Saturday, February 17, 2018

If God knows us, like the wise virgins, we will never die!.
Dr. Daniel and Dr. Jane Hinshaw.



{Medicine, health, psychiatry, faith, death… issues discussed by Dr.Daniel and his wife Dr.Jane Hinshaw, through an Orthodox, scientific and spiritual perspective, in a meeting with the community that took place in the dining room of our monastery of  Saint John the Baptist, on Saturday 3 February 2018.}
A special blessing that we would like to share with our readers.


One of the extraordinary things about the Orthodox Christianity’s understanding of reality is Orthodox Anthropology: how do we understand the nature of the human person.
The Eastern fathers of the Church have emphasized how there is a unity of the body and soul and this occurs from  the very point of conception, and so as human persons we acquire our personhood because God has called us to be persons, God makes us persons.

      The image of the Trinity is impressed upon each of us as Christians, by our Chrismation and baptism, so the Holy Spirit is there and hopefully will dwell with us as we draw toward the Kingdom. And so God has done everything possible to make us His children. And yet we have this tendency, because of the fall to continually wander away. In the Church’s use of the Greek language, there has been this term called amartia to describe what sin is, but in classical Greek before the Christian era, amartia in its most basic form meant not being the way things should be. The classical example was the athlete, the one who would be throwing the javelin and he missed the target, and so another extraordinary thing about the Orthodox Church compared to the Western branch of Christianity, is there is a recognition because of the fall of Adam and Eve, that not only do we have sins that we consciously choose to do, but there is also sins that we don’t consciously choose, that this is not the way that should be, where we are not meeting the mark, we are not hitting the target.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

“If any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him”…
Saint Anthony The Great.

Saint Anthony the Great.
The ancient saints were of the same nature as you and me; they had the same weaknesses that we observe in ourselves: They also experienced hunger like we do; they also wanted to sleep; their bodies were exposed to the same sicknesses as are ours.
God is no respecter of persons; and we hear now the same Divine voice that St. Anthony the Great heard, and that the host of great ascetics and saints following after him heard, and that future generations of Christians coming after us will hear: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcome will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev. 3:20-21).
For our sake, our Lord Jesus Christ created this visible world; for our sake He descended from Heaven, becoming a man like unto us; He poured out His Divine blood for us in the terrible sufferings of the Cross, to grant us such blessings of which we on Earth cannot even conceive.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Saint Éliane de Homs.
Anargyre et martyr du III siècle.


Le récit le plus complet de la vie de saint Éliane est rédigé en arabe et compris dans le manuscrit n° 652 de la Bibliothèque de l'Université Saint- Joseph de Beyrouth, lui-même la copie d'un texte plus ancien établi à l'intention de J. van Kasteren S.J., en 1860. 
Ce récit nous apprend que saint Éliane était le rejeton d'une famille notable de Homs. Doué de multiples vertus, il pratiquait la médecine non seulement pour guérir le corps de ses prochains, mais pour soigner leur âme aussi. En même temps, il pratiquait la charité, prenant sur le superflu qu'il trouvait dans la maison de son père. Celui-ci, grand dignitaire du duc (douqs, et dans la version arabe wâli) de Homs et portant un nom orthographié de maintes manières (Hastaris, Hattâris ou Fastâris) était idolâtre, donc ennemi naturel de la doctrine que son fils confessait. Le conflit devait éclater sous Numérien, cet empereur éphémère, débonnaire et ami du poète Némésien , mais persécuteur des chrétiens.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

...LENT...
Preparation for the journey
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh.

Girding our Loins

CONTRARY to what many think or feel, lent is a period of spiritual endeavor… Lent is a time of joy because it is a time for coming home, a period when we can come back to life. It should be a time when we shake off all that is worn and dead in us in order to become able to live, and to live with all the vastness, all the depth and all the intensity to which we are called. Unless we understand this quality of joy, we shall make of it a monstrous, blasphemous caricature, when in God's very name we make our life a misery for ourselves and for those who must pay the cost for our abortive attempts at holiness. This notion of joy coupled with strenuous effort, with ascetical endeavor, with struggle indeed, may seem strange, and yet it runs through the whole of our spiritual life, the life of the Church and the life of the Gospel, because the Kingdom of God is to be conquered. It is not something which is simply given to those who leisurely, lazily wait for it to come. For those who would wait for it in that spirit, it will come indeed: it will come at the dead of night; it will come like the Judgment of God, like the thief who takes us unawares, like the bridegroom who comes when the foolish virgins are asleep.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

La moniale Deborah, la “Staritsa”.

La vie monastique n'est pas toujours vécue entre les murs d'un monastère et le don de startchestvo (la guidance spirituelle), étant un charisme de l'esprit qui ne dépend pas d'une ordination, il peut se manifester chez une femme comme chez un homme.
 Dans une maison comme les autres d'une petite ville de Sibérie, vit la moniale Deborah. Percluse de maladies - tachycardie, migraines, maladie des poumons, des reins -, elle a déjà été miraculée une fois. Alors qu'on l'emmenait pour se faire opérer d'un kyste du cerveau et qu'elle souffrait horriblement, elle a senti qu'il se produisait quelque chose: elle a eu encore plus mal, puis la douleur est passée. A l'hôpital, les examens médicaux prouvèrent qu'il n'y avait plus de kyste, mais comme une cicatrice fraîche.
Elle se rappelle le long chemin qui l'a menée au monachisme. Voilà son récit: «Les fondements de l'orthodoxie ont été posés pour toujours dans mon âme enfantine. Mes parents étaient orthodoxes. Ma mère était sans instruction, mon père avait étudié au séminaire. On ne s'asseyait jamais à table sans avoir prié.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

“Pray… some donor may appear out of nowhere”

Kyriakos C.Markides.


His eminence Athanasios
Metropolitan of Limassol.
Father Maximos spent most of the morning in his office chatting with two fellows in their mid-twenties. They had arrived at the monastery two weeks earlier and were staying in a cell reserved for visitors. I assumed at the time that they were potential novices exploring the option of a monastic life. But Stephanos, being a kind of lay father figure to the younger monks and therefore having intimate knowledge of the goings-on in the monastery, informed me confidentially that the newcomers had a very severe drug problem. They had arrived with the aim of freeing them­selves from their deadly addiction, and were not primarily concerned with the salvation of their souls. Father Maximos was their therapist and the monastery was serving as a detoxification center of a sort.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

L'exorcisme du cosmos.
Clément/C.Andronikoff

Un texte admirable de saint Siméon le Nouveau Théologien offre, avec une grande force symbolique, une description de la chute humaine : 
"Toutes les créatures, lorsqu’elles virent qu'Adam était chassé du Paradis, ne consentirent plus à lui rester soumises; ni le soleil, ni la lune, ni les étoiles ne voulurent le reconnaître; les sources refusèrent de faire jaillir l'eau, et les rivières de continuer leur cours; l'air ne voulait plus palpiter pour ne pas donner à respirer à Adam pécheur ; les bêtes féroces et tous les animaux de la terre lorsqu'ils le virent déchu de sa gloire première, se mirent à le mépriser, et tous étaient prêts à l’assaillir; le ciel s’efforçait de s’effondrer sur sa tête et la terre ne voulait plus le porter. Mais Dieu qui avait créé toutes choses et l’homme même, que fit-il? Il contint toutes ces créatures par sa propre force et par son ordre et sa clémence sacrée, ne les laissa pas se déchaîner contre l'homme, mais ordonna que la création restât sous sa dépendance et, devenant périssable, servît l'homme périssable pour lequel elle était créée et cela jusqu'à ce que l’homme renouvelé redevienne spirituel, incorruptible et éternel, et que toutes les créatures, soumises par Dieu à l'homme dans son labeur, se libèrent aussi, se renouvellent avec lui et, comme lui, deviennent incorruptibles et spirituelles".

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Mariam the "Batoul"- Holy Mother of God.
Archimandrite Touma Bitar.

Sermon of the Holy Fathers’ Sunday.
24 December 2017.

           In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We are now in the period of the feast of Nativity, and according to the liturgical calendar, the celebration started on Friday, and will be completed tomorrow, God’s willing.
Therefore today, which is the Sunday before Christ’s Nativity, is included in the period of the Nativity feast, where the holy fathers of the Lord Jesus in the flesh are mentioned.
Today, I would like to reflect upon the subject of the Holy Theotokos.
What is the one thing that the Most Holy Theotokos offered, that no one had ever offered before?... And nevertheless everyone is called to offer?.