Κατηγορία

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Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer (Frederica Mathewes-Green)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer: Experiencing the Presence of God and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of an Ancient Spirituality by Norris J. Chumley, Harper One, 2011, 224 PP, $26.99 What’s so mysterious about the Jesus Prayer? It’s one of the shortest and simplest prayers you can find: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.” It’s one of the most ancient prayers, too; think of how often in the Gospels people ask Jesus for mercy. A prayer for mercy would likely have been one of the variations when the Desert Mothers and Fathers (AD 2nd-5th c), who sought to pray constantly, were trying out different short, repeated verses of Scripture to discipline the wandering mind. (St. Augustine reports that they ...

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‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?’ (Rafael Ch. Misiaoulis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Christ has risen! He has risen indeed! The sixth Sunday after Easter and we hear in church the Gospel reading concerning the Lord’s healing of the man who had been blind since birth. The healing of the blind man was a stinging rebuke to the Pharisees, who were not minded to receive the words of Christ. The fact of being healed was the starting point for the man’s salvation, which, at the end of the reading, is expressed as a confession of his faith. According to the Gospel narrative in John, as Jesus was going through Jerusalem, He encountered a man who’d been born blind. Out of sympathy for His creation, He made clay by spitting on some soil, spread it on ...

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Saint Helen, my most favorite Champion (Maria C. Khoury, Ed. D.)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Holy Sepulchre I was just visiting Shepherds’ Field the other day that is the precise location where the angels appeared to the shepherds to share the Good News, that Jesus Christ was born, over two thousand years ago.  And once again, although I am so terrible at my Arabic,  Greek and English but I should surely know the Greek since it’s my mother tongue but I am forgetting stuff as I mentioned in the first blog, beyond fifty years of age is becoming an issue for me. I saw this lovely sign in gold that gave credit to Queen Helena for the beautiful church at this very holy spot at the outskirts of Bethlehem, the exact city location is called ...

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The Theology of Gender – 21. The institution of marriage in modern society (Sofia Matzarioti-Kostara)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The whole series can be read here: The Theology of Gender Today’s situation in society, and the increased number of divorces reflect the spiritual failure of this world. According to Elder Aimilianos, former abbot of Simonopetra monastery, “A worldly marriage, as it is understood today, can only have one characteristic – the murder of a person’s spiritual life. Thus we must feel that, if we fail in our marriage, we have more or less failed in our spiritual life… Success or failure, progress or ruin, in our spiritual life, begins with our marriage.” The phenomenon of the breakdown of the institution of marriage is escalating in modern times. According to studies, divorce is somehow inherited by the children. Instead of being trained to become ...

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Confession: the sacrament of repentance and reconciliation (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Few would argue against the statement that the Sacrament of Confession is on the decline in the Greek Orthodox Church. While it is not my intention here to explain the reasons for it, one could speculate that this decline is due to the morally and spiritually lax standards of our modern society to which we have become accustomed. Perhaps sins which in the past would have given rise to a sense of regret and a desire to be forgiven now seem to us to be normal. This decline may also be due to the individualistic attitude of modern society which has influenced Christians also, and which extends even into the area of religion. What I mean by this is that ...

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The Creation of the World: The Crossroads between Theology and Science (Petros Panayiotopoulos)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The matter of the beginning of the world is one which traditionally has belonged to those great issues which have engaged our minds. How was the world created? What existed before that which we see? What was it that brought it all into existence? This is what inquiring minds wonder in any culture and at any time. These are questions which are baffling, so much so that we may prefer to avoid them altogether, not to trouble our minds with them, since they seem to have little relevance to reality, in which case neglecting them is not particularly difficult. But how far is this really true? For a start, everybody with any intelligence at all is concerned with the deeper issues ...

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But how do they die? (Elder Iakovos Tsalikis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

We know neither the day nor the hour. This is why, because we’re here temporarily as people, let us take care of our soul, which is immortal. People die, but how do they die? We die, but let’s be close to Christ. Let us fight with prayer, with love. My children, today the times are difficult, and the days evil. Therefore let us fight. Unless we struggle, how will we be saved?

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Creating a Christian Environment in the Home (Abbot Tryphon)

Κατηγορίες: In English

  Creating a Christian home begins with the icon corner. The bright corner becomes the center for every domestic church, where the family devotions take place. This is also the family's way of declaring to visitors that this is a Christian home, where Christ is head. Because the husband is a sort of domestic priest (the priesthood of all believers), it is important that he be the one who leads the entire family in prayer. Each member of the family should have their own patron saint's icon. A wonderful practice from ancient times is to have a family icon written so that all their patron saints are represented in the same icon. The family should try as best they can to have dinner ...

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They’re ringing the alarm bell (Metropolitan Athanasios of Lemessos)

Κατηγορίες: In English

You have to understand other people, where they’re coming from, how they act, how they think, what powers they have. In marriage, especially, you have to sit and listen to the other person, and come out of yourself. When someone talks to you and rings the alarm bell in their own way, you should not only listen, but interpret the messages which are hidden behind the words of the other person.

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Water Crisis (Abbot Tryphon)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Our world is facing a water crisis that will likely see water replace oil as the basis for many wars throughout the world. The recent extreme drought in the State of Texas, with many ranchers being forced to sell off their cattle and fires raging out of control, demonstrates the fragility of our planet. The amount of water required to produce food for the animals we eat is five hundred times more than the amount that would be consumed should we turn to eating only vegetarian diets. The increased use of groundwater has been compared to withdrawing money from a bank account without ever paying anything into it. Using up irreplaceable groundwater without depending on rainwater and surface water causes aquifers ...

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The Theology of Gender – 20. The feminist movement (Sofia Matzarioti-Kostara)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The whole series can be read here: The Theology of Gender The spreading of the feminist movement deeply influenced all aspects of social life, and also the theology of many of the churches that came out of the Reformation. Feministic theology collectively questioned the way the Bible addresses the issue of gender and raised questions about whether to call God Father or Mother, and the gender of Jesus. The foundation for this occurrence is the rejection by those Christians of the Church’s teaching and tradition, due to the theory that these are products of the patriarchal societies of the Judaic and Christian era. Although these extreme theological inclinations were never adopted by Orthodox theology, some Orthodox women feel as if they ...

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Easter on the Holy Mountain (K. Leontiev)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The asceticism in most of the Greek monasteries on the Holy Mountain throughout Lent, which is unimaginable if you’re unprepared for it, even if you’re a believer, reaches the point where, at times, it’s too terrifying to comprehend. Even on ordinary days, the divine services are, from a worldly point of view, excessively long and unnecessarily frequent, but in Lent they fill almost the whole day and the night, while the restrictions on food reach the absolute limit. During the first week, for example, and during Great Week, only the singers are given a slice of bread once or twice a day- I don’t remember which- so that they’ll have the strength to chant. ‘Vegetables and more vegetables’ in the refectories of ...

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Cultivating Inexpressible Joy (Fr. Josiah Trenham)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Loneliness God is joy.  Secular life is sorrow.  For forty years, as though the presence of God were a toxin in our culture, schools and public square, many of America’s leaders have been zealously working to detoxify our land.  Not surprisingly, the more secularized we have become the more sorrowful we have become. Now here is an amazing disconnect.  Why is it that Americahas never been so Christian and yet so joyless?  A greater percentage of our population identifies itself as Christian than at any time in our nation’s history, yet we are by all observable phenomena radically depressed.  How are we to explain such an anomaly?  The normal state of internal affairs for Christians is expressed by St. Peter, “Jesus ...

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Metropolitan Sotirios Visits the Hellenic Home for the Aged

Κατηγορίες: In English

Sts. Cyril and Methodios, Enlighteners of the Slavs – Patron Saints of the Hellenic Home for the Aged in Toronto The Hellenic Home for the Aged in Toronto has two locations, one in west Toronto and the other in east end of the city. The parish in east Toronto, located inside the nursing home, is dedicated to Sts. Cyril and Methodios, Enlighteners of the Slavs. On May 10th, the eve of the feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodios, a Hierarchical Great Vespers was held there. Great Vespers was presided by His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios, assisted by Fr. G. Nikiforakis (Parish Priest), Fr. C. Socosan (Parish Priest of the Holy Unmercenaries Church at the other Hellenic Home location), along with other clergymen. Since the ...

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