St. Seraphim of Sarov: Ten Sayings

On God

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the devil – for the devil is cold – let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance.

On Hope

All who have firm hope in God are raised to Him and illumined by the radiance of the eternal light. If a man does not let excessive concern for himself turn him away from love for God and for acts of virtue, then this hope is true and wise. But if a man places all his hope in his own affairs and turns to God with prayer only when unforseen misfortunes befall him, and seeing no means in his own powers to avert them begins to rely on the help of God, his hope is vain and deceptive. True hope seeks first of all the Kingdom of God, and is confident that every earthly necessity of temporal life will doubtless be given… The heart can have no peace so long as it does not acquire such hope… It is of this hope that our Savior’s most holy words speak to us: «Come unto me, all ye that labor and are burdened, and I shall give you rest» (Matt. 11:28); that is, hope in Me and you shall be comforted in your labor and cares.

On Love for God

He who has achieved perfect love exists in this world as though he does not exist in it, for he considers himself a stranger to what is visible, and patiently awaits the invisible. He is wholly turned away from it towards love for God and forgetful of every other love. The soul, full of love or God, then leaves the body; it has no fear of the unsubstantial power of this world, but flies off with angels as though from a foreign land to a land of its own. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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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 »

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 »

Sacrament of Ordination

Apostles_capp

Christ sending forth His apostles. Byzantien fresco from Cappadocia (ca 12th century)

Sacraments (or Mysteries) are holy actions of the Church by which spiritual life is imparted to those receiving them. Ordination, which means «to set in place» or «to select by the outreached hand,» is one of several Orthodox sacraments. It is extended specifically to bishops, presbyters (priests) and deacons, and generally to all through Holy Baptism.

(1) Bishops

In His ministry… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »