The beginning of Saint Metrophanes’ tenure as bishop coincided with a dispute over the imperial succession, and a Church schism. Upon his arrival at Voronezh the saint first of all sent an encyclical to the pastors of his diocese, in which he urged his pastors to moral improvement.
This is the exact moment portrayed in the icon of the Transfiguration - as illustrated in the Sinai icon above with the words of the Father inscribed across the top - portraying not just the divine energies of God's unapproachable glory—but how one may remain within it:
Morality (good behavior) has a way of self-justification. The morally competent all-too-frequently see themselves as the products of their own self-discipline and inner character. They fail to see that they are doing little more than conforming to the social morality of their class.
Various things are happening to me all the time. I have diverse and manifold stories to share. They are funny and sad, happy and unusual. There are a host of remarkable, miraculous occurrences and testimonies that we are not alone here, that we are loved by heaven and are cared for.
St. Gregory was not attacking those "who insist on literal interpretations," he was attacking those who denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit, who insisted on exclusively literal interpretations as a cloak for their impiety -- and their impiety was not that they interpreted Scripture literally, but that they denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
Did you know that in old Russia convents for many centuries were located within the walls of monasteries for men? There were almost no separate convents. This practice existed in both the Byzantine Empire and Russia (Rus’), and the most glorious monastery of Kiev was no exception.
As part of their commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of Metropolitan Laurus’s episcopal consecration, the Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese published these homilies delivered by the newly-consecrated Bishop Laurus, and by Metropolitan Philaret.
Then they decided to have a recess, and to go to the cathedral and pray to St John of Shanghai before his very relics. A draft resolution was placed on his chest, along with a list of names of the delegates of the Council. Fervent prayer then instilled in us the confidence that everything will happen according to God’s will.
Again, by God’s mercy, we are entering the Dormition fast. This is the shortest and sweetest of the fasts. It begins with the blessing of honey, and then the blessing of the fruits. This fast is also the lightest, because the Mother of God takes care that the yoke of Christ would be light for us. She takes care for our bodies as well as our souls.
Often people who come to the Orthodox Church for the first time are quite amazed at the number of times they will hear us pray “Lord have mercy” at every service and especially at the Divine Liturgy. This is no accident but a purposeful habit that the Church, our mother, is trying to form within us.
The guest of today’s program is Abdias Bijanov, an Orthodox Assyrian. His search for the meaning of life initially led him to the Nestorian Assyrian Church of the East, but eventually he found the Truth in Orthodoxy.
The orchards of Valaam… So much has been said and written about them. But the flood continues of exclamations and puzzled questions about how people can grow vegetables and exotic fruits in conditions described as “extremely high-risk agricultural”, and even produce amazingly abundant harvests. What is the secret?