Η Παναγία έδωσε την ανθρώπινη φύση σε έναν άνθρωπο που ήταν πάντα Θεός

http://holyvirginmary.wordpress.com

HOLY VIRGIN MARY MOTHER OF GOD

Η Παναγία έδωσε την ανθρώπινη φύση σε

έναν άνθρωπο που ήταν πάντα Θεός

Ἀρχιμ. Ἰωάννης Κωστώφ:

Διαβάζουμε: «—Ἐσείς οἱ ἱερεῖς εἶσθε τρελλοί πού διδάσκετε τό λαό, ὅτι ἡ Παναγία εἶναι ἡ Μητέρα τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ὁ Θεός εἶναι τό πρῶτο ὄν καί δέν εἶναι δυνατόν νά ἔχη μητέρα, ἔλεγε ἕνας μηχανικός σ᾽ ἕναν ἱερέα.

—Ἔχεις δίκιο, ἀπάντησε ὁ ἱερέας. Ὁ Θεός, ὡς Θεός, δέν μπορεῖ νά ἔχη μητέρα. Ἀλλά ὁ Θεός, ὡς ἄνθρωπος, μπορεῖ, μάλιστα πρέπει νά ἔχη μητέρα.

—Τώρα ἀρχίζω νά καταλαβαίνω.

—Μποροῦμε νά ποῦμε γιά μιά γυναῖκα πώς εἶναι μητέρα τοῦ Πάπα, τοῦ Βασιλιᾶ, τοῦ Ἐπισκόπου ἤ τοῦ Ἱερέως;

—Βεβαίως.

—Καί ὅμως, γνωρίζουμε ὅτι ἡ μητέρα αὐτή δέν ἔδωσε τήν ἐξουσία τοῦ Πάπα, τοῦ Βασιλιᾶ, τοῦ Ἐπισκόπου ἤ τοῦ Ἱερέως. Ἡ Παναγία δέν ἔδωσε τήν ἀνθρώπινη φύσι σ᾽ ἕνα ἄνθρωπο πού ἔγινε Θεός, ἀλλά ἔδωσε τήν ἀνθρώπινη φύσι σ᾽ ἕναν ἄνθρωπο πού ἦταν πάντα Θεός, πολύ πρίν τήν Ἐνσάρκωσι.

Βεβαίως, ἡ πρότασι εἶναι τολμηρή, ἀλλά σωστή. Ἡ Σύνοδος τῆς Ἐφέσου τό 431 τή θέσπισε».

Από το βιβλίο: Ἀρχιμ. Ἰωάννου Κωστώφ, Ἡ Θεοτόκος, ἐκδ. Ἅγ. Ἰωάννης ὁ Δαμασκηνός (6978461846), Ἀθήνα 2012

Saint Joasaph, Saint Barlaam & Saint Abenner of India (+4th century)

http://synaxarion-hagiology.blogspot.com

SYNAXARION – HAGIOLOGY

Saint Joasaph, Saint Barlaam

& Saint Abenner of India (+4th century)

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

August 28 & November 19

Feast days

In the time of Constantine the Great (4th century) there lived in India a pagan king named Abenner, who had only one son, Joasaph (yo-sahf). Abenner was a wise administrator and fearless warrior, loyal to the Indian code of honor, courage and the hatred of Christians.

When the Prince was born, astrologers and wise men were called to prophesy the Prince’s destiny as king. All of them said the same: that he would be a wise and powerful king. But one dared to tell the truth: the Prince would become Christian and give up his throne. The King was furious. He ordered every Christian to be killed or banned from the kingdom, and he put the Prince in a private, guarded castle to shield him from any possible Christian influence.

For twenty years of his life–his entire childhood and youth–Joasaph was confined to the castle. During this time he was taught the skills of wisdom and warfare. The King visited his son often, and was pleased to find his boy qrowing into a fine, strong young man. Finally, convinced that the prophecy was false, Abenncr agreed to let the Prince see his future kingdom. The impression Joasaph received seemed mixed. The world was indeed a very beautiful place, but the sins, sorrows and eventual death of man dimmed its beauty in Joasaph’s eyes, and made him doubtful. No longer content with his luxuries in the palace, he strove to find a life that was soul-fulfilling, unlike what he felt succession to the throne would be.

At the same time, the holy monk Barlaam was told by God that he must bring the salvation of God’s word to the Prince over 1,000 miles away. In time Barlaam arrived and, disguised as a merchant with a “pearl of great price,” was able to get into the castle. Barlaam explained the Orthodox Christian faith to the young Prince, who in turn was immediately devoted and demanded to be baptized. In the months that followed the entire household was converted, including King Abenner who eventually became a hermit and a Saint of the Orthodox Christian Church.

Barlaam left, and Joasaph became king. But he was not content there and missed his spiritual father. Finally he gave his kingdom to relatives and went away to a desert monastery, doing many great things in his time.

(Compiled and illustrated by Martinian Prince, age 14: original Life in the writings of St. John Damascene)

Confession and Spiritual Accounting – Elder Ephraim of Arizona, USA

http://arizonaofmyheart.wordpress.com

ARIZONA OF MY HEART

Confession and Spiritual Accounting

Elder Ephraim of Arizona, USA

Source:

http://easternorthodoxspirituality.blogspot.com

EASTERN ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY

This confession of yours gave my soul much joy, because God and the angels, who were awaiting it, rejoiced. You succeeded in putting the devil to shame, who greatly rejoices when someone hides his thoughts from his spiritual father. When a snake leaves its lair, it rushes to hide somewhere because it feels as if it will be struck—the same thing happens with a diabolical thought, which is like a poisonous snake. When such a thought leaves a person’s mouth, it disperses and disappears, because confession is humility, and since Satan cannot even bear the smell of humility, how could he possibly remain after a humble, sincere confession? My child, I wish you a good beginning and cautious progress. Don’t be ashamed before me. Don’t see me as a man, but as a representative of God. Tell me everything, even if you have a bad thought about me, because I am experienced with demonic influences, and I know how the devil fights man. I know that spiritual children have simple hearts and that if evil thoughts come to them, it is due to the devil’s malice and the spiritual child’s ego, who is permitted to fall and have such thoughts against his Elder, so that the spiritual child may be humbled more. Therefore, don’t worry. I will always rejoice when you speak freely and sincerely to me, for without frank confession, there will be no spiritual progress.

My child, have no worries. I have taken up your burden. I only beg you to be at peace. Your words may be just on paper, but I feel the power, the meaning, and the essence of what you write; I enter into the spirit of your words. I entreat you to be at peace from now on. You are forgiven everything with the confession you made. Satan perceived your character and torments you, but without anything serious having occurred. Everything you write (that is, the thoughts that torture you ) is a trick of the evil one to make you despair, be distressed, and so forth. Throw everything that happened to you into the depths of the sea. Map out a new course in your life. If you keep thinking the same way, know that you will become the laughing-stock of the demons. I beg you, just be obedient to me. After your confession, everything has been forgiven, so let bygones be bygones. Don’t scratch a wound that made you suffer so much. Don’t be deceived by the thought that it is your fault. If you hadn’t taken him to the doctors, etc., then such thoughts would rightfully fight you. Whereas, as things are now, you have fulfilled your duty. God wanted to take him, for a reason that only His infinite wisdom knows, while you are thinking you killed him! Be careful with this thought, or else it might lurk in your heart. It is a ruse of the devil to harm you, as he knows how. This skilled trickster has drowned in the depths of hell countless multitudes with despair. When something happens and the devil sees that a person is upset by it, his trick is to pile on a multitude of supposedly legitimate thoughts in order to lead the poor person to a great storm and drown him. (As the saying goes, a fox loves a scuffle ). And when the storm passes, he sees that he was in danger of drowning in just a spoonful of water.

Humble yourself, and from now on confess, for confession contains most holy humility, without which no one is saved.  The devil greatly rejoices when he manages to persuade a person to hide diabolical thoughts.  This is because he will achieve his premeditated, soul-destroying goal.

I have written to you about the conscience, that we must be careful not to do something that will make it reproach and condemn us. Bear in mind that God sees everything and that nothing is hidden from His eyes. So how could I tell lies before God? Don’t you know that lies are from the devil, and that by not being careful, it becomes a practice, then a habit, and then a passion, and don’t you know that liars will not inherit the Kingdom of God? (cf. Rev. 21:8 ). Fear God. God is not pleased with material offerings when we neglect attending to our inner heart. But it is necessary to do these also without leaving the others undone. (cf. Mt 23:23 ). Attend to your conscience, for we do not know the hour of our death. And if we do not repay our creditor (our conscience, that is ) everything we owe him, he will accuse us vehemently, without holding back. Then—alas!—our mouth will be silenced, not having any answer to give.

Every night, review how you passed the day, and in the morning review how the night passed, so that you know how your soul’s accounts are doing. If you see a loss, try to regain it through caution and forcefulness. If you see a profit, glorify God, your invisible helper. Do not let your conscience prick you for long, but quickly give it whatever it wants, lest it take you to the judge and the prison (cf. Mt. 5:25 ). Does your conscience want you to attend to your prayer rule* and regain prayer? Give it these things, and behold, you are delivered from going to the judge. Do not weaken the saving voice of your conscience by disregarding it, because later you will regret it to no avail.

*Prayer rule

Α prayer rule consists of the prayers and metanoias** which one does daily, under the guidance of one’s spiritual father.

** Metanoia

Ιn its primary sense, «μετάνοια» (pronounced «meh-tah΄-nee-ah» ) means repentance, literally, “a change of mind”. However, it can also mean the specific act of making the sign of the cross, followed by a bow either down to the ground or to the waist. It is a gesture of reverence, worship, respect, or repentance. A typical prayer rule includes a number of metanoias done while saying the Jesus prayer. Some translators use the word “prostration” for this term.

See to it that you are sincere in your deeds as well as in your words, and especially in confession. For God searches out the hearts and reins (Ps. 7:9 ), and nothing remains obscure in the sight of His sleepless eye. Fear God; God is not mocked (Gal. 6:7 ); He is not fooled. He chastises severely when He does not see sincerity; so be careful. When you are disobedient and commit a secret sin, counteract it by openly revealing it in confession. Do not let your ego overcome you and make you hide the truth and remain uncorrected and passionate. Correct everything now if you want to see good days of dispassion* and peace.

*Dispassion

Dispassion is achieved when all three aspects of the soul (i.e., the intelligent, appetitive, and incensive aspects ) are directed towards God. It is the transfiguration of the passionate aspect of the soul (i.e., the aspect of the soul which is more vulnerable to passion, namely, the appetitive and incensive aspects ), rather than its mortification. Thus dispassion in this context does not signify a stoic indifference, but rather, a transfiguration and sanctification of the powers of the soul and eventually of the body also.

Taken from “Counsels from The Holy Mountain” by Elder Ephraim of Arizona (Philotheou Mt.Athos)

“Πατέρα με σκότωσες” – Μοναχή Πορφυρία (+2015), πρώην οδηγός TAXI σε Αθήνα και Πειραιά

http://faithbookorthodoxy.wordpress.com

FAITHBOOK – ORTHODOXY

Ἡ Μοναχὴ Πορφυρία (+2015) γεννήθηκε καὶ μεγάλωσε στὸν Πειραιᾶ. Ἄσκησε κατὰ καιροὺς διάφορα ἐπαγγέλματα. Ἐπὶ δέκα χρόνια (1997-2007) ἐργάστηκε ὡς ὁδηγὸς ταξὶ στὴν Ἀθήνα καὶ στὸν Πειραιᾶ. Γνώρισε τὸν σύγχρονο ἐνάρετο καὶ ἔνθεο Γέροντα Πορφύριο ἀπὸ βιβλία σχετικὰ μὲ τὴν ζωὴ καὶ τὴν διδασκαλία του. Αὐτὴ ἡ γνωριμία τὴν ἔφερε πιὸ κοντὰ στὸν Χριστὸ καὶ τὴ συνειδητὴ χριστιανικὴ ζωή. Μὲ δυνατὴ πίστη καὶ βαθιὰ ἀγάπη στὸν Θεὸ ἔβαλε στόχο τὴ δόξα Του καὶ τὴ σωτηρία τῶν συνανθρώπων της. Ἔτσι τὸ ταξί της ἔγινε ἕνας σύγχρονος ἄμβωνας, ποὺ ὁδήγησε πολλοὺς σὲ ἀλλαγὴ ζωῆς, στὴν εὐλογημένη ἀλλοίωση. Τὰ τελευταῖα χρόνια περιεβλήθη τὸ ταπεινὸ μοναχικὸ τριβώνιο, μὲ διπλὸ σκοπό: νὰ ἀγωνιστεῖ ἀπερίσπαστη γιὰ τὴ σωτηρία της καὶ νὰ διακονήσει τὸν σύγχρονο δοκιμαζόμενο ἄνθρωπο. Κοιμήθηκε το 2015.

* * *

Διηγείται ἡ Μοναχή Πορφυρία στό βιβλίο της με τις εμπειρίες της από το TAXI, Ταξιδεύοντας στά Τείχη της Πόλης:

Οδηγώντας σε μια μεγάλη λεωφόρο, μπροστά στα μάτια μιας κυρίας έγινε ένα τροχαίο ατύχημα, με αποτέλεσμα να τραυματισθεί σοβαρά ένας νέος. Με τη βοήθεια κάποιων ανθρώπων, έβαλαν στο αυτοκίνητο της το παλικάρι, περιπου 20 ετών, να το μεταφέρει στο εφημερεύον νοσοκομείο…

Το παλικάρι αιμοραγούσε, η κυρία έφτασε στο νοσοκομείο όσο πιο γρήγορα μπορούσε… οι τραυματιοφορείς της βάρδιας το πήραν μέσα. Μπήκε μαζί τους και η κυρία, για να μάθει ποιος είναι, και να ειδοποιήσει τους συγγενείς του. Οι γιατροί της βάρδιας διέγνωσαν πως έπρεπε να μπει επειγόντως στο χειρουργείο. Ειδοποίησαν τον χειρούργο, ο οποίος για να τον χειρουργήσει ήθελε 1000 δολάρια. Το είπαν στην κυρία η οποια τους είπε τι ακριβώς συνέβη και οτι δεν γνώριζε το παλικάρι..

Εξήγησαν στον γιατρό αλλά αυτός ανένδωτος, ήθελε τα χρήματα…

Η κυρία βλέποντας το παλικάρι να αργοπεθαίνει… είπε: Ξεκινήστε να το σώσετε και πάω να σας φέρω τα χρήματα..

Η κυρία πράγματι έφερε τα χρήματα και τότε ήρθε ο γιατρός…

Όμως τι ειρωνεία!! Τι οδυνηρό παιχνίδι του φύλαξε αυτή τη νύχτα η αγάπη του για τα χρήματα…

Με το που είδε το παλικάρι, έμεινε ακίνητος, κιτρίνισε, άσπρισε πήρε το χρώμα του νεκρού… Έπεσε πάνω στο παιδι ουρλιάζοντας… Και το παιδί είπε τις τελευταίες του λέξεις.:

-Πατερα με σκότωσες, και ξεψύχησε…

Η κυρία συγκλονισμένη από αυτό το συμβάν πέταξε τα χρήματα στα μούτρα του γιατρού και του είπε:

-Πάρε τα, να κάνεις την κηδεία του παιδιού σου…

Σημειωτέον πως ήταν το μόνο παιδί που είχε…

Από το βιβλίο: Μοναχής Πορφυρίας, Ταξιδεύοντας στά Τείχη της Πόλης, εκδ. Νεκτάριος Παναγόπουλος, Αθήνα 2010

The Missionaries – Mayan Orthodoxy

http://latinamericaofmyheart.wordpress.com

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

THE MISSIONARIES

Mayan Orthodoxy


The Chakos Family

Fr. John and Presvytera Sandy serve as missionary specialists, a role that involves spending part of the year doing direct field work in Guatemala and part of the year in the United States, where they build awareness, speak on missions, and provide consultation. When in Guatemala, Fr. John serves as a teacher and guide for the communities and as the field leader for the long-term missionaries. The first of the long-term missionaries to Guteamala, Fr. John has been serving in the communities since 2011. Pres. Sandy provides work opportunities to the Mayan women by training them in sewing and garment making. She has created Mayan Artisan Studios (MAS) to enable the women to sell vestments and liturgical adornments to customers abroad.

More info:

The Chakos family support page at OCMC


Jesse Brandow

Jesse has been serving for four years in Guatemala where he lives in Aguacate in the department of Huehuetenango. Jesse uses his training as a seminary graduate to teach and preach in the parishes in Guatemala and Southern Mexico. Two of his main responsibilities are teaching classes to the eight Guatemalan seminarians and preparing Spanish-language Orthodox educational materials. In addition, he assists in coordinating visiting mission teams. While in Guatemala, Jesse also is continuing the online ministry that he began during his initial travels to Guatemala in 2012. Jesse created this website (Mayan Orthodoxy) for the joy and inspiration of the Church.

More info:

Jesse Brandow’s support page at OCMC


Archimandrite Juvenal Repass

Archimandrite Juvenal Repass is a priest and monastic of the Diocese of Alaska, Orthodox Church in America. In his service in Guatemala, he draws on his years as a teacher at both St. Herman’s Seminary in Alaska and St. Tikhon’s Seminary in Pennsylvania to provide training and guidance in Orthodoxy for the people of Guatemala.

More info:

Archimandrite Juvenal’s support page at OCMC


Jennifer Rice

In 2014, Jennifer participated in the pioneering work of the initial music ministry team sent to Guatemala. She combines years of experience in the classroom as an educator along with her formal theological studies from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology to serve and assist the Orthodox Church in Guatemala and Southern Mexico in developing, formalizing, and setting patterns of liturgical music. Her efforts also include mentoring and equipping choirs and leaders in the church so that they can inspire and teach the hymns within their respective communities and beyond. Additionally Jennifer assists in producing publications for use by indigenous clergy, catechists, and lay leaders as well as assisting with the seminary program in Aguacate.

More info:

Jennifer Rice’s support page at OCMC

 


Answer Christ’s call in YOUR life

“How can I join a mission team to Guatemala?”

To join a short-term mission team to Guatemala or do mission work in other countries, click here to contact the teams department at OCMC. You also can view a list of all current mission teams offered through OCMC. See the list here.

“How can I come to Guatemala as a long-term missionary?”

The Mayan communities have very specific needs that require missionaries with theological training, medical training (dentists, doctors, nurses, etc), or a background in translation and linguistics. Candidates who are fluent in Spanish are especially encouraged to apply. If you are interested in becoming involved in Guatemala as a long-term missionary, please click here to inquire with the missionary department at OCMC.

[Photos of the Chakos family, Fr. Juvenal, and Jennifer Rice are used with the permission of OCMC.]

http://www.mayanorthodoxy.com/missionaries

MAYAN ORTHODOXY

Η συγκλονιστική προσευχή ενός αθέου

 

http://prayerofyourheart.wordpress.com

PRAYER OF YOUR HEART

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Η συγκλονιστική προσευχή ενός αθέου

«Δημοσιεύθηκε εὐρύτατα μιά προσευχή, πού βρέθηκε στό ἀμπέχονο ἑνός Ἀμερικανοῦ στρατιώτη, πού σκοτώθηκε στόν πόλεμο, στή βόρεια Ἀφρική. Προσευχή, βαθειά συγκλονιστική γιατί, μέσα στήν οἰκειότητα τοῦ ὕφους της, φανερώνει τήν ἀνάγκη τήν ὁποία νοιώθει κάποτε καί ὁ νέος ἄνθρωπος νά εἶναι κοντά στό Θεό.

“Ἄκουσε, Θεέ μου! Ἀκόμα δέν Σοῦ ἔχω μιλήσει. Ὅμως τώρα ἐπιθυμῶ νά Σοῦ πῶ: Τί κάνεις; Μοῦ εἶπαν ὅτι δέν ὑπάρχεις, καί σάν… βλάκας τό πίστεψα. Χθές βράδυ, ἀπό τό βάθος τοῦ κρατήρα μιᾶς ὀβίδας εἶδα τόν οὐρανό Σου. Ἔτσι εἶδα ὅτι μοῦ εἶχαν πεῖ ψέματα. Ἐάν εἶχα διαθέσει τόν ἀπαιτούμενο χρόνο γιά νά κοιτάξω ὅσα ἔφτιαξες, θά εἶχα διαπιστώσει ὅτι αὐτοί οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἀρνοῦνται ν᾽ ἀντικρύσουν τήν ἀλήθεια… Εἶναι παράξενο ὅτι μοῦ χρειάσθηκε νά ἔλθω σ᾽ αὐτό τόν καταχθόνιο τόπο γιά νά βρῶ τόν καιρό νά δῶ τό πρόσωπό Σου. Σ᾽ ἀγαπῶ τρομερά, νά τί θέλω νά ξέρης. Σέ λίγο θά γίνη μιά ἀπαίσια μάχη. Ποιός ξέρει; Μπορεῖ νά φθάσω στό σπίτι Σου ἀπόψε! Δέν ὑπήρξαμε σύντροφοι μέχρι τώρα καί ἀναρωτιέμαι, Θεέ μου, ἄν θά μέ περιμένης στήν πόρτα. Μπά, νά πού κλαίω! Ἐγώ νά χύνω δάκρυα; Ἄχ, νά Σέ εἶχα γνωρίσει πιό νωρίς!… Ἐμπρός, πρέπει νά φύγω… Εἶναι παράξενο, ἀπό τή στιγμή κατά τήν ὁποία Σέ συνάντησα δέν φοβᾶμαι νά πεθάνω… Καλή ἀντάμωσι… Γειά σου!”».

Από το βιβλίο: Ἀρχιμ. Ἰωάννου Κωστώφ, Ἡ Προσευχή – Κομποσχοίνι: Πομπός ἀσυρμάτου, ἐκδ. Ἁγ. Ἰωάννης ὁ Δαμασκηνός (τηλ. 6978461846), Ἀθήνα 2012

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