Wednesday, October 23, 2013



"From this time forth all generations shall call me blessed."

We Orthodox Christians rejoice and praise the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and delight in her many Feast Days, for she is the most exalted of all human beings, an example of perfection for which we all need to strive. Her own Son caused the overthrow of the ancient world of human sacrifice and idolatry, replacing it with the new world of peace and love and good will among men. This new world would form men in accordance with God’s plan to create men and women in His own image and likeness. They are destined to become gods like God and to radiate His goodness and kindness and sacrificial love. This is the only reason for the existence of all that exists on earth and in the whole universe. This is the revelation of the mystery of God’s plan.
More honorable than the Cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim!

Completely innocent, deeply humble, overflowing with divine love for God, she was given a new name, which no one else had, but many will have in the future, the name given her when the Archangel Gabriel addressed her: Rejoice, "Full Of Grace"! Just the solemn thought of the blessed and gracious Virgin fills our hearts with jubilation and warmth, which draws our hearts nearer to God, where she stands at His right hand as the Queen of all. All true Christians are destined by the seal of the Holy Spirit to become full of grace. That is why St. Seraphim of Sarov said that the purpose of Christian life is to acquire Holy Spirit.
Without corruption you gave birth to God the Logos!
     Mary was chosen from among many, for she is the most worthy and holy of the entire human race. She is Virgin above all virgins, Woman above every woman, and Mother above all mothers; for she gave birth to God the Logos, her Son Jesus Christ. She is truly the handmaiden of God, first among all of the Lord’s handmaidens. From her earliest childhood she dwelled in the inner holy of holies in the Temple of God. Then in the fulness of time, God chose the Virgin Mary to replace the ancient temple of stone with her body which would become the temple of God. Being taught and nourished by angels, she was divinely educated from the age of three years, learning all that she needed to know to fulfill her glorious destination.
And are really Theotokos, you do we magnify!
     A handmaiden serves her master with all her heart, and the Virgin completely served the Lord with dedication obeying and submitting to Him with all her mind, all her soul, and all her strength. Her heart was filled with His love, His purity, and His holiness. She did not touch or think of anything evil, instead she radiated God’s light which poured forth from her countenance.
     After being betrothed to Joseph, who would become her protector, she was visited by the Archangel Gabriel, who told her that she would give birth to a Son in time who is the Son of the Most High God, and remain a virgin. The Virgin had no desire to please anyone in the world, for her only desire was to please God and love Him with all her heart, and although God so highly exalted her, she sang of her humility saying: "My soul magnifies the Lord; and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for he has regarded the humility of His handmaiden; for behold, from this time all generations shall call me blessed" (Luke 1:46-47).
     Due to her gracious inner beauty, she is recognized as God’s perfect choice, and God the Father honors and exalts her, especially because He is His own Only-begotten Son and Logos, who would through the Virgin become her Son from whom He took humanity and flesh. Through this beautiful birth giving, the Father Creator and the creature Mary now share the same Son. This shows how close she is to God and how highly God exalts her. Those who dishonor the Virgin , dishonor God who bestowed the greatest honor upon her by their sharing the same Son whom He begets outside of time, and she begets in time. These are some of the reasons that the Orthodox Church sings the truth about her, saying: Virgin before conceiving, Virgin after giving birth, Virgin after child birth, and Virgin forever.
We honor her with hymns such as this:
All of creation rejoices in you,
O Full of Grace
The assembly of angels and the race of man.
O sanctified temple and noetic Paradise,
The exultation of virgins;
From whom God was incarnate And became a new Child;
He who is our God from before the ages.He made your womb a throne
And your body more spacious than the heavens.
All of creation rejoices in you,O Full of Grace; glory to you!

Sunday, October 20, 2013



"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a living hope by the Resur-rection of Jesus Christ from the dead"                           (1 Pet. 1:3).
       Working, investing and operating a business are necessary things in our lives and St. Paul commands: "Whoever does not work shall not eat." We need to work, and we hope for a good job or successful business, but this is an innocent hope. But there is a difference between placing all our hopes in these things without hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. Herein we refer to a total hope in material things as being a dead hope. But hope in Jesus Christ is a hope that enlivens our souls to hearken to His words and keep His commandments leading us to eternal life.

     There is a living hope and there is a dead hope, and there are many who place their hope in material things which is a dead hope, while all who place their hope in the Living God and the resurrected Jesus Christ, have a living hope. Hope is a strong influence in everyone’s life, for it energizes us to struggle for the object of our hope.