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Faith & Logic - Q&A – The train of logic on God's rails - Email: gkiouz.abel@gmail.com - Ask anything! - Feel free to email me...!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

What is the 40-day season of the Eastern Orthodox Church before the Holy Easter?


CATECHISM - ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY


FASTING AND GREAT LENT

THE TRIODION (3 ODES)

Source:

http://antiochian.org

http://antiochian.org/fasting-great-lent

ANTIOCHIAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN ARCHDIOCESE OF NORTH AMERICA

Great Lent is the 40-day season of spiritual preparation that comes before the most important Feast of the Christian year, Holy Pascha (which means “Passover” and is commonly called “Easter”,). It is the central part of a larger time of preparation called the Triodion season.

The Triodion begins ten weeks before Easter and is divided into three main parts: three Pre-Lenten weeks of preparing our hearts, the six weeks of Lent, and Holy Week. The main theme of the Triodion is repentance—mankind's return to God, our loving Father.

This annual season of repentance is a spiritual journey with our Savior. Our goal is to meet the risen Lord Jesus, Who reunites us with God the Father. The Father is always waiting to greet us with outstretched hands. We must ask ourselves the question, “Are we willing to turn to Him?”

During Great Lent, the Church teaches us how to re­ceive Him by using the two great means of repentance— prayer and fasting.

THE LENTEN FAST

The word “fast” means not eating all or certain foods. As Orthodox Faithful, we can fast completely at certain times of great importance, and especially each time before receiv­ing Holy Communion. Usually, fasting means limiting the number of meals and/or the type of food eaten.

The purpose of fasting is to remind us of the Scriptural teaching, “Man does not live by bread alone.” The needs of the body are nothing compared to the needs of the soul. Above all else, we need God, Who provides everything for both the body and the soul. Fasting teaches us to depend on God more fully.

The first sin of our parents, Adam and Eve, was eating from the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:1-19). We

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Why do Orthodox Christians "cross themselves" different than Roman Catholics?


ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY


Why do Orthodox Christians "cross themselves"

different than Roman Catholics?

They touch their right shoulder first, then their left, whereas the Roman Catholics first touch their left shoulder. Is this difference important? Does it make any difference?

Orthodox cross themselves from right to left. first we will describe the mechanics of making the cross, then explain why it is indeed important that we make the sign of the cross correctly.

"Placing the cross on oneself"

-We place our thumb and first two fingers together in a point, and our last we fingers flat against our palm. The three fingers together represent the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the two fingers in the palm represent the two natures of Christ.
-We touch our forehead, then our belly, tracing the vertical part of the cross.
-From our belly, we bring our hand up to our right shoulder, touching it.
-We finish placing the cross on ourself by touching our left shoulder.

The act of "Placing the cross on oneself" is a request for a blessing from God. We make if from right to left to mirror the actions of the priest when he blesses us. The priest, looking at the parishioners, blesses from left to right. Therefore, the parishioners, putting on the sign of the cross on themselves, do it from right to left.

Because the Lord separated the sheep from the goats, putting the faithful sheep on His right side, and the goats on the left, the Church always treats the right side as the preferred side. We only cross ourselves with our RIGHT hand. The priest, when blessing a person, first touches or points to their RIGHT side, then their left. Also the censing of the Holy Table in the Altar is always done from the RIGHT side first; censing of the Ikonostasis, the Congregation and of the Church itself always begins with the right side. The priest always gives communion with his RIGHT hand, even if he is left handed. There are other examples of this right side preference.

When a parent makes the sign of the cross over a child, they will cross them from left to right, just as the priest blesses. When they make the sign of the cross over themselves, they would do it, logically, the other way.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states that in the Roman Catholic Church, the faithful crossed themselves from right to left, just as the Orthodox do, until the 15th or 16th century. They must explain why they have changed an ancient and apostolic tradition. We cannot answer as to their motivations.

Is it important to cross ourselves a particular way? In a word, YES. We do not have the authority to choose willy-nilly what parts of the Christian Tradition we want to follow. Our fathers, and countless saints crossed themselves from right to left. Ancient icons show Christ or bishops beginning a blessing from right to left. the right side is referred to in a preferential way many times in scripture and our sacred hymns What should we want to change?

ΒΥ

FR. ALEXANDER LABEDEV

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Where is God when bad things happen?


HAVE FAITH - ORTHODOXY


Where is God when bad things happen?

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Abbot Tryphon All-Merciful Saviour Monastery

on Vashon Island, Washington, USA

We often wonder why God allows bad things to happen, sometimes even questioning if God cares at all about the evil things that happen to good people. Yet we forget that our God created us in such a way that we can freely return His love for us, and that in this freedom, we can even love others. We have all been given the freedom to do what we want, and to live our lives the way we please. The Lord lets us do drugs. He lets us be disrespectful to our parents, or cruel to those we decide are beneath us. He lets us avoid paying our taxes, or commit fraud for our own gain. God lets us avoid going to the services in our temples, while allowing us to choose partying with our friends on a Saturday night, over communing with our Creator God.

Our God allows us to spend all our time pursuing entertainment, and mindlessly focusing on social networking, to the exclusion of communing with Him. He lets us speed and cross the centerline into oncoming traffic, and although He doesn’t like it when we do, He refrains from forcing Himself on us. He lets us make bad decisions, but is sad because He knows what will come of it.

Our God, Who is ever loving, caring, and compassionate, watches over each and every one of us. God even has hopes and plans for us just like our families do. But just like our earthly parents, He allows us to make our own choices on what we want to do, and, like our friends and families, is saddened when we make bad choices. Bad things happen, not because God doesn’t care, but because, in our free will, we, His creatures, make bad things happen by choosing to do what we want, regardless of the consequences.

Finally, we live in a fallen world. This is not God’s doing, but our own. God did not create evil, we did, and the end result was that death entered our world. Christ came to destroy the power of death by His own death, and holy resurrection.

Love and blessings,

Abbot Tryphon

Source:

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2016/12/bad-things-happen/

ANCIENT FAITH - MORNING OFFERING

Why does the Church believe in free will?


COMING HOME - ORTHODOXY


FREE WILL

Source:

http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com

http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-i-am-writing-book.html

ORTHODOX APOLOGETICS

Saint Ignatius (110 A.D.)

"For when ye are desirous to do well, God is also ready to assist you."

Saint Justin Martyr (150 A.D.)

"But lest some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever happens, happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, and chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Since if it be not so, but all things happen by fate, neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it be fated that this man, e.g., be good, and this other evil, neither is the former meritorious nor the latter to be blamed. And again, unless the human race have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions, of whatever kind they be. But that it is by free choice they both walk uprightly and stumble, we thus demonstrate. We see the same man making a transition to opposite things. Now, if it had been fated that he were to be either good or bad, he could never have been capable of both the opposites, nor of so many transitions. But not even would some be good and others bad, since we thus make fate the cause of evil, and exhibit her as acting in opposition to herself; or that which has been already stated would seem to be true, that neither virtue nor vice is anything, but that things are only reckoned good or evil by opinion; which, as the true word shows, is the greatest impiety and wickedness. But this we assert is inevitable fate, that they who choose the good have worthy rewards, and they who choose the opposite have their merited awards. For not like other things, as trees and quadrupeds, which cannot act by choice, did God make man: for neither would he be worthy of reward or praise did he not of himself choose the good, but were created for this end; nor, if he were evil, would he be worthy of punishment, not being evil of himself, but being able to be nothing else than what he was made."

Tatian (160 A.D.)

"How, then, shall I admit this nativity according to Fate, when I see such managers of Fate? I do not wish to be a king; I am not anxious to be rich; I decline military command; I detest fornication; I am not impelled by an insatiable love of gain to go to sea; I do not contend for chaplets; I am free from a mad thirst for fame; I despise death; I am superior to every kind of disease; grief does not consume my soul. Am I a slave, I endure servitude. Am I free, I do not make a vaunt of my good birth. I see that the same sun is for all, and one death for all, whether they live in pleasure or destitution. The rich man sows, and the poor man partakes of the same sowing. The wealthiest die, and beggars have the

Sunday, November 4, 2018

What do you mean, "Pray to the Saints"? - Video



FREDERICA MATHEWES-GREEN

USA OF MY HEART




What Do You Mean, "Pray to the Saints"?

Frederica Mathewes-Green, Maryland, USA

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Welcome to the Orthodox Church! Join Frederica Mathewes-Green, in this video series, on a journey into the Eastern Orthodox Church. Learn about Orthodox teachings and dogma, Orthodox architecture and terminology, and what it means to live an Orthodox life.

In this video, "What Do You Mean 'Pray to the Saints?'," Frederica explains that the English word "pray" in this sentence is a little misleading. So, what does it mean to pray to the Saints and what does the Orthodox Church practice? Watch to find out!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

What is true love? - Video


VIDEOS OF MY HEART



What is true love?

How is Υoga connected with Hinduism?


WHAT ABOUT YOGA?


How is Υoga connected with Hinduism?

By Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani, USA

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/80417.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

To be clear, Hinduism does not refer to a specific religion. It is a term the British gave to the various cults, philosophies and shamanistic religions of India. If you ask one Hindu if he believes in God, he may tell you that you are God. But ask another, and he will point to a rock, or statue, or a flame of fire. This is Hindu polarity: either you are God, or everything else is a god.

Yoga is beneath this umbrella of Hinduism, and in many ways is the pole of the umbrella. It acts as a missionary arm for Hinduism and the New Age outside of India.[9] Hinduism is like an extraordinary Russian nesting doll: you open one philosophy and within it are ten thousand more.

And the unopened ones are risks. You may swim easily and carelessly in waters you do not know. But unaware of the tides and nuances of the area, you may be in danger. You may be swept away by the undertow. You may cut yourself against unseen rocks and contract imperceptible infection and poison.

This happens in the spiritual life.

When we dive in the ocean, we may be attracted to the brightest, most colorful and intriguing fish but the most colorful and exotic are often the most poisonous and deadly.

The first time I visited India, I took off my shoes and socks and walked through the water, coconuts, discarded candy and shimmering fire of Kalkaji Temple. It is one of the most famous temples dedicated to Kali, ‘the goddess of death.’ I didn't know it, but I was right in the middle of her most important festival of the year. The temple was chaos and the energy very heightened and dark.

Thousands of men, women and children gathered at this Rishikesh temple to worship this demon. Next to me, a woman's eyes rolled back in her head, arms waving back and forth, tongue wagging pink from her mouth, legs lifting and falling like a puppet on strings. This was clearly demonic possession.

Once, I venerated the Sitka Mother of God icon[10] and experienced incredible warmth, tears of

What is the Holy Confession?


HOLY CONFESSION OF YOUR HEART


Holy Confession

One of the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) of the Orthodox Church

Holy Confession (or Repentance) is one of the holy mysteries (or sacraments) in the Orthodox Church, as well as many other Christian traditions. Through it, the penitent receives the divine forgiveness of Christ for any sins that are confessed. Confession is typically given to a Spiritual Father (usually a parish priest or monastic). Confession can be individual or general. The frequency of required confession (as well as whether or not general confession is permissible) can vary from parish to parish, and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The better is once a month or twice a month.

Confession In the Bible

Old Testament

"He shall confess his sin that he has committed. And he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong." (Num. 5:7)

"Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners, and they stood and confessed their sins and the guilt of their fathers. While they stood in their places, they read from the book of the law of the LORD their God for a fourth of the day and spent another fourth of the day in confession and worship of the LORD their God." (Nehemiah 9:2-3)

"And read out publicly this scroll which we send you, in the house of the LORD, on the feast day and during the days of assembly: 'Justice is with the LORD, our God; and we today are flushed with shame, we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem, that we, with our kings and rulers and priests and

What are the Aerial Toll-Houses?


FAITHBOOK - ORTHODOXY


Saint Theodora's journey

through the Aerial Toll-Houses

According to the teachings of the Church, the particular judgment of souls by God is preceded by their torments, or rather a series of tests; these take place in the regions of the air, where the evil spirits have their domain (Eph. 6. 12). They detain the souls and declare and make manifest all the sins which these souls perpetrated during their lives. We know about these torments in great detail because they were revealed to Gregory, the disciple of the holy monk St. Basil the New, who lived in the first half of the Tenth century. Gregory in his vision learned about the hour of death and the passing through torments of a woman known as the Blessed Theodora.

When Gregory asked her to tell him about her passing away and about the circumstances that attended her death and followed it, she told him in great detail the following. "My child Gregory," she said, "you have asked me about a terrible thing, which it is frightening even to recollect.

"When the hour of my death came, I saw faces such as I had never seen before, and heard words such as I had never heard. What shall I say? Cruel and hard to endure evils, of which I formerly had no idea, encountered me then because of my evil deeds. However, through the prayers and the assistance of our common spiritual father Basil I was saved from these hardships. But how shall I tell you about that physical pain, that stress and close feeling which the dying experience? Like a man who, entirely naked, falls into a great fire, burns, melts, and turns into ashes; so the dying are destroyed by their deathly illness in the bitter hour when the soul parts from the body.

"When I drew near the end of my life and the time of my departure hence had come, I saw a great multitude of Ethiopians who had surrounded my couch. Their faces were dark like soot and pitch, their eyes were like glowing coals, their entire appearance was as frightening and evil as the fiery hell itself. They began to grow indignant and to make noise like dogs; others howled like wolves. As they looked at me, they were full of anger; they threatened me, kept rushing at me and gnashing their teeth, and appeared ready to devour me. Yet they seemed to wait for a judge who had not yet come but would do so: they were making ready charts and unrolling scrolls on which were written all my

Thursday, August 2, 2018

What the Saints say about Paradise?


ORTHODOXY IS LOVE



Saint John of Damascus

"An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith"

Concerning Paradise

BOOK II CHAPTER XI

Now when God was about to fashion man out of the visible and invisible creation in His own image and likeness to reign as king and ruler over all the earth and all that it contains, He first made for him, so to speak, a kingdom in which he should live a life of happiness and prosperity. And this is the divine paradise, planted in Eden by the hands of God, a very storehouse of joy and gladness of heart (for “Eden” means luxuriousness). Its site is higher in the East than all the earth: it is temperate and the air that surrounds it is the rarest and purest: evergreen plants are its pride, sweet fragrances abound, it is flooded with light, and in sensuous freshness and beauty it transcends imagination: in truth the place is divine, a meet home for him who was created in God’s image: no creature lacking reason made its dwelling there but man alone, the work of God’s own hands.

In its midst God planted the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. The tree of knowledge was for trial, and proof, and exercise of man’s obedience and disobedience: and hence it was named the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or else it was because to those who partook of it was given power to know their own nature. Now this is a good thing for those who are mature, but an evil thing for the immature and those whose appetites are too strong, being like solid food to tender babes still in need of milk. For our Creator, God, did not intend us to be burdened with care and troubled about many things, nor to take thought about, or make provision for, our own life. But this at length was Adam’s fate: for he tasted and knew that he was naked and made a girdle round about him: for he took fig-leaves and girded himself about. But before they took of the fruit, They were both naked, Adam and Eve, and were not ashamed. For God meant that we should be thus free from passion, and this is indeed the mark of a mind absolutely void of passion. Yea, He meant us further to be free from care and to have but one work to perform, to sing as do the angels, without ceasing or intermission, the praises of the Creator, and to delight in contemplation of Him and to cast all our care on Him. This is what the Prophet David proclaimed to us when He said, Cast thy burden on the Lord, and He will sustain thee. And, again, in the Gospels, Christ taught His disciples saying, Take no thought for your life what ye shall eat, nor for your body what ye shall put on. And further, Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. And to Martha He said,

Friday, May 18, 2018

What about Christian Names & Patron Saints?


HEAVEN ON EARTH - ORTHODOXY


What about Christian Names & Patron Saints?

The Orthodox Church has always placed great significance upon names.  In fact,  not only are names of great import in the Church,  but the actual process of naming someone holds great significance to us.  These customs are of divine origin and of tremendous significance,  but unfortunately are not a part of modern American culture.  The significance of names and naming is one area where Orthodox Tradition will inevitably effect the American practice, and is also an area where we must be on guard of the reverse effect and of allowing American culture to rob the Church of meaningful and universal customs.

The Scriptural Background.

Creation-  The significance of names is evident at the very beginning of Biblical history.  God had just made the heavens and the earth in six days, and finally finished his glorious work of creation by fashioning man from the dust of the earth.  After Adam (whose name in Hebrew means "earth" or "ground" from which he was made) was created something very interesting takes place.  God brings all of the animals which had been made on the previous days to Adam so that Adam can name them (Gen. 2:19).  Whatever Adam named the animal is what the animal was called.  Now this all was very meaningful.  Not only was Adam's headship over all of creation demonstrated by the fact that he was fashioned as the pinacle of creation at the end of the sixth day,  but his superiority to the animal kingdom was demonstrated by his power to name them and in so doing define them.  By naming the animals Adam's authority over them was expressed, and Adam imaged God who had first named him.  Man was to lead the physical creation in the worship and service of the Holy Trinity.  He was to subdue and rule over the world, and the first act of this regal life was the process of naming the animals.

Shortly thereafter God fashioned a wife for Adam out of his side.  Adam called his new wife "woman" because she was taken out of man (Gen. 2:23).  Her name showed her very nature as being derived from man ("For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man", 1Cor. 11:8).  After the evil serpent tempted our first parents and led them to sin bringing death into the world, God intervened and promised the Redeemer would come from the woman's seed to crush the serpent and trample down death by death (Gen. 3:15).  As a result of this Adam named his wife "Eve", which means "life" or "life-producer".  Her name explained who she was.  She was the one through whom Christ would come, who would give life to the world.  The fact that Adam did the naming was a sign that he was Eve's head and protector, and that she would find her fulfillment and destiny under his leadership.

As an interesting sidenote, one of the marks of the inroads of unhealthy feminism in our culture is the wife's rejection of the husband's name.  Many women today refuse to take their new husbands' last names at marriage,  and it is vogue also for women to hyphenate their maiden names with their husbands' names.  Also popular today is the combining of the husband's and wife's surnames into a

Thursday, May 17, 2018

How does one pick a baptismal name when one converts?


How does one pick a baptismal name when one converts? 

There is no “universal, standard” way by which a name is selected. In some traditions, for example, it is the custom to name a person after the saint commemorated on his or her date of birth. In other cases names are selected based on devotion to a particular saint. And, of course, there are those who select a name exclusively on personal preference.

It is interesting to note, however, that in the Orthodox Church the naming of a person occurs in a special rite celebrated on the eighth day after birth, thereby separating this action from the celebration of Baptism and Chrismation.

In the case of adult conversions, it would seem that the most meaningful way of selecting a “Christian” name would be to choose the name of a saint whose life one may especially wish to emulate or whose life offered special inspiration on the road to conversion.

It is always wise to discuss such matters with your parish priest who can offer personal direction in greater detail.

Source:

https://oca.org

https://oca.org/questions/sevensacraments/baptismal-names

ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

What is a Baptismal name?


FAITHBOOK - ORTHODOXY


What is a Baptismal name?

A baptismal name is a name given to a newly-baptised Orthodox Christian. For a lengthy time in Orthodox history, Orthodox Christians have been given the names of Orthodox saints.

The following is a list of names who have:

—Orthodox saints, perhaps unexpectedly, attached to either the original name (e.g. Theophany for Tiffany) or to a diminutive (e.g. Gerald for Jerry), or
—Orthodox saints whose names mean the same thing (e.g. St Alban for Bianca [both mean 'white'], or St Maurice for Blake [both mean 'black']).
—If these are not available, a 'closest match' may be given, where the name sounds similar to a saint's name (e.g. St Rumon for Raymond).

However, this is not designed to be a list for existing matchups which have no relation.

A
Key: If a name has a saint directly attached to it (or a foreign/derivative form of it), then Saint is used; if the name is short for a longer name, then Diminutive is used; if the name is known to have the same meaning as one for a saint's name, then Meaning is used; if it is known only that the name sounds similar, then Sound-alike is used.
Aaliyah (f) - see Alia (Diminutive)
Aaron (m) - St Aaron the Priest (Sunday of the Forefathers - Saint) [1]
Abigail, Abby (f) - Venerable Virgin-martyr Æbbe the Younger of Coldingham, Abbess of Coldingham Priory (April 2 - Sound-alike)
Adalyn, Adaline (f) - see Adele (Derivative)
Adam (m) - (Sunday of the Forefathers - Saint)
Addison (f) - see Madison (Diminutive)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us?


HOLY VIRGIN MARY MOTHER OF GOD



What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us?

Saint John of Kronstadt, Russia (+1908)

What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us? Let us explain in more detail the Church hymn which explains the meaning of this feast’s joy. Through the birth of the Ever-Virgin, through Her only-begotten Son and God, cursed and outcast mankind makes peace with God Who is immeasurably offended by man’s sins, for Christ became the mediator of this peace (cf. Rom. 5:10-11). Man is freed from the curse and eternal death, made worthy of the blessing of the Heavenly Father; he is united and co-mingled with the Divine nature; he is raised to his first inheritance by this co-mingling, according to the Church hymn. Mankind, once an outcast, has been made worthy of sonship to the Heavenly Father, received the promise of the glorious resurrection and eternal life in the heavens together with the angels.

This has all been and is being wrought by the Son of God incarnate from the Most Pure Virgin from the Holy Spirit, and by the intercession of His Most Pure Mother. How honored and magnified is mankind through the Holy Virgin Mother of God, for it has been made worthy of renewal and sonship by God; She Herself was made worthy by Her immeasurable humility and exceedingly great purity and holiness to be the Mother of the God-man!

+ St. John of Kronstadt, Sorrow and Joy: A Homily on the Day of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2015/09/18/st-john-of-kronstadt-what-joy-does-the-nativity-of-the-mother-of-god-bring-us/

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

What is the Orthodox Church?



What is the Orthodox Church?

Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson & San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940):

WHAT is the Orthodox Church? The Orthodox Church is a body or community of people, who, 1—correctly believe in divine revelation; and 2—who obey a lawful hierarchy instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ himself, through the holy apostles. In order to belong to the Orthodox Church two principal conditions are required: First—to accurately accept, rightly understand and truthfully confess the divine teaching of faith; and secondly— to acknowledge the lawful hierarchy or priesthood, to receive from it the holy mysteries or sacraments, and generally to follow its precepts in matters concerning salvation.

+ St. Sebastian Dabovich, Preaching in the Orthodox Church: Lectures and Sermons by a Priest of the Holy Orthodox Church

Source:



ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

Why did [the Prodigal Son] not set off at once instead of a few days after?


COMING HOME - ORTHODOXY



Why did [the Prodigal Son] not set off at once instead of a few days after?

Saint Gregory Palamas (+1359)

“And not many days after,” it says, “the younger son gather all together, and took his journey into a far country” (Luke 15:13). Why did [the Prodigal Son] not set off at once instead of a few days after? The evil prompter, the devil, does not simultaneously suggest to us that we should do what we like and that we should sin. Instead he cunningly beguiles us little by little, whispering, “Even if you live independently without going to God’s Church or listening to the Church teacher, you will still be able to see for yourself what your duty is and not depart from what is good.” When he separates someone from the divine services and obedience to the holy teachers, he also distances him from God’s vigilance and surrenders him to evil deeds. God is everywhere present. Only one thing is far away from His goodness: evil. Being in the power of evil through sin we set off on a journey far away from God. As David says to God, “The evil shall not stand in thy sight” (Ps. 5:5).

+ St. Gregory Palamas, The Parables of Jesus, Sermons by St. Gregory Palamas

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2016/02/28/5100/

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

Monday, April 30, 2018

Are there demons or devils?


CALIFORNIA OF MY HEART





Are there demons or devils?

Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson and San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940):

“I have heard people say that there are no demons or devils. . . . . the Devil surely will not reveal himself to people who do not believe; for, should he do so, they might believe, and that would be against his own sly, diabolical policy, as he would have all in the dark, so terrible is his enmity against the Eternal Source of Light and Treasure of Goodness—God Almighty”.

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2015/07/06/st-sebastian-dabovich-i-have-heard-people-say-that-there-are-no-demons-or-devils/

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

What about Yoga & Orthodoxy?


WHAT ABOUT YOGA?


What about Yoga & Orthodoxy?

By Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani, USA

Yoga is a psychosomatic practice, an interaction between mind, body, and spirit(s). We must remember the word ‘yoga’ means 'yoke,' like the wooden crosspiece fastened over the necks of animals attached to the plow. St. Paul warns us, Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?[18]

Yoga isn't Scriptural nor is it otherwise part of our Church’s Holy Tradition. Everything we're looking for, everything, can be found in and through the Orthodox Church. So what would we want from yoga?

It is important to know that in yoga, as well as many mystical schools, strange lights may accompany practitioners but these are often from demons or created lights of the mind, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.[19] Many have and are following the 'spiritual fireworks’ of the so-called 'new' age. Of course, this is not the Uncreated Light experienced by Moses and the disciples on Mount Tabor. It is not the Divine Light St. Gregory Palamas defended in the 14th century against western scholasticism. Direct knowledge of God is possible, and direct experience, but knowledge and experience of evil is also certainly available. We have freewill to choose whom and what we seek. This, of course, requires discernment and testing, where accountability before an experienced priest or elder is absolutely necessary. Indispensable, too, is heartfelt participation in the Mysteries of the Church. We do better looking into the mysteries of our hearts than entertaining these imaginations of the head.

Furthermore, something should be said in relation to the claim that ‘pop’ forms of gym yoga carry no danger or threat to a practitioner. Someone who holds such an opinion is either ignorant of, or chooses to ignore, the many warnings that appear in the eastern yoga manuals concerning the Hatha yoga that is practiced in such classes. Is the instructor aware of these warnings and able to guarantee that no harm will come to the student?

In his book Seven Schools of Yoga, Ernest Wood begins his description of Hatha yoga by stating, “I must not refer to any of these Hatha Yoga practices without sounding a severe warning. Many people have brought upon themselves incurable illness and even madness by practicing them without providing the proper conditions of body and mind. The yoga books are full of such warnings…. For example, the Gheranda Samhita announces that if one begins the practices in hot, cold or rainy weather, diseases will be contracted, and also if there is not moderation in diet, for only one half the stomach must ever be filled with solid food…. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika states that control of breath must be brought about very gradually, ‘as lions, elephants and tigers are tamed,’ or ‘the experimenter will be killed,’ and by any mistake there arises cough, asthma, head, eye and ear pains, and many other diseases.” Wood concludes his warning about posture and breathing yoga by saying, “I should like to make it clear that I am not recommending these practices, as I hold that all Hatha Yogas are extremely dangerous”.[20]

If an Orthodox Christian wants to exercise, he or she may swim, jog, hike, walk, and do stretching exercises, aerobics, or Pilates.[21] These are safe alternatives to yoga. We can also offer prostrations before God. The Church doesn't want any of us to be unhealthy or unhappy. We should trust the prescriptions of our Mother the Church and follow them as best as our ability, and the grace of God, allows. No one should try to extend the life of the body at the expense of the soul.

Above all, we mustn’t trust our own judgment. We must be accountable to someone.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.[22]

As Orthodox Christians, we know that the actions of our bodies, such as bows, prostrations, and making the sign of the Cross have a relationship to the state of our soul before the True God. Why would we ever chance copying bodily actions that for centuries have been directly related to the worship of demons? Such actions could have serious consequences for both our soul and body which belong to Christ.

May we be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.[23]

* * *
Notes:

[18] 2 Corinthians 6:14.

[19] 2 Corinthians 11:14.

[20] The Sandilya Upanishad gives similar warnings. See Seven Schools of Yoga, by Ernest Wood, pgs. 78-79.

[21] Pilates is a perfectly safe and appropriate alternative to yoga. A mental fitness system aiding flexibility, strength and focus, Pilates is a conditioning routine emphasizing coordination, balance and breathing. Studies have also shown that stretching exercises are an effective alternative to yoga in treating lower back pain.

[22] Proverbs 3:5.

[23] Matthew 10:16.

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/80417.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Is it right to kill animals for food? Is it right to eat meal? Can something that we eat making us more closer to God?


ANIMALS OF MY HEART


Question:

Is it right to kill animals for food? Is it right to eat meal? Can something that we eat making us more closer to God?

Answer:

God in the Holy Bible gave us all the animals to eat.

So we can eat meat. It is not a sin.

Genesis 9:3 > "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything".

Genesis 1:30 > "And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so."

Acts 10:9-16 > "The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”..."

* * *

The Buddhists believe in the false reincarnation and they don't eat meat because they fear not eat their grandmother.

It's false. It's wrong.

Also the plants are alive.

The Buddhists don't eat meat because it is a living animal but they eat plants which are alive, too.

* * *

The Orthodox Christians don't eat meat, milk, cheese etc. only in the fasting.

Matthew 9:14-15 > " 14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”. 15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. "

With the Orthodox Christian fasting we are close to God and the devil stay far away from us.

With the Orthodox Christian fasting our prayer is stronger and devil goes away.

If someone is ill don't make fasting or ask his Spiritual Father (=Personal Spiritual Father - Orthodox Priest) about it.


Abel Gkiouzelis

Why is the Church called Apostolic?


SAINTS OF MY HEART





Why is the Church called Apostolic?

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Topic 274 of the Catechism

of Saint Philaret of Moscow, Russia (+1867)

November 19

Because she has from the Apostles, without break or change, both her doctrine and the succesion of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, through the laying of consecrated hands. In the same sense the Church is called Orthodox, or Right-believing.

"You are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;" (Eph. 2:19-20).

Source:

http://loveandrepentance.tumblr.com/image/35260711675

LOVE AND REPENTANCE

Q&A – Fr. Zacharias of Essex Monastery, England


GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART



Q&A – Fr. Zacharias of Essex Monastery, England

Archimandrite Zacharias is a disciple of Elder Sophrony (of blessed memory), who was a disciple of St. Silouan of Mount Athos.

Presently, Fr. Zacharias is the abbot of the Monastery of St. John the Baptist, Essex, England founded by Elder Sophrony.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Why do women cry?


HEAVEN ON EARTH - ORTHODOXY


Why do women cry?

A little boy asked his mother, “Why are you crying?”

“Because I’m a woman,” she told him.

“I don’t understand,” he said.

His Mom just hugged him and said, “And you never will.”

Later the little boy asked his father, “Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?”

“All women cry for no reason,” was all his dad could say.

The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry.

Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the phone, he asked, “God, why do women cry so easily?”

God said:

“When I made the woman she had to be special.

I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort.

I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children.

I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining.

I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly.

I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.

I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.

And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed.”

“You see my son,” said God, “the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart – the place where love resides.”

Anonymous