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

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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The Feast of Mid-Pentecost


For too many of us, perhaps, the weeks following the radiant Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ are a time of relaxation and even of indulgence; the rigors of the Fast being ended, the body revels while the spirit grows weak. But if this is unfortunately so, it is our own fault and not the fault of the Holy Church; for she never ceases to draw our minds upward and instruct us as to what thoughts and actions are appropriate for Orthodox Christians in this holy season.

Each Sunday after Easter has a special name drawn from the appointed Gospel reading; between Easter and the Ascension there are the Sundays of St. Thomas, of the Myrrh bearers, of the Paralytic, of the Samaritan Woman, of the Blind Man. Another special feast, to which too little attention is usually paid, occurs on the Wednesday of the fourth week after Easter and is called “Mid-Pentecost.”

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His glory is His humility


We have arrived at Holy Week and the Passion of our Lord. His life-giving Passion began at Bethany, from the village of Martha and Mary. This is where He set out with the little donkey and His disciples in order to make His entrance into Jerusalem. We witness Him Who sits upon a throne of glory simultaneously sitting upon a throne of humility. This is what our Lord wanted to teach us by mounting this humble animal: humility. Continue reading

Do not hide your thoughts

The demon always rejoices when things are hidden. Thieves do not steal as much during the day; they steal more often during the night. Similarly, the demons hide within the night of concealed thoughts, and this is when they harm us.
For this reason, we should go to confession and we should not hide anything. We should repel this difficulty, because we all feel ashamed—and I first. “How will I say this?” we think, when in essence it is easy. In a split second, when a person reveals what is on his mind, he is freed, and afterwards he wonders: “What was preventing me from confessing?” It was the demon who did not want to be exposed by the light of sacred and purifying confession, who did not want you to attain forgiveness and enlightenment.

Elder Ephraim of Arizona

Let us spread before Him the rewards of His victory

 

 

Let us spread before His feet not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in His grace, or rather, clothed completely in Him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before Him. Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the Conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of His victory.

St. Andrew of Crete on Palm Sunday

 

 

 

The Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian

St. Luke (Voino-Yasenestky) 

St. Luke (Voino-Yasenestky) (1877–1961), Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea, was a great saint of our times. A surgeon and medical scholar by profession, he became a bishop during fierce persecutions against the Church, knowing that his path would lead to prison and exile. His numerous works are preserved for us and inspire us in the spiritual life.

In reading this explanation of this prayer, repeated many times at every service during Great Lent, may we discover new meaning and inspiration for our Lenten struggle.

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O Lord and Master of my life! The spirit of idleness, despondency, ambition, and vain thoughts give me not! But rather a spirit of chastity, humble-mindedness, patience, and love bestow upon me Thy servant. Yea, O Lord King, grant me to see my failings and not condemn my brother, for Thou art holy unto the ages of ages. Amen!

The prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian occupies a special place in the services of the Holy Church. It is repeated many times during the services of Great Lent.

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Idleness—the mother of sin

 

“O Lord and Master of my life! The spirit of idleness give me not!” Why does St. Ephraim the Syrian begin his prayer with a request about idleness, as if there are no worse faults?

In observing idleness from the ordinary, everyday point of view we see that idleness is contemptible, and deserves all condemnation.

Idleness is a very dangerous vice Continue reading

An ideal example of meekness and humility

The great Stefan Nemanja, whose authorative words everyone unconditionally heeded to and at whom people and emperors trembled, became a monk and served the monks of the Holy Mountain [Athos] as an ideal example of meekness, humility, goodness and piety. Even his death was the death of a truly godly-man and spiritual leader. He became bedridden on February 7. He summoned St. Sava, placed his hands on him and blessed him saying: “My beloved child, the light of my eyes, comfort and protector in my old age! Behold the time of our separation has arrived. Behold the Lord is releasing me in peace. But you, my child, do not mourn because of our separation. For parting is the common cup of all and everyone; here we part from one another but we will meet there where there is no separation.” On February 12, St. Simeon asked Sava to clothe him in a burial cassock, to spread a mat on the ground, lay him there and place a stone under his head. He then summoned all the monks and asked their forgiveness. At dawn, on February 13, while the monks were chanting the Office of Matins in church and the voices were reaching the cell of the dying one, St. Simeon, once more his face radiated and he gave up his soul to his God.

The Prologue of OhridReflection

The Saint of Bailovo

“Pray to your Guardian Angel! He helps and prays to God for you!”

That’s what Grandpa Dobri told me when I saw him once in the narthex of the St. Alexander Nevsky Church. My friend Georgi  also wanted to meet him, and it happened in a marvelous way, again in the narthex of this largest church, whose largest donor was this old-fashioned grandpa.

He looks like he comes from another century, and he was from another age: from the future we all await. He is an example that we will never forget and gave advice that will be as carved on stone slabs in our hearts. Continue reading

Homily on the Meeting of the Lord

What a tender scene the Meeting of the Lord shows us! The venerable elder Simeon, holding the infant God in his hands, on either side of him are the righteous Joseph and the Most Holy Mother of God. Not far away is the Prophetess Anna, an eighty-year-old faster and woman of prayer. Their eyes are all directed toward the Savior. Their attention is absorbed by Him and they drink in spiritual sweetness from Him, which feeds their souls. You can judge for yourself how blessed was the state of these souls!

However, brothers, we are called not only to think about this blessedness, Continue reading