St. Barnabas, ascetic of Vetluga (1445). Translation of the relics of St. Ephraim, founder of the Sts. Boris and Gleb Monastery (Novotorzhok) (1572). St. Arcadius, monk, of Vyasma (ca. 1592).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “It Is Truly Meet” (Axion Estin) (10th c.).
Commemoration of the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to a monk on Mt. Athos, and the revelation of the hymn “It Is Truly Meet” (Axion Estin) (982). 222 Chinese New Martyrs of the Boxer Uprising, at Beijing and other places: Hieromartyr Metrophanes Chang (Chang Tzi-tzung), his wife Tatiana, his sons John and Isaiah, Isaiah’s fiancée Maria, the church-school teachers Paul Wang and Ia Wen, and others (1900). St. Barnabas of Basa near Limasol on Cyprus.
Repose of the recluse Melania of Eletz and Zadonsk (1836) and Ivan Vasilievich Kireyevsky, philosopher and Patristic translator (1856).
The founder of the great and famous monastery on Iona along with numerous other monastic communities and churches, St. Columba has for fourteen centuries been greatly venerated by many Christians as the enlightener of Scotland, a co-patron of Ireland and the spiritual father of a host of churches throughout Europe.
“In the capital of Latvia the Orthodox churches are filled to capacity with Latvian parishioners. Every Wednesday, Latvian Lutherans and Catholics talk with Orthodox priests about how they can convert to Orthodoxy. In Latvia whole families are receiving the Orthodox faith.”
Of course we should deal with people who struggle with that sin pastorally, just like we do people who struggle with alcoholism, adultery, drug abuse, or any other passion that is especially difficult to overcome. But if we fail to communicate what sin is, it is impossible for those whom we have confused to overcome sins that they do not recognize to be such.
There is one more issue to consider which is central to the Orthodox concept of salvation, and that is deification. I will relate what I have learned from an Orthodox priest who is a university professor. This father is fluent in Arabic and has studied the Chalcedonian/Non-Chalcedonian positions.
The Scriptures and Orthodox theology are clear that God is not just a super human being – God is not merely an omnipotent and omniscient human writ large. God is totally other, and whatever words we might apply to us humans – being, nature, person, existing – cannot then rightfully be applied to God.
Today, when the holy Church celebrates the memory of all the saints who shown forth in the Russian lands, we prayerfully turn our spiritual gaze towards the hosts of warriors for the Heavenly King, the immortal Divine regiment.
There are, however, many of both Chalcedonians and Non-Chalcedonians, who believe that all along through history, it was a language problem, a matter of semantics. However, St. John of Damascus knew their language, and he wrote against them. And if it was all along this language problem, then we would have to say that God made a mistake with the miracle He performed through the Great Martyr Euphemia at the Fourth Ecumenical council.
Fr. Michael met us in his monastery in the center of Tbilisi, in the Old City, on the banks of the Kura River. He spoke about a lot: how he came to God, and how he labored on Mt. Athos, of his meetings with the patriarch, with St. Gabriel (Urgebadze), and other interesting and edifying stories.
The Cross procession is also a podvig. But contemporary man is educated as if no podvigs are necessary, that we need to live richly, to have and spend a lot of money, and enjoy life. In this false system of false values there is no place for podvig, and those who think this way not only never walk the Velikoretsk procession—they find it hard to even leave their homes.
What is the beginning of sainthood? According to the Lord, it is the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ before others. How do we acknowledge our Lord and master on a daily basis before others? It is a really important question that is worthy of reflection and a thoughtful answer.
Divorces are a real disaster of our times. Broken lives, the loss of any hope of building personal happiness, unhappy children who are very likely to imitate the behavior pattern of adults, the inevitable diminishing of the role of family and family values in the society—these are the most evident consequences of divorces.
There are no longer long services and plangent, angelic singing in our city parishes, and icons of the Rublev school are found far from everywhere. But grains of these olden times, of this semi-monastic life have been preserved, by the will of God, and survived to our day in the Edinoverie (United Faith, Old Rite) parishes of the Russian Church.
The cycle of prayers assaulting Hades reaches a climax on the day of Pentecost. On the evening of that Sunday, the faithful gather for Vespers. During that service, they kneel for the first time since Pascha. And in that kneeling, the Church teaches them the boldness of prayer, the cry of human hearts for God’s solace and relief.
Saint Augustine was from Italy, and a disciple of Saint Felix, Bishop of Messana. Saint Gregory Dialogus chose him to lead a mission of forty monks to evangelize the people of Britain. They arrived at Ebbsfleet in Kent in 597.
Modern apologists for contraception do not represent the mind of the Church. When they are aware of the teaching of the Fathers they either misunderstand it or dismiss it, whether in principle or in particulars.
We see in the image of St. John the Baptist a remarkable example of Christian courage. It is the courage to live in the presence of Truth, to witness to Him by his life, but to always remember that not our life has meaning, not our words or deeds, but the ability to be unnoticeable, to sacrifice even our own authority and reputation before Him.
On June 4 we honor the repose day of blessed Gerondissa Macrina, abbess of the Panagia Hodigitria Monastery near Volos, Greece, and spiritual daughter of Elder Joseph the Hesychast and Elder Ephraim of Philotheos (and Arizona) (Moraitissa). Eldress Macrina acquired numerous spiritual gifts and was worthy of very lofty spiritual states.