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


SS Athanasius & Cyril

Pent XXXV; SS Athanasius & Cyril

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Fr. Gregory

Sat, Jan 30, 2016 at 7:40 PM
To: (parishioners)

Blessings!  It's been a peaceful, pretty busy week here... helped by being snowed in for the first part of it!  Good thing I put off the trip to Haiti.. we couldn't have gotten out of the hollow safely to get to Nashville (though I'm sure the main roads were OK by midday Monday).  I was pleasantly surprised when I did go out on Wed. for legal affairs I didn't have to tangle with any snow or ice at all on the road, not even in the most thaw-resistant section in deep shade on the steep hill.

Just a few words to call your attention to the two extraordinary saints we commemorate today (are there any ordinary saints?), both archbishops of Alexandria (Egypt, not Tennessee), ardent defenders of the Faith against a panoply of heretics (Arius and Nestorius the best-known), both bitterly persecuted by civil and "church" authorities for their courage.

Why is this important?  You're probably more familiar with Arius, who taught that Jesus was not the Son of God, but rather just the greatest of His creations.  Sound familiar?  There are no genuine "Arians" around any more (except, I've heard, a tiny cluster somewhere in what used to be Czechoslovakia) -- that is, with honest historical connections.  But there are plenty of neo-Arians, some masquerading as "main-line" Christians, but the most prominent and loud-mouthed the "Jehovah's Witnesses".  Athanasius wrote a lengthy and beautiful Trinitarian Creed (Athanasian Creed - look it up!) which has, however, had no liturgical usage in the Church.

And Nestorius (sworn enemy of St. Cyril)?  A back-door attack on the divinity of Christ, denying the appellation "Theotokos; God-bearer" to the Mother of God.  There were a number of variations on this.... always trying to escape the uncomfortable and even terrifying notion that it was truly possible for God and Man to be united in one Body.

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