Monday, November 30, 2009

The Holy Work Of Acquiring Love

"A dead man judges no one, and it is just the same with the man who is humble"

Our holy Father Longinus lived in the Egyptian deserts during the fourth or fifth century.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Wrath Of God Perfectly Explained

The wrath of God is the painful sensation we experience when we are being trained by Him. Through this painful experience of unsought sufferings God often abases and humbles an intellect conceited about its knowledge and virtue; for such sufferings make it conscious of itself and its own weakness.
St. Maximos the Confessor
"Third Century of Various Texts"
(The Philokalia)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Another Amazing Saint, Another Amazing Story

...But his enemies were not to be appeased. From the capital came orders to transfer Saint John to desolate Pitius (in Abkhazia). Worn out by sickness, under accompanying military escort for three months in the rain and frost, the saint made his final transferral, – at Comana his powers failed him. At the crypt of Saint Basiliskos comforted by a vision of the martyr ("Despair not, brother John! Tomorrow we shalt be together"), and having communed the Holy Mysteries, the oecumenical hierarch with the words, "Glory to God for everything!", expired to the Lord on 14 September 407...(click on the title for the rest of the story).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Mystery Of Lawlessness

Lawlessness is a mystery that leads to darkness and death and truth is a mystery that leads to enlightenment and life. Satan works through men and demons to accomplish his workings, copying God who works through men and angels to accomplish His workings. Unless we are yearning after and receiving a love for truth everyday we also will be deceived by the workings of Satan who even now is deceiving the elect with his workings. Reference 2 Thess. 2

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Monk Ioannikes the Great

...The Monk Ioannikes spent 70 years in ascetic deeds and attained to an high spiritual perfection. Through the mercy of God the saint acquired the gift of prophecy, as his student Pakhomios has related. The monastic elder during the time of prayer hovered over the ground. One time he traversed a river flooded to overflowing. The saint could make himself invisible for people and make others invisible: one time the Monk Ioannikes led out from prison Greek captives under the watch of a crowd of guards. Poison and fire, with which the envious wanted to destroy the saint, did him no harm, and predatory beasts did not touch him. It is known, that he freed the island of Thasos from a multitude of snakes. The Monk Ioannikes likewise saved a young nun, who was preparing to quit the monastery on a whim to marry; he took upon himself the agonised maiden's suffering of passion, and by fasting and prayer annihilated the seductive assault of the devil.
Foreseeing his end, Saint Ioannikes expired to the Lord on 4 November 846, at the age of 94.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Basic Christianity 101

"Don't criticize or judge other people. Regard everyone else as an angel, justify their mistakes and weaknesses, and condemn only yourself as the worst sinner. This is step one in any kind of spiritual life."

Blessed Seraphim of Platina

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Apostle James - Brother of Christ

Saint James presided over the Council of the Apostles at Jerusalem, and his word was decisive (Acts 15). In his thirty years as bishop the Apostle James converted many of the Jews to Christianity. Annoyed by this, the Pharisees and the Scribes plotted together to kill Saint James. Having led the saint up on the roof of the Jerusalem Temple, they demanded that he renounce the Saviour of the world. But the holy Apostle James instead began to bear witness, that Christ is the True Messiah. Then the Jewish teachers shoved him off downwards. The saint did not die immediately, but gathering his final strength, he prayed to the Lord for his enemies, who at this while were stoning him. The martyr's death of Saint James occurred in about the year 63.
The holy Apostle James composed a Divine Liturgy, which has formed the basis of the liturgies, composed by Saints Bail the Great and John Chrysostomos.

Comment: The Orthodox Church true to it's apostolic stature and traditions has always in all places and at all times celebrated a liturgy based on the framework that was established and initiated by the Apostle James and the church has never veered from this practice in almost two thousands years. What other Christian group can boast such a wonder as this?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Monk Ilarion the Great

"By means of smell the saint learned with which passion this or that man was afflicted."...