Saturday, May 10, 2014


 Something unrevealed is called a mystery. Those who have knowledge of a mystery are called mystikos or initiates. In relation to Christ and the Church, there has been established seven Mysteries: Baptism, Seal of Chrismation, the Holy Eucharist, Repentance and Confession,, the Divine Priesthood, Anointing with Holy Oil, and Marriage of a man and a woman. They are called mysteries because there is something that is not visible. Among these are the divine presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, the gift and seal of Holy Spirit, The sorrow of the Repentant, and the special gifts given to those who are ordained to the clergy. These can only be seen with the eyes of the soul.

     We call death a mystery because few know or believe what death actually is and what lies beyond death. Many false opinions,  superstitions, and the unknown confuse an uninitiated person, increasing anxiety and fear of death. As a rule, we see that people  prefers death to life, which is considered  precious, There are many accounts recorded about rescues and tragedies, accidents etc.,  with consequent heroes and heroines which bear this out.

     Glory to Jesus Christ that we Orthodox Christian are initiated and taught well concerning  the mystery of death and understand it quite well, so well that we even  sing joyfully  about the death of death! Millions of martyrs have witnessed Christ. willingly undergoing torture and death, submitting without hesitation and even with delight.  Before Christ came into the world, there were few who willingly submitted to death for their faith in truth. But in the power of Christ’s death and resurrection, innumerable martyrs’ love for Christ far exceeded their impending torture and death, in fact they welcomed torture and death as friends which would remove them from this world into the waiting arms of Christ.

Thursday, May 8, 2014



     “Why must one obey the Church and not some man whose thinking is opposed to that of the Church, eminent or intellectually gifted though he may be?  Because the Church was founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and is guided by the Holy Spirit of God.  Also because “the Church” signified the community of saints, an orchard of choice, fruit-bearing trees.  If a man remains opposed to the community of saints, that means that he is unholy. Why, therefore, listen to him?  “The Church is an enclosure”, says the wise Chrysostom.  “If you are within, the wolf cannot enter, but if you stray outside, the wild beasts will get you . . .  Do not wander from the Church; there is nothing more impregnable than the Church.  She is your hope and your salvation.  She is higher than the heavens, firmer than a rock, wider than the world; she never grows old, but is for ever renewing her youth.                                                                                       Prologue of Ochrid Vol. 1 P17,  Homily  

      The Saint speaks the true and divine idea of the Church but we must identify what is the Church and what is not the Church.  Sadly, Orthodox Christians have adopted to a great degree the western notion of the Church that it is in the bishops. This is not true, unless it is qualified with this idea. Any Bishop or priest is worth following if he himself is following Christ, keeping His commandments and is completely faithful to Orthodoxy. But what if he is not faithful to Orthodoxy, then if we follow him we both fall into the pit. If Orthodoxy should become like the Papacy with one man ruling over all, then it is no longer Orthodoxy, for this is not what Jesus Christ established, nor did He form His Church as a democracy.  However we cannot leave the Church when wolves are infiltrating it, for the Church is like a ship and when you abandon the ship you end up in the more dangerous waters of schism. 

   The Church is meant to be a Christocracy, where in Christ rules. But how does Christ rule? Through the Holy Spirit whom He sent from the Father to guide us into all truth and to remind us of everything that Christ taught. An example is what is taking place in our own times. Many are outside the Church because of the heresy of ecumenism, and they find fault with those who do not leave and also recognize ecumenism as a heresy.  But although ecumenism is a heresy, you cannot leave the Church and begin another church due to heresy. But you do not follow the one who leads you into heresy.

     Neither can we leave the Church when wolves take over. If we leave the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church it is obvious that we cannot start another Church, so we must remain and keep the faith even if hierarchs fail to do so. When St. John Chrysostom was readying for exile, some of his ardent supporters were talking about leaving the bishops who were responsible for his exile, but he told them to stay with those bishops.  

     In the history of the Orthodox Church there have been many Judas types of leaders, and even heretics. But no one left the Church and started a second church, for “the gates of Hades,”  said Christ, “shall not prevail against it.”   Our Lord remains the Head of the Church and so long as we remain the Church which He founded, and not abandoned her, we are walking on the correct path toward everlasting life.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014



   Having two sets of eyes means two sets of vision, the sensual one of which we are all familiar with, but the spiritual vision is active and healthy only among a small portion of people within the Church. Outside of the Church there is little spiritual vision, or a distorted vision of spiritual things. Spiritual vision’s eyes are the mind and heart and the spirit which is light derived from  from God. 

     Men and women “are double and possess two eyes, the sensible through which we can see the physical things in the world around us and the spiritual,”  through which we see spiritual things in the spiritual world within and around us. With our sensible eyes we see the sun in all its brilliance illuminating the world, enabling us to see by filling our eyes with light and lightening everything around us. Our sensible eyes reveal the beauty of the sun and moon and the stars, of the flowers, plants and trees, and the beauty of other people like ourselves. We realize that these people are important as we go to market and are served by them, or get sick and visit a doctor or dentist, and attend school learning  many things. Without our sensible eyes and the sensible sun, we would be unaware of sensible things, also all life would completely cease without the sensible sun. Through science we know that the sun not only provides light and heat, but also health giving rays and vitamins which are essential to our well being.