Saturday, December 19, 2015



       Orthodoxy is not our possession but it is the true faith existing in heaven and on earth headed by the Godman Jesus Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit, brought to us by  the Apostles, defended and defined by the Fathers and ecumenical Synods, numerous Saints and Confessors, and preserved by all the faithful. We cannot be faithful and treat the Church like a candy store, choosing what we like and rejecting what we dislike. This may take place in other religions but in Orthodoxy we do not have choices for everything it contains is holy and true. The objective of our Faith is to become sanctified and to share in the glory of heaven with all the Saints and Martyrs. In the faith we are always being sanctified and rendered into sons and daughters of God. Peace rules our lives and the continuous struggle for holiness is our daily practice of piety.

   The Church’s originate when Christ responded to Peter’s who declaration: “You are the Christ Son of the living God: Christ replied:  “Upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”  The Orthodox Church remains this church and has preserved all the teaching from the very beginning, and established the dogmas held by the Orthodox Church, which are diligently preserved and guarded by the Holy Spirit.

   During the 2,000 year history of the Church, there have been times of great faith and zeal for truth, and times when the faithful were mostly asleep, or in a state of indifference.  This is the type of era we live in today, but there are small areas where Orthodoxy flourishes. Many leaders of the Church are disinterested and even attacking her truths from within. But the Lord will always protect and preserve the Church which He established.

     There is no superfluity for everything which the Church teaches is of great importance and the Church is the only means of salvation and eternal life available. If we belong to the Church and remain completely disinterested, we can expect no rewards but certain punishment. The Lord did not offer but commanded that we come to Him in faith, for he is the God-man and the purpose of our creation. Jesus Christ teaches us that we must become like Him, saying: “Learn from me for I am meek and humble in my heart.” This is our greatest responsibility while we are on this earth.  If we live mostly for worldly pleasures and just “go to Church” and fail to change ourselves into Christ’s image, we are far from salvation and eternal life.  

     Baptism is Orthodoxy’s unique form of entering the Church founded by Christ and is extremely important, for He established this mystery. Only Orthodox Baptism is performed by three immersions and emmersions in which we die in Christ and arise in His glorious resurrection. We are born from above, that is spiritually and it is a true death of the old man of sin and life in the new man our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are brought into the Church without Baptism are being cheated out of the greatest incoming treasure possible – death into Christ’s death and arising into His Resurrection. They are unbaptized are  still in need of baptism because there is no baptism outside of the Church. The Holy Spirit sanctifies Orthodox waters but not the waters of heresy.

   What is a heretic but one who has no connection with the Church or its head and guide. All outside the Church are disconnected from divine grace which sanctifies the Mysteries through which she sanctifies her faithful. Behind every heresy is the Devil who tries to corrupt the Church with his false teaching and thus render her impotent. Those who promote heresy have abandoned truth and grace and accepted falsehood and emptiness which cannot sanctify anything remaining powerless to all goodness.

     The Church will always remain pure and undefiled because she is divine and human like her Head and this is what distinguishes her from all the groups that call themselves churches. The Lord did not found multiple churches for He said: “Upon this rock I will build my church.” All Scripture refers to the Church singularly as the Lord did. So the idea of many different churches is foreign and thus they remain defiled by the evil one and his helpers. The Church also supplies the necessary food and drink so that the faithful are fed with divine nourishment making them able to do the work of the Church which is to go forth and bring in new members continually, who will baptized and anointed. 

     When we mention that we are going to church this does not refer to the building which is incorrectly referred to as the church but is more correctly called (na-os) or “the temple.” The “church” refers to the gathering of people in the temple. The word used for church in the original Greek is “ecclesia.”

Friday, December 18, 2015



Fr. Daniel Sysoev     Moscow, Russia

Instructions For The Immortal
95 pages $7.00

How Can 
I Learn God’s Will?
 89 pages $5.00

Talks on the Passions  
125 pages $7.00

A Sobering Book
(Being an Explanation of parts of the Book of Ecclesiastes)

A Protestant’s Walk Through an Orthodox Church
94 pages  $5.00

How Often Shall One Commune
120 pages $7.00
Marriage to a Believer 
30 pages $3.00

Why Go To Church Every Sunday  
40 pages $4.00

Catechetical Talks 
350 pages $14.OO
(An excellent detailed catechetical source!)

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Introduced to Orthodoxy in the 4th century
by St. Meletios, Patriarch of Antioch 

     For almost 1700 years, Orthodox Christians throughout the world have signed their Cross, as we do now, using thumb and two fingers joined, with two fingers pressed against the palm;  signing to the forehead, to the navel, to the right shoulder and the left. There is nothing in Holy Scripture or the sacred Canons that speaks of this practice of signing, which in the early Church had been made with a single finger, as mentioned by St. John Chrysostom, and this fact bears excellent witness to  the importance of preserving oral tradition.

     It is good to keep in mind that the way we sign ourselves with the Cross was introduced by a great Saint, our holy father, Saint Meletios, Archbishop of Antioch. The way this spread like lightning throughout the Church witnesses its divine inspiration. The Saint was well known for his sincerity and good attitude towards all men, always bearing a radiant countenance and friendly smile, attracting many people to him. He lived and preached the truth about Christ and our Faith, and his character was so outstanding that even the heretical Arians held him in high esteem. The Saint lived during a period when the Arians, who denied Christ’s divinity, were in a majority in Antioch. 

     Erroneously thinking  Meletios to be like-minded with them and their heresy, the Arians cast their votes making him Patriarch of Antioch.  In their battles against truth, the Arians continuously aroused continuous turmoil.  Because of His pure Orthodoxy, the Saint was removed three times from the throne, and driven into exile. His meek and humble nature radiated the grace of Christ from his countenance at all times. 

     There were constant struggles between the Orthodox and heretics which at times became bitter. While St. Meletios was preaching concerning the essential Unity and the Divine Trinity, his own deacon, who was a heretic, ran up and stopped the Bishop’s mouth with his hand. Thus prevented from speaking, St. Meletios raised his arm high, opened his three fingers to their full extent. Then closing his hand he raised his fist, showing the unity and the trinity. The deacon then, took his hand from the Saint’s mouth in order to hold back the Bishop’s hand which enabled St. Meletios to speak again. 

     As the Arians, in a profane manner,  were attempting to obscure the truth with their heretical arguments, God revealed the mystery of the signing of the Cross through this noble man for at the Second Ecumenical Synod, St. Meletios was elaborating the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to the Arians. First he raised his three fingers, separated, but then he brought them together, and at that moment, lightning and fire flashed from his hand before those present. The heretics were put to shame and enlightenment was bestowed upon the Orthodox who witnessed this. Following this, the sign of the Cross with three fingers brought together and the remaining two pointing down, remains the identification of Orthodox Christians worldwide. 

     St. Meletios baptized the young John Chrysostoma and later in 370 AD ordained him as Reader. His acquaintance with St. Meletios had a great affect on St. John’s character, who says about St. Meletios: “It was a truly the greatest delight to see his holy face. Not only when he taught or spoke; when people only looked at him he brought virtue to their souls.” St. Meletios also ordained St. Basil the Great as Deacon. 

     St. Meletios, used the term co-essential (homo-ousios) boldly in his confession of Orthodoxy, for God is known to be three hypostases, one nature and one essence. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in essence and undivided. 

     We greatly honor this sweetest of men, holy and pure, humble and meek who was chosen to be the source of the Orthodox signing themselves with the sign of the Cross. It would be good to remember St. Meletios when we sign ourselves with the Cross.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015



  By St. Nektarios of Pentapolis

Rejoice, Honor of the first-created people
Rejoice, Desire of the forefathers and joy eternal.
Rejoice, Glory of Abraham and of God’s promise,
Rejoice, Sacred daughter, the blessing of all the nations.
Rejoice Ladder of Jacob and radiant dwelling, 
Rejoice, Staff of Aaron and the gate which remains shut.
Rejoice, Graceful daughter, vessel containing the Manna
Rejoice, Throne of the Lord spotless and sanctified.
Rejoice Undefiled Virgin who has been consecrated unto God,
Rejoice, Unhewn mountain burning bush and holy altar,
Rejoice Maiden Full of Grace, my Panaghia.

Through You our race was delivered from the curse
Through You it became worthy of enjoying Paradise.
Through You all of human nature was restored,
Through You, creation which has suffered corruption
was renewed.
Through you, Adam and his offspring were glorified,
Through You, we have received grace, glory, and strength.
Through You, Theotokos, man was reconciled with God,
Through You, Virgin Mother, we are freed from tyranny.
Through You, we became worthy of receiving God’s  
Through You, the severe and incurable wound was healed.
Through You, we received adoption and salvation,
Through You, we acquired the heavenly kingdom.
Wherefore, I confidently run to you, O Virgin, and from
the depth of my soul, I implore your compassion.

Look upon my humility my Maiden
Send Your aid and strengthen me quickly.
Console me Daughter of the King, my Maiden the Panaghia.
Who are the immediate Consolation of all who sorrow.
The Hope of the hopeless, the solace of the suffering, the
ready Protectress unto those seeking refuge in you.
Remove the sadness and bitterness from my barren soul,
O Virgin and heal me.

Monday, December 14, 2015




     Over one-hundred and fifty years ago, in 1860,  a well known Protestant scholar, named T. J. Conant D.D.,  after complete and extensive research, published the results of his work in a book entitled: “The Meaning and Use of Baptism, published by the  American Bible Union, 350 Broome St, Bible Revision Association, Louisville Kentucky, 1860. (entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1860.  By the American Bible Union. In the clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York).”  

     He researched all possible sources, hoping to solve a major denominational dispute which arose among Protestant sects.  This concerned the meaning of the scriptural Greek word baptizeis (baptize). While some considered immersion to be of no consequence, others deemed it to be of utmost necessity,  the author strongly supports the latter meaning, that the word baptism only means immersion. Confounding the dispute was the biblical passage incorrectly translated:  “baptize with water”, instead of the more accurate“baptize in water.”   Also affecting the discussions was the fact that the Papacy had discontinued immersion and adopted affusion, followed by simply sprinkling. This influenced many Protestant groups to consider immersion as unimportant and even trivial. 

    But the greater dispute concerned the correct meaning of the word “baptize”as used in Scripture, recognized by all as being a Greek derived word.  The author spent years of laborious and extensive research into Church history, the Greek language as used by the ancients, secular sources, poets, Church Fathers, the Old Testament, and Greek writers of old, seeking support for his firm personal conviction that baptism always means immersion. After concluding this extensive research, he became convinced that the Fathers, both eastern and western, and every other source, in every case, used the word to express immersion. He obtained the evidence he sought proving that immersion is the only correct translation of the original Greek word. In further support of baptism’s meaning,  the author quotes this statement of reformer Martin Luther: “Indeed. If you consider what baptism signifies, you will see that the same thing (immersion) is what it signifies.”

   Upon finding the correct meaning of baptism after his extensive  research, the author summed up his findings in these words: “The act of baptism set forth in lively symbolism is the ground or basic thought of Christianity. The change in character of the believer (when baptized) was totally comparable to death . . . the suffering and death of Christ was the cause of the change (in the believer).”