~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





ROCOR-MP Priest Might Not Get Away with Rape, after all

(Fr. Deacon Matthew Williams joined the ROCOR-MP in 2007.  The rape occurred in 2004.)

This whole problem could be solved immediately if Matthew would do the right thing and resign from his ROCOR-MP priesthood.   I commend Nathan for defending the victims.  Victims plural: because the sufferers are not just the girl, but her whole family suffers.   And the friends of her family suffer with them.



Thank you, Nathan.  
You and I are not friends by any stretch of the imagination, but I thank you for this.


If Nathan's JTO post is someday made unavailable, I have it archived here:
related post:

Song from Gilbert & Sulllivan Opera

"Poor Suffering Orthodoxy"

Concerning "Archbishop" Chrysostomos of Etna

   Inbox  

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valdezmail1

Wed, Jan 16, 2019 at 4:31 PM
To: joannahigginbotham@gmail.com

It recently occurred to me that since I left the Old Calendarists and have been exposing the Synod in Resistance (Cyprianites) on the Internet, I may have been slandered by them. Someone on Youtube suggested that I may have borderline personality disorder or autism. I have never been diagnosed by a licensed doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist (with a Ph.D) as suffering from any of these illnesses. It is possible that "Archbishop" Chrysostomos of Etna may have lied to people about me, flaunting his Ph.D. in psychology, announcing that I have one or more of those disorders; so I decided to write this piece in my defense. While I did spend some time with "Archbishop" Chrysostomos and his monastery, at no time did he ever sit down with me (as a licensed psychologist) for an hour in order to ascertain a psychological diagnoses. All we ever talked about was polemics, ecclesiology and Orthodoxy. So if in the event "Archbishop" Chrysostomos spread a slanderous lie about me suffering from one or more of the illnesses mentioned above, don't fall for it. Here is the truth of what the Etna monastery thought of me.

"Archbishop" Chrysostomos once told me in writing that he was fond of me when I was at his monastery.  He also once called me "Saint Albert." (That's my secular name). The Abbot Akakios once honored me at trapeza in front of the monastic brotherhood and said I was humble, quiet, pious, obedient, a hard worker and he said I never complain; and he said there was no reason why I should not succeed there. I wasn't even in a robe when he said that. He also once said that if I were to leave, it would be just as tragic as any of the other novices leaving. I wasn't even in a robe when he said that. And once he told me that if I were to leave, "it would be a tragedy, a real tragedy." So if they demonize me now, it is only to discredit me in your mind. I recommend you do not contact these people or have anything to do with them. The Abbot Akakios also once told me on the phone that I was "brought here by divine providence. Do you understand what I am saying?" He also once said, "You have a lot of potential."

I personally heard "Archbishop" Chrysostomos take the name of Jesus Christ in vain two different times, in front of monastics (which was selfish and scandalous). I also heard the Abbot Akakios cuss, "Archbishop" Chrysostomos cuss, and monastics there cuss. These are nasty people.

Aspect21(Youtube name).

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Joanna Higginbotham

Wed, Jan 16, 2019 at 5:22 PM
To: valdezmail1
Bcc: 
Euthymios,

The horror of Etna that you perceive is true.  I can substantiate most
of what you say about Etna and add much more.  Etna is worse than just
an embarrassment to Orthodoxy.  Etna is an impediment to Orthodoxy,
especially on the west coast of the USA.  I pray in my daily prayers
for God to take ecclesiastical authority away from Etna (so that they
stop hurting people).

However, Euthymios, you are disqualified as a witness against Etna.
You rant against everyone and your rants are twisted, unreasonable,
uncharitable, distortions.  Everyone I know who is sane thinks you are
crazy.  My people are not going to listen to what you have to say
about Etna because of what you've said about blameless others. And
that is a shame, because there is very little you witness about Etna
that I don't support.  I have my own horror stories to tell about
Etna.  And I know others with horror stories, but they are afraid to
talk.  One of the things they are afraid of is being considered one of
the "nuts" who go away ranting against Etna.

When someone crazy like you rants against Etna, all it does is give
Etna more justification.  Etna bishops defend themselves by saying,
"Look what the nuts (like Euthymios) say about us!"

You may publish this email.  But only if you publish it in its
entirety.  You are too inclined to extract a sentence or a phrase from
someone and misuse it to support an idea of yours.

love in Christ,
Joanna


valdezmail1

Thu, Jan 17, 2019 at 12:49 AM
To: joannahigginbotham@gmail.com


I could careless about the views of someone who actually thought the Apostle Paul was a Christian at the time he was persecuting Christians. You are not a Christian, you are a bonehead. You are under absolute and complete mind control, and incapable of recognizing all the facts which utterly refute your schismatic position. Read "Combatting Cult Mind Control," by Steven Hassan.





__________________________
COMMENT:

from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado Act II
source: extracted from here:


It is my very humane endeavour
To make, to some extent,
Each evil liver
A running river
Of harmless merriment.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time—
To let the punishment fit the crime,
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment,
Of innocent merriment!

All prosy dull society sinners,
Who chatter and bleat and bore,
Are sent to hear sermons
From mystical Germans
Who preach from ten to four.
The amateur tenor, whose vocal villainies
All desire to shirk,
Shall, during off-hours,
Exhibit his powers
To Madame Tussaud’s waxwork.
The lady who dyes a chemical yellow,
Or stains her grey hair puce,
Or pinches her figger,
Is blacked like a nigger
With permanent walnut juice.
The idiot who, in railway carriages,
Scribbles on window panes,
We only suffer
To ride on a buffer
In Parliamentary trains.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time—
To let the punishment fit the crime,
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment,
Of innocent merriment!

The advertising quack who wearies
With tales of countless cures,
His teeth, I’ve enacted,
Shall all be extracted
By terrified amateurs.
The music-hall singer attends a series
Of masses and fugues and ‘ops’
By Bach, interwoven
With Spohr and Beethoven,
At classical Monday Pops.
The billiard-sharp whom anyone catches
His doom’s extremely hard—
He’s made to dwell
In a dungeon cell
On a spot that’s always barred.
And there he plays extravagant matches
In fitless finger-stalls,
On a cloth untrue
With a twisted cue
And elliptical billiard balls.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time—
To let the punishment fit the crime—
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment,
Of innocent merriment!


__________________________

A Note from the Editor of the Liturgical Calendar


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Daniel Olson
Date: Tue, Jan 15, 2019 at 6:36 AM
Subject: Liturgical Calendar 2019
To: (list)


Dear Subscriber to the SJKP Liturgical Calendar,

By God’s grace, it has proved possible to produce the SJKP Liturgical Calendar for 2019 in electronic format.

Attached are the pdf (Portable Document Format) files for 2019.

You should be able to print out a hard copy of the pdf files or transfer the pdf files to your portable device. If you encounter any problems with the pdf files, please contact me.

All the pdf files of the Liturgical Calendar for 2019 will also be made available on the SJKP website (www.sjkp.org) under “Resources”.


Please review the introductory material 
on pages 3 and 4 of the Liturgical Calendar for 2019.


All questions, comments, reports of errors, or other matters – particularly suggestion on how to improve the Liturgical Calendar – should be sent to me via e-mail at the following address: danielolson (at) cox (dot) net


The SJKP Wall Calendar for 2019 is now available for purchase
See the SJKP website (www.sjkp.org).


Please pray for the repose of the soul of the servant of God, the ever-memorable Protopriest Gregory (Williams), whose indispensable labors in publishing the Liturgical Calendar and numerous other Orthodox materials over many years greatly benefited the English-speaking Orthodox world.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

Daniel Olson

Sticky


• California Heterodox Pastor resigns over gay issue his flock favors.

Optina Elder Ambrose Vision

Silence or a Vision of Eternal Rest.
A Manuscript by Elder Ambrose of Optina (†1891)

   It was a wonderful time in spring… I could not resist its allurement to throw myself into nature’s embrace, and that paradise of spring, which I chose as a place of my daily visits, was the dark, thick forest situated on the high bank of a big, wider river (the Oka) that washes with its milky waters several central Russian provinces.

   Giving myself over to this blessed state in the bosom of nature, I drank in its aromatic breadth and went deeply into the spiritual apprehension of the Creator, Who is too immense to behold…

   The surrounding world from which I came forth then retreated from me to somewhere far away, and disappeared into the realm of concepts foreign from me…

   I was alone. Around me there was only the slumbering forest. Its ancient giants stretched far into the skies. They searched for God. I was also in search for Him.

   But suddenly, I am outside of the forest, somewhere far away, in another world, quite unknown to me, never seen by me, never imagined by me… Around me there is bright white light! Its transcendence is so pure and enticing that I am submerged, along with my perception, into limitless depths and cannot completely fill myself with its lofty spirituality. 

Everything is so full of beauty all around.  So endearing is life… so endless the way.  I am being swept across this limitless, clear space.  My sight is directed upwards, does not descend anymore, does not see anything earthly.  The whole of the heavenly firmament has transformed itself before me into one general bright light, pleasing to the sight ....  But I do not see the sun. I can see only its endless shining and bright light.  The whole space in which I glide without hindrance, without end, without fatigue, is filled with white, just as is its light and beautiful beings, transparent as a ray of sun.  And through them I am admiring this limitless world.  The images of all these beings unknown to me are infinitely diverse and full of beauty ....  I also am white and bright as are they.  Over me, as over them, there reigns eternal rest.  Not a single thought of mine is any longer enticed by anything earthly, not a single beat of my heart is any longer moving with human cares or earthly passion.  I am all peace and rapture.  But I still am moving in this infinite light, which surrounds me without change.  There is nothing else in the world except for the white, bright light and these equally radiant numberless beings.  But all these beings do not resemble me, nor are they similar to each other; they are all endlessly varied, and compellingly attractive.  Amidst them, I fed myself incredibly peaceful.  They evoke in me neither fear, nor amaze­ment, nor trepidation.  All that we see here does not agitate us, does not amaze us.  All of us here are as if we have belonged to each other for a long time, are used to each other and are not strangers at all.  We do not ask questions, we do not speak to each other about anything.  We all feel and understand that there is nothing novel for us here.  All our questions are solved with one glance, which sees everything and everyone.  There is no trace of the wars of passions in anyone.  All move in different directions, opposite to each other, not feeling any limitation, any inequality, or envy, or sorrow, or sadness.  One peace reigns in all the images of entities.  One light is endless for all.  Oneness of life is comprehensible to all.

   My rapture at all this superseded everything. I sank into this eternal rest.  No longer was my spirit disturbed by anything. And I knew nothing else earthly.  None of the tribulations of my heart came to mind, even for a minute.  It seemed that every­thing I had experienced before on earth never existed.  Such was my feeling in this new radiant world of mine.  And I was at peace and joyful, and desired nothing better for myself.  All my earthly thoughts concerning fleeting happiness in the world died in this beautiful life, new to me, and did not come back to life again.  So it seemed to me at least, there, in that better world.

   But how I came back here - I do not recall.  What transitory state it was, I do not know. I only felt that I was alive, but I did not remember the world in which I lived before on earth.  This did not seem at all to be a dream.  Actually, about earthly things I no longer had the least notion.  I only felt that the present life is mine, and that I was not a stranger in it. In this state of spirit I forgot myself and immersed myself in this light-bearing eter­nity.  And this timelessness lasted without end, without mea­sure, without expectation, without sleep, in this eternal rest.  Thus it seemed to me that there would not be any kind of change....

   But then suddenly, the thread of my radiant life was cut off and I opened my eyes.  Around me was the familiar forest, and a beam of spring sunlight was playing on its meadows.  I was seized with terrible sadness.  "Why am I here again?" I thought.  And that radiant, light-emanating world which I had experi­enced with all its hosts of numberless visionary entities, vividly remained impressed before my mental eyes.  But my physical vision did not see it any longer.  This terrible and tearful sorrow I could not endure and I began to cry bitterly.

   Only after that experience did I believe in the concept of the separation of the soul from the body, and understood what the special spiritual world was.  But the question of what is the meaning of life still remained a mystery for me.  And in order to penetrate into this mystery I left this world into which I was born, and embraced the monastic life.

   "Oh, Father, then that must have been your dream?" I asked Fr. Ambrose, pointing to his manuscript.

   "I do not know whether it was a dream or whether it occurred in reality," answered the righteous Elder with concen­tration.  "I still have not solved that mystery for myself, but I believe that my spirit lives separately from my body; otherwise it could not have seen that which my physical vision does not know.  After all, one cannot perceive the light of day with the tips of the fingers on one's hand.  So also, I think my soul cannot visualize that which is not in God's world.  And if the soul sees this world, which my eyes do not see, then it must be that it factually does exist as something real.  And I believe in this absolutely.... ".

   With these words, the thoughtful glance of the Elder prayerfully rose to the icon of Christ, and he reverently crossed himself.

   With such universal mysteries was the soul of this highly­ revered Optina Monastery Elder, Ambrose, filled.  With such an outlook on God's world he directed all believing pilgrims who used to come to Optina to him to get a holy blessing for their lives.  And precisely in this transcendent spirit he greeted all people who were suffering in heart and soul, who sought in his holy guidance healing of their infirmities.  And how many living examples there were of the miraculous spiritual transformations of many people, who were truly partaking of the good counsel of Elder Ambrose....

   I knew a man in Christ. .. (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) such a one caught up to the third heaven (II Cor. 12:2).*

*S. Glebov. From Russky Palomnik, 1904, no. 17, pp. 286–288

Source:
Fr. Leonid Kavelin, Elder Macarius of Optina translated by Valentina V. Lyovina (1995), St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, California, U.S.A.

_______________________________________________
Knowing that the devil can produce psychic experiences that mimic true visions from God, how do we know that this is a true vision except for the sanctity and discernment of the true elder who received this vision?  The first ring of truth that strikes me is Fr. Ambrose's response after he returned to his earthly senses.  He wept.  Bitter tears.  And then he renounced the world to seek after God.

Compare Fr. Ambrose's response to the Moody/MacLaine cases.  The people who come back from the "tunnel" do not 'weep by the waters of Babylon when they remember Sion.'  They do not go inward in prayer.  Instead they do the opposite.  They now have a mission and a purpose -- often to educate others and to testify to their experience of the existence of a soul outside the body.  Or maybe to lead a moral life (like a good Protestant) as an example for others to see.  Often while they are in their vision, before they are sent back, they are even told by some entity that they must go back to fulfill their mission.  The mission never has anything to do with repenting of sins or finding the Church (except maybe to infiltrate it and sully it).

True? or False?

Orthodox? or Protestant?

          True or False?
The purpose of the Church is to prepare its children for heaven through sanctification.

          True or False?
The primary mission of the Church is to unite people through the preaching of the Gospel. 

Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky
Orthodox Dogmatic Theology

Chapter 7 "The Church of Christ"
The Beginning of the Church's Existence, Its growth, and Its Purpose
1997 edition, pages 224 and 225 

The Church of Christ received its existence with the coming to earth of the Son of God, when the fullness of the time was come (Gal. 4:4), and with His bringing of salvation to the world.

The beginning of its existence in its complete form and significance, with the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, was the day of Pentecost, after the Ascension of the Lord.  On this day, after the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, in Jerusalem there were baptized about three thousand men.  And, further, the Lord each day added those being saved to the Church.  From this moment, the territory of the city of Jerusalem, then of Palestine, then of the whole Roman Empire, and even the lands beyond its boundaries, began to be covered with Christian communities or churches.  The name "church" which belongs to every Christian community, even of a single house or family, indicates the unity of this part with the whole, with the body of whole Church of Christ.

Being "the body of Christ," the Church increaseth with the increase of God (Col. 2:19).  Comparing the Church with a building, the Apostle teaches that its building is not completed, it continues: All the building fitly framed groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord (Eph. 2:21).  This growth is not only in the sense of the visible, quantitative increase of the Church on earth; in even greater degree, this is a spiritual growth, the perfection of the saints, the filling up of the heavenly-earthly world through sanctity.  Through the Church is accomplished the dispensation of the fullness of times foreordained by the Father, so that He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth (Eph. 1:10).

In the sense of its earthly growth, the Church develops in the spheres of Divine services and the canons, it is made richer by Patristic literature; its grows in the outward forms which are necessary for its earthly conditions of existence.

The Church is our spiritual home.  As with one's own home--and even more than that--a Christian's thoughts and actions are closely bound up with the Church.  In it he must, as long as he lives on earth, work out his salvation, and make use of the grace-given means of sanctification given him by it.  It prepares its children for the heavenly homeland.

As to how, by the Grace of God, spiritual rebirth and spiritual growth occur in a man, in what sequence these usually occur, what hindrance must be overcome by him on the way of salvation, how he must combine his own indispensable labors with the grace-given help of God--special branches of theological and spiritual learning are devoted to all these matters.  These are called moral theology and ascetic theology.

Dogmatic Theology proper limits the subject of the Church to an examination of the grace-given conditions and the mystical, grace-given means furnished in the Church for the attainment of the aim of salvation in Christ.

About the book:
The purpose of theology is "to give one the energy and encouragement to struggle towards God and our heavenly homeland" There is an emphasis on the inseparable bond between the Church on earth and the Heavenly Church. A standard and vital textbook of Dogmatic Theology.
___________________________
articles referring to Fr. Michael Pomazansky in Fr. Seraphim's magazines

Hymns for the Holy Innocents

Two Hymns of the Church for the Holy Innocents slain by Herod

composition of Andrew of Crete, in Tone VIII: 
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, the dominion of the Jews was abolished. Let the infants slaughtered for Christ leap up, and let Judea lament; for a voice was heard in Rama: Rachel, weeping, bewaileth her children, as it is written, for the all-iniquitous Herod in slaying the babes fulfilled the Scriptures, filling Judea with innocent blood and staining the earth red with their blood, but the Church of the nations is mystically purified thereby and is arrayed in beauty. The Truth is come! God Who hath been born of the Virgin hath appeared to those who sit in shadow, that He may save us all. 

composition of St. John of San Francisco, in Tone VI:
The King having been born in Bethlehem, the magi, guided by a star from on high, come from Persia bearing gifts.  But Herod is troubled, and moweth down the infants like wheat; and he lamenteth, for his dominion will soon be destroyed.

December menaion 2011, 2nd edition, p. 439

Sunday before Nativity in Tennessee

PHOTO
Sunday of the Fathers
24Dec/6Jan
Nashville

Fr. John with Brian after Vigil

Nativity Epistles 2019

Christmas message

His Eminence Metropolitan Agafangel,

First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ!

We live in a world inherited by the fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve. This world lies in the power of sin and death and is unable to contain anything eternal, but only temporary, creating only the illusions of life: giving hope, for example, to the progress of science, which supposedly can solve all our problems in the near future and other illusions . But, ultimately, it is always and for everyone a deception, which, in one way or another, ends in destruction and death. In another way a sinful world cannot exist. We, unfortunately, have become accustomed to this world - have looked narrowly at its darkness, trying to treat our illnesses and to postpone death a little. Learned to be indifferent to the suffering of other people and somehow survive in difficult conditions. But blindness is not proof of the absence of light, just as our non-thought about death does not mean victory over it.

Next to us there is another world - the world of eternity and light, which we call the Kingdom of Heaven - Paradise, which was originally prepared by God for people who do not know sin. But between these two worlds "a great abyss is affirmed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, and from there they also do not cross over to us" (Lk 16.26).

But here, in the middle of the night of sin, we suddenly hear the angelic voices of messengers from that other world - the Heavenly Kingdom, announcing to us that He was born among us, Who has the power to lead people out of the dark region of death into eternal life. In the midst of our sinful world was not born a messenger of the kingdom of God, but the master of the kingdom himself. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Kingdom of Heaven, which opened to us later, on the Mount of Favor, in Himself, this Kingdom "come in power."

The Nativity of Christ is the approach of the Heavenly Kingdom to us.

Meet Him, rejoice in His Christmas as the shepherds rejoiced and worship, as the Magi bowed.

Christ is born - praise Him!
+ Metropolitan Agafangel
Odessa, Christmas of 2018/2019.



CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

Bishop Athanasius, Bishop of the Vologda and Veliky Ustyuzhsky ROCOR

There are many dates that remind us of any events - important victories, great transformations, and those at the head of them who have a turning-defining significance in the life and development of individual countries and peoples.

However, all of them over time or rethought, or just fade, giving way to modernity. But there is one event, the meaning of which does not become depleted, changed life for all times of all tribes and peoples, gave them a new life, and as a reflection of the qualitative change of this new life is a new calendar.

Every act and giving of God is good, but today's celebration and the present triumph is a special good.

To all, without exception, the people "sitting in darkness and the shadow of death," God inclined Heaven came down to earth, fulfilling the ancient promise, inexplicably connecting its Deity with the Spirit inherent in Him, with our heavy flesh. He did not come as a formidable ruler, but as a meek and humble Infant, disgracing the pride of fallen angels and arrogant people.

Expelled from Paradise and having lost its glory, befitting our rank, fallen humanity regained its lost source, feeding on the dryness of the soul with the living water of Divine grace — grace connected to the flesh, which the Savior laid down in the nursery, offering Himself to food and drink, introducing and connecting the sacrament professing Christ, with the infinite Being of God.

However, this is not a time of edification, but a time of praising the Creator. Glory to Thee - who showed us the light - a marvelous unclaimed spiritual light, illuminating our way to Heaven, as a once immaterial star to the sorcerers going to Bethlehem.

Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will among men!

Merry Christmas to you, the archpastors, pastors, monastics and laity are all faithful children of the True Church!