The signing of the Basic Agreement strengthens the position of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the region and moves the discussion about its legal status and participation in public life in Montenegro to a totally different level.
Today we are experiencing a wave of trials and events that are changing the life we are used to; that way of life, which has existed for probably the last fifteen to twenty years, has suddenly been shaken.
In honor of the 625th anniversary of Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery, a photo album, Saints Adorning an Ancient Cathedral, dedicated to the frescoes of the Cathedral of the Meeting of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, built in the early eighteenth century, was published. The album presents the most vivid and expressive images, preserving a special artistic beauty.
It’s even hard to imagine today how someone could have done it during those years. An eccentric, living in the Georgian caves, who for no apparent reason paints reproductions from the abandoned frescoes.
Such people, already stinking with their sins, already perished and dead, the Lord resurrects, cleanses, brings closer to Himself, and joins them to Himself in the eternal resurrection and in eternal life. The story of Lazarus is the story of every one of us.
The Orthodox faithful in Montenegro are greeting the New Year 2020 in on the streets of their cities. All over the country they are holding prayer services, cross processions and peaceful meetings at which people are praying and protesting against the new discriminatory Church Property Law, passed the day before by the Montenegrin Parliament and signed by President Milo Dukanovic.
Our children, just like the Mother of God, are very pure and precious vessels, not yet sullied, not poisoned with the vices of this world. But the world is preparing a terrible lot for them—it is doing everything it can to defile them and make them vessels of sin.
The Holy Spirit works in Christians, but people deprived of such grace can neither understand nor tolerate it, but try to ridicule it, often from their misunderstanding. But the Spirit of Divine grace also works on them—we just have to show apostolic zeal and labor to bring this Divine grace to the entire world.
We often fall into despondency, into a certain doubt, the feeling that we have parted with Christ and He has departed from us. But the Divine grace of the Holy Spirit, promised by our Savior, is always present with us; it does not depart from us unless we lose this joy and hope that filled the apostles.
Death, infirmity, temporality and susceptibility to passions entered this world with the sin; they are interwoven. Sin destroys everything in a man, both his body and his soul. Any doctor is perfectly aware of it.
What advice can we give to a person who is getting ready to fast properly for the first time in his life and to pass through the time of Great Lent with austerity? What does he need to be cautious about and to what should he pay particular attention?
We recall the event that the world either doesn’t know about or tries very hard to forget. And the devil does everything he can to make sure that people either don’t think about it, or don’t know about it, or don’t know what it will be like.
In this article, priests of the Russian Orthodox Church offer their thoughts on what this time represents for us, how to worthily greet the feast of the Nativity of Christ, and what to pay attention to first of all in the spiritual life.
This man left a great many writings after him and indeed very few ascetics can rival him in this. Yet perhaps his principal work is something that all of us participate in and that plays an important role in our salvation—that is, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
We spoke to Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany of ROCOR--who had contributed a great deal towards the overcoming of division in the Russian Church--about the experience of the Church over the last decade, about the importance of venerating the New Martyrs, and about the events and processes that made reconciliation possible.
“The fathers of the Church say that this bliss is a pledge of great blessings for us, perhaps greater than the holy apostles were accounted worthy of, but on condition that we, like the apostles, full of this blessedness, must give our entire lives to Christ, and serve His Gospel evangelism. This is the condition for felicity. Such a great gift the Lord gives us: We are more blessed in this world than the apostles.“
Divine grace is indeed the real meat and drink for all of us. If we deprive ourselves of this grace, then anything else that we will achieve and acquire in our life will have no meaning—it will only lead us further and further away from our salvation and Christ, from communion with God.
The Montenegrin official authorities, unlike those of neighboring Serbia, in every possible way are trying to diminish the importance of St. Sava’s heritage and do not arrange any official celebrations on his feast-day. But the Church commemorates his memory for several days and organizes a wide range of meetings and cultural events.
"We still have hope," states a communiqué in the Rasko-Prizren diocese, "that the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, which prayerfully revived the monastery of the Holy Trinity, will be followed by other steps leading to a popular and spiritual rebirth, and Serbian return to this land."
We imagine New Zealand as a distant, fairy tale land at the end of the earth. Its landscapes have become known only recently through their depiction in the movies. Nevertheless, few know that Orthodox parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad have existed here for a half century now. Other local Orthodox churches also serve the spiritual needs of their flocks in New Zealand.
Missionary work in this area is always dangerous. We hope in God's grace and the protection of the Mother of God. I am often in hot spots of Eastern Congo; we experience all those events, and are consoled and thank God that we have endured these trials. We have Christians there, missionary centers and parishes, which must not be abandoned.
The bishop and the priests were told that they were undesirables and that they must abandon their flocks. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Zagreb, Aloysius Stepinac, openly told Vladyka that he must leave ‘Croatian’ Karlovac, otherwise he would be liquidated. Vladyka answered him: ‘Even if it costs me my head, I will not abandon my people!’ Soon it became clear that the Catholic Archbishop was not joking. Vladyka Sabbas was arrested and horribly tortured. During the tortures and beatings in Plashkom, the Ustashi used a gramophone to play the hymn, ‘As many as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ’.