HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY
The Jesus Prayer
by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom
Those who have read The way of a Pilgrim are familiar with the expression ‘The Jesus Prayer’. It refers to a short prayer the words of which are: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,’ constantly repeated. The Way of a Pilgrim is the story of a man who wanted to learn to pray constantly (1Thes 5:I7). As the man whose experience is being related is a pilgrim, a great many of his psychological characteristics, and the way in which he learned and applied the prayer, were conditioned by the fact that he lived in a certain way, which makes the book less universally applicable than it could be; and yet it is the best possible introduction to this prayer, which is one of the greatest treasures of the Orthodox Church.
The prayer is profoundly rooted in the spirit of the gospel, and it is not in vain that the great teachers of Orthodoxy have always insisted on the fact that the Jesus Prayer sums up the whole of the gospel. This is why the Jesus Prayer can only be used in its fullest sense if the person who uses it belongs to the gospel, is a member of the Church of Christ.
All the messages of the gospel, and more than the messages, the reality of the gospel, is contained in the name, in the Person of Jesus. If you take the first half of the prayer you will see how it expresses our faith in the Lord: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.’ At the heart we find the name of Jesus; it is the name before whom every knee shall bow (Is 45:3), and when we pronounce it we affirm the historical event of the incarnation. We Continue reading “The Jesus Prayer – Metropolitan Anthony Bloom”
CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY
USA OF MY HEART
Deep Roots In Fresh Soil
Orthodox Christianity comes to Erie, Colorado, USA
250-member St. Luke grew from tiny Lafayette church established nearly two decades ago
By John Aguilar
JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY
The building is brand-new, the land never before scraped, but the site in Erie where St. Luke Orthodox Christian Church now sits has roots going back nearly two millennia.
A vivid, larger than life-size image of the Virgin Mary, accompanied by a young Jesus, stretches her arms out above the altar. The Messiah — surrounded by painted prophets — gazes down from the dome inside the church’s temple, which is adorned with Byzantine arches and columns.
There’s no organ here — all music is chanted or sung a cappella. There are no statues — warm-hued iconography is the rule.
Standing inside St. Luke evokes a different time, a different era.
”It’s the one that was established by the Lord and the apostles,” said the Rev. David Mustian, pastor at St. Luke. ”When people look at the Orthodox Church, it feels new to them, but when they start digging, they see it has old Continue reading “Deep Roots In Fresh Soil – Orthodox Christianity Comes To Erie, Colorado, USA”
IRELAND OF MY HEART
He who does not love his brother dwells in death
Saint Patrick of Ireland (+461)
Saint Patrick of Ireland:
“It would take too long to discuss or argue every single case, or to sift through the whole of the Law for precise witness against such greed. Sufficient to say, greed is a deadly deed. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods. You shall not murder. A homicide may not stand beside Christ. Even “He who hates his brother is to be labeled murderer.” Or, “He who does not love his brother dwells in death.” therefore how much more guilty is he, who has stained his own hands in the blood of the sons of God, those very children whom only just now he has won for himself in this distant land by means of our feeble encouragement”.
—Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus (c.450?)
EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH
Are you Christian? Forget about doing Yoga!
The Church would like people to replace Yoga with Prayer
The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church reacted to the UN’s decision to designate June 21 as International Day of Yoga in 2014. The Holy Synod’s statement says that the practice of yoga has “no place in the lives of Christians” since it is a fundamental aspect of Hinduism and as such is not considered a “form of exercise” but of worship!
Though praised for its calming effect and wellness, Christians are urged to seek the same comfort in God – not hindu practises. After all, the postures of yoga were created as adulation to 330 million Hindu gods. The postures are viewed in the Hindu faith as offerings to gods that in Christianity are considered to be idols.
Furthermore, a third of yoga is concerned with emptying the mind – a contradiction to what Christianity teaches. In the Christian faith, there is free choice and transformation through renewal. Furthermore, astral travel that yoga guides people into is a practise that the church continues to frown upon.
“For this reason, yoga is totally incompatible with our Christian Orthodox faith and it has no place in the life of Christians,” the statement said, even though it added that the the Church respects religious freedom.
NETHERLANDS OF MY HEART
Waartoe zijn wij op aarde?
Wij zijn op aarde om God te kennen, Hem lief te hebben, Hem te dienen en eens voor eeuwig bij Hem te leven.
Wij zijn op aarde om God te kennen en lief te hebben, naar zijn wil het goede te doen, en ooit in de hemel te komen.
Mens zijn wil zeggen: bij God vandaan komen en naar God toe gaan. Onze oorsprong gaat verder terug dan onze ouders. Wij komen bij God vandaan, in wie alle geluk in de hemel en op aarde bestaat, en wij worden thuis verwacht in zijn eeuwige en grenzeloze heerlijkheid. Daartussenin leven wij op deze aarde. Soms ervaren wij de nabijheid van onze Schepper, maar vaak ervaren we ook helemaal niets. Opdat we de weg naar huis zouden vinden heeft God ons zijn Zoon gezonden, die ons bevrijd heeft van de zonde, ons verlost van alle kwaad en ons feilloos naar het ware leven leidt. Hij is ‘de Weg, de Waarheid en het Leven’. (Joh. 14:6).
FAITHBOOK – ORTHODOXY
The difference between Christianity and communism
Elder Joel Yannakopoulos of Kalamata, Greece (+1966)
A communist once told Fr. Joel, “Father, communism is the same as Christianity! In terms of society, there’s no difference between them. Both communism and Christianity want equality, brotherhood, and social justice.”
“However, there is one small difference,” said Fr. Joel.
“Christianity tells its followers: ‘Why do you have, and another does not? Go and give to him!’ But communism tells its followers: ‘Why does another have, and you do not? Go and take from him!’ Do you see the difference?”