On October 11, 2018, in his letter to His Holiness Patriarch of Kirill and All Russia, His Beatitude Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia assured him of his unwavering position in regard to the ongoing gross interference of the state authorities in the internal life of the Church in Ukraine. Continue reading
Before the time of Christ, the cross was an instrument of punishment; it evoked fear and aversion. But after Christ’s death on the Cross it became the instrument of our salvation. Through the Cross, Christ destroyed the devil; from the Cross He descended into hades and, having liberated those languishing there, led them into the Kingdom of Heaven. The sign of the Cross is terrifying to demons and, as the sign of Christ, it is honored by Christians.
“O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance. Grant victory unto Orthodox Christians over their adversaries, and by the virtue of Your Cross, preserve Your community.”
The beginning of this prayer is taken from the twenty-seventh Psalm. In the Old Testament the word “people” designated only those who confessed the true faith, people faithful to God. Continue reading
Thy Nativity, O Theotokos Virgin, Has brought joy to all the inhabited earth: For from Thee has sprung forth the Son of Righteous, Christ our God…
We solemnly celebrate, dear brothers and sisters, the Nativity of the Most Holy Virgin Mary from her barren parents, pious Joachim and Anna. Continue reading
Biography of the newly-reposed Archimandrite Lazarus (Abashidze), written by his spiritual children
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
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
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.
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?”