The Dormition of Theotokos (3)

Sermon (3) by St. John of Damascus

LOVERS are wont to speak of what they love, and to let their fancy run on it by day and night. Let no one therefore blame me, if I add a third tribute to the Mother of God, on her triumphant departure. I am not profiting her, but myself and you who are here present, putting before you a spiritual seasoning and refreshment in keeping with this holy night. We are suffering, as you see, from scarcity of eatables. Therefore I am extemporising a repast, which, if not very costly nor worthy of the occasion, will certainly be sufficient to still hunger. She does not need our praise. It is we who need her glory. How indeed can glory be glorified, or the source of light be enlightened? We are weaving a crown for ourselves in the doing. «I live,» the Lord says, «and I will glorify those who glorify Me.» [202] Wine is truly pleasant to drink, and bread to eat.

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The Dormition of Theotokos (2)

Sermon (2) by St. John of Damascus

THERE is no one in existence who is able to praise worthily the holy death of God’s Mother, even if he should have a thousand tongues and a thousand mouths. Not if all the most eloquent tongues could be united would their praises be sufficient. She is greater than all praise. Since, however, God is pleased with the efforts of a loving zeal, and the Mother of God with what concerns the service of her Son, suffer me now to revert again to her praises. This is in obedience to your orders, most excellent pastors, so dear to God, and we call upon the Word made flesh of her to come to our assistance. He gives speech to every mouth which is opened for Him. He is her sole pleasure and adornment. We know that in celebrating her praises we pay off our debt, [172] and that in so doing we are again debtors, so that the debt is ever beginning afresh.

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WHAT’S IN THE STARS? A CLOSE LOOK AT ASTROLOGY

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(…For at it they who worshipped the stars, were taught by a star to adore Thee, the Sun of righteousness, and to know Thee the Orient from on high…») (The Christmas Troparion)

Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South

The average person today likes to think of himself as a product of the scientific age. He often flatters himself with the thought that he is superior to his ancestors, not standing in awe of the natural world, having no fear of the unknown, and being free from superstition. He is reluctant to believe anything that cannot be proven logically or scientifically and rejects what he often refers to as “myth” in religion: man’s creation from nothing, his fall, the promise and the coming of the Savior, salvation and life in the world to come. Twentieth-century man has been described as man “come of age”, too sophisticated and knowledgeable to accept these things as literally true, and he takes this description of himself very seriously. He doubts that the Supreme Being, whoever He may be, could have any interest in or plan for man and the rest of creation. For the advocates of twentieth-centuryism, man is entirely on his own and has to work out his own destiny and the meaning of his existence. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

PRAYER. PRIVATE AND IN CHURCH.

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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 »