Κατηγορία

In English

There’s a dichotomy (Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The Grace which comes from repentance snatches up the soul and wings it towards God, Whose light attracts it. At the beginning, He isn’t so apparent, but His warmth, which is love, starts to soften the heart. Then, strangely, a dichotomy appears in people. On the one hand, they’re overcome with fear, or rather horror, at their dreadful sinfulness; and on the other, they’re overwhelmed by the grace of God’s hitherto unknown presence. The fear side of the dichotomy is superfluous, because, with the presence of Grace, the eyes of the mind are opened and it sees for itself its defilement.

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A downward slope (Saint Maximos the Confessor)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Unawareness of lack of the virtues is a downward slide into impiety. Because those who are accustomed to the pleasures of the flesh and disobedience to God will end up denying Him when the opportunity arises and will prefer the life of the flesh to Him. They’ll believe that the pleasures are more important than God.

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The Most Holy Spirit (Metropolitan Ioïl (Frangkakos) of Edessa, Pella, and Almopia.)

Κατηγορίες: In English

‘And He said this about the Spirit’ On the last day of the Feast of the Tabernacles, Christ revealed that He Himself is the source of life. Because people were about to leave to go back home, Christ’s words were ‘provisions’ for their salvation. The Lord said that those who are thirsty should come to Him and rivers of living water will flow from their bellies (Jn. 7, 38). The word ‘belly’ here means ‘heart’. Clearly the water is the Grace of the Holy Spirit. The Lord is the ever-flowing source of the grace of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes to settle in our heart, His gifts and abilities constantly well up. As He said to the Samaritan ...

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Very gently (Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Say the prayer internally, with the mind, not with the lips, so that there’s no distraction, with your mind going all over the place. We should place Christ gently in our mind, saying ‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me’, very gently. Nothing else. Nothing. Don’t think of anything except the words: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me’. Turn to Christ calmly, with attention and devotion, with open eyes, so that you’re in no danger from fantasies and illusions. Say the prayer gently, not all the time, but whenever you’re disposed to do so and when you feel compunction, which is a gift of divine grace. Without grace, you’re hypnotizing yourself and you may descend into lights and delusions ...

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The Lives of the Saints and Us (Fr. Andreas Agathokleous)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The lives of the saints are the ‘Gospel in action’, according to the modern Serbian saint, Justin Popović. Through them, we see their struggles and strivings, their longing and their love, their blessings and grace. We realize that the Word of God is attainable, though applying it seems difficult. However, if one person has managed to do something difficult, this means that others can do so, too. It’s nevertheless the case that, when we read about the ascesis they performed, we’re tempted to wonder whether it is all true. Because, for us today, with the comforts and the relaxed attitudes which characterize us, we think that such ascesis is excessive, if not impossible. How did they manage it? I think that, if ...

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Encomium on All Saints – Part II (Saint John Chrysostom)

Κατηγορίες: In English

But let’s not merely listen to what’s been said, that is that there were hot coals below the wounded bodies, but let’s think how we feel when we suddenly come down with a fever. We think that life’s unbearable, we’re upset, we fret, we gripe like little children, as if the heat of the fever’s as bad as that of hell. The martyrs, though, didn’t have a fever and even though they were surrounded by flames and the sparks were flying over their wounds and eating into their lacerations more viciously than any wild animal, they were adamantine and seemed as if they were watching this happening to other people’s bodies. With the bravery and boldness that became them, they ...

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Not just with words (Saint John Chrysostom)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Nothing’s difficult when we want to do it and nothing’s easy when we don’t. We should show our faith in Christ not only in words, but also in deeds, so that we don’t bring shame on our dogma through evil deeds. Everything we do should contribute to our praise for God.

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The Church, Christ, the Holy Spirit and Us

Κατηγορίες: In English

1. The period before Easter, which the Church calls Great Lent, culminating in Great Week, is a time of struggle against sin and the contrary spirit. It’s an education in dying to whatever estranges us from ourselves, our neighbours, the whole of creation and, in the end, God. And if this happens, that is if we strive as the Church instructs us, then we find our heart, which, by itself, has the sense of God. From this sense also flows our feelings towards our neighbour, ourselves and the rest of creation. This learning process is painful. It’s being buried with Christ and is carried out for the gift of the greater resurrection which Christ has promised and given us. 2. On ...

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Victory is ours (Elder Tadej Vitovničk)

Κατηγορίες: In English

We live this life forever enslaved to material things, but the angels don’t. This life was given to us so that we might learn about the life eternal, learn how we can become free, how we can progress freely, with a clear conscience and pure thoughts. When we’re free, there’s no spiritual warfare- victory is ours, because we’ve abandoned ourselves to God. It’s He Who orders our lives and we accept whatever happens to us as if He were giving us His hand.

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We have to leave (Elder Efraim Vatopaidinos)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Christ was transfigured on Mount Tabor. According to the holy Fathers, He thus made it clear to us that if we want to experience the mysteries of divine Grace, we have to abandon the cares of the world. Our mind must separate itself from the things of this world, leave them behind and concentrate on the things above. The Lord shows us that we can become by Grace what He is by nature.

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Gather your strength (Elder Ephraim of Arizona)

Κατηγορίες: In English

In this world, son, people are divided into good and bad, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, polite and rude, clever and stupid. But they all have one thing in common: pain. When you’re in pain, son, gather all your spiritual powers and try to understand the purpose of the pain, because through it God’s opening the heavens to you. Do you think that He Who numbers the hairs on your head doesn’t know the measure of your pain? He does. So rest assured in our heavenly Father. Don’t be disheartened. Together with Christ, you’ll get through everything, because you’ll become His heir, in the infinite riches of our common Father. Amen.

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He did something more (Metropolitan Athanasios of Lemessos)

Κατηγορίες: In English

If you want somebody to understand you, you have to become like them. This is what God did: He became human, spoke like us, interacted with us on all human levels- except sin- and so was able to communicate with us fully. So Christ came to save us and didn’t merely meet us as we are, but did something more: He gave Himself that we might live. In other words, He gave up everything He had and sacrificed Himself.

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The Fall of Constantinople, Queen of Cities (Evagelos Sotiropoulos, political scientist, freelance columnist)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Today (May 29), the Orthodox Church remembers the Fall of Constantinople, the Queen of Cities, in 1453. Named after Saint Constantine the Great, Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine Empire (330-1453). Although Byzantium’s vast power spanned 11 centuries, its story is often held hidden. In his 2006 book, “Sailing from Byzantium: How a Lost Empire Shaped the World,” Colin Wells describes it as: The successor of Greece and Rome, this magnificent empire bridged the ancient and modern worlds for more than a thousand years. Without Byzantium, the works of Homer and Herodotus, Plato and Aristotle, Sophocles and Aeschylus, would never have survived. Yet very few of us have any idea of the enormous debt we owe them. More than just the cultural, ...

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The New Martyr Nannos (Ioannis) the Thessalonian (+1802) (Thanasis Hatzimitakos)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The new martyr Nannos/Ioannis belongs to the Macedonian new martyrs. He was martyred in Smyrna in 1802 when he was only 17 years old. He was born in Thessaloniki of Macedonian parents. His father came from the village of Avret-Issar, nowadays old Yinaikokastro in the prefecture of Kilkis, a mere 30 kilometres to the north of Thessaloniki and his mother in the village of Lokovi, today’s Taxiarhis, in Halkidiki. They became acquainted in Thessaloniki, where they both lived, created a family and had two boys, the elder, Theodoros, and the younger, Ioannis, whose pet name was Nannos in order to distinguish him from his father, who was also Ioannis.   The family was Greek and Orthodox, God-fearing and believing in Christ, values ...

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An Ottoman Volunteer Defends Besieged Constantinople (1453) (Nikos Nikoloudis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

At the fall of Constantinople, in 1453, it was not only Greeks pitched against Turks, as  is, perhaps, widely believed, but there was also a good number of foreigners involved. Some of these were forced to fight on the side of the Ottomans, such as an attachment of Serbs sent by the despot of medieval Serbia, Đurađ Branković, who was a subject of the Ottomans. Others again, such as Orban, the Hungarian (or Rumanian) canon maker, joined the Ottomans on the expectation of making a profit (Orban was richly rewarded for the construction of the massive bombard which the Turks used during the siege and which was trained, for the most part, on the gate of Saint Romanos). Most of ...

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St. John Chrysostom – Homily on Pentecost (2) (Saint John Chrysostom)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Previous post This is the same Holy Spirit Who preached by the prophets, Who gave understanding to the Apostles, Who spoke to people. He was given to them by the Lord, and all their adversaries were unable to gainsay or resist Him. As the Lord said: ‘It is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father Who speaks in you’. This Holy Spirit also or¬dains priests, consecrates churches, purifies altars, perfects sacrifices and cleanses people of their sins. This Holy Spirit abides with the godly, refines the righteous and guides kings. This same Holy Spirit preserved the soul of Simeon, lengthening the time of his life and re¬versing the rules of death, until the day when he beheld Him ...

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St. John Chrysostom Homily on Pentecost (1) (Saint John Chrysostom)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Let us extol the grace of the Holy Spirit in spiritual hymns, since grace has, on this day, manifested itself to us from heaven. Even though our words are inadequate to express the magnitude of this grace, we shall praise its power and activity insofar as we’re able. For the Holy Spirit delves into all things, even the profundities of divinity. We’ re celebrating the day of Pentecost, the day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit onto the Apostles, the day of the hope of perfection, the end of expectation, the longing for salvation, the fulfilment of prayer and the image of patience. Today the Spirit Who acted to scatter the nations in the time of Heber has formed tongues ...

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The path to Paradise (Elder Epifanios Theodoropoulos)

Κατηγορίες: In English

I want to go to Paradise, even if I’m the last one in, after the world person ever. As long as God puts me in, He can have put Nero and Hitler in before me and I’ll even shine their shoes. It’s no business of mine who God puts into Paradise. It’s His and He can do what He wants. I’ve got no say in it. I want to be saved, and the rest is up to the Lord.

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The great enemy of truth (Saint Maximos the Confessor)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The great opponent of truth, the thing that draws people today into perdition, is delusion. Because of this, the souls of the feckless are filled with dark ignorance which estranges them from God. They don’t recognize Christ as God, even though He regenerated and enlightened us. Either that or they recognize Him only in words, but not in deeds. They believe that God appeared only in olden times, but not to us. They think that the evidence of Scripture concerning God doesn’t apply to them but to others, or they blaspheme against what is taught about God, since they reject true, conscious devotion.

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