Devotion to St. David of Wales (and to all the western saints) serves a very important role in the Orthodox Church—it rescues us from the accusation that we are merely “the Eastern Church” (as some textbooks describe us), the eastern half of a sundered and broken body.
Suffering is the most daring apostle of all time. It silently preaches Christ, for wherever the word of the Gospel does not enter, there is the cry of suffering. Wherever the apostolic voice is not heard, the groan of suffering is heard. Wherever a priest cannot enter, there is sorrow, and whatever a priest cannot do, suffering does.
But we, Orthodox Christians, must dissolve our sorrow with Christian hope, that if we ourselves will be saved, and if we will save our loved ones by our prayers, then we dare to believe that we will meet them there, in the other life. And if they reach the Heavenly Kingdom, then they will certainly pray for us there.
An ascetic who has been accounted worthy of passionlessness can thereafter taste of the experience of pure prayer. His mind “transcends all things” in prayer and renounces all perceptions of created beings and adores the Uncreated God, and the yet higher union with God is possible. Those who have been illumined by the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, have come to know Him and contemplate the Uncreated Light.
Bishop Onuphrius remained faithful to the path predestined by the Almighty to the end, enduring the severe trials of Church schism, numerous exiles and prisons, humiliation, beating, slander and betrayals.
ew of us can imagine what it was like during the transition period from soviet times into our own times in Russia to begin the herculean task of restoring the desecrated churches. These reminiscences paint a fragment of this picture in describing the life of one true man of God in Moscow, Archpriest Alexei Zotov.
The Triumph of Orthodoxy is in that the gates of Hell, as the Lord foretold, have not overcome the Church He created, although the powers of evil have sought for these past 2,000 years to destroy it. They still have not given up their insane hope for it. But the Church of Christ lives, and is even growing before our eyes. People pray, confess, commune, baptize their children, venerate its sacred objects, and are saved. It’s a great Triumph!
The way to find joy is not by imagining that we can run away from our problems. It is, instead, to find healing for our souls, which means becoming more beautiful living icons of Christ in the midst of life as we know it.
In his popular book, Everyday Saints and Other Stories, Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov) tells the amazing story of how the relics of Patriarch Tikhon were discovered in Donskoy Monastery, Moscow, where he was living as yet a hieromonk at the time. On this day we commemorate that epic event, and present an excerpt from the chapter, “The Relics of Patriarch Tikhon”.
People began flocking to the cathedral in the morning, desiring to bid a final farewell to the women who had died at the hands of the terrorist for being Christians. About 5,000 faithful arrived to accompany the woman on their final path.
Everyone should, if he makes an effort towards it, not just return to the first state, before the Fall, but moreover must become an heir of God Himself. This is what the Lord God created man for. It’s no wonder that Adam was seduced by the cunning promise to become “like God.” But this is God’s purpose in relation to man—the elevation to the infinite deity of a man filled with faith in Christ. This is the purpose of creation.