One year ago, the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra and a multitude of spiritual children from Moscow and other Russian cities parted with Archimandrite German (Chesnokov), who for forty years bore the extremely difficult podvig of exorcizing evil spirits.
He would take into his care all who were slandered, defamed, stigmatized, had gotten into trouble and didn’t even turn to him. But Vladyka would learn about that, immediately call and help, protect, support and save.
On September 29/October 12 the Church honors the memory of the New Hieromartyr John (Pommer). It brings enormous joy to read his letters and sermons, to plunge into his radiant, fierce and mighty struggle while reading his scenes from his Life. But do we arm ourselves with the experience of our New Martyrs and Confessors? Do we pray to them for victory?
Whatever happens to someone concerns his individual personality. For some reason, different kinds of suffering are sent to those who suffer—some suffer in one way, others in another way. All of this is for a reason.
The history of mankind has a spiritual meaning and is formed from inside, and this hidden process (where people’s hearts incline) is known to God alone. Outward events just reflect the innermost contents of life and the choices of people.
The transcendence of being could be felt with him. He was constantly in prayer—gathered deep within himself. He never said an extraneous word.He simply didn’t chatter. He didn’t laugh. He was prudent, calm.
Holiness seems like something unattainable to us, but it is found in love. We spoke about the skills and techniques of the workshops of holiness, as monasteries have been considered since ancient times, with their modern inhabitants, on Mt. Athos, in the Russian hinterland, and in the center of Moscow.
On the third day an Athonite monk couldn’t contain himself any longer and wondered, “There are no questions for you… But your companion… Is he really a bank manager?” I replied: “He is the manager of all the banks in the Orenburg region!” He continued: “Does he really read the Jesus Prayer all day long?”
The mission of monks, not least the monks of Mt. Athos, is the following: We feel this obligation entrusted to us by the Church, that prayer and propitiation to the Lord should not stop in the world for a single moment.
The youngest abbot on Mt. Athos, Archimandrite Methodius (Markovic) of the Serbian Hilandar Monastery, speaks on life as Liturgy, which is incomparably higher than any divisions that are now imposed upon Orthodox peoples.
What was happening in Russia 100 years ago is often called “the little apocalypse”. Yet it was then that the models of confession of the faith—the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church—were given to us. But how can modern people, who are weak and spoiled, take part in their experience of standing firm in the faith?
It is crystal clear that our society is infected with a shortage of love. I think that our contemporaries, choked up in the general atmosphere of enmity (because of the lack of love), above all expect love from the Church. That is why above all we should tell those on the outside that God is love.
Miracles through the prayers of St. Spyridon occur every day in front of his relics! That is why he is known as a wonderworker. St. Spyridon has performed numerous miracles for all the people taken together and for each of us individually.
Today we commemorate the fortieth day of the repose of the ever-memorable Archimandrite Adrian (Kirsanov), the last elder of the Pskov Caves Monastery. He was known for his simple words, efficacious prayer, exceedingly important revelations, and unforgettable meetings. Those who were fortunate enough to have communicated with the Pskov Caves elder Archimandrite Adrian (Kirsanov) remember this “incredibly happy person.”
On January 22, in his seventy-ninth year of life, after a serious illness, the abbot of the Entrance of the Theotokos Optina Pustyn Monastery, Archimandrite Benedict (Penkov) departed to the Lord. He was the creator and guardian of the monastic life there, and also a keen spiritual father. Here is what several archpastors and pastors who knew the newly-departed Archimandrite Benedict have to say about him.
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, talks about the recent Council of Bishops in Moscow, the preaching Christ in today’s world, on the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and about Orthodox Christians in the United States.
Schema-Archimandrite Iliy (Nozdrin), spiritual father of His Holiness, ascetically struggled on Mt. Athos for more than ten years in one of the sketes of St. Panteleimon Monastery—the Old Russikon. Namely there, at the mill just a few decades earlier Venerable Silouan the Athonite carried out his obedience. In 1967 the book of his life and teachings became a spiritual guide for the now-revered elder, then novice Alexei of the Pskov Caves Monastery
His Eminence Archbishop Mark (Arndt) on spiritual unity with the Holy Fathers and ordinary contemporaries, about how priests come to be priests in our time, can monks today exceed the ancient hermits, on women’s calling, unusual beauty and the genuine freedom of Orthodox Christianity.
Our guides say that very many people even change outwardly after visiting our monastery. They straighten their shoulders. Even their appearance changes! Attitudes to their own lives also change along with their perception of Russian history.