The Jesus Prayer – Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

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HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

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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”

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Creation – Fr. Antonios Alevizopoulos, Greece

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HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

Creation – Fr. Antonios Alevizopoulos, Greece

Orthodox Christians believe that God is “the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invis­ible”. The world is not eternal; only God is eternal. He created the entire world out of nothing: “for he spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood forth” (Ps. 33,9).

Man cannot determine the manner in which the world came into being; for it is not an object of scien­tific examination, for it transcends man’s “rational” ability (his logic). Man is part of created reality, he cannot become an “observer” of the manner in which he himself was created!

The world is not of the same nature with God; “by nature” it is entirely different. The world is not a creation from the essence of God, “light from light” but the fruit of God’s volition and freedom; there is an insurmountable chasm separating God’s essence from the essence of the created world.

God need not have created the world. The world, however, was pre-eternally in God’s “thought”. Thus the creation of the world does not mean a change in God’s life. The world came into being according to God’s plan and at a time which pre-eternally existed in God’s will.

Before making visible creation, God created the spiritual world, i.e. the angels: “When the stars were created, all my angels with a loud voice praised me”, says God to Job (Job 38,7). Neither angels nor men existed pre-eternally. Angels are spiritual persons. They were created in time and are limited by space; the swiftness, however, of the angelic nature allows them to act everywhere; only God is not limited by space.

Also, the angels, like men, were created mutable, but through God’s grace and their own disposition, they became firm and unshakable in virtue and remain faithful in their original mission: to glorify God and to minister unto man’s salvation (Isaiah, 6,3; Luke 2,14; Hebr. 1,14).

Man was from the beginning created as body and soul; man’s soul did not pre-exist. Holy Scripture states: “And God created man, taking earth from the ground and breathed into his face the spirit of life, and man became a living being” (Gen. 2,7).

Underlining the distinction between the Creator and the creatures, the Orthodox Christian does not make an idol of nature or of himself. He does not hope that in “identifying” with nature, he will broaden his existence; he does not seek out certain apocryphal transcendental powers within nature, believing that by “activating” them he will solve the problems he faces. His hope has reference to God the Creator, for He has created us from the beginning “according to His image” with a purpose to achieve the “according to the Image” (Gen. 1,26); he does not refer to the created world or to his own self. The meaning of life is to be found in achieving the “according to the likeness”, our Archetype, which is outside our own essence and not “within us”.

All that exists was created by God “very good”; “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1,31). The Orthodox Christian therefore evaluates all of material creation positively.

All things are the fruit of God’s love, all things are sanctified in the Orthodox Church: not only man’s soul, but his body as well, and all of material creation: all things contain within them the “seed” of perfection and are foreordained to life, free from corruption and death.

Source:

egolpion.com/root.en.aspx

ANTI HERETICAL MANUAL

Advice about Confession – Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

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SAINT PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS, GREECE

Advice about Confession

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

Source:

http://stjohntheforerunnerblog.blogspot.com

http://stjohntheforerunnerblog.blogspot.com/2015/10/advice-about-confession-st-paisios.html

ST. JOHN THE FORERUNNER

We all know the importance of Confession, but yet so few take advantage of it. Here Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994) shows us why it is so important.

A young man went to see the Elder. I arrived the moment he was ringing the bell, and waited behind him. After a while, Father Paisios opened the door and came to the fence.

-What’s up, young man, what do you want? asked the Elder.

-Father, I would like to see you and get your advice on something.

-Have you gone to confession? Do you have a spiritual father?

-No, Father, I don’t have a spiritual father and I haven’t gone to confession.

-Well, then you better go to confession and then come to see me.

-Why can’t I see you, Father?

-I will explain to you, so you can understand. Your mind is confused and troubled by the sins you have fallen into; as a result, you cannot realize the Continue reading “Advice about Confession – Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)”

Orthodox Christianity: About Yoga

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Orthodox Christianity: About Yoga

Deep Roots In Fresh Soil – Orthodox Christianity Comes To Erie, Colorado, USA

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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

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2011/02/deep-roots-in-fresh-soil/

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”

On two types of love – Saint Maria Skobtsova of Paris (+1945)

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FRANCE OF MY HEART

On two types of love

Saint Maria Skobtsova of Paris (+1945)

March 31

In this world there are two kinds of love: one that takes and one that gives. This is common to all types of love — not only love for man. One can love a friend, one’s family, children, scholarship, art, the motherland, one’s own ideas, oneself — and even God — from either of these two points of view. Even those forms of love which by common consent are the highest can exhibit this dual character.

Take, for example, maternal love. A mother can often forget herself, sacrifice herself for her children. Yet this does not as yet warrant recognition as Christian love for her children. One needs to ask the question: what is it that she loves in them? She may love her own reflection, her second youth, an Continue reading “On two types of love – Saint Maria Skobtsova of Paris (+1945)”

Saint John Chrysostom: Paschal Homily

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

Saint John Chrysostom: Paschal Homily

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let him enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.

If anyone is a wise servant, let him, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.

If anyone has wearied himself in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.

If anyone has labored from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward.

If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let him keep the feast.

If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; for he shall suffer no loss. If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near without hesitation. If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let him not fear on account of his delay. For the Master is gracious and receives the last, even as the first; he gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has labored from the first. He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and to the other he is gracious. He both honors the work and praises the intention.

Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward. O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy! O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day! You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today! The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you! The calf is fatted; let no one go forth hungry!

Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness.

Let no one lament his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one mourn his transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the Saviour’s death has set us free.

He that was taken by death has annihilated it! He descended into hades and took hades captive! He embittered it when it tasted his flesh! And anticipating this Isaiah exclaimed, “Hades was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions.” It was embittered, for it was abolished! It was embittered, for it was mocked! It was embittered, for it was purged! It was embittered, for it was despoiled! It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!

It took a body and, face to face, met God! It took earth and encountered heaven! It took what it saw but crumbled before what it had not seen!

“O death, where is thy sting? O hades, where is thy victory?”

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!

Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!

Christ is risen, and life reigns!

Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!

For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the First-fruits of them that slept.

To him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.