Saturday, July 4, 2015



    Human lives begin and end sooner or later and many do not have an idea of life’s great importance and what really happens to all of us after death which always follows life and is serious and inevitable. The world and its various things and many occupations occupy the  entire lives of many  people, many having heard of God and His laws, but pay little or no serious attention to them. However, after death instead of being unaware and asleep in death which they expected, their whole attention will be on the sins of their lives and their failure to repent. Man was created by God for a very important purpose, created in His image, he must during his time on earth, become also His likeness, and by fulfilling this purpose of the Creator leads man to eternal life. The Creator equipped  him well for his struggling journey into the kingdom of heaven, for God endowed man with intellect, affection  and the full freedom of his will to choose and decide his ideas, actions and how he would conduct his earthly life.

     “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes)  “What advantage is there to a man, in all his labor that he takes under the sun. A generation comes and a generation goes, but the earth stands forever. And the sun arises, and the sun goes down” (Ecclesiastes1:3-4).  

     Everything on this earth can be summed up as large bundles of repetitions. Each day is similar to previous days and offers little that is new and different. Everything that is seen outside of God, cut off from God and done without the fear of God is vanity.

     It is vanity to live out our present lives, when not in accordance with God’s laws, but by our own imaginative  and pointless thoughts and desires. Why do men remain in captivity to such vanity?  It is due to stoniness of their hearts and the many attractions of this world,  which stifle a man in ignorance. A stony heart is empty of the love of God, it is filled with vanity and the fear of everything that threatens carnal gratification.

     What does the fruit of a stony heart produce? Ignorance, complete ignorance of all divine things, divine ways and divine laws. Such a heart is completely blunted where spiritual life and spiritual thoughts are concerned. A stony heart cannot see the eternal good nor realize anything about God or the  potential of his divine destination.

     What is the ultimate end of stoniness of heart and ignorance of divine truth? It is an understanding, which is darkened and alienated from the life of God. Darkened understanding causes the mind to become as dark as the inner workings of the body. The light that is in man becomes darkness, and such great darkness! A man whose mind is in darkness is unable to evaluate the meaning of anything. Such are the pagans and the impious and such are false Christians and those who have little faith. Their lives only concern this world and its desires and truly are just vanity.

      Christ, the divine Logos, came into the world and is the great light of the world, for His light dispels all vanity and darkness and illumines the hearts of men. Christ came with a specific purpose, for being the perfect image and likeness of God, He teaches men and women to become like Him through His commandments and the Holy Mysteries of Baptism and the Eucharist. The light which radiates from Christ causes  vanity to completely vanish from the hearts of believers. Our entire lives  always change drastically as faith in Christ causes gladness and hope to envelop our hearts and His divine wisdom to enter and illumine the mind. Soon everything changes as joy and gladness in the lives of the faithful which becomes the path leading into the kingdom of heaven.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


    When St. Proclus, a friend and disciple of St. John Chrysostom, was Patriarch of Constantinople, he governed the church in wisdom and piety. Two events occurred during his tenure in the fifth century. The first event was the translation of the relics of St. John Chrysostom from Comana to Constantinople. The emperor, Theodosius the Younger with his wife Pulcheria  and the patriarch all desired the event of this translation.

     The second event being miraculous, was when Constantinople and the surrounding country were experiencing a terrible earthquake. People were terrified and many outstanding and beautiful buildings were destroyed. The Patriarch with the faithful conducted a barefoot procession seeking help from the Lord. The tremors increased dramatically. While this was going on a young child was taken high up into the heavens and became invisible to the human eye. After a while the child returned and came to the ground very gently. He told them of the miraculous event that had occurred and which he was transmitting to them. Upon being asked where he went, the child said that he was raised up to the heavens among the angels, and listened as they sung: “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal have mercy upon us.”  He said that a voice commanded him to tell the Patriarch that the people should make their supplication with this hymn. Upon hearing it sung by the child the Patriarch and people joined in singing the new trisagion hymn, and as they sang at once the earthquake ceased.

    This wonderful and heavenl;y hymn glorifying the Holy Trinity was adopted by the Church and is frequently used in the churches until this very day. It is called the Trisagion (Thrice Holy) Hymn. It is used at the end of the Doxology during Orthos and at other times. Also before the reading of the epistle in the Divine Liturgy.  St. Proclus peacefully entered eternal rest in 446 AD.