Κατηγορία

In English

1panaspra

Our Lady in White (Monk Kosmas Simonopetritis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

In the dependency of the Holy Monastery of Simonos Petras, in Propouli on the island of Limnos, there’s a very beautiful and rare icon of Our Lady of the Harvest (1707). It’s the patronal icon and its main feature is that the Mother of God is dressed in white, rather than the customary purple. It has also worked a number of miracles and is venerated by all the people of Limnos. On the 15th of August, there’s a festival which involves the whole of the island. One now elderly lady from Propouli, the nearest village to the dependency, relates: ‘My father was the village president. After the expropriation in 1932, the monastery sent monks by boat to collect their icons. My ...

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robi-ups

Abba Dorotheos on Self-Censure

Κατηγορίες: In English

At the end of the excerpt of Saint John Chrysostom’s homily on the Sunday of the Paralytic, we read: ‘Even now I can show you many who naturally hate having anything to do with women, and avoid conversation with them as impure. Shall we call them chaste; tell me, shall we crown them and proclaim them victors?’ This seems fairly simple. If you’re not troubled by a particular temptation or sin, it takes no great effort to avoid it. This is hardly a victory over temptation, since there was none in the first place. By the same token, if we make a virtue out of a necessity, it’s not the same as making a virtue out of temptation. Abba Dorotheos gives ...

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anastasios

Multi-Faith Europe and Orthodoxy (Part I) (Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana)

Κατηγορίες: In English

At the beginning of the 20th century many predictions were made that religion would soon die out in Europe. But at the beginning of the 21st century, in tandem with secularization and religious indifference, there has been, on a world-wide scale, a rekindling of religious interest in the Transcendent, in God. A metaphysical quest which is highly flexible. Some people try to satisfy it with religious concepts of Indian provenance (Hindu or Buddhist schools and so on). So what is often on offer to the unsuspecting public is modified products of different religious theories from a variety of sources, which propose a vague spirituality which, in the end, leads to an undefined void. But, to a greater degree, the European public has ...

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PSALM-50-copy

Psalm 50 (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The only psalm that is prescribed to be recited in its entirety at every Divine Liturgy is (in the Orthodox Old Testament)1 Psalm 50 (Psalm 51 in the Hebrew text)2. During the Cherubic Hymn, just before the Great Entrance when the gifts of bread and wine are brought to the altar as the Church prepares for the Holy Oblation, the priest censes the altar, the sanctuary and the people, and quietly recites the psalm (and is expected to know it by heart): “Have mercy on me, O God, in accordance with your great mercy…” The priest recites the psalm up until verse 17: “A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a humbled heart God will not ...

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1paidi

You won’t achieve a thing (Elder Tadej Vitovničk)

Κατηγορίες: In English

If you want to set somebody on the right path, to teach them and advise them, you first have to humble yourself and speak to them with great love.  They'll accept your advice because they'll feel that you're giving it with love. But if you insist on what you want, come what may, you won't get anywhere. That's how to make children rebellious. If a child's disobedient, the answer isn't to give them a beating.

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xrusostomos_metewra

Political Authority according to Saint John Chrysostom – 2 (Paul, Metropolitan of Aleppo)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Following Paul and the Bible in general, Chrysostom  says that a Christian can be subject to non-believing rulers. He recalls that, when Paul  gave his support to obedience to rulers, he was himself living under the regime of a persecutor. This certainly doesn’t represent the will of God, but in the eschatological scheme of things this subjugation is temporary and has as its purpose only the peaceful settlement of current problems. In the event that the ruler didn’t possess the moral fibre required, the task of the Christian was not to seek salvation by fleeing or rebelling, but rather to save the ruler himself from his own aberrance. In the well-known saying of the Apostles, “Obey God rather than other ...

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rope-ups

The prayer rope (Rod Dreher)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Rod Dreher I had a prayer rope, in fact, one that had been given to me a few years earlier in New York by an Orthodox friend. I had been grateful for the gift, but had never prayed it. I prayed the rosary. Still, I cared for the chotki, though I hadn’t seen it in a while. I jumped out of bed and went into my office, where I found it in a drawer. I remembered how my friend had shown me how to wrap it around my wrist, and I did so. Haunted by that dream, I decided that I should find the nearest Orthodox church and go to it to pray that very day. It was a Saturday, and I ...

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1aggeloi

What governs us (Saint Symeon the New Theologian)

Κατηγορίες: In English

A soul which is governed by God should exhibit the following features: straightforwardness, meekness, truth, humility, goodness, righteousness and great devotion. It should also have tolerance, charity, sympathy, unfeigned love, composure, forbearance and patience. A soul which does not have these things isn't governed by God.

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DSC_3325

“We Orthodox can’t get away with fooling around…” (Elder Vasilios Gontikakis, former Abbot of the Monastery of Iviron)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Now we can tell you something both comforting and hard. Our position is both privileged and dangerous. It’s been defined by those who gave birth to us and we can’t just do as we please. We Orthodox can’t get away with fooling around, no matter what justification we find for ourselves. Much less can we be brazen. If those who went before us had lived and died in a happy-go-lucky manner, doing whatever they felt like, then we would be entitled to do the same. But they lived differently. Had they not built the Church of Holy Wisdom as they did, to embrace every person and the whole world. Had they not made the Holy Mountain as they did, to save everyone ...

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nik2

Interpretation of “Lord Have Mercy” (Part II)

Κατηγορίες: In English

 To understand this better, just think that in this world, people who are without means and live in poverty and who want to take alms from somebody rich, go to them and say “Have mercy upon me” . Or again, when people are in debt and want their creditor to forgive them the debt, they go ands say “Have mercy upon me”, meaning “Forgive me my lack of funds and write off what I owe you”. In the same way, people who’ve done wrong go to those they’ve wronged and said “Have mercy upon me”, that is, “Forgive me for what I’ve done to you”. photo: Nik Charisis And so sinners cry out to God “Have mercy upon me” and don’t ...

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How_do_we_keep_our_youth_in_the_Church-_UP

How do we keep our youth in the Church? (Abbot Tryphon)

Κατηγορίες: In English

We are living in an age that has witnessed changes on a massive scale as never before. The way we communicate has changed with the coming of the internet, with information available that would have required a library and advanced degrees to access in the past. Ideas and information are available that leave our youth with choices that were never available a generation ago. Moral norms have changed, with values and lifestyles that would have never been seen as acceptable in the past becoming part of mainstream. Gay marriage, the high divorce rate, children being raise by unwed parents, and profane music that sounds like it came from the underworld (which inspired it, I'm sure). Child sexual abuse is reaching shocking ...

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1islamism

Further thoughts on Islamism (James W. Lillie)

Κατηγορίες: In English

In an article in the Daily Telegraph, following the murder of French priest, Fr.  Jacques Hamel, in Rouen last week, Charles Moore wrote: ‘Islamism is a most clear and determined attack on our civilisation, so this must be recognised’. Now, Mr. Moore is a well-known conservative commentator, so his comments are, perhaps, not entirely surprising, though not necessarily any the less true. President Hollande of France, however, is no conservative, but he, too, said after the attack that France is ‘at war’ with Isis. Across the political spectrum, then, there is agreement that we are under attack from Islamist extremists (with the exception of the White House, which gave a wonderful display of strouthocamilism , the disadvantage of which is ...

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unnamed-file-1

The World’s Debt to the Old Testament (Anthimos, Metropolitan of Alexandroupolis)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Many people nowadays question the relevance of the Old Testament and the contribution it can make- if any- to society as a whole. Some attack it and disapprove of it. They are making a grave mistake. The Old Testament is God’s second gift to us after that of reason and self-determination. While other peoples were still fighting shadows in the dark, the Israelites were conversing with God. While other nations were speculating about God and attempting to locate Him in multi-faceted idols, Israel was coming to terms with Him. While other nations were sacrificing their children to appease God, Israel was singing psalms and hymns to God and was concerned about how to reduce the distance that separated them from ...

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ioxrys

Political Authority according to Saint John Chrysostom – 1 (Paul, Metropolitan of Aleppo)

Κατηγορίες: In English

According to Chrysostom, the fact of the eschatological stipulation in Christian ethics doesn’t at all mean flight or escape from the world, but, on the contrary, facing up to it and orientating yourself to its real objective, without which it loses all meaning. Apart from anything else, the state is the “authority” or “principle” which, if it’s disorientated, bolsters and reinforces the kingdom of the devil; whereas if it’s properly aligned with its true objective, brings back the kingdom of God. There’s a mismatch between Church and state when the unified eschatological aim is split.   a) “Servant of God” Chrysostom  always examines the state from the point of view of its eschatological dimensions. For him, the state is a feature of the ...

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1wow

It separates the mind (Saint Maximos the Confessor)

Κατηγορίες: In English

People who believe in the Lord fear Hell. People who fear Hell restrain their passions. People who restrain their passions are patient in times of sorrow. People who are patient in times of sorrow are given hope in God. Hope in God separates the mind from any worldly concern. Then the mind will acquire love of God.

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prayer

Interpretation of “Lord Have Mercy” (Part I)

Κατηγορίες: In English

“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me” or, more briefly, “Lord have mercy” was given to Christians at the time of the apostles and was appointed for them to say without ceasing, as, indeed, they do. But what this “Lord have mercy” means is something that very few people know today and so they say it in everyday speech, pointlessly, alas, and in vain. They don’t receive the Lord’s mercy, because they don’t know what they’re asking. This is why we should know that when the Son and Word of God had become incarnate, was made a human person, underwent such suffering and was crucified, shedding His most holy blood, He ransomed people from the hands of the devil. Since ...

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