Friday, August 7, 2015

Part One
     Recently there was much talk and speculation concerning the declining continuity of those born into Orthodoxy remaining membership in the Orthodox Church. Some objected claiming the numbers were skewed due to PEW disregarding an large influx of converts not included in the research of PEW who raised the subject of decreasing membership by their analysis. However the quantity of Church members is not the only factor indicating the general health of the holy Church. For those who are interested we present here what is  the truly healthy condition of the Church, as well as the unhealthy condition. 

While there are certainly faithful Orthodox throughout the many churches in countries all over the world,  the church is suffering from various ills. Why are our ecclesiastical affairs in a bad way and becoming increasingly worse? For in the church among both clergy and laity there is an abundance of impiety self-love, money concerns and material interests. Why is this condition present in the Church? It is due to the lack of remembrance of the Church and her purpose and how an Orthodox Christian should live.

     The Church was created to radiate divine light before men as Christ described to His disciples: “You are the light of the world; let your light shine before men that may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” When the Church is vibrant and filled with faith, zeal, and brilliance its proof is that it continuously increases in great numbers, as people  That this is true, we must keep in mind the Church’s infancy with only twelve and later seventy apostles and their rapid and lasting increase. The Church is much more than the Priest and parishioners attending Liturgy or Mass  as in the West. It ought to be the Priest and his many active assistants who continuously supply the Priest with converts well catechized and prepared for baptism and who in turn will carry on the same work and this process multiplies.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


      We are familiar with our physical world observed by our senses, but contrary to some false teaching, but we humans are much more than sensualists like countless other common creatures. There is another spiritual world which is the ultimate destination of every man and women. Observing men with their wonderful intellect and freedom of behavior we see much more than animalistic sensuality. Men are created and rise above all other creatures, for endowed with intellect and the freedom to do what we will, he is not trapped in a particular style of life and fixed behavior. For we live under laws many of which we ourselves have made,  free to distinguish between and choose our preferences. Among all creatures on earth, we alone are endowed with the freedom to understand and choose either good or evil and man lives under laws which reward and punish those who freely make their choice. But there is so much more that elevates man to the heights! Before the physical world was created, God made the spiritual world, where life is endless and this is the destiny of those who heed God and is the abode of angels, who are spirits of fire dwell. This spiritual world is more important to men as it is much higher being vastly superior to the physical world. For God’s plan is to form men and women to become godlike in His own image and likeness.

     God created the heavenly and spiritual world of angels for His own specific purpose and to serve Him in establishing  his great plan for the whole created universe. Angels were created as intellectual  and free beings able to respond or reject the Lord. Angels are not the object of the perfect plan of God but are His assistants who minister to men..  There is a misconception that angels are above and superior to man but this is not true, for they are assigned to assist men in their endeavors. St. Paul says this:  “But to which of the angels did He say at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet?  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:13,14).