Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd Read More …
Sometimes the order in which we pray also teaches us important things. Our services and prayer books are comprehensive and teach us every way we should approach God in prayer. They are full of dogmatic truths and compunctionate sayings and prayers to the martyrs, especially in the weekday Matins services.
I was struck about even the order in which our prayers are said in Matins when I was singing (I am using the term loosely) the praises for Monday of the week of the Myrhhbearers. The first sticheron was about the resurrection, the next was a compunctionate one, and the next was an ode to the martyrs.
How sensible this is! Without the Resurrection we are nothing; …
SYNOPSIS:The Scriptures tell us that Joseph “became bold” and asked for the body of Jesus from Pilate. He did a dangerous thing, which would likely cost him his life, as did the Holy Myrhhbearers when they went to the tomb on the day of the resurrection, to anoint a dead man. Why did they become bold? This is very important! They did not quite ” get things right”, since Jesus was not dead, so it is not so important that we get everything right and understand everything, but we must &become bold”, because of love, and God will cause everything to work to the good. Also, at the beginning, an instruction about praying for people during the most sacred part of the Divine Liturgy, which is an obligation for all Orthodox Christians, and not only the clergy.
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”  [John 5:28-29]
We who are true Christians know that the way we live shows what we believe. The greatest heresy (meaning the most egregious to the soul) of our age is a relatively new one – that salvation is by faith alone. Those who espouse this heresy do not understand what faith is, and who its always present companion is. It is plain as day in the Scripture, as the Holy Apostle and brother of the Lord James says:…
oday in Philadelphia, the jury, after 10 days of deliberation, delivered several guilt verdicts in the trial of the abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell. He will face the death penalty in some of these convictions.
Most people do not know who this man is, since he is the real face of abortion in this country. The mainstream media and too many politicians are totally enslaved to the sins of this age, and since abortion is an important pillar of these sins, they strive to protect it as often as they can, even by censoring news about obscene acts of evil. This is why there is very little information available on mainstream sources about Kermit Gosnell. His trial reads like the script of a horror movie….
The Apostle Thomas is a perfect example of how we are, deep inside. We have doubts, problems, unresolved issues. We must follow his example to resolve all these problems. We also talk about the closing of the doors in the altar on Bright Saturday night, and what it means. It is VERY related to the story of Thomas, which must become our story if we are to be saved.
Learning holy things is hard. The mind must be changed; we do not naturally think about heavenly things or reason in spiritual ways. … Nicodemus was a good man, and very pious and learned. …Even though he was such a man, he could not understand what the Lord was telling him, and was even rebuked about it…. Many stories we read from the Gospels during the Paschal season drive home this point – understanding heavenly things is hard. Let’s just flat out admit it …
“… What sign showest Thou to us, seeing that Thou doest these things?” This question the Jewish leaders asked Jesus after he routed the money changers out of the temple. It is a stupid question. They shouldn’t be asking “what sign”, instead they should be asking for forgiveness! The Lord had showed them a very personal sign, much like He would later do to the people of the Gergesenes. Their greed blinded them to the blessing the Lord gave them; He exposed their sin and gave them an opportunity to repent. This was the sign! Sins blind us to the signs the Lord is continually showing us. We also look for external signs, but the truest and most reliable signs are those that the Lord reveals to the heart…
“… Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” [John 2:5]
This is is advice that we need to follow closely. … Our will is unreliable since it is tainted by the passions. We often get things wrong. God’s will is always GOOD. Sometimes we know and understand why God is telling us to do a certain thing such as that we should love our enemies or we should we should do good to those who do evil into us. That is the easy stuff (to understand, but not always to do!). The hard part is the following God’s will when we do not understand why or perhaps we don’t even understand exactly what it is we are to do or what the result is supposed to be…..
“And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.” [John 1:46]
[Our parish is being encouraged to read the Gospel of Jon during the Pentecostarion period. If we read 1/2 chapter a day plus the remainder (about 2 chapters) the day before Ascension, we will finish in forty days. On Bright Monday, the suggested reading is John 1:1-28, on Tuesday the rest of the chapter (John 1:29-51)]
The following is a prayerful meditation on some part of the “assigned” reading. REMEMBER – read the scripture to apply it to yourself. This is all important. There may be parts you do not understand, but there will always be something that touches your heart if you read it prayerfully.