Thursday, April 3, 2014



       We all enter this world through the door of birth, opened to us by our fathers and mothers, and we begin as helpless infants needing constant loving care which our fathers and mothers provide. In a short time we begin to talk and walk, are taken to Church, and eventually go to school, graduate and go to work. We may marry and bring our own children through the door of birth into this world, repeating the process or we may become a monastic if we so choose.

   However, as Orthodox Christians, we are the most blessed of all people on earth, for we have obtained the greatest gift which many do not receive, usually when we are infants. Shortly after our physical birth from our mother, we were taken to our mother the Church, where we were born from above (Christ told Nicodemus:“Unless a man is born from above,  he cannot see the kingdom of God.”). This birth takes place in the sanctified waters of the font in Baptism. We are taken to the Church and baptized by three complete immersions in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Being immersed under water typifies His death, and rising up out of the water typifies His Resurrection. After Baptism, we are anointed with holy chrism all over our bodies, and the Priest repeats:  “The seal of the gift of Holy Spirit.”  With this we are spiritually enlivened with the divine gift of Holy Spirit ,as promised by our Lord Jesus Christ, who said that“the Father will give you another Comforter, even the Spirit of  truth whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not. Neither knows Him, for He dwells with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you”  (John 14:16-17). 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014



Fundamental Differences

    The period of the Great Fast, is a ideal time to review what we Orthodox Christians have historically believed, and to put into  practice a permanent a form of fasting that does not involve food. It is more important to fast in our thoughts and speech from falsehood in any form, especially concerning our dogmas and divine canons,  avoiding detractors as we would poison. We must strive to understand and acquire the ability to distinguish between what is true and what is false concerning our Faith, for falsehoods about Christ and the Christian Faith are all around us. Christ is the Truth from heaven, and the Head of the one true Church. All sciences or philosophies that contradict or deny Christ and His Church are necessarily false. 

    The Church is the bulwark of truth on earth and the living storehouse of the unique treasures of divine truth, perpetually preserved in her – this treasure is the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of truth. We all confess the following truths in our services. “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.” (in the Divine Liturgy). We also testify in our Creed, our belief:  “In the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who spoke through the Prophets. I believe in one, holy Catholic and Apostolic  Church,; and in one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins . . . ” There is no other God than our God, no other Church than our Church, no other baptism than our Baptism.

 Certainly we must live an upright moral life but we also must accept and defend the true dogmas, for without truth our fasting and moral life has no value, as  St. John Chrysostom says: “If we have the true dogmas and not the correct moral life it will do us no good. And if we have the correct moral life but not the true dogmas it will do us no good. We are in need of both, because they are inseparable. That is why, as members of the true Church,” each of us must  believe and accept the same truths and strive to live a pure upright moral life.