Appeal for help

Dear Parishioners, Glory to the Lord:

In recent years we have witnessed and participated in major events in our community in Calgary; The purchase of the new land, construction of our Church and the completion of the landscape surrounding the Church. We believe that each of you is proud of what has been accomplished. Continue reading

Fearless Defender of Orthodoxy

Biography of the newly-reposed Archimandrite Lazarus (Abashidze), written by his spiritual children

Our ever-memorable spiritual father and mentor, Archimandrite Lazarus (born Michael Petrovich Abashidze-Desimon), was born on July 23, 1959, in the town of Gagra in Abkhazia, one of the most beautiful corners of the Caucasus. He graduated from the Russian school of Gagra and studied architecture at one of Moscow institutes. According to the future archimandrite, he had a vague feeling of dissatisfaction from his childhood.

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Transition to Life

Every time we celebrate the Dormition of the Mother of God, it’s as if we’re having Easter – the Easter of the summer. Our Lady the Mother of God prepares Easter for us. A glorious crossing “from death to life”. A second Easter, holy spotless, life-giving for the human race, because today “the laws of nature are overcome”.

“How the source of life goes towards life, passing through death”, says Saint John the Damascan. The death of the life-giving Mother of the Lord transcends the concept of death, so that it’s not even called death, but “dormition” and “divine transition” and an emigration and immigration towards the Lord. And even if it’s called death, it’s a life-bringing death, since it transports to a celestial and immortal life. Continue reading

What man can attain

When He created the world, God said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness (Gen. 1:26). God’s image manifests in man’s mental capabilities, in his authority over nature, his power, and his ability to create. God’s likeness in man consists in his moral perfection, his spiritual strivings, and in his possibility of attaining sanctity.

God’s image and likeness, in which our fore-parents were created, was fully reflected in them before the fall. Sin disrupted both the former and the latter, although it did not entirely deprive man of them.

Man retained his mind and the other qualities that gave him God’s image, but he needs to apply greater effort to develop them, yet he achieves only a small measure of what his fore-parents had received in full. The yearning to be the likeness of God has remained in man to a certain degree, although it sometimes wanes beyond all recognition. Continue reading

Their sacrifice has not been forgotten


On the 4th of August 1995, the Croatian Operation “Oluja” (Storm), an invasion of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, created the worst refugee crisis Europe has seen since World War II. In a few days, more than two hundred thousand Serbs, almost the entire population, fled their homes, and thousands of Serbian civilians lost their lives. The Serbs of Krajina, who had earned the right to their land through centuries of blood, sweat and tears shed defending Christian Europe, disappeared.

Their sacrifice has not been forgotten. On Sunday August 5 after the Liturgy at our Church a memorial Service will be served to all that have been killed in the last war in Krajina.

On the Royal Family

At one time, even fairly recently, the date July 17 in the so-called “new style,” was marked as a day of sorrow, because on this day the Russian people and the Russian diaspora remembered the great evil act when the Royal Family was brutally killed in the basement of Ipatiev House. This was a day of mourning, but no longer! Now the Royal Family has been glorified as a family of holy martyrs. Never forget that when the Church glorifies a saint, the act itself does not create the saint, it only declares to the people that this person or this group of people have been glorified in God.

In the collection of the Lives of Saints we see a wonderful example. Once there was a man who occupied a very lofty position, he was renowned and wealthy, but he left to join a monastery, to become a monk, and took up the life of the ascetics, in fasting, prayer and deprivation. Others lived nearby who shared his way of life, many of them were more severely ascetic than he. Yet the faithful began to flock to him, benefiting from his inspired spiritual discussions and guidance, and the Lord glorified him with the gift of sagacity and miracles. One of the monks asked his elder: why is this so? “This man is an ascetic, of course, but he is no better than the others, in fact, there are others who lead stricter ascetic lives, but are not granted the gifts of discernment or miraculous works, with such spiritual talents. Why did the Lord bestow these upon him, then?”

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Elder Paisios of Mount Athos Quotes


Do not believe your thoughts, neither when they tell you that you are terrible, nor when they tell you that you are a saint.

The goal is to rise spiritually, not simply to avoid sin.

The Meaning of the Battle of Kosovo

Holy martyr king Lazar Saint Sava’s ideal and plan for his whole nation was: ‘Give up everything for Christ, but Christ for nothing.’

No one has ever realized this ideal and plan to such a full extent as the holy and great martyr, Tsar Lazar. He brought it about for his whole nation when he decided in favor of the Heavenly Kingdom and offered up himself as a sacrifice on the field of Kosovo, together with the whole Serbian people. He did this from the purely evangelic reasons.

We die with Christ, to live forever”, he told his soldiers. That Kosovo’s declaration and testament is regarded as s covenant which the Serb people made with God – and sealed with martyrs’ blood. Since then all Serbs faithful to that Testament regard themselves as the people of God, Christ’s New Testament nation, heavenly Serbia, part of God’s New Israel.

Fr Justin (Popovich) of Chelije Continue reading

The descent of the Holy Spirit – Pentecost

The economy of our salvation is accomplished! The operation of the Most Holy Trinity have now come into effect to accomplish it. What God the Father has willed, the Son of God fulfilled in Himself, and the Holy Spirit has now descended in order to impart it to the faithful. For our salvation is according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:2). For this sake we are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, obliged, to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you (Matt. 28:19–20). Those who do not confess the Most Holy Trinity cannot participate in the saving action of Its Hypostases and thus receive salvation. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in essence and undivided, granting us confession of Itself! “O Father Almighty, and Word, and Spirit, one nature united in three Hypostases, transcendent and extremely divine! Into Thee have we been baptized, and Thee shall we bless throughout all ages.”

Thoughts for Each Day of the Year by St. Theophan the Recluse

 

Who does God help

Hieromonk Vasily (Roslyakov)This is the last interview that Hieromonk Vasily (Roslyakov) is known to have given, shortly before Pascha, April 18, 1993, when he and two other monks—Trophim and Therapont—were killed by the hand of a satanist at Optina Pustyn.

—Fr. Vasily, what do you think—will Optina be reborn?

—Holy Scripture tells us that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. In God, all are alive. We serve precisely this God, Who arose and conquered death by His resurrection; God has no death, and in God there is no death; it exists only outside of God. Therefore, it is wholly natural that Optina is alive. For a believer, this question does not even exist.

—And are there living elders?

—Of course.

—And the spirit of Russia—what is it?

—The spirit of Russia is Christ.

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