“Elder, how can we have a pure heart?”
“By exercising humility, seeking peace, sacrificing ourselves, being unselfish, confessing our sins, asceticising, and praying, especially by saying Jesus' prayer - these are all the actions that make us pure and cleanse our hearts from all things unnecessary.”
“Elder, is Jesus' prayer enough to make us pure?"
“No, you cannot become pure just by saying Jesus'Prayer. One must do so with humility and appropriate exertion. If you pray, but are not humble or exert yourself, your prayer is useless. Conversely, if you do the rest, but neglect the prayer you are not going anywhere. Ascetise and pray for God's help, and your heart will become pure. Asceticism and prayer should go hand in hand.”
One present-day elder from Mount Athos said, "Humility is like a spring: the more you strain it, the higher you fly. The more you humble yourself, the more you grow in the spirit.
"Seeing someone whom they dislike or envy, some people exclaim, "I saw him and went in a rage. I wish I never saw him again." In their heart, they feel a searing pain of the same kind that will torment them in eternity, many times more intensely. It would be best for everyone if we never experienced this pain. God forbid!"
Four church fathers, Romanian by origin, ascetised in cells around the Chapel of the Most Holy Theotokos at Pantokrator Monastery on Mount Athos. They led a virtuous monastic life, but three agreed to leave their cells and move elsewhere because there was no water where they lived.
They asked the fourth to join them, but he refused. No amount of persuasion could change his mind. Instead, he implored his other three brethren to pray together so that God would give them some water, which they all needed badly. He had been praying for it all the time, his eyes full of tears. Now he was praying to God and the Mother of God that his four brethren would not leave. The Good Lord heard his prayers and saw his deep faith and contrite heart.
The Mother of God appeared to him in a dream. She showed him where to dig for water. The four fathers dug where she said and found a holy spring that still exists today in Kapsala. It is dedicated to the Nativity of the Most-Holy Theotokos.
The three fathers who wished to leave finally left, but nobody knows the name of the fourth monk, who prayed and received help from the Lord and the Mother of God.
Mary of Nazareth was born around the year 14 BC in present-day Israel. From her womb would come the incarnate Logos, who would change the course of human history forever. For this, she is glorified among all women.
The history of venerating the icon of the Mother of God, brought at the end of the 14th century to the Polish city of Czestochowa, remains underexplored. Ancient Russian calendars and menologies do not mention it.
Demetrius parental Saturday is a day of special commemoration of the dead in the Russian Orthodox Church. This is a memorial Saturday before the remembrance day of the Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki (October 26 / November 8).
In the Orthodox tradition, almsgiving is the third main virtue after prayer and fasting. Our Lord Jesus Christ and many of His Saints have talked about the importance of giving alms. So what is this virtue all about?
The Lazarus Saturday is a very joyful day for Orthodox Christians which shows us the triumphal miracle of Christ. It falls on the same day our dear Abbess Euphrosinia celebrates her birthday - April 24th.
Today, we wish to share with you seven facts about how Christians celebrated Christmas in ancient times. Our hope is that you discover the roots of your Christian heritage from those Christians who celebrated before us.
The Mother of God prays for us, showing us the power of the prayer to change us from within, transform our lives and make a positive difference to the world.