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


Icon Studio St. Gregory of Sinai Monastery in California

from Internet Sobor

In California (USA) is a monastery of St. Gregory of Sinai in which is a large Icon Studio.  There are written icons in the traditional manner egg tempera and fresco.  Also carried out such works as a mosaic, engraving, carving and die-cast metal.  Directs workshop father Patrick, who was a disciple of Russian icon painter and theologian Leonid Ouspensky.
photos from monastery:

photos albums of icons

monastery website (English):

Fr. Patrick authored Leonid Ouspensky's biography: Recovering the Icon: The Life and Work of Leonid Ouspensky.  A short biography taken from the book is posted on the monastery website.

Internal Church Situation since the Council

Sergey Khazanov, Paszkowski.  On the internal church situation after the Extraordinary Council of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad
Author: Internet Cathedral incl. February 25, 2015 

December 7, 2014 a dozen priests, supported by a significant part of, or the vast majority of his parishioners consciously and openly announced the severance of relations with the Primate and the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church. It was the logical design of the campaign, which over the past year has been unleashed a group of self-proclaimed "zealots." There are various ways to assess the motives that prompted them to make such a move, but it is impossible to deny the obvious: this group went into a split, forming arbitrarily concourse.
Separated (like most dissenters at all times) declared themselves followers of that spiritual heritage, traditions and historical course of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Primate of the hierarchy and unsubstantiated accused of lying, immorality, and numerous neo-sergianist dogmatic and canonical violations. Metropolitan Agafangel, which is the main target of their attacks, separately accused of Russophobia (de it neither more nor less - has unleashed a campaign to demonize the Russian people).
The incident is an event not something extraordinary: splits were in the times of the Ecumenical Councils, took place in our recent history, not to avoid them in the future.
But is of extreme concern is difficult to explain the fact that neither one of the priests who left into schism still by their ruling bishops not apply disciplinary measures - in flagrant violation of canonical rules, none of the rebels is not prohibited in the service, not to mention the more serious measures of exposure.
This state of affairs can not continue for a long time without causing significant damage to the authority of the hierarchy and the temptation faithful members who are in our churchyard. After all gone in a split not only the administrative department from us, they still claim to belong to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and use every opportunity to false accusations and slander against the supreme ecclesiastical authority. Moreover, impunity only encourages the rebels to take action, including attempts to seduce some among our clergy and laity.
Three priests were banned from Izhevsk, Metropolitan before their departure in a split - for insubordination demonstrative power of the ruling bishop - namely, "for taking part in a gathering of arbitrarily organized by Archbishop Sophronius and directed against the integrity and unity of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia." And Metropolitan Agafangel bluntly pointed out that if these priests did not bring repentance and will continue to make the service, despite the ban - they will be deprived of the priesthood.
It is known that these persons have not had repentance, but have initiated the church split. At the last meeting in October Synod clergy of Izhevsk was transferred to the subordination of the Right Reverend Bishop Athanasius of Vologda and Veliky - so in this case it is a matter not of the Metropolitan, and the ruling bishop should properly use their powers (which is necessary to perform in other dioceses ).
A Metropolitan Agafangel already expressed my opinion on this issue in his address to the breakaway that "it is clear that the separation of this group uncanonically, unfounded and crime in relation to the Church of Christ. Thus, - continues Bishop - illegally should be separated, according to the canons, are prohibited from serving non-recovery of the priesthood. In addition, the statement signed the "Appeal": "historical ROCA was shattered, none of its parts formed the now-has full authority remain united ROCOR ", it falls under the anathema of ecumenism," who attack the Church of Christ by teaching, for theirs is divided into branches, which differ in doctrine and life, and that the Church does not seem suschu be alone, but from the branches, divisions and religions will be united into one body (...) or defend their new heresy of ecumenism, supposing that brotherly love and unity of separated Christians: Anathema! ".
Thus Metropolitan Agafangel fatherly urged "all those who took part in the division to repent and return to the bosom of the Russian Orthodox Church and the restoration of the broken unity", but his words were not heeded.
If control our dioceses, which consisted of priests who have gone into schism, it is believed that the more appropriate in the circumstances to pull the thing on the brakes and do nothing, then this position is seen as profoundly mistaken. The bishop should not be eliminated, so as not to give rise to rumors among his flock, but to separate virtue from vice, the more so because it is required by the norms of canon law and taking care of Orthodox piety, chief guardian and protector of Orthodox bishop who is in the diocese entrusted to him.

Sergey Khazanov, Paszkowski
February 2015, Saint Petersburg
     Сергей А. Хазанов-Пашковский. О внутрицерковной ситуации, сложившейся после Чрезвычайного Архиерейского Собора Русской Зарубежной Церкви
     Автор: Интернет Собор вкл. 25 Февраль 2015. Опубликовано в Авторская колонка
7 декабря 2014 года полтора десятка священнослужителей при поддержке значительной части или подавляющего большинства своих прихожан осознанно и открыто объявили о разрыве отношений с Предстоятелем и Архиерейским Синодом Русской Зарубежной Церкви. Это было логическое оформление той кампании, которая на протяжении прошедшего года была развязана группой самозванных «ревнителей». Можно по-разному оценивать мотивы, которые побудили их пойти на подобный шаг, но невозможно отрицать очевидное: указанная группа ушла в раскол, образовав самочинное сборище.
 Отделившиеся (как большинство раскольников во все временапровозгласили себя ревнителями духовного наследия, традиций и исторического курсаРусской Зарубежной Церкви, а Первоиерарха и священноначалие голословно обвинили во лжи, безнравственности, неосергианстве и многочисленных догматических и канонических нарушениях. Митрополита Агафангела, который является главной мишенью их нападок, отдельно обвинили в русофобии (он де ни много, ни малоразвязал кампанию по демонизации русского народа).
Произошедшее событие не являет собой нечто чрезвычайное: расколы были еще во времена Вселенских Соборов, имели место в нашей недавней истории, не избежать их и в будущем.
Но вызывает крайнее беспокойство то труднообъяснимое обстоятельство, что ни к одному из ушедших в раскол священнослужителей до сих пор со стороны их правящих архиереев не применены меры дисциплинарного взыскания – при вопиющем нарушении канонических правил никто из бунтовщиков не запрещен в служении, не говоря уже о более серьезных мерах воздействия.
Такое положение дел не может продолжаться длительное время без нанесения существенного урона авторитету священноначалия и соблазна верных членов, пребывающих в нашей церковной ограде. Ведь ушедшие в раскол не просто административно отделились от нас, они по-прежнему претендуют на принадлежность к Русской Зарубежной Церкви и используют любую возможность для надуманных обвинений и клеветы в адрес высшей церковной власти. Более того, безнаказанность только подталкивает бунтовщиков к активным действиям, в том числе и к попыткам соблазнить некоторых из числа наших духовных лиц и паствы.
Трое священников из Ижевска были запрещены Владыкой Митрополитом еще до их ухода в раскол – за демонстративное неподчинение власти правящего архиерея, а именно – «за участие в самочинном сборище, организованном архиепископом Софронием и направленном против целостности и единства Русской Православной Церкви Заграницей». Причем Митрополит Агафангел прямо указал, что если указанные священники не принесут покаяния и продолжат совершать службы, несмотря на запрет – они будут лишены священного сана.
Как известно, указанные лица не только не принесли покаяния, но выступили в качестве инициаторов церковного раскола. На прошедшем в октябре совещании Архиерейского Синода духовенство г. Ижевска было передано в подчинение Преосвященного Афанасия Епископа Вологодского и Великоустюжскогопоэтому в данном случае это уже дело не Митрополита, а правящий архиерей должен подобающим образом воспользоваться своими властными полномочиями (что необходимо исполнить и в других епархиях).
А Митрополит Агафангел уже высказал свое мнение по данному вопросу, указав в своем Обращении к отколовшимся о том, что «совершенно очевидно, что отделение этой группы неканонично, безосновательно и преступно по отношению к Церкви Христовой. Таким образом, – продолжает Владыка, – отделившиеся незаконно должны быть, согласно канонам, запрещены в священнослужении без права восстановления их священстваК тому же, утверждение подписавших «Обращение»:«историческая РПЦЗ оказалась раздроблена, ни одна из её образовавшихся частей ныне не обладает полнотой полномочий прежней единой РПЦЗ», вполне подпадает под анафему экуменизму: «Нападающим на Церковь Христову и учащим, яко она разделилась на ветви, яже разнятся своим учением и жизнию, и утверждающим Церковь не сущу видимо быти, но от ветвей, расколов и иноверий соединитися имать во едино тело (…) или защищают их новую ересь экуменизма, мняще ю братскую любовь и единение разрозненных христиан быти: АНАФЕМА».
При этом Митрополит Агафангел отечески призвал «всех, кто принял участие в разделении к покаянию и возвращению в лоно Русской Зарубежной Церкви и восстановлению нарушенного единства», однако его слова услышаны не были.
Если управляющие нашими епархиями, в которых состояли священнослужители, ушедшие в раскол, полагают, что целесообразнее в сложившейся ситуации спустить дело на тормозах и ничего не предпринимать, то такая позиция видится глубоко ошибочной. Епископу надлежит не устраняться, дабы не порождать кривотолки среди своей паствы, а отделить добродетель от порока, тем более, что этого требуют нормы канонического права и забота о православном благочестии, главным блюстителем и охранителем которого православный архиерей является во вверенной ему епархии.
    Сергей А. Хазанов-Пашковский
    февраль 2015 года, Санкт-Петербург

Explanation of the Three-bar Cross

An Explanation of the Traditional Russian Orthodox Three-bar Cross
(also called the Eight-pointed Cross)

The symbolism of the "complete" Cross (much of which is contained in the Old Rite Russian prosphora seal and on metal and wood icons) is quite complex. Since the Old Rite tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church is much richer than the New Rite Church in its use of symbolism to teach the faithful, this article should be of benefit to those unfamiliar with this tradition.

Through the Cross came our Salvation. We are constantly reminded that Christ died for us when we see the Image of the Cross (depicting the crucified Lord), and we are reminded that He rose from the dead when we behold the Image of Christ "Not made by hands" (Slavonic: Нерукутвореному образъ) on the towel (depicting the Lord risen from the dead).

Worshipping the crucified Lord are two flying angels, with the inscription between them: "Angels of the Lord" (in Slavonic: Ангели Господни). In some depictions of the Cross the Angels are bearing an image of the Holy Trinity, but traditions vary in allowing this; usually the Angels are simply holding towels, indicating their position as messengers who serve the Lord and who wait on Him.

The top bar of the Cross is the title-board which Pilate ordered to be hung in mockery over Christ's head. On this board was inscribed: "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" in Hebrew, Greek and Latin (abbreviated to the Greek initials 'INBI', or the Latin initials 'INRI' in the Western tradition). This has been replaced with the Christian inscription: "King of Glory" (Slavonic: Царь славы), placed below the knees of the angels. [Note that while the use of the inscription 'І.Н.Ц.І.' does not usually appear in the Russian tradition, examples of its occurrence are occasionally found on newer Russian Crosses.] On the title-board is inscribed the initials 'IC XC', being the first and last letters of Christ's name in Greek (Greek: Iisous Khristos; Old Rite Slavonic: Ісоусъ Христосъ; New Rite Slavonic: Іисусъ Христосъ). In addition, just above Christ's arms we see the inscription: 'NIKA', which in Greek means: "He conquers" or "He is victorious." [Frequently, especially on the Greek and New Rite Russian prosphora seal, we see these last two inscriptions together with the simple two-barred Cross: 'IC XC NI KA', meaning: "Jesus Christ is victorious" (i.e., over death and sin). Note that in the proper Orthodox tradition the Saviour does not wear a crown of thorns (as in the Western tradition), nor is He portrayed alive on the Cross, nor in any aspect of suffering, but in a state of humble and peaceful repose, with inclined head. Also note that His feet are nailed with two nails.]

The middle bar is that on which the Lord's hands were nailed. On either top corner we see the depiction of the sun (left; in Slavonic: солнца) and the moon (right; in Slavonic: луна), for "The sun hid its light, and the moon turned to blood." (Joel 2:31) The inscription: "Son of God" (Slavonic: Сынъ Божіи) is placed on both sides of Christ's head, and below His arms we read the inscription: "We bow down before Thy Cross, O Master, and we worship Thy holy Resurrection" (in Slavonic: Кресту Твоему покломняемся Владыко, и святое воскресение Твое славимъ). The halo of Christ is inscribed with the Greek letters 'w ov', meaning: 'The Being' or 'He Who is', to remind us that Christ is the same God Who identified Himself with those words to Moses in the Old Law.

Behind the body of Christ, on either side, are a lance (which pierced Him) and a sponge (which was soaked with gall or vinegar and offered Him to drink) on a pole made of reed or cane. The lance (on the left:) is marked "К" in Slavonic; standing for "копие", while the sponge (on the right) is marked "Т", standing for: "трость" (which means: 'reed' or 'cane'). [On some Crosses one might see instead of "Т" the inscription "Г" which stands for "губка" (sponge) in Slavonic.] On the body of Christ is depicted blood and water flowing forth from His side.

The slanted bottom bar is the foot-brace. In prayers for the Ninth Hour, the Church likens the Cross to a type of balance of righteousness:

"Between two thieves Thy Cross did prove to be a balance of righteousness: wherefore one of them was dragged down to Hades by the weight of his blasphemy [the balance points downward], whereas the other was lightened of his transgressions unto the comprehension of theology [the balance points upward]. O Christ God, glory to Thee."

The city of Jerusalem is depicted in the background, for Christ was crucified outside the city walls. By the foot of the Cross are the letters: "Г Г" standing for 'Mount Golgotha' (in Slavonic: Гора Голгофы); this is the hill outside the city gates upon which Christ was crucified. Below the feet of Christ are four Slavonic letters with abbreviation marks: "М.Л.Р.Б.", meaning: "The place of the skull, where Adam was" (in Slavonic: Место лобное рай бысть). Hidden in a cave under the earth is 'the skull of Adam' (for by pious tradition it is said that Christ was crucified at preciseIy the same place where Adam was buried), identified with the letters: "Г А" (in Slavonic: глава Адамла). We are thus reminded that Adam our forefather lost Paradise through the tree from which he wrongIy partook; Christ is the new Adam, bringing us Salvation and Paradise through the tree of the Cross.

Lenten Sermons: St. John S&SF


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• St. Nicholas Convent Newsletter Vol. 1 Issue 1

• President John Quincy Adams on Islam 1830
The average American’s lack of awareness of the past has left our nation in an extremely vulnerable position.

• See English translation Internet Sobor article: Solidarity with Russia

Sunday of Orthodoxy Anathemas with anathema against sergianism added
   Anathema Service 1967 (with bishop)
• In Germany starts persecution of preaching religious exclusiveness
  Pastor is charged with sedition for saying that Christians and Moslems do not worship the same God.

• Another abomination of the western rite movement
          (link not activated on purpose)
"A New Face for an Ancient Faith – the Roman Orthodox Church"

• So much for the ceasefire
And Monday, Great Lent starts.  Makes a so-called Orthodox country look real good, doesn't it?  Putinland won't forget and won't forgive?  Forgive what?
 A rally has taken place in Moscow to condemn the "coup" in neighbouring Ukraine, a year after the downfall of its pro-Russian president.
 Russian state media heavily promoted the rally and march with the slogan "We won't forget!  We won't forgive!".

(Reuters) - Pro-Russia   http://uk.reuters.com/places/russia   separatists are building up forces and weapons in Ukraine's south east and the Ukrainian military said on Saturday it was braced for the possibility of a rebel attack on the port city of Mariupol.
  The Kiev military accused Russia on Friday of sending more tanks and troops towards the rebel-held town of Novoazovsk, further east along the Sea of Azov coast from Mariupol, expanding their presence on what it fears could be the next battlefront.
  A rebel attack on Mariupol, a city of half a million people and potentially a gateway to Crimea, which Russia annexed last March, would almost certainly kill off a European-brokered ceasefire.

• UK and EU 'badly misread' Russia
Perhaps the 'West' is waking up.  This seems to imply some no longer believe that Russia is a democratic country.
  The report claimed that for too long the EU's relationship with Moscow had been based on the "optimistic premise" that Russia was on a trajectory to becoming a democratic country.
  The result, it said, was a failure to appreciate the depth of Russian hostility when the EU opened talks aimed at establishing an "association agreement" with Ukraine in 2013.

• Russian bombers seen off British coast
On the same day, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon warned that Russia's President Putin posed a "real and present danger" to three Baltic states.
  The MoD said: "RAF Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighter aircraft were launched [on Wednesday] after Russian aircraft were identified flying close to UK airspace.
  "The Russian planes were escorted by the RAF until they were out of the UK area of interest. At no time did the Russian military aircraft cross into UK sovereign airspace."
  A similar incident occurred in January, when the UK Foreign Office said two Russian Tu-95 Bear H bombers flying near UK airspace had caused "disruption to civil aviation" and were also escorted by RAF jets while near UK airspace.

• Quote from Philokalia
67. Some of the things which we do for the sake of God are done in obedience to the commandments; others are not done in obedience to the commandments but, so to speak, as a voluntary offering. For example, we are required by the commandments to love God and our neighbor, to love our enemies, not to commit adultery or murder and so on. And when we transgress these commandments, we are condemned. But we are not commanded to live as virgins, to abstain from marriage, to renounce possessions, to withdraw into solitude and so forth. These are of the nature of gifts, so that if through weakness we are unable to fulfill some of the commandments, we may by these free gifts propitiate our blessed Master.

A Child's Lent Remembered

Story for Clean Monday

Orthodox America
A Child's Lent Remembered

St. James website is host to the archives of "Orthodox America" magazine.  This is the 25th consecutive year that the Clean Monday story is posted on Fr. Mark's LISTSERV emailing list.

St. James in Oklahoma website

Sermon: On Keeping the Fast


Great Lent is upon us, and on its threshold it would be good for the Christian to think about how he should spend the time of Great Lent, and above all, how he should observe the fast and follow the church rules.  We need to keep in mind that on one hand, whenever the rules on fasting are mentioned in the church books, they seem to be intended for monasteries.  Yet we know that the great ascetics and fasters observed the fast much more strictly than the church rules call for.

Yesterday, on the last Saturday before Great Lent, the Church commemorated all those ascetics who lived their lives in extremely strict abstinence.  They include St. Anthony the Great, St. Macarius the Great, St. Theodosius the Great, St. Pimen the Great, St. Euthymius the Great, and others.  All of them were ascetics who, I repeat, fasted much more strictly than the church rules call for.  Of course, by pointing them out to us, the Church does not require that we imitate them to the same extent.  First of all, they had a completely different way of life.  They were recluses or, at any rate, desert-dwellers.  Their amazing accounts are contained in the Lives of Saints.  For example, St. Paisius the Great seems to have set a record among them.  Except for the Holy Gifts, he took no food for two forty-day periods in a row, that is, for eighty days straight.  Nonetheless, he was so full of strength, not only spiritual but physical as well, that he was able to observe all the rules and fulfill all his duties as a monk even while fasting.  Many saints fasted for forty days, imitating the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, while those who fasted for one week at a time took food only at the end of the week.  There were many who did likewise, and also in Russia.  But, I repeat, the Church does not at all require that we do the same.  The Church sets forth rules for fasting.  If those saints could fast like that, the requirements in our service books are more or less within reach of everyone.  Of course, when a person really is not capable, he is not required to follow the fasting rules strictly, because the point is for a person to restrain to some degree his passionate, capricious, and lustful flesh, and humble it, dealing with it firmly and subjugating it to his spirit.  Fasting is necessary to humble one’s sinful fleshly nature, but if a person is sick, such measures are not required of him as of a healthy person, because fasting accomplishes that which in his case is brought about by his illness that has weakened his nature.  A strict fast is not required of someone who is infirm and feeble, someone who is already fighting or is threatened by illness.  Just remember that if a person cannot fast strictly and it is lent, let him just observe the fast to the extent that he is able, so as not to weaken himself further, for he is already weak.  However, during lent he should definitely abstain from something he really likes, whether it be food or something else.  Let him exercise restraint in some way or another to make up for his not fasting from food, for it is during Great Lent that he should abstain from anything else he really likes that has become habitual and could possibly turn into a passion.

For example, I have known many people who had the bad habit of smoking tobacco.  Many of them would stop when Great Lent started.  They bravely endured those feelings of deprivation that a person experiences when he quits.  The urge to smoke decreases, and eventually it becomes easier to abstain.  And then when you ask them, “Well, if you are already used to not smoking, for it seems that it is not so hard for you now, why do you take it up again when it is Pascha and the fast is over?”  They say, “We really don’t know...we don’t really feel like smoking, but do so anyway, out of weakness...”

We must remember that a person’s will is weak when he relies solely on himself.  But when he relies on God’s help, and, realizing his weakness, asks the Lord for help, the result is completely different.  I knew one lady, already getting on in years, who for forty years smoked non-stop, like a chimney.  She was told that St. Seraphim would help people with such an addiction.  And a real miracle took place.  Here was a woman who could not do without a cigarette for even half an hour, and, as she later told me herself, she went to the icon of St. Seraphim and with great faith asked him, “Batiushka Father Seraphim, you know that I do want to give up this bad habit. Help me to give up smoking!”  And, as she said, she never again wanted a cigarette.  This shows that when a person turns to the Lord and to His saints with such wholehearted faith, God’s help will come WITHOUT FAIL!  We have to remember this!  Lent is the time when a person needs to think about his life and about his soul, and strive to somehow cleanse it from all kinds of sinful pollution and purify it.  Indeed, we have to spend the time of Great Lent not just going to confession and receiving Holy Communion as a formality, then going back to the same sins, but really thinking about our life, evaluating it according to the holy and rigorous commandments of the Gospel, and striving to somehow improve ourselves during these holy days.  And we need to ask the Lord for help that we may somehow manage to keep controlling ourselves, so that whatever we may have accomplished would not disappear without a trace, as it often happens when Lent is over, but that it would all remain secure in our souls as a spiritual acquisition.

As Lent begins, we should all ask the Lord to help us make good use of this time.  The holy fathers liked to say that for good reason, in our northern hemisphere, lent always occurs in the springtime.  Spring is the time for sowing, and now, good seeds are sown so that we can enjoy the fruits thereof for the whole year.  We need to think of this spiritual spring as the time to sow good seeds in our hearts so that they will, with God’s help, yield good and lasting fruit.  Amen.

St. Metropolitan Philaret of New York, Sermons, Vol. II, pp. 35-37 

Translator unknown.  Post will be sometime moved to http://blessedphilaret.blogspot.com 

Expulsion of Adam icon

RTOC priest Siluan Dignac asks forgiveness and sends this icon

Non-Orthodox faster shares his experience

5-day water fast

Fasting can have powerful "religious" effects even for pagans and non-believers.
See what this man, Colin in Austalia, reports on Day #4 of a water-only fast:

 8 Minutes

see minute 6:05
"... What I'm seeing very clearly with the fast is that the fast is forcing me, (if you like), into being absolutely present all the time.  And it's a very internal thing and it's like I'm, for the first time in awhile, I've stepped outside of the usual Colin that exists in the world that's constantly running and doing his best and giving everything and working, thinking, and eating what I feel like, – whenever I feel like it, I just find something and grab it, because everything is available – we live in such an abundant... we have such abundant lives, we are so gifted in that way.  But the fast is kind of the opposite side of that, it's stepping outside of that and seeing all of that momentum, it is almost like a big hurricane, it's the world,  – and the fast is about stillness and about being present.

"And then what happens is that everything lights up inside of me that came from that hurricane, everything that I've acquired, all of the toxins, everything that I've eaten, everything that I've done that has come from that and it's in here (inside self).  And the fast is being about presence – it's like shining a light on all of that noise.

"And that is what that 'shufflling'  –  'head-in-a-vice' thing was (heavy-headedness experienced earlier in the day) –  it was seeing everything that I've created and taking responsibility for it in a way that I haven't done before."

DAY #1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzFCwcaeezI
DAY #2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOXLszG4Aw4
DAY #3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9wrLzW4RCc
DAY #4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V58HPT6CrIY
DAY #5  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4vQkoHsU5o

Discussion on Clinical Fasting

Dr. McDougall makes reference to Biblical fasts and "the diet of Daniel".

Fr. Seraphim regarding Matthewites

"…Those Old Believers are fascinating, but they are far from the spirit of Orthodoxy – perhaps something like the Matthewites."

Going to Greece, the super-correct faction tried to create political ties between the Russian Church Abroad and the most extreme of all Old Calendar groups: the "Matthewites," who believed that not only were all the new calendar Churches without grace, but any Church that had anything at all to do with them was also graceless. This plan later backfired, for the Matthewites learned that, contrary to what they had been led to believe, the Russian Church Abroad was far too "liberal" for them.
In 1976 the English-speaking Orthodox mission was also struck a blow when people (mostly insecure converts) from other Orthodox Churches  were directed by the super-correct contingent to get "rebaptized" in the Russian Church Abroad. Even people who had been receiving Communion for years in the Church Abroad, if their baptism was under suspicion of being "graceless" or "uncanonical," were told that this rebaptism was necessary.  "Recently," Fr. Seraphim wrote, "some wished to see such a 'rebaptism' performed in our Western American diocese, but our Archbishop Anthony wisely refused to allow it, in which we gave him our full support—for indeed, it would have been tantamount to an open declaration of the absence of grace in the Greek Archdiocese."

Another pilgrim recalls his futile attempts to enter into intellectual debates with Fr. Seraphim.  As a pastor of a Protestant church, this man was convicted in his heart by the spiritual depth of Orthodoxy.  In order to prove that Orthodoxy was not the true way after all, he wanted to win an argument with Fr. Seraphim.  At one point he worked out an elaborate polemic against Orthodoxy based on the fact that pogroms against Jews had occurred in pre-Revolutionary Russia.  When he approached Fr. Seraphim and began setting forth his points about the pogroms, the latter replied, “I don’t have to defend something that is obviously unChristian.”  As the man recalled later, “That reply shred all my pre-planned arguments to pieces!”  On other occasions, when the pastor would speak to Fr. Seraphim in a contentious tone, trying to provoke him to debate, Fr. Seraphim would say nothing at all, but would simply stand up and walk away.  This taught the man a profound lesson, and he now regrets that his competitive approach robbed him of precious opportunities...
page 777 Not of This World