Afterfeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos. Holy and Righteous Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna. Martyr Severian of Sebaste (320). St. Joseph, founder of Volokolamsk (Volotsk) Monastery (1515). Uncovering and translation of the relics of St. Theodosius, archbishop of Chernigov (1896).
St. Theophanes, confessor and faster, of Mt. Diabenos (299). Commemoration of the Third Ecumenical Council (431). Blessed Nicetas the Hidden, of Constantinople (12th c.). St. Onuphrius of Vorona, Moldavia (1789).
New Hieromartyr Zachariah (Lobov), archbishop of Voronezh (1937). New Hieromartyr Andronicus (Surikov), hieromonk, of Moscow (1938)
St. Kieran (Ciaran) of Clonmacnois (Ireland) (ca. 545). St. Omer, bishop of Therouanne (670). St. Joachim, founder of Opochka Monastery (Pskov) (ca. 1550). St. Joachim, monk of the St. Nicholas- Shartomsk Monastery in Suzdal (1625). St. Cyriacus of Tazlau Monastery, Moldavia (1660).
Repose of Elder Joachim of St. Anne’s Skete, Mt. Athos (1950).
As God did not desire to leave this man unknown in the fifteenth century, so in our times: Today St. John of Novgorod, longing for but one thing from his childhood—to be with Christ, is remembered and glorified in the Orthodox world.
Abbess Methodia of the Convent of the Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord John near the Greek city of Naousa, under the spiritual direction of Elder Ephraim, spoke to us about the monastery and about her path there by the prayers of the holy people God had blessed her to meet.
But in more practical terms, how should an Orthodox Christian in our times discern what entertainment is acceptable, and what should be avoided? Also, how do you deal with raising children in the context of the internet and ubiquitous access to it via various mobile devices?
Every time I find myself in the Monastery of St. Mary in Techirghiol, I am filled with trepidation at the thought of the multitude of my sins, known and unknown. And my first desire is to go to the cell of the great spiritual father Arsenie (Papacioc), to at least take his blessing. And when you are honored with the great privilege of speaking with him, time begins to take on some kind of special dimension.
The value of tradition as the best experience of our ancestors, accumulated, refined, and transmitted, has been devalued in our days. The modern Orthodox family is compelled to seek new ways to orient their everyday life. Over the course of the many centuries of Christian history, the Russian people created a universal system of family values, which, having moral categories, is always clearly manifested externally: in expressions, relations, and organization of space.
Solitude shows us who we are and gives us an opportunity to fill the “yawning abyss” of the human soul. Whether this vacuum is to be filled by God, or the “babble and rattle” of TV, or the escape from ourselves into the labyrinths of social media—the choice is in our hands. Our history knows examples that help us make a right decision.
Shunning worldly glory and striving again to find his lost solitude, the monk chose a previously unknown mode of asceticism. He went up a pillar six to eight feet high, and settled upon it in a little cell, devoting himself to intense prayer and fasting.
He awoke at the grinding sound of the door opening. The guards had come. Releasing Tolya from the handcuffs, they led him upstairs. “Well, this is it,” he thought, “now they are going to kill me and my wasted life is going to end.” They took him outside. Anatoly winced, thinking it’s the end.
Saintly men and women—preachers, teachers, hermits, bishops, abbots and abbesses, holy rulers, princes and princesses—carried out their spiritual labors in Devon and today churches, holy wells and monastic ruins bear witness to their presence.
Now modernism acts more cautiously, systematically, and consistently, without loud slogans and excesses, but the scope of its struggle has become significantly wider. Modernism digs a deep mine under Orthodox dogmatics, while claiming that its only goal is to purify the later accretions to traditional beliefs.
Today I would like to speak to the ladies. I will try to give practical advice on the theme: “woman and children”. I will warn you from the very beginning that it is not for all. I expect criticism and disagreement. But perhaps some will listen to me and try to look at their lives in the light of reflection on the suggested subject.
I pray to God that you all might find this path and meet the love of your life on it, and that you might walk hand-in-hand with them, and not that one be pulled here, and another there, but that you were both pulled to the East, that is, to Christ! I always pray to God, that you would experience the very greatest miracle—the feeling of God’s presence and love in our hearts and lives!
What is meant, brethren, by this wedding garment? It cannot signify either Baptism or faith, because who can enter this marriage feast without Baptism or without faith? Because undoubtedly the mere fact of not believing excludes one from the Church.
Everyone, whether or not he is a Christian, must expect a certain amount of sickness and discomfort to enter his life. Physical pain is universal; no one escapes it. Therefore, how much we suffer from illness, or how intensely, does not matter so much as how we understand these infirmities. The understanding is all.
With God’s help, the abbess finds ways to overcome difficulties and to heal spiritual illnesses. In order to achieve this the abbess is called to love each sister with a spiritual love, to instruct with love, and to endure the infirmities of her spiritual children, just as the Lord endures our sins.
A text message comes from his favorite clothing store informing that huge discounts are at hand and he feels he needs to renew his wardrobe. In a word, he has a whole lot of problems to solve promptly, preferably without headache and complications. And there is no getting away from it: he has to worry about his future, not least about tomorrow, all the time.