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The Rich Man Who Gives

November 1, 2016 | Instagram, Uncategorized, Wisdom


Holy Virgin Martyr Anastasia the Roman

October 30, 2016 | Saints & Martyrs, Uncategorized

Vers­es

You endured behead­ing with a mighty heart, Off­spring of Rome Mar­tyr Anas­ta­sia. On the twen­ty-ninth Anas­ta­sia sub­mit­ted to a sharp sword.

The Ven­er­a­ble Mar­tyr Anas­ta­sia the Roman was born in Rome of well-born par­ents and left an orphan at the age of three. As an orphan, she was tak­en into a women’s monastery near Rome, where the abbess was one Sophia, a nun of a high lev­el of per­fec­tion. She raised Anas­ta­sia in fer­vent faith, in the fear of God and obe­di­ence. After sev­en­teen years, Anas­ta­sia was known to the Chris­tians as a great ascetic and to the pagans as a rare beauty.

The per­se­cu­tion against Chris­tians by the emper­or Decius (249–251)* began around that time. The pagan admin­is­tra­tor of the city, Probus, heard of her and sent sol­diers to bring Anas­ta­sia to him. The good Abbess Sophia coun­selled Anas­ta­sia for two hours on how to keep the faith, how to resist flat­ter­ing delu­sion and how to endure tor­ture. Anas­ta­sia said to her: “My heart is ready to suf­fer for Christ; my soul is ready to die for my beloved Jesus.” Blessed by her abbess to suf­fer for Christ, the young mar­tyr Anas­ta­sia humbly came out to meet the armed soldiers.

Brought before the gov­er­nor Probus, Anas­ta­sia open­ly pro­claimed her faith in Christ the Lord. Probus asked for her name. She replied: “My name is Anas­ta­sia [“Res­ur­rec­tion”], because the Lord res­ur­rect­ed me, so that I could shame you today, and your father the dev­il.” On see­ing her youth and beau­ty, Probus first attempt­ed flat­tery to make her deny Christ and dis­suade her from the faith, “Why waste your youth, deprived of plea­sure? What is there to gain by endur­ing tor­tures and death for the Cru­ci­fied One? Wor­ship our gods, mar­ry a hand­some hus­band, and live in glo­ry and hon­or.” The holy maid­en stead­fast­ly replied, “My spouse, my rich­es, my life and my hap­pi­ness are my Lord Jesus Christ, and you will not turn me away from Him by your deceit! I am ready to die for my Lord, not once but — oh, if it were only pos­si­ble! — a thou­sand times.”

Probus then sub­ject­ed Anas­ta­sia to fierce tor­tures. The holy Mar­tyr brave­ly endured them, glo­ri­fy­ing and prais­ing the Lord. First she was struck in the face, then they stripped her naked, to humil­i­ate her. She cried out to the judge: “This dis­rob­ing isn’t shame­ful at all for me, because it’s a bril­liant, most fit­ting adorn­ment. I’ve been stripped of the old per­son and have donned the new, in right­eous­ness and truth. I’m now ready to suf­fer this death you hope to ter­ri­fy me with. I want it so much. Even if you cut up my mem­bers, rip out my tongue, my nails and my teeth, you’ll be grant­i­ng me an even greater bless­ing. I devote my whole being to my Cre­ator and Sav­ior. I desire that He be glo­ri­fied in all my mem­bers. I’ll present them to him as jew­els, with the adorn­ment of faith.”

The gov­er­nor then ordered that four posts be dri­ven into the ground, on which they stretched out the Mar­tyr and tied her, face-down. Under­neath, they lit a fire with oil, pitch and brim­stone, as well as oth­er inflam­ma­ble mate­ri­als, by which her breasts, stom­ach and inter­nal organs were burned. From above, the heart­less tor­tur­ers beat her back with sticks. She suf­fered and was thus tor­tured for a good long time and her spine and all her back were cut to pieces from the beat­ing. On her front, the flesh, the veins and her blood were all thor­ough­ly burned and she under­went such pain and agony that it was fright­en­ing to hear her. Only with her prayers, which were like dew, was she able to mod­er­ate the fierce­ness of the heat, because she remem­bered God’s for­mer mir­a­cles, such as the Baby­lon­ian furnace.

When the bru­tal and inhu­man beast saw that the Mar­tyr was not cowed by these tor­tures, he ordered her to be tied to a wheel. No soon­er said than done, and, when the wheel was turned by some mechan­i­cal device, all the Saint’s bones were shat­tered, her ten­dons and joints stretched, her body was pulled out of its nat­ur­al, har­mo­nious shape and she became a piti­ful sight.

When the tyrant saw that the Saint was able to with­stand this dread­ful tor­ture, he deter­mined to defeat her immense resilience with oth­er tor­tures. So he had all her teeth and nails pulled out and her breasts cut off. Again, the Saint thanked the Lord that she had become a shar­er and par­tic­i­pant in His suf­fer­ings. At the same time, she cursed the tyrant’s gods, call­ing them forces of dark­ness, demons and perdi­tion for the soul.

The judge could not bear to hear such words and, because the light was so hate­ful to his fee­ble eyes, he ordered that her tongue be torn out from the root. Yet again, the Saint was not cowed by this pun­ish­ment; she mere­ly asked for a lit­tle time in which to glo­ri­fy the Lord with her organs of speech. Hav­ing fin­ished her prayer, she told the exe­cu­tion­er to set about his work, which he did, cut­ting off her tongue. She faint­ed from the pain and a Chris­t­ian called Cyril gave her a lit­tle water to drink. When Probus heard this, he was so enraged that he ordered his head to be cut off.

An Angel of God appeared to Anas­ta­sia and upheld her. The peo­ple, see­ing the inhu­man and dis­gust­ing treat­ment of the Saint, became indig­nant, and the ruler was com­pelled to end the tor­tures. She was final­ly behead­ed with the sword out­side the city. The body of the Saint was thrown out beyond the city to be eat­en by wild ani­mals, but the Lord did not per­mit her holy relics to be dis­hon­ored. At the com­mand of a holy Angel, Abbess Sophia went to find Anastasia’s muti­lat­ed body, and with the help of two Chris­tians buried it in the earth.
In this man­ner, Saint Anas­ta­sia received the crown of mar­tyr­dom. Her feast day is cel­e­brat­ed on Octo­ber 29th.** Her shin­bone with skin on it as well as her right hand are kept today at Gre­go­ri­ou Monastery in Mount Athos.
Notes:

* Some say it was dur­ing the reign of Diocletian.

** There is anoth­er Roman mar­tyr named Anas­ta­sia who is cel­e­brat­ed on Octo­ber 12th, but it is like­ly the same per­son. How­ev­er, this Anas­ta­sia should not be con­fused with Saint Anas­ta­sia the Phar­makoly­tria cel­e­brat­ed on Decem­ber 22nd.

Apoly­tikion in the Fourth Tone

O holy Vir­gin Anas­ta­sia, thou didst red­den thy robe of puri­ty with the blood of thy martyr’s con­test. Thou dost illu­mine the world with the grace of heal­ing, and inter­cede with Christ our God for our souls.

Kon­takion in the Third Tone
Puri­fied by the streams of thy vir­gin­i­ty, and crowned by the blood of mar­tyr­dom, thou dost grant heal­ing to those in sick­ness, and sal­va­tion to those who lov­ing­ly pray to thee. For Christ has giv­en thee strength which flows to us as a stream of grace, O Vir­gin Mar­tyr Anastasia.

Source:
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2016/10/holy-virgin-martyr-anastasia-roman.html


Nature of Angels

October 21, 2016 | Instagram, Uncategorized, Wisdom

“The nature of angels is in some ways quite dif­fer­ent from the nature of man, and in oth­er ways sim­i­lar to it. On the one hand, the dif­fer­ences are these: The angels are bod­i­less and, as such, invis­i­ble to our phys­i­cal eyes. Hav­ing no body, they con­se­quent­ly have no bod­i­ly needs or desires and pas­sions, no cares about food, drink, clothes or shel­ter. Nor do they pos­sess the impulse and crav­ings for pro­cre­ation. They nei­ther mar­ry nor are giv­en in mar­riage (Matt. 22:30). They have no wor­ries about the future either, and no fear of death. For, though God cre­at­ed them before man, they are nei­ther aged nor aging, but unchang­ing­ly youth­ful, beau­ti­ful and strong. They have no anx­i­ety about their sal­va­tion and no strug­gle for immoral­i­ty, being already immor­tal. Unlike men, they are not fal­ter­ing between good and evil, being already good and holy as when God cre­at­ed them. On the oth­er hand, the angels are sim­i­lar to men in that they are per­son­al­i­ties, every­one being indi­vid­u­al­ly con­scious of him­self. Like men, they have intel­li­gence, emo­tions, free will and act­ing capac­i­ty. And with­al they bear per­son­al names like men. Some of their names we know either from Scrip­ture or Church Tra­di­tion. They are: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salathiel, Barachiel, Jere­miel, Jegudiel.” — St. Nicholai Velimirovic #The­O­rtho­doxWay #Ortho­dox­Chris­t­ian #East­er­nOrtho­dox #Chris­t­ian #TheChurch #Christ #Lord #Mer­cy #Love #Light #Faith #Prayer #Philo­ti­mo #The­Cross #World #Sal­va­tion #Angels

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Correct your own sins

October 18, 2016 | Instagram, Uncategorized, Wisdom

“Do not be irri­tat­ed either with those who sin or those who offend; do not have a pas­sion for notic­ing every sin in your neigh­bour, and for judg­ing him, as we are in the habit of doing. Every­one shall give an answer to God for him­self. Every­one has a con­science; every­one hears Gods Word, and knows Gods Will either from books or from con­ver­sa­tion with oth­er peo­ple. Espe­cial­ly do not look with evil inten­tion upon the sins of your elders which do not regard you; “to his own mas­ter he standeth or fal­l­eth.” Cor­rect your own sins, amend your own life.” — St. John of Kro­n­stadt #The­O­rtho­doxWay #Ortho­dox­Chris­t­ian #East­er­nOrtho­dox #Chris­t­ian #TheChurch #Christ #Lord #Mer­cy #Love #Light #Faith #Prayer #Philo­ti­mo #The­Cross #World #Sal­va­tion

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Do not hate the sinner

October 18, 2016 | Instagram, Uncategorized, Wisdom

Do not hate the sin­ner; for we are all laden with guilt. If for the sake of God you are moved to oppose him, weep over him. Why do you hate him? Hate his sins and pray for him, that you may imi­tate Christ Who was not wroth with sin­ners, but inter­ced­ed for them. Do you not see how He wept over Jerusalem? We are mocked by the dev­il in many instances, so why should we hate the man who is mocked by him who mocks us also? Why, O man, do you hate the sin­ner? Could it be because he is not so right­eous as you? But where is your right­eous­ness when you have no love? Why do you not shed tears over him? But you per­se­cute him. In igno­rance some, who are con­sid­ered to be dis­cern­ing men, are moved to anger against the deeds of sin­ners. — St. Isaac the Syr­i­an #ortho­dox #ortho­doxy #ortho­dox­church #chris­t­ian #wis­do­mofthe­fa­thers #sti­saac­thesyr­i­an

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Enduring Affliction

October 18, 2016 | Instagram, Uncategorized, Wisdom

“We should not think it strange that Chris­tians endure afflic­tion and var­i­ous forms of sor­row, patient­ly await­ing through many tri­als and temp­ta­tions what­ev­er their Mas­ter gives. For they have heard Him say: ‘Tru­ly I tell you, that you who are near Me shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice. Yet after a lit­tle while I will vis­it you through the Par­a­clete (Holy Spir­it) and dri­ve away your despon­den­cy; I will renew you with thoughts of heav­en­ly life and peace with sweet tears, of which you were deprived for a short time when you were being test­ed. I will give you the breast of My grace, as a moth­er feeds her baby when it cries. When your strength fails in bat­tle I will for­ti­fy you with pow­er from on high, and I will sweet­en you in your bit­ter­ness. I will look upon you, and your hearts will rejoice at My secret vis­i­ta­tion; your afflic­tion will be turned to joy, and no one shall take that joy from you’ (cf. Jn. 16:20–22).” — St. John of Karpathos (The Philokalia Vol. 1; Faber and Faber pg. 323)

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Temptations Heal Passions

October 13, 2016 | Instagram, Uncategorized, Wisdom

​https://www.instagram.com/p/BLflbJ-jq4E/


Receive Holy Communion Frequently

October 10, 2016 | Uncategorized, Wisdom

And so, my brethren, if we do as our Holy Fathers direct and receive [Holy Com­mu­nion] fre­quent­ly, we have not only the coop­er­a­tion and help of divine grace dur­ing this tem­po­ral life, we also have the assis­tance of the angels of God and of Him who is the Lord of the angels.This Blood of the Lord is sal­va­tion for our souls; with it the soul rejoic­es, with it, it is beau­ti­fied, it is warmed; this Blood makes the mind shine more bright­ly than the light; it makes the soul more beau­ti­ful than gold. Those who par­take of this Body stand with the angels and archangels and the pow­ers above; with it they are adorned with roy­al robes and the weapons of the Spir­it. Those who receive Com­mu­nion receive the very King Him­self. — St. Gre­go­ry the The­olo­gian #ortho­dox #ortho­doxy #ortho­dox­church #chris­t­ian #wis­do­mofthe­fa­thers #stgre­go­ry­thethe­olo­gian #eucharist #com­mu­nion #gods­grace

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Facing the Winds of Change in Our Society

October 7, 2016 | Uncategorized, Wisdom

ARCHPRIEST PANAYIOTIS PAPAGEORGIOU, PH.D.

​Change seems to be a good thing some times; we may change schools, neigh­bor­hoods, towns, or even states; we may change cars, doc­tors, even polit­i­cal par­ties. Change can be a wel­come renew­al at times. When it comes to issues of Faith, moral issues and fam­i­ly val­ues, how­ev­er, change may not be the best course of action for us.

Let me use an exam­ple from every­day life: Redec­o­rat­ing our house, paint­ing it a new col­or, mov­ing the fur­ni­ture around, get­ting a new couch, fix­ing the yard and redo­ing the land­scap­ing are all wel­come changes that refresh and renew our liv­ing space and may re-invig­o­rate our lives in var­i­ous ways. No one in their right mind, how­ev­er, will dig into the foun­da­tion of the house or med­dle with the struc­tur­al beams of the build­ing just for the sake of change. There are some things you do not touch, for the struc­ture will come down crum­bling on your head.

Sim­i­lar­ly, the Chris­t­ian Faith and the spiritual/moral aspects of our life are the foun­da­tion and struc­tur­al sup­ports of our soci­ety and human­i­ty itself. It has tak­en the very hum­bling of God Him­self and his pres­ence on earth for these things to be ful­ly revealed to us. In addi­tion, two thou­sand years of appli­ca­tion and test­ing of these prin­ci­ples in the lives of Ortho­dox Chris­tians, has shown their great val­ue for us both on the per­son­al as well as the soci­etal level.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, in our days, cer­tain peo­ple, them­selves removed from God and immersed in their own pas­sions, con­fused about the essen­tial things of life, have been med­dling with prin­ci­ples that we Ortho­dox have held pre­cious over the cen­turies: The doc­trines of the Faith (the divin­i­ty of Christ and the res­ur­rec­tion) have been under severe scruti­ny and out­right mock­ery for decades by the so called “intel­lec­tu­als” of our time; mar­riage has been under attack, both as a prin­ci­ple and also as an insti­tu­tion, lead­ing to a tremen­dous increase in bro­ken fam­i­lies with dire spir­i­tu­al, moral and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­se­quences for mil­lions of peo­ple (both spous­es and chil­dren); unbri­dled sex­u­al­i­ty and the idol­a­try of the flesh have been parad­ed even in our own liv­ing-rooms in the guise of enter­tain­ment and a norm of life, lead­ing mil­lions to sex­u­al addic­tions, while vir­gin­i­ty and the puri­ty of body and soul have been mocked and ridiculed as back­ward and up-nor­mal; the fam­i­ly, as a core insti­tu­tion of our soci­ety, is being pushed to the brink of destruc­tion by new norms, new types of rela­tion­ships and new ideas which are offer­ing a false sense of per­son­al free­dom with dire con­se­quences for all of us.

The ques­tion aris­es big­ger than life: What can we do as Ortho­dox Christians?

The answer: Resist the winds of change!!! The Ortho­dox Church has sur­vived the deca­dence of the Roman soci­ety and con­quered it, estab­lish­ing a Chris­t­ian Empire and an Ortho­dox Chris­t­ian cul­ture that last­ed over a thou­sand years, because it refused to go along with the norms of their time. It, then, sur­vived four­teen cen­turies of sub­ju­ga­tion to the mus­lims and decades of abuse by the com­mu­nists because it held fast to the Chris­t­ian prin­ci­ples of life and the Faith in Christ’s divine pow­er and the hope of the res­ur­rec­tion through Him.

This is our call today as Amer­i­can Ortho­dox Chris­tians: We need to hold fast to the prin­ci­ples of Faith and life as hand­ed down through the cen­turies to us and resist the winds of change!!!

Source:
http://www.holytransfiguration.info/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/Syndiakonia-October-2014-Final.pdf


The Holiness of the Theotokos

October 4, 2016 | Instagram, Uncategorized, Wisdom

“If the nine orders of angels desired to descend from the heav­ens, and become demons; If all men would become evil; If all cre­ations, heav­en, lights, priests, ani­mals desired to apos­ta­size from God; All these evils of cre­ation weighed against the ful­ness of the Holi­ness of the Theotokos could not sad­den God. For only the Lady Theotokos was able to please Him in all things. She alone stands between God and men, who made God the son of men, and men sons of God. With­out her inter­ces­sions no one, nei­ther angels, nor men could entreat God, for she alone is found on the bor­der between the uncre­at­ed and nat­ur­al cre­ation. She alone is God imme­di­ate­ly after God and has sec­ond place to the Holy Trin­i­ty, as being tru­ly the moth­er of God in essence. And she alone is not only the pro­tec­tor of the trea­sury of all the rich­es of the God­head, but she is the dis­trib­u­tor to all angels and men, all those gifts from God to the super­nat­ur­al cre­ation, illu­mi­na­tion and divine and spir­i­tu­al gifts. And there is no one who can­not call upon her with faith and not be heard with com­pas­sion. This Son of God and beloved son of the Vir­gin gave us His moth­er (and thus our moth­er) as such an advo­cate, to help us towards our sal­va­tion.” -St. Nikodemos of the Holy Moun­tain #The­O­rtho­doxWay #Ortho­dox­Chris­t­ian #East­er­nOrtho­dox #Chris­t­ian #TheChurch #Christ #Lord #Mer­cy #Love #Light #Faith #Prayer #Philo­ti­mo #The­Cross #World #Sal­va­tion #Theotokos #Pana­gia

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