, the temptation will come to some people to claim some type of attachment or connection with him. They will want to boast or to create the false impression that they are speaking for him. Apart from pure devotion and true love, apart from humble approach and honest learning, there is also conceit and personal gain. Naivety exists, but so does guile. Ignorance exists but so does error and deception. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Ecological destruction is ‘sacrilegious’, says Orthodox church leader

fishEcumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I, seen by many of the world’s Orthodox Christians as their spiritual leader, has called the destruction of the environment a «sacrilegious and sinful» act.

«The ecological crisis, and particularly the reality of climate change, constitutes the greatest threat for every form of life in our world,» Bartholomeos said in a statement issued to mark World Environment Day on 5 June.

«With the opening of this third millennium, environmental issues already evident since the 20th century acquired a new intensity, coming to the forefront of daily attention,» said Bartholomeos, who is sometimes called the Green Patriarch because of his public support for the environmental cause. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Sacrament (Mystery) of Unction

Jesus Healing a Blind Man. Batik. Dr. P. Solomon Raj, India.

Jesus Healing a Blind Man. Batik. Dr. P. Solomon Raj, India.

 

Healing

The Orthodox Church has always viewed body and soul as inseparable thus stressing the necessity for preserving both in good health, following Jesus Christ’s exhortation to his disciples to «heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons» (Matthew 10:10). This follows Christ’s ministry to «heal the brokenhearted, and to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind» (Luke 4:18; see Is 61:1), and to heal «all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease (Matt. 4:23). 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 »