Κατηγορία

In English

The Rich Young Man Meets with Christ (Luke 18:18-30) (Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou)

Κατηγορίες: In English

In our quiet expectation of the great feast of Christmas, ‘the metropolitan of feasts’, the Gospel readings of this period revolve around the burning question: ‘What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ Man was formed for eternity and his spirit urgently demands it. Even centuries of a blissful life cannot satisfy his thirst for things eternal, immutable and good. For God not only ‘created man for incorruption, and made him to be an image of His own eternity’, but furthermore, He ‘left naught undone until He lifted him up to heaven’ to lay open new ‘paths of life’ to the sons of men. The question of how someone may inherit eternity is the only thing that has importance in his transitory ...

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The first part of the Divine Liturgy: The Liturgy of te Catechumens (Metropolitan of Pisidia Sotirios)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Every Sunday morning in Orthodox Countries (and elsewhere in the world where the law does not forbid it), the church bells solemnly ring to invite the faithful to come together as one family of God–in the Holy House of their Father.   Everyone goes to the church for this Great Encounter, where hearts are moved by God’s mercy which is always present, even when we fall.   It is also where we forgive those who have hurt us, because if we do not forgive them, then God will not forgive us.  The priests and deacons also prepare, with a special short Service, so that their souls can worthily serve the Mystery of the Eucharist. They also ask forgiveness from everyone around them, ...

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Saint Catherine and the Smart Impious (James W. Lillie)

Κατηγορίες: In English

What are we to make of Saint Catherine? We know really very little about her. Even her name is a mystery. According to some, she was originally called Damiani (by a happy coincidence the present Archbishop of Sinai and Abbot of the Monastery of Saint Katherine is called Damianos), although Rufinus claims that she was called Dorothea. At some stage, she became known as Katherine, but what this means is anyone’s guess. It has been derived from the Greek Hecate, or from καθαρός (katharos), meaning “pure” (as well as from Armenian and Arabic). Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai, 13th Century This confusion is central to one part of our argument. Her name in Greek is Αἰκατερίνα, so it is impossible that it derives ...

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Declaration of Independence (Archimandrite Varnavas Lambropoulos)

Κατηγορίες: In English

In 1919, in the aftermath of World War I, the cream of the intellectuals of the time (among whom were Einstein, Russell, Stefan Zweig and others) signed a manifesto which they called ‘Declaration of the Independence of the Mind*’. Among other things, they wrote: ‘Most of the intellectuals placed their science, their art, their reason, at the service of the governments… They have worked to destroy mutual understanding and mutual love among men… Now, when, from the fierce conflict in which the nations have been gripped, the victors and the vanquished emerge equally stricken, impoverished, and at the bottom of their hearts (though they will not admit it) utterly ashamed of their crisis of folly. …Arise! Let us free the mind ...

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Nothing at all (Saint Nectarios of Pentapolis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Nothing is greater than a clean heart, because such a heart is the throne of God. And what is more glorious than the throne of God? Nothing at all. God says of those who have a clean heart: ‘I will dwell among them and walk with them. I shall be God to them and they a people to me’ (2 Cor. 6, 16). Saint Nektarios of Pentapolis

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Saint Amphilochius of Iconium: what was the hook for the devil? (Saint Amfilochius Bishop of Iconium)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Saint Amphilochius of Iconium, whose feast we celebrate today, is among the great theologians of the 4th century and, indeed, belongs to the group of Cappadocian Fathers. He was born in Diocaesarea in Cappadocia to wealthy parents and received an excellent education. He was related to Gregory the Theologian and was an advocate by profession. He also had a close spiritual bond with Basil the Great. As bishop of Iconium he showed a flair for pastoral and preaching activities. Of particular importance is his adherence to the Dogma of Nicaea (325) and his contribution to its further development and completion by his participation in the 2nd Ecumenical Synod in Constantinople (381). He proved to be an influential Church writer, often providing ...

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The Gift and Pain of Mystical Faith (Fr. Andreas Agathokleous)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Those who, at some period in their life, have had a routine for prayer, spiritual study and participation in the services of the Church and then somehow, because of some ‘concerns of life’, lost it feel a void. This is why, when they’re asked ‘How’s it going? What are you doing?’ They sadly reply ‘Nothing at all’. It appears that ‘spiritual people’ have different senses from ‘carnal people’, who function on the basis of ‘Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. In the case of the latter, their concept of the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ is slight or non-existent, which makes it impossible for them to understand the condition of others who aren’t like them. There has to be a ...

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More or less impossible (Saint Makarij of Optina)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Having faith doesn’t mean only that we believe in God as our Creator. It also means that we recognize his never-failing providence and his concern for our good, even in the most insignificant aspects of our lives. Of course, this is more or less impossible for our nous to understand, benighted as it is in the darkness of the passions. Saint Makarij of Optina

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You’ll certainly find some (Elder Cleopa Ilie)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Examine yourself continuously, in case you’ve sinned in thought, or your tongue has run away with you, or your deeds don’t conform to the will of God. And if this examination reveals that you have many sins- and you’ll certainly find some because you’re human- say the words of the tax-collector: ‘Lord have mercy upon me, sinner that I am’ (Luke 18, 13). Elder Cleopa Ilie

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They should stay away (Saint John Chrysostom)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Unrepentant sinners should stay away from the spotless sacraments because otherwise they’re just preparing judgment and a guilty verdict for themselves. Saint Paul says: ‘Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord… Those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves’ (1 Cor. 11, 27;29). In other words they’ll be punished as severely as those who crucified Christ, for they were also guilty of a crime against his body. Saint John Chrysostom

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