Do Not Judge

"My dear, let it be the code and rule of our lives the saying of the Lord: 'Do not judge'."

Apparently a light commandment. Light, because if we examine it with some attention, we shall see that it is easy to avoid judging, to protect our soul and mouth from it. Besides judging is not something priorly rooted from birth and kneaded with our soul. It is something external, especially when judging is not born out of animosity or hatred but from superficiality and negligence and from the usual tendency to always talk about the others.

Read More

The Power of Repentance

Saint Paul the humble, whose memory our church honoring, once stayed in front of the church gate of a monastery and was watching the state of the monks' souls, since he had a discerning gift from God. The monks who entered the church had a very nice and pleasant look, and each of them was accompanied by his happy-looking Angel. The Holy Father glorified God for what he had seen. But at a certain time, he saw a monk with a dark look, accompanied by many demons and his Angel at a distance looking gloomy and anxious. When Paul saw this, he started crying and did not want to leave his position so as not to miss watching that monk again during his exit from the church. After the Divine Liturgy, while the monks were leaving the church, he watched that monk again, but this time his face was shining and was all white, gleaming like light and close to him his Angel was following happily whereas the gloomy looking demons were in distance.

Read More

Mid-Lent: The Holy Cross

The Third Sunday of Lent is called "The Veneration of the Cross." At the Virgil of that day, after the Great Doxology, the Cross is brought in a solemn procession to the center of the church and remains there for the entire week--with a special rite of veneration following each service. It is noteworthy that the theme of the Cross which dominates the hymnology of that Sunday is developed in terms not of suffering but of victory and joy. More than that, the theme-songs (hirmoi) of the Sunday Canon are taken from the Paschal Service--"The Day of the Resurrection" --and the Canon is a paraphrase of the Paschal Canon.

Read More

The Orthodox Christian Treats His Church With Respect and Reverence

The church of Saint Andrew was built by God's grace and the love and sacrifice of the Greek Orthodox Christians of our parish, was established for the worship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the preaching of the Gospel, the sacred administration of the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) and for the cultivation of the Orthodox Christian way of life for ourselves and for our children. The Orthodox Christians of Saint Andrew continue to make sacrifices and do so with the children and grandchildren in mind, and with a deep concern for the salvation of our neighbors.

Read More

The Holy Season of Great Lent: Not by Bread Alone: Fasting in the Orthodox Christan Way (Part VII)

Clearly, then asceticism of the Orthodox Church does not seek to punish, to deprive, to torment; it does not seek to reject or diminish human nature. Rather it seeks its therapy and purification, its unfettering and liberation from every sinful bond and passion that hinders and frustrates true and eternal life in God. It is a ceaseless effort of the whole person, body, and soul, seeking to abolish and destroy the roots of evil, to do battle against Satan and his primeval deceptions and influences. It is the necessary orientation of life, requiring constant denial and renewal and ceaseless effort, toward transcendence, toward the evangelical way of transfiguration and restoration of human nature to its original beauty, glory, and honor, and to its being truly in the image and likeness of God.

Read More

The Holy Season of Great Lent: Not by Bread Alone: Fasting Today in the Orthodox Christian Way (Part VI)

The theological principle of synergy provides the justification for fasting in the Orthodox Christian Church. God has done His work of salvation, but man must now activate the spiritual life in himself by responding, cooperating and co-suffering through a spiritual life of faith, hope and love, together with prayer and fasting in body and soul.

Read More