Κατηγορία

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listen

Simply listen (Metropolitan Athanasios of Lemessos)

Κατηγορίες: In English

In the end, it’s a whole art to learn to listen to other people. You might say that communication is seventy per cent listening, rather than talking, because talking isn’t always what the other person wants from you. Often enough, you don’t need to say anything, just listen, and the other person will be happy that you’re doing so.

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The Greatest Form of Knowledge (Archimandrite Theofilos Lemontzis, D. Th.)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The ability to forgive others depends on how honest we are with ourselves. ‘The greatest form of knowledge to which you can attain’, says Saint Clement the Alexandrian, ‘is to know yourself’. If you know yourself, you know nature, the limits and the possibilities of your existence and you can put yourself on a proper footing with God, your neighbour and yourself. It’s impossible to arrive at forgiveness unless we’re aware of the personal sinfulness lurking within us. It’s impossible to attain transfiguration without awareness of our personal enslavement to the passions. Recognition of our sickness isn’t a psychological weakness, but our decision to understand that: ‘all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God, being justified freely ...

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The God of the New Testament in the Old Testament (part 3) (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

Κατηγορίες: In English

  Icon of Moses and the burning bush “If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me" (John 5:46) The most famous theophany in the Old Testament is the appearance of God to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-5): “Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush ...

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The Theology of Gender – 13. St. Basil’s pastoral care for the integrity of marriage (Sofia Matzarioti-Kostara)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The whole series can be read here: The Theology of Gender Since physical abuse of women and children was not a rare phenomenon for that era, when St. Basil disqualifies “abuse” as a cause for divorce, he does not refer to women subjected to severe violence.  The Church Fathers did not ignore that reality is sometimes hard and far from ideal. The ideal situation is always stressed as the goal for all Christians. However, taking into consideration the real situation, the canons foresee cases in which a marriage is not only destroyed in its essence, but continued cohabitation might be dangerous to one of the spouses’ life. Canon 35 of St. Basil offers the possibility that the woman may leave her ...

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A word to the wise (Saint Isaac the Syrian)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Humility, in an inexplicable manner, elevates us above created things and preserves the Grace of God in our lives. So let’s bear in mind the wise warning which says: ‘The devil doesn’t eat and doesn’t drink, so in a sense that makes him the greatest ascetic. But it doesn’t make him any less the devil’. Humility is the only weapon that defeats the devil, the necessary condition for salvation, the mystical divine force which gathers everyone into it. Where there is humility, there also is the glory of God. The eye of the flower of the soul blossoms into a plant that never fades.

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They make our path difficult (Saint John of Kronstadt)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Flatterers are our greatest enemies. They blind us and don’t allow us to see our many faults. So they make it difficult for us to progress to perfection, especially if we’re selfish and don’t look ahead. This is why we shouldn’t listen to those who flatter us and should avoid them. Pity those who are surrounded by flatterers.

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Recrucifying the Risen Christ (Protopresbyter Christos Aiyidis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Once again, the divine drama has come to an end and the Lord’s Resurrection has become the start of a new life, the unending and eternal life in Paradise, the life for which we were created. The Lord ascended the Cross and spread His arms to embrace the whole of humanity, in order to give us the opportunity and prospect of entering Paradise. Our Risen Lord now calls upon His siblings, friends and companions. He promises that He will always, eternally, be with us. The Risen Lord’s usual forms of greeting are ‘Peace to you’ and ‘Rejoice’, two expressions which are very much to the point these days and very necessary. When our daily life is inundated with stress and turmoil ...

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The Holy Monastery of Chilandari (or Chelandari) (Monk Chariton of Karoulia)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The monastery was founded at the end of the 10th century. In 1198 an imperial edict of Alexios III granted it to the Serbian prince Stephan Nemanja and his son, who had both taken the habit at Vatopaedi as Simeon and Savvas. Since then it has been one of the most important spiritual centres of the Serb nation. The present katholikon, dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin, was built in 1293, frescoed in 1319-1320 and contains the tomb of the founder St Simeon. The refectory, also built in 1293, was frescoed in 1623 by Georgios Mitrophanovits, though remnants of the 14th century wall-paintings have survived. Of note among the monastery's many relics are the icons of the Trikherousa, or ...

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The Theology of Gender – 12. St. Basil’s Canon 9 on adultery (Sofia Matzarioti-Kostara)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The whole series can be read here: The Theology of Gender Canon 9 of St. Basil ascribes the practice of the Church not to allow the woman to separate from her husband if he commits adultery to the established social custom (συνήθεια). This word is also used by him in other canons in contrast to the word “ἀκρίβεια” (accuracy). Both words are used in several canons, and St. Nikodemos gives their exact meaning in his commentaries on canon 12 of the First Ecumenical Council and 102 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. According to his interpretation, «By the word custom is meant the term of years and various penalties…By accuracy, on the other hand, is meant the eventuality whereby sinners add to these ...

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Doubt (Fr. Michael Gillis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Doubting Thomas Doubt gets a bad rap in the New Testament.  James says that one who doubts is a double-minded person who is unstable in everything he or she does, and the writer of Hebrews warns, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” I’d like to suggest, however, that there are different kinds of doubt.  Or to put it more clearly, a lot of different sorts of inner experiences may be labeled as doubt or unbelief. One experience that can be called doubt is what James and the writer of Hebrews talk about.  This is a questioning in one’s mind that causes one to draw back from God, to draw ...

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Morning is a miracle (Irene Archos)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Morning is such a miracle. I take it for granted on most days. There is no guarantee that I will rise. Or that you will for that matter.  It is God’s mercy that allows my bones to creak and groan and rise, like a crumpled, crooked marionette , pulled to life and standing by those invisible strings.  My mind—forgettaboutit.  It takes 2 ½ cups of strong coffee and 45 minutes to fully come to life. Morning, like breath, is so important, yet so underappreciated.  You take it for granted until you stop breathing or you can’t rise from the bed.  So much of what we believe comes from our own energy is really borrowed energy. It is a wonder that the ...

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We want our own will to be done (Elder Tadej Vitovničk)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Everything’s changing all the time. Nothing remains static. We perfect ourselves, either in what’s good or what’s bad. We have to learn to live the life of the heavens. And that’s not easy, since today we’ve made a life of opposition and rebellion. We haven’t learned to subject ourselves to the will of God. Instead we want our own will to be done, so there’s no place in paradise for us.

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Sincerity and Honesty of Faith: On Thomas Sunday (Archpriest George Mitrofanov)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Doubting Thomas In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit! This Sunday, dear brothers and sisters, is called Antipascha or Thomas Sunday. There is something very profound in the fact that on this Sunday following Bright Week, a time when we have simply rejoiced and sought respite from our Lenten labors, the Church again sternly reminds us – I emphasize, sternly – reminds us of the need for the struggle of faith. We also remember the Holy Apostle Thomas. Unfortunately, the memory of this Holy Apostle, which has been preserved through the centuries by the Church, has not always conveyed to us the Church’s understanding of the meaning of his confession of faith in ...

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The Doubt of St. Thomas (Saint John Chrysostom)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The Doubt of St. Thomas John 20:24-25 But Thomas, (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe’. 1. Just as a casual and random belief is the result of an unduly relaxed frame of mind, so excessive curiosity and fastidiousness is the mark of a plodding brain. This is where Thomas was at fault. He didn’t believe the other Apostles when they said, ‘We have seen the Lord’; not so ...

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The Great Gain (Archimandrite Theofilos Lemontzis, D. Th.)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Forgiveness is the effort and exercise of a love that is, in the end, transformed into joy and leads to salvation, as Saint Païsios the Athonite notes: ‘There’s no greater joy than that which you feel when you’re hard done by. I wish everybody would treat me unfairly. I can honestly tell you that the sweetest spiritual joy I’ve ever felt was through being badly treated’. We often hear people say: ‘It’s not possible, I can’t forget the harm that so-and-so’s done me’. Many people think that ‘I forgive’, means that ‘I justify what’s been done to me’. Or even more, they equate forgiveness with a lack of self-respect on the part of the injured party. But forgiveness has nothing to ...

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On the Path of Faith (Thomas’ Sunday) (Metropolitan Meletios of Nikopolis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

How we react Every time we have any feast in our Church, we celebrate the mystery of our salvation. The purpose of the feast is to glorify God for His boundless mercy, His goodness and His interest in us. We see this love of His from a different point of view at every feast. But all the feasts are aimed at opening our minds and hearts so that we can understand the great mystery of veneration and of our salvation. Today the event which we’re celebrating and observing is something that makes us people really angry and annoyed. Why? Because usually we don’t feel like showing understanding (not to say care, goodness and kindness, but not even understanding) when we hear people objecting to ...

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Marriage as death and resurrection (Abbot Georgios Kapsanis of Gregoriou)

Κατηγορίες: In English

But it’s obvious that for a marriage to be manifestation and a revelation of the marriage between Christ and the Church, the couple must continually overcome the sinful person they have hidden within themselves, must crucify their egotism and passions and achieve the holy virtue of humility in all its profundity. From this point of view, marriage is participation in the death and resurrection of Christ.

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