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 →
Celebrating holy Theophany, we are transported in thought to the very place of this event, and we shall intelligently attend to what is happening there! There it is—Bethabara!
You can see St. John standing on the shore, in clothes made of camel’s hair, with a girdle of a skin about his loins (Mk. 1:6). He is surrounded by a countless multitude of people from Jerusalem, Judea, and all the lands around the Jordan.
The Baptism of the Lord has just finished, and all eyes are fixed upon Him just emerged from the waters. They see nothing else. But sharpen by faith the eye of your mind, and following after John, passing over what is seen by all, turn an attentive gaze upon what is not seen by all — on the opened heavens, the dove descending, and the voice saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Mk. 1:11).
Fix your gaze, and do not tear your attention away from this wondrous vision! O! Who will give power to our words, that they might worthily sing praises to God in three Hypostases, revealed at the Jordan!
Bishop Joanikije of
Budimlje-Niksic on the new Law in Montenegro “…Terrible injustice is being
imposed against the Serbian Orthodox Church; we are experiencing an attack on
Orthodoxy in Montenegro, designed, projected, but, as Christians, we have a
duty to resist and to stand up against the injustice, that our people and their
priests have done.
We should know that even one tear of repentance is
equivalent to a spiritual bath. Just as the body feels refreshed when it
bathes, and just as clothes become clean when they are washed, similarly, the
tears of a repentant soul purify the heart, purify the mind, purify the body,
purify life, purify speech, and purify a person’s every action. Let us kneel
and pray with extreme humility! Every repentant soul is given words: it is
granted enlightened prayer.
It is necessary for us to receive enlightenment. We should not be deluded by
the world. We should not be drawn and attached to earthly things. We should not
be weighed down by matters of the present age and this current life.
“Come, let us wonder at the virgin most pure, wondrous in herself, unique in
creation, she gave birth, yet knew no man; her pure soul with wonder was
filled, daily her mind gave praise in joy at the twofold wonder: her virginity
preserved, her child most dear. Blessed is He who shone forth from her!”
— St. Ephraim the Syrian, Songs of Praise
“When God became known to us in the flesh, He neither received the passions
of human nature, nor did the Virgin Mary suffer pain, nor was the Holy Spirit
diminished in any way, nor was the power of the Most High set aside in any
manner, and all this was because all was accomplished by the Holy Spirit. thus
the power of the Most High was not abased, and the Child was born with no damage whatsoever
to the Mother’s
we greet the awaited bright days of Christ’s Nativity. Let us be glad and
rejoice. In order to raise our festivities to a higher level in these days, the
Holy Church has intentionally instituted a fast before them—a certain amount of
constraint, so that as we enter the festive period we might feel as though we
were coming out into freedom. Nevertheless, the Church in no way desires that
we give ourselves over to mere sensual delights and fleshly pleasures.
Since the Church has from old times called these days sviatki (“holy days”), they require that our very rejoicing on these days be holy, as they are holy. So that those who rejoice might not forget themselves, the Church has placed a short hymn upon our lips to glorify the newborn Christ, by which the flesh is settled down and the soul is uplifted, showing the proper occupations for these days: “Christ is born, give ye glory,” and the rest.
Glorify Christ; glorify Him, so that by this doxology your heart and soul might delight, and thereby silence any urge for various other deeds and occupations that might promise some kind of pleasure. Glorify Christ: this does not mean that you have to compose lengthy songs of praise to Christ—no.
Despite strong protests from the hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and faithful
of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the majority religion in the country, the
Montenegrin Parliament adopted the anti-Church law “On Freedom of Religion and
Belief and the Legal Status of Religious Communities” yesterday.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
commemorate whole groups of Saints, we usually mention the great hierarchs
among the first, and we have become used to the three great universal hierarchs
and teachers — Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom —
always being at the head of the hierarchical assembly. They belong there,
because each of them contributed precious gifts [e.g. their writings] to the
Church’s theological and moral treasury. So the Church honors them in
particular and has established a feast for the three of them together, in
addition to the solemn services for their individual feast days. But the feast
of the great hierarch whom we commemorate today, the hierarch and wonderworker
Nicholas, has a special place of its own.
Ephraim of Arizona reposed
in the Lord on December 8th,
early morning, at
the age of 91 after a long illness.
established 19 monasteries in North America, 17 in the US and 2 in Canada, both
for men and women, under
the Greek Orthodox Archdioceses of America and Canada and lived in St. Anthony’s Monastery
The elder’s task was to build in America as many monasteries as there are on Holy Mount Athos. Why did he have to build monasteries precisely in America?
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit! Today the Virgin appears in the temple of God, in anticipation proclaiming Christ to all… The angels beheld the entrance of the Pure One and were amazed. How has the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies? Purity and holiness, light and joy—that imperceptible spirit of today’s feast and service. Upon the steps of the Old Testament shrine of the Jerusalem Temple stands the three-year-old youth, the great Holy of Holies, triumphantly and rejoicing. And her elderly and righteous parents, Joachim and Anna, and a choir of young maidens with lighted candles, “singing, playing, and exalting,” accompany she who is borne as a gift to God. Embraced by sacred delight, the high priest Zacharias, the elder and father of the Forerunner, “blessed and welcomed” the holy maiden, and according to special revelation bore her into the Holy of Holies.
however, Michael and Gabriel, as the Taxiarchs over all the rest, even more so, judge, warm us, make us wise, even more so command us, work deeds for us, and preserve us, even more so rule over nations, minister the faith, and liturgize with us.”
Excerpt on the Holy Angels by St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain