Sunday, February 19, 2017

  Taken from “Sparks From The Apostles” 
by Augoustinos Kantiotes, Bishop of Florina in Greece.

      Beloved, we live in a beautiful world. This beautiful world which we see and enjoy is a wonderful delight to behold. And what doesn’t it have! It has plains and mountains. It has rivers lakes and seas. It has plants and animals. Take birds for example, what an amazing variety from sparrows to eagles! The different kind of birds are distinguished by their sounds, color, beaks, flight, nesting location, habits. Length of life, and many other characteristics. It is the same with all animals and plants, flowers and trees. They are each created with such perfection that the greatest scholars of the world marvel at them.  Each species is like a factory that works with marvelous precision, For example, consider the nightingale, whose song we wait for each spring. If we were to weigh this songbird, we would find that it weighs no more than an ounce. Yet this tiny creature is a small and lively machine – not a dead one but a living one that has all that is needed to move and work.  It also has some fine chords in its larynx that enchant you when it sings. It is like listening to a guitar. But what am I saying? No musician can equal its music. And I ask you, Is it possible that these things that we see here on earth are accidental! Who made matter? Who molded it so that it takes on different forms and shapes? Who hid different attributes and strengths in this matter? Who imposed such power in a particle of matter that if it were freed could move thousands of railroad cars and ships? Who taught music to the nightingale? Who taught the bee to build its honeycombs with such skill, as though it were an engineer or architect? Who taught the ant to make its underground dwellings and to work as an organized community? The questions are endless. There is however one logical answer: God!

     Yes, the earth along with all that exists and lives upon it, is God’s creation. But is the earth God’s only creation? No, the earth – this enormous planet that the astronomers tell us weighs millions of tons– this earth, in comparison to millions and billions of other heavenly bodies, is like a grain of sand, just a drop in the sea. Again we ask, who created these countless heavenly bodies?
Who gave them their first movement? Who set their courses that they move inside the endless universe and do not hit into each other? Who gave light to the sun? Who set the distance of the earth   from the sun to be such that the earth neither burns to a crisp nor is it totally frozen?  Who set the course of all the stars? Again the logical answer is God!

     Everything is amazing! But something else is the most amazing thing of all. It is that God became a man and walked on this earth because of His infinite love for us. God’s human incarnation is the miracle of miracles. Our Lord Jesus Christ is  is both God and man –the Godman!

     He is the second person of the Holy Trinity. In cooperation with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He created the world. David proclaimed this great truth in the Old Testament, and the Apostle Paul repeats it in the epistle read in the Church today. “And you Lord, in the beginning has laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands” (Heb. 1:10).

     Our ancient forefathers marveled so much at creation that they considered all that they saw in this beautiful world to be divine.  They made everything gods, the sun, the rivers, the seas, the plants, the animals, the birds. This was a serious error but the Word of God, Holy Scripture, freed them from their error. It teaches us that the differences between God and His creatures are enormous. God is immaterial, timeless, incorruptible. Matter, from which the universe is created, does not have these godlike qualities. Matter is not eternal; is not incorruptible and at some point of time it will end. The day will come when the sun which has lighted and warmed the world for thousands of years and seems to be eternal to some, will go out, just as a lamp goes out when there is no more oil. And the earth shall be destroyed, just as all the planets, all the stars, and all of the material universe.

     Although the physical universe will be destroyed, its Creator and God, our Lord Jesus Christ will always exist. No change can terminate His existence. That is why the Apostle repeats the words of David today who says: “. . . but you are the same, and your years shall not fail.”

      A fundamental change shall take place in the material universe. A new world, which will be infinitely more beautiful than the one we see, shall come out of the destruction. And the Creator of the new world shall again be our Lord Jesus Christ.

     Christ is above all matter, whatever form or shape it may take. He is above the sun and the planetary systems. Not only is Christ above the physical world, He is above all spirits– much higher than people. Even those who were distinguished for their wisdom and holiness. Who is, I ask you who are the wisest, the holiest of people? No one when compared to Jesus Christ. Above all people of all centuries that have passed and the centuries that shall come, to the last person who shall be born and live on our planet – far above them is Christ! What am I saying Christ is above all angels and archangels. And even these immaterial spirits recognize the indescribable grandeur of Christ. They bow down to Him and worship Him and sing the sublime hymn: “Holy, holy. holy. Lord of Sabbaoth, heaven and earth are filled with your glory.” This leaves only the demons and unbelievers who do not recognize the authority of Christ. But even the day will come when their power will be totally destroyed, and the power and authority of Christ shall dominate everywhere. 
                                                                                                                  Christ! You are the true God and true Man. You are our Creator and Maker. You are the King of the universe. All creation bows before you. All angels and archangels worship you. And we humble and sinful creatures fall before you, venerate you and ask for your mercy. Yes Lord, we ask for your mercy.                                                                                                            

Monday, February 6, 2017


     The name Elias  raises my mind to the  God-loved Prophet Elias. In our youth we lived in the Bronx NY, and were  members of the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Yonkers. There we first  learned that Prophet Elias Churches were usually built on hills. When my second grandson was born, he was named after the Prophet Elias. 

     Upon coming to St. Luke in East Longmeadow, I learned that the leading Psalter was named Elias; I really love that name!   I had always reminded my grandson of the great name he bears, and then sought to learn all I could about  Prophet Elias, what a wonderful ans glorious man!  Just think,  Elias saw God!  Elias brought the dead back to life!  Elias brought down rain and stopped it as well!  Elias set water on fire!  Elias, the great wonderworker, extremely zealous with absolute faith in God.  As a babe, his father actually saw angels wrapping Elias in swaddling clothes, feeding him fiery tongues of divine  flame! Elias later actually became a   fiery flame and zealous  lover of the true God. This set  him at odds against many Jews who rejected the true God and choae to turn to worship of the Devil through Baal.

   Spending much of his youth in prayer he drew much closer to God , who sent as His Prophet to the impious King Ahab- whose wicked wife Jezebel, slaughtered God’s prophets. She caused the King to erect a temple to the Syrian god Baal.  Prophet Elias, distressed upon seeing their wickedness, prayed to the Lord who withheld rain upon the earth for three years and six months. This brought  on a drought and famine. Then, Elias visited the widow Zarephath, who fed him with a small amount of flour and oil. Elias blessed them and they lasted until after the famine was over.  

    Jezebel appointed  a thousand false prophets,  turning Israelites  from God  to Baal. Elias challenged the priests of Baal to offer mutual sacrifices, theirs to Baal and his to the true God.  No fire would be put under their  sacrifices, as they called upon Baal and Elias on the true God.   They cried  to Baal: “O Baal hear us!”   They cut themselves, and their flow of blood accompanied their desperate and vain cries to Baal from morning until evening. As their cries continued Elias mocked them, urging them to cry louder so as to awaken their god. 

     Elias had the people soak his sacrifice with water,  then, as he prayed to the true God, fire came down from heaven, and even  the water burned.. God’s acceptance of the sacrifice, just as he previously did for Abel. Elias then slew the false prophets, and the wicked Jezebel’s body was eaten up by dogs as Elias had prophesied.  

     Elias was taken up to heaven without death . While walking and talking with the Prophet Elisha,  suddenly “there was a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and it separated  between the both of them.  And Elias was taken up in a whirlwind as it were into heaven.”  Oh,  if only we could all partake of some of the faith and divine zeal of Elias the Prophet.
   Elias was greatly honored by God when Christ was transfigured on Mt. Tabor, for on one side stood the great Moses and on the other side stood great Prophet Elias!

      I wish to mention another Elias, our proto-psalter, Elias Zovas,  a most unusual man.  It has been my joy to work with him these last few years and, he is an excellent and unusual teacher. Singing with him is like going to music school, the  subject being divine    hymnology and the praise of God.  In my school days, teachers used a stern face  or frown  to show disappointment when we made mistakes. But Elias does something entirely different.  When I mess up he simply smiles. So when I sing and see his gentle smile, I know what happened. What a way to  teach!  Elias,  it is a joy to sing praises to God with you, and I thank you for you constantly bring my mind back to Elias the Prophet who pleased God so much that he never tasted death, but went up to heaven on a flaming chariot!

Friday, February 3, 2017


     The new man, Jesus Christ, is holy being perfect God and perfect man, He was born as a babe into the race of man. Before triune baptism we all remained the old man, and were inclined to sins and iniquities. After triune baptism we begin to become the new man inclined to believe God and do all that He commands which sums up to become His image and likeness a perfect man. Christ’s humanity is perfect without any inclination to sin. But before we can be a new man, the old man must be spiritually  put to death. This is why baptism by triune immersion is so vitally important..

     Our Lord Himself commanded His Apostles to do triune baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity. In holy Orthodox Baptism the old man is deadened and the new man stands before all, having an inclination to avoid sin and do only good according to the Lord’s commandments Those who follow the right path after triune baptism are all becoming the   new man gradually becoming God’s image and likeness and are becoming Christ as the hymn joyously declares: “As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, Alleluia.”

    With all His strength the new man avoids sin, following the teaching of Holy Scripture He lives a life which leads to perfection, thus becoming more and more similar to Christ the perfect man. The new man is humble and meek not exalting himself nor becoming angry without cause. He lives a moral life and does only good to everyone. He believes in the correct doctrine, and follows the  commands of  God and with obedience keeps the moral law. The new man is the man that lives in the joy of the Lord living a life of faith and love.

     The new man lives, moving and acting within the spirit of truth; he ascends and gradually becomes the image and likeness of God. Becoming the new man is the real reason for which all men are given temporary life with its many generous gifts from our Creator.

    But if we live and fail to pursue the throwing off of the old man and become the new man, we condemn ourselves for wasting away the days of our lives which God has given us. He warns everyone that the condemned will go to where there shall be “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” In the present life we experience many consolations greater than things that afflict us, but in the misery of those who receive condemnation there will be no consolations, but only misery for ever and ever. Men take life as being for pleasure and gain of money and power pursuing these things until they die\. They miss out on the best and blessed thing of this world, to become the new man in the image and likeness of God.

     The next life is eternal which means it is like one day, a day that continues and never ends, The judgment will come and we all be judged according to the life we chose and there is no escape or consolation for those who are condemned. But to those who struggled to follow the Lord, the reward will never end. For it is great joy in the Lord for ever and ever in a life that never ends.

     This is what the Church is about, living a life that provides us with eternal life filled with joy and happiness for a happy life is one thing man desires mostly. But men do not wish to sacrifice anything for what is permanent and without end, because they cannot see it being without faith that is why faith is the only way to salvation and eternal life. So these things are of the utmost importance to all men who desire to be happy for ever and secure in the life that is to come.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


 I regret being off line for awhile but it was not in my control due to being out of sorts, but I will try to keep this publication going unless I lose my ability to produce,

Except in some local cases, church information and events are not usually well publicized, and this inhibits discussion about important communication and events concerning the Church and the truths which she faithfully preserves and protects. Concerning these things we are all partly responsible, this being an important duty. The Orthodox Church is unique in that for over nearly  twenty centuries she has faithfully preserved the entire Christian body of truth never corrupting the God blessed canons and dogmatic teaching to any of the errors which accompany the many false teachings  which are in circulation throughout the world. The true doctrine will always be subject to attacks for the church is very important being the most blessed and God-headed source  of true Christian doctrine which the evil one always seeks to destroy. For the Church is. most blessed being the only source of divinely given truths. It is not just another institution for it is truly the divine and human Body of Christ who is alone our Head.
Orthodoxy is known as the Church of the Seven Ecumenical Synod, in fact she is the source and treasury of the all the divine canons formalize by other synods, which support doctrine and she remains as the firm defender of all canons `and doctrines. Few among the clergy are apt to teach the people what the Church and its purpose is meant to be which is a great loss. Going to Church is good but hardly sufficient..
Every member of the Church has a sacred need to know what his or her function is and what is his personal goal so as to be able to fulfill his own duties. and so  receive adequate wages in the end. The Church is not just a place in which we gather to worship once a week, The Church is not a place but constitutes a faithful living people. Properly speaking the building in which we hold services is not the church but is the naos or temple in which the church gathers at certain times.
So what ought to be understood that is missing in many churches? What is the proper function and  important goal of the Church? This is vital knowledge which hierarchs ought to be teaching but are seeking unity by heretical ecumenism which only corrupts the truth.
In the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, the Lord says: “Let us create man in our own image and likeness,” This is the key which unlocks divine treasures. It does not refer to the first man Adam, who was created in the image only, but not the likeness of God. The image and likeness refers to the first man, who will be the perfect image and likeness of God,, who is our Lord Jesus Christ, being the perfect image and likeness of God. Genesis says of Adam: “And God formed man in His own image, in the image of God made He him, (Gen,1:27)

Concerning the new man, God said: “Let us create man in our  own image and after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea . . .  . . .”  We would come to know Him well, for He alone is the perfect man, image and likeness of God. The perfect man is the new man who alone is perfect and holy. This is the man whom we are destined to become in our brief period on earth. For to become like Christ is to become like God, in His image and likeness.

Monday, January 2, 2017



      We have no axe to grind with Stephen Hawking but whenin place of science  he preaches religion and  hatred by attacking true faith in God, declaring Him as unnecessary, his existence not based on facts and not scientific, but preached by a scientist requesting belief   in his teaching which is defined as religion.

     Then by establishing this new religion, he ceases being a scientist and now turns into a preacher. This is not an exaggeration but a clear statement of facts concerning Stephen Hawking..
      Herein, in using the term faith we are not referring to the Papacy and its bloody Crusades and Inquisitions, which Hawkings mentions,  both of which oppose the teaching and dogmas of the Church.  Nor am I referring to the thousands of Protestants, who believe whatever they desire, but always evade scriptural; and historical truth.

      Speaking as an Orthodox Christian, we are the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church dating back to before the New Testament was written, almost 2,000 years ago. The Papacy abandoned the true Church, establishing the supreme human authority of the Pope of Rome as ruler over all mankind,  and the Protestants followed their example but they eventually evolved into thousands of different believing lesser popes, each being a rule to himself.  Only the Orthodox remained faithful to the Truth who came down from heaven, and it is in the Lord Jesus Christ’s name that we speak these truths.. But false religions did arise preaching truth accompanied with poisonous heresies.

 They preach the truths that there is one God., the Holy Trinity and one Lord Jesus Christ who was incarnate of the Virgin Theotokos and became man like unto us, being without sin.                                              
     What do false religions demand of man?  They require faith in their doctrines and leadership, such as a Popeand his papacy, or Anglican or Episcopalian  bishops, and many other bishops and ministers. Next they laid down ideas to believe and live by, to which their faithful subscribe. Some declare the Bible as their only source.  For the true and Orthodox Church functioned for part of the first century without a Bible. The Bible was always known as being authored and defined by the Church, and it beloongs to the Church’s written tradition. The Church also has a 2,000 year old oral tradition.  St. Paul warns us to preserve both of the oral and written traditions.  One tradition without the other has no value. The Papacy refuses these traditions, and the Protestants ignore the very things which would lead them to identity of the original and ancient Orthodox Church.

   The true Orthodox Church never gets involved in papal-type crusades and inquisitions, which are products of the dark ages.  We will show that Stephen Hawking’s new religion although masquerades as science, and can only be classified as religion requiring  faith in Stephen Hawking..
    Stephen Hawkings who says:  “My goal is simple.  It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is and why it exists at all.”  He goes on: “We are just an advanced breed of monkeys* on a minor planet on a very average star.” 

The microscopic mind of Stephen Hawking is filled with nothingness, for he is of tjhe opinion that he cAn understand everything. This is his theory or belief, stated as if it were a fact – so he wants us  to believe in him as he transforms from scientist to preacher of his religion.

      Stephen goes on: “But we can understand the universe” says the Preacher Stephen Hawking.  No, no one is able to understand   or even begin to understand the universe. Science cannot completely understand the human body, or the highly complex weather systems of the earth in which we live. We can only marvel at the existence and functions of highly complex human organs, the eyes, the heart, the lungs and digestive system, the human hand which is a great marvel formed of bone and flesh and covered with skin! Man cannot learn about himself and his ultimate purpose and Preacher Stephen wants to completely understand everything in the universe.We cannot understand the universe, because our microscopic minds cannot even begin to reach that level. Instead of the universe, let them find the source of life and they will find that life comes from a living Creator/

   When he tells exactly when time began, he demands belief as Preacher Hawkings  saying:  and this has  l i k e l y   o c c u r r e d.” This not being factual, but requires faith in order to accept.

     Again  he  asks that we  believe  in   Fred Hoyle’s   and   Thomas Gold’s  steady state  t h e o r y;  this idea h y p o t  h e s i z e s that there is no beginning and no end. Not being factual, this also requires faith. Science means to know, and not knowing acceptance requires faith in the teacher.

Preacher Stephen introduces, not scientific facts, but theory and hypotheses of men which may be believed or not, depending if you believe and trust the preacher.  

More preaching from Hawking: The age of the universe – i s  n o w  b e l i  e v e d  t o  b e  
a b o u t  13.8 billion years. Not factual, so this requires faith in the preacher/teacher.

      Tell us, Stephen Hawkins, is it not an indisputable fact  that we humans are superior to all creation due to our superior intellect and freedom and our strong will, the former allows understanding the latter makes many decisions, but no one denies that man is superior to cattle and beasts who lack intelligence and lack the many freedoms which we enjoy?   Tell us, Stephen Hawkings, how can a non-intellectual animal or monkey give to man his wonderful intellect which he does not have. anything similar/

     You should abandon your preaching and return to your science Preacher Stephen Hawkin!  All things that exist and are known means that we also have an idea of it. We can have no idea of the thinga that are unknown.. Also an idea is a spiritual entity having no material parts/ Who had the idea of gravity before He created gravity.  Who had the idea of water before He created water without which we cannot live ? Who created the atmosphere with the exact right mixture for our  breathing and to oxygenateexists and is opposite to time. Why did God grant you, Stephen Hawkin such an unexpectedly long life, and are you not even a bit grateful to Him? It seems the opposite is true, for you prefer to bury Him in a pit of confusion instead of giving thanks. If you would believe and give Him thanks, you would come alive!

    Preacher Stephen Hawking, why do you choose to insult God, uttering not science but slandering and blaspheming Him with your doctrine, saying: “What was God doing before? Was He preparing hell for people who asked too many questions? (Note: Hell is not for questioners but is for unbelievers and the wicked who hate and deny God and His goodness. This slander seeks to degrade God in peoples minds. Stephen Hawkin has only heard the  false teachers of Christianity, not the true, thus he acquired many prejudices like the one aforementioned: He says:  “God is preparing hell?”  You degrade God, His majesty and supreme love for our blood, which lacking  for several minutes, we would surely die?  And whose ideas was that? Who created matter out of nothing only by His thought?  Who created edible food for cattle and man, which keeps them alive? Who gave man his great authority above animals givng them to man thus supplying him with heavy labor and delicious food? Who is the Lawmaker who created the natural laws to which we are all subject?  Who placed the sun at a precise distance, supporting every creature with life.  Who created life, which science cannot ever create?  Who created the five senses of man, enabling him to function so well, with eyesight, hearing, smelling,  taste and touch. Who created man with the ability to procreate and continue his race? Who set all the planets into motion, the earth on its axis and around the sun, for day and night and the seasons? Who created time? Certainly He lives outside of time! Time begins and ends and it is based on motion. Stop motion and time ceases to exist. Eternity  man whom He formed with His own hands.,  There are only two places for the souls of men, first. living in God and with Him or second being separated forever from God, and alone, living in the misery of former sins and iniquities and lacking even one consolation. Being separated from God deprives man of all consolations which is hellish, yet God will still love him even though separated, and his agony will know no bounds.

     And God said: “Let us create man in our own image and likeness”  Without our kind, loving, merciful God, you choose O Preacher of delusion, to malign Him and throw Him into the garbage pail, but with Him goes also all   His divine laws, all laws that comw from Him, of conscience, the promises of eternal life , the threat of judgment,  sacrificial love, meekness, humility, holiness, peace and kindness and assistance to all men, sobriety, charity, brotherly love, bravery, hatred of evil, in fact, by your declaration against God, you are assisting to make firm hell on earth.

      What do you accomplish with your attacks upon God? In place of virtue, you establish vices, such as unbelief which  will reign. In place of generosity there will be selfishness. Love will be replaced with hatred. The godless  world that you preach, O Preacher of doom, would be sad and morose, filled with bitterness lacking peace and love, for if there is no God, why try to be good and why do good to each other? Why make any form of sacrifice?   For God alone is the fountainhead of all divine virtue. Why struggle to keep His commandments? Why seek the good of others instead of our own? Why sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others?

   Preacher Stephen Hawkings, you are preaching that people accept in place of faith in God, an evil Pandora’s box prepared by you, You have helped to more firmly establish hell on earth, and within it are horrors which will inundate the human race with a river of evil thoughts and deeds. For certainly if you do not believe in God neither do you believe in the devil, and you are doing his will, and you are firmly assisting the evil one’s  reign upon earth.

     These are other reasons why Hawkins ideas are inimical to the  human race. For  believing the Hawkins preaching, we are not meant to become images and likenesses of God, but, according to Stephen Hawkin, just  another breed of monkeys, destined to death and dissolution. With this belief in materialism, he leaves the Bible as fiction, and thus makes firm moral chaos. But without conscience, (the voice of God),  it leaves the devil who invites people to steal, lie, commit various crimes, and then use of lawyers to avoid legal punishment.  Hypocrisy will be everywhere. Crimes will be be widespread over the whole earth., for the prevailing belief  will be that when your dead your just dead, and there is no God to judge anyone.  So the scientist turned  preacher Hawking’s ideas are full of misery, wretchedness and horrible death.

  For certain, the doctrine of Jesus Christ will eventually prevail: “Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away.”  Our Holy Orthodox Faith, which is genuine,its principal purpose being the rebirth, sanctification and deification of all men and women who choose belief in salvation and eternal life. Beginning with baptism and the gift of Holy Spirit, the person who  gathers as  the Church, is armed with weapons to fight against the same enemy that holds Hawking  and all unbelievers captive, which is the Evil One. Unbelief is encouraged by Devil, who seeks through men like Stephen Hawking,  to cause men to disbelieve that he exists, enabling him to do even greater evil.

       It is sad and unfortunate that the materialists and deniers, do not see the extreme difference in the condition of the human race,   between those guided by godless principles and those guided by Jesus Christ, who continuously proclaims to all mankind: “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Saturday, December 31, 2016


     Those outside the true Orthodox Church usually “go to church” on Sundays, such as Roman Catholics and Protestants. However the Orthodox Christians do not say “we are going to church” but they proclaim that we are the Church, the ancient Church for the church consists all those people previously and currently living and gathering with the rest of the Church which includes  those asleep in the Lord; often referred to as the church triumphant the living are referred to as the Curch militant. The word for Church comes from the Greek “ecclesia from ek kallo:” Meaning to “hear the good” What is the good that we always hear when we gather as the church? It is the death on the /cross and the entombment and the glorious third-day resurrection.

     Christ is within each of us who partake of Him in the Eucharist with the fear of God faith and love. The bishop stands in the place of Christ and the priest stands in the place of the bishop. Jesus Christ the Godman is the center of our worship. The icon of Christ is to the right of the holy door and the icon of His Mother holding Him is to the left.  The holy door represents the entrance into heaven which is only possible through Christ and His Mother.

     Preparation is of great importance, and many usually assemble as church on the Lord’s Day once each week. The days of that week are of importance being days of preparation to  receive God the divine Eucharist. We must not approach if we are actively or willfully sinning, for this is most harmful, If unsure of going it is best to zbstain and take advantage of confession to cleanse our souls,

     Good order in the Church takes place when all its members prepare properly and partake with fear of God, faith and love. Partaking is very important but being prepared ia even more important. Also good order in the Church includes good behavior with self control minding our own business, but not without sincere concern for others.

     Let us not hold the true faith and true doctrine and conduct ourselves improperly when we gather as the Church. From ancient times of almost two thousand years ago the Church struggled to keep good order and maintain continuous attendance. It has spread throughout the world and grown to be a true and faithful representation of the original Church. This is due to the Spirit that guides the Church and the sobriety and obedience of all its members.

   Those members who gather routinely as Church must not constantly change their behavior but must always be concerned to do what is upright and moral both for their own salvation and for the good of the Church, and the honor of Christ its Head. It is a grave responsibility for as we know is not the building but is the living Body of Christ, who promised to be with us until the end of the age. The duty of the Church is to spread the holy Gospel everywhere bringing many faithful into the kingdom of heaven.

     Sadly, today most hierarchs remain silent (in betrayal) as to the nature and purpose of Christ and His 0ne and only Church, the Orthodox. Even worse, they embrace the Pope call him brother and recognize his false church and false sacraments as being equal with the Orthodox. Examine this one fact and see for yourself. The Pope claims that he alone is the all knowing “vicar of Christ” claiming to possess all the knowledge that nyone needs or will ever  need eliminating the necessity of listening to Christ. With the Protestants each one believes something different as they and they are united in their great disunity, but they claim to have the truth. Yet they claim tpo be  the true church. Only the Orthodox in total believe the same thing and listen to those who truly represent Christ and are faithful to Him and to His Body the Church. Although many of oour hierarchs remain silemt the Orthodox remains the true Church and the living Body of Christ.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Part 1 of 2

As pleasure is opposed to pain in  the body, so joy is opposed to sorrow in the soul. A truly joyous soul knows and communicates with the true God who is its Creator asnd he understands his purpose and destination for which it came into this world and conducts his life in accordance with this knowledge.  Holy Scriptures teaches us that  love of the soul for God and truth and the soul’s sublime destiny is opposed by carnality. For this reason spiritual life starts with the harnessing and resctriction of carnal pleasures and this is what  St. Paul reminds us:

“For the flesh desires against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary, one against the other, so that you cannot do all the things you would” (Gal. 5:17) 

  “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; singing to yourself with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:18-21)    

It would be good for all of us to seek and acquire this joy, for without it we will remain as empty shells, or like zombies. This joy is observed in the Prophets and many other holy people of the Old and New TestamentTestaments. Among them was Abel, the son of the first created Adam and Eve. Also our father Abraham and his son Isaac and  his son Jacob the patriarch. Another was David the Prophet-King who wrote the Book of  Psalms, and the first books of the Old Testament. Overflowing with the divine spirit fills the hearts of those who love God with the sweetest joy. Sadly,  most men satisfy the desires of the body but ignore the needs of the soul, but this is their choice, and we will all on the last day be judged by God for our sad and empty condition. In vain do men give the body all that it demands, yet they allow their precious souls to starve and remain empty.
Mary, the virgin daughter of Joachim and Anna, was filled with joy even from her birth, for this Maiden was chosen out of the entire human race to give birth to the Son of God in the flesh. The first word spoken to the Virgin Theotokos by  the Archangel Gabriel, was “Rejoice, Full of Grace!” She responded by accepting the angel’s proposal to bear the Son of God. The joy that filled her soul is similar to that which we should all seek to acquire. Radiating from ourselves to others the experience of this joy will cause them to pour into the Orthodox Church and by triune baptism they will begin to actually partake of that same  joy. It is the joyous lives and self-sacrifice of Orthodox Christians that caused the Church to increase and spread throughout the world.

A most important teaching of our Lord is found in chapters 5, 6, and 7 of the Gospel of Matthew.  The last verse proclaims this joy and shows the method of its  acquisition. “The Lord took his disciples up to a mountain. “And he opened His mouth and taught them, saying the following.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they that hunger and search after righteousness, for they shall be filled. 
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so did they persecute the prophets which were before you (Matt. 5:1-12).

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven!”

      This is what our Orthodox Faith is about,  jubilation, joy and gladness.  “Make a joyful noise to God  all you  on earth. Sing forth His name; give glory in praise of Him”  (Psalm 65:1-2).  These words of the Prophet David show the wonderful relationship that all men are destined to have with God, a very intimate relationship  that causes our hearts to overflow with joy and jubilation.


The Lord who created us destined us to become gods like him, in His own image and likeness, which requires one  thing from us. Acceptance of His kind offer/ The Lord wants us to willingly accept what he freely offers – everlasting life.  The condition he establishes is that during our brief lifetime, we keep His commandments avoiding  sin and iniquity.  He is the Living Truth who came down from heaven, so it is imperative that we believe Him, for to disbelieve Him is to be condemned for ever as He says.  “Go forth into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believes and is  baptized shall be saved, but he that does not believe shall be condemned” (Mark 15:15-16.   The most harmful thing to the soul is to disbelieve the Son of God. We readily  believe in many truths and many lies uttered by men, especially those of scientists and doctors. But we are slow or even refuse to believe the Living Truth whom the Father sent from heaven into the world dwelling among us filled with grace and truth.


Behold, through the Cross, JOY has come into the world!"

As the true Church, all our attention ought to be directed toward Jesus Christ the Godman.  We celebrate all the events of Christ’s life, especially His Passion, the wounds, the spitting, the crown of thorns, the mocking and slapping, the Cross, the nails, the vinegar and the spear. We repeatedly behold the  sacrificial Lamb suffering everything  for each of us so that we might live eternally in His Kingdom. The suffering and crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ is the source of all our joy. Nor do we  weep for His suffering but only for our sins which is the actual cause. Every Sunday we utter these words. “Come, you faithful,  let us worship Christ’s Resurrection;   For behold, through the Cross joy has come into the world.  Ever-blessing the Lord, let us praise His Resurrection. For by enduring the Cross for us, he has destroyed death by death.”