A certain elder said: "A monk who lives in genuine obedience to his spiritual father will reap a greater reward than someone who lives as a hermit in a wilderness. To this, he added: "Speaking of heaven, a church father distinguished four ranks of its dwellers; the first was the sick giving thanks to the Lord, were people who gave shelter and hospitality to strangers and were good servants of others; the third was the desert dwellers who ascetised in full solitude, without any human company; and finally, the brethren who lived in obedience to their spiritual fathers for the sake of God belonged to the fourth rank. They wore a golden chain and a wreath, and they were in the highest glory of the four. Why?
He gave me this answer: the ones who received strangers did so of their volition. Likewise, the hermits freely chose to live their solitary lives in the wilderness. But those who lived in obedience surrendered themselves fully to the will of God and their spiritual fathers, and thus earned the highest glory. Obedience for the sake of God is a virtue. Strive to acquire it at least in part. Obedience is the way to salvation for all faithful. It is the mother of all virtue. It opens the door to the Kingdom of Heaven and makes us akin to angels. Obedience is the food of all saints; raised in the spirit of obedience, they rise to perfection through its practice.
The Apostle Luke is mostly known as one of the four Evangelists. In fact, he told us more than the other three about our Lord’s childhood, as well as about His mother Mary.
Thousands of years after Judas’ betrayal, we are still confronted by the same choice: are we going to direct our love to God, and restore our community with Him, or betray him, to live for the world and ourselves?
The Orthodox Church approaches the Great Lent which will start on March 15th according to the Julian calendar. In order to prepare for the Lenten journey, the Church gives us four pre-lenten weeks to help us understand why we fast.
Simple events in the biography of Father Sophrony point to the universal, all-embracing nature of his personality. On Easter in 1924, he experienced a vision of the Uncreated Light, a Divine visitation bestowed, perhaps, only on a few people…
The Great Lent has begun. What is the meaning of these forty days, why are they divided into weeks, and how does each week lead us to the Great and Holy Pascha? Paul Pinson explains.
Repentance is hard work. It takes humility to admit our sins and courage to repent and ask for forgiveness. Here are four timeless narratives from saints and monks from different centuries.
The Great and Holy Thursday is celebrated on the 21st of April this year in the Belarusian Orthodox Church. This is the day we commemorate the Last Supper - the revelation of God’s love for people.