The Orthodox Mind or Spirit (Part III)

We can understand the term "freedom" either relatively or in a absolute sense. Absolute freedom places man's "ego" in the center of the universe. The exercise of absolute freedom distances man from his very own nature, it alienates him, according to the Christian faith, is not an egoistic being but a communion of persons. This idea means that our neighbor is a partaker and sharer of the very same nature in which we partake; he is relevant to us; he is not something separate from us, someone other. This means that he constitutes together with us and all our fellow men the one humanity, the one mankind, the one man with myriads of hypostases, i.e., persons.

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The Orthodox Mind or Spirit (Part II)

This new "mind", this new way of thinking, presupposes that the believer will forsake his autonomy and accept his insufficiency and inability to achieve the meaning of life, i.e., that he will repent "metanoia": change his way of thinking. An autonomous man is also he who seeks to justify his life with good deeds or by any type of "technical" process, outside the realm of God's Grace in Christ Jesus. The Orthodox "mind" or way of thinking is free from all concepts of self-justification (Romans 3:20; Gal. 5:4). This true believer locks his sinfulness and insufficiency in the face and looks to Christ with complete trust. It is for this reason that "the publicans and harlots enter the Kingdom of God before those who are convinced of their righteousness and depend upon it" (St. Matthew 21:31).

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The Orthodox Mind or Spirit

All that we have mentioned define the faith of Orthodoxy and protect the Mystery of man's salvation. They also establish the position of every believer vis-a-vis God, the world and his fellow man and constitute the Orthodox mind (φρόνημα) or spirit. We do not have here the result of an attempt on man's part to develop a type of self-salvation, but the result of a cooperation between God and man.

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What is the Difference Between Orthodox and Heretic

I think we can comprehend the basic differences between them, if we take Medical Science as an example. There, we have doctors who belong to the Medical Association; if a doctor is not a member of the Medical Association, he cannot exercise the medical profession. For a doctor to be legal, he must not only be a graduate of a recognized Medical School, but also a member of the Medical Association. The same prerequisites apply to lawyers. These sciences undergo continuous monitoring, because, if one were to deviate from the proper exercising of his profession, he is tried by the pertinent authority of the professional Association he belongs to, and is expelled from the Body of that profession.

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Inspired Orthodox Positions (Part II)

Just as the faithless Jews once trampled upon the Commandments of God, one after the other, and marched accordingly to the wishes of the world and their hearts, they now have done the same with the teaching of Christ, the Master of all teachings. They have undermined and abolished one dogma after the other. They have gotten rid of all the Gospel Commandments. They have rejected the Apostolic and Patristic decrees. They have ridiculed all the sayings of the Saints, and the ascetic examples they have reduced to myths.

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The Feastday of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke--October 18

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My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.

OCTOBER 18th--OUR HOLY ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH COMMEMORATES AND HONORS THE HOLY APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST LUKE

Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of the Apostle. Third Tone

O Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, intercede with the Merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

Kontakion Hymn of the Apostle. Fourth Tone

Thou with Paul didst shine thy light upon the whole world, since thou wast a genuine disciple of the Logos of God. And thou didst drive out the gloom far hence when thou didst write the divine Gospel of Christ God.

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Born in Antioch, he applied himself in his youth to the study of Greek philosophy, medicine and art. At the time that the Lord Jesus was at work upon earth, Luke came to Jerusalem, where he saw the Savior face to face, heard His saving teaching and was a witness of His wonderful works. Coming to belief in the Lord, Saint Luke was included among the Seventy (70) disciples and sent forth preach the Gospel. Together with Cleopas, he saw the Risen Lord on the road to Emmaus (St. Luke 24). After the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, St. Luke returned to Antioch and there became a fellow-worker with the holy Apostle Paul, with whom he travelled to Rome, bringing Jews and pagans to the Christian faith.  "Luke the beloved physician salutes you", writes Saint Paul to the Colossians (4:14). At the request of the Christians, he wrote his Gospel in about the year 60 A.D. After the death by martyrdom of the great Apostle, St. Luke preached the Gospel all over Italy, Dalmatia, Macedonia and elsewhere. He painted three icons of the Most Holy Mother of God and also icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and is regarded as the founder of Christian Iconography. In old age, he visited Libya and Upper Egypt, and thence returned to Greece, where he set himself with great zeal to preach the Gospel and bring men to Christ, disregarding his great age. Saint Luke wrote both his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, and dedicated them both to Theophilos, governor of Achai. He was eighty-four (84) the wicked idol-worshippers put him to torture of the sake of Christ and hanged him from an olive tree in the town of Thebes in Beothia. The wonderworking (miracle working) holy relics of this wonderful Saint were taken to Constantinople in the time of the Emperor Constantius, son of Saint Constantine the Great. (Source: The Prologue from Ochrid)

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT LUKE

Major Theme: The Universality of the Gospel Message. Saint Luke has been called a "historian" because he dates biblical events by reference to secular history (2:1, 2; 3:1). Since this is a Gospel written for Christians of Gentile background, it emphasizes more than the other Gospels the challenge of mission and evangelization. Salvation is described as "a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles" (2:32). At the end of the Gospel, the Risen Lord instructs His Disciples to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins "to all nations" (24:47).

Background Information: Three aspects of the Christian life are emphasized throughout Luke, perhaps revealing the author's own spiritual gifts and strengths.

(1) Prayer. The early chapters lift up the example of righteous men and women offering gifts, hymns and prayers to God (1:10, 13, 46-55, 64; 2:20, 28-32). Jesus is portrayed frequently at prayer, especially before every important step in His Ministry (3:21; 5:16; 9:18, 28; 11:1; 22:32, 41; 23:46). The Gospel ends with the Disciples "continually in the Temple praising and blessing God" (24:53).

(2) The activity of the Holy Spirit. The inspirational work of the Holy Spirit is everywhere evident in the Gospel. Mary is "overshadowed" by the Spirit (1:35). The Spirit leads Zacharias to prophesy (1:67) and prompts Simeon's actions (2:25-27). Jesus conducts His earthly Ministry in the fullness of the Spirit (3:22, 4:1, 18; 10:21). The Disciples were to embark upon their world mission after receiving "power from on high" (24:49), the gift of the Spirit.

(3) A deep concern for sinners. Saint Luke reports Jesus' concern and love for sinners, with a confident hope of their repentance and forgiveness (5:1-11; 7:36-50; 9:51-56; 10:29-37; 19:1-10; 23:39-43). [Source: The Orthodox Study Bible)

To Ponder

--on sins of the tongue.

"I said: I will take heed unto my ways, that I offend not with my tongue" (Psalm 38:1).

Since of the tongue are the most frequent and the readiest sins. "If any man offend not in word, he is a perfect man", says the Holy Apostle James (Iakovos) [3:2]. When a repentant man sets out on God's path, when he begins to live according to God's Commandments, let him strive first not to sin with his tongue...

O Lord Jesus Christ Our God, Thou Who hast given us an example of how and when to speak and when to be silent, help us by Thy Holy Spirit not to sin with our tongues. To Thee be Glory and praise for ever. Amen."

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DIVINE SERVICES ON WEDNESDAY MORNING:

Orthros (Matins) at 9:00 a.m.
Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m.

Place of Worship: The Chapel of Saint Nektarios

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"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom

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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George

Wisdom From the Table

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I suspect one of the problems involved in the pursuit of wisdom is that some folks fancy they are further along than they really are. I am thinking of those who read the Upanishads and Plato when they have yet to master Mother Goose.

Normally the simpler things come first: Grammar before logic. We crawl, and then walk. We take the pen in hand after we are competent with the pencil, and maybe the pencil should wait until we are sufficiently skilled with the crayon.

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