Greetings to the International Conference on Saint Gregory Palamas Thessaloniki 7-12 March 2012 from the Abbot of the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopaidi, Archimandrite Ephraim

The Supreme Ecclesiastic Academy of Thessaloniki in collaboration with the Patriarchic Foundation of Pateric Studies, the English Cambridge Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies, the Metropolis of Thessaloniki together with other Metropolis and other sectors organize an International Scientific Convention from the 7th until the 15th of March 2012, on the subject: « Saint Gregory Palamas “ The Theological and Philosophical meaning of his work” »

The reverend archimandrite Ephraim, Elder and the Abbot of the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi has sent his greetings that were addressed to the commencement of the Convention and we are addressing you subsequently.

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A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

by St. Gregory Palamas

Both love and duty today fashion my homily for your charity. It is not only that I wish, because of my love for you, and because I am obliged by the sacred canons, to bring to your God-loving ears a saving word and thus to nourish your souls, but if there be any among those things that bind by obligation and love and can be narrated with praise for the Church, it is the great deed of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. The desire is double, not single, since it induces me, entreats and persuades me, whereas the inexorable duty constrains me, though speech cannot attain to what surpasses it, just as the eye is unable to look fixedly upon the sun. One cannot utter things which surpass speech, yet it is within our power by the love for mankind of those hymned, to compose a song of praise and all at once both to leave untouched intangible things, to satisfy the debt with words and to offer up the first fruits of our love for the Mother of God in hymns composed according to our abilities.

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A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

by St. Gregory Palamas

Both love and duty today fashion my homily for your charity. It is not only that I wish, because of my love for you, and because I am obliged by the sacred canons, to bring to your God-loving ears a saving word and thus to nourish your souls, but if there be any among those things that bind by obligation and love and can be narrated with praise for the Church, it is the great deed of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. The desire is double, not single, since it induces me, entreats and persuades me, whereas the inexorable duty constrains me, though speech cannot attain to what surpasses it, just as the eye is unable to look fixedly upon the sun. One cannot utter things which surpass speech, yet it is within our power by the love for mankind of those hymned, to compose a song of praise and all at once both to leave untouched intangible things, to satisfy the debt with words and to offer up the first fruits of our love for the Mother of God in hymns composed according to our abilities.

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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 »

ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN MONASTICISM

vatopaidi monk

With the development of monasticism in the Church there appeared a peculiar way of life, which however did not proclaim a new morality. The Church does not have one set of moral rules for the laity and another for monks, nor does it divide the faithful into classes according to their obligations towards God. The Christian life is the same for everyone. All Christians have in common that «their being and name is from Christ»[1]. This means that the true Christian must ground his life and conduct in Christ, something which is hard to achieve in the world.

What is difficult in the world is approached with dedication in the monastic life. In his spiritual life the monk simply tries to do what every Christian should try to do: to live according to God’s commandments. The fundamental principles of monasticism are not different from those of the lives of all the faithful. This is especially apparent in the history of the early Church, before monasticism appeared. 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 »