An Irish Welcome

Céad Míle Fáilte friend and rover ...
Wherever you come from and whosoever you may be.
That's an Irish greeting and it means

you are welcome
a thousand times over.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Quote: Innocent of Alaska

... A disciple of Christ must follow Him. This means that in all deeds and actions we must try to be like our Lord Jesus Christ in His virtues. We must strive to live and act as He lived and acted. For example,

Jesus Christ always thanked His Heavenly Father and constantly prayed to Him. Thus we also should constantly thank God and pray to Him in all circumstances, whether successful or difficult.

St Innocent of Alaska.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Keeping it simple: ‎"One Lord, one faith, one baptism."

Truth is simple, and without confusion or contradictions. Truth is absolute, and not subject to change. There is no such thing as relative truth (relativism): God is the Truth:
The Truth is not an abstract idea or thought. The Truth is a Person. I am the Truth,Christ announced. He did not say,"I came to tell you a few nice things about truth to help you along" He said; I am the Way & the Truth & the Life! (John 14:16)
Same Lord, yet diametrically opposed beliefs?
Same Lord, different Christological teaching?
Same Lord, different doctrine?
Same Lord, different spirit?
Same Lord, different faith?
Same Lord, different practices?
Same Lord, different mind-sets/accord?
Same Lord, different accountability?
Same Lord, different voice?
Same Lord, different ecclesiology?
Same Lord, different theology?
Same Lord, different soteriological teachings/methods of salvation, purity, enlightenment etc.?

"Is Christ divided?" (1 Cor 1:13)

No, then why do some dismember Him?

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever;" (Heb 13:8)

Why do some wish to change His teachings and way, to their teachings and ways?

"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication" (Acts 1:14) "that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;" (Phil 1:27)

God is not an author of confusion; a revealer of contradicting beliefs; a giver of deception; a skitso, lunatic, liar and ever-changing, watered down mere man with no authority, but fully Perfect-God and fully Perfect-Man, Who does not teach diametrically opposed beliefs, or create warring factions/sects and heresies...

"you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once and for all delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3)
  • 'THE FAITH' = Singular, 1;t
  • 'WAS' = it 'was' given... describing a specific event/point of time in history, a revelation in the past.
  • 'ONCE' = A 1 time event that has already taken place once.
  • 'AND FOR ALL DELIVERED' = this event/revelation has not, will not and cannot take place again.
  • 'UNTO THE SAINTS' = the lower case 's' saints, refers to those who are baptized/chrismated and members of His One, Holy Universal, Apostolic Church and unchanged faith. It is these saints (believers, Orthodox Christians), who hold unto the ancient, unchanged, original faith, which does not change as time goes by, for it is timeless and perfect.
Same Lord, separate paths/ways?

ONE WAY = "I AM The Way, The Truth and the Life" (John 14:6)

Remember... Our and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Apostles warned us, that even if an angel was to come and preach "another gospel" to reject him, and let him and his teaching be "anathema" (eternally damned).  Elsewhere we are warned of false prophets, false apostles, false brethren and false Christ's... And today's 40,000+, 'Christian' sects/ideologies, do just that, teach a false doctrine which promotes a false Christ and another 'way'.

His Holy Word also warns us strictly, against giving private interpretations and not holding fast to Sacred Tradition, and Sound/Orthodox Doctrine. Therefore, we must be very careful/vigilant and 'wise as serpent', having discernment, and seeking guidance, just as the Ethiopian Eunuch did, with Apostle Philip in the Book of Acts. 

Are We Living In The End Times?

- by Monk Moses the Athonite

In todays pursuits there is a strong demonology, antichristology and eschatology, which unfortunately is established on a false foundation. Extremism, setting dates for the end of the world, reports about the birth of the Antichrist and so on, create terror and fear in the souls of Christians, which is improper and undesirable. Some talk more about the Antichrist and less about Christ. Their permanent occupation is the interpretation of the times. Many who are wise and prudent are concerned for the great concerns of the people. Every news story which confirms their suspicions becomes their permanent concern. We do not consider this overreaction normal.
People have abandoned the war against the unnatural passions and the cultivation of the natural virtues to engage all day with fantasies, fears, superstitions and the possibility of any magic performed on them, worrying if perhaps they acquired a certain number. They have forgotten study, prayer, good works, repentance, and the sacramental life of the Church in their struggle with subjective explanations and outlandish theories. These topics distance one from the essence, from the basis, and from the joy of spiritual life and lead people in a dark demonic labyrinth.

In saying this, we do not mean to say that there is nothing going on. We are not talking in favor of unhealthy complacency, or laziness, or being mislead, or indifference. There is definitely a need for wakefulness, for standing up, for upliftment, for courage, and for resistance to what is unholy, untrue and dishonest. The freedom of the human person is very important and should always and everywhere be defended in every way. All our attention should turn to what is essential, vital and true in themselves. Unfortunately many people are afraid to embrace truth, to see their internal nakedness. This is why they want to deal with what has personal benefits.
People today are anxious that perhaps they may not be able to use their spoons and forks, because they will not have anything to eat. They gather food for the difficult days ahead. Even without a date for the end? With what joy will they eat when their brethren around them are dying of hunger? Did not Christ teach the "Our Father"? Does it not say "give us this day"? In other words, even Christians are interested only in chewing? It is important to carefully see where the militancy of our Christians goes. Do not give these ironic lurkers who do not fear God, who lately have increased, the occasion to laugh.

We are judged by our choices. We have a responsibility for our choices. There is a necessary need for study, knowledge, experience, enlightenment and advice. Let me say it again. We all need sincere repentance, a healthy change, a change of mind, a new way of life, a new culture, another destination, a different goal, a higher aim, a meaningful life. Honorableness, righteousness, and honesty can return to this wretched place.
If the much debated citizenship card deprives us of our freedoms, then of course we should not receive it, obeying the decisions of the Church. But we should not ever have to live with suspicion, fantasies, exaggerations, fanaticism, extremism and factions. Fear, terror, panic and reactionary uprising against everything is not the proper way of spiritual life.
Are we in the end times? Have the signs of the times come? Has the Antichrist set his seal? Has the end of the world come? All will be done according to God's will. The ancient Saint Silouan said: "Even if heaven and earth unite, I will not be afraid." Christ gives believers fearlessness, calmness, hope, optimism and joy. Defeatism, gloom, pessimism and disorder never belongs to Christians.

May the celebrated saints, the Three Hierarchs, illuminate for us the path of discernment.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Prayer to Theotokos (in Greek)

Δεν Σου ζητώ Παναγιά μου,
να σηκώσεις κανένα βάρος
από τους ώμους μου ...

Σου ζητώ μονάχα να με στηρίξεις
και να με κρατήσεις γερά
να μην λυγίσω,
υπό το όποιο βάρος αποφασίσει
ο Υιός Σου να εναποθέσει
στους ώμους μου ...

και να με αφήσεις να Σε κρατώ
απ΄ Τον Άγιο Χιτώνα Σου ,
για να παραμείνω κοντά Σου,
υπό την Άγια Σκέπη Σου,
σε όλη την πορεία της ζωής μου.


A little bird

A Little Bird

In alien lands devoutly clinging
To age-old rites of Russian earth,
I let a captive bird go winging
To greet the radiant spring's rebirth.

My heart grew lighter then: why mutter
Against God's providence, and rage,
When I was free to set aflutter
But one poor captive from his cage!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reading the Holy Fathers (advise)

On Reading the Holy Fathers
by St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

Conversation and association with one's neighbors very much affects a person. Conversation and acquaintance with a learned man communicates much knowledge; with a poet, many exalted thoughts and feelings; with a traveler, much information about countries, about the characters and customs of peoples. It is obvious that conversation and acquaintance with the saints communicates holiness. "With the holy man wilt thou be holy, and with the innocent man wilt thou be innocent. And with the elect man wilt thou be elect" (Psalms 17:25-26).From henceforth, during the time of this short earthly life, which Scripture has not even called "life," but rather "journeying," let us become acquainted with the saints. Do you want to belong to their society in heaven, do you want to be a partaker of their blessedness? From henceforth enter into association with them. When you go forth from the house of the body, then they will receive you to themselves as their own acquaintance, as their own friend (Luke 16:9).

There is no closer acquaintance, there is no tighter bond, than the bond of oneness of thoughts, oneness of feelings, oneness of goal (I Corinthians 1:10).

Where there is oneness of thoughts, there without fail is oneness of soul, there without fail is one goal, an identical success in the attaining of one's goal.

Appropriate to yourself the thoughts and the spirit of the Holy Fathers by reading their writings. The Holy Fathers attained the goal: salvation. And you will attain this goal by the natural course of things. As one who is of one thought and one soul with the Holy Fathers, you will be saved.

Heaven received into its blessed bosom the Holy Fathers. By this it has borne witness that the thoughts, feelings, and actions of the Holy Fathers are well-pleasing to it. The Holy Fathers set forth their thoughts, their heart, the image of their activity in their writings. This means: what a true guidance to heaven, which is borne witness to by heaven itself, are the writings of the Fathers.

The writings of the Holy Fathers are all composed by the inspiration or under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Wondrous is the agreement among them, wondrous is the anointing! One who is guided by them has without any doubt whatsoever the guidance of the Holy Spirit.All the waters of the earth flow together into the ocean, and it may be that the ocean serves as the beginning of all the waters of the earth. The writings of the fathers are all united in the Gospel; they all incline towards teaching us the exact fulfillment of the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ; of all of them both the source and the end is the holy Gospel.

The Holy Fathers teach how to approach the Gospel, how to read it, how to understand it correctly, what helps and what hinders in comprehending it. And therefore in the beginning occupy yourself with the reading of the Fathers. When they have taught you how to read the Gospel, then read the Gospel primarily.

Do not consider it sufficient for yourself to read the Gospel alone, without the reading of the Holy Fathers! This is a proud, dangerous thought. Better, let the Holy Fathers lead you to the Gospel, as their beloved child who has received his preparatory upbringing and education by means of their writings.

Many people, all who have senselessly and presumptuously rejected the Holy Fathers, who have come without any intermediary, with a blind audacity, with an impure mind and heart to the Gospel, have fallen into fatal delusion. The Gospel has rejected them; it grants access to itself only to the humble.

The reading of the Fathers' writings is the father and the king of all virtues. From the reading of the Fathers' writings we learn the true understanding of Holy Scripture, right faith, the way of life in accord with the Gospel's commandments, the deep esteem which one should have toward the Gospel commandments—to say it in a word, one learns salvation and Christian perfection.

Because of the diminishing of Spirit-bearing instructors, the reading of the Fathers' writings has become the main guide for those who wish to be saved and even attain Christian perfection. (Rule of St. Nil Sorsky)

The books of the Holy Fathers, as one of them has expressed it, are like a mirror; looking into them attentively and frequently, a soul can see all of its shortcomings.

Again, these books are like a rich collection of medicinal means; in them the soul can seek for each of its illnesses a saving remedy.

St. Ephphanius of Cyprus said, "A mere glance at holy books arouses one towards the pious life." (Alphabetic Patericon)

The reading of the Holy Fathers should be careful, attentive, and constant; our invisible enemy, who hates the voice of confirmation (Proverbs 11:15), hates especially when this voice comes forth from the Holy Fathers. This voice unmasks the wiles of our enemy, his evilness, reveals his snares, his way of working; and therefore the enemy arms himself against the reading of the Fathers by various proud and blasphemous thoughts, tries to cause the ascetic to fall into vain cares in order to distract him from this saving reading, fights with him by means of despondency, depression, forgetfulness. From this warfare against the reading of the Holy Fathers we should conclude how saving (is) the weaponry for us, by the degree to which it is hated by the enemy. The enemy makes all efforts to wrest it out of our hands.

Let each personally choose for himself the reading from the Fathers which corresponds to his way of life. Let the hermit read the Fathers who wrote about the solitary life; let the monk who lives in the cenobitic life read the Fathers who wrote instructions for cenobitic monks; let the Christian who lives in the world read the Holy Fathers who pronounced their teachings for all Christianity in general. Let everyone, in whatsoever calling he be, draw forth abundant instruction in the writings of the Fathers.

It is absolutely necessary that the reading correspond to one's way of life. Otherwise you will be filled with thoughts which, although holy, will be unfulfillable in the actual deed and will arouse you to fruitless activity in only the imagination and desire; the work of piety which does correspond to your way of life will slip out of your hands. Not only will you become a fruitless dreamer—your thoughts, being in constant opposition to your sphere of activity, will without fail give birth to turmoil in your heart, and to uncertainty in your conduct, which are burdensome and harmful for you and for your neighbors. By an incorrect reading of Holy Scripture and the Holy Fathers, one can easily deviate from the saving path into impassable thickets and deep abysses, which has happened with many. Amen.

From Living Orthodoxy (Vol. XVII, No. 2, March-April 1995)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Remember ...

The Apostolic reading for today is from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 8:7-15:

Brothers and sisters, as you excel in everything in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for us, see that you excel in this ... gracious work also.

I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. And in this matter I give my advice: it is best for you now to complete what a year ago you began not only to do but to desire, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he has not. I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their want, so that their abundance may supply your want, that there may be equality. As it is written,
"He who gathered much has nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack."