After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


Lenten Great Prokeimenon "Turn not Thy countenence" Byzantine Chant

Re: DEP PSALTIC ARTS GROUP - Good Strength, Good 40 Days

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John Peter E Presson

Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 12:51 PM

Masters, Fathers, Bless -Colleagues, brothers and sisters.

A belated mailing for Forgiveness Sunday on a snow day from work -If I have inadvertently caused anyone offense, I ask your forgiveness.

I am leaving everyone with a recording I did recently at the request of a psaltis friend of mine of one of the Great Prokeimena of Lenten Sunday Vespers “Turn not Thy countenence”   Μι Αποστρεψης -Sorry Your Em, the computer fonts do not do diacriticals -best I can).


Good strength and a good 40 Days.
John Peter Presson, Dip. Theo. (HC)
Protopsaltis of the Diocese of Etna and Portland (GOC)
Director of Liturgical Music -Holy Nativity of the Theotokos Orthodox Church, Portland, OR
Musicorum et cantorum magna distanti est, isti dicunt, illi sciunt quae componit musica

Letter confirming GOC recognizes Vl. Agafangel as chief hierarch of ROCOR

Letter from GOC Athens to Mountain View schism under-ban bishop Andronik

# 2676
Athens, 10/23-01-2018
To His Eminence Andronik, Archbishop of Syracuse, NY 

The Most Reverend Vladyka, 
The Lord Jesus Christ, Who appeared in the Jordan, may always abundantly grant His enlightenment from above to you. 

At the meeting of our Holy Synod on December 8/21, 2017, it was decided, after a consultation with the members of the Holy Diocesan Synod of our Church in America, to address you with this fraternal letter in order to express our pain and sorrow for the continuing division among the Hierarchy of our beloved brothers Hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad. We therefore wish to share our thoughts with you, emphasizing that we all pray that there is a way out of this painful crisis as soon as possible. 

Firstly, we report that the forthcoming issue has repeatedly been the subject of conversations, as much for our Holy Synod of the Church of the GOC of Greece, as for the Diocesan Synod of America. And because, as is known, this crisis of the ROCA is also causing problems for the Church of the GOC of Greece, especially in a geographical place abroad, where the parishes of both Churches are present. 

Most Rev. Metropolitan of Toronto, Moses, was very sad when he learned that his friendly visit to the neighbouring Russian Parish was misunderstood and that despite his good intentions, this event, quite unfairly, was the reason for the aggravation of the mutual relations of the two sides that remain in disagreement within the ROCA. 

All Bishops of our Holy Synod believe that the disagreement between you and the clergy of Met. Agafangel relate not to dogmatic, but administrative issues, for which it is quite possible to find a solution through dialogue. 

However, it should be noted that your party hastened to arbitrarily ordain the bishop for Australia and accept in communion another bishop in America; these actions, in our opinion, are hasty, and aggravate the difficulties for reconciliation. In addition, we do not approve of certain promulgations and official statements and declarations on your part, by which you are trying to justify the fragmentation of the Church into many parts, which give a cause to Metropolitan Agafangel and those with him to condemn you more sharply. In any case, we think that through honest and sincere dialogue it is possible to find solutions to all this. 

In the direction of the opening of the dialogue, we ask Your Eminence to appoint a suitable person from your clergy who is familiar with these administrative problems so that he participates in a dialogue with such a member of the Clergy from Metropolitan Agafangel’s side. 

Most Rev. Archbishop Sofroniy in his Report “The Causes of Crisis in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia”, in the end, says: "For many years we have made every possible effort to find a 
conciliar solution to these problems" (second paragraph of the conclusion). There is no reason for interrupting the effort now, the more so as we also propose to promote it to the extent possible. 

We will continue to encourage Metropolitan Agafangel to refrain from taking disciplinary action against you and instructively participate in this way in dialogue. We ask you not to close the door of the dialogue, because if something like this happens, then the effort on our part to persuade Metropolitan Agafangel to hold a moderate position will become impotent. In this case, the consequences will be very painful and we will come to the conclusion that the burden of responsibility rests with the party that interrupted the effort to reconcile. 

In the hope of a positive response on your part, we remain faithful in the brotherly love in Christ, 
Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod 
† Photios of Dimitriada 
[translated from Russian original] 

And Mountain View schism Fr. Andrei Erastov published his opinion regarding the letter
". . . Thus, this latest Letter from the Synod of Abp. Kallinikos has made completely clear that, which in fact, has been clear for some time: the Synod of Abp. Kallinikos has taken the side of Met. Agafangel.
     Bishop Andrei"

Red Beans & Rice NO OIL

I don't really want to post recipes, but this is too easy and everyone likes it.


8 oz box Zatarain's Red Beans & Rice
15 oz can corn, undrained
15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

Follow directions on box.
When rice is done, add corn and tomatoes.
Green Giant® is NON-GMO


• Orthodox rejection of St. Valentine's Day (Cupid's Day) (Cupid is a demon)

• A Case of Prelest: thinks he's the Tsar

• A Case of Prelest: thinks he's a prophet

Anti-ecumenism Bumpersticker?

I saw this bumper sticker in Smithville, Tennessee.  My first thought was, Wow -- an anti-ecumenism bumpersticker!  Could somebody in the world really understand ecumenism?  Or is the driver Orthodox?  This first thought only lasted a few seconds, then I realized it is not an anti-ecumenism bumpersticker, -- it is an atheist bumpersticker.  The Orthodox Cross threw me off...

Homily Last Judgement Vladyka Joseph

Today is the next to the last Sunday before Great Lent and is called Meatfare Sunday. Again, the Holy Church takes special care to dispose us to actively repent.
The Holy Church edified us in the two preceding weeks with clear examples of how to fast properly and what repentance should be like. However, lest we think that we can do anything and think whatever comes to our minds, expecting the Lord to forgive unconditionally, we are reminded that the Lord is not only infinitely merciful (for He sent His Only-begotten Son to save the human race), but is also infinitely just.
All this is described concisely and to the point in today’s fearsome and majestic Gospel reading which tells about the Lord’s Second Coming and ends with two verdicts. Those who were on His right hand, that is the right side, heard, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world...” (Mt. 25:34). The whole aim of God’s Providence after the fall of man has been to prepare the Kingdom of God for the people who had lost Paradise. We should think how the Lord created Paradise for the first people, where it was, and compare it to the Kingdom of Heaven and where it is! In Holy Scripture, it does not say that the angels lived in Paradise, although apparently they were there, but their real home was HEAVEN. That means that man lost Paradise (which was on earth), but is to gain HEAVEN instead of Paradise, that is, he received more than what he lost.
Getting back to the Gospel description of the Last Judgment... “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Mt. 25:41) The reading ends with these words, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Mt. 25:46).
Even the most insensitive soul would not shudder at the mere mention of such a truly fearsome prospect. The Holy Church teaches us that in actuality it will be something that surpasses all our human understanding. It is worth noting that the Kingdom of Heaven is prepared for man in return for repentance, and eternal torments prepared for the devil and not for man, but man can receive them like a reward from the devil, in a way of speaking.
What wails of despair would be wrenched from those who during their lifetime mocked the faith and Church, either in word or thought, and even mocked the Last Judgment itself. They in their pride considered themselves to be ‘too smart’, ‘too all- knowing’, or ‘too highly educated’ to believe in what the Holy Church was teaching.
Human knowledge is based on the empirical method, drawn from experience, the gathering and research of facts, making up theories, etc. This all takes place in time, and the more time there is, the more knowledge...but the life of a man is just a few decades long, and his memory better be true. The devil has existed for many thousands of years, and his memory is unchanging since he is a spirit, so he knows all about our empirical knowledge, and he can use it to the detriment of our salvation.
All this will be made clear in the Last Judgment, and no human tongue would be able to express the infinite despair that will overtake the condemned. Everyone will see himself laid bare, and will realize that he is revealed to all, what kind of person he really is, in all his deeds and thoughts.
But who of us is without sin? And how can we avoid this righteous condemnation of God’s at His Last Dread Judgment?
We all know the answer! We need to repent!
The power of true repentance is such that it blots out all our sins, as if they never existed, making white again the cloak of our human soul. Even the greatest sinner can show himself at the judgment and be proclaimed sinless and righteous. That is why the Holy Church reminds us of the Last Judgment before the start of Great Lent, so that we would rouse ourselves out of the light-minded complacency and sinful slumber in which we usually live, and decide to repent for real.
This, in the most general, concise, and basic terms, is the teaching of our Holy Orthodox Christian Church about the Final Judgment and the utmost need to repent, what She has always taught.
Unfortunately, this does not at all appeal to today’s “MODERN” man who “is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Eph. 4:22), as the Apostle Paul so aptly put it. Today’s man wants to do whatever he pleases, with impunity, without apology, without any thought to possible consequences.
So in our evil times, we are witnessing the rise of a completely new and heretofore unheard of teaching in our Church, that the Second Coming of Christ and the Last Judgment are to be understood in some ‘allegorical’, ‘metaphorical’ way, that is, not literally. Those who spread this teaching totally and with great aplomb ignore Holy Scripture, claiming that it was all made up by ‘ignorant’ fanatical monks.
Already long ago, our Fathers of the Church warned of the cunning of Satan and his servants who in the latter times would use texts from Holy Scripture with distorted interpretations. (Indeed, all sects are based on distorted interpretations.)
Therefore, the only true way for us to gain salvation is not to philosophize cunningly, but in all things follow the age-old, unchanging teaching of our Holy Orthodox Church believe as ALL people ALWAYS and EVERYWHERE believed (St. Vincent of Lerins), and drive out of our midst all the new false-teachers, even though they may hold church ranks and wear sacred vestments.
We know from the Word of God that “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:14-15). Amen.
+Bp. Joseph 

Homily Prodigal Son Vladyka Joseph

This Sunday is called the Sunday of the Prodigal Son named after the Gospel parable that is read on this day. We have come to the end of the second preparatory week before the Holy Fast established by the Church for our benefit. The preceding week was fast-free, that is, there was no fast on Wednesday and Friday.
Last Sunday we heard the Gospel parable about the publican and the Pharisee, in which the publican, realizing his sinfulness, could say nothing good about himself except for “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” The Pharisee, on the other hand, listed many of his supposed merits before God Who is all-knowing. One of them was fasting – “I fast twice in the week”.
We do not know whether the publican fasted or not, but the Pharisee’s fasting did not bring him benefit and was not credited to him as a virtue.
In order to feel the bitterness of sin more acutely, the Holy Orthodox Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, has done away with fasting on Wednesday and Friday of the preceding week as a reproof of pharisaic fasting. However, while this canceling of fast days before Lent may cause some confusion, the Holy Apostle Paul in today’s Apostle reading explains this, saying, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Cor. 6, 12).
Blessed Theodorit says, “This is because you live not under the law, but you are free and have the full right to choose. It is not always beneficial for you to take advantage of this right, for as soon as you commit an impropriety, you lose this right and become a slave to sin.”
Indeed, if we take a quick look at the Old Testament which is based on the Law of Moses, we see that the people of the Old Testament had few choices. In fact, they generally did not have any choices, except on rare occasions. If someone committed a sin, he was punished, often condemned to death by stoning. For example, the sin of fornication was punished by death, murder was punished by murder. The basic rule was “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth”. There was no place in the Old Testament for such strugglers as St. Mary of Egypt, the Holy Apostle Paul, the Canaanite woman, and others, because there was no spiritual freedom, for everyone was under the law, and the law was, if you sinned, you were punished.
In the New Testament, sin could be covered by repentance, and true repentance can be attained only by free realization of one’s sinfulness. No one can be forced to repent!
And the Holy Apostle continues, “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them...” (1 Cor. 6:13)
Whoever wants to use this freedom, let him do so, for the belly is made for food, but he should remember that this will come to an end, for in the life beyond the grave any food will be superfluous for people.
Thus, food was made by God to be used properly, and not to be ABUSED. This can be applied to all things in general, for the Apostle teaches us saying, “I will not be brought under the power of any”. The improper use of fasting by the Pharisee did him harm, as shown by the Apostle reading and the fact that the Holy Church reproves it.

This does not mean that fasting should be dropped altogether, as Protestants have done, and, it seems, Catholics too now, as well as some calling themselves Orthodox. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself set an example for fasting, and the Apostles fasted also, as indicated in the Gospel.
For the healing of a possessed person, the Lord clearly prescribed fasting, telling His disciples that this kind is not cast out except by prayer and fasting. Therefore, anyone who rejects fasting in general is implying that the Lord was not right when He fasted, or he is contradicting himself.
So, the Holy Apostle Paul at the end of today’s Apostle reading calls us “to glorify God in your body and in your spirit...”, saying that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. How so?
When we partake of the Christian sacraments, we receive the gifts and the seal of the Holy Spirit. This can be compared best of all to a seed: if we receive a seed and we water it, it will sprout. If we neglect it, it will not bring forth anything, and if we neglect it further, it will dry up completely. Likewise with the gifts of the Holy Spirit: they are given to us but we can fail to use them.
These are all laws of spiritual life. And yet how difficult they are for us to understand, mainly due to our carelessness! Indeed, we know physical laws of nature and we don’t think that they get outdated. We accept them as they are, yet with spiritual laws, there are always so-called ‘know-it-alls’ who want to change them. The laws which God established can never be abolished, and the consequences of such ‘wisdom’ of trying to change them are always very sad.
There are many things we CAN do, but they are usually far from being useful to our spiritual and physical life. The Lord did not forbid us to use earthly blessings IN MODERATION.
Keeping in mind the Holy Apostle Paul’s advice that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, let us present it as a sacrifice of abstinence, and sanctify our soul with the remembrance of God’s various blessings to us, and try in some way to adorn our spiritual life, so that our body can truly be called God’s temple. The Lord will not disdain our efforts, as the father of the prodigal son did not disdain his son, but will bless us in this life here, and will not leave us when we cross over into eternity, to Whom is due glory to the ages. Amen.
+Bp. Joseph 

On the Threshold of Great Lent

Sermon: Bishop Joseph of Fairfax, Virginia

The biggest and most joyous day in the life of the Church is the bright day of the Resurrection of Christ, the “Feast of Feasts, and Triumph of Triumphs”. This is the day of our Divine Redeemer’s glorious victory over the enemies of our salvation, the devil and his offspring. Because of the extreme importance and incomparable significance of this day, no other day of the year is celebrated with as much joy and exultation as the bright day of the Resurrection of Christ, our Holy Pascha.

We should also note that the feast of Christ’s Resurrection is not considered one of the Twelve Great Feasts, but is in a class by itself. If we look at the iconostasis of old Orthodox churches where there is a separate row on the iconostasis for the Twelve Great Feasts, it is obvious that the total number of icons is 13 and not 12. The icon of the Resurrection is in the center, flanked by the icons of the Twelve Great Feasts, six to the right, and six to the left.

Wishing to call special attention to this day, the Holy Church has established a long period of preparation called ‘Great Lent’ which is in the Lenten Triodion. It is called ‘great’ because, of all the fasting periods, it is the longest and strictest. It begins already seven weeks before Pascha, and consists of 40 days. When you add Holy Week, there are 47 days in all.

Great Lent is designated by the Church primarily as a time for repentance. The struggle for repentance should be our main task for the duration of Great Lent. Long before Great Lent actually starts, the Church prepares us for the struggle for repentance little by little. Just after celebrating the festive days of the Nativity and Theophany of Christ, we already hear in church this call “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt. 4:17) by the Lord who has gone out into the world for his public ministry to the human race.

Then, on the Sunday before the start of the period of the Lenten Triodion, we are given the example of a repentant sinner in the person of the chief tax collector Zaccheus. Because the Lord did not despise him for his sinfulness, but mercifully visited his home, Zaccheus underwent a drastic change in his soul towards a new life. The Church uses Zaccheus as an example of sincere repentance, and with this brings us to the preparatory Sundays of Great Lent.

Each of the four preparatory Sundays bears a special name which is associated with the Gospel reading for that day: 1) the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, 2) the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, 3) Meat-fare Sunday, or the Sunday of the Last Judgement, and 4) Cheese-fare Sunday, the casting out of Adam from Paradise, usually called ‘Forgiveness Sunday’.

Starting with the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee, the Church puts a touching hymns on our lips: ‘Open unto me, O Giver of Life, the gates of repentance...’ (see the Lenten Triodion). This is sung after the Gospel reading at every Saturday night vigil during Great Lent. What is the meaning of this hymn?

Great Lent is a time for an all-round spiritual cleansing and sanctification. A complete renewal and spiritual rebirth is necessary. This takes struggle. It is a long and hard process for which one has to prod and force oneself. This is not possible without a personal struggle, without the individual efforts of each person himself. God does not save a man without his participation, or against his will. God gave man free will and reason in order to turn away from evil and choose good, and He does not force anyone into the kingdom of heaven.

However, because our human nature has been so drastically damaged by sin, our efforts are not enough. Indispensable is the all-powerful assistance of Divine Grace which is made available to us through heartfelt prayerful cries for help. The Lord hears the pleas if they are sincere, and sends us His all-powerful help, opening to us the ‘doors of repentance’.

On this first of the preparatory Sundays, the parable of the publican and Pharisee is read. Here the Holy Church teaches us that true repentance should be based on humility, which is a sincere realization of one’s sinful uncleanness, unworthiness, and irresponsibility before God. True heartfelt contrition is devoid of any conceit, any self- praise and self-exaltation, devoid of all confidence in one’s virtues and hope in one’s good deeds. The Pharisee praised himself for his good deeds, and while what he said about himself was true, if we think of the words of the ‘prayer behind the ambo’ at the end of the liturgy, if we do not see our sins and put down others thinking that we are better than they, our virtues are cancelled out. The Pharisee went out from church shamed in his pride, while the humble publican who saw only his sins before him was justified by the Lord.

Here it is worth emphasizing again that what the Pharisee said about himself was all true, that he fasted and gave tithes to the church, but this truth did not save him. We are reminded of the expression often found in the writings of the Holy Fathers that we should first “live by the truth, and only then fight for the truth”. We must not put “live by the truth” in second place and “fight for the truth” in first place. The hierarchy of spiritual values should never be changed!

In contemporary life, with ecumenism, sergianism, apostasy from Christianity, and, in general, with heretical surroundings, everything is exactly the opposite of the above-mentioned teaching of the Holy Fathers which is based on the Holy Gospel, for first they fight and after that all the rest is easily forgotten.

The basic tenet of this wonderful parable for our life is expressed in these final words: “for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Lk. 18:14) Amen.
+Bp. Joseph 

Memory Eternal Dimitris Houpas

Re: DEP PSALTIC ARTS GROUP - Another Giant Passes to Rest

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John Peter E Presson

Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 7:01 AM
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Αιωνία σου η μνήμη αγαπητέ Δημήτριε! 

The Ieropsaltis Dimitris Houpas, founder of one of the most resourceful websites on Byzantine Music (www.ieropsaltis.com) has reposed.  Dimitris and his wonderful website, full of resources about the Psaltic Art and audio samplings of some of the greatest psaltai in recent history have been a great inspiration to my own practice of “the craft”.  Thank you for your tremendous contributions, teacher, rest eternal, may light perpetual shine upon you, may your memory be eternal!

John Peter Presson, Dip. Theo. (HC)
Protopsaltis of the Diocese of Etna and Portland (GOC)
Director of Liturgical Music -Holy Nativity of the Theotokos Orthodox Church, Portland, OR
Musicorum et cantorum magna distanti est, isti dicunt, illi sciunt quae componit musica

True History of OCA

PDF of book: 

1917 – 1970

commentary from:
Reader Daniel Everiss in Oregon

Also see:
Bp. Grabbe on Metropolia's Autocephaly Orthodox Life magazine 1970

By the Waters of Babylon

from Internet Sobor February 15, 2015 archives

Metropolitan Filaret: By the rivers of Babylon

Author: m.Rafaila incl. . Posted in Archive ROCA (Views: 19)

Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) .jpgAs soon as Lent approaches, more and more appear in the liturgy special prayers, which the Church as it brings, prepares us for the lean times of prayer, fasting and repentance.
When was the week of the Publican and Pharisee, on the eve of the Church sang the song of repentance - "Open to me the doors of repentance, O Giver of Life", and the next - last - Saturday, then added another Prayer, which was sung today. This is - one of the psalms of the Psalter of David, which begins with the words: "By the rivers of Babylon, and tamo sedohom plakahom, vnegda us to remember Zion."
Even last year before last and had me talk about the importance of the songs in our New Testament worship, but not all are likely to remember it and do not have all heard, so I remind you once again.
First of all, in this psalm is commemorated a certain point of the sacred history, which indicate the words taken from him: "Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day Ierusaliml saying, depleted, exhausted to the grounds of his." These words point to the tragedy that the people of Israel survived when the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by the invaders - the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, and the people of Israel were carried captive to distant rivers of Babylon.
Ready to meet and reflect the Conqueror, Israel has enlisted the help of a kindred tribe Edomites, the descendants of Esau, "the sons of Edom." They promised the Jewish nation alliance, help and support. And here, in this psalm specifies how treacherously they changed what these traitors were "sons of Edom in the day of Jerusalem" - that terrible day that was so memorable Jerusalem - the enemies, cruel and merciless, destroying the holy city, and " the sons of Edom, "instead of the promised aid, shouting:" depleted, exhausted to the grounds of its ", ie destroy it to its foundations ...
To whom was then defeated the Israelites complain? Who could they tell their sorrow and suffering? From antiquity comes to us old expression "woe to the vanquished." No one to seek protection and assistance defeated the Israelites. And now, for the Lord they turn, saying: "Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day Ierusaliml" - do not forget, O Lord, in thy justice that terrible day in Jerusalem, when such a terrible betrayal carried out by those who promised to be our allies ...
"Woe to the vanquished." So it was then. This is what happens now.
When was the last terrible war, and some were victorious, while others were losers, the winners declared losers "war criminals", although those as vigorously and courageously fought for their country, as the winners for their. It was not until "world wars" when the conquerors were able to respect the courage and bravery of the vanquished, did not call them criminals and prosecute.
This is similar to the fact, in some countries is "revolutionary mess": a system is replaced by another, and one party overcomes another. When two parties fought each other and won, the winner declared themselves patriots and opponents - bandits. It took a short time; the situation has changed; and bandits were patriots and patriots - bandits. For - "woe to the vanquished."
But of course, the basic meaning of the chants, "By the rivers of Babylon," as applied to us Christians, not only in this historic moment. This psalm reminds us of how the Jews in Babylonian captivity learned to love their shrines, treasure them and cherish them. Cruel conquerors told them: "Sing to us from the songs of Zion," and they said, "Kako will sing the Lord's song in the land foreign land?"
So, that's us who have been on many rivers away from their homeland, we must be take the example of the Jewish people, as he learned the Babylonian captivity to protect their shrines, to honor them and cherish them.
But the main, the spiritual meaning of this psalm was explained, in agreement with other communication. fathers, once the great Elder Ambrose. In one of his letters of didactically. Ambrose, referring to himself, said: "Dschi Babylon, cursed my flesh, when will I learn to break your sinful babies on a rock of faith?" When sin is only indicated in the soul of man, but has not yet mastered it, St. Fathers call it "sinful baby." This means that the temptation to sin delineated in the shower, but the man can conquer the temptation, which is then necessary to reflect when he first appears. If a person holds his seductive thing in my heart and thoughts, stopping their attention on it, he every moment becomes sharper and more attractive, and the longer it remains in the soul of this temptation, the harder it is to overcome. That is why the great elder and says that it is necessary "sinful babies to break a rock of faith," and to fight against sin, throwing him out - when he appeared in the shower, but still weak as a baby, and another soul has not mastered. And it should be remembered each of us.
Probably many of you have read, as one wise old man taught his pupil, the young novice, to struggle with sin and told him: "My son, pluck it sapling." It was very young, just beginning to grow, and he did it without difficulty. "Now that's pluck it," said the old man. Another tree was much thicker, t. To. Grew longer, and tore his novitiate with great difficulty. "Now that's pluck" - and the old man pointed to a thick old tree. Of course, the student there is nothing he could do. And the old man and said: "Remember, sin must be fought at the beginning otherwise it will turn into a habit and then it will be difficult to beat him, and then he can master the soul so that it will be a completely unable to tear myself away from it."
And this feat struggle against sin and tells us chant "By the rivers of Babylon," has taught us that it is necessary every sinful temptation that comes close to us immediately as soon as it appears, to break a rock of faith, not allowing it to master soul.Amen.
Metropolitan Filaret. Preaching and teaching. t. I. Issued by the Russian Orthodox Youth Committee at the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. On the 50th anniversary of the priesthood in 1931 - 1981 s.s.84-87.
Checked against the original
related post with link to you tube choir: