Saturday, August 2, 2014



 This concerns only the Orthodox Eucharist, for the Church recognizes this mystery as present in Orthodoxy alone. First what is the Mystery of Holy Communion and its purpose. A mystery always includes something hidden or unseen to many except initiates. Hidden in the Holy Eucharist of Orthodoxy is the Lord himself, for the bread and wine have been changed by the Holy Spirit and the Priest’s prayers and invocations into the Body and Blood of Christ.

Christ made it clear to His disciples and the Jews, that He is the Bread which come down from heaven. Hear is some of the conversation.  “I am the bread of life; he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst . . . the Jews murmured because He said, I am the  Bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?  How is it that He says, I came down from heaven? . . . The Jews strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us flesh to eat. Then  Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His Blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life; and I will raise Him up on the last day.  For my flesh is truly food, and my blood is truly drink.  He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, dwells in me and I in him.”

Christ here identifies himself with the Bread which came down from heaven. On the night in which he was betrayed He established the partaking in the mystery of the  Eucharist or Thanksgiving which is the great mystery and center of our Orthodox Faith. “Jesus took bread and broke it, and gave it to them and said, Take, eat. This is my body. And He took the cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And He said to them, This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many” (Mark 14:22-24).

Who should approach and partake of this fearsome mystery? Only those who have repented and changed their lives, abandoning sins and the spirit of this world, Their souls should be washed in the tears of repentance for this is no small manner. The purpose of partaking is not at all trivial, but is of great importance.  

St.  Paul says the following regarding partaking of Holy Communion: “For I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread , and when He had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood; this you shall do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.  For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you show the Lord’s death until He comes. Wherefore, whoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks condemnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s Body. For this reason some of you are weak and sickle and some have even died" (I Cor.11:23 -30).

   There are many books available on this subject and partaking places a great responsibility, so it would be prudent to learn more.  For example there is preparation which starts the night before. There are pre-Communion prayers which contribute to our partaking worthily. There is the timely attending and taking part in the Divine Liturgy and there are the Thanksgiving Prayers of after receiving these great gifts.

If we have the interest to attend and partake, would it not be better to do it according to the Church’s teaching and thus avoid the terrible threat of partaking unworthily?

Finally our lifestyle must conform to the Orthodox Christian lifestyle and not that of this world, which leads to perdition. Our mouths and lips need purification as does our mind and hearts. We need to do everything possible, in deep repentance to partake in a worthy manner, and Christ will then work in us to exalt and lead our sinful souls into eternal life. For He alone is good and the Lover of man.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014




    The most important thing we can learn about the  universe is knowledge of the source and meaning of life. For without life the universe is as nothing. Without life we do intellectualize and live.  Life exists in millions of forms; life is very well organized; life is precious and necessary, for without life there is nothing.   Life appears before us at all times and we witness it in fellow men and women, in horses and dogs and cats, in flies and mosquitoes.  Above all life bears witness to the Lifegiver, for life is given and cannot be purchased or manufactured. Lifeless matter cannot possibly produce life which it does not possess, nor does chaos ascend into order; The big bang could never have exploded into such perfect order as the universe. Nor did it possess the ability to produce itself, let alone the universe. Life is too orderly, too organized, too predictable and too perfect!  Hundreds of trillions of thoughts could not begin to explain the cause and purpose of the universe. Man does not have the mental capacity, even with all his computers, to understand with his intellect what life and its meaning of life are.

     Every day millions of new babies are born into the world. Each of us was at one time  among those new babies, and have produced new babies of our own. Not only human life, but insects, birds, fish animals, and beasts are continually being born replacing the dead. Life continues just as it has from the beginning. 

What is life and from where is it derived? It is important to recognize that life is neither accidental nor spontaneous, and life as we know it, is derived from previously existent life. Plants have life producing flower and fruit. Animals have lives  and they also are endowed with souls which cause them to seek their needs and satisfy them and reproduce. Their bodily requirements send messages to their souls causing them to satisfy those  needs. Some animals feed on vegetation, others on other animals, but everything that has life seeks to maintain its life by feeding and reproduction.  Life in the vegetable kingdom is a lower forms of life. Life in the animal kingdom is a higher form.   Human life, however far exceeds the former for only  human beings can understand and explain and rejoice in life!  Each animal knows how to protect reproduce its precious life.  Some are fast moving, some use camouflage while others can climb rapidly, each one using whatever defense it was endowed with.

 We cannot deny that the highest form of life is human life, which is endowed with dominion over the fields, the animals, birds, fish and quadrupeds.  Let us ask what the differences are in these forms of life. Plants have no soul to satisfy their needs. They just grow from an apparent lifeless seed that is in fact teeming with potential life. Animals have a soul which feels its needs causing it to seek to satisfy them. . 

Sunday, July 27, 2014



   “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you”

   If we understood the gifts of God, our praise would be endless and our appreciation boundless for the great gifts we receive each day from God. The Priests blesses us for even more, saying:  “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . be with you all.”  Grace from God includes all that we need for complete  happiness, salvation and everlasting life.  If we are the poorest of the poor and have Christ, we are the richest of all!  God is love and to love God is to live in Paradise!

The communion or sharing of the Holy Spirit is the gift beyond all gifts for God offers  himself  to us and dwells within us and we dwell within Him. What a great and noble end believing man has as his hope. The heavenly kingdom! The abode of the Saints and Martyrs. The land of the truly living is our expectation.

  “Holy. Holy. Holy. Lord of Sabbaoth, heaven and earth are filled with your glory.  Hosanna in the highest; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!”

In this hymn, the King of all receives from the faithful, a royal greeting honoring and glorifying his glory, for he is now going up to Jerusalem,  not to be crowned, but to give himself on the Cross as in His voluntary sacrifice which will redeem all mankind from sin and iniquity.  God the Logos himself, the Son of the Virgin is now entering His passion to free us from our sins and passions.

“And that which is in this cup, the Precious Blood of your Christ.” The Priest them blesses the elements, saying: “Changing them by your Holy Spirit.  So that they may be to those who receive them, for the purification of soul, for the remission of sins, for the communion of the Holy Spirit, for fulfillment of the kingdom of heaven, and for the boldness to approach you neither unto judgment nor unto condemnation.”