Be Yourself: Amim’s Great Discovery is the story of a beloved boy who finds himself in school in a different culture for the first time. When he is teased by the children who discover ways that he is different from them, Amim tries to avoid the pain of loneliness and rejection by an all too familiar pattern. Little by little he eliminates anything and everything about himself that anyone objects too. As he adapts himself in extraordinary ways in order to make friends with the children who tease him, he discovers the most important secret about the nature of love and being the person God created him to be.
Archimandrite Grigol (Peradze) was born August 31, 1899, in the village of Bakurtsikhe, in the Sighnaghi district of Kakheti. His father, Roman Peradze, was a priest. In 1918 Grigol completed his studies at the theological school and seminary in Tbilisi and enrolled in the philosophy department at Tbilisi University.
One day my spiritual father, Archimandrite John (Krestiankin) of the Pskov-Caves Monastery, called me and said: "I am going to die soon. So please do me a favour, write down what you remember and what you want to tell people about me. Because afterwards you all are going to write something anyway, and you might come up with stories as ridiculous as they did with poor Father Nikolai, who “resurrected cats” and other fables like that. So I want to check everything myself for my peace of mind.”
During the reign of King Aderki of Kartli, the Jewish diaspora in Mtskheta learned that a wondrous Child had been born in Jerusalem. Then, thirty years later, a man came from Jerusalem to deliver this message: “The youth has grown up. He calls Himself the Son of God and preaches to us the New Covenant.
Holy Queen Ketevan was the daughter of Ashotan Mukhran-Batoni, a prominent ruler from the Bagrationi royal family. The clever and pious Ketevan was married to Prince Davit, heir to the throne of Kakheti. Davit’s father, King Alexandre II (1574–1605), had two other sons, Giorgi and Constantine, but according to the law the throne belonged to Davit. Constantine was converted to Islam and raised in the court of the Persian shah Abbas I.
Archimandrite Ioane (Basil Maisuradze in the world) was born in the town of Tskhinvali in Samachablo around 1882. He was raised in a peasant family and taught to perform all kinds of handiwork. Basil was barely in his teens when he helped Fr. Spiridon (Ketiladze), the main priest at Betania Monastery, to restore the monastery between 1894 and 1896.
Free will is such an important quality that, when it is lost, the personality becomes completely degraded. But as long as self-awareness is preserved, no one can take authority over this freedom—not another man, nor society, nor laws, nor any regime, nor demons, nor angels, nor even God Himself. Saint Macarius of Egypt (fourth century) said: "You are created in the image and likeness of God; therefore just as God is free and creates what He wants … so are you free. Therefore, our nature is well capable of accepting both good and evil; both God’s grace, and the enemy’s powers. But it cannot be forced."
The concepts of an “unearthly heaven” and an “unspiritual earth” had different fates. The former, viewing the body as something contemptuous and any care for its needs as something approaching sinful, sank into the past. The second, for which material needs are not only the foremost, but in the final analysis, the only needs there are in the world, grew and developed rapidly during the modern era and is now marching triumphantly through the Christian world. The words of Christ—Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Mt 6:33); These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone (Mt 23:23)—are increasingly forgotten.
New from Sretensky Monastery, a classic of Christian apologetics by Professor Alexei I. Osipov: The Search for Truth on the Path of Reason, is now available in English. Alexei Ilych Osipov of the Moscow Theological Academy is possibly the most widely known professor of Theology in Russia today.
A new version of The Law of God by Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy published by the Moscow Sretensky Publishing House is now available. The book has been reviewed and recommended by Orthodox Hierarchs internationally. First published in 1957, this latest version of “The Law of God” is sure to engage readers with its exciting new contemporary layout.
Kontoglou spoke of certain ‘scientific” (epistemones) theologians, men who had studied theology in Europe and brought to the Greek universities a rather cerebral and so- called “liberal” mode of theologizing. Theocletos Pharmakidis (1784-1862), he noted, was the first Greek theologian of this type. Of recent ones, he cited Demetrios Balanos. Such theologians, he said, regard traditional Orthodox theology, which comes from the roots of Christianity and from the Greek Fathers, as “ossified,” and they come as “renewers” of it.
Our illnesses are the result of a sinful life, and healing has to begin with repentance and Unction—this is for the soul. After Unction you need to go to the doctors, so that with God’s help they would also help your ailing body.
Uncle Milios never spoke a truer word, when he said the good Christians living outside the town might end up having to celebrate Easter that year without a liturgy. In fact no prophecy was ever closer to fulfilment, for it almost came true twice — but happily God made the authorities see the light, and in the end the poor villagers, local shepherd-farmers, were judged worthy to hear the Word of God and eat the festive eggs.
The short stories of Alexandros Papadiamandis are graced with an almost indefinable quality common to all great writers. This quality would seem to derive from an enthralment combined with a certain perplexity, an irresistible pull exerted by the author's descriptions of a world of beauty and marvels which at the same time is filled with predicaments, human tragedies and humble triumphs.
What are you saying about God, and what are you doing, all the while reproaching everything and everyone for not opening fatherly embraces, or teaching you how to live? What human embraces do you want, when the Father, God, has received you in His embrace, and you have brought Him three such clear and simple vows: obedience, non-acquisitiveness, and chastity?
Our holy father Anton of Martqopi arrived in Georgia in the 6th century with the rest of the Thirteen Syrian Fathers and settled in Kakheti to preach the Gospel of Christ. He always carried with him an icon of the Savior “Not-Made- By-Hands.” Anton made his home in the wilderness, and deer visited him every evening to nourish him with their milk.