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 →
Venerable Simeon, the Myrrhgusher and Prince of Serbia and Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev)
What does it mean to walk in truth (III John 1:4)? It means accepting truth in your heart, abiding in such thoughts and feelings as the truth requires. Thus, it is the truth that God is everywhere and sees everything.
He who accepts this truth with his heart and begins to keep himself both inwardly and outwardly as if God Himself were before him and were seeing everything within him, is walking in this truth. It is the truth that God contains all, and that without Him we cannot do anything successfully.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit! Dear brothers and sisters, today we celebrate the glorious and joyous feast of the Meeting of the Lord. This feast is so named because the righteous elder Symeon, living in Jerusalem, met in the Jerusalem Temple the forty-day-old Youth our Lord Jesus Christ with His Most Pure Mother. This sacred event is described by the Evangelist Luke (See Lk. 2:22-40). This is a wondrous narration, brothers and sisters.
Every year, on Epiphany Day (according to the Julian Calendar) during the blessing of the waters, a miracle, which according to our Holy Church, occurred when Jesus entered the Jordan to get baptized by Saint John, is repeated. It takes place every year on the same day, at the very same spot where our God and Savior Jesus Christ was baptized. The Jordan River reverses its flow after the Holy Cross is dropped into its waters.
“Why, and for what reason, was there such condescension [shown] on the part of the Creator toward His transgressing creatures – toward humanity which, through an act of its own will had fallen away from God, its Creator? It was by reason of a supreme, inexpressible mercy toward His creation on the part of the Master, Who could not bear to see the entire mankind – which, He, in creating, had endowed with wondrous gifts – enslaved by the devil and thus destined for eternal suffering and torment.”
+ St. John of Kronstadt, Sermon on the Nativity of Jesus Christ
And again, my beloved, the great feast of St. Nicholas has emerged. What shall we say? Should we honor his virtues?
Should we praise his abstinence? As his Apolytikion says, he was the “teacher of abstinence”. For not only when he was older, but also when he was a child in the arms of his mother, he fasted from milk and did not nurse [on Wednesdays and Fridays].
Should we praise his meekness, for his Apolytikion says that he was the “icon of meekness”? Amidst insults and slanders and schemes of his enemies, he responded with great meekness. He teaches us, that we ourselves, no matter how many times we are insulted and slandered in this world, we must remain meek. There is no greater power than meekness, through which the demons of hell are conquered.
Or should we speak of his almsgiving, his great almsgiving? He would go at night to the homes of the poor, and to distribute gold coins, and he saved from filth and corruption.
Here in Greece, and even more so abroad, there are people living far away from God, either with heresies, or with satanism, or narcotics, or crime, and what else is there that does not exist abroad. All these people are God’s creatures. All these people are God’s children. All these people need prayer, need help to be enlightened, to return to God. You see lost beings on the road, you feel sorry for them and think: Where is this man going, what is he doing, where is he dwelling, what does he believe, how does he understand life? He is like an animal that does not know what to rejoice at. Every man is called to live the eternal life with Christ, and yet he finds himself in this great – let us say – abandonment, he is in the midst of this desperation, inside his lost self. And indeed he needs prayer. From whom? Who will make this powerful prayer for these men to be enlightened? It is for this that all the people who are confessing have enormous devoutness for monasticism. They revere monks very much, and they greatly desire the establishment of monasteries. They love the Holy Fathers so much, and they know that the patristic teachings substantially give new birth. Certainly, the patristic teaching is the interpretation of the Gospel in detail, the evangelic truth inside the practical application of the life of the Fathers. These people there want also to live this life. And if it is in our Christ’s plan, what He wants will happen, because I believe that the antichrist will come and set foot first and foremost on that great Babylon which is called New York. However, he will come to find the strongest front: he will find Christians full of life and faith confronting him.
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.
My child, know that in the last days hard times will come, as the Apostle says, behold due to poverty in piety, in churches the heresies and schisms will appear”, and as the Holy Fathers foretold, than on the thrones of hierarchs and in monasteries, there will be no men experienced in the spiritual life.
Wherefore, heresies will spread everywhere and deceive many. The enemy of the human kind will act skillfully, if possible, leading the chosen ones to heresy. He will not begin by discarding the dogmas on the Holy Trinity, divinity of Jesus Christ, on Theotokos, but will unnoticeably start to distort the Teachings of the Holy Fathers from the Holy Spirit – the Church teaching itself. Cunning of the enemy and his “tipics” will notice a very small number of those most experienced in spiritual life.
On September 23, 2020, Schema-Archimandrite Elder Timotheus (Sakkas), abbot of the Holy Monastery of the Paraclete, near Oropos (Attica, Greece), reposed in the Lord. He was known throughout as a God-bearing elder, teacher and defender of the true faith.