Lock us up in a cell; feed us through a window on a few Prosphroras a day. Would that make a difference? Make some of us saints or ascetics, maybe? In our real lives, no one is locking us up. We are doing it to ourselves, voluntarily.
In a few moments, we will begin the Moleben for the preservation of God's creation. Our selfishness and exorbitant demands bring destruction to our habitats, our homes and ultimately ourselves. Floods, hurricanes and fires are all over the news. We hear about the number of fires put out or the number of planes and people involved. In the Moleben, we talk about repentance, reforming our lives and returning to God. We live in a Christian country, but we are not any more likely to hear any of these mentioned in the news. The news is rich in details and facts but leaves out the essential things.
There is no better time to pray for our schoolchildren and students than at the start of the academic year. They all need our prayers and support. Already, the world is telling us that one can teach without the teacher - a fast computer is just as good. But what will our children achieve without interacting with their teachers, and learning to trust and love them? The separation of students and teachers is a terrifying prospect.
To embrace God's endless love, we must humble ourselves. Instead, we indulge in our pride, tormenting ourselves and others. We isolate ourselves from God because we are too afraid to trust Him. We feel we do not know Him well enough. That is because we have not genuinely met Him. Yet having such a meeting is vital. Meeting God changes our view of the world. We begin to see it as a whole, not a collection of isolated fragments. Our life and our world extend beyond all imaginable limits. We begin our preparation for eternity by letting God in our present lives, and by doing so, we exist in two dimensions. "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s," as we read in the Gospel. By giving to God what is God's, we move closer to our goal of everlasting life.
No written law diminishes the freedom of a Christian, but Christians are law-abiding. We are not constrained by any external limits, but we set limits for ourselves. Let us keep paying attention to what we do and how we live. Let us not lose from our sight the meaning of our life and every day of it.
And let us never stop giving our thanks to our Lord.
In our lives on this earth, the lobby of Heaven, are we not like these invalids at the pool? Are we not waiting like them for some Angel of God to perform a miracle that will make us see, hear and live?
Most of us are not prepared to hear the truth about ourselves. Crack the truth to someone who is not ready for it, and you will only make them feel bitter. Christians should be wise and think hard before taking action.
At the end of the first week of Lent, all members of the Church confess and partake of the holy Sacraments of Christ. When we come to confession, we stand before God in His invisible presence. We have come to thank God, not to complain about…
Christ is Risen! The Paschal season is going on, and we keep fighting for the joy and the hope that we can hear in the words “Christ is Risen!” We want to affirm this truth about God and the fact that He defeated death.
May the Holy Spirit always be with you, and so, by strengthening ourselves with the gifts of our Church we will overcome this world that lies in sin.
We haven't heard about iconoclasm for many centuries now. Icons are no longer destroyed like they were in the 8th and early 9th century. Sadly, the struggle with the image of God is apparently still going on.
The Scripture provides us with some explanations as to why people who heard the word of God and saw the churches do not see, though seeing, and do not hear or understand, though hearing - many centuries ago or today, and why their hearts remain…