Saturday, December 8, 2018

From the Manger to Holiness.
Archimandrite Touma Bitar.


Archimandrite Touma Bitar.
Brothers, who is a poor person? A poor person, for us, is someone who hardly possesses anything. And who is a rich person? He is the one who possesses much. This is according to people, but according to God, poverty and wealth have a different meaning. According to the Lord God, the rich person is someone who only loves himself and the poor person is prepared to give everything he has, whether he possesses a little or a lot. The rich person is someone who loves himself and so whether he possesses a little or a lot, he is rich in what he possesses. But the poor person, who is prepared to give everything, is the one to whom the Lord God gives the kingdom of heaven.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

La Rencontre.
Mère Mariam Zacca.


Fresque  de  la  Sainte  Trinité  
au  réfectoire  du monastère Saint Jean-Baptiste, Essex.

Lors de la visite du groupe “Nepsis”, au monastère Saint Jean-Baptiste à Douma,  Liban (20-21 Novembre 2018), et sur la demande du groupe, Mère Mariam, dans une parole spirituelle,  a essayé “en parlant de l’esprit de Père “Sophrony”, de nous donner de son esprit”, selon l’expression du Métropolite Antonios El-Soury.

Père Sophrony.
Maintenant je me sens que je suis devant Père “Sophrony”. Je ne sais pas pourquoi mais je sais que ça fait quelques jours que je ne parviens pas à dire quelques choses. J’ai essayé d’écrire quelques lignes et puis j’ai lu mais je n’ai pas pu  me retirer, enfin j’ai dit: “c’est le cœur qui va parler de Père “Sophrony” parce que le Christ a dit : “mon enfant donnes-moi ton cœur”. Le Christ n’a pas demandé nos études, Il n’a pas demandé nos écritures, notre travail, ou l’argent qu’on a gagné… Il n’a rien demandé. Il a voulu seulement le cœur. Pour pouvoir donner le cœur on doit être né ; le petit enfant ne fait que pleurer devant sa mère pour manger, pour être nettoyé, pour dormir…
 J’ai rencontré Père “Sophrony” la première fois en 1986.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

La visite du groupe “Nepsis”*.


Entre le 20-21 Novembre 2018, à l’occasion de la fête de “l’Entrée au temple de la Très Sainte Mère de Dieu”, la communauté de la famille de la Sainte Trinité, Douma, Liban, eu la bénédiction de recevoir un groupe de jeunes de l’association “Nepsis”, de l’archidiocèse Roumaine en France, accompagné par son Éminence Monseigneur Joseph (Pop),  son Excellence Monseigneur Marc (Alric), et Père Julian (Nistia), au cadre de leur pèlerinage au Liban.
Avec grande joie nous désirons partager avec nos lecteurs les paroles bénies qui ont été prononcées à l’occasion.
Son Éminence Monseigneur Joseph 
au réfectoire du Monastère 
Saint Jean-Baptiste avec les membres 
de la communauté et les membres du groupe “Nepsis”.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Le silence de la pensée.
Saint Paissij Velitchkovsky.


Saint Paissij Velitchkovsky.
Dieu créa Adam et l'établit dans le paradis pour le cultiver et le préserver. Par culture, saint Nil le Sinaïte entend la prière; par préserver, l'indispensable garde, après la prière, contre les mauvaises pensées. Le bienheureux Dorothée dit aussi de même, que le premier homme, établi par Dieu dans le paradis, demeurait dans la prière. Il ressort de ces témoignages que Dieu, ayant créé l'homme à son image et à sa ressemblance, l'établit dans un paradis de douceur pour cultiver les jardins de l'immortalité, c'est-à-dire les pensées divines les plus pures, les plus élevées et parfaites, comme l'écrit saint Grégoire le Théologien. Cela signifie qu'il fût prescrit au premier homme, pur d'âme et de cœur, de demeurer dans la grâce de la prière contemplative, célébrée par la seule intelligence, c'est-à-dire, dans la plus douce contemplation de Dieu et comme une activité paradisiaque, de la garder courageusement comme la prunelle de l'œil, afin qu'elle ne quitte jamais l'âme et le cœur.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

How to Hear the Gospel.
Metropolitan Anthony Bloom.


Metropolitan Anthony Bloom.
I have been asked more than once “How should we read the Gospel so that it reaches not only our mind but our heart, and that it should not always stand before the eyes of our mind as an accusation, in which every act and word of Christ, every commandment condemns us; because we are not the kind of people who will act like Him, think and feel as He does, or who can accomplish what He commands”. Out of fear, out of discouragement, we can achieve nothing; we must read the Gospel as though the Lord Jesus Christ comes to us as our closest friend, as someone who cares for us more than anyone else, who not only vaguely wishes for our good, but who is prepared to do all for us — and I say all — that is possible, not only humanly, but as God.
Humanly, we know that Christ gave His life and His death for us, and divinely, that He opens to us the gates of eternity: 'I am the door, whoever enters through Me will also enter into life eternal’.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

On The Holy Angels.
Mother Gavrilia Papayanni.


Mother Gavrilia.
Mother Gavrilia: The Angels are always ready to help us. I have seen it happen with my eyes, with the eyes of my mind - even at the most difficult moments ... When I was in India, jackals, a whole pack of jackals, with their eyes glowing in the dark, rushed in my direction in the jungle forest and God made me invisible to them, as if I didn't exist. Wasn't that protection by the Angels?. What do you think?. After such adven­tures nothing frightens me ... And something else too. When we have love in our heart, the Angels become our best «colleagues». They are the ones to come when, at times we ask ourselves: "Where am I to go now?. What shall I find there"?.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

“Mon fils, donne-moi ton Cœur” (Pr23 : 26).
Père Boris Bobrinskoy.


Père Boris 

Bobrinskoy.
Père Boris Bobriskoy, est l’un des grands Théologiens Orthodoxes des XXe et XXIe siècles, auteur de plusieurs ouvrages de théologie et de liturgie.

Il est clair que dans le cadre de l'anthropologie de la Bible et de l'Église, la prière et la vie intérieure engagent l'homme tout entier. Les psaumes offrent des exemples saisissants du rôle du corps dans la prière: Mon âme a soif de toi, mon Dieu; après toi languit ma chair, Comme une terre sèche, altérée, sans eau.” La chair a part à cette soif, à cette recherche de Dieu. Lorsque Dieu rencontre l'homme et le pénètre, il le pénètre dans sa totalité, le transfigure dans son âme et dans son corps.
Dans une telle perspective, l'origine de la vie spirituelle ne sera plus l'Intellect, l'intelligence de l'homme ne sera plus considérée comme le lieu de la connaissance et de l'union avec Dieu, comme dans les mystiques platoniciennes de contemplation de l'Intelligible par ce qui dans l'homme lui est le plus semblable, c'est-à-dire l'intelligence. Dans les Écritures et l'expérience traditionnelle de l'Église, ce n'est plus l'intelligence, mais le cœur de l'homme qui est l'organe moteur par excellence de toute la vie,

Saturday, October 20, 2018

“Suffer little children to come unto me” (Mt19: 14).
Father Thomas Hopko.

           
 
Father Thomas Hopko.
Father Thomas John Hopko (March 28, 1939 – March 18, 2015) was an Eastern Orthodox Christian priest and theologian. He was the Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary from September 1992 until July 1, 2002 and taught dogmatic theology there from 1968 until 2002. In retirement, he carried the honorary title of Dean Emeritus.



In addition to the intellectual and informational aspects of preparing children for liturgical and Eucharistic worship, there are spiritual and moral aspects as well. This part of the preparation, at least in the beginning with small children, has to do with external behavior. To participate fruitfully in Eucharistic worship a certain external and formal discipline must be observed so that the deeper, internal spiritual experi­ences may take place. This means that children must learn how to stand in church, how to pay attention, how not to bother others, etc. It also means that they must be trained in certain ascetical exercises in preparation for Holy Communion, as they are able, according to their age and maturity. These "ascetical exercises" include such things as praying personally and fasting as one can; dressing in a manner proper to litur­gical celebration with others, particularly adults; confessing one's sins in a formal sacramental manner when the time comes when this is possible and necessary; asking forgiveness for one's sins and faults; making acts of reparation and recon­ciliation, etc. The spiritual life the practitioner first learns the letter of the law before he or she can enter into the glorious liberty of gracious communion with the Lord. This biblical principle certainly applies to the preparation of chil­dren (and adults) for Eucharistic worship.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Body and Soul..
Saint Amvrosy of Optino.


Saint Amvrosy.
It is said in the Gospel: "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?!." See how precious the soul of man is!. It is more precious than the whole world with all its treasures and blessings. But it is frightening to think how little we under­stand the worth of our immortal soul. It is to the body, that dwelling place of worms, that bemourned coffin, that we direct all our thoughts from morning to night; but to our immortal soul, that most precious and beloved of God's creations, to that image of His glory and greatness…
Hardly one thought is directed in an entire week. To the service of the body are consecrated the most blossom­ing years of our life and to the eternal salvation of the soul,

Saturday, October 6, 2018

L’icône miraculeuse de la Mère de Dieu “Bisericani”.


L’icône miraculeuse
 de la Mère de Dieu “Bisericani”.

        “Sans aucun doute, toutes les icônes produisent des miracles et aident les croyants. Mais certaines portent un charisme spécial, que seuls ceux qui pleurent et prient longtemps devant elles, le ressentent ”. (Archimandrite Ionachie Balan).
         
      
L'église du
monastère “Bisericani”.
 Le monastère Orthodoxe “Bisericani” est situé dans le village “Scaricica”, dans la région de “Néamt”. Selon la tradition, Saint Étienne le grand et puis son fils Stefanita Voda ont édifié l’église du monastère au XV siècle, pour le bénéfice des ascètes qui vivaient à l’endroit.
        Saint Joseph dit “de la Bisericani”, vivait au XV siècle, dans une grotte près du monastère actuel. Des moines le rejoignirent. Au milieu de sa grotte, le prêtre Joseph éleva une église en bois, puis organisa des séances de prière  perpétuelle, en divisant les moines en trois groupes de trois heures chacun, selon le modèle typique du monastère Studion à Constantinople.
        À la fin du XV siècle, les Tatars brûlèrent l’église. Les moines décidèrent de s’enfuir au Mont-Athos en Grèce.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Spiritual weapons..
Saint Nil Sorsky.



Saint Nil Sorsky.
For those who sincerely seek to repent, and who seek God in love and fear, and have Him alone before their eyes and walk according to His commandments, God will accept all of them, granting his mercy and giving them His grace and glorifying them. Thus all of Holy Scripture assures us of this.
In ancient times many Fathers themselves walked in this exem­plary way of life and, directed others accordingly. But now it is not the same, due to a great lack of such spiritual directors. But whoever dedicates himself completely to the work of God, God's very own grace will wisely guide him, being his strength now and for all ages, in the life to come.

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.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Why tremble?.
Saint John Chrysostom.



Saint Paul helping Saint John Chrysostom
in interpreting his teaching.



For all those who suffer...
A selected passage from the commentary of Saint John Chrysostom on the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”.
 Saint Paul seems to me to have mooted this whole topic with a view to those who were in danger; or, rather, not this only, but also what was said a little before this. For the words, the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us; and those, that the whole creation groaned; and the saying, that we are saved by hope; and the phrase, we with patience wait for; and that, we know not what we should pray for as we ought; are all of them said to these. For he instructs them not to choose just what they may think, themselves, to be useful, but what the Spirit may suggest ; for many things that seem to one's self profitable, do sometimes even cause much harm. Quiet, for instance, and freedom from dangers, and living out of fear, seemed to be advantageous for them.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

La spiritualité et l’art de vivre
Père Marcel Sarkis.

Père Marcel Sarkis.
Intervention présentée par Père Marcel Sarkis, à la conférence, portant le thème "Jusqu’Au Terme Accompagner La Vie", organisée par l’association JATALV  au Centre de Rencontres Internationales à Monaco.
Père Marcel est recteur de l'Église de tous les saints de la terre Russe en Alpes Maritime, et le fondateur du bulletin “Le Bon Pasteur”, qui vise “apporter un témoignage sur nos Pères et Ancêtres dans la Foi qui ont vécu et qui vivent encore dans une région communément appelée le Moyen-Orient”.

La Spiritualité peut être abordée sous plusieurs angles mais je vais m'en tenir à celui qui me permet de l'associer à la foi en Dieu et essayer avec vous l'art de vivre dans ce sens. Car l'art de vivre dans le christianisme ne consiste pas à s'opposer à la mort ou à la rejeter mais se fonde sur une foi inébranlable en la victoire, par la mort, sur la mort qui devient ainsi une porte à la vie éternelle.
Je ne vous dirais rien de neuf si je vous rappelle que la société est organisée de telle façon que les soucis humains sont prioritaires, à la fois pour l'individu et pour la collectivité. L'homme veut par lui-même produire son bonheur et éloigner le malheur.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Love.
Saint Paisios of Mount Athos.


Conscience is the first law of God, which He deeply carved in the hearts of the First Created, and conse­quently, each one of us takes it as a "photocopy" from his parents when he is born. Those who have managed to sensitize their conscience through the daily study of themselves, feel themselves estranged from this world; and, as a result, worldly people are dumbfounded by their discerning behaviour. Those, however, who do not examine their conscience, are neither benefited by spiritual study, nor by the advice of the Elders, nor are they even able to keep God's commandments, since they quickly become insensitive.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Such is the path set before us.
Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov.


Father Sophrony’s sister, Maria, in one of her letters, wrote about a certain young relative whose ungrateful attitude towards everyone was causing anxiety in the family, and this was Father Sophrony’s answer.

 I received your last letter not long ago. At the present moment I cannot even find where it is. But I will answer from memory. Of course, the first thing to write about is young peo­ple. I must say that in my lifetime I have very often met the phenomenon you write to me about. In this connexion I tried to remember my own conduct in the past: did I not behave in such a way?. In my childhood I did not understand what diffi­culties and sufferings raising us brought to my (our) parents. My mind acted with its focus rather on myself, on my future, on my needs, and not on how I could show gratitude towards my parents - father and mother - or other people who in one way or another helped me in my childhood and youth. Now I am thinking about those young people whom I have met, for whom I tried to do as much good as possible, to help them arrange their lives; I tried to foresee in my mind the potential difficulties they would have in the future and so on. And the majority of them understood nothing of this; some even thought that I needed something from them, and that was why I did them a good turn.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Conseils spirituels.
Mère Mariam Zacca.

Conseils spirituels prodigués par Mère Mariam (Zakka) higoumène du monastère de Saint Jean Baptiste à Douma au Liban. Ces conseils s’adressent à un groupe de jeunes laïcs orthodoxes du Liban. Certains pensent à la vie monastique. La question posée par l’un d’entre nous était la suivante : « Mère Mariam, j’ai un problème, je trouve que certains frères ne changent pas, bien que nous recevons un enseignement, que nous lisons les vies des Saints ainsi que les Écritures, je commence à avoir des doutes sur le bien-fondé de notre action…peux-tu me conseiller ?!. »

Mes bien-aimés vous vous réunissez pour vivre en Christ !. Pour être à Lui ! Vous êtes avec Lui et en Lui alors pourquoi perdre espoir ?!. Vous pensez que l’être humain change vite ?!…L’être humain n’est pas un appareil que l’on pourrait confier à un réparateur pour le remettre en marche et qu’il se mette à fonctionner selon nos souhaits, à notre image et selon nos conceptions et sans doute pas à l’image du Seigneur.
Ce qui est essentiel lors de vos réunions est la patience qui vient juste après l’amour évangélique.
Avoir de la patience envers ses proches est le « cinquième clou » enfoncé sur le côté du Seigneur, qui est à la fois notre Seigneur et le Seigneur de ceux qui l’ont cloué sur la croix de notre Salut.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The world is a teacher to lead us to Christ.
Fr.Dumitru Stăniloae.


Fr. Dumitru Staniloae is a Romanian theologian. His many works include commentaries on the Church Fathers, a Romanian translation of the Philokalia, and his masterpiece, in 1978, "The Orthodox Dogmatic Theology". Fr. Dumitru endured several years of imprisonment for his faith at the hands of Communists, after which he began to work for the Romanian Holy Synod and often traveled to international conferences to share his theological vision. He reposed in 1993 at the age of ninety.

On the road of our approach to God stands the world - we must pass through the understanding of it. Every man has a mission connected with the world. Everyone must know it according to the power given to him, in as much as knowledge can't come until the gaining of the virtues; everyone must develop beforehand a moral activity in relationship to the world. A mainly negative attitude toward the world frustrates salvation itself. The world is imposed on everyone as a stone for sharpening his spiritual faculties.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

De la Prière…
Saint Nil d’Ancyre.
33 citations choisies du livre “Traité de la Prière”.


1. Si l'on veut préparer un parfum exquis, la Loi prescrit de mélanger à parties égales l'encens diaphane, la cannelle, l'onyx et la myrrhe : c'est le quaternaire des vertus. Si elles sont en pleine mesure et bien en équilibre, l'esprit est à l'épreuve de toute défaillance.
2. L'âme purifiée par la plénitude des vertus établit l'esprit dans un ordre inébranlable, grâce auquel il peut obtenir la constance qu'il recherche.
3. La prière est un commerce de l'esprit avec Dieu. Il ne faut pas une médiocre constance à l'esprit pour sortir de soi et aller vers son propre Maître dans une quiétude sans défaillance, et pour converser avec lui sans intermédiaire.
4. Quand Moise voulut s'approcher du buisson ardent, il en fut empêché tant qu'il n'eut pas quitté ses chaussures. Et toi, qui veux voir celui qui dépasse toute pensée et tout sentiment, tu ne te dégagerais pas de toute notion sensible ?!...
5. Prie d'abord pour recevoir le don des larmes, afin d'amollir par tes pleurs la rudesse de ton âme ; puis tu obtiendras le pardon en confessant ton iniquité au Seigneur.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Blessed Surgeon’s faith and love.
Excerpts from the life of Saint Luke of Simferopol.


The faith.
When he arrived in Simferopol in 1946, Saint Luke had thought that his knowledge and experience in surgery would be in demand. However, a month-and-a-half passed before he received official per­mission to practice medicine. From 1946 on, he worked as a consultant at the Simferopol Hospital. He also assisted the Hospital for Invalids of the Great Patriotic War. Until the end of 1947, he gave reports and lectures to doctors and operated on patients and the wounded. Zhdanov (the official in charge of Russian Orthodox Church Affairs) characterized his medical activity as very active.
Archbishop Luke regularly attended meetings of the surgeons' associa­tion, in which civil doctors and surgeons participated. He would listen carefully to their reports and speeches and always introduced necessary corrections. According to Dr. G. F. Pyatidvernaya, during a meeting, one surgeon asked the archbishop: "How can you, such a specialist, a surgeon, believe in somebody whom you have never seen, in God?"

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Testimony of the Saints.
Archimandrite George Kapsani.



Father Georges Kapsani.
Archimandrite George, the former Abbot of St. Gregorios Monastery (1974-2014), was well known throughout the Orthodox world both as a theologian and spiritual father. He has written many books and articles on theology and the spiritual life. His works have been translated into many languages. He reposed in the Lord, the day of Pentecost, 8 June 2014. 


The Church is the place of our meeting with the Holy Trinity and the Epiphany where the fullness of Grace and the real gifts of the Spirit exist. Where everything is perfect, since "the divine Fathers put everything in its proper order". They were driven and guided by the authenticity of the omniscience of God and "having recollected all the science of the soul" have passed on to us authentically" the great mystery of piety". The real piety, not the fake, not the in­dividual piety according to everyone's personal opinion, but piety of the Church.

We, the Orthodox Christians, in our honorable struggle daily die according to the old man and go from admiration to admiration and from surprise to surprise. We act as such even when we take up our cross, each one personally his own, despite our human passions and weaknesses.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

“ Most Christians are not born”.
Metropolitan Georges Khodr.


A chosen selection from “Most Christians Are Not Born”, a chapter of a book entitled “And If I Told the Ways of Childhood” written by Metropolitan Georges Khodr, the former Metropolitan of Byblos, Batroun and Mount Lebanon, and translated by father Robert Arida.  
Metropolitan Georges uses the third person, “my friend”, and not the first person “I.” More than a literary technique, “my friend” expresses a spiritual posture which enables Metropolitan Georges to stand apart from himself which, paradoxically allows for the intimacy needed to speak openly about himself and the world.

For a long time hope lived, but then came the time of disillusions. It is not enough for men to realize that they are to repent. For knowing that their passions lead to a disastrous fate, they do not cease to nurse them. They fall again into the same sins [either] through weakness or delight. Truly, they have very little interest in God. Moreover, many have no interest in him whatsoever. And nothing indicates that the bearers of the message, i.e. “the stewards of God’s mysteries” should be more profoundly anchored in divine things.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

“ Prenez donc garde à vous-mêmes”.
Archimandrite Touma Bitar.


En ce jour, la Sainte Église célèbre la mémoire des saints-Pères, qui se sont réunis au premier concile œcuménique, à la ville de Nice près de la ville de Constantinople. Le saint empereur Constantin faisait appel à ce concile nommé “le grand”, après avoir concerté avec certains évêques proches de lui, en ce qui concerne un enseignement étrange, que l’Église appelle “hérésie”. Ils se sont délibéré pour mettre fin au trouble causé par l’hérésie attribuée à un archimandrite Égyptien, nommé “Arius”.    
L’empereur  Constantin a pris l’initiative de convoquer les évêques de l’univers, c'est-à-dire le monde Byzantin, dans le temps. Il a voulu s’informer d’eux de l’enseignement officiel de l’Église Sainte Catholique Apostolique.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Quelle est la différence entre la douceur et l’humilité.?!...
Mère Mariam Zacca.


Le Seigneur a dit : “Apprenez de moi car je suis doux et humble de cœur ”.
La douceur est un des dons que l’Esprit Saint accorde à l’homme à sa naissance…Certains Pères de l’Église considèrent que la douceur est accordée à des personnes choisies par Dieu et qu’Il connaît depuis qu’ils sont dans le ventre de leurs mères : « Du sein de ta mère je t’ai connu ». Le Seigneur connaît l’homme depuis qu’il se trouve dans les entrailles de sa mère et Il peut le choisir pour en faire un vase d’élection, Il lui accorde de nombreux dons spirituels pour qu’il puisse les développer dans ce monde en prenant le Christ comme modèle.