Friday, February 8, 2013



You, O Christ our Savior, have become for me the path of life which leads to the Father.  There is but one path, and it is my joy, and at the end of it is the heavenly kingdom.
You, O Master, Jesus Son of God, have become for me the path of life and enlightenment.
In the heart of your servant your grace has become light and joy, which are sweeter than the honey of a honeycomb to the lips of your servant.
  In the soul of your servant your grace has become a treasure, which has made his poverty rich and driven away misery and corruption.

For your servant your grace has become a refuge, strength, a defense, ennoblement, praise, and food for his whole life.
How can your servant be silent, Master, after having tasted the great sweetness of your love and grace?  How could I dare once again to obstruct the waves of grace which pour forth into the heart of me, a sinner, and which are replete with sweetness according to the multitude of your gifts?

I shall sing of the glory of the Master of heavenly powers and shall magnify your grace, O Christ our Savior, and my tongue shall not cease to chant of your love.
   Your love draws me to you, O Savior,  praise of my life.
   Your grace makes it sweet for me to follow you with my mind.
         May my heart be as a fertile field for you, and may your grace sprinkle the dew of eternal life upon it.
        May your grace reap a good harvest on the field of my heart; humility, reverence, sanctity, and all that is ever pleasing to you.

Return my soul to the sweet garden of paradise, and may it abide in light that, surrounded by the delights of paradise, I too may say with all the saints: Glory to the immortal Father, honor to him who presents heavenly gifts to this worthless one, that he may bring a tithe of glory to the King of all.
 From Spritual Psalter  By St. Theophan the Recluse from St. Ephraim the Syrian



  Jesus asked this question of His disciples, in order to draw  from them, what they believed about Him.  Peter answered the above question, and no one dissented: “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God.”

   It is two thousand years since Christ raised this question to His disciples, and today  it remains of  important: “Who do men say that I am?”

    The Jews would say that He broke the law of Moses , was not  the real Messiah but a self-styled Messiah, and deserved to die because He made himself God. Some would agree with Pilate and just say they do not know who he is. Moslems would say He is just another prophet. Unitarians would say that He is just a man and not God. The Papacy would say the He is not the Head of the Church on earth – the Pope of Rome is. More and more  Protestant sects, deny his divinity, among them Unitarians, Universalists and others, 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013



Feb 8 also Sat. of the first week of the Great Fast

   St. Theodore Stratilates (the Commander) lived around 320 AD, when Licinius was ruler of the Roman Empire.  The Saint was born in the village of  Euchaita in Galatia. Later he lived in Heracleia of Pontus on the Black Sea. He had  much wisdom and was a well developed strong young man. Because of his eloquence and wisdom, his friends nicknamed him the  “spring of rhetoric.” Everyone wanted to be his friend and spend time conversing with him due to his kind character

 When the emperor Licinius heard of Theodore, he had a desire to speak with him, which he did. This resulted in his giving Theodore the position of Commander in the Roman army, and governing the city of Heracleia. As soon as he received his post, Theodore declared to everyone that he was a Christian. Ruling over Heracleia,  he taught the populace that Christ was the only true God,  and Creator of heaven and earth. By his teaching and example  many of the pagans believed and were baptized.  Nearly all the pagans of the city eventually came to believe in Christ through Theodore’s  teaching.  

    When the emperor Licinius  heard that Theodore  was a Christian, he grieved privately, but wrote Theodore a very cheerful letter.  It contained a request that he join the Emperor in sacrificing to the 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013



  The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church has never sought unity with churches. This is the major flaw of the ecumenical movement.  This organization was never meant to search for truth or the true Church, nor do we hear that the  Orthodox who attend these meetings openly and without shame invite them to abandon their various misbeliefs and enter the True Church, which we proclaim over and over as the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  None of those outside the Church  are baptized with the true baptism, nor anointed with the Holy Spirit with divine chrism, neither to they believe in or partake of the Body and Blood of Christ. We ought to be reaching out to them in a spirit of love,  praying for salvation of their souls, for since the WWC was founded many thousands have died outside the Church,  without our attempts to bring them to saving Orthodoxy.  Who can be saved without true baptism, the grace of chrism and the Holy Mystery?  “Unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man you have no life in you.” If we fail to attempt to save such souls, we do them the greatest injustice and harm,  and so we oppose Christ’s commandment.  Love commands us to struggle to bring salvation to all people. The forum of WCC does not make this possible. The only thing that works properly,  and is of greatest benefit to the members of the ecumenical movement, is the friendly persuasion of preaching the True Christ and the True Faith, bringing them in the joy of everlasting life! We cannot keep our Faith to ourselves, lest we be like the servant with the single talent.

     There  never was and never will be division in the Church, as some ecumenists assert. therefore, there is no purpose to seek any type of unity, for the Church is always  indivisible. The idea of the unionists, who seek unity with those outside Orthodoxy, has been around for centuries, but has in every case, been rejected by the Church.  For there can be no union with light and darkness, with good and evil, or with truth and falsehood.

   History shows that there were unionists who were seeking unity with the papacy at one time,* or with the monophysites, but the Lord prevented such false unity. We know that the Church has not and will not be divided, but there will always be the faithful who remain in the Church as well as those who abandon it.  Concerning those who leave the Church, they can choose to repent and return, embracing the faith again, abandoning  their errors.  Those who were never in the Church, and are  outside, if they strip away their wrong beliefs, can then  embrace the truths of Orthodoxy, accepting the true Church and baptism, and so gain eternal life.

* The union of the council of Florence and Ferrara before the fall of Constantinople, which St. Mark of Ephesus almost alone,  stood in opposition,  and resulted in his glorification by the Church.

   There cannot possibly be a church among heretics or schismatics, nor can the Orthodox Church even consider any other union than with  Jesus Christ. Those outside can be united to the Church after  abandoning their errors.  This is the teaching of our Church Fathers, and Holy Scripture. St. Paul teaches us those outside:“ a man who is a heretic, after the first and second admonition reject,  knowing he is subverted and sins and is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:10-11). Can there possibly be a greater heretic than the Pope of Rome, who fancies himself as the only all powerful Bishop of the church to whom all others bishops and the world must be  subordinate? He, without shame, proclaims the Orthodox Church to be defective because of failure to recognize his majestic authority. The thought of uniting with him cannot enter our Orthodox minds, for he arrogantly assumes himself as having  the keys to heaven and claims infallibility as the only real bishop in the church? Orthodox unity with the Pope is impossible for  it would submit the True Church of Christ to the Papacy,  separating us from Jesus Christ, consequently this will never happen as it  is a false unity.

   The proper approach to those outside the Church is to bid  them to come to the truth which  never fails. If they seek to be united to the Church they must first abandon their false beliefs and embrace the true beliefs preserved as treasures of  Orthodoxy. Because we confess one Baptism those entering are required to confess their sins  and be baptized with the same one true and triune Baptism ordained by Christ’: “Go forth and teach the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” 

   Concerning the Church, we Orthodox Christians believe and know it to be the house of the Living God, founded upon Christ, ruled and governed by Him, for it is the spiritual house that God built.  The Father founded the Church, placing the Lord Jesus Christ as its foundation, the beginning and the end, according to the Scripture: “Behold I lay in Sion, a chief cornerstone, elect, precious; and he that believes on Him shall not be confounded” (1 Peter 2:6).   After the Father laid the chief cornerstone of the Church. The Son of God built upon that foundation which was laid by the Father, taking to himself the twelve Apostles and the seventy, and sending upon them Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, that they were enabled to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  The Holy Spirit through the Apostles,  raised the building, and established out of all nations the new community called the Church, One Holy, catholic and Apostolic. It is one because it always has the same basis, the Lord Jesus Christ, one and the same faith in the Father  the Son and the Holy Spirit, one and the same legislation – the Gospel laid by Christ, also because its members live holy lives, and are continuously being sanctified by the Holy Spirit, agreeably to the commandments of Christ. 

    As there are people who enter the Church which leads them to salvation and eternal life, so there are those who abandon the Church, “establishing another church”  leading people astray and in danger of perdition and eternal death.  This occurred with the formation of the papacy, which left the Church and instituted  “a new and different church” preaching a new and different Gospel, crowning a new and different head, a new and different guide, anjd a new and different ecclesiology.   
 The Church does not exclude anyone who desires to join it, and keeping with the Lord’s commandments, preaches the Gospel, teaches, catechizes and baptized all who choose to be united with  it. Concerning the Papacy, and all heretics,  St. John the Evangelist says: “Little children, they went out from us, but they were not of us, for had they been of us, they would have continued with us, but they went out that it may be made manifest that they were of us” (1 John 19)

    The heretic Arius taught that Christ was only a man, and refused to accept Him as the Godman,  and from his heretical  idea pseudo churches sprang up claiming to be true churches, but leading many astray. When they acquired political power, they slaughtered Orthodox Christians who would not deny the truth.

     Nestorius the heretic refused to call the Virgin “Theotokos”,  nor do the Protestant of our days do so. Failing to adhere to the truth, but to their personal opinions, heretics always disagree with the Church and choose to remain outside the Church forfeiting their salvation.  All the faithful Orthodox in the world, who believe the truth, constitute the Church.  Schismatics who break from the Church, by their own choice. Place themselves outside of the Church, hence not on the path of salvation.

    There are some who claim that those outside of the Church, by accepting some truths, have a relationship to the Church, but this is obviously a false assumption, for one lie can separate us from God and the Church. The Devil who is the author of all falsehood, does not introduce his lies without disguising and sugar coating them as truth. For example:   Christ is God is a truth. Christ is a man is also a truth. Christ has a nature also is a truth. Although these are all true statements, they are not complete truths, which is how deception originates.  The complete truth is: Christ is both God and man is. Christ has two natures. The Devil cleverly mixes partial truths with falsehood,  covering the deadly poisonous lies with truth.

  Those who embrace the idea of unity by means of ecumenism, call those who speak the truths of Orthodoxy: “triumphalists”.  Whatever they call those who defend truth does not matter, for the greatest Fathers of the Church did not seek unity with heretics but battled against them  until they were driven out. The unity that Christ seeks is with Him: “Let us dedicate ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.”   Let us be faithful to Orthodoxy and seek not unity but new ly baptized people who leave their heresies and enter our beloved Orthodoxy, for, “We have seen the true light; we have received the heavenly Spirit; we have found the true faith, worshiping the undivided Trinity who has saved us.”

Monday, February 4, 2013

According to Holy Tradition


 Our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed to His Apostles after His glorious Resurrection: “All authority in heaven and upon earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Sprit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded to you; and behold, I am always with you, even to the close of the age.” (Mat. 28:16-20).

  From common practice we know that three things are absolutely necessary for ordinary baptisms, a priest of the Orthodox Church and proper prayers , plenty of water, the Holy Spirit. These are vital and is a holy tradition of the Church, which we all ought to follow zealously.