Thursday, October 27, 2016

In and Out ( Church Etiquette )

 Certainly parents should have ready access to the doors to take small children out if they are distracting or need a short break—for this reason the doors are to be accessible, i.e. let us avoid the temptation to congregate around the back candlestand and door, and challenge ourselves to move forward into the Nave.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Converstion with St. Paisios about his illness : cancer

–– Geronda, the final diagnosis has been made. Your tumor is cancerous and it's aggressive.
–– Bring me a handkerchief so that I may dance to the song: "I bid farewell to you, O poor world!" I have never danced in my life, but now I will dance for joy as my death approaches.
–– Geronda, the doctor said that first he wants to use radiation to shrink the tumor and then do surgery.
–– I understand! First the air force will bombard the enemy, and then the attack will begin! I'll go up then and bring you news! Some people, even the elderly, when told by the doctor, "You will die," or "You have a fifty percent chance of surviving" get very distressed. They want to live. And then what? I wonder! Now, if someone is young, well , this is justifiable, but if someone is old and is still desperately trying to hang on, well, this I just don't understand. Of course, it's quite different if someone wants to undergo therapy in order to manage pain. He's not interested in extending life; he only wants to make the pain somewhat more bearable so that he can take care of himself until he dies –– this does make sense.
–– Geronda, we are praying that God may give you an extension on your life.
–– Why? Doesn't the Psalmist say, "The days of our years are threescore years and ten?"
–– But the Psalmist adds the following, "And if by reason of strength they be foreshore years..."
–– Yes, but he adds the following, "Yet is their strength labor and sorrow," in which case it is better to have the peace of the other life.
–– Geronda, can someone, out of humility, feel spiritually unprepared for the other life and wish to live longer in order to get prepared?
–– This is a good thing, but how can he know that, even if he does live longer, he won't become spiritually worse?
–– Geronda, when can we say that a person is reconciled with death?
–– When Christ lives inside him, then death is a joy. But one must not rejoice in dying just because he has become tired of this life. When you rejoice in death, in the proper sense, death goes away to find someone who's scared! When you want to die, you don't. Whoever lives the easy life is afraid of death because he is pleased with worldly life and doesn't want to die. If people talk to him about death, he reacts with denial: "Get away from here!" However, whoever is suffering, whoever is in pain, sees death as a release and says, "What a pity, Charon has not yet come to take me... He must have been held up!"
Few are the people who welcome death. Most people have unfinished business and don't want to die. But the Good God provides for each person to die when he is fully matured. In any case, a spiritual person, whether young or old, should be happy to live and be happy to die, but should never pursue death, for this is suicide.
For a person who is dead to worldly matters and has been spiritually resurrected, there is never any agony, fear or anxiety, for he awaits death with joy because he will be with Christ and delight in His presence. But he also rejoices in being alive, again because he is united with Christ even now and experiences a portion of the joy of Paradise here on earth and wonders whether there is a higher joy in Paradise than the one he feels on earth. Such people struggle with philotimo and self-denial; and because they place death before themselves and remember it every single day, they prepare more spiritually, struggling daringly, and defeating vanity.

Reference: Elder Paisios of Mount Athos Spiritual Councils IV: Family Life, pp 274-276.

Akathist to St. Paraskevi the Great Martyr of Rome

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
As the Lord’s grace-flowing nun, and His fervent apostle and Martyr, we praise you with triumphant hymns, and we praise your memory most tunefully, sprinkling flowers and crying:

Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.

Hymns I offer to you the beauty of virgins, O chaste Paraskevi, martyr of Christ
O chaste Paraskevi, martyr of Christ, O chaste Paraskevi, martyr of Christ.
 For you struggled boldly, and you enlighten and shine with the rays of wonders on those who hymn you, and we offer you hymns with fervor:
Hail, child of pious faithful,
Hail, dear throne of God.
Hail, beautiful-voiced trumpet of love,
Hail, pure servant of the Virgin.
Hail, for from above you cover the Orthodox from blows,
Hail, you who cease the tears and groans of mortals.
Hail, for you are the protection of eyes,
Hail, for you rejoiced in the monastic path.
Hail, for you deposed the boasting of the enemy,
Hail, you who were victorious through Christ’s power.
Hail, divine adornment of Rome,
Hail, speedy healer of wounds.
Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.
Being the root from the divine prayer of your parents, Agathon and Politia watered you with the streams of piety. And you, O comely Virgin, flourished as a tree, as those who gave birth to you rejoiced in your grace, and chanted to the Lord: Alleluia.

Laughter and boldness, the streams of perdition, did not come near your soul, O Godly-minded one, but you spoke with the sacred virgins, and spent your time studying the Scriptures, becoming for us an example, for those who piously cry out:
Hail, most grace-endowed soul,
Hail, our most beloved righteous one.
Hail, nourishment of Orthodox asceticism,
Hail, heroism and worth of the calling.
Hail, divine seal of sacred missions,
Hail, boast and seal of the angelic life.
Hail, youth honored by God,
Hail, the ceasing of idol worship.
Hail, you who takes the honor from the false god,
Hail, joy of those who every cry out:
Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.
You were not at all conquered by the glories of this life, O pure Christ-bearer Paraskevi, but taking hope in the life above, you perceived the things of life as refuse joyfully, and were enriched with divine things, and cried out to God in fervor: Alleluia.

Following the words of your Incorruptible Bridegroom, the divine passing of your parents you perceived as a divine call, and you distributed your wealth to the poor, who praise your philanthropy, and cry out with all reverence:
Hail, you who were filled with the wisdom from above,
Hail, soul of godly monasticism.
Hail, nightingale singing praise of the Most-high,
Hail, you who bestow grace on monastics.
Hail, you who imparted your joy upon your brethren,
Hail, you who possess incorruptible treasuries in the Heavens.
Hail, for you showed manliness in trials,
Hail, for you dissipate the cloud of error.
Hail, greatly-victorious one on the road of the Martyrs,
Hail, lamp which shines with light of purity.
Hail, container that leads towards the Lord,
Hail, rays of the supernatural life.
Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.
Being zealous for the things of Heaven, you locked yourself in a Convent, O most noble champion Paraskevi, for you submitted your wise mind, and joyfully struggled with ascetical pains, worshiping the Lord, and crying out with bitter hymns: Alleluia.

You were raised by divine grace to the heights of love, desiring the crown of martyrdom, and having sought the blessing of your Superior, you spoke the word of the Lord and dispelled error for many people, who now hymn you:
Hail, dawn of consolation,
Hail, harp of divine knowledge.
Hail, you who shared the name of the Wise Virgins
(Matthew 25:1-13),
Hail, you who spoke with the spotless Angels.
Hail, you who embraced the angelic Schema with fervor,
Hail, protection and foundation of those who honor you with faith.
Hail, you who heard unspeakable voices,
Hail, you who were made worthy of the honor of the age to come.
Hail, all-fragrant lyre of the faithful,
Hail, salve for our eyes.
Hail, music of divine love,
Hail, breath of unsleeping worship.
Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.
You walked the God-traced path of the Apostles, as another Protomartyr Thekla, and passed through the land of the Romans, and the cities of the Greeks, as an all-precious doe, preaching Christ fervently, and crying out with longing: Alleluia.

When Antoninos learned of your way Equal-to-the-Apostles, he placed a flaming helmet upon you, but through the will of the Lord, you were preserved utterly unharmed and remained pure, while all the faithful who beheld this, cried out victoriously words such as these:
Hail, divine doe of the flock of Christ,
Hail, for your fragrance was as pure nard
(John 12:3).
Hail, teacher of blessing and mindfulness,
Hail, sweetest apostle of the Savior.
Hail, for your words were preached by pure lips,
Hail, for you imparted your experience to ascetics.
Hail, for you are the worker of peace,
Hail, for you are the protector of those endangered.
Hail, catechesis of the holy faithful,
Hail, disappearance of the false gods.
Hail, aloe of Orthodox manliness,
Hail, reproach of the evil heart.

Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.

waves and unbearable blows, you endured, O much-suffering Lady, for the tyrants sought to burn you, and to break the chain of your faith, but you stood as an unshakable divine statue of Christ, saying: Alleluia.

Shining with your wonders, the choir of those who believed through you were brought to the flock of Christ, enraging the Emperor, who became short of breath through his many tortures, and now these radiant Dwelling-places cry out these in gratitude:
Hail, pure and comely martyr of Christ,
Hail, our map and canon.
Hail, you who ridiculed the false gods,
Hail, you who shattered the faces of idols.
Hail, all-sacred nun, humble and dedicated,
Hail, all-fragrant rose, and seal of the soul.
Hail, for you endured ascetical pains,
Hail, for you also trouble the swarms of the demons.
Hail, dowry to Christ of many talents,
Hail, chosen ode of the God of all.
Hail, root of the presbyter Rome,
Hail, protector of every town and place.
Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.
Dwelling, as Paul, in prison alone, you were made worthy of the vision of an Angel, who showed you the honored symbols of the passion of Christ, in order to give you courage, O all-wise one, that we might cry unto the ages: Alleluia.

You are as a precious coin of the church, O Mother, bearing the seal of your Master, for you were tried by fire, and many tortures, O thrice-glorious one, and were not at all altered, as you hear from all these:
Hail, seal of sacred graces,
Hail, key of uncreated gifts.
Hail, for you endured the stretching of your flesh,
Hail, for you were steadfast manfully as you were being raked.
Hail, for your struggles reached the impassible peak,
Hail, Martyr who also shelters desert ascetics.
Hail, for you were placed in boiling tar,
Hail, for you were divinely kept unharmed.
Hail, savior for many in sickness,
Hail, you who grant light to the blind.
Hail, through whom goodness has come,
Hail, through whom magic has disappeared.
Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.
You were tortured mercilessly, and brutally hung, without your steadfast mind wavering at all, but you cried out to the tyrant: Christ can deliver me from any of your tortures, to Whom I chant fearlessly: Alleluia.

Antoninos' eyes were burned from oil and tar, having asked it of you, but filled with great compassion, you straightaway granted him healing, O Paraskevi, therefore, the ruler who then espoused your faith, cried out:
Hail, spring of gifts,
Hail, well of healings.
Hail, for you won the spoils of the Romans,
Hail, for you preached the Sun of love.
Hail, divinely-breathed organ that makes glad the faithful,
Hail, purest eye that looks against the enemies.
Hail, you who bless those who hymn your many blessings,
Hail, you who conquers the opposing swarms.
Hail, sacred and genuine personage,
Hail, soul arrayed in light.
Hail, faithful honor and worth,
Hail, fragrance to men from Heaven.
Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.
Before your end, they placed a heavy stone upon your chest, O Martyr Paraskevi, while Jesus appeared to you at night, surrounded by light and the radiant ranks of the Angels, and totally healed you. Thus you cried in joy: Alleluia.

With the strength of the Master, you bravely surpassed the weakness of other women. Through the divine Cross and your prayer, you tore apart a fearsome dragon, while all were astonished and cried out triumphantly:
Hail, light-bearing nun,
Hail, crown-bearing Martyr.
Hail, you who were steadfast of soul in terrible dangers,
Hail, you who were victorious in beatings and asceticism.
Hail, repository of grace, and dwelling of love,
Hail, meekness of spirit, and giver of peace.
Hail, for you are the trainer of monastics,
Hail, for you are the intercessor to the Trinity.
Hail, chain of chaste virgins,
Hail, deliverer from sinister spirits.
Hail, you through whom the dragon was torn apart,
Hail, you through whom the governor was astounded.
Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.
You were worthily granted from Heaven an incorruptible crown, O lady, and the grace of wonders, which were founded upon your virtues, and your many struggles and terrible tortures, from which you blossomed forth and were glorified, as your fellow struggles cried out: Alleluia.

Your all-sacred Skull, O godly-minded one, rests in the Monastery of the Bodiless Powers Petraki, to which we take refuge, Paraskevi, as we all entreat that we find mercy, and healing of vision, as we cry out with fear:
Hail, healing of the eyes,
Hail, divine stream of wonders.
Hail, foundress of the churches that bear your name,
Hail, plantress of rose-beds of monastics.
Hail, seven-towered castle of those who hope in God,
Hail, dew of Hermon that burns up dangers.
Hail, for your prayer leads towards harmony,
Hail, for your hand heals those in pain.
Hail, help for those fervent in faith,
Hail, providence that you give to the poor.
Hail, vessel of the blessings of God,
Hail, flower of joyous fragrance.
Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.
Water of incorruption is your Holy Water, O Mother, which heals ever sickness. Therefore, we who praise you, hasten to your protection, O Paraskevi, entreating for purification of soul, for those who ceaselessly cry to you: Alleluia.

We are delivered from the bitter assaults of the demons, O Mother, through the hyssop of your intercessions, and from the visages of false gods, which you threw down to the earth through your unshakable hand, utterly shaming them. In joy we hymn you saying:
Hail, moon of those living in nepsis,
Hail trauma of the demons.
Hail, astonishment of Orthodox asceticism,
Hail, guide of catechesis of the faithful.
Hail, for you were offered as a sacred seal,
Hail, for you were hung from a peg by your hair.
Hail, you who were nailed, for the love of the Lord,
Hail, you who bore the weight from the evil doers.
Hail, apostle among ascetics,
Hail, all-wondrous one among apostles.
Hail, for your members bore indignities,
Hail, firewood that accepted burnings.
Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.
Rejoicing with good cheer, you entered the Bridal Chamber above, O sacred martyr, and fell at the feet of Christ, which you embraced fervently, O all-precious Paraskevi. He placed a crown upon your head, and you cried out: Alleluia.

Nourish me, O Martyr, from your Heavenly Mansions, with the manna of your divine love, that I may cry out with my whole heart the sweet and sacred name of Jesus, and proclaiming your grace, O pure one, I cry out in compunction:
Hail, outer wall of the faithful,
Hail, shield of those who bear your name.
Hail, you who saves the inhabitants of Krokou
Hail, you who drove back the Germans.
Hail, chosen woman of the vale of Tempe,
Hail, Martyr who makes the desires of the Bridal chamber disappear.
Hail, for you work a multitude of wonders in Rodolivo,
Hail, for you deliver from the chaos of the faithless through your intercessions.
Hail, surrounding wall of Meteora,
Hail, terror to the demons.
Hail, you who were enriched with the boldness of Christ,
Hail, you who are the protection of those who hymn you.

Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.
O divine nun, great prize of pious virgins to the Most-high (3) receive this as wild flowers, which we have gathered for you simply, and entreat the divine Trinity for salvation of those who cry with you: Alleluia.

Again, the Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
As the Lord’s grace-flowing nun, and His fervent apostle and Martyr, we praise you with triumphant hymns, and we praise your memory most tunefully, sprinkling flowers and crying:

Hail, Paraskevi, O comely virgin.

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

To be with Christ, or to be against Him ( St. Justin Popovich )

A man in this world must solve a problem, to be with Christ, or to be against Him. Every man decides this, whether he wants to or not. He will either be a lover of Christ or a fighter of Christ. There is no third option.

St. Justin Popovich

Blessed are those who have Christ as their hearts’ axis ( St. Paisios )

Blessed are those who have Christ as their hearts’ axis and joyfully revolve around His Holy Name, noetically and unceasingly repeating "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me."

St. Paisios

Friday, October 14, 2016

We cannot serve two masters ( Part 2 )

“I the Lord thy God am a jealous God”(Ex. 20:5), and I want to be your only Lord.
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Dt. 6:4).
I want you entirely, both your soul and your body. This is why I want you to love only Me and to serve only Me with all the senses of your body and with all the powers of your soul.

“You shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart, from your whole soul, and from your whole power”(Dt. 6:5).
This is what God commands us. However, because we are born and raised in the world and have become entangled within the world’s many and various sinful webs, the Son of God came to the earth armed with a sword to sever these very bonds. “Do not think,” says Christ, “that I have come to bring peace to the earth.” That is, do not think that I have come to make a pact with the lawless world. Even though the world was created by God, it did not recognize and acknowledge God.
“The world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him” (Jn. 1:10).
“I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”
(Mt. 10:34).
I want to declare unending war against the world, because it is My enemy. Thus, Christ wants to sever every sinful bond that keeps us tied to
the world, in order for us to become entirely His sole possession.
On the other hand, the world also wants us entirely. It does not permit us to have even the slightest relationship with God; on the contrary, it
attempts to distance us from Him in any and every possible manner. Are you familiar with how oppressive Pharaoh was to the enslaved nation of the Jews?
In order to utterly subjugate them, he kept them in a perpetual state of toil and drudgery, forcing them to plow vineyards, clean gardens, erect buildings, and be ceaselessly occupied with hard and painful work. God sent Moses and Aaron to instruct
the Pharaoh to release the poor people for a few days, so that they may have the opportunity and time to offer sacrifices to God:
“Let My people go, so they may hold a feast to Me in the desert ... Let us go three days’ journey into the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God”
(Ex: 5:1-3). “Oh!” said the irreverent king. “The Jews still remember their God? They still desire to offer Him a sacrifice? They have too much time on their hands. I better increase their workload so they have no time at all to think of such things. Let them serve me every hour of the day so that they have not even a minute to serve their God.”
“Let the works of these men be oppressive, and let them occupy themselves with these things
” (Ex. 5:9). 

 Indeed, this is what followed. Even though these poor people previously had as their primary task to
make bricks, the Pharaoh gave them another job:
to collect hay. He doubled their workload. Not only did he prevent them from offering a sacrifice to their God, but he did not allow them a minute to think about God. The king appointed supervisors who watched over them and obligated them to work non-stop. They didn’t give them a chance to catch their breath.
“Let the works of these men be oppressive,
and let them occupy themselves with these things.”
The ungodly world,  this tyrant of our souls, wants to enforce the same slavery upon us Christians
. It desires to hold us enslaved and occupied solely
with the cares and works of this present life. This is especially true when we intend to fulfill our obligations toward God. This is when the world presents a plethora of obstacles; this is when the verse
“Let the works of these men be oppressive, and let them occupy themselves with these things” is
Have we decided to pray? This is when twice as many worldly thoughts come to mind, scattering
our attention to thousands of vain and vulgar recollections.
Have we decided to attend the Divine Liturgy
? That’s when twice as many worldly affairs appear, which drag us from church to the
marketplace or other commitments. Do we feel the need to go to confession?
This is when worldly cares increase exponentially, preventing us from carrying out this God-pleasing
deed. In this manner, the day goes by without prayer, the feast days roll by without church, the year passes without repentance.
This is how the world wants us to dedicate our entire life to its service, so that not even a moment remains for us to serve God:
“Let the works of these men be oppressive, and let them occupy themselves with these things.”
This is the first reason that “no one can serve two masters”—the world, that is, and God.

Elias Miniatis, bishop of Kerniki and Kalavryta

Our communion in prayer with the saints is the realization of the bond between Christians on earth and the Heavenly Church. (Heb 12:22-23)

In our Prayer rule we can also ask the saints to intercede for us and to help us in our worldly struggles. Saints are those holy individuals who have died as martyrs, who have made a fearless confession of faith often with the threat of death, who have demonstrated self-sacrificing service, who have a special gift of healing and perform miracles after their death when remembered in prayer.

These holy people the Lord calls His friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. (John 15:14-15)

They are those He has received in His heavenly mansions in fulfillment of His words: Where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:3) Instead of praying for forgiveness of their sins, we praise them for their struggles in Christ. We make petitions to them asking them to pray for us and the remission of our sins and spiritual growth, seeking their help in our spiritual needs.

The saints are near the Throne of God.

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, who praised the Lord. (Rev 5:11)

Our communion in prayer with the saints is the realization of the bond between Christians on earth and the Heavenly Church. (Heb 12:22-23)

Sacred scripture presents numerous examples that the righteous, while still living can see and hear and know much that is inaccessible to the ordinary understanding. The saints while they were still on earth we able to penetrate in spirit into the world above.

From the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (luke 16:10-31) we know that Abraham being in heaven could hear the cry of the rich man who was suffering in hell, despite the great unbridgeable gulf that separates them.

The Church has always taught the invocation of the saints, convinced they intercede for us before God in heaven. Having a prayer relationship with a saint is another way that we can gain help in our spiritual path to salvation in the Church.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

How we should spend the eves of feast days... ( St.John Maximovitch )

“The holy canons dictate that Christians should spend the eves of feast days in prayer and with reverence in preparation for participation or attendance at the Divine Liturgy. 

If all Orthodox Christians are called to this, then this pertains all the more to those who take an active part in the church services itself. Their participation in diversions on the eve of a feast day is especially sinful.

 In view of the above, those who attend a dance or similar form of entertainment and diversion may not participate in the choir the next day, may not serve in the altar, enter the altar or stand on the cliros.” 

St.John Maximovitch

The Teacup story....( Christian Parable )

There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked “May we see that? We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.”
As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke, “You don’t understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘Don’t do that. I don’t like it! Let me alone.’ But he only smiled, and gently said, ‘Not yet!’” “Then WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting so dizzy! I’m going to be sick,’ I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly, ‘Not yet.’”
“He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then… Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. Help! Get me out of here! I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, ‘Not yet.’”
“When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! Ah, this is much better, I thought. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Oh, please, Stop it, Stop it!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said. ‘Not yet!’”
“Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited ——- and waited, wondering “What’s he going to do to me next?” An hour later he handed me a mirror and said ‘Look at yourself.’ “And I did. I said, ‘That’s not me, that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful!’”
Quietly he spoke: ‘I want you to remember,’ then he said, “I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.”

The moral of this story is this: God knows what He’s doing for each of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.
So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to “stink”, try this….
Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest teacup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.

– Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth”.

(I Timothy 4:1-3)

The secret recipe of “New Age” philosophy is the reversal of Christian teachings and its false imitation. Within the frames of its “ecological” mask we are being taught vegetarianism (Vegan) as a salvaging nutrition method with soteriological implications.
Man, according to the “New Age Bible”, is a small God, capable to do anything, through knowledge offered to him by the “Great Teachers”. So he is capable of doing everything the teacher Jesus did, and more! The man of the “New Age” can self-heal from any disease, bodily or mental, as long as he follows the primordial laws of…fasting. By avoiding the consumption of food, the body will dedicate every amount of energy available to self-heal even from an incurable disease as cancer.
In the first phase of “Fasting Therapy”: “…we force our body, with positive thought and patient absence from any food, to bypass the stomach and seek the fat which is stored in each and every one of us, for such circumstances. We all posses it even the thinnest among us”*.
In the second phase: “Our wise body, will enter the “general cleaning” process, after consuming the main quantity of fat, it targets to other unnecessary things created by the chronic intoxication, or other un-harmonic manifestations such as, stains, moles freckles, lipomas, cysts, fibroids, benign or malignant tumors etc.
The detoxification of the body, through fasting, affects beneficially and successfully against: rheumatism, arthritis, asthma, uremia, stomach ailments, ulcer, chronic indigestion, conditions of the liver, intestinal disorders, heart disease, anemia, many forms of cancer, conditions of the blood, hormonic disorders, sexual incapability and sterility, stress, depression, mental illness even to its most severe form which is schizophrenia. According to them, there are also some indications that “Fasting Therapy” has beneficial results even against AIDS!”*.
Essential supplement to this “fasting therapy” is: “Daily exercise, fresh air, swimming, daily long baths, massage, protected exposure to the sun, and especially good mood, mental rest and the avoidance of negative emotions. Sexual intercourse must be replaced by tenderly caresses or mild lovemaking, without ejaculation for the men (!).*
Most important however is that: “once we enter this process, we realize the power of resistance and the self-healing mechanisms of our body. The admiration is converted into trust, and that’s the first step towards getting our lives in our hands! In our own strong hands that know how to sow, to reap, to create, but also how to caress…”*.
The prospect of this Self-Theosis through a nutritious technique is a fact, for the followers of the “Fasting Therapy” movement. Positive thought, avoiding negative emotions and sex without ejaculation, refer directly to Hinduistic methods of meditation and “Tantric Sex”. The separation of foods in good and bad, not only does not exist in the Church and has been condemned, but in The Holy Bible is described as teachings of demons (I Timothy 4:1-3).
The Christian is called to reach “Theosis” and not to evolve, through various techniques, the (imaginary) God inside him. Christian fasting is the mean by which the faithful will be released from the passions that deprive him the grasp of Paradise and not some self-healing method…Besides disease in Orthodoxy is evaluated positively towards the goal of “Theosis”.
The “Energy Diet” promises to put an end to food intolerance, with a simple test. This test: “Is based on the measurement, through electrodes, of the bioelectric condition of the various points of acupuncture, according to the “distribution of the 12 meridians of the body” which were discovered and described by the Chinese, and some extra points discovered by Dr. Reinhold Voll .
The purpose of this test is to assess the energetic and functional organs and tissues by measuring the points of acupuncture so that any damage and malfunction can be located through these points. The conductivity of an organ or a tissue is being measured, so that anomalies can be located in the specific parts that reflect on the function of the body.
The energy balance of the organism can present disorders and be affected by medicine, poisons, conservatives, viruses, bacteria, foods, electromagnetic waves etc. The body operates as a transmitter and receiver of various electromagnetic messages. The whole human body is a circuit of vibrations which is capable, if submitted to electromagnetic stimulation, to respond with an echo which corresponds to one of those waves. This particular wave is the one corresponding to the frequency of the circuit”. **
We observe the total absence of scientific terminology and an effort to present the occult technique of acupuncture behind a scientific mask. “For acupuncture, the key of diagnosis lies in the examination of the various nuances of the face as well as the hearts pulse. The acupuncturist must be well aware that the internal organs are projected in specific and predefined positions of the facial midline and, and that in the middle of this line respond the lungs, under that the heart, ever lower the liver and even lower the spleen. At both sides of the facial midline, the bowels are being projected, with each having its own specific position. The acupuncturist, according to them, can by examining the nuance of each organ predict not only the development but also the final outcome of the disease.
The examination of the pulse and the facial nuance, is related to the rules of the “five elements” (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) of the “four seasons” (autumn, winter, spring, summer), of the “eight winds” and the “six pairs” of the “twelve meridians”.
Mans disease, according to them, originates from the imbalance of the “five energies”, and it gets deteriorated if the energy of the sky is not to his favor. These, they say, are “the most hidden secrets of mans destiny”. The most favorable moment to observe the sky’s energy status, in order to perform a correct diagnosis, is during dawn…of New Year’s Day. The five energies of the sky, good or bad, enter man “through the nose” and remain in the heart and the lungs, from where they spread their effect on the body, as the acupuncturists believe.
It’s not easy of course to make a minimum reference on the various diagnoses, and based on which facts they were established, so that they could be the foundation of acupuncture, which can cure, according to them, almost anything!
It still worth mentioning though, on how acupuncture was spread in China starting from the “mythological era”.***
Where is “Energy Diet” based on? The theory of the “Energy Diet” “…is based on the season of the birth, which gives us the biochemical composition of the organism, based on climatological conditions…So people depending on the season of their birth, have a unique chemical composition. Each of us is different”.**
“Energy Diet” is the application of the occult principles of Acupuncture, Alchemy and Astrology for the creation of the “Super Human” through the selective use of certain foods. Besides according to this methods slogan: "What is food to one, is to others bitter poison" (Titus Lucretius 75 B.C.).**
The “Holy Bible” says: “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them” (Hebrews 13:9).
The teaching of the “New Age” wants us autonomous and entirely cut off from our Lords grace. It wants us to believe with all our soul (positive thought) not to Jesus Christ, but the small “God” hidden inside us, who can come forward by using various techniques. For that reason disease is evaluated negatively and it relies on our own will and the use of various techniques to self-heal. The people of the “New Age” don’t need salvation, don’t need a Savior. The “New Age” can teach them how to be salvaged on their own…

We cannot serve two masters ( Part 1 )

Elias Miniatis, bishop of Kerniki and Kalavryta

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon” (Mt. 6:24 )
God and the world(1)are two opposites that are completely foreign and infinitely distanced from each other. These are the two masters Christ is referring to when He states that it is impossible for someone to serve both simultaneously. 

If someone decides to draw near to one, he necessarily distances himself from the other. If he begins to love one of them, he will inevitably develop hate for the other.
If he chooses to concern himself with and admire one, he must neglect and loathe the other.
“For someone will either hate the one and love the other, or be loyal to the one and despise the other.”
Our eyes cannot simultaneously look at the sky and the ground. Our mind cannot concurrently be devoted to heavenly and earthly matters. Our heart cannot at the same time love both God and the world. It is either one or the other; because
it is impossible for a person to have both:
“You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
There are two reasons for this. The first one is this: God wants man entirely to serve only Him. However, the world also wants man to completely submit himself to it. Thus, it is impossible for man in total to be in both places. The second reason is that God’s law is diametrically opposed to the world’s ordinances. It is likewise impossible for someone to follow two totally different sets of instructions.
On account of these two reasons, it is impossible for someone at the same time to be the slave of two different masters; namely, God and the world.
The first and great commandment that God gave in the Old Testament, and  which Christ repeats many times throughout the Gospel, is this:
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. You shall love the Lord our God from your whole heart, from your whole soul, and from your whole
power” (Dt. 6:4-5).
In other words, God says, “you have only one natural and genuine master, O man!
It is Me the Lord. For I created you out of nothing, I gave you life and your soul, I ransomed you with My own blood, I granted you salvation, and I have prepared the Kingdom of Heaven for you. You are My creation, My possession ,you belong entirely to Me.”
Thus, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mt. 22:37).
The term “world” takes on various meanings when used in Scriptures. It can refer to i) the earth, or the universe; ii) the people, or mankind. More often, however (as in this present text),it is used to refer collectively to the worldly, earthly, and sinful mindset and lifestyle prevailing in the majority of people on earth, in contrast to the spiritual, godly, and holy way of life practiced by the minority of people who chose to follow Christ’s commandments.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Do not say, "this happened by chance,.... ( St. Basil the Great )

Do not say, "this happened by chance, while this came to be of itself." In all that exists there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance ... How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God?

St. Basil the Great

Always have the fear of God in your heart ( St. Gennadius of Constantinople )

Always have the fear of God in your heart, and remember that God is always with you, everywhere, whether you are walking or sitting.

St. Gennadius of Constantinople