DEP PSALTIC ARTS GROUP -Vespers for the Transfiguration|
DEP PSALTIC ARTS GROUP -Vespers for the Transfiguration|
DEP PSALTIC ARTS GROUP -Saturday Vespers Doxasticon for the Holy FathersInbox
Meanwhile, as although He is the Redeemer, clothed in humility, He is not recognized by carnal minds, despite His obviousness. They are left to wonder at things spiritually akin to themselves, chasing after things foreign to themselves, liable to decay.To me, the wretched one, He has granted to know Himself. When my eyes were closed, clay mixed with spittle coming out of His mouth were healing them. The Cross of Christ opens the eyes of the mind; the Cross of Christ maintains health, heals diseases of the eyes. Separate from the Cross of Christ there is no truth of Christ. Peace and truth will destroy those that are of the devil. I stand before my Lord and I see His Holy Providence, and I wonder at His long-suffering patience, how merciful He is to those sinful errors into which I fell due to my self-will and self-willed logical thinking. I commit my soul into the hands of God; that which He grants me, that I will accept. He knows my strength, because He gave it to me. If I am given one talent corresponding to my strength, I do not search for five, so as not to fail under the weight of them; so that the gift which is meant to serve for benefit, does not serve for condemnation.
I run from my sinful falls - not into reclusion, not into the desert - but to self-reproach, to confession of my sins, to repentance.My bewilderment, my rational judgements and my will, I cast into the depths of the mercy and providence of God.
justification by word does not belong to Christian life and is not prescribed anywhere in the teaching of Christ.If the Lord Himself, standing before worldly authority, while exalting the Truth of the Cross before the gaze of the universe, did not give any attention to external truth, not one word, like dust and ashes, if He met their accusations with silence, then who, looking at the depths of his heart, and seeing accurately, dare oppose his accuser? Such a person will tell the sword waving at him: strike, because you were not raised in vain. He will say to the disasters: Attack me and dispirit me, because I deserve it. He will say to the body, exhausted by disease and sent into exile: Go, for you have sinned. He will say to his brethren, pray for me the defiled one, you angels of God. He will fall to the feet of adulterers and murderers and say unto them: pray for me, for you are more righteous than me. Such is my state, when the [spiritual] eyes of my mind are open; but when they close, then my condition becomes far worse: for the wounds naturally remain the same; but to the diseases of my heart is added the blindness of my mind.
From blindness is born insensitivity, loss of love for our neighbor, and the loss of compunction and comforting mourning, the amassing wounds to wounds and diseases to diseases.In short - whether I see or am blinded - my condition is extremely disastrous, worthy of the tears and sobs of all who know and love me. Such is my answer to everyone who criticizes, and to you. If I answer otherwise – I sin.
those people who require a complete elimination of flaws from their close ones, hold a false notion of this matter.We find this opinion of the Fathers also among the Apostles: one of them (John the Evangelist), says: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John. 1, 8. Another says (St. Paul): “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Gal. 6, 2. What can give rise to the reproaching of our neighbour’s weakness, is shown in Scriptures in men of the highest virtue. Who is holier than the Apostles? However in the Acts we read that between the Apostles Barnabas and Paul there arose a dissension, and after the dissension - a separation. Beyond doubt we are told of this circumstance by Scripture with the aim that we, infirm as we are,
be careful and not get carried away by imaginary zeal, but carry one another’s burdens. In this way fulfilling the law of Christ! Carry my weaknesses, then; and I will try to bear yours, as I have tried to do hitherto.Obviously it is impossible for you to say that you have no weaknesses.
My weaknesses are heavier more so for you than for me: and yours are perceptible more for me than for you.If the weight was not burdensome, then carrying it would have no value, and there would not be any reason to give this commandment.
But the value of reciprocally bearing weaknesses is so great that Scripture has concluded that in this lies the fulfillment of the law of Christ, Who bore upon Himself the sins of the whole world.I will say a few words about inconstancy. Inconstancy, or changeableness, according to the holy Fathers, is the constant and inevitable weakness of humans, as long as a person is found in this country of his exile, that is, on this earth. Perfect constancy is a property of the future order of things. Variableness is not only characteristic to us who are infirm, as even the greatest Saints acknowledged this in themselves. Tolerate the inconstancy in me, and I will tolerate it in you. My inconstancy is more palpable for you, and yours – for me. Let us bear our mutual weaknesses that we may know that the yoke of Christ is good: if we throw off the yoke of Christ, then which yoke shall we subordinate ourselves to? Excellently the holy Elijah Ekdik said:
“The house of the soul - is patience, for it lives in it; and its food – is humility, for it is fed by this.” Exactly so - thoughts with humility of wisdom keep the soul in patience. If this is so, then this follows: there is nothing that banishes the soul from patience, as much as prideful thoughts.Repeatedly I have told you and many others, to whom I thought to impart soul-profiting knowledge: When I check my disposition and behaviour against the writings of the holy Fathers, I find that I would have to be found among the beginners in ancient monasticism. However in contemporary monasticism, where the knowledge of the Fathers and the way of thinking only somewhat imprinted by such knowledge, is so rare, that one who teaches his listeners the teaching of the Fathers, is a greatest rarity. It is with this condition that I govern you all and have you as my spiritual children, so as to teach all of you the Gospel way of thinking, which is the way of thinking of the Fathers.
Truly, truly, I say to you: these days, when there are no works of the spirit, and spiritual wisdom is an extreme rarity, the devil so hates this wisdom that he would like to destroy it from the face of the earth.In this way the Gospel would remain only for our condemnation, and not edification; for we shall be judged according to the Gospel, as foretold to us by the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 42, 40).
The devil is ready to give us ten times the common sense, and multiply our practical skills a thousandfold, if he can only steal from us the knowledge of the Cross, by which we can come to stand at the right hand of God. One who ascribes to himself intelligence and good sense, likens himself to the devil, who wanted to be acknowledged as the source of enlightenment. He actually is the source of imitated light – fleshly wisdom, which does not submit to God’s reason, bears upon itself the stamp of pride and contains in itself the precondition of all sinful falls.
“Have you seen someone who has fallen? Know, that he followed his own will”, says Abba Dorotheus.This holy one said concerning himself; that it would be better for him to sin by external act, following the advice of his neighbor; than to act without a blessing. And I, in my small experience, whenever I fail, I have consolation from the fact that the deed has been done or started not without a blessing.
in my responsibilities of Superior and spiritual father, I must tell you what I see with my sinful eyes: your warfare is caused by the passion of pride.The feeling that one possesses practical intelligence and understanding is a justification of pride, in which the pride is hidden. When the feeling towards myself and to those surrounding me grows cold, this are the fruits of pride, because after disparaging ones neighbour there follows a drying up of love. And the disappearance of love is an indication of that demonic thoughts have been accepted, just as the growth of love for one’s neighbour is a sign of accepting the seeds of grace.
Make it a rule for yourself to confess your thoughts at least twice weekly. Just as the soul conforms to the body, in the same way express your humility by the bowing of the body. Say and repeat to your thought about your brothers: “These are Christ’s sheep, these are angels of God”, and contempt for them will be destroyed, which is of pride.Then, trusting in the mercy of God, peace and love will enter your heart, and by the action of grace it will be shown to you that you are in temptation. Your eyes will be opened and you will get to know your real delusion. This case shall enter into the treasury of your spiritual experiences, and will provide you with protection for the future, and nourishment for the brotherhood. For a man who is not tempted, is not skilled, but “in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18), says Scripture.May the Lord grant that you follow this counsel of Saint John of the Ladder:
“When once we have entered the arena of religion and obedience we must no longer judge our good manager in any way at all, even though we may perhaps see in him some slight failings, since he is only human. Otherwise, by sitting in judgment we shall get no profit from our subjection. It is absolutely indispensable for those of us who wish to retain undoubting faith in our superiors to write their good deeds indelibly in our hearts and constantly remember them, so that when the demons sow among us distrust towards them, we may be able to silence them by what is preserved in our memory. For the more faith flourishes in the heart, the more alacrity the body has in service. But he who has stumbled on distrust has already fallen…” (Step 4:6-7).Likewise, pride often sprouts from exercising spiritual care over those close to us, as a sprout shoots up from a wheat grain. Therefore, Saint Mark the Ascetic, said: “When a man benefits another by word or deed, may the grace of God enlighten the both.” Apostle Paul says: “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake”. (2 Cor 4:5) For the person who cultivates these feelings, partiality for people will be destroyed, and the love of Christ will reign, seeing God’s image in everyone. Then, when the mind delights in this love, a person sees himself as a vessel filled with stench and filth, and marvels at how the rays of Divine teaching pass through him and heal human souls.
I learned that the signs of pride in a person are humiliation or contempt of his neighbours, and negligence in confessing. In and of itself pride is not noticeable to a person, as it is a most subtle passion, which even deceived the light-bearing Angel and arranged a fall in Heaven. The other passions are dependent on pride, just as a building is connected to a foundation which is hidden under the earth.Finally I bequeath to you to keep this letter secret until my death. In the meantime, I commend you and myself to the mercy and grace of God, which is able to, if we do not ourselves reject it, to give us salvation, although we are completely unworthy of it. Amen.
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Orthodox Life Magazine
1951, 1952, 1953
1974 - #5
Please contact Fr. Gregory or Joanna
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The True Orthodox Churches of Romania, and Bulgaria, and with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, and with the Synod in Resistance, are called by the Grace of the Lord to coexist in Mysteriological communion.
from §4 of “Schedule of Steps in the Union Process” Feb. 2014
Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Theotokos and all the Saints: keep our souls unharmed from the destructive influences of globalism, ecumenism, and sergianism, and give all of us the strength to endure the latest onset of persecution of the Church of Christ. Amen
"I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you... I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.”
St. John Chrysostom
"If we have a good priest (or bishop), we give thanks to God. If a bad one, we endure him".
- old Russian saying
"And here is something to which I would like to draw your attention to – something about which very many do not think about. Father Archimandrite Constantine, whom probably many of you know, the reposed editor of the journal “Orthodox Rus’”, a profound Christian mind, considered that the most terrible among all the achievements of the communists was that the communists created their own false-church, a soviet church which they shoved onto the unfortunate people in place of the genuine Church which went underground into the catacombs. Do not think that I am exaggerating or that Father Constantine was exaggerating!
Once, in the year 1918, a Pan-Russian Church Council was held. At this Council, the entire Pan-Russian Church together with its first holy hierarch, Patriarch Tikhon anathematized, excommunicated from the Church not only the theomachists and godless ones themselves, but also all those who would collaborate with them."
~St. Philaret of NY
"To the Russians abroad, it has been granted to shine in the whole world with the light of Orthodoxy, so that other peoples, seeing their good deeds, might glorify our Father Who is in heaven, and thus obtain salvation for themselves. But if it does not perform this purpose and even abases Orthodoxy by its life, the Diaspora will have before itself two paths: either to be converted to the path of repentance, having acquired forgiveness through prayer to God and being reborn spiritually and to being capable of giving rebirth to our suffering homeland; or else being rejected by God and remaining in banishment, persecuted by everyone, until gradually it will degenerate and disappear from the face of the earth."
from Vladika John's report to the All-Diaspora Sobor in 1938
The apostasy of our times, to a degree unique in Christian history, is proceeding not primarily by false teachings or canonical deviations, but rather by a false understanding of Orthodoxy on the part of those who may even be perfectly Orthodox in their dogmatic teaching and canonical situation. A correct "Orthodoxy" deprived of the Spirit of true Christianity—this is the meaning of Sergianism, and it cannot be fought by calling it a "heresy," which it is not, nor by detailing its canonical irregularities, which are only incidental to something much more important.
- Russia's Catacomb Saints
Let it not be thought, however, that I affirm that it is necessary to prize every peace. For I know that there is a splendid disagreement and the most destructive unanimity. Yet one must love a good peace which has a good purpose: unity with God.
-St. Gregory the Theologian
... To pious Christians the fact that the world has fallen into godlessness is to them obvious, and they are ready to see it as an unfortunate historical inevitability ...
Professor Viktor Trostinkov
If you want to have assurance that you are saved, repent now that you are young and healthy and it is manifest that you left sin while you were still able to sin. But if you persevere in sin into your old age, why then you did not leave sin, but rather sin left you.
St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain
Live in peace not only with your friends, but also with your enemies; but only your personal enemies, and not the enemies of God.
St. Theodosius of the Kiev Caves
"If Russia is not ressurrected, a new Golgotha threatens the whole world."
Priest Vladimir Evsukoff 1980†
A man who does not express a desire to link himself to the latest of the saints (in time) in all love and humility owing to a certain distrust in himself, will never be linked to the preceding saints and will not be admitted to their succession, even though he thinks he possesses all possible faith and love for God and for all His saints. He will be cast out of their midst, as one who refused to take humbly the place allotted to him by God before all time, and to link himself to that latest saint (in time) as God had disposed.
St. Symeon the New Theologian
SCOBA, to which world orthodoxy gives such great significance, reproaching us for not belonging to it, actually is in no way a canonical organ. The Russian Church Outside of Russia was invited to take part in these conferences; however, our Church refused to send representatives there after clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate were invited. "We never and nowhere will sit at one table with them; by this our spiritual communion with the Universal Church is not broken."
Archpriest George Grabbe 1969
"Let us always thank the Lord that we are in the Holy Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, which throughout the 80 years of its existence has trodden the straight, royal path of God, without ever turning aside and losing its way."
+ Metropolitan Vitaly
Great Lent 1998
The passions lying hidden in the soul provide the demons with the means of arousing impassioned thoughts in us. Then, fighting the intellect through these thoughts, they force it to give its assent to sin. When it has been overcome, they lead it to sin in the mind; and when this has been done they induce it, captive as it is, to commit the sin in action. Having thus desolated the soul by means of these thoughts, the demons then retreat, taking the thoughts with them, and only the spectre or idol of sin remains in the intellect. Referring to this our Lord says, 'When you see the abominable idol of desolation standing in the holy place (let him who reads understand)... (Matt 24:15). For man's intellect is a holy place and a temple of God in which the demons, having desolated the soul by impassioned thoughts, set up the idol of sin. That these things have already taken place in history no one, I think, who has read Josephus will doubt; though some say that they will also come to pass in the time of the Antichrist.
There are three things that impel us towards what is holy: natural instincts, angelic powers, and probity of intention. Natural instincts impel us, when, for example, we do to others what we would wish them to do to us (cf. Luke 6:31), or when we see someone suffering deprivation or in need and naturally feel compassion. Angelic powers impel us when, being ourselves impelled to something worthwhile, we find we are providentially helped and guided. We are impelled by probity of intention when, discriminating between good and evil, we choose the good.
Isn't Marx really the third of a trio with Darwin and Freud as a practical source in the war against revealed truth?
Fr. Seraphim Rose
Church unity is not based on common views.
From the GOC Secretariat, 2014
To: ROCA members from the MP
"You have to understand that you have long been in a false church, which implants in its members' souls, a false spirituality, which in turn takes root and grows stronger and stronger, the longer a man stays in it."
Bishop Athanasius, 2014
Mankind has gone mad, and we see with horror the abyss into which it is being drawn. Let us lay aside every worldly care, and let us fall down in prayer and readiness for the dread Judgment of the Lord. Death will not come with bombs and poisons. Death has already come and take up residence with us and in us, and has made corpses of us, Mammon has overwhelmed this sinful world, which is dominated by Queen Science, Lucifer himself, which with one hand makes medicines and machines for man's foolish happiness and with the other terrorizes him by means of the bomb! Such is the sorry state of knowledge and the agony of the world through and through. Let us lift up our hearts.
-Photios Kontoglou (†1965) letter to Dr. Cavarnos dated 5/10/57
"Psychopaths are a superior subspecies. We transcend humanity. We are Nature's Supermen. We deserve the subservience and availability of everyone around us. Luckily, every year 100-million people are born throughout the world. We have 100-million new choices every year."
-Sam Vaknin, self-realized psychopath
Our Saviour placed the Church in the world in order to save the world, and Satan is always trying to place the world into the Church in order to destroy the Church.
attributed to Desert Fathers
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"No one man, or group of men, can himself speak for the Church of Christ. It is nonetheless possible to speak from within the Church, in conformity with Orthodox tradition; and it is this that we shall attempt to do."
Fr. Seraphim Rose, Orthodox Word #1 Jan-Feb 1965 p. 17