If people knew how grace-filled this is, probably the whole world would want to receive the monastic tonsure if only just before death, just for the sake of this rite. You could call the funeral of one of our monastery’s brothers, Schema-Archimandrite Stephen, a confirmation of this. He died at age twenty-five.
Today, the Church is forced to confront ideas—which I would characterize as ultra-liberal ideas cloaked in Orthodox garb—that have proliferated online through various discussion groups and venues like Public Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy in Dialogue, and The Wheel.
Why did this ancient Slavic Orthodox nation have to suffer so much grief and oppression from constantly changing groups of nomads, to occupiers and invaders, to the next “liberators”, and then some more “benefactors”?
While the statement has been condemned in the broader opinion of the Sacred Community, we have decided to make comments on the statement for the good of our readers, as the attitudes in the statement are unfortunately prevalent in certain Church circles today.
The disciplinary measure in this case is a warning to all the faithful of the Russian Church and the entire Orthodox world that the Phanar has violated the canons of Orthodoxy, that it has openly declared the heresy of Eastern papism.
There was one extraordinary meeting in the life of the Russian author Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov that took place in the city of Yakutsk—a meeting with a holy man who was to be recognized later as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church.
At first the feast of the Akathist was celebrated in Constantinople in that same Blachernae Church, but later the feast was entered into the Typicon of the monasteries founded by St. Savva the Studite and later into the service books of the Church, and from that time on it became a common practice for the entire Eastern Church.
We depend on God and God gets us through the desert by being with us. The small inconveniences we experience as Lent, the hunger, the want, the need, all become transformed into our experience of God. We learn to hunger and thirst for God, we learn how to say no to sin and sinful desire.