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
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?
—And the spirit of Russia—what is it?
—The spirit of Russia is Christ.
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
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.
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
“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
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 Ohrid – Reflection
“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
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