Let us accept another as he is – Blessed Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra Monastery, Holy Mount Athos, Greece (+2019)

http://havefaithorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

-Let us accept another as he is-

Blessed Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra Monastery,

Holy Mount Athos, Greece (+2019)

Let us accept another as he is. One will insult me, of course. Another will praise me, certainly. Another will offer me half a glass of water, doubtlessly. Let us not meddle in the life of another. When they will ask for our love, let us give it as God gives it, “over both the righteous and the unrighteous.”

Source:

https://apriestoftheorthodoxchurch.wordpress.com

https://apriestoftheorthodoxchurch.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/learning-from-the-fathers-geronda-aimilianos-of-simonopetra-8/

A PRIEST OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH

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My journey into the True Church – Timothy Copple, Texas, USA

http://textsorthodoxy.wordpress.com

TEXTS – ORTHODOXY

My journey into the True Church

by Timothy Copple

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/07/my-journey-timothy-copple/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Each story I’ve heard of how people have come into the Orthodox Church has been different. Sometimes there are some general similarities, but each one has specific issues, specific circumstances and specific problems that they deal with. While I recognize that my own circumstances are not, and in some cases should not be, how others come into Orthodoxy, I do feel there were some key elements that moved me in this direction. Most inquirers/converts to Orthodoxy will deal with these key elements at some point.

So allow me to tell you a little of my own journey.

I was born and raised in Texas. We moved a lot, so over my growing up years I’ve lived in several different cities around south-central Texas. The city that I did a majority of my growing up, mostly during my teen years, was Austin, TX. So I tend to think of that as “home”. Ironically, it was in moving back to Austin after having lived in other places for around 16 years that I became Orthodox.

As I was growing up, my Father, Dalton Copple, was a part-time Baptist preacher while he worked for the local electric company around the Uvalde area. Some of my earliest memories as a kid are from those days. I recall a couple of questions I had back then, which I addressed to my Mom, Alice Fay Kiker.

One time I recall, as we were getting dressed for church, asking Mom why we had to go to church. As many people know, kids are often not really excited about going to church. You want to move, you want to play, you want to do anything but sit in a pew and listen for over an hour to people saying words and singing music. For me, however, that was not the full motivation behind my question. It was those blasted black leather shoes.

We were pretty poor people, but of course being the pastor’s family, the kids had to have decent looking shoes for church. Only problem was that our feet were constantly growing and Mom knew that we would hardly get a pair broke in before we would need a new pair. So, like any Mom aware that she had to Continue reading

Icon corner

http://catechism-orthodox-christianity.blogspot.com

CATECHISM – ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Icon corner

The icon corner is a small worship space prepared in the homes of Eastern Orthodox Christians.

The Book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostle Paul record that in the early Church, Christians used to meet in the homes of the faithful. (Acts 2:46, Acts 20:7-12, 1 Corinthians 16:19, etc.) This tradition of the “House Church” continues to this day in Eastern Christianity. The home is considered to be a microcosm of the Church. The parents (both the husband and the wife) are the “clergy” of the house church, and the children are the “laity”. The wedding ceremony (“crowning”) is analogous to Ordination, and the house is blessed with a rite that is based upon the Consecration of a Church. Once a year, the priest will come to bless the house with Theophany Water.

An Orthodox Christian is expected to pray constantly. According to Bishop Kallistos Ware, “In Orthodox spirituality, there is no separation between liturgy and private devotion”. Thus the house, just like the Temple (church building), is considered to be a consecrated place, and the center of worship in the house is the icon corner.

An icon corner is normally oriented to face east. It is often located in a corner to eliminate worldly distractions and allow prayer to be more concentrated. Here is where the icons that the family owns should be located, normally including at least icons of Christ, the Theotokos, and the Patron Saint(s) of the family. An oil lamp normally hangs in front of the icons. The careful trimming of the lamp to keep it burning at all times is interpreted as symbolic of the attentive daily care faithful Christians should take over their souls. Relics of saints (if the family possesses any) and a Gospel Book and a blessing cross would be kept there, as well as incense, holy water, palms and pussywillow from Palm Sunday, candles from Pascha (Easter), and other sacred items, as well as a personal Commemoration Book (containing the names of family and loved ones, both living and departed, to be remembered in prayer).

Ideally, the icon corner is located so that it is visible when one first enters the house from the main entrance. Traditionally, when first entering the house, an Orthodox Christian would venerate the icons before greeting the members of the house.

A traditional Orthodox family will gather together every day for morning and evening prayers. Sometimes, at the end of the prayers, the head of the household will take the hand censer and cense the icons and all of the members of the household.

Often, in addition to the icon corner, a family will hang a small “portal icon” (usually of the Virgin and Christ Child) by the door, which is venerated by family and guests whenever going in or out of the house.

Source: Wikipedia

The Three Trees – Christian Story

http://heavenonearthorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

The Three Trees – Christian Story

Long ago in the forest, lived three tall tress, the biggest among all trees in the forest. One fine day, the three were having a chat, talking about their dream of the future.

The first tree said, “I want to grow taller and stronger, and I want a man to chop me down and make a beautiful bed of my trunk, so a great king can sleep on me.”

The second tree said, “I want to grow taller and stronger, because I want a man to chop me down and make a big yacht of my trunk, so a king can sail on me and go around the world.”

The third tree said, “If me, I don’t want anyone to chop me down. I want to be the tallest and the biggest tree in this forest, so everyone can come to me and look at me admiring my tall trunk.”

So then – the trees agreed to pray each and every day so God would make their dreams come true.

One day, a man came and chopped the first tree. The first tree was excited. He thought his dream was finally come true. But when the man found the quality of the tree trunk was not very good, he didn’t make him as a bed, he turned the tree trunk into a manger instead, for Continue reading

The Sacrament of Holy Confession in the Eastern Orthodox Church

http://holyconfessionofyourheart.wordpress.com

HOLY CONFESSION OF YOUR HEART

The Sacrament of Holy Confession

in the Eastern Orthodox Church

As it says in John 20:23, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven.  If you retain the signs of any, they are retained.” This is the power of the presbyter or bishop to remit sins on behalf of God. He mediates for us to God, but only God forgives us our sins. This sacrament is an often misunderstood practice in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Many Protestants and Evangelicals protest that you can only have “God forgive your sins.” But there is a very good reason why we confess our sins to others apart from God: it’s called accountability. One feels more ashamed to commit a sin again, if another knows about it. If one confesses only to God, but no one else, then you can not be helped in fighting your sins properly. You will continue making the same errors, and will have no shame, since it is just your secret you keep to yourself. This means that you are more likely to commit this sin again! God would onto want that. He wants us to be as holy as possible.

This holy sacrament is even prefigured in the Old Dispensation. In Leviticus 5:4-6, it says “… that unrighteous soul, which determineth with his lips to do evil, or to do good, according to whatsoever a man may determine with an oath, and it shall have escaped his notice (or her) , and he shall know, and he sin in some one of these things, then he shall show his sin in the things wherein he hath sinned by that sin. And he shall bring for his transgressions against the Lord, for his sin, an ewe lamb of the sheep, or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin, which he hath sinned, and his sin shall be forgiven him.” Though we no longer make sin offerings of ewe lambs, we offer our lives and our hearts instead. We do this at the sacrament of confession, just as it was done in the sacrifices of Ancient Israel. The priest today also makes atonement for our sins before God, as well.

Indeed, one can see confession is important, since “whosoever covereth his own ungodliness shall not prosper: but he that blame to himself shall be loved.” (Proverb 28:13) All shall “prosper” from this holy sacrament, since it cleanses one’s conscience and way of life.

Saint Maximos the Confessor says that “Every genuine confession humbles the soul. When it takes the form of thanksgiving, it teaches the soul that it has been delivered by the grace of God.” (Philokalia. Saint Maximo’s the Confessor was born in Constantinople 580 A.D, and died in Tsageri, Georgia, on 13th of August 662 A.D, while he was in exile.) We all know we have been delivered by God when we are forgiven our sins, and we are eased of our burdens and Continue reading

Faith and miracles – Blessed Elder Joel Yannakopoulos of Kalamata, Greece (+1966)

http://ex2x2lettersfromgreece.wordpress.com

EX 2X2 LETTERS FROM GREECE

Faith and miracles

Blessed Elder Joel Yannakopoulos

of Kalamata, Greece (+1966)

Once, when Fr. Joel was traveling on a train, a rumor spread at one provincial station that a miracle had occurred in the church in the neighboring village—an icon was weeping! All of the passengers immediately left the train and rushed to see the miracle—everyone, that is, except Fr. Joel, who continued reading his book.

When the passengers returned, touched, the man sitting right across from Fr. Joel couldn’t hold back his indignation at the priest’s calmness and said, “Father, I see you don’t believe!”

“I believe,” Fr. Joel replied, “and therefore I’m not surprised by miracles. But you don’t believe, and so you ran to see the miracle and believe, didn’t you? So tell me—do you believe now?”

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/115308.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Aren’t all religions just the same?

http://textsorthodoxy.wordpress.com

TEXTS – ORTHODOXY

Aren’t all religions just the same?

By this it is often meant that many religions have things in common, such as belief in the divine, a desire to do good and avoid evil, and respect for other human beings.

Christianity does not deny that there is truth and value in other religions. As an example, Zen Buddhism believes in five precepts as a way of governing one’s conduct. One precept states “I will respect the property of others, I will not steal.” That said, other belief systems may also have practices that are contrary to the Bible. As the Bible is God’s living word and without error, it follows that other religions cannot be the same as Christianity. Christianity uniquely claims that God came in human form to redeem fallen mankind and reconcile the human race to himself.

 

Saint Theodora’s journey through the Aerial Toll-Houses

http://orthodoxyislove.wordpress.com

ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

Saint Theodora’s journey

through the Aerial Toll-Houses

According to the teachings of the Church, the particular judgment of souls by God is preceded by their torments, or rather a series of tests; these take place in the regions of the air, where the evil spirits have their domain (Eph. 6. 12). They detain the souls and declare and make manifest all the sins which these souls perpetrated during their lives. We know about these torments in great detail because they were revealed to Gregory, the disciple of the holy monk St. Basil the New, who lived in the first half of the Tenth century. Gregory in his vision learned about the hour of death and the passing through torments of a woman known as the Blessed Theodora.

When Gregory asked her to tell him about her passing away and about the circumstances that attended her death and followed it, she told him in great detail the following. “My child Gregory,” she said, “you have asked me about a terrible thing, which it is frightening even to recollect.

“When the hour of my death came, I saw faces such as I had never seen before, and heard words such as I had never heard. What shall I say? Cruel and hard to endure evils, of which I formerly had no idea, encountered me then because of my evil deeds. However, through the prayers and the assistance of our common spiritual father Basil I was saved from these hardships. But how shall I tell you about that physical pain, that stress and close feeling which the dying experience? Like a man who, entirely naked, falls into a great fire, burns, melts, and Continue reading

Box full of kisses (love)

http://havefaithorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

Box full of kisses (love)

Some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.”

The man became embarrassed by his overreaction earlier, but his rage continue when he saw that the box was empty. He yelled at her; “Don’t you know, when you give someone a present, there is supposed to be something inside?”

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and cried;

“OH, DADDY, IT’S NOT EMPTY AT ALL. I BLEW KISSES INTO THE BOX. THEY’RE ALL FOR YOU, DADDY.”

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.

Only a short time later, an accident took the life of the child. Her father kept the gold box by his bed for many years and, whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

Love is the most precious gift in the world.

 

Video: Orthodoxy in Alaska

http://alaskaofmyheart.wordpress.com

ALASKA OF MY HEART

Orthodoxy in Alaska