Two weeks ago, we commemorated Saint Paisios Velichkovsky. He takes the credit for reintroducing the tradition of spiritual doing in the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church. He lived at an unfortunate age when the teachings of the church fathers on spiritual life were losing influence. Fasting and church worship were becoming less meaningful and more ritualistic. Having spent many years as a spiritual disciple on Mount Athos, he established several monasteries in Moldavia, and his spiritual children became teachers of the Optina elders.
Elder Paisios returned spirituality to church life. He put in the centre stage the inner being of the person, not his visible accomplishments. We appreciate the difference that he made because the reason for our coming to God is to transform ourselves from within. We need to learn how to keep track of our thoughts and sentiments, how to question them and discuss them in our confessions.
At some point, we will all face up to eternity. But to have eternal life, we must already learn to live a full life in love and faith. We are all vulnerable to deception, illnesses and all kinds of depravity. But we are at Church. Christ is in our midst, and He will never abandon us. He is the One who gives us strength. If there is one thing we need to fear, it is stepping away from Christ and treating our human wisdom and fears as the ultimate truth. Where there is Christ, there is life.
The Church is where people gather in the name of Christ. They partake of His Body and Blood and thereby defeat the world of the flesh. Every liturgy is like a bomb blast in the darkness of Hades. It is the victory of God, the source of life. Here, Christ joined us together with His love into a single, undivided Church. In it, we are invincible. All its saints are praying for us. No matter how hard the secular world may try to divide us and put us apart, we will stay together because Christ is in our midst. "Where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them."
What is our cross? It is our life and all the sorrows, pains and trials that come with it that we must accept as the inevitable price of our sin, our separation from God and our wilfulness.
We know that not a hair of our head will perish without God's will. Realizing our weakness and spiritual poverty should bring us to revise our approach to life and rethink our relationship with God.
On Friday, July 17th, we celebrate the Feast Day of our church in honor of the Holy Royal Martyrs. This feast is very important because the devil does everything to destroy and defile family. The Royal Martyrs are examples of love, built on…
In our time, there is no open opposition to faith, but many are at risk of abandoning God in favour of the worldly comforts and riches. There is a chance for us to become God’s enemies by being indifferent and neglectful. By becoming one with…
A sin is when we are away from God. As soon as we call upon God and begin to repent, the broken connection is restored, and the sin is devoid of its power.
Even if we have good intentions, sometimes we stumble and fall into the pit of sin. We feel pride and get a sense of superiority over other people. We have to be very careful.
To be honest, I’m nobody. I know that but I also know that there is the devil who sneers at me gleefully, “Aha! You’re done!” I say, “No, I’ve only just begun. I want to change. I want to be different. I want to serve God.”
The world is jealous. One finds God and begins to hold little value in its treasures – money, wealth, power, pride and much else. But the world will go to any length to keep us from abandoning its treasures for the love of God.