Monday
Oct022017

To the Feast of the Transfiguration:

Prayer is a flowing river or wind, refreshing us on top of a mountain. It is a cool stream from which the wearied traveler can draw some water and wash his face. Is is the internal prayer that helps the man see himself in true and undistorted light.

Inner monasticism is the Christ’s way, walked by the saints through achieving continuous prayer and the height of happiness. Christ ascended the mountain and was transfigured in front of the apostles which were following him. The path up the mountain is the physical and spiritual ascent to joy. It continues uninterrupted and we ask God for support, and sometimes rest, so we can recover our strength and continue ascending. The end of this long earthly path, which will continue after this life, is when the need to pray will becomes a natural state of our being.

Monday
Apr172017

I congratulate you on the occasion of the beginning of Great Lent!  

Greeting from Archpriest Georgy Zavershinsky

The entry of Orthodox believers upon Great Lent starts with Forgiveness, and every

day of Lent must be devoted to confession to God and reconciliation with people. It
is only trust and the absence of hypocrisy/self- righteousness in relationships with
God, with oneself and with other people that help a person to survive. And moreover,
not just to ‘save one’s face’ in this life, but to come into eternity with joy, gratitude
and acceptance of it with every person. We shall strive to be ready to appear before
God in eternity with any of those people whom He allows us to encounter in life.

 Greeting from Archpriest Georgy Zavershinsky

Friday
Jan212011

Sermons and talks

Thoughts for Each Day of the Year According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God By St. Theophan the Recluse Theophany. [Titus 2:11–14; 3:4–7; Matt. 3:13–17] 

The Baptism of the Lord is called Theophany [God Revealed] because in it the one true God, worshipped in Trinity, revealed Himself so palpably: God the Father—through the voice from heaven, God the Son, incarnate—through His baptism, and God the Holy Spirit—through the descent upon the Baptized. Here the mystery of the relationship between the persons of the Most Holy Trinity is also revealed. God the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and rests in the Son, but does not proceed from the Son. Here also is revealed the fact that the incarnate Divine economy of our salvation is accomplished by God the Son incarnate, coexisting with the Holy Spirit and God the Father. And it is revealed that the salvation of each person can be accomplished no way other than in the Lord Jesus Christ, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, according to the good will of the Father. All the Christian Mysteries shine here with their divine light and enlighten the minds and hearts of those who with faith celebrate this great festival. Come, let us mentally hasten on high and plunge ourselves into the contemplation of these mysteries of our salvation, singing, “When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest”—a salvation which in trinity establishes us, and in trinity saves us.



Tuesday
Sep282010

The Spiritual Exaltation of the Cross

From: Letters on the Spiritual Life

The Exaltation of the Lord's Cross has arrived. Then the Cross was erected on a high place, so that the people could see it and render honor to it. Now, the cross is raised in the churches and monasteries. But this is all external. There is a spiritual exaltation of the cross in the heart. It happens when one firmly resolves to crucify himself, or to mortify his passions—something so essential in Christians that, according to the Apostle, they only are Christ's who have crucified their flesh with its passions and lusts (cf. Gal. 5:24). Having raised this cross in themselves, Christians hold it exalted all their lives. Let every Christian soul ask himself if this is how it is, and let him hearken to the answer that his conscience gives him in his heart. Oh, may we not hear, ”You only please your flesh in the passions; your cross is not exalted—it is thrown into the pit of the passions, and is rotting there in negligence and contempt!”

When the Lord was taken down from the Cross, the Cross remained on Golgotha, and then it was thrown into the pit that was in that place, where this instrument of execution was usually thrown, together with other refuse. Soon Jerusalem was razed and all of its edifices were leveled to the ground. The pit containing the Cross of Christ was also filled over. When the pagans rebuilt the city (the Jews were forbidden to come near the place where it was), it happened that on the place where the Cross of Christ was hidden, they placed an idol of Venus, the pagan Goddess of fornication and all manner of lusts. This is what the enemy suggested to them. This is how it is with our inner cross. When the enemy destroys the spiritual order in the soul, this is our mental Jerusalem, and then the spiritual cross is thrown down from the Golgotha of the heart and is covered over with the garbage of the affections and lusts. Lustful self-pleasure then rises like a tower over all our inner peace, and everything in us bows down to it and fulfills its commands until grace shines upon us, inspiring us to cast down the idol and lift up the cross of self-crucifixion.

St. Theophan the Recluse
Translated by Pravoslavie.ru/OrthoChristian.com

Tuesday
Sep212010

Sorrow and Joy: A Homily on the Day of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God

Thy Nativity, O Theotokos Virgin,

Has brought joy to all the inhabited earth:

For from Thee has sprung forth

 the Son of Righteous, Christ our God.



We solemnly celebrate, dear brothers and sisters, the Nativity of the Most Holy Virgin Mary from her barren parents, pious Joachim and Anna. The Holy Church established this feast during the first centuries of the Christian Faith. The event that we celebrate—the birth of the God-Chosen maiden—brought joy to all the world, for the God-man, Jesus Christ, Who shone forth from Her, destroyed God's curse which weighed heavily upon the transgressing and accursed human race, and brought God's blessing upon it; having trampled down inherent death, He gave people eternal life. Thus the Holy Church explains the cause of the present joy.

The parents of the Ever-Virgin sorrowed long over their barrenness; they prayed long and fervently to the Lord that He loose this barrenness, which was considered a punishment from God for sins. They gave much alms in order to incline the mercy of the All-Merciful, endured the reproach of their countrymen, and through this sorrow and ceaseless prayer and good works, they gradually purified their spirits, and burned ever greater with love and dedication to God, thus being prepared by God's Providence to give blessed birth to the Most Blessed Daughter, chosen out of all people to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word.

The Lord leads His chosen ones to glory by a narrow and sorrowful path; for even She, the Mother of God according to the flesh, received the prophecy of Simeon that a sword shall pierce Her soul, and She will experience heavy sorrows in her soul during Her Son's suffering life, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed (Lk. 2:34–35). The path of all God's chosen is thus sorrowful and narrow, for the world and the prince of this world—that is, the enemy of God and people, extremely presses the people of God. The Lord Himself allows them to go by the narrow way, inasmuch as He enables them to strive for God and put all their hope in Him.

But let us turn our gaze from the sorrow to the joy. 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! She is ever the most powerful Intercessor for the Christian race before Her Son and God! She is our Hope unashamed; She turns away from us the dark cloud of God's righteous wrath, opens to us the ancient paradise by Her powerful intercessions; She upholds the thrones of kings, and preserves them unshakeable to the ages. She has saved Russia thousands of times and continues to save her; She has made her strong, glorified her, established her, and continues to do so; She is the Surety of Sinners for salvation. To Her do Christians direct their numberless prayers, requests, and praises, doxologies and thanksgiving; She has worked and continues to work miracles without number in the Church, to the ends of the world.

Let us brightly celebrate the feast of the Nativity of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, adorning ourselves with all the Christian virtues.

St. John of Kronstadt
Translated by Pravoslavie.ru/OrthoChristian.com