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

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

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





Photo St. John & St. Philaret


Archbishop John and
Metropolitan Philaret
serving Liturgy at
Holy Protection church
in Los Angeles
4-th of July 1965.
http://www.orthodox.cn/saints/manofgod/introrussian_en.htm

Sticky

√ photos of Dormition burial service in Sofia

MP/RocorMP/OCA concelebration

shared with us...

Subject: Three Mets Concelebrate
Date: Thursday, August 30, 2012, 12:21 PM

Rec'd from a friend in CALIF.

Thought you would like to know that Met Jonah, Met Hilarion, and Met Hilarion all served together in SF today. Archbishops Justinian, Kyril and Benjamin (OCA) served as did Bishop Theodosius (and I am sure others).  Met Jonah was commemorated along with the other hierarchs. 

• Bishop Nikolai (Former Bishop of Alaska who was forced out by the OCA) served in the ROCOR church in LA.
• Bishop Matthias of the Midwest (OCA) is on Leave of Absence (no idea why).
• In Nov the OCA is selecting a new Met. Can't imagine who it would be!
• photo below is from last night

see candid commentary:
Con-celebrations

Newly found old photos of St. Philaret

shared with us by Fr. James Thornton who found these in Oxnard during the Dormition feast days.  Photos from the mid-1960's.

Icon written by our sisters of St. John's monastery


To all our brothers and sisters!
 Our St. John Monastery in Odessa is very much in need of financial assistance. We need to insulate the icon-painting workshop and living quarters for nuns and pilgrims. We were visited by many guests, including clergy, who need to create comfort and warmth. But gas heating is very expensive, and the price will go up twice! A power supply, we have very bad. In addition, the need to rebuild the icon-painting workshop and warm to the icons and materials are not killed by the cold. We just finished building a house for pilgrims, and the money is already gone. Will be a very hard winter. We resort to the help of all merciful people and ask all possible help! And first of all, please pray! 
With love in Christ,  
Sisters of St. John of Shanghai Monastery. 
Odessa. 2012.

Donations may be sent to the Roca Assistance fund earmarked for the monastery:
ROCA Assistance Fund
P.O. Box 7119
Falls Church VA 22040

Invitation to a Roca blog


Nun Vera invites us to see her blog through a translator and asks for Roca news from around the world.


Dear Joanna, hello! I am nun Vera of St. John of Shanghai Monastery of Odessa. I'm helping our metropolitan Agathangelus published by the diocese. I do not know much English, so I write a translator internet. Please, if you can, you send me news of our Church in America, Haiti and other countries. I will be very grateful! 
This is my log: http://inokinya-fakel.livejournal.com/

In the beginning was the Word

Shattering the Evolution Theory

Radio Interview with Research Scientist:  Shattering the Evolution Theory

Noah's Ark Found? - The Best Evidence

Man Builds Noah's Ark

Apostles, who have gathered here

from all the ends of the earth
excerpt from the writings of St. Maximus the Confessor



107  And the blessed and all-holy one blessed them and informed them about her departure from the world.  She told them about the Dormition that had been related to her by the archangel, and she showed them the symbol of her Dormition, the date palm branch given to her by the chief of the angels, and she consoled them and blessed them.  She strengthened them and encouraged them to carry out their excellent preaching.  She greeted Peter and Paul and all the others and said, "Rejoice, O children, friends, and disciples of my son and God. blessed are you who have thus been found worthy to be disciples of the gracious and glorious Lord and master, and he entrusted you with the ministry of such mysteries, and you have been called to share in his persecution and suffering, so that the Lord of glory will make you worthy to partake of his kingdom and glory, as he himself promised and commanded you."  Such a blessing and teaching she spoke to them according to her glory, and she explained to them the rites of anointing her with myrrh and her burial.  And she extended her hands and began to give thanks to the Lord and said:

"I bless you, O king and only-begotten Son of the beginningless Father, true God of true God, who consented to become incarnate from me, your handmaid, through the incalculable, philanthropic good will of the Father and the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

I bless you, the giver of ever blessing, who spread forth light.

I bless you, the source of every life of goodness and peace, who bestow on us knowledge of yourself and of your beginningless Father and of the co-beginningless and life-giving Holy Spirit.

I bless you, who were ineffably pleased to dwell in my womb.

I bless you who so loved human nature that you endured crucifixion and death for our sake, and by your Resurrection you resurrected our nature from the depths of Hell, and led it up to heaven and glorified it with an incomprehensible glory.

I bless you and glorify your words, which you have given us in truth, and I believe that all things that you have said to me will be fulfilled."


108  When the holy and all-blessed Theotokos was silent after her thanksgiving and prayer, the holy apostles began to speak at the command of the Holy Spirit, and they were singing and glorifying, each on as he was able and as the Holy Spirit gave it to him.  They praised and exalted the inestimable beneficence of God's power, and with their wondrous theology they brought great joy to the heart of the glorious mother of Christ, as the above-mentioned St. Dionysius says in the chapter where he shows "What is the power of prayer, and concerning the blessed Hierotheus, and concerning the writing of theology with reverence."  And his writing is to Timothy, and in this chapter he recalls the gathering of the holy apostles for the Dormition of the holy Theotokos, and how by the command and grace of the Holy Spirit each one of them spoke praises and sang of the incalculable power and beneficence of Christ our God, who deemed it worthy to come into the world inseparably from the bosom of the Father and to become incarnate from the holy Virgin, the one who bowed the heavens and descended [Ps. 17.10] and found the holy and altogether praised Mary, who was chosen and exalted above all the human race, and he consented to dwell within her, and from her he put on human nature, and he had mercy and saved the human race through his glorious and ineffable economy.  blessing and praise to his inestimable goodness and mercy!  And so it is written in the discourse of the blessed Dionysius, "I will relate to you the complete theological discourse that the holy apostles and our bishops pronounced at that time, for it was exalted beyond words, as you yourself know, O brother Timothy, and how after the great apostles, the blessed Hierotheus, the philosopher and disciple of the great apostle Paul, also spoke praises of Christ God and praise and glorification of his immaculate and blessed mother by the grace of then Holy Spirit, and the theologians and apostles themselves recognized: 'The Holy Spirit opened his mouth to speak such words of glorification.'"  After this the Holy Theotokos blessed them again, and her heart was filled with divine consolation.

109  And behold, the glorious and wonderful arrival of Christ her God and son took place, and there were with him innumerable hosts of angels and archangels and other hosts of seraphim and cherubim and thrones: they all stood with awe before the Lord, for wherever the king is, the hosts also accompany him.  The Holy Theotokos knew about all this from the beginning, and she was awaiting with steadfast hope.  Therefore she said, "I believe that all the things that you have said to me will be fulfilled," and at that time she clearly saw the apostles as well, and they beheld the glory, each one according to his ability.  And this present coming of the Lord was more glorious and tremendous than the first, for he appeared more radiant than the brilliance and Transfiguration that occurred on Tabor, although it was less than his natural glory, for that is unfathomable and invisible.  Then the apostles were terrified, and they fell to the ground as if dead.  But the Lord said to them, "Peace be with you," as he had said before when he entered in through closed doors, for at that time they were also gathered together in the house of John: then because of fear of the Jews, and now for the Dormition of the mother of the Lord.  When the apostles heard the sweet and pleasant voice of the Lord, they were revived and strengthened in soul and body, and with reverence they began to look upon the brilliance of his glory and his divinely beautiful face.  Nevertheless, the all-holy immaculate, and blessed mother of Christ was filled with joy, and her glorious face shone with brilliance and divine glory.  But she also beheld with fear and reverence the glory and brilliance that shone forth from her king and son Jesus Christ.  She glorified his divinity even more and prayed for the apostles and for all those who were standing there.  And she sought intercession for all the faithful wherever they were.  She made an offering for the entire world and for every soul that calls upon the Lord and calls to mind the name of his mother, and wherever they observe a commemoration of her, she asked that a blessing would spread throughout that place.  Then again the holy Virgin Mary looked and beheld the glory of her son, which human language is not capable of expressing.

110  And she said, "bless me, O Lord, with your right hand, and bless all those who glorify you and invoke your name, and receive all their prayers and supplications."  Then the Lord held forth his right hand, blessed his mother and said to her, "Let your heart rejoice and be glad, O Mary blessed among women, for every grace and gift has been given to  you by my heavenly Father, and every soul that calls on your name with holiness will not be put to shame but will find mercy and comfort both in this life and in the age to come.  You, however, come forth to the eternal dwelling places, to unending peace and joy, to the treasure houses of my Father, so that you will see my glory and rejoice by the grace of the Holy Spirit."  And immediately at the Lord's command the angels began to sing hymns with a sweet voice, a clear and pleasant voice, and through the Holy Spirit the holy apostles stood shoulder to shoulder and sang with the angelic hymns.  ...

Dormition Icon


Hurricane damage in Haiti

from Fr. Gregory
Monday morning

Blessings!  I have word from Fr. Amboise this morning (obviously at least some electronic services are back up).  Translation of the relevant parts of his e-mail:

Christ protect us with the presence of Isaac in our country!  Much difficulty communicating with Nicolas, yesterday and today, to get information about Jacmel.  Last Friday he told me that several houses were destroyed, all the gardens completely destroyed.  At LaPlaine, above all at St. Dorothy's, there was so much water that I had to get tools to break [part of, I assume] the wall on the east side to let the water out.  The oak tree which was near the mango tree broke and put electricity out of service this sector of the zone.  At my home, water from the streets passed through the yard and into the house.  Isaac has put us in a more critical situation than was already the case.

Fr. Amboise goes on to ask for assistance in cloturing his property (which, if done properly, would help to protect it from future flooding).  It's expensive work, but the property is not very large.  Any "earmarked" contributions greatly appreciated.

The container of food has arrived in Haiti, but is still tied up in Customs.  Help still needed for customs, distribution and preparation costs.

And prayers, of course!

Appeal for Haiti Mission

from our Synod Website 

27.08.12. Due to the fact that the island of Haiti, where there are congregations of our Church, the storm hit, the head of the Mission, Archpriest Gregory Williams appeals to all merciful people to ask for help to the victims. More details can be found here

Holy Ascension Parish in Barnaul

Reader Daniel Sharing

NEWS: Our Persecuted ROCA Holy Ascension Parish in Barnaul, (Russian-Federation), Struggles On Valiantly

maachine trans.

26.08.12   "In [our] Holy Ascension Parish in Barnaul (Russian Federation),
on the 12th. Sunday after Pentecost, was celebrated the first Divine Liturgy
in the repaired church [after the fire]. After the Liturgy, a parish meeting was
held in which were resolved a number of issues, and new members were 
adopted into the parish."  

*19 photos follow.

May  Almighty God, The Most Holy Virgin Mary Mother of God, 
and all the Saints, protect and bless and preserve
these our fellow persecuted Orthodox believers!
 Amen and Amen!

Many Years! Mnogaya Leta!

Vologda Church received into ROCA

Reader Daniel Sharing
This is a little good news., for a change.......( but we know, that they will be persecuted for this brave  act....)
MUCH thanks!!! [to brother Vladimir]


from our Synod website:
  
26.08.12. In the Church of Rev. Seraphim of Sarov in the town of Vologda after the Divine Liturgy, having offered repentance for the heresies of ecumenism and Sergianism, Hieromonk Vladimir (Khorunzhiy) was received into the clergy [ranks] of the ROCA Diocese of Vologda. A decree of Bishop Athanasius appointed Fr. Vladimir the rector of St. Great Martyr. George the Victory-bearer in the village of Argunovo, Nikol’skoy region, Vologda district. Earlier, Hieromonk Vladimir – with the unanimous support of his parishioners – officially resigned from the ranks of the Moscow Patriarchate. We ask the prayers of ROCA parishioners for Fr. Vladimir with the flock. 
Kindly translated by:
Vladimir Djambov, Eng
00359.885.455.189 - M/cell
00359.2.855.62.62 - H
En <> Bg translation, interpreting

Stickies

√ Reader Daniel Sharing:
• OCA Snubbed at Ft. Ross Celebration
• BBC Interviews
• Church and Kremlin are Separate?
• Manton monastery travesty
• Honeymoon is over


Interesting Recent History
Abbesses tell off unionite priest Alexander Lebedev
– from an archived Yahoo group forum 2005

Tropical Storm hits Haiti

Reuters photos:

Fr. Gregory asks for prayers and support, and reports:
I have no direct word from our brethren in Haiti (not surprising; it is probable that most if not all electrical and internet connections have been put out of service at least for awhile).  I did get a "probable last communication" from one of the officers of Fonkozé (the organization which handles our funds transfers) in Port-au-Prince this morning, saying:

..."The winds picked up last night around 9pm and lasted through most of the night. While rain accompanied the winds, the rain did not appear to be very heavy. As of this morning around 7am, the winds have died off completely and now we are getting steady rains (though I still wouldn't say 'heavy' at this point).  From the satellite views, it looks like the center of the storm is now north of the southwest peninsula of Haiti, while the majority of the moisture is still south of Haiti.  I'm assuming this means we're still in for a drencher for most of today.

"I did a drive around downtown Port-au-Prince this morning and must say I was surprised how little damage the storm has appeared to cause thus far. No major trees down, just scattered twigs and leaves. Roads were clear (which is rare even after we just have a night of heavy rains). There were a few food stands (metal frames) that had been blown over near the presidential palace, but besides that I could see no other significant damage. I'm sure that the tents and shacks where people are staying, however, did not fare so well. Tarps and sticks would have undoubtedly suffered damage during the sustained high winds. Overall, the damage thus far was much less than the squall line of storms which raced over Port-au-Prince on July 16 with much higher winds.  As we all know, floods are the most likely source of damage here so if the rains continue and get heavier, we could very well see some flooding later today."...

Pilgrimage to Romania

The Strengthening of Our Unity 
Through the Blessing of St. Glicherie
Reader Daniel sharing
-lengthy report/explanation, and many beautiful photos-
 Category: Inspiring!

From: Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery
Subject: CONCELEBRATION IN ROMANIA
Date: 25 August 2012

Click on to this link:

Metropolitans of the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Greece (Holy Synod in Resistance), The Old Calendar Church of Bulgaria, and the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania celebrate the unity of their witness in Romania.

Sister Churches Celebrate Transfiguration

From: Archbishop Chrysostomos Etna

FW: Feast of the Transfiguration: Romania. Romanian Bishops, 
three Bishops from Greece, Bishop Photii from Bulgaria, 
and, representing our American Exarchate, Archimandrite Akakios


Acum slobozeste pe robul Tau Stapane... Slatioara 2012
14 minutes

the world takes care of its own

http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2012/20120824_print_ennyack.html

RocorMP official website

DIOCESE OF EASTERN AMERICA AND NEW YORK: August 24, 2012
The Supreme Court of NY Rejects a Schismatic Claim on Church Property
On April 16, 2012, Oleg Mikhailovich Rodzianko, former parishioner of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY, filed a claim against the parish with the Supreme Court of the State of NY in Rockland County.
The lawsuit filed by Mr Rodzianko, who had gone into schism, protested so-called attempts to “transfer” the parish and parishioners into the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church.
On Wednesday, August 22, Justice Robert M. Berliner denied the claim in light of the fact that Mr Rodzianko has no standing in the parish, and moreover that a US court does not have jurisdiction over internal church affairs.
As a reminder, the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey, over the signature of Justice William C Todd, returned Holy Protection Parish property in Buena, NJ, to the Eastern American Diocese of ROCOR, which had been seized by a schismatic group. 
Official website of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
© 2006 Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Republication or retransmission of materials must include the reference: "The Official Website of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia."
E-mail for technical information: englishwebmaster@russianorthodoxchurch.ws E-mail for content information: englishinfo@russianorthodoxchurch.ws

Progress or the Cross?


The Kingdom of God on Earth
Progress or the Cross?
by Archbishop Averky of Syracuse
From Orthodox Life, Vol. 28, no.6, Nov-Dec 1978

On August 1, according to our Orthodox ecclesiastical calendar, our Holy Church begins the celebration of the Precious and Life-creating Cross of the Lord, which reaches its climax on September 14, the great feast of the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord, and concludes with the Leave-taking (Apodosis) of the feast on September 21.

Why is this? Is it not enough that we commemorate the Crucifixion of the Lord on the Cross on Great Friday, and that the Holy Church glorifies the Cross of the Lord every Friday?

A profound, inner meaning is concealed in this celebration of the Cross of the Lord: the Holy Church, our concerned mother, wishes to direct our particular attention to this great and saving sign, against which the world, “which lieth in wickedness” (I Jn. 5:19), has always waged, and in our days continues to wage, a deliberate and unrelenting battle – the world which has now plainly fallen away from Christ and is preparing itself to worship Antichrist.

Can anyone dare call himself a Christian who shuts his eyes to all the horrors taking place in the world today, and soothes his conscience, and the consciences of those around him, with assurances that everything is an incidental, transient phenomenon, and that in general the world is moving towards “progress,” towards the establishment of the “Kingdom of God on earth”?

It is frightening to think that we are hearing such assurances more and more often in our days, not only from non-believers, not only from the sectarians who are “chiliasts” (those whose doctrine includes belief in a thousand-year kingdom on earth), but even from certain Orthodox clerics, including some who bear the rank of bishop!

It is difficult to say what these people believe who have apparently been appointed to instruct the people in the pure teaching of the Word of God and the holy Fathers of the Church, and why they are so disposed, marching to the tune of the sectarians at times, and at other times with those who do not believe in God and with the “Christian progressives.” Either they are naive in the extreme and completely ignorant of the clear teaching of the word of God, or they themselves do not believe in anything, but say that which is required of them by the overlords who provide for them, whom they faithfully serve, fearing to lose those worldly goods received from them: money, titles, jobs, high rank in society, pleasures, etc.

The word of God does not give us even the slightest foundation for belief in the establishment of a “Kingdom of God on earth,” or in any worldly progress for humanity; quite the contrary.  It foretells much suffering for true followers of Christ and the “bearing of the cross” in imitation and following of the Lord Who bore the Cross; and for this world, which lieth in wickedness, it foretells an inevitable end.  The promised “Kingdom of Christ on earth” is by no means tangible, but noetic – within the souls, of those who truly believe in Christ, for Whom the Lord became King.

Surely it is not in vain that, laying down the whole course of a true Christian’s earthly life, Christ our Savior said: Whosoever, will come after Me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me (Mk. 8:34), and at the Mystical  Supper before His suffering on the Cross, He forewarned His disciples: “In the world ye shall have tribulation(Jn. 16:33). Neither in vain did the holy Apostles, in complete accord with these words of the Divine Teacher, instruct Christians, We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God(Acts 14:22), or “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps(I Pet. 2:21).

But this transient, earthly world in which the “progressives,” despite the sorry witness of their own eyes, promise the people some completely illusory, happy, “paradisiacal” life with total well-being and prosperity for all, is doomed to destruction on the “day of the Lord,” according to the clear teaching of the word of God, when “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (II Pet. 3:10).

Modern thinkers do not want to hear of this, saying that this might happen “some day,” “many million years hence,” but “never today.”  By such statements, they liken themselves to the “scoffers” that the holy Apostle also refers to, alerting Christians to the dangers lurking for the morality of Christian people.  “Know this first, that there shall come in the last days deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (II Pet. 3:3-4).  It is a characteristic indication that those who speak thus are people who are “walking after their own lusts!”  To such “lusts” have they surrendered themselves, darkening the eyes of their souls so that they no longer see anything, for they look at everything only from the distorted point of view of their “lusts,” which occupy all their attention and interest.

Yet, our Lord Himself clearly taught us not to think of relegating His Second Coming to some vague remote future – “millions of years hence,” – but commanded us to expect Him always, comparing His arrival in its suddenness to that of a thief: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  But know this, that if the householder had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken into.  Therefore, be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Mt. 24:42-44).  The “faithful and wise servant” never says that the Second Coming will be “sometime after many, many years;” and that it is thus not necessary to trouble oneself with this thought, for he knows that the Lord Himself has forbidden him to say: “my Lord delayeth His coming” (Mt 24:48).

What, then, can be said of those who not only do not consider the possibility of the nearness of the end of the world and the Second Coming of Christ, which many signs indicate to us, but believe in some imaginary progress of humanity and the approach of a general well-being and prosperity, although all of modern life, with its total decline of true faith and morality, with its terrible, destructive inventions which deal death to man, simply cries out against this.  Such people are totally alien to Christianity, even though they bear the exalted positions and titles of Christian clerics and hierarchs!

Such people are totally alien to Christianity, 
even though they bear the exalted positions and titles of Christian clerics and hierarchs!

One must know and remember that it is such earthly “progress,” such illusory well-being and prosperity of man on earth, that Antichrist, Christ’s opponent, promises to give to the people.  His servants, who are preparing for his reign on earth, are already striving beforehand in like manner to influence the people, shouting and preaching everywhere about this “paradise on earth” which supposedly awaits the people.  And all those who strive for this earthly “progress” forgetting Christ’s words: “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt. 6:33), who avoid bearing their cross as Christ commands, but think only of how they might make the world better and more free, richer, and more carefree, enjoying all the earthly goods and pleasures, are in the same camp with the servants of the imminent Antichrist, working consciously or unconsciously for his swift appearance and reign in the world.

Such as these are not of Christ, but of Antichrist. 

But we, if we are true Christians and do not falsely or hypocritically bear the name “Christian,” must gaze constantly upon the Cross of Christ, that saving sign of God’s love for us, the token of our salvation, and drawing therefrom abundant and grace-imparting powers “which pertain unto life and godliness” (II Pet. 1:3), must bear our cross as the Lord has commanded us, and must regard this transient earthly life as but a sojourn in a hostel, whence we must return home, to those “heavenly mansions” which the Lord has prepared for us by His suffering on the Cross (Jn. 14:2).

With the great Apostle, we must “consider all things as dung in order to win Christ” (Phil. 3:8).  And we must thus forsake all our purely earthly concerns, all controversies, quarrels, disputes and altercations, from which no one receives any benefit, but only spiritual harm.  “Our life is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). This we must ever constantly keep in mind.

Soon all will come to an end – all this temporal, transient, corrupt earthly world.  Surely we shall not lose our hope of eternal life by surrendering ourselves to our petty passions and lusts!  “Seek those things which are above,” the holy Apostle Paul thus exhorts us, “where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1-2).

Translated from: True Orthodoxy and the Modern World, by Archbishop Averky [Jordanville, N.Y.:  St. Job of Pochaev Press, 1971], pp. 295-299

Isolated Members Are Not Forgotten

An Orthodox Spiritual Saying For You 
and the readings for Sunday August 26/August 13 Julian Calendar 
from ILARION MARR

MY LIFE IN CHRIST  - Saint John of Kronstadt  
page 133 as published by Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY 1984

'In saying "Our Father" we should believe and remember that the Heavenly Father never forgets, and never will forget us, for, even, what good earthly father forgets and does not care for his children?  "Yet will I not forget thee," [Isaiah xlix.15.] says the Lord.  "For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things" [Saint Matthew 6:32]  Take these words to your heart.  Remember that the Heavenly Father continually surrounds you with love and care, and is not called your Father without reason.  Father is not an empty name without meaning and power, but a name full of meaning and power.'

Readings for Sunday
The Epistle of Saint Paul to the:
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
The Holy Gospel according to:
Saint Matthew 19:16-2  
Next Divine Liturgy in English:
Saturday September 15 ten a.m. 
Holy Trinity Church 25-36 37th ST, Astoria, NY 
Astoria Boulevard subway stop 
thank you for your kind attention and support

The Soviet Story

Video  
ROCA Sbdn. Konstantin recommends this video

   "The Soviet Story"

Sbdn. Konstantin says:
      It is one of very few and rare true pictures of the Soviet Union regarding WW2 and cooperation with the Nazi.  This film, shot at one of the Baltic Sea former Soviet republics, has been silenced, pressed and oppressed with all the might of Putin's propaganda machine. 
Let us watch it! 
It can be taken from the Internet!



The Soviet Story 
Edvins Snore - Film (2008) 
http://www.mefeedia.com/watch/28771192
1 hour 15 minutes

Moving, disturbing, information-packed film by a young Latvian about the bloody record of Soviet Communism, and its conflicted legacy in our age. Highlights the Great Famine of 1932-33, the Katyn massacre, genocidal mass deportations, and much more. Draws parallels, sometimes overwrought, between Soviet Russian Communism and German National Socialism, in ideology and policy. Includes interviews with western and Russian historians, and victims of Soviet oppression. Sternly rebukes western European and US indifference. Praised by The Economist as "the most powerful antidote yet to the sanitisation of the past. The film is gripping, audacious and uncompromising." Runtime: 85 mins. 

Other websites with this movie:
http://www.documentarytube.com/the-soviet-story
http://www.livingscoop.com/watch.php?v=MjQwMQ==
http://documentaryheaven.com/the-soviet-story/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyJkZegSJQE

Stickies

√ Blessing of Fruit, our Roca Church in Astoria, YouTube  3 minutes

The earliest known prayer to the Virgin Mary is known as “Beneath thy compassion” (Greek: π τν σν εσπλαγχνίαν). The earliest text of this hymn was found in a Christmas liturgy of the third century. It is written in Greek and dates to approximately 250 A.D.
 https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/api/datastream?publicationPid=uk-ac-man-scw:1m2337&datastreamId=POST-PEER-REVIEW-PUBLISHERS-DOCUMENT.PDF

Replica of Noah's Ark 

Epilogue to 1976 ORF

Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future
Epilogue to the Third Printing
May 1976

In the brief year since this book was printed it has become something of a "best-seller" among Orthodox books; if one includes the original articles in The Orthodox Word from which it was compiled, there will now be close to 5000 copies in circulation – something rather rare for a serious and uncompromising Orthodox book in the English language.  It would seem that, despite the almost universal apostasy of our times, there are still many who are striving to understand and remain in genuine Orthodoxy.

In this year the "religious" phenomena described in this book have become much more widespread.  The "Dialogue" of the World Council of Churches with non-Christian religions and with anti-religious Communism (as manifested at the 1975 World Assembly of the WCC in Nairobi, Kenya) has encountered so little opposition that it no longer needs to apologize for itself; the age of spiritual "detente" has arrived, in which, it would seem, no one any longer presumes to think that he possesses the truth, much less wishes to preach it to others.  Likewise, the activity of the "Temple of Understanding" (see above, pp. 5, 34) steadily expands and finds a welcome audience among the political religious leaders of humanity, as attested by its activities in New York City in connection with the 30th anniversary of the funding of the United Nations in the spring of 1975.

In such a spiritually "neutralized" world, the various forms of "meditation" described in this book – and many other new ones – have become the "latest rage," especially in America, where its various cults receive nationwide publicity.  A recent article in the U.S. News and World Report (Feb. 16, 1976, p. 40) describes them as "consciousness cults" and says of them: "Few of the mind-therapy groups espouse religious views.  They have a wide middle-class, even middle-aged, following among lawyers, doctors, teachers and other 'establishment' types."  Among these cults may be mentioned the "Erhard Seminars Training" established in 1971, "Rolfing," "Silva Mind Control," and various forms of "encounter" and biofeedback," all of which offer a "release of tensions" and a "tapping of the hidden capacities" of man, expressed in a  more or less plausible "scientific" jargon.  By far the fastest-growing of these cults is "Transcendental Meditation" (see above, p. 85), which now claims 600,000 followers in America and is being widely used in the Army, public schools, prisons, hospitals, and by church groups, including parishes of the Greek Archdiocese.  In a word, what is described in the book as a demonic initiation experience is now being accepted as a normal and harmless part of ordinary American life, as simply a form of "mental therapy."  Can we still be so bold as to say that this experience is demonic?

It is most important for Orthodox Christians to be precisely aware of what demonic experience is.  It is by no means necessarily something black and overtly satanic; it is often something apparently light, attractive, and found in conjunction with some of the best qualities of human nature.  All the gods of the pagans are demons (Ps. 95:5) – but this does not mean that all the pagan religions are degenerate and bloody (although some of them, indeed, are).  Some of the pagan religions are comparatively light and  noble and are capable of inspiring a relatively moral and refined life, but the power of the prince of this world, the devil, is such that he makes all the pagans his children, destines for hell – unless they find the grace of God, which alone can save them from perdition.  The Church of Christ saves men from the world – not merely from the dark, overtly evil side of the world, but even from its highest qualities and aspirations.  All merely human devices are powerless to effect our salvation.  Not logic, not good intentions, not a tenderly-loving heart – can save one if he find not the grace of God which lifts one above this world.

The demonic religion described in this book is a striving of the human mind and soul deprived of the grace of God; all its good qualities – and who will deny that it has them? – only serve t entice men into a religious experience that cannot save their souls, and by its apparent success prevents them from finding the true path to salvation.

Over a century ago Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov recorded with awe and foreboding the vision of a simple Russian blacksmith in a village near Petersburg at the dawn of our present age of revolution (1817).  In the middle of the day he suddenly saw a multitude of demons in human form, sitting in the branches of the forest trees, in strange garments and pointed caps, and singing, to the accompaniment of unbelievably weird musical instruments, and eerie and frightful song: "Our years have come, our will be done!" (S. Nilus, Svyatynya pod Spudom, Sergiev Posad, 1911, p. 122.)

We live near the end of this fearful age of demonic triumph and rejoicing when, as our recent Fathers have warned us, grace itself will seem to be departing from the earth.  The religion of the devil, the religion of Antichrist takes possession of men's souls in direct proportion to the departure of grace; it is the participation of apostate humanity in the general rejoicing of the demons at the end of time to see the virtual disappearance of true Orthodoxy from the face of the earth.

Orthodox Christians!  Hold fast to the grace which you have; never let it become a matter of habit; never measure it by merely human standards or expect it to be logical or comprehensible to those who understand nothing higher than what is human or who think to obtain the grace of the Holy Spirit in some other way than that which the one Church of Christ has handed down to us  True Orthodoxy by its very nature must seem totally out of place in these demonic times, a dwindling minority of the despised and "foolish," in the midst of a religious "revival" inspired by another kind of spirit.  But let us take comfort from the certain words of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom (Luke 12:32).

First Printing: April 1975
Second Printing: August 1975
Third Printing: May 1976
Fourth Printing (Second Edition): March 1979
Fifth Printing (Second Edition): February 1983
Sixth Printing (Third Edition): January 1990
Seventh Printing (Fourth Edition): December 1996
Eighth Printing (Fourth Edition): January 1999
Ninth Printing (Fifth Edition): December 2004

Does anyone have a copy of an older printing they'd be willing to let me borrow for a short time [say, 1 or 2 weeks]?   [I already have the 1st, 5th and 9th printings] -jh

and the good news is...

from Vladyka Agafangel's blog
  
  http://agafa-angel.livejournal.com/67572.html

A response dated August 13th 2012 has been received from the Malin district prosecutor’s office, which states a refusal to launch a criminal case against V. A. Stretovych (MP Metropolitan Vissarion) and V. V. Maleta (Malin MP priest) in view of the absence of corpus delicti [of the crime as envisaged] under Art. 161, Criminal Code of Ukraine.  At the same time the July 9th 2012  ruling has been cancelled by the Malin City Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Ukraine which is now refusing to launch a criminal case [based] on the outcomes of the complaint by the parishioners of the town of Malin vis-à-vis the conflict between parishioners of the Holy Protection Parish of MP and of ROCA.  

This letter is in preparation of a decision at the session of the Malin City Council on the consecutive usage of the Holy Protection Church. This is currently what their tactics are like.  
 

                                    To  Agafangel 
Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine      Metropolitan of New York and North
Prosecutor’s Office                 American, archbishop of Tavria and
of the Malin region                 Odessa (M. I. Pashkovsky)
Zhitormir District
     
   I inform that the prosecutor’s office of the Malin district has conducted verification of the application you filed against the actions of Metropolitan of Ovruck and Korostensk Vissarion (in the world V. A. Stretovich) with the field of [violating] the equality of citizens a per their religious beliefs. 

   As a result of the inspection carried out on 8/13/2012 by the [responsible] Malyn District Prosecutor Office a decree has been issued on refusal to [launch] a criminal offense case against Mr. V. A. Stretovich and V. V. Maleta for the suability of their actions [as an] offense under Art. 161 of Ujrane’s Criminal Code on the basis of Art. 6, item 2 of Ukraine’s Civil [Criminal?] Proceedings Code. 

   At that I inform that on August 13th 2012 the Malin District Attorney overturned the decree by the Malyn MV UMVS [police? – Ministry of internal affairs] in Zhitomir district dated July 9th 2012, on the refusal in violation of [launching a] criminal case as a result of inspection of the applications by the community of the town of Malin for the arising of a conflict between the parishioners of the religious Community of the Holy Pokrovskoi parish of the Ovruck-Korostensk eparhu of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.  

   Inspection materials have been referred to the Malin MB Ukraine Ministry of Internal Affairs [police] in Zhitomir district for carrying out additional appropriate checks and taking a legitimate decision.  

   In case of your disagreement with the ruling you have the right to appeal against it under the Ukraine’s CPC [Civil Proceedings Code].
   Malin region prosecutor    /sgd. ill/ A. V. Mel’nik
   Legal Advisor  

• comments

 agafa_angel
August 20 2012
Several people in [the town of] Malin, from the from the alternative MP community, having taken a deeper look at the developments around the Holy Protection Church, HAS JOINED ROCA. Glory [be] to God

Vladimir Djambov, Eng
00359.885.455.189 - M/cell
00359.2.855.62.62 - H
En <> Bg translation, interpreting
Vladimir bravely tackled this translation of Ukrainian and tells us:
This is what I managed to get 'translated'.
 My Ukrainian is poorer than my poor Russian:
[a Bulgarian peasant told the taxman (in a BG movie)
"I have one sheep and my goats are fewer..."]
Vladimir

Rocana News clips

ROCANA Update: August 19, 2012 

METROPOLITAN AGAFANGEL VISITING NORTH AMERICA IN SEPTEMBER
     Metropolitan Agafangel will visit North America September 18-30. 


SYNOD OF BISHOPS MEETING IN ODESSA
     The Synod of Bishops held its third annual conference August 10-12.  The theme of the conference was "The paths of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in the contemporary world."  Representatives of 17 parishes in Ukraine, Russia and Belorus attended.  We will provide conference materials once they are translated.


UNJUST GOVERNMENTAL INTERVENTION IN MALIN
     According to information provided by the the Department of Religion in the Zhytomyr Oblast, in July Oblast Governor Ryzhkov, despite court decisions to the contrary,ordered that representatives of the Moscow Patriarhate be given legal documents (a charter and proof of registration) making them the owners of the Church in Malin.  In this way, Mr Ryzhkov provided support for the MP efforts to seize the church. This unfortunate step is not the final word in the matter.

Snakes of the Virgin

Video: Snakes of the Virgin [30 minutes] parts 1,2,3




Early Traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition

Various early narratives of the Virgin's Dormition
CAVEAT LECTOR: heterodox editions

Baby grabs surgeon

Fr. Gregory sharing a post on a yahoo group

Blessings!  I've seen this before, and you may have also -- but it's well worth a second look.  The poster is one of our customers in Australia.  I went a little further this time (too many well-intentioned hoaxes around!) and located a CNN article confirming (and giving a lot more info) at:

 So much for all the arguments in favour of abortion.  Anyone who knows me I am totally anti-abortion, being a survivor of an attempted abortion.
_______________________________________

A picture began circulating in November. It should be 'The Picture of the Year,' or perhaps, 'Picture of the Decade.' It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the US paper which published it, you probably would never have seen it. 

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by surgeon named Joseph Bruner. 

The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta .... She knew of Dr Bruner's remarkable Surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt Univ Med Ctr in Nashville , he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb. 

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. Dr Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile. 

The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, 'Hand of Hope.' The text explaining the picture begins, 'The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life.' 

Little Samuel's mother said they 'wept for days' when they saw the picture. She said, 'The photo reminds us pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person. Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 percent successful. 

Now see the actual picture, and it is awesome....incredible....and hey, pass it on. The world needs to see this one!