Saturday, September 22, 2018

Sainte Thècle, modèle de virginité.
Saint Ambroise.


Saint Ambroise.

“Thècle” apprenne les vierges à s’offrir en sacrifice. Fuyant les liens du mariage, condamnée par la fureur de son fiancé, elle changea la nature même des bêtes féroces qui respectèrent sa virginité. Livrée aux bêtes, celle qui se dérobait aux regards mêmes des hommes s’exposait à un lion féroce, et contraignit ceux qui jetaient sur elle des regards impudiques à les changer en regards de pudeur.
On put voir, en effet, la bête se coucher à terre, lui lécher les pieds, témoignant en un langage muet qu'elle ne pouvait porter atteinte au corps sacré d'une vierge. Le fauve donc se prosternait devant sa proie, et, oublieux de son propre naturel, revêtait la nature que les hommes avaient rejetée.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Power of the Holy Cross.
Metropolitan Gerasimos of Belmont,California.


           
Mosaic of the Holy Cross, Ravenna, Italy.
I would like to reflect briefly on a few themes found in the Veneration of the Holy Cross. 
          The Cross is truly like the tree spoken of in the first psalm: planted besides running waters, it produces fruit in due season. How does it produce its fruit?. Where Adam snatched at equality with God and seized the forbidden fruit in Eden, the New Adam, the Son of God, willingly laid aside his glory and became obedient even unto death, to death on the Cross. In the same hour of the Office of Readings for Holy Saturday, we listen to these words addressed to us by Christ taken from an ancient homily:
           « See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree. I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you”.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

La Vierge Marie
Saint Jean de Cronstadt.


Saint Jean de Crostadt.
Qui a été élevée Mère de Dieu au-dessus de toutes les créatures ?. "Parce qu'il a jeté les yeux sur la bassesse de sa servante, car voici désormais, toutes les générations me diront bienheureuses" (Luc 1, 48). Et elle plus que tout autre, a essayé d'acquérir l'humilité. Dieu donne la grâce aux humbles, tandis que le fier s'oppose à la grâce.  

La Vierge Marie est en vie aujourd'hui. Et non seulement elle vit, mais anime et guérit les âmes.
Sainte Vierge Mère de Dieu !.. En raison du Corps et du Sang de ton Fils, j'ose dire que j'ai affinité avec toi !.. Ô Vierge Sainte !.. Le Fils de Dieu est le Corps et le Sang. Le Corps et le Sang du Seigneur sont dans la Maison du Seigneur dans les cieux. Comment puis-je ne pas vous aimer, et votre Fils aussi, votre propre Fils et mon propre Dieu ?!. Ô Vierge Sainte !.. Donnez-moi affinité avec vous, non seulement à cause du Corps et du Sang du Christ, Faites moi approcher votre propre degré de foi, d'amour et d'espoir, de vous ressembler dans mes pensées et mes sentiments. Ô Vierge Sainte !. J'ai grand besoin que vous m'obteniez un corps pur !. Tout pour Vous, être fort, béni. Vous pouvez tout demander à votre Fils et Dieu, où vit un cœur pur, la foi, l'espérance et l'amour.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Antiochian testimonies.
Father “Amphilochios Makris”.

Saint Amphilochios Makris.
 From the prologue of the Arabic version of the book “Our Geronda: The Life and Miracles of the Late Elder of Patmos, Amphilochios Makris”, (2001)

*Metropolitan Georges Khodr.
I would like to quote father “Amphilokhios” in the following 4 phrases: “Every Holy Liturgy is new”, "I am the son of the Church and I cannot give myself a break”, “whenever you see a spiritually exhausted person, don’t overburden him”, “Ask God’s forgiveness for I have given you nothing”.
Metropolitan Georges Khodr.
I had the chance to know the man. I met him in Patmos where Saint John saw his “revelation”. The light in his face was exactly the one described in this book, and this light was much more expressive than the words we exchanged. After all, words were not my aim. I wanted to go on pilgrimage to the place where the “Revelation” was given to Saint John. That great monk came across as one of those who lived for “the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus”. One of those who didn’t leave their first love, or one of the 24 elders who where kneeling “before the One seated on the throne”. A meek and humble monk, whose raso’s tail touched the floor’s dust and was made for him in the shape of a Cross. He considered himself as nothing, but considered greatly  contemplating in the face of  “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world”.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Ouija* Board Spelled, “Evil”.
The story of Elena Smirnova, a former witch.
Priest George Maximov, Elena Smirnova


Priest George Maximov interviews people who converted to Orthodoxy on the TV program “My Path to God”. Sometimes the journey to the Light takes people through years of serving dark forces. This is what happened to Elena Smirnova, today’s guest of Father George’s program. She used to practice witchcraft and esoteric arts, and summon evil spirits. Elena will tell us whether those who summon dark forces are masters or slaves of such forces. We will also learn what led her to Christ and what she sees as her mission now.
Father George Maximov.
Priest George Maximov: Hello!. You are watching “My Path To God”, a program about people whose lives were drastically changed after turning to Christ. Sometimes people convert after being infinitely far away from Christianity. The story of the guest of today’s program is a case in point. Before she found God, she used to communicate with evil spirits. "Elena Nikolayevna", could you tell us how it all started?!. Am I correct to assume that you grew up in a non-religious family?...
Elena Smirnova: My family was Orthodox, but we weren’t religious. We would
Elena Smirnova.
go to church once a year on a feast day to light candles. I had some idea about the Church, but it was quite vague. My parents baptized me shortly after I was born. My grandmother helped to arrange it. She invited a priest to our place and he came over and performed the baptism. After that, she cast a spell to protect me from hernia. My parents were just like her. They believed in God and yet they believed in house 
elves1 too. My mother used to tell me that a house elf visited her when she was at our summerhouse. My grandmother would tell such stories too. They used to tell me many amazing stories when I was a child. I was into it too. I liked fairy tales. As a child, I kept to myself and liked to daydream. I think I learned how to tell fortunes when I was in the second grade. My mother showed me some simple ways to tell if your wish would come true. These were my first attempts at fortune telling.
I told fortunes to a few girls and understood that this gave me power over people.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Saint Arsenius bishop of Tver(1409).

Saint Arsenios.
Our holy father Arsenius was born in 1350 to pious and humble Serbian parents in the town of Tver, about 150 miles northwest of Moscow, Russia. (His grandparents had migrated to this territory in Russia some seventy-five years before his birth.)
He was a very serious and intelligent boy, excelling in school while also delighting in serving the Lord as an acolyte in his local Orthodox Church. When Arsenius was still a young boy, both his parents became grievously ill; and just prior to his thirteenth birthday, they both fell asleep in the Lord. On their deathbed they asked Arsenius to fulfill one last wish: to live a holy and devout life, remembering the Lord God all his days, and to remember the poor and needy. At this time, because Arsenius was their only child, they willed all their possessions to him.
After the repose of his pious and God-loving parents, Arsenius spent many hours in prayer, seeking guidance from the Lord as to how to carry out his parents’ last request. During this time, two particular passages of the New Testament continually spoke to his heart: “For what is a mall profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26).

Saturday, August 11, 2018

La Reine des saints et leur Mère.
Chez Saint Siméon le nouveau théologien.

Archevêque Basile Krivochéine.



Mgr. Basile (Krivochéine)

Mgr. Basile (Krivochéine), archevêque de Bruxelles et de Belgique, est l’un des prélats les plus marquants dans l’histoire de l’Eglise Orthodoxe Russe de la deuxième moitié du XX siècle. Ayant prononcé ses vœux – sous le nom de Basile – au monastère russe de Saint-Panteleimon, il y demeurera vingt-deux ans, dans l’ascèse, la prière et le travail, notamment administratif (en tant que secrétaire du monastère). Après la Seconde guerre mondiale, le contexte de la guerre civile grecque forcera cependant des moines russes – dont Basile Krivochéine – à quitter le Mont Athos. Invité à participer au Patristic Greek Lexicon édité à Oxford par le professeur Lampe, l’ancien athonite s’installera dans cette ville, où il sera ordonné prêtre. Basile Krivochéine est appelé à l’épiscopat dans l’Église russe. Sacré à Londres le 14 juin 1959, il sera d’abord évêque auxiliaire à Paris, puis archevêque diocésain à Bruxelles à partir de 1960.L’archevêque Basile contribuera au développement de l’Église orthodoxe en Belgique et aux Pays-Bas. Le 22 septembre 1985, l’archevêque Basile Krivochéine sera rappelé à Dieu durant un voyage en Russie, et inhumé dans sa ville natale. Traduites en différentes langues, plusieurs fois rééditées, ses œuvres constituent, jusqu’à nos jours, une référence dans le domaine des études patristiques notamment.

Saint Syméon le nouveau Théologien, au commencement de sa conversion à Dieu « récitait avec instance des prières à la Mère de Dieu, avec gémissements et larmes». Et son grand zèle dans les prières « attira la compassion de la Mère du Christ et par son intercession se rendit la Divinité propice, et fit descendre jusqu'à lui la grâce de l'Esprit. Et celle-ci (à son tour) lui donna la force d'atteindre jusqu'au Ciel et le fit digne de voir la lumière que tous désirent et que bien peu obtiennent. »
Saint Syméon raconte que, tourmenté par le chagrin de ne plus voir le Christ et du désir de Le voir encore une fois,
“un jour que j'étais allé saluer l'image immaculée de celle qui T'a enfanté et que je me prosternai devant elle, Toi-même, avant que je me fusse relevé, au-dedans de mon cœur misérable, comme si Tu l'avais transformé en lumière, Tu Te fis voir; et alors je connus que je Te possédai consciemment en moi. »

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Vision of God.
Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos.


Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos.
His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos and Agios Vlasios serves the Metropolis of Nafpaktos and Agios Vlasios in the Church of Greece, since 1995. He taught Greek for several semesters and gave lectures on Orthodox ethics to the students of the St. John of Damascus Theological School at the University of Balamand, in northern Lebanon. He has written a multitude of books, the fruit of his pastoral work, among which is Orthodox Psychotherapy. Some of these books have been translated into various language., In this passage, he  explains what is the knowledge of God according to Saint Gregory Palamas.

The knowledge of God According to St. Gregory Palamas is the vision of God. Deification, union and knowledge of God are closely bound together. They cannot be understood apart from one another. Breaking this unity takes man further away from knowledge of God. The basis of Orthodox epistemology is illumination and God’s revelation within the purified heart of man.
We must pray fervently for God to grant us to reach this knowledge of God.
Come, let us ascend into the mountain of the Lord, even to the house of our God, and behold the glory of His transfiguration, glory of the Only-begotten of the Father. Let us receive light from His light, and with uplifted spirits let us forever sing the praises of the consubstantial Trinity.