Faith is strength, not comfort – Hellen Keller, USA (blind & deaf)

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

Hellen Keller, USA (blind and deaf):

“Faith is strength, not comfort”.

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“Tell your mother to not have surgery, she’s all better!” – Saint Porphyrios of Athens, Greece (+1991)

http://textsorthodoxy.wordpress.com

TEXTS – ORTHODOXY

“Tell your mother to not have surgery, she’s all better!”

Saint Porphyrios of Athens, Greece (+1991)

Nun Porphyria (+2015) was born and raised in Piraeus, Greece, one of five sisters. Early on she worked with shoes, but later became a taxi driver. She believes becoming a taxi driver was the will of God, which she did for ten years.

She has many stories where the taxi became for her a pulpit from where she was able to do the work of Christ and bring people closer to the Church. For example, she helped a drug addict get off the habit with her comforting and loving words, she would open up the doors of love to unbelievers, and even took in to her home a prostitute and helped her find a job (today she is married and has two children); her preaching was with words and acts of love.

Nun Porphyria became a nun after she was hit hard by a motorcycle while crossing the road. She had prayed to either be taken to heaven by Elder Porphyrios or to live and become a nun. One year later, after her recovery and putting her life in order, on the same date and time of her accident, she entered the monastery.

She has published a book about her stories from the taxi, which her spiritual father urged her to publish. Today she is a nun at Agia Skepi in Palaio Faliro, Athens, Greece. She died on 2015.

* * *

It was 2PM, and I was in the Square “Agion Anargyron” of Athens, Greece.

I was stopped at a light facing Athens. A man approached me…”Can you take me to Menidi?”

“No,” I replied, “I can’t.” I couldn’t because at 3PM I had to take the taxi towards Pireus.

The man stood in front of me, and was waiting for another taxi to pass by. Something within me said that I should help him. I made a sign for him to come over. As soon as he entered the taxi, he exclaimed: “It’s impossible!” And he took the photograph of Elder Porphyrios [that I had in the taxi] in his hands, and kissed it. At that instant, the light changed, and I turned to head towards Menidi. I wanted to take back the photograph, but when I saw how much he looked at it with longing, I regretted my thought.

“Do you know him?” He asked me.

“No, but from his books I got to know him and love him very much.”

“Do you want, my lady, to hear how I got to know him?”

“Of course” I replied with joy.

“I heard that my wife was gravely sick, with cancer. The doctors gave her three months to live. During that time, my oldest son was finishing high school. And he told us that he had arranged to go with ten of his fellow students to Mount Athos for a week. We said it was alright; the children left.

“In the meantime, my wife took a turn for the worse. The doctor that was following her told us that the end was near. We asked him in anguish: ‘Doctor, what can we do to give her a little more life?’ He replied: ‘We can do a surgery, and may God help!’ he replied. I agreed, and my wife consented, because she wanted to remain until our son returned.

“My son returned so happy, so joyous, like we had never seen him before. He told us how beautiful it was there, and how warmly the monks received them, and how much peace he sensed within his soul. He said that he sensed the presence of God so much that he had forgot that his mother was sick. She was reminded, when Elder Porphyrios appeared before him. He told us some wondrous things about Elder Porphyrios, which appeared unbelievable to us.”

“Excuse me,” I interjected, “When did this occur?”

“This occured in 1996.

“All the children were sitting below a tree, and speaking and laughing, when straightaway a monk approached them. They stood up and kissed his hand, and the Elder began to say each child’s name. As you could image, the children were surprised that he knew their names and families. To my son he said: ‘Tell your mother to not have surgery, she’s all better!’

“‘You know her?’ he asked.

“‘I know her, I know all of you!’

“‘Who are you?’ they asked.

“‘I am Elder Porphyrios’ he said, and he left.

“During their return from the Holy Mountain they stopped in Ouranoupolis at a drug store to buy aspirin, for they were seasick and nauseous. Entering the Continue reading ““Tell your mother to not have surgery, she’s all better!” – Saint Porphyrios of Athens, Greece (+1991)”

Fasting – Orthodox Catechism

Fasting

Orthodox Catechism

Source:

http://stots.edu/about_orthodoxy.html

http://sttikhonsmonastery.org/article.php?id=17

Seeing that bodily disposition is important in worship and spiritual life, in general, great emphasis is placed in the Orthodox Church on fasting; if one should add up all of the fasting seasons and days of the Church calendar, he would find that more than half of the year is devoted to this ascetic labor. The question might rightfully be asked, then, as to why this is so.

According to St. Basil the Great, Adam, the first-created man, loving God of his own free will, dwelt in the heavenly blessedness of communion with God, in the angelic state of prayer and fasting. The cause of this first man’s fall was his free will; by an act of disobedience he violated the vow of abstinence and broke the living union of love with God. That is, he held in scorn the heavenly obligations of prayer and fasting by eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Lack of abstinence, then, was the cause of the Fall and, as a result, because of this original greed, the soul becomes dimmed, and is deprived of Continue reading “Fasting – Orthodox Catechism”