Κατηγορία

In English

Pain and Sorrow in our Lives (1) (Elder Ephraim of Arizona)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The path of life is all pain and tears; all thorns and nails; crosses everywhere; anxiety and sorrow. Every step is a Gethsemane. Every slope’s a Golgotha. Every second’s a spear-thrust. ‘If we could squeeze the earth like a sponge, it would drip blood and tears’. ‘The days of man are but as grass, as the flower of the field he shall wither’, says the psalmist. The rose produces thorns and thorns the rose. What is beautiful is linked to pain, but pain produces joy. It’s normal for a rainbow to appear after a storm. Unless there’s a storm, the stars don’t all come out. Discernment- illumined by Christian faith and philosophy- sees. It has the ability, through sight, to see far beyond ...

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Our ignominy (Elder Ephraim of Arizona)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Egotism is an absurd passion  which is literally a scourge of humankind. We all suffer from this dread disease. Self-centred people are made ridiculous and a spectacle by their egotism. God calls upon us to fight this egotism and overcome it, to cast it off.

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The Church as a Therapeutic Center: The Curing of the Soul (Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos))

Κατηγορίες: In English

In the previous section, we said that the Church is a Hospital, a healing center. It heals man’s sick personality. If the darkening of the nous is the real illness, then cure consists of the illumination and livening of the nous. The subject of Orthodox psychotherapy should be viewed in this perspective. It is not concerned with psychological balance, but rather with the illumination of the nous and man’s union with God. There is a very telling Church hymn in which we ask God to resurrect the mortified nous as He resurrected Lazarus. We chant: Let us, O faithful, imitate Martha and Mary and send to Lord godly acts as ambassadors so that He comes to raise our nous, now lying dead ...

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The Bliss of Paradise (Saint Nicodemus the Hagiorite)

Κατηγορίες: In English

‘Blessed are those who know you even if they know nothing else; those who know you and everything else, however, aren’t blessed for that reason, but simply because they know you’. Oh, the bliss of Paradise! Where the blessed will be similar and equal to the angels and not ‘a little less than them’. They’ll be ‘children of God’ as the Lord said: ‘They will be equal to the angels and children of God, truly sons of the resurrection’ (Luke 20, 36). And as Saint Augustine says: ‘When we see your face without a covering, then what shall prevent us from being a little less than the angels? Or rather, we shall be similar and in all things equal to the ...

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The Church as a Therapeutic Center: Consequences of Man’s Fall (Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos))

Κατηγορίες: In English

The neptic teaching of the Church that refers to the inner world is strongly related to the social teaching. It might be supposed that the ascetic life of the Church has no contact with reality. In fact, the opposite is true. Only by making this analysis of the Fall are we able to solve the problems emerging in our life. We saw some of the consequences before. Now we will turn to the dramatic consequences of man’s departure from God that show that Orthodox theology is a most radical and modern action. The loss of the divine Grace, which constitutes the true illness of man, brought about both spiritual and bodily death. Spiritual death is man’s departure from God, and bodily ...

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Magnificent and unknown providence (Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia)

Κατηγορίες: In English

We live as though we don’t feel the magnificence of divine providence. God’s very adroit. We can’t understand His actions. Don’t think that God’s done something wrong and then corrected it: God doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t correct anything. But Who God is in His profundity, in His essence, we don’t know. We can’t probe the counsels of God.

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A Life Centred on Christ or on Ourselves?

Κατηγορίες: In English

The third Sunday of Matthew, and the Gospel reading, attempts, perhaps more than at any other time, to get us to move us to make a change, to put to right inclinations which are foreign and alien to us. In the text, the Evangelist castigates the perpetual, disordered attitude among many people- then among pagans and idolaters, now among those influenced by our Western life-style- who, rather than having Christ and the opportunity of an encounter with Him as their priority, instead have any trivial, banal thing that’s given value by our sick adherence to what’s become our culture. The Gospel way of life which was presented two thousand years ago, followed as it has been by many believers, with the ...

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Time to open the door to Him (Elder Amfilokhios Makris)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Christ comes lots of times and knocks at your door. You ask Him into the sitting-room of your soul and then get involved with other tasks and forget all about the great Visitor. He waits for you to appear and when a long time’s passed He gets up and leaves. Next time, you’re so busy, you answer Him from the window. You haven’t got time even to open the door to Him.

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The Church as a Therapeutic Center: The Illness of the Soul (Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos))

Κατηγορίες: In English

When speaking about the illness of the soul, we primarily mean the loss of Divine Grace, which has repercussions to the body also, and then the whole person is sick. There might be an absence of bodily illness, but without the Grace of God there is no health. To best comprehend the Fall of man, it is necessary to start with what the Holy Fathers say, that the soul is noetic and intelligent, that is, the soul contains both nous and reason and these move in parallel. The nous is distinguished from reason in that the nous is the eye of the soul, the focus of attention, while reason is verbal and articulate and formulates thoughts through the brain. Thus, if ...

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Non-Gender and One-Gender in the Gnostic Gospels (4) (Archimandrite Theofilos Lemontzis, D. Th.)

Κατηγορίες: In English

The distinction between the sexes isn’t the inspiration of a wicked God Who created the material body which the supporters of gender Theory are called upon to set to rights. For Orthodox theology, the distinction between the sexes isn’t the result of the fall which must be overridden so that we can be brought to an androgynous or sexless state, as the Gnostics believed, but is rather the expression of God’s providence. Saint John the Damascan notes: ‘Marriage has been instituted so that the human race shall not be eroded and consumed by death, but that it should be preserved through procreation. But it might be asked what is meant by “male and female” and “increase and multiply”. To which ...

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The Babel Syndrome (Fr. Stephen Freeman)

Κατηγορίες: In English

In the liturgical life of the Church, the event of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and they began to speak in various languages, is linked to the story of the Tower of Babel in the Old Testament. There, too, people began to speak in different languages but with an entirely different outcome. Pentecost brought the unity of the gospel, Babel brought the scattering of peoples through the diversity of languages. There are lessons within the Babel story, however, that are worth noting. I leave it to others to worry about the historical nature of the Tower of Babel. Linguistic evidence points to widespread language differentiation for most of human history. But the lesson of Babel should not ...

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Peace and power († Archimandrite Georgios Kapsanis, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Gregoriou)

Κατηγορίες: In English

In a quiet room (preferably after some spiritual reading or after lighting the lamp in front of the icons and censing), as far as possible removed from  noise and concerns, when you’re free of all thought and calculation, let your intellect go down into your heart and say the prayer ‘Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, sinner that I am’. What peace and power our souls derive from this stillness in God… How it enables us, in the other hours in the day, to retain our peace, without irritability, tension and anxiety, with all our powers in harmony and unity…

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The road to heaven (Joshua Burke)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Steam from warm mamaliga rises up and fogs my glasses as my mind slowly clears. “Why am I having corn mush for breakfast?” I ask myself. The day before slowly comes into focus, not a dream after all I guess. The pine plank of a bench provides me uncomfortable support but after the ride yesterday I’ll take anything. Gazing out the frosted window I find nearly half a metre of snow, quite a difference from what was in Bucharest when I left. “So, how ‘bout a cup of coffee?” cries out an accent I hadn’t heard in quite a while. An American accent. An American accent coming from a black bearded Orthodox Monk? No, I must still be dreaming. But, never being one ...

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The baker’s son: Saint Tychon of Cyprus (Eva Topping)

Κατηγορίες: In English

Long ago, in the days when Arcadius and Honorius ruled the Roman Empire, a saint was born on the islanld of Cyprus. His parents were pious, humble islanders whose names are not recorded. The saint’s name was Tychon. Tychon’s father was a baker in a small Cypriot village. Each day, as he measured the flour, kneaded the dough and shaped the loaves of bread, he dreamed one dream, that someday his son would become a priest. Tychon’s gentle mother cherished the same dream. How happy and proud these good, simple people would  be when their son was a priest. Tychon spent the years of his boyhood in the village of his birth. He played in the fields around the village and helped ...

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