Κατηγορία

In English

Cut off your will (Joseph the Hesychast)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Every power of the enemy and the devil is destroyed by patience. Cut off your will and don’t seek any other path to salvation. You should know that those who don’t subject themselves to one (their Elder or Confessor), subject themselves to many, and in the end are subject to no-one. Every time you cut off your will, you’re counted as a martyr before God. >Blessed Joseph the Hesychast

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Miracles of Saint Theosevios (3) (Saint Neofytos Recluse)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The blind monk There was a blind monk in Cyprus who, when he heard that the saint had the grace of healing those with impaired vision, came to him and begged him for a cure. He promised: ‘If you have mercy on me, saint of God, and give me my sight, I’ll stay here and serve your holy church till the end of my days’. Having promised this and entreated the saint with a heart full of pain, he was cure by a visitation of the saint and saw very clearly. He remained with the saint for a certain length of time, but, because of demonic action, he fell into the sin of sloth. He forgot his promises, left the place ...

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From pride to repentance (Saint Maximos the Confessor)

Κατηγορίες: In English

People who are proud of the gifts they’ve received and boast as if they hadn’t received them from God (I Cor. 4, 7) rightly call down upon themselves the wrath of God, Who allows the devil to wage mental warfare against them, to disturb them in the manner of practicing the virtues and to muddy their transparent knowledge in contemplation. In this way, they’ll learn about their sickness and recognize the only force within us that fights against the passions. And when they’ve repented and been humbled and have cast off their boastful conceit, God will have mercy on them and they will avoid the wrath which descends upon the unrepentant and which takes away the Grace which guards the soul and ...

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The Church of Christ is Catholic (Elder Ephraim of Arizona)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The Church of Christ is Catholic in the sense that it contains the full complement of truth and Grace for the enlightenment and redemption of the world. It is also Catholic in the sense that its potential strength is not to conquer, but to hallow the world. The head of the Church is Christ and we are members, linked by common faith in an ‘association of love’. The history of the Church is one of struggle for the sanctification of the faithful. » Elder Ephraim of Arizona

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Being aware of our natural poverty (Saint Maximos the Confessor)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Those who believe that they’ve achieved the limit of virtue will no longer seek the ultimate Cause Who provides all good things, because they have restricted the force of their desire to themselves alone and they lose the necessary requirement for their salvation. I mean God. But those who are aware of their natural poverty don’t stop running in haste to Him Who can make up for our shortcomings. Those who have understood that virtue is boundless never cease to run towards it, first so as not to miss the beginning and the end of virtue, that is God, by restricting the movement of their desire to themselves, and secondly in case, without realizing it, they believe that they’ve reached perfection and ...

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The Denarius of the Joy of the Resurrection (2) (Dr. Ilias Liamis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

An interpretational approach to the doxastiko at Lauds on the 4th Sunday of Lent ‘Come, let us work in the mystical vineyard, producing the fruits of repentance therein. Let us not labour only for food and drink, but let us also achieve the virtues through prayer and fasting. These are pleasing to the Lord of the task and He will give us the denarius through which souls are redeemed and the debt of sin is paid, for He alone is full of mercy’. If we read the parable carefully (Matth. 20, 1-16), we’ll see that the greater danger is for the workers who began their labours earlier. He warns them that, often, ‘the first shall be last’ (v. 16), precisely because they ...

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Sermon on the Apostolic reading for the 4th Sunday of Great Lent (Hebrews 6:13-20) (Metropolitan of Pisidia Sotirios)

Κατηγορίες: In English

In today’s reading from the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews, we are urged to be firm in our belief that God’s promises will not be broken. People often promise things and then fail to do them. Sometimes, a person simply forgets to do it. Another reason may be that a serious problem or issue has arisen, rendering the fulfillment of the promise impossible. Finally, a person may have vowed to do something that they later realize goes against their own interests, with the result being that they do everything possible to break the promise. With God, it is very different. He is not hindered by human weaknesses. God never forgets or fails to do anything He says, because He is Almighty. ...

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The Ascetic Life (4th Sunday of Great Lent) (Bishop Agathangelos of Fanari)

Κατηγορίες: In English

For the secular people of today, focusing on an ascetic saint represents a problem. How can the ascetic figure of Saint John, the author of the Ladder, speak to us, when he acquired and preserved the Grace of God through tears, prayers, and spiritual asceticism? In Orthodox teaching, the ascetic life is nothing other than the transcendence of selfishness, the attempt, in Grace, to apply God’s commandments, to live the life of Jesus Christ. The Orthodox ethos is ascetic. The objection made by people today- that an ascetic cannot speak to us- is not true for two fundamental reasons. In the first place, because in Orthodox Patristic teaching, there’s no difference between the monastic and secular way of life, nor between ...

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The Denarius of the Joy of the Resurrection (1) (Dr. Ilias Liamis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

An interpretational approach to the doxastiko at Lauds on the 4th Sunday of Lent ‘Come, let us work in the mystical vineyard, producing the fruits of repentance therein. Let us not labour only for food and drink, but let us also achieve the virtues through prayer and fasting. These are pleasing to the Lord of the task and He will give us the denarius through which souls are redeemed and the debt of sin is paid, for He alone is full of mercy’. The first word of the doxastiko at Lauds on the 4th Sunday of Lent is an exhortation: ‘Come’! Can it be that the hymnographer knows that, especially in our own day and age, our powers of endurance aren’t great and that ...

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To joy, from dejection (Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Many of our saints changed dejection into joy through their love for Christ. In other words, they took this spiritual force which the devil wished to destroy and gave it to God, transforming it into joy and exultation. Prayer and the worship of God gradually transforms dejection and turns it into joy. » Venerable Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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The Old Testament Readings in the Triodio (Georgios Zaravelas, Theologian)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Great Lent is the most holy and the most conservative time in the liturgical year. Among the ancient ritual customs during this period is the particular arrangement of the readings of extracts from books of the Old Testament. In the 7th century, such readings formed the structural basis for the first part of the Divine Liturgy, or the Liturgy of the Word as that part of the service was commonly known. Three extracts were read then, one from the Old Testament and two from the New, that is an Epistle and Gospel. From the 8th century, the Old Testament reading was moved to the Vespers service, because of monastic influence. The use of the Old Testament in modern Church worship is ...

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You can’t put out a fire with fire (Saint Arsenie Boca)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Meekness and patience have greater power than anger and stubbornness. You can’t put out a fire with fire, but with water. In the same way, anger isn’t conquered by anger, but by meekness and a great deal of patience. It’s better to put a stop to your irritation with a smile than to attack like a wild animal. » Elder Arsenie Boca (of Romania)

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The Cross and the Crucified Lord (Metropolitan of Pisidia Sotirios)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Our Orthodox faith, my beloved friends, is called ‘symbolic’, because it’s expressed in symbols. In other words, it’s expressed in simple signs, though these actually have profound significance and meaning. One of these signs, the most important and most sacred, is the Cross. We shouldn’t see the Cross merely as two bits of wood nailed together, one vertical and the other horizontal, but we should think about what happened on that configuration. As you all know very well, my Christian friends, one day, a Friday, on a hill, Golgotha, the incarnate Son of God was nailed to this shape by the lawless Jews and suffered a painful death. But this death of the Lord was redeeming. For those who believe, ...

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The harder the struggle, the greater the victory (Elder Ephraim of Arizona)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The harder the struggle, the greater the victory. In the heavenly market-place, there aren’t any cheap wares. The moments of pain and sacrifice are moments of blessing. Beside every cross there’s a resurrection. So what if we’re now in pain and are crying ceaselessly? ‘For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,’ says Paul (II Cor. 4, 17). » Elder Ephraim of Arizona

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Miracles of Saint Theosevios (2) (Saint Neofytos Recluse)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The crows One time, when the same monk was busy elsewhere, a couple of crows came and ate all his pulses and everything else he had to eat. When the monk returned and saw the damage to his foodstuffs, he began, in his simplicity, to chide the saint, saying: ‘Since I’m being attacked by crows and you’re not protecting me, which other person are you, in fact, protecting and what am I doing staying here for you?’. When he’d finished he went off to do something else, and the crows came back, as usual, to eat. But they immediately went blind and were unable to leave. When the Elder returned and saw the wretched condition of the birds, flapping about aimlessly ...

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Evil doubt (Saint John of Kronstadt)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Doubt is blasphemy against God. It’s insolence, a lie of the spirit of evil that nestles in your heart in place of the spirit of truth. Be as afraid of doubt as you would a poisonous snake, or, to put it better, don’t pay any attention to it at all. » Saint John of Kronstadt

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The Precious Cross as Herald of the Lord’s Resurrection (Hierodeacon Rafael Misiaoulis, Theologian)

Κατηγορίες: In English

What is the Precious Cross for Orthodox Christians? The Cross is the symbol of sacrifice, the ransom for the salvation of our soul, the guarantee of eternal life. However, apart from being a symbol of sacrifice, triumph and victory, it’s also a symbol of pain and anguish for each of us. Our life is interwoven with suffering and the Cross. Christ’s Cross is a sacrificial altar. On it, the Lamb of God was slain. It’s the means by which the devil was defeated, sin destroyed, and our spiritual freedom pledged. The Cross is the strength and glory of all the saints throughout the ages. The Cross is the cure of the passions, the exterminator of the demons. The Cross is deadly for ...

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