The Holy Angels

The nine orders of the angels are divided into three heirarchies, each of which is divided into three orders: the highest, the intermediate, the lower.

The first hierarch, the highest and closest to the Most Holy Trinity, consists of the SERAPHIM, CHERUBIM, and THRONES.

The God-loving six-winged SERAPHIM stand closer than all before their Creator and Mker, as the prophet Isaiah saw, saying: «And the seraphim stood around Him, each having six wings» (Isaiah 6:2). They ar fire-like since they stand before That One of Whom it is written: «For our God is a consuming fire.» (Heb 12:29); «His throne was a flame of fire» (Dan 7:9); «the appearance of the Lord was like a blazing fire» (Ex 24:17). Standing before such glory, the seraphim are fire-like, as it said: «Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire» (Ps 103:4). They are aflame with love for God and kindle others to such love, as i shown by their very name, for «seraphim» in the Hebrew language means: «flaming».

After the seraphim, before the All-knowing God, Who resides in inaccessable light, stand the many-eyeed CHERUBIM in ineffable radiance. More than the other lower orders of angels, they are always radiant with the light of th knowledge of God, with the knowledge of the mysteries of God and the depths of His Wisdom; being themselves enlightened, they enlighten others. Their name «cherubim» in translation from the Hebrew language, means: «great understanding» or «effusion of wisdom», because throught the cherubim wisdom is sent down to tohers and enlightenment of the spiritual eyes is given for the seeing of God and knowledge of God. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

… As to the temptations that have come

… As to the temptations that have come to you now and those that might come in the future, pay them no particular attention, but take heed that you bear temptation with patience and thanksgiving, praying for those who offend you and calling upon their prayers. You need not fear temptation, for the God Who allows them to befall us will also preserve us amidst them. One must have a good disposition and fervor toward temptations, for through them Christ’s Cross is shown forth upon us; through them we are protected from vices; through them we are preserved in the virtues; and only by means of them is grace given. Do not justify yourself excessively before others, for even the Lord – Truth Himself and Righteousness Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

THE SPIRIT OF TRUE CHRISTIANITY

Christ Pantokrator, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Pskov (1988).

Christ Pantokrator, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Pskov (1988).

By Archpriest Paul O’ Callaghan

In any form of religious belief, one of the most common questions is, “What does God (or the gods) require of us?” And of course, the different religions all answer that differently. In Judaism, for instance, keeping the 613 commandments of Moses is what God wants. In Islam, he requires one to pray 5 times a day, to abstain from pork and wine, to fast during Ramadan, and to make a pilgrimage to Mecca if possible. In the Sikh religion of India, men must wear a turban on their heads, read a six page prayer in the morning, and bathe in the holy pool in Amritsar as often as possible. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »