The Spiritual Guide in Orthodox Christianity (Part I)

More important than all possible books if we are climbing a mountain for the first time, we need to follow a known route; and we also need to have with us, as companion and guide, someone who has been up before and is familiar with the way. To serve as such a companion and guide is precisely the role of the "abba" or spiritual father--of the one whom the Greeks call geron or geronta and the Russians starets, a title which in both languages means "old man" or "elder."

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The Suffering Messiah

Cleansing sacrifices occupied the central place in the religious life of the Hebrew people. Every orthodox Hebrew knew from childhood the law that sin can be ironed out only through a redeeming bloody sacrifice. All the high holy days and family events were accompanied by sacrifices. The prophets did not explain wherein lay the cleansing power of the sacrifice. However, from their predictions about the suffering Messiah it is apparent that Old Testament sacrifices pointed to the great expiatory Sacrifice of the Messiah, which He was to bring for the remission of sins of the world.

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The Fifth Sunday of Holy and Great Lent: Saint Mary of Egypt

Our holy Mother Mary was born in Egypt. She had left her parents as the age of twelve to go to Alexandria, where she spent the next seventeen years in debauchery and the greatest profligacy. Living on charity and linen-weaving, she nevertheless offered her body to any man, not being forced to it by dire necessity as were so many poor women, but as though she were consumed by the fire of a desire that nothing was able to appease.

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The Spiritual Life of An Orthodox Christian (Part II)

You ask, "How can you say that everything has a spirit with the manifestation you mentioned? Also, are there not people who do not know God?" These people do not know the True God, but they do know He exists; everyone confesses this. Believing there is a God, and wishing to define more precisely that He exists, they have gone astray and called God that which is not God: Some call the sun God, others the moon or stars, others say something else. Not everyone, however, has strayed so grossly.

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The Spiritual Life of An Orthodox Christian

"...Once, in the middle of the dance floor at some annual ball, a young lady had a sudden glimpse of the immortality of her soul; and as this vision flashed upon her inward eye, she was struck with the thought that all this swirling around the dance floor was utterly futile. Amazed and disturbed, she wrote to the recluse: 'Is this normal, or is it a morbid hindrance to a desire for a happy life in the world?' The answer to her question evoked a correspondence which resulted in this volume."

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