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Orthodox Wisdom

English, Christianity, 1 season, 221 episodes, 2 days, 16 hours, 2 minutes
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Readings of the Writings and Lives of Orthodox Christian Saints. These recordings are free to download and share. All I ask is that you do so respectfully and reference this channel. You can also contact me, Timothy Honeycutt, at: [email protected] Glory to Jesus Christ!
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The Miracle of St. Euphemia at the Fourth Ecumenical Council

The miraculous sign of St. Euphemia at the 4th Fourth Ecumenical in Chalcedon proved the truth of the Orthodox confession of two natures in Christ, united and yet distinct. This text includes a brief Life of St. Euphemia, the events of the 4th Ecumenical Council, including those preceding it, and the miracle of St. Euphemia. St. Euphemia's miracle is commemorated on July 11th. She is also commemorated on September 16th. This reading is from The Great Synaxaristes (Lives of Saints) Thumbnail: icon of St. Euphemia embracing the Orthodox confession in her hands and placing the heretical Monophysite confession under her feet. -READ the Life of St. Euphemia: https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2023/09/16/102626-great-martyr-euphemia-the-all-praised -READ additional historical sources testifying of St. Euphemia's miracle: https://arizonaorthodox.com/2022/07/21/historical-sources-for-the-miracle-of-st-euphemia-at-the-fourth-ecumenical-synod/ -BUY ($6) the best text in English (to my knowledge) on the Non-Chalcedonian/Oriental/Monophysite controversy: "The Non-Chalcedonian Heresy" by Elder George of Gregoriou https://www.ctosonline.org/ecumenism/N.html -MORE resources on the Orthodox and Non-Chalcedonians, including recent developments: http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_mono.aspx -WATCH videos by David Erhan refuting the heresies of the Non-Chalcedonians: https://youtu.be/TAa2iwupUZA?si=RscJPZLdAqbCb-FL -READ teachings from St. Justin Popovich, Vladyka Philaret of NY, and St. John Maximovitch on "The Anti-Chalcedonian Monophysites" -READ Craig Truglia has a handful of articles and videos on this issue, including some videos with an Oriental Orthodox subdeacon. Here is one article: https://orthodoxchristiantheology.com/2022/07/14/the-miaphysite-schisms-inauspicious-origin/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ!
7/24/202420 minutes, 43 seconds
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Spiritual Laws - St. Paisios the Athonite

Why does God allow the righteous to suffer? What spiritual laws are at work when we are prideful and when we fall? How does God help both the humble and the proud to walk the narrow path of salvation? St. Paisios the Athonite answers these questions and more. -BUY St. Paisios' book, "Elder Hadji-Georgis the Athonite": https://www.athoniteusa.com/products/elder-hadji-georgis-the-athonite -LISTEN to my playlist "St. Paisios - Teachings and Prophecies" https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzFKi22k2KYiSgEA_N0bQIIeUFas-lw_P -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ St. Paisios writes: Since some people might have the question, "Why does God allow righteous men, such as the man of God Hadji-Georgis, even though he was a very pure soul from the time of his childhood, to be tormented with trials, slanderings, etc.?", I thought it good to write my feelings on this. Naturally, the unjustly treated are the most beloved of God's children. However, according to my thinking, they themselves do not see things this way. On the contrary, they see themselves as guilty, and if the Grace of God were to abandon them they would even be in prison as guilty and their consciences would torment them; they would be overcome with remorse. Although unjustly treated, they have in their hearts the unjustly treated Christ, and rejoice in exile and in prison as if they were in Paradise; because wherever Christ is, there is Paradise. Of course, those who work for reward are la-bourers, and those who avoid sin so as not to be condemned, again are looking after their own interests. Indeed, that is good, but there is no nobility in it because in the face of the great sacrifice which Christ made in order to redeem us, out of philotimo we ought not to go to hell, so as not to grieve Him through His sensing that we are suffering. This is the kind of love that the Holy Fathers of our Church had for Christ. But unfortunately many of us have only an inferior love that only goes far enough so as not to be punished. Love of this kind goes hand in hand with lack of faith; in other words we enjoy the things of this world to a degree just enough so as not to be punished in this life, but also not to be deprived of Paradise. The higher we throw an object, the greater the force with which it is drawn down by the gravity of the earth and is shattered (law of physics). As much as one is exalted, so too will be his spiritual fall, and according to the magnitude of his pride he will be shattered — unless his pride surpasses that of humans and reaches that of the demons. Then he is no longer within the grasp of spiritual laws of this life but rather that of the Apostolic one: "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived? However, when a man immediately perceives the lifting up of his pride, and humbly asks forgiveness of God, the merciful hands of God immediately pick him up with joy and bring him gently down without his descent being perceptible, and so he is not shattered since he has already been crushed in his heart beforehand by his repentance. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ!
7/12/202410 minutes, 21 seconds
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How to Save the Soul - St. Theophan the Recluse

St. Theophan's answer to arguably the most fundamental question for each man: How can I save my soul? "What does one say to the person who asks: 'How can I save my soul?' This: Repent, and being strengthened by the power of grace in the Holy Mysteries, walk in the path of God's commandments, under the direction which the Holy Church gives you through its God-given priesthood. All of this must be done in a spirit of sincere faith which has no reservations." -St. Theophan the Recluse -READ the text of this recording: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/soul_save.aspx#:~:text=Theophan%20the%20Recluse,through%20its%20God%2Dgiven%20priesthood. -LISTEN to "What is an Anathema?" by St. Theophan the Recluse:https://youtu.be/N7LEV_WqRw0-LISTEN to "On Truth & Love" by St. Theophan the Recluse:https://youtu.be/rIOg5LTU-p4 -BUY “The Path to Salvation” by St. Theophan the Recluse: https://stpaisiusgiftshop.com/books/monastery-publications/the-path-to-salvation/ -BUY “Thoughts for Each Day of the Year” by St. Theophan the Recluse: http://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/mobile/Product.aspx?ProductCode=tedy _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ!
7/10/20245 minutes, 12 seconds
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On Attention and Distraction - St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

A word for us all from one the greatest Russian saints of recent times. "The sons of the world consider distraction to be something innocent, but the holy fathers recognize it to be the origin of all evils." -LISTEN to other recordings of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov ---My Cross and the Cross of Christ https://youtu.be/RDmmWFqGGYA ---Exhortation on the Prayer Rule https://youtu.be/YvCo0NiHMjU ---The Antichrist Will Be the Natural Result of the Spiritual Direction of Man https://youtu.be/Y97eoXfZJ_k ---On Prayer https://youtu.be/ElPypoFJM3A -BUY a number of books by St. Ignatius here: https://www.holytrinitypublications.com -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ Text is from "Divine Ascent: A Journal of Orthodox Faith", Autumn 2001, No. 7 _______ St. Ignatius writes: The sons of the world consider distraction to be something innocent, but the holy fathers recognize it to be the origin of all evils. The person who is given up to distraction has, concerning all subjects and even the most important ones, a very light and most superficial understanding. One who is distracted is usually inconstant. The feelings of his heart usually lack depth and strength; they are not solid but transitory. As a butterfly flits from flower to flower so also a distracted person passes from one earthly satisfaction to another, from one vain care to another. Distraction itself punishes the one who is devoted to it. With time everything bores him, and as one who has not acquired any sound understandings and fundamental impressions whatsoever, he is given up to a tormenting endless despondency. As much as distraction is harmful in general, it is especially harmful in the work of God and the work of salvation, which requires constant and intense vigilance and attention. "Watch and pray lest you enter into misfortune," says the Savior to his disciples (Matthew 26: 41). "I say to all: watch," (Mark 13:37), the Savior said to all Christianity, and therefore, he said it to us in this time. He who is leading a distracted life is directly contradicting the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ with his life. All of the saints diligently fled from distraction. They were concentrated in themselves constantly or at least as often as possible They paid attention to the movements of their mind and heart and they directed them according to the testament of the gospel. The habit of attending to oneself keeps one from distraction, even amongst distractions which are noisy and surrounding one on all sides. The attentive person abides in solitude, even amidst a multitude of people. A certain great father who had learned by experience the benefit of attention and the harm of distraction said that without intense watchfulness over oneself it is impossible to succeed in even one virtue. The attentive life weakens the effect of a person's bodily feelings. It sharpens, strengthens and warms the feelings of the soul. While on the contrary, distraction dulls the feelings of the soul. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ!
7/8/20247 minutes, 49 seconds
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Freemasonry: The Depths of Satan - Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios

Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios, in his examination of the Book of Revelation, sees "the depths of Satan" (Rev. 2:24) applying to today's satanic, neo-gnosticism: Freemasonry. Spreading its wicked tentacles throughout society, often in ways unknown the average person, Freemasonry is a powerful force that all Christians must not underestimate. Elder Athanasios reveals the true nature of Freemasonry, her symbols, rituals, and philosophy, offering to Orthodox Christians, and all who love the truth, tools to fight this satanic, secretive organization. 0:00 Beginning, Rev. 2:240:36 Homily begins 3:01 Freemasonry is Neo-Gnosticism and we will always fight it 4:57 The basics of Gnostic philosophy; the Apostles and Church Fathers wrote against Gnosticism 9:27 Masonic symbolism: The letter “G” 15:28 12th degree initiation ritual, Gnosis, and “Supposedly Historical Events” 19:01 Faith rejected, Rationalism embraced 21:14 St. Paul addressed Gnosticism in Colossians 2:8-9 24:37 12th degree initiation cont’d 26:34 The Freemasons despise the body and matter and hate that Christ came to save both 29:20 The Masons help the good god (Lucifer) overcome the evil god (Christ) 32:55 Why Gnostics venerate the evil figures in the Bible 35:25 18th degree initiation, “The Rosicrucians” 38:41 Leo Taxil on Freemasonry and Lucifer 39:36 Freemasonic prayer to Lucifer 42:19 33rd degree initiation: Worship of Baphomet 43:46 Freemasons are inside and outside the Orthodox Church 44:21 We must fight Freemasonry and bring Freemasons to Christ This homily is found in Vol. 1 of the Revelation Series from Zoe Press Thumbnail, top right: Ecumenical Patrairch Meletios (Metaxakis), and to the right, Ecumenical Patrairch Athenagoras (Spyrou) kissing the forehead of U.S. President Harry Truman. All three were 33rd degree Freemasons. See more below: -BUY the Revelation Series from Zoe Press: https://www.zoepress.us/all-books-cds/revelation-the-seven-golden-lampstands-volume-1 -READ: Freemasonry: Official Statement of the Church of Greece (1933): http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/masonry.aspx -READ: ​​Freemasonry in American Orthodox History https://orthodoxhistory.org/2012/11/20/freemasonry-in-american-orthodox-history/#:~:text=Freemasonry%20and%20other%20secret%20societies,Ecumenical%20Patriarch%20%E2%80%94%20was%20a%20Freemason -READ: Freemasonry and the Orthodox Church https://orthodoxhistory.org/2023/09/27/freemasonry-and-the-orthodox-church/ -READ: Greek Freemasons embrace EP Athenagoras: https://www.grandlodge.gr/athinagoras-w-57864.html -BUY “On The Masons And Their Lies” by Michael Witcoff https://www.amazon.com/Masons-Their-Lies-Every-Christian/dp/1986325474 -READ “Notes On The Influence of Freemasonry On Early Greek Ecumenism” by Fr. Seraphim Zisis: https://www.scribd.com/document/374965401/Seraphim-Zissis-Notes-on-the-Influence-of-Freemasonry-on-Early-Greek-Ecumenism -WATCH: Freemasonry: Today’s Satanic Gnosticism by Fr. Peter Heers (analyzing the teachings of Elder Athanasios) https://youtu.be/kUv6jfzRcts?si=uhoR9694xoQSflpU -LISTEN: On the Freemasonic Roots of the Ecumenical Movement - St. Seraphim of Sofia https://youtu.be/VyZS80sQRsw -WATCH: at 17:22 in “The Ungodly Errors of Archbishop Elpidophoros: All You Need to Know” we see the GOArch Archbishop wrote the Introduction to a book written by an open Freemason, saying, “With great joy and deep satisfaction, I read the work of the exceptional intellectual Nicholas Laos…” https://youtu.be/q6dBuopgoYg?si=FF5veI_o9oWJbXMP "Masonry is a contemporary reality which affects everyone and everything in our times. It is certainly not a good strategy to underestimate the capabilities of the enemy. In order to fight an enemy successfully, we cannot underestimate his power. Masonry is powerful; it is the power of Satan. That is precisely why we are fighting, and we will always continue to fight, as long as we live, against Freemasonry." -Elder Athanasios
7/3/202446 minutes, 38 seconds
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The Glorification of St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco

Bishop (then Hieromonk) Luke gives a firsthand account of the Glorification (Canonization) services of St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai & San Francisco (+1966). Holy Hierarch John, pray to God for us! Photo in thumbnail is from the 1994 Glorification services at Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco. -READ: the text of this recording from Orthodox Life, July-August, 1994: https://orthodoxlifemagazines.blogspot.com/ -READ: The Life of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (+1966): https://orthochristian.com/54575.html -BUY many icons and other items of St. John from the SF Cathedral bookstore: https://www.hvcbookstore.com/ -BUY: the book "Man of God" which includes the reminiscences, miracles, sermons, and more on this exceptional saint on the 20th century: https://notofthisworldiconsandbooks.com/products/man-of-god-saint-john-of-sf?variant=4087103193115 _______ No one present during these holy days was there simply out of curiosity or by accident. Each person who took part had a sense of purpose, a conscientious desire to witness to an honor Saint John. We were all humbled by the knowledge that we venerated and sought help from on of whol Saint Paul wrote, "the world was not worthy" (Heb. 11:38). With this knowledge of our spiritual poverty, we were humbled and speechless when calling to mind the words of Holy Scripture, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all that He hath rendered unto me" (Psalm 115:3). Holy Hierarch John, pray to God for us! _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ!
7/2/202417 minutes, 44 seconds
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Orthodox Prayers for Children, Parents, and Spouses

These prayers come from the excellent book "On the Upbringing of Children" by Bishop Irenaius, published by St. Xenia Press 0:00 Intro 0:06 A Prayer of Parents for their Children 1:53 A Prayer of Children for their Parents 2:17 Another Prayer of Children for their Parents 3:33 A Prayer of Spouses for Each Other -BUY "On the Upbringing of Children" by Bishop Irenaius ---Physical book: https://sjkp.org/products/on-the-upbringing-of-children-1 ---Audiobook: https://stpaisiusgiftshop.com/cds/on-the-upbringing-of-children-cd/ ---Read the first 3 chapters free: https://saintkosmas.org/on-the-upbringing-of-children-bishop-irenaius -EDUCATION: Orthodox education resources at Saint Kosmas Orthodox Education Association: https://saintkosmas.org/ -PREGNANCY RESOURCES: ZOE for life! is a support center (in person and online) for women needing recourse for unplanned and planned pregnancies, adoption, and more: https://zoeforlife.org/ -BUY: Orthodox Christian Parenting by Zoe Press: https://www.zoepress.us/all-books-cds/orthodox-christian-parenting-recipes-for-raising-children-2020-2nd-edition -PRAYER: Akathist to the Mother of God, "Nurturer of Children": https://www.akathists.com/the-most-holy-theotokos/nurturer-of-children/ -LISTEN: Admonitions for Parents - St. John Chrysostom: https://youtu.be/lFcUbGHnU28 -LISTEN: The Holy Childhood of Archbishop John Maximovitch: https://youtu.be/hXB4wW4iozw --FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/28/20244 minutes, 52 seconds
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Orthodoxy and Ecumenism: St. Justin Popovic's Reply to the Serbian Bishops

In addition to St. Justin Popovic's piercing theological clarity, this text offers us three significant examples: 1) The Serbian Hierarchs humbly asked a priest for his thoughts before making their decision 2) This priest, St. Justin, responded boldly and clearly 3) The Serbian Hierarchs followed his advice. All this is regarding a most tempting and powerful heresy attacking the Orthodox Church today: Ecumenism. -READ the text here: https://www.orthodoxethos.com/post/orthodoxy-and-ecumenism-an-orthodox-appraisal-and-testimony 0:00 Begin 0:11 Introduction and Historical Context by Bishop 7:17 Quote from Bishop Athanasius Yevtich on St. Justin not breaking communion with the local Churches 8:39 St. Justin’s reply to the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church -BUY “The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism” by St. Justin: https://lazarica.co.uk/bookshop/ -BUY "Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ" by St. Justin: https://ibmgs.org/miscellaneous.html -LISTEN to more recordings by Orthodox Wisdom of St. Justin's teachings: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzFKi22k2KYgxvJMJchHwGAWGZebY0s2s -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ St. Justin writes: The Church of Christ has defined her stand towards heretics— and all non-Orthodox are heretics—once and for all through the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers, namely, through the Holy Theanthropic Tradition, which is unique and immutable. In keeping with this stand, Orthodox are forbidden to engage in joint prayer or liturgical communion with heretics. Was it really necessary for the Orthodox Church, the all-immaculate Theanthropic Body and organism of the God-Man Christ, to be so monstrously humiliated that Her theological representatives, including even Hierarchs (among whom were also Serbs), should seek after “organic” participation and inclusion in the World Council of Churches, which thus becomes a new ecclesiastical “organism,” a “new Church” above the churches, of which the Orthodox Church and non-Orthodox churches are merely “members,” “organically” joined to each other? Alas, an unprecedented betrayal! Orthodox theologians should participate not in “ecumenical joint prayers,” but in theological dialogues in the Truth and about the Truth, as the Holy and God-bearing Fathers have done throughout the ages. _______ Bishop Athanasius Yevtich writes: “We were closely acquainted with the Blessed Father Justin and we know that he had never broke communion with any of the Orthodox Churches or a Bishop or a Patriarch, not even with the Serbian Patriarch Germans (1958-1990—as some "zealots "shamelessly lie—not even when the Patriarch Ger-manos was one of the "presidents of WCC" (a formal and honorary title without any binding conditions or duties as indeed was the participation of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the WCC). As a free and responsible member of the Church of Christ, Justin prophetically reproved and, when necessary, criticized in written form (having written a couple of criticism letters to Patriarch Germans and the Synod, inter alia, the letters pertaining to superficial western ecumenism). But on no account did he ever create a schism, but on the contrary used to say: “Schisms are easily made but they are enormously difficult to heal.” -Notes on Ecumenism, pp. 36-37 _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/14/202418 minutes, 27 seconds
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Righteous Mothers of The Three Hierarchs: Nonna, Anthousa, & Emmelia - St. Nektarios of Aegina

Listen to St. Nektarios praise these holy mothers who raised some of the greatest saints the earth has ever seen. He describes how these holy women planted Christ in their sons' hearts and cultivated the grace to maturity. How critical the role of the mother is in raising children and how firm the foundation she can lay down in the hearts and minds of her children. -St. Nonna is the mother of St. John Chrysostom -St. Anthousa is the mother of St. Gregory the Theologian -St. Emmelia is the mother of St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Macrina the Younger, St. Peter of Sebaste, and St. Theosebia This is an excerpt from "Mothers and the Upbringing of Children" by St. Nektarios of Aegina https://youtu.be/_e4Fn_MsxLI A new book I suggest reading for those interested in Orthodox education, homeschooling and more: "Formation in the Love of Truth: Principles of Orthodox Education" by Archpriest Peter Heers: https://uncutmountainpress.com/shop/product/formation-in-the-love-of-truth-principles-of-orthodox-education/ _______ -EDUCATION: Orthodox education resources at Saint Kosmas Orthodox Education Association: https://saintkosmas.org/ -PREGNANCY RESOURCES: ZOE for life! is a support center (in person and online) for women needing recourse for unplanned and planned pregnancies, adoption, and more: https://zoeforlife.org/ -BOOK: Orthodox Christian Parenting by Zoe Press: https://www.zoepress.us/all-books-cds/orthodox-christian-parenting-recipes-for-raising-children-2020-2nd-edition -PRAYER: Akathist to the Mother of God, "Nurturer of Children": https://www.akathists.com/the-most-holy-theotokos/nurturer-of-children/ -PODCAST: Admonitions for Parents - St. John Chrysostom: https://youtu.be/lFcUbGHnU28 -PODCAST: The Holy Childhood of Archbishop John Maximovitch (OW podcast): https://youtu.be/hXB4wW4iozw -TEXT OF THIS PODCAST: https://saintkosmas.org/st-nektarios-mothers-and-the-upbringing-of-children -FIND A CHURCH: Find an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ St. Nektarios writes: These mothers, desiring to educate their children as perfectly as possible and to polish their minds through Greek learning and knowledge, did not at all hesitate to entrust them to pagan teachers, so that they might be suitably developed intellectually. They considered the teachers’ heterodoxy of no importance, because they had confidence in themselves, confidence that by their own example they had wholly channeled their own love for true learning and their fervent zeal for religion into their children’s hearts. They recognized that nothing would be strong enough to shake their sons’ religious principles and convictions, because these principles and convictions had been carefully built upon a rock! Consistent, then, with their convictions, Nonna and Emmelia, the good and noble mothers of Basil and Gregory, sent them off to Athens, to the hearth of learning and enlightenment, but the center also of idolatry, where the pagan religion was enthroned with all its magnificence. But their confidence was not disappointed, for the two young students, having alive in the hearth of their heart the fire of faith in Christ, remained uninfluenced during the whole period of their studies. What radiant examples we have before us in these pious mothers! What wondrous images! What wondrous models! Who can deny that it is the mothers who produce great and virtuous men? _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/5/20246 minutes, 1 second
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Strength From Bearing Shame In Confession - Fr. Zacharias Zachariou

On occasion, I depart from my standard approach and record texts by those still alive in this world. Generally, I stick to texts from those who finished their race and are widely embraced as being victorious in Christ. This text from Fr. Zacharias, the disciple of St. Sophrony of Essex, is truly life-changing and worthy of your heart’s attention. As it has been said, “many confess, few repent.” Fr. Zacharias inspires us to confess more genuinely, bearing our shame, and teaches us how to make a confession that attracts the grace of God and brings greater power to live the life in Christ. The original title of this talk is "The Awakening of the Heart through Bearing Shame in the Sacrament of Confession". The video title is shortened due to YouTube and Spotify character limitations. Also, a Q&A immediately following this talk is included in the book. I did not record it in order to encourage listeners to buy the book and support the monastery in Essex, England. -BUY "The Hidden Man of the Heart (1 Peter: 3:4): The Cultivation of the Heart in Orthodox Christian Anthropology" https://essexmonastery.com/bookshop/the-hidden-man-of-the-heart-BUY the first book in this series of four, "Christ, Our Way and Our Life: A Presentation of the Theology of Archimandrite Sophrony"https://essexmonastery.com/bookshop/christ-our-way-and-our-life -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ Fr. Zacharias teaches: When the believer becomes aware of his iniquity, he no longer does anything to conceal it, but he will confess his iniquity to the Lord against himself (cf. Ps. 32:5 Lxx). And the Lord forgives the ungodliness of his heart and renews him with the grace of eternal salvation in return for the shame he bears in the act of repentance. The deeper the shame with which he reveals his sins in the sacrament of confession, the greater the power and grace he receives for his regeneration. The presence of shame in the mystery of confession is not only healthy and normal, but also confirms that repentance is offered from the heart — that it is voluntary and deeply humble. Whoever truly repents and confesses his transgressions takes full responsibility for them, without justifying himself as Adam did in Paradise. He does not blame God or his neighbour. Instead, he endures the shame of his sins with humility and courage. The Gospel account of Zacchaeus' encounter with Jesus throws a great deal of light on our subject (Luke 19:1-10). This notable and influential man, a tax-collector of ill-gotten wealth, Was overcome by the desire to see who Jesus was. But his desire Was frustrated by the density of the crowd for he was of small stature. Zacchaeus, however, was so eager that he thought nothing of becoming a laughing-stock to the crowd. Because he was willing to accept whatever shame might come his way, he took courage, and climbed up into a sycamore tree so that he would be able to see Jesus. The Lord drew near, and He noticed Zacchaeus. Then He called him down from the tree so that He could meet him. He even gave him the honour of visiting his house and staying with him. And the result of this visit was truly marvellous: Zacchaeus who had despised his standing with the crowd was put right. All his former iniquities were made good, and his debts were restored fourfold in righteousness. Christ our God and Saviour declared: 'Salvation is come to this house.' _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/30/202417 minutes, 15 seconds
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Signs of the Times: Antichrist, Zionism, & Jews - St. Paisios the Athonite

Our holy father Paisios the Athonite exposes the plans of the enemy and calls those who love the Truth, Christ Himself, to be aware and resist. Repent, receive the Mysteries, prayer fervently, since, as St. Paisios says, "Perhaps you, too, will live to see many of the signs written in the Book of Revelation." This text is found in “Spiritual Counsels, Vol. II: Spiritual Awakening” by St. Paisios, pp. 197-201 -BUY “Spiritual Counsels, Vol. II: Spiritual Awakening” by St. Paisios: https://www.holycross.org/products/spiritual-awakening-elder-paisios -BUY "Saint Paisios of Mount Athos": https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/products/saint-paisios-of-mount-athos -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ A similar text from St. Paisios: "On Our Times" -READ: http://apantaortodoxias.blogspot.com/2015/06/on-our-times-st-paisios-of-holy-mount.html -LISTEN: https://youtu.be/0KIEmH-qt2Q ______ St. Paisios teaches: -Geronda, tell us something about the Antichrist. -Let us for once say something about Christ... We must be as close to Christ as we can. Will we be afraid of the Antichrist if we are united with Christ? Isn't the antichrist spirit present today? One way or another, evil is done by the antichrist spirit. And even if an antichrist monster is created to do some horrible things, in the end he will be ridiculed. But many events will take place. Perhaps you, too, will live to see many of the signs written in the Book of Revelation. Ecumenism, the European Union, one huge nation, one religion made to fit — these are the schemes of the devil. The Zionists are preparing someone to be the Messiah. For them the Messiah is a king who will reign here on earth. The Jehovah's Witnesses are also looking toward an earthly king. The Zionists will present someone and the Jehovah's Witnesses will accept him. They will say, "He is the one." There will be great confusion. In that confusion, everyone will be looking for a Messiah to save them. And then they will present some who will say, "I am the Imam, I am the fifth Buddha, I am the Christ expected by the Christians, I am the one expected by the Jehovah's Witnesses, I am the Messiah of the Jews." He will have five "selves"… Rather, the anticipated Antichrist will, in some manner, be the incarnate devil, who will present himself to the Jewish nation as the Messiah and will mislead the world. Difficult years are ahead; we will be tested very severely. The Christians will suffer great persecution. And, you see, people are not at all aware that we are living during the signs of the times, that the sealing is already advancing. -Geronda, do the Zionists believe what is said about the Antichrist? -They would like to govern the whole world. To achieve their goal, they will use even sorcery and satanism. -Geronda, when I hear about the Antichrist, I feel a fear inside of me. -What do you fear? Will he be more terrible than the devil? He is a man after all. Saint Marina used to beat the devil, and Saint Justina dispelled so many demons. After all, we didn't come in this world to have an easy life. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/24/20248 minutes, 44 seconds
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On Illness - St. Porphyrios of Kafsokalyvia

You may never hear more inspiring, humbling, and challenging words on illness, its purpose, and the best way we can face it. This excerpt from "Wounded by Love" exhibits his insatiable love for Christ, his wounded yet healed heart. St. Porphyrios knew about suffering with illness both by personal experience and his many years as a hospital chaplain in Athens. The holy Elder suffered from the following illnesses: myocardial infarction (anterior diaphragm with lateral ischaemia), chronic kidney disease, duodenal ulcer (with repeated perforations), operated cataract (loss of lens and blindness), herpes zoster (shingles) on the face, staphylococcus dermatitis on the hand, inguinal hernia (frequently strangulated), chronic bronchitis and cancer of the pituitary gland. Cf. Dr. Georgios Papazachou in an article in the periodical Synaxis, 41 (Jan–Mar) 1992, 93. This reading is from "Wounded by Love: The Life and the Witness of Saint Porphyrios", pp. 224-231 -READ the text here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/elderporphyrios_illness.aspx -BUY Wounded by Love here: https://www.holycross.org/products/wounded-by-love-the-life-and-the-wisdom-of-elder-porphyrios -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ St. Porphyrios teaches: I thank God for granting me many illnesses. I often say to Him: ‘My Christ, Your love knows no limits!’ That’s why I do not pray for God to make me well. I pray for Him to make me good. I’m certain that God knows that I am in pain. But I pray for my soul, for God to forgive my transgressions. I didn’t want to think about hell and about tollgates. I didn’t remember my sins, although I had many. I set them aside. I remembered only the love of God and was glad. And I made entreaty, "O my God, for the sake of your love, may I also be there. But if on account of my sins I must go to hell, may your love place me wherever it wishes. It is sufficient for me to be with You." We benefit greatly from our illnesses, as long as we endure them without complaint and glorify God, asking for His mercy. When we become ill, the important thing is not that we don’t take medicines or that we go and pray to Saint Nektarios. We need also to know the other secret, namely, to struggle to acquire the grace of God. This is the secret. Grace will teach us all the other things, namely, how to abandon ourselves to Christ. That is, we ignore the illness, we do not think about it, we think about Christ, simply, imperceptibly and selflessly and God works His miracle for the good of our soul. Just as we say in the Divine Liturgy, "we commend all our life to Christ our God." _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/20/202421 minutes, 9 seconds
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What Has the Feast of Pascha Left In Our Souls? - St. John of Kronstadt

The Church worldwide loves St. John of Kronstadt… but do we love him for plainly speaking the truth? I can only imagine if parish priests today gave a homily like this. Most would get a lot of complaints from their parishioners, maybe even yelled at during coffee hour, and the bishops might hear of it, too. God grant us humility to accept the bitter medicine meant to heal our souls! -READ the text here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/sjok_pascha.aspx -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ______ St. John teaches: The Great Fast was a defeat of, was death for, the devil; because he fled from many souls and died to them, as it were, after their sincere repentance and communion of the Holy Mysteries; but on the feast of Pascha he rose again in not a few souls. How did he arise? Through gluttony, drunkenness, outrage and other vices that drunkenness gives rise to, and to which many Christians gave themselves over. It is thus that Christians love Christ; it is thus that they celebrate the greatest holiday of the year! What benefit is there in such people calling themselves Christians? ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/15/20247 minutes, 49 seconds
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The Seven Phrases Christ Spoke on the Cross - St. Nikolai Velimirović

St. Nikolai Velimirović offers comments on the seven phrases Christ spoke on the Cross, helping us go deeper in our understanding and love for Christ. -READ the text here: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2019/04/the-seven-phrases-christ-spoke-on-cross.html -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ______ St. Nikolai teaches: The fourth phrase: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46). These words show both the strength of human nature and the Lord’s foreknowledge. As a man, He was suffering, but underneath human pain there’s a mystery. You see, only these words would be able to dispel the heresy which was later to shake the Church and which stated that the divine nature suffered on the cross. But the eternal Son of God became incarnate as a man so that He could be a man in body and soul, so that, when the time came, He’d be able to suffer for people and to die on their behalf. Because, if the divine nature of Christ had suffered on the cross, this would mean that His divine nature would have died. And that’s something we shouldn’t even contemplate. Ponder as deeply as you can on these great and terrible words: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" The seventh phrase: "It is finished" (Jn. 19:30). This doesn’t mean that life is ended. No! It means that His mission, which was concentrated on the salvation of the human race, had ended. The divine task of our sole, true Messiah had been completed and was sealed with His blood and earthly death. The torments were over, but life was just beginning. The tragedy was finished, but not the drama. Next to come was the majestic achievement: victory over death, the resurrection, and glory. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/2/20245 minutes, 43 seconds
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Christ's Love For the Sinful Woman - St. Ephraim the Syrian

St. Ephraim offers a dynamic commentary on this famous story (Matthew 26:6-13) that the Orthodox Church reads each year on Holy Wednesday. Presenting detailed conversations between the sinful woman, the devil, Simon the Pharisee, and Christ, this homily is faithful to Scripture yet expands our understanding and experience of this most instructive example of repentance and love. -READ the text here: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2018/04/homily-on-sinful-woman-st-ephraim-syrian.html -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ Troparion for Holy Week's Bridegroom Matins: "Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching; and again unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, lest thou be given up to death, and lest thou be shut out of the Kingdom. But rouse thyself crying: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God. Through the Theotokos, have mercy on us." ______ From St. Ephraim's homily: The sinful woman answered and said to him, (even) to Satan, after his speech: "Well have you said that I go to inter the dead, one that has died to me. The sin of my thoughts has died, and I go to bury it." Christ speaking, "The great Physician is in your house. Allow sinners to look upon Me, for their sakes have I abased Myself. I will not ascend to heaven, to the dwelling whence I came down, until I bear back the sheep that has wandered from its Father's house, and lift it up on My shoulders and bear it aloft to heaven." Christ explaining who owes the 500 pence and who owes 50, speaking to Simon: "You are he that owes five hundred, and this woman owes fifty. Lo! I came into your house, O Simon; and water for My feet you brought not; and this woman, of whom you said that she was an harlot, one from her childhood defiled, has washed My feet with her tears, and with her hair she has wiped them. Ought I to send her away, O Simon, without receiving forgiveness? Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will write of her in the Gospel. Go, O woman, your sins are forgiven you and all your transgression is covered; henceforth and to the end of the world." ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/30/202421 minutes, 47 seconds
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Remember the Sufferings of Christ - St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, one of the most beloved Russian saints of the past few centuries, exhibits his apostolic love and zeal in these brief exhortations. Always remember the sufferings, the love of Christ Jesus. 0:00 Beginning 0:11 Remembrance of the Divine Passion 3:16 Imitation of the Life of Christ Text is from "Journey to Heaven", p. 99-103. To my knowledge, this book is out of print and unavailable except for overpriced third party copies. If this book is available for a reasonable price, please add a comment below. -READ the text here: https://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/tikhon_zadonsk_2.htm#_Toc530611586 -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ______ St. Tikhon teaches: A real and powerful encouragement in the struggle against sin, and in the holy and Christian life, is the contemplation of the sufferings of Christ. Keep the faith, then, and guard it against your enemy the devil, who desires and attempts to seize it away from you and make you his captive. Struggle against this enemy; consider, then, the suffering of Christ and it will teach you every virtue. In order to correct yourself and become a true Christian, that is Christ's, set the holy life of Christ before your eyes and imitate its example. And even though your heart, corrupt as it is, does not wish it, force and convince yourself to imitate the beautiful virtues of Christ. You look into a mirror so that you may know what is in your face, whether there are any blemishes in it, and having seen blemishes, you cleanse them. Let the immaculate life of Christ be a mirror to your soul, look into it often and know what is in your soul. Does it desire the same things that Christ desires? And does it do what Christ did when He lived on earth? And in it you will see what is contrary to the life of Christ, and you will cleanse it all like blemishes with repentance and contrition of heart. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/29/20248 minutes, 3 seconds
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Experiences of Theosis - Elder George of Gregoriou

This short excerpt from Elder George's treatise discusses the characteristics of experiences of theosis, union with God, the true purpose of each and every human being. Elder George (Kapsanis), former Abbot of the St. Gregorios Monastery on Mount Athos who reposed in the Lord on Pentecost 2014, presents the Orthodox understanding of Theosis and the essential path towards receiving this divine gift. -READ "Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life" by Elder George in many languages: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis.aspx -LISTEN to "Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life - Part I" https://youtu.be/ReheAcnRPmU -READ a reflection on the life and works of Elder George by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2014/07/fr-george-kapsanis-former-abbot-of.html -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ This recording is an excerpt from "Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life - Part II" https://youtu.be/E5tLjZBrpS0 ______ Elder George teaches: If man cannot be deified with divine Grace and divine energies what purpose does his life have? Only that he becomes morally better. But moral perfection is not enough for man. It is not enough for us simply to become better than before, simply to perform moral deeds. We have as our final aim to unite with holy God Himself. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/25/20247 minutes, 48 seconds
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Qualifications For Theosis - Elder George of Gregoriou

This short excerpt from Elder George's treatise explains the qualifications for attaining the true purpose of each and every human being: union with God, or Theosis. Elder George (Kapsanis), former Abbot of the St. Gregorios Monastery on Mount Athos who reposed in the Lord on Pentecost 2014, presents the Orthodox understanding of Theosis and the essential path towards receiving this divine gift. -READ "Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life" by Elder George in many languages: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis.aspx -LISTEN to "Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life - Part I" https://youtu.be/ReheAcnRPmU -READ a reflection on the life and works of Elder George by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2014/07/fr-george-kapsanis-former-abbot-of.html -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ This recording is an excerpt from "Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life - Part II" https://youtu.be/E5tLjZBrpS0 ______ Elder George teaches: If man cannot be deified with divine Grace and divine energies what purpose does his life have? Only that he becomes morally better. But moral perfection is not enough for man. It is not enough for us simply to become better than before, simply to perform moral deeds. We have as our final aim to unite with holy God Himself. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/23/202410 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Fiery Repentance of St. Mary of Egypt - St. Luke the Surgeon

St. Luke teaches: "With this deep and fiery repentance the force that prevented her from entering the church receded and she finally entered. There she fell before the life-giving Cross of the Lord and did not get up until the end of the service. Tears flowed from her eyes, from the eyes that once seduced men and are now cleansed with wholehearted and fervent repentance." -READ the Life of St. Mary of Egypt by St. Sophronius of Jerusalem: https://www.orthodox.net/saints/mary-of-egypt.html -READ St. Luke's homily here: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2021/04/homily-for-fifth-sunday-of-great-lent.html -WATCH Trisagion Films video on the Life of St. Mary of Egypt: https://youtu.be/BBXvDuNElB8?si=Uk16Pa18mAXX9BMq -READ about St. Luke’s life here: http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2008/10/st-luke-archbishop-of-simferopol.html?m=1 -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ______ St. Luke teaches: On the fifth Sunday of Great Lent, our Holy Church honors the memory of Saint Mary of Egypt. Her truly wonderful life is known to you because every year on this day it is narrated in the churches. But I will describe her again in a few words to remember the unusual and unique life of this Saint. Let us stand with Saint Mary at the gate of the church. We now see her heart overwhelmed by the fear of God, when she realizes that she cannot, in God's judgment, enter the church with the others. She alone is unworthy to enter, while everyone else enters freely. Her entrance is prevented by an invisible force. When she realizes her tragic situation, a strong flame of the fear of God lights up in her soul. She is shaken by the fear she feels in front of All-Holy, All-Wise, Almighty and Just God. It was not a fear of punishment, it was a shame that burned like fire, a shame for the impurity of her soul and body. It was a shame and pain for her that God, because of her impurity, did not allow her to enter the church and appear before Him. Then she prayed fervently. She fell before the icon of the Panagia which was placed above the entrance of the church and with tears begged the Mother of God to pray for her to her Son. With this deep and fiery repentance the force that prevented her from entering the church receded and she finally entered. There she fell before the life-giving Cross of the Lord and did not get up until the end of the service. Tears flowed from her eyes, from the eyes that once seduced men and are now cleansed with wholehearted and fervent repentance. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/21/202410 minutes, 36 seconds
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I Feel In Blessed Augustine the Love of Christ - Fr. Seraphim Rose

In this letter, Fr. Seraphim expresses his reaction to unhealthy approaches to Blessed Augustine, the great bishop and Church father of Africa, and shares a more personal side of his own experience with Augustine and his works: "I feel in Augustine the love of Christ." In Fr. Seraphim Rose’s time, as well as today in 2024, many diverse and strongly held opinions exist when it comes to how we should regard Blessed Augustine of Hippo. In one extreme, some treat him as either the greatest father of the first millennium, as one can see in some western confessions and even by some Orthodox. In another extreme, some see him as the root source of a multitude of heresies, even explicitly or implicitly condemning him as a heretic. The text of this recording is his full letter to Fr. Michael Azkoul written on June 13/26, 1981. -BUY “The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church” by Fr. Seraphim Rose: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/mobile/Product.aspx?ProductCode=blaug -LISTEN to a fuller treatment of the Orthodox Church's understanding of Blessed Augustine according to Fr. Seraphim Rose: https://youtu.be/1KT4APf8GFM -READ this letter and others from Fr. Seraphim Rose: https://thoughtsintrusive.wordpress.com/letters-of-fr-seraphim-rose-1961-1982/ _______ Fr. Seraphim writes: If your attempt is to find our Augustine’s real place in the Orthodox Church, I think your approach is all wrong. It assumes that “we moderns” are the ones who can do this—that we can “know better” than anyone in the Orthodox past. I don’t think so. I have a deep distrust of all of us who are writing on theological subjects today—we are more under “Western influence” than anyone before, and the less we are aware of it, the more obnoxious our “Westernism” becomes. Our whole cold, academic, and often disdainful approach to theology is so remote from the Fathers, so foreign to them. Let us admit this and try not to be so presumptuous (I speak for myself also). I myself am no great admirer of Augustine’s doctrines. He does indeed have that Western “super-logicalness” which the Eastern Fathers don’t have (the same “super-logicalness” which the critics of Augustine today display so abundantly!). The one main lovable and Orthodox thing about him is his Orthodox feeling, piety, love for Christ, which comes out so strongly in his non-dogmatic works like the Confessions (the Russian Fathers also love the Soliloquies). I myself fear the cold hearts of the 'intellectually correct' much more than any errors you might find in Augustine. I sense in these cold hearts a preparation for the work of Antichrist (whose imitation of Christ must also extend to 'correct theology'); I feel in Augustine the love of Christ. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/15/20248 minutes, 56 seconds
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On the Freemasonic Roots of the Ecumenical Movement - St. Seraphim of Sofia

St. Seraphim of Sofia discusses an important aspect of the Ecumenical Movement in the 20th century: Freemasonry. Presenting to the Moscow Pan-Orthodox Congress of 1948, which included representatives from nearly all autocephalous Orthodox churches, St. Seraphim highlights the well-known Freemason, John Raleigh Mott, the main promoter of "unity" among separate Christian groups. Mott spearheaded the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh and the first meeting of the World Council of Churches in 1948. Mott helped send Protestant student missionaries with the YMCA to evangelize Orthodox countries and for his ecumenical efforts won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946. St. Seraphim understands that ecumenical efforts only serve to blur the boundaries between the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church (the Orthodox Church) and other sects claiming to be part of the Church. Such blurring draws people away from the only place, as St. Seraphim teaches, men can become saints: the Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, despite St. Seraphim's warning of the sinister nature and dreadful consequences of the Ecumenical Movement for Holy Orthodoxy, the Patriarchate of Moscow joined the World Council of Churches at its Third Assembly in New Delhi in 1961 and has been one of its most active members ever since. -READ St. Seraphim's full address to the 1948 Moscow Pan-Orthodox Congress: http://www.dep.church/downloads/StSeraphimEcumenism.pdf -READ the book of his life and works: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/saint-seraphim-of-sofia-his-life-teachings-miracles-and-glorification/ -READ a brief account of St. Seraphim's life here: https://blog.obitel-minsk.com/2021/02/adapt-your-life-to-your-faith-not-the-other-way-around-st-seraphim-sobolev.html -RESOURCE to help laity write respectful letters to their hierarchs: https://www.voiceoforthodoxlaity.com/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ This recording is an excerpt from "Does the Russian Orthodox Church Need to Participate in the Ecumenical Movement? (Part II/II)": https://youtu.be/P2w0hvEgE6Q TEXTS on Freemasonry and Orthodoxy: -Freemasonry: Official Statement of the Church of Greece (1933): http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/masonry.aspx -Freemasonry and the Orthodox Church. This article details, among other things, that Ecumenical Patriarchs Meletios (+1935) and Athenagoras (+1972) were Freemasons: https://orthodoxhistory.org/2023/09/27/freemasonry-and-the-orthodox-church/ VIDEOS on Freemasonry from an Orthodox viewpoint: -Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios on Revelation https://youtu.be/u6y0a4kx58s?si=LN1tb5iYaKSAa4hH -Freemasonry: Today’s Satanic Gnosticism by Fr. Peter Heers (analyzing the teachings of Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios) https://youtu.be/kUv6jfzRcts?si=uhoR9694xoQSflpU BOOKS/ARTICLES on Ecclesiology and Ecumenism: --Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future by Fr. Seraphim Rose https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/product-p/orf.htm --The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism by St. Justin Popovic https://lazarica.co.uk/bookshop/ --The Missionary Origins of Modern Ecumenism by Fr. Peter Heers https://uncutmountainpress.com/shop/product/the-missionary-origins-of-modern-ecumenism/ --A Confession of Faith Against Ecumenism (signed by saints, elders, hierarchs, priests, and laity around the world): https://www.impantokratoros.gr/FA9AF77F.en.aspx --On Common Prayer with the Heterodox According to the Canons of the Church by Fr. Anastasios Gotsopoulos https://uncutmountainpress.com/shop/product/on-common-prayer-with-the-heterodox/ _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/2/202418 minutes, 19 seconds
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Answers To Challenging Fasting Questions - Elder Epiphanios of Athens

Elder Epiphanios Theodoropoulos (+1989) was a celibate priest who lived his whole life in the world. “He didn’t retreat to Mt. Athos which he loved dearly, but lived in the city of Athens...." Absorb the wisdom of this faithful priest of our times. 0:00 Beginning 0:07 Fasting and Dieting 2:21 Fasting and Name Days 3:02 Fasting and Hospitality -READ the text here: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2013/11/elder-epiphanios-faces-challenging.html -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ______ Elder Epiphanios teaches: Fasting has two objectives: the ascetic pursuit of abstinence for the body by limiting nutrient-rich foods, and conformity to the commands of the Church, which is an ascetic pursuit for the soul. The Elder said that to take care of people is a great virtue, the practice of which cannot be suspended during fasting periods. However, at the table there will necessarily be offered fasting foods. With certain limits they can be better prepared or more delicious if we want to honor someone, but they must of necessity be for fasting. Nowhere in the Gerontikon does it praise an ascetic or display them as an example because they abolished the fast for the sake of hospitality. What it does mention is that certain holy hermits abolished their personal ascetic fasting, which was much more austere than what the Church required. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/29/20245 minutes, 25 seconds
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What is an Anathema? - St. Theophan the Recluse

Every year during the first Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, the questions arise: "Why are we anathematizing people? Is the Church really sending them to hell? What is an anathema?" In his homily on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, St. Theophan the Recluse provides as answer to such questions, raising our theologoical consciences higher and guarding the faithful against seculization of the Church increasingly present today. -READ the text here: https://www.orthodox.net/articles/anathema-bp-theophan.html#:~:text=After%20all%2C%20an%20anathema%20is,to%20think%20upon%20joining%20her. -WATCH the Rite of the Triumph Orthodoxy (Anathema Service, or Synodikon) in English and Church Slavonic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZzhpSoaXtM&t=543s -WATCH a short, powerful video of the Proclomation of Anathemas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF00JJ13l7Y -READ St. John Maximovitch addressing the same topic: https://catalogueofstelisabethconvent.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-word-anathema-and-its-meaning.html -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ Audio of singing "Anathema!" at the beginning of this recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZzhpSoaXtM&t=543s _______ St. Theophan teaches: To some people our anathemas seem inhumane, to others constricting. Such charges might be valid in other situations, but there is no way they can apply to our Rite of Orthodoxy. Let us take, for example, a temperance society. It has rules which every member must fulfill. And each of its members is a member precisely because he accepts and abides by its rules. Now suppose that some member not only refuses to abide by the rules but also holds many views completely opposed to those of the society and even rises up against its very goal. He not only does not himself observe temperance but even reviles temperance itself and disseminates notions which might tempt others and deflect them from temperance. What does the society ordinarily do with such people? First it admonishes them, and then it expels them. There you have an anathema! No one protests this, no one reproaches the society for being inhuman. Everyone acknowledges that the society is acting in a perfectly legitimate manner and that if it were to act otherwise, it could not exist. Do you not see with what wisdom and foresight the holy Church acts when she makes us perform the present proclamation and listen to it? And yet they say, "This is outdated." It is precisely now that it is relevant. Perhaps 100 years ago it was not relevant. But one must say concerning our time, that if a Rite of Orthodoxy did not as yet exist, it would be needful to introduce one, and to perform it not only in the capital cities but in all places and in all churches: in order to collect all the evil teachings opposed to the Word of God, and to make them known to all, in order that all might know what they need to beware of and what kind of teachings to avoid. Many are corrupted in mind solely due to ignorance, whereas a public condemnation of ruinous teachings would save them from perdition. Whether your teaching and your name are pronounced as being under anathema or not, you already fall under it when your opinions are opposed to those of the Church, and when you persist in them. Fearful is the anathema. Leave off your evil opinions. Amen. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/26/202413 minutes
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Turning Filthy Temptations Into Crowns of Victory - Elder Ephraim of Arizona

Elder Ephraim encourages a brother struggling with lust and self-abuse (masturbation), inspiring him never to despair and always to repent and trust in God’s infinite mercy. Such temptations are allowed by God to humble and strengthen our will, and such patient endurance wins divine crowns. A letter from Athos, June 30, 1958 from "Counsels from the Holy Mountain: Selected from the Letters and Homilies of Geronda Ephraim of Arizona", p. 167-168. -BUY "Counsels from the Holy Mountain": https://stanthonysmonastery.org/products/counsels-from-the-holy-mountain -LISTEN to many audiobooks from St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/pages/audiobooks -PRAY the Jesus Prayer with Elder Ephraim: https://youtu.be/pmFA4LTADQE?si=ig5DyyyQgX-WEgOA -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ This excerpt is from "Carnal Warfare - Elder Ephraim & Saint Joseph" https://youtu.be/h9YxyYssNRo _______ Elder Ephraim writes: When one struggles against sin with humility and the fear of God, with fervent spiritual work and with the guidance of an experienced spiritual father, God will never let him be lost. Only one must keep in mind not to despair. Even if one slips and sins ten thousand times a day, it is not justifiable in God's eyes for him to despair, but rather he should be hopeful and prepare for a fight, until God's mercy comes and delivers him. “…let's see who will win: you or Christ!" When the demon heard this unexpected reply, he said: "I won't fight you any more, because if I do, I'll make you win crowns." _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/22/20244 minutes, 2 seconds
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On Idle Talk and Gossip - Abbess Thaisia

Our Lord said, "But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment (Matt. 12:36)." Abbess Thaisia, a spiritual daughter of St. John of Krodstadt, served as abbess of a convent in Leushino, Russia. Her autobiography and letters have served as an inspiration to countless souls and are as timely today as they were in pre-revolutionary Russia. -READ the text here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/idletalk.aspx -BUY "Letters To A Beginner", a collection of letters from Abbess Thaisia to her nuns: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/product-p/lett.htm -READ Elder Joseph of Vatopedi's introduction to the greek edition of her autobiography: https://pemptousia.com/2016/12/elder-joseph-of-vatopedi-on-the-life-and-personality-of-abbess-taisia-olga/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ______ Abbess Thaisia writes: On this subject I want to write you a few words about the harm arising from the idle talk and gossip so common among you. This is something you yourself don't even notice; you speak too much, without discerning whether it is necessary or unnecessary, profitable or harmful, provided only that something is spoken. It is as if you are afraid of silence, which in fact is a nun's first obligation, the chief condition of her success and the adornment of her whole life. Deeply rooted in people is the love of idle talk, i.e., empty, unnecessary conversations, and it has become a beloved pastime among them. It seems we don't know and don't believe that idle talk is a sin, and a serious sin, which gives birth to a multitude of other sins: quarrels, conflicts, gossip, slander, condemnation, calumny, and the like. One deeply thinking pastor, contemporary to us, writes the following on idle talk, among other things: "How heedlessly, how carelessly we use our words, Which should be highly valued as a great gift from God! But on the contrary, what do we least esteem, if not the spoken word? In what are we fickle, if not in the spoken word? What do we throw out every minute, as though it were dirt, if not the spoken word? O Christian! Value your words, be attentive to them!" ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/20/202412 minutes, 14 seconds
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Apostolic Fervor & A Protector of Orphans - St. Herman of Alaska (Treasury of Spirituality V-IX)

St. Herman, who traveled from his monastery in Valaam to share the gospel of Christ with the native Alaskans, established the light of Orthodoxy in the hearts of countless souls and forever changed North America. This reading shows forth some of his most inspiring and well-known teachings, vital for everyone, especially Americans. 0:00 Beginning 0:16 Apostolic Fervor 3:38 Protector of Orphans 5:06 Spiritual Power 8:44 Pride 10:15 Humility The text comes from the "Treasury of Spirituality" of St. Herman of Alaska, sections of which are found in various places online and originally published in The Orthodox Word. See selections here: https://orthochristian.com/38612.html -READ the Life of St. Herman: https://orthochristian.com/47984.html -BUY St. Herman's Life and Service text here: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/product-p/shls.htm -BUY "Father Herman: Alaska's Saint" by F.A. Golder here: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/Father-Herman-Alaska-s-Saint-p/fh.htm -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ Troparion to St. Herman: O venerable Herman, ascetic of the northern wilderness / and gracious advocate for all the world, / teacher of the Orthodox Faith and good, instructor of piety, / adornment of Alaska and joy of all America; // Entreat Christ God, that He save our souls. Photo: Chapel of Sts. Sergius & Herman of Valaam on Spruce Island, Alaska built over St. Herman’s originally burial site. His relics now lie in Kodiak, Alaska. ______ St. Herman writes: In all my life here from my own Russians I have seen more of scorn and reproach and mockery, to which I have already become accustomed, and from such custom I think that in actual fact my lowliness is such. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/12/202410 minutes, 39 seconds
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On Exercise - St. Nektarios of Aegina

The towering figure of St. Nektarios offers a speech at the opening of a gymnasium in 1893, showing forth the purpose of a fit physique and the relationship between soul and body. St. Nektarios published this speech in 1894. Reading from "For Mind and Heart: St. Nektarios as Teacher" by Newrome Press, pp. 45-52. -BUY "For Mind and Heart: St. Nektarios as Teacher": https://newromepress.com/for-mind-and-heart-st.-nektarios-as-teacher/ -READ the entire speech here: https://www.orthodoxethos.com/post/on-exercise-by-st-nektarios-of-aegina -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ______ St. Nektarios teaches: Wherefore, as all know well, the training and exercise of both body and soul are inborn duties set upon man by both his very nature and his calling since a healthy body serves the soul willingly and readily, while a soul which has cultivated its faculties is sound, healthy, and governs the body prudently. Although great care and concern is required in order is to cultivate these two, one should not fall into extremes, and the care for the body of he who exercises ought to be especially measured. On the one hand, according to Aristotle, the extreme cultivation of the soul undermines the body through excessive strain, while on the other hand, the extreme cultivation of the body undermines the soul through unceasing exertion — the second is the greater evil, on account of it amounting to the corruption of what is more excellent. Very rightly, then, it is said that prudence is found in the mean: "Everything in moderation," and, "Nothing in excess." Immoderate concern for the body, excessive exercise, doubly damages the soul: it damages it indirectly through subsequent illness, and directly through the body's gaining excessive strength. The excessive strength of the body arising out of unceasing concern for it renders it wild, difficult to manage, independently-minded, bold, and unyielding in the face of the soul's dictates. The soul, having become weak, deprived of power, compromised by inactivity, gives the body boldness to rebel against the spirit and prompts it to try and completely subjugate it, to bring it under the dominion of its strength. It renders the enslaved soul an instrument by means of which the body's irrational impulses are fulfilled, corrupting it and causing whatever may be found in it that is noble to vanish. Therefore, neither the attainment of athleticism nor unrivaled muscular strength should be the aim of exercise, but rather the building of bodily strength for the sake of ready satisfaction of the demands of the spirit and the fulfillment of those duties set upon it. The aim of exercise is not to produce athletes for the games, but, rather, perfectly formed men capable of any undertaking, for it is well-known that exercise by means of habit renders one more ready for struggles, and more industrious through a familiarity with hard work. Our ancient ancestors became noble and good men through measured bodily exercise and the parallel development of the soul's powers; they became great, all-beautiful, and glorious; they proved themselves most beneficial to the nation and humanity through the degree of civility they attained, and the memory they left behind is holy and unforgettable. Gentlemen, bodily exercise and spiritual development are the axes around which perfect education and perfect formation revolve, and from these follow happiness, glory, and greatness. The man who is cultivated on both planes will be happy, a man who stands out, who thinks big, who accomplishes big things, who is strong and capable of every undertaking, who is beneficial in all situations. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/12/202416 minutes, 16 seconds
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Children in Church - Fr. Michael Pomazansky of Jordanville

"Let the children be conscious that they are members of Christ's family. Let the children come to love church!" With an inspiring message for parents, Fr. Michael Pomazansky exhorts us to help our children not just come to church but to learn to love church. Addressing practical aspects and the important matter of compulsion, this short article offers a always timely message to Orthodox Christian parents and their children. 0:00 Beginning 0:07 The parents’ obligation to raise their children in the love of God in church 2:51 Contact with spiritual grace is one of the first concerns of Christian parents 3:35 The key to religious education and the matter of compulsion 7:24 There must be at least some active participation for the child to grow to love church Fr. Michael Pomazansky was a priest trained in Russia before the Bolshevik Revolution and later Professor at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY. Highly revered as a living link to Holy Tradition and transmitter of true Orthodoxy, Fr. Michael reposed just before his 100tg birthday in November 4th, 1988. -READ the text here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/pomaz_children.aspx -BUY Fr. Michael's most famous work, "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology": https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/product-p/odt.htm -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ------- Fr. Michael writes: And however we may influence them in our family at home, however much we might teach them the Gospel, we would be depriving them of the direct action of heavenly grace, and at best we would arouse a thirst for faith in them—but we would still be keeping them far from the heavenly light and warmth, which comes down, regardless of our human efforts, in the mysteries, in all the services, in holy prayers. The task of religious 'education will be fulfilled only when we teach our children to love church. But certainly, if this remains just compulsion, and to such an extent that it creates a psychological repulsion in the young people—this will show that the aim has not been attained, that the method has proved to be inadequate and the compulsion in vain. Let the child brought by our will express a desire to remain there through his own will. Then you will have justified your action. “The holy maidens Faith, Hope and Charity, and the holy young bride Perpetua, who became martyrs, are witnesses to the fact that adolescence is an age prepared even for the highest active participation in Christ's Church. The baby in his mother's arms in church who cried out, "Ambrose for bishop!", and by his exclamation determined the choice of the renowned Ambrose of Milan for the episcopal cathedra—this baby is a defender of children's rights to an active participation in Christ's Church. And so let us take some trouble over our children: first let us give them the chance to take more part in church—and in a wider and more elevated form than just giving the censer to the priest; and secondly, let us adapt ourselves somewhat to our children when praying together with them. Let the children be conscious that they are members of Christ's family. Let the children come to love church! ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/5/202410 minutes, 19 seconds
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The Way of a Christian - St. Herman of Alaska (Treasury of Spirituality I-IV)

St. Herman, who traveled from his monastery in Valaam to share the gospel of Christ with the native Alaskans, established the light of Orthodoxy in the hearts of countless souls and forever changed North America. This reading shows forth some of his most inspiring and well-known teachings, vital for everyone, especially Americans 0:00 Beginning 0:13 The Way of a Christian 2:50 Love For God 6:19 The Providence of God 7:18 Spiritual Warfare The text comes from the "Treasury of Spirituality" of St. Herman of Alaska, sections of which are found in various places online and originally published in The Orthodox Word. See selections here: https://orthochristian.com/38612.html -READ the Life of St. Herman: https://orthochristian.com/47984.html -BUY St. Herman's Life and Service text here: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/product-p/shls.htm -BUY "Father Herman: Alaska's Saint" by F.A. Golder here: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/Father-Herman-Alaska-s-Saint-p/fh.htm -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ Troparion to St. Herman: O venerable Herman, ascetic of the northern wilderness / and gracious advocate for all the world, / teacher of the Orthodox Faith and good, instructor of piety, / adornment of Alaska and joy of all America; // Entreat Christ God, that He save our souls. Photo: Chapel of Sts. Sergius & Herman of Valaam on Spruce Island, Alaska built over St. Herman’s originally burial site. His relics now lie in Kodiak, Alaska. ______ St. Herman writes: “A true Christian is made by faith and love toward Christ. Our sins do not in the least hider our Christianity, according to the word of the Saviour Himself. He deigned to say: not the righteous have I come to call, but sinners to salvation; there is more joy in heaven over one who repents than over ninety righteous ones. Likewise concerning the sinful woman who touched His feet, He deigned to say to the Pharisee Simon: to one who has love, a great debt is forgiven, but from one who has no love, even a small debt will be demanded. From these judgements a Christian should bring himself to hope and joy, and not in the least accept an inflicted despair. Here one needs the shield of faith.” "For our good, for our happiness," concluded the Elder [Herman], "at least let us make a promise to ourselves, that from this day, from this hour, from this minute we shall strive to love God above all, and fulfill His holy will!" ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/28/20249 minutes, 36 seconds
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Entertainment On the Eve of Feast Days - Archbishop Averky & St. John Maximovitch

How do we prepare for Holy Communion and the Divine Liturgy? How should we spend the night before? How much do we desire to acquire and preserve the grace of God in our souls and bodies? Archbishop Averky and St. John Maximovitch embodied the holy tradition of the ancient fathers in the 20th century, expressing the wisdom of Christ applied to our own days. As you listen, do you find yourself struggling with these teachings, finding them burdensome? The Apostle John wrote, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3). 0:00 Beginning 0:12 St. John's Ukase [Decree] 1:00 Archbishop Averky's homily titled "Be Not Deceived, Brethren, God Is Not Mocked!" Readings from: “Man of God: Saint John of Shanghai & San Francisco”, p. 234; "The Just Shine Like The Stars: A Photographic Biography on the Life of Archbishop Averky of Jordanville Including Some of His Selected Sermons", pp. 37-39 -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ______ St. John’s “Ukase [Decree] concerning the inadmissibility of engaging in entertainments on the eves of feast days”: The holy canons dictate that Christians should spend the eves of feast days in prayer and with reverence in preparation for participation or attendance at the Divine Liturgy. If all Orthodox Christians are called to this, then this pertains all the more to those who take an active part in the church service itself. Their participation in diversions on the eve of a feast day is especially sinful. In view of the above, those who attend a dance or similar form of entertainment and diversion may not participate in the choir the next day, may not serve in the altar, enter the altar or stand on the cliros. Archbishop Averky teaches: Alas, though we build churches, we do not fully appreciate what takes place within them. We do not value the freedom of being able to pray in these churches and of living with all the fulness of grace of church life, without which there is no salvation. Our celebration begins in the evening with the serving of the all-night vigil; the night preceding a feast is a holy night. The only activity proper to such a night is prayer. It is obvious from the very name of the evening service — the "all-night vigil," that the first Christians passed the entire night in prayer on the eve of a feastday, just as we now do on the eve of Pascha. Would it occur to those living abroad to organize an "evening of dancing" or a "charity" theatrical performance on the eve of Pascha, for Sunday is our weekly celebration of Pascha. People rarely sin or commit crimes without trying to justify themselves in every way possible. Yet the voice of our conscience is heard within us nonetheless. And thus, with every sin and crime, there is always some sort of excuse one can come up with to justify oneself before others and one's own conscience. the organizers of entertainments on the eves of feastdays have also devised cunning, "high-principled" justification for their sin. The diversions are organized for a "lofty, noble, purpose." with the aim of "aiding our neighbor," with the goal of "charity." But what kind of "charity" can this be? True Christian charity is practiced for the sake of Christ, in the name of God, and not in violation of God's commandments and the Church's precepts! There is scant value in the sort of charity that is purchased by defiling the sanctity of our feastdays and luring believers from church. Are Christians really unable to be charitable unless they can dance and amuse themselves at the same time? ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/23/20249 minutes, 6 seconds
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Fighting the Passions - Archbishop Theophan of Poltava

Archbishop Theophan of Poltava (+1940) whom we commemorate today (February 6/19) was a spiritual son of St. Theophan the Recluse, spiritual father of Archbishop Averky of Jordanville, and confessor for the Russian Royal Family before their martyric deaths in 1918. In these letters we are given general advice on fighting the passions, prayer, and answers to various specific questions many people have today. 0:11 Letter 23: Fighting the Passions 1:32 Letter 24: The Inner Struggle With Vain Thoughts and the Meaning of Humility 3:52 Letter 27: Exhaustion During Prayer and the Concept of Penance 5:28 Letter 8: Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov's Essays and the Proper Attitude Toward the Temptations Which Befall Us 8:00 Letter 21: Fighting the Passions and Dispassion 10:02 Letter 22: Preserving Inner Contemplation and Remembrance of God 11:25 Letter 26: Self-Reliance vs. Social Life; Fasting and Prayer 12:35 Letter 31: How Often Should One Receive Communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ? 13:59 Letter 36: How to Prevent Sorrows From Disturbing One's Peace of Mind and Confession 14:57 Letter 54: The Proper Way to Conduct Spiritual Warfare These letters come from the book: “Selected Letters of Archbishop Theophan of Poltava” -BUY books from St. Theophan and Archbishop Averky here: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ______ Archbishop Theophan writes: Until a man achieves dispassion he abides in the passions. The passions are, however, strongly manifest only in some people, in others they are inactive. But inactivity of the passions is not dispassion. In this case the passions are merely latent. When a man enters into battle with them, they assert their existence. "Many are the Saints," said St. Symeon the New Theologian, "but few are the dispassionate (those of perfect dispassion), and there is a great difference between the two" (Homily 84, para. 1; v. 2, p. 398). -Letter 21 When we forget about God, passions and evil thoughts arise. -Letter 22 One must compel oneself to remember God. -Letter 22 Until we reach the harbor of dispassion we must fight the passions and vain thoughts. There will be both victories and defeats, but we must conduct this battle until the end of our life. The battle will be successful only if it is conducted properly, and it will be conducted properly only if we depend not on our own might to conquer our passions and vain thoughts, but on God's might. In order to accomplish this we must constantly call upon God to help us by incessant appeal in God's name. -Letter 23 Penance is not, in the legal sense of the word, a punishment for a crime, but rather a spiritual remedy, the aim of which is to rid the person who uses it of a certain spiritual infirmity. The number of prostrations depends on the nature of the transgression or sin. -Letter 27 ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/19/202416 minutes, 53 seconds
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In Defense of the Ever-Virginity of the Virgin Mary - Elder Cleopa of Romania

Anyone inquiring into Orthodoxy will find clarity from Elder Cleopa's detailed exposition of the Scriptures, especially if the ever-virginity of the Virgin Mary is currently a stumbling block to Orthodoxy. Elder Cleopa is one of the most beloved Romanian elders of the 20th century. A confessor of the faith under the Romanian communists, Elder Cleopa was a truly heavenly man whom thousands of people from all over travelled to receive his counsel and sit in his presence. He was not only a friend of God, the most blessed a man can be, but of his contemporary saints as well, including Elder Thaddeus, Elder Arsenie, St. Justin Popovic, St. Paisios the Athonite, and more. This podcast is a reading from "The Truth of Our Faith: Discourses from Holy Scripture on the Tenets of Christian Orthodoxy" by Elder Cleopa of Romania, pp. 82-88. -BUY "The Truth of Our Faith" by Elder Cleopa of Romania, published by Uncut Mountain Press: https://uncutmountainpress.com/shop/product/the-truth-of-our-faith/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ In 2021, the Romanian Orthodox Church officially decided to canonize Elder Cleopa and add his commemoration to the Church calendar. His canonization is set for 2025. https://orthochristian.com/137894.html ______ Elder Cleopa teaches: You also heard that although she was a virgin, as she had never known a man, the angel did not say to her “blessed art thou among virgins” but “blessed art thou among women,” without this word expressing disdain for the Most Holy Theotokos... God, as much as Adam, called Eve “woman” when she was a virgin because she had a female, and not male, nature, showing thus the feminine sex. In no way is it understood that God and Adam called her who was received from the side of Adam (and was still a virgin) a woman with the meaning of married woman. For just as Eve was a virgin when he called her woman, so too the mystical and spiritual Eve, the most holy Virgin Mary—she who gave birth to Christ the New Adam—is virgin unto the ages of ages, even though Holy Scripture refers to her as woman. At that time, Adam, by the will of God and in virginity, gave birth from his body to a woman, yet not by sexual intercourse with a woman. When the fullness of time had come, the female nature in synergy with the Holy Spirit gave birth to a man, yet not by relations with a man. In virginity, the Virgin Mary gave birth and remained virgin—just as in the beginning, in virginity, Adam gave birth without the co-operation of a woman, remaining virgin. Thus, God deigned through the Virgin Mary to cure the fallen nature of the old Adam with the New Adam born of the Virgin.... Thus, pay close attention: Holy Scripture does not call the Mother of God woman and thereby mean married woman, as some believe, but with the word woman reveals only the sex, the given female nature of the Ever-Virgin Mary, while simultaneously (in a hidden or concealed manner) saying that she is the woman whose Seed (Christ) will bruise the head of the serpent and through whom shall come the salvation of mankind. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/13/202413 minutes, 15 seconds
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Perfect Love Casts Out Fear - Abba Dorotheos of Gaza

St. Dorotheos of Gaza (+565), disciple of Sts. Barsanuphius and John, is one of the most revered teachers on spiritual life, speaking from his direct experience with Christ through his ascetic struggle. Here he addresses the fear of God, the three stages of divine fear, and the meaning of the Apostle John's famous words.This is an excerpt from the full recording:On Divine Fear - Abba Dorotheos of Gaza https://youtu.be/7CHHNtUv2YQ -READ "Our Holy Father Dorotheos of Gaza: Various Soul-Profiting Instructions to His Disciples" here: https://www.ctosonline.org/patristic/OH.html -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ______ St. Dorotheos writes: “If, now, even the Saints, who so love the Lord, fear Him, why does St. John say that ‘love casteth out fear?’ The Saint wishes to indicate to us that there are two kinds of fear, one initial and the other perfect, and that, while one is characteristic of neophytes, as we say, in the spiritual life, the other is characteristic of the holy, of those who have been made perfect spiritually and have attained to a measure of holy love. Heed what I am saying. One does the Will of God out of fear of punishment. He, as we have said, is a total neophyte. He does not strive on account of goodness itself, but because he fears chastisements. The other does the Will of God because he loves God and since he especially rejoices when his life is pleasing to God. He knows the essence of goodness; he has tasted of what it means for one to be united to God. This is the one who has the true love that St. John calls ‘perfect.’ And this love leads him to perfect fear. For he fears and does the Will of God, not out of fear of chastisements, not out of fear of perhaps going to Hell, but, just as we have said, because he has tasted of the sweetness experienced by those who are united to God and fears that he might be deprived of it. Thus, this perfect fear, which comes forth from love, distances us from initial fear. And for this reason, it is said that: ‘Perfect love casteth out fear.’ Nonetheless, it is impossible for one to arrive otherwise at perfect fear, save by initial fear.” ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/9/20246 minutes, 41 seconds
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Fasting On Wednesday & Friday - St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

Drawing upon the witness of Christ and many saints, St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite sets forth the standard (akrevia) for the Orthodox Church's weekly fasts on Wednesday and Friday. Even if the ideal is beyond our abilities or beyond what our spiritual father has blessed, we must know the standard and humbly be aware of how we measure up, repenting and striving to offer more and more of ourselves to our gracious King, Jesus Christ. This podcast is a reading from "Exomologetarion: A Manual of Confession" by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite, pp. 209-212 -BUY "Exomologetarion: A Manual of Confession" by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite, published by Uncut Mountain Press: https://uncutmountainpress.com/shop/product/exomologetarion-a-manual-of-confession/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ Not sure what all this fasting is about? First, talk with your spiritual father or parish priest and ask for guidance. Additionally, read the wealth of resources on the meaning of fasting from a variety of authors here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/pr_fasting.aspx A helpful word from Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou regarding penances, canons, and not "throwing the baby out with the bath water": “Here in the West [versus Greece], though, because of the circumstances of life, and the difficulty of the conditions in which people live and the world that surrounds them, we have to be more indulgent and patient. But it is good to know the rules of the Church, for example, that a certain sin is punished by a two-year exclusion from Holy Communion. Nobody can apply these rules literally anymore, but it is very important that we know them, because they reflect the magnitude of the soul's deadening when certain kinds of sin have been committed. The time can, of course, be shortened in any case, depending on the repentance of the person, and on the disposition and willingness of the priest to co-operate with that person. Everything can be accelerated if the priest works together with the penitent and prays for him. I now realize that when we priests pray for ourselves, God does not listen to us, He can be as deaf as I am, but when we pray for other people He responds very quickly, which shows that this is the true nature of our ministry.” -The Hidden Man of the Heart, p. 58 _______ St. Nikodemos teaches: Canon 69 of the Holy Apostles designates that any hierarch or priest or deacon or subdeacon or reader or chanter who does not fast during Great Lent and Wednesday and Friday is to be deposed. If a layperson does not fast during these times (unless he cannot fast on account of bodily illness), he is to be excommunicated. Do you see how the Apostles numbered the Wednesday and Friday fast together with the fast of Great Lent? Therefore, just as the fast of Great Lent consists in the eating of dry foods, namely, to eat but once a day, at the ninth hour, without consuming oil or wine, likewise, the fast of Wednesday and Friday is to be conducted in the exact same manner. ...the Apostles in their Canons number this fast together with that of Great Lent, and in the Apostolic Constitutions they number it together with the fast of Holy Week, saying: "One must fast during Holy Week and Wednesday and Friday."279 But why should I say that this regulation is only of the Apostles? It is a regulation of Christ Himself, for this is what the Apostles say in Book V, ch. 14 of the Constitutions: "He (that is, Christ) commanded us to fast on Wednesday and Friday." We must also note the following, that just as there must be a fast from food on Wednesday, Friday, and Great Lent, there must also be a fast from pleasures of the flesh. For this reason weddings cannot take place on these days, because the divine Paul commands that married couples are not to come together during a time of prayer and fasting: "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer" (1 Cor. 7:5). --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/7/20247 minutes, 11 seconds
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The Nuns of Shamordino ("We Will Not Work For Antichrist")

The story of 30 nuns, imprisoned for Christ, who refused to work for the Soviet regime and the miraculous events surrounding their witness to the truth. Originally published in English in “Russia’s Catacomb Saints” by I. M. Andreyev, Fr. Seraphim Rose, and Fr. Herman Podmoshensky. “We can work, but we do not wish to work for the regime of Antichrist and we shall not work even though they might kill us for this." -READ "Russia's Catacomb Saints" here: http://russiascatacombsaints.blogspot.com/ -MORE images of the known icon of the Nuns of Shamordino: https://orthodoxwiki.org/Nuns_of_Shamordino -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ From “Russia’s Catacomb Saints”: "But without a definition of the category of your inability to work, they will send you to extraordinarily difficult labor." "All the same, we will not work whether it be difficult or easy labors." "Why?" I asked in astonishment. "Because we do not wish to work for the regime of Antichrist." “We can work, but we do not wish to work for the regime of Antichrist and we shall not work even though they might kill us for this." Though prisoners, they were spiritually free. No one in the Soviet Union had such freedom of worship as they. What their example did to instill religious faith in thousands of prisoners and guards there at Vorkuta, I cannot begin to describe. Later on, when I had the opportunity as a locker-room attendant for the MVD men to talk with some of the more hardened Russian Communists about religion, not one failed to mention the Miracle of the Nuns. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/28/202417 minutes, 15 seconds
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The Sinless Christ Became Sin For Us - St. Maximus the Confessor

St. Maximus the Confessor explains one of the more difficult verses in sacred Scripture: "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor 5:21). This is a reading of Question 42 from "On Difficulties in Sacred Scripture: The Responses to Thalassios". -BUY "On Difficulties in Sacred Scripture: The Responses to Thalassios" here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0813235715/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?ie=UTF8&qid=&sr= -BUY an excellent 8-lecture course by Fr. Maximos Constas on St. Maximus the Confessor's Life and Teachings: https://patristicnectar.org/bookstore_160419_1 -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ St. Maximus taught: Because Adam’s natural power of free choice was corrupted first, it corrupted nature together with itself, losing the grace of impassibility. And thus the fall of free choice from the good toward evil became the first and blameworthy sin. The second sin, which came about as a result of the first, was the blameless alteration of nature from incorruptibility to corruption. Thus two sins came about in the forefather through his transgression of the divine commandment: the first was blameworthy, but the second was blameless, having been caused by the first. And for our sakes, through the passibility of nature, He became sin, but He did not commit voluntary sin, thanks to the immutability of His free choice—to the contrary, He corrected the passibility of nature through the incorruptibility of His faculty of free choice, making the end of nature’s passibility, by which I mean death, into the beginning of the transformation of our nature into incorruptibility. The Lord, then, did not know my sin, that is, the turning away of my free will: He did not assume my sin, neither did He become my sin, but [He became] sin because of me; that is, He assumed the corruption of nature which came about through the turning away of my free choice, and He became, for our sake, man passible by nature, abolishing my sin through the sin that came about because of me. The condemnation of my freely chosen sin—I mean, of human nature’s passible, corruptible, and mortal elements—was assumed by the Lord, who for my sake became “sin” in terms of passibility, corruption, and mortality, voluntarily by nature assuming my condemnation—though He is without condemnation in His free choice—so that He might condemn the sin of my free choice and nature as well as my condemnation, simultaneously expelling sin, passibility, corruption, and death from nature, bringing about a new mystery concerning me, who had fallen through disobedience: the dispensation of Him, who for my sake and out of His love for mankind, voluntarily appropriated my condemnation through His death, through which He granted that I be called back and restored to immortality. ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/26/20248 minutes, 34 seconds
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The Protocols of the Elders of Zion - Examined by Fr. Seraphim Rose

Fr. Seraphim Rose, in his examination of phenomena leading to our modern age, touches upon a most controversial and disputed document: “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. Originally published in 1905 by Sergius Nilus in Russia, “Protocols” was blessed for publication by St. John of Kronstadt and would not have been possible without his support. One must take a sober, balanced look at this document, which Hieromonk Seraphim Rose offers in Lesson 9 of his Orthodox Survival Course.  0:00 Beginning 0:16 Introductory Note 1:23 Fr. Seraphim Rose’s examination Saints and righteous ones who thought Protocols of the Elders of Zion was genuine: -St. John of Kronstadt -Tsar St. Nicholas  -St. Barsanuphius of Optina -New Martyr St. Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky), Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomensky -Fr. Seraphim Rose -Elder Ephraim of Arizona -Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios -Fr. Ioanichie Balan of Romania …and more Other saints who may or may not have understood Protocols the same way, but nonetheless spoke about Zionism and related matters the same way: -St. Paisios the Athonite -Fr. George Calciu -Elder Justin Parvu …and more -READ the “Orthodox Survival Course” by Fr. Seraphim Rose: https://saintkosmas.org/orthodox-survival-course -LISTEN to more recordings by Orthodox Wisdom of Fr. Seraphim’s teachings: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzFKi22k2KYjDHTp3rJVE7B66juR7bDzI -LISTEN to “How to Understand the Jews as Being a Chosen People: An Orthodox Analysis” https://youtu.be/Zwtcox3ivCs -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you:  https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ “Publication of the Protocols in the book by S.A. Nilus ‘The Great in the Little…’ was blessed by the great Russian saint and visionary John of Kronstadt. Without the spiritual support of John of Kronstadt, the Nilus’s book would not have seen the light of day. As a contemporary notes, ‘Nilus himself did not believe in the possibility of readers' interest in his books. Under the influence of such despondency and pessimism he might not have written his famous work. But it was in order to remove this obstacle that the wonderful visionary St John confidently calls him to the task: ‘Write; your books will be bought and read.’’" -Oleg Platinov, Foreword to “The History of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” ______ Fr. Seraphim states: ...a rather controversial document. It is called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and, because it presents itself in the form of a Jewish document, it has aroused a great deal of dispute. If you read any history book, of the two world wars especially; in fact, any history book written before the Second World War, you will find there an almost universal statement that “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are a fabrication deliberately to discredit the Jews, that it is a totally fantastic thing which has no reality to it. There are others who take the document so seriously that they tend to go to the other extreme and they see everywhere a Jewish plot so much so that they can hardly take a step without fainting. We must try to look at this document somewhat objectively to see what is actually in it, how it was found and what is its significance. ​​All this is deeply in accord with the philosophy of the Talmud, of the desire of the Jews for a Messiah who is of this world; and it is not surprising that there should be some kind of Jewish organization which has this philosophy. The philosophy is actually that of Marx; the ruthlessness, the using of everybody else for its own purpose, the establishing of one world rule — everything except the fact that Marx did not believe in God. There are two new things in this whole plan…. 1) they are not atheistic. They believe in one world religion…. The second new ingredient in this revolutionary proposal is that there will be one world monarch.* * From an Orthodox perspective, this world monarch will be the Antichrist. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/23/202420 minutes, 55 seconds
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Homily on the Eve of Theophany - St. Gregory Palamas

St. Gregory Palamas, in preparation for the feast of Theophany, calls his flock to remember the grace of their baptism and the high calling they have as children of God. He provides a summary of the practical aspects of how a person is baptized, giving spiritual commentary about this apostolic tradition. He then details the example and teachings of St. John the Baptist and his perennial, soul-profiting wisdom as recorded in the Holy Scriptures. This is a reading of Homily 59: "On What is Accomplished in Holy Baptism, and On Repentance, and What Saint John the Baptist Said About This Subject" -BUY the collection of St. Gregory’s Homilies here: https://mountthabor.com/products/saint-gregory-palamas-the-homilies -BUY other books by St. Gregory, some of which can be found here: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ St. Gregory taught: Repentance is the beginning, middle, and end of the Christian way of life, so it is both sought and required before Holy Baptism, in Holy Baptism, and after Holy Baptism. Holy Baptism is a symbol of death. After the holy anointing, he is immediately led to the sacred font, which has been thoroughly sanctified beforehand by various holy rites and ablutions. Once he has been brought, the bishop baptizes him by immersing him three times, invoking at each immersion one of the Three Persons whom we worship. Water is a means of cleansing, but not for souls. It can remove dirt from those being baptized, but not the grime that comes from sin. For that reason, the Healer of souls, the Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9), Christ, Who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), enters the water before us to be baptized, as we celebrate today in advance. He draws the grace of the All-Holy Spirit from above to dwell in the water with Him, so that later when those being baptized as He entered the water, He is there, clothing them ineffably with His Spirit, attaching Himself to them, and filling them with the grace that purifies and illumines reasonable spirits. And this is what the divine Paul referring to: "as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27). While the three immersions in the water are also the saving invocation of the Life-Giving Trinity, they represent the Lord's three-day burial. Following this, the person being baptized comes out of the water the same number of times, because otherwise he could not have been submerged three times, but also because this signifies the resurrection from sin of the three parts of the soul, and the return of the mind, soul and body, all three together, to incorruption. Thus in divine baptism both death and life can be seen, the tomb together with the resurrection, just as the Lord, Who "in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth continuously unto God" (cf. Romans 6:10). As repentance is the beginning and end of the Christian way of life, the Lord's Forerunner and Baptist, who was himself the starting point of this approach to living, preached saying, "repent ye: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2). And the Lord Himself, the perfection of all goodness, said the same in His preaching (Matthew 4:17). Repentance means hating sin and loving virtue, turning away from evil and doing good (cf. Psalm 34:14; I Peter 3:11). As I speak these words to you, brethren, I feel no small pain in my soul, that we who were long ago vouchsafed Christian baptism have not yet accomplished those very things which John demanded of those approaching his own baptism. Yet the Lord's baptism, of which we were deemed worthy, is as far superior to the baptism given by John in those days, as the grace of the Holy Spirit is more excellent than water… ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/18/202420 minutes, 8 seconds
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Demonic Delusions of Hinduism & Other Sects - St. Paisios the Athonite

With pain of heart, we present the teachings of St. Paisios to correct the blasphemies of Archbishop Elpidophorus and guard the faithful against his lies, whose speech was presented by Bishop Athenagoras at the opening of a Hindu temple in New Jersey on October 4, 2023. Archbishop Elpidophoros writes: “This Hindu temple represents a Sacred Space…May the opening of this beautiful shrine be a beacon of joy, understanding and harmony within the Hindu community and beyond…In the spirit of love and fellowship, I offer my congratulations and blessings for the success and flourishing of this sacred endeavor.” St. Paisios’ words to a Greek Orthodox seminary graduate would apply today: "You are harming yourself and others when you relate this refined Hindu nonsense and at the same time present yourself as a graduate of Chalki. Be careful, you will become possessed bythe devil." Full Video of the Interfaith Harmony event at the Hindu temple. Go to 1:20:10 for Bishop’s speech:https://www.youtube.com/live/7VhZtb2wGek?si=AfYGZF8WUUvG_bKz Orthodox articles on the event here: 1) https://orthochristian.com/158195.html 2) https://www.monomakhos.com/the-downfall-of-the-goa-proceeds-apace/ Details of the temple and its shrines: 1) https://www.baps.org/News/2023/Interfaith-Harmony-Day-24199.aspx 2) https://www.hinduismtoday.com/magazine/january-february-march-2024/americas-largest-hindu-temple-opens-in-new-jersey/ 0:00 Beginning 0:23 On the Asceticism of Hinduism 3:12 Hinduism Has Done A Lot of Harm 7:52 The Seduction of People (Hinduism & Other Sects) 11:48 Baptism is not magic, not given to cure psychological problems 14:19 Return to Orthodoxy 16:51 Two accounts of St. Paisios helping Hindus come to Christ -BUY “Spiritual Counsels, Vol. III: Spiritual Struggle” by St. Paisios: https://www.holycross.org/products/spiritual-struggle-elder-paisios -BUY "Saint Paisos of Mount Athos": https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/products/saint-paisios-of-mount-athos -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ ______ St. Paisios writes: They practice and practice but what do they achieve in the end? Orthodox temperance and abstemiousness — ascetic discipline in general — always aims for a higher spiritual purpose, the sanctification of the soul. The Hindu’s satanic and worldly asceticism results in an agile body, flexing arms and legs like a paper puppet so they can be admired by fools and mocked by demons. Some of our people go to the Hindus and are taught to say in the Hindu language certain incantations about Christ, Panaghia and the Saints. Some may know that these things are blasphemous, others may not, in the end they become possessed by demons. Then they start uttering incoherent words. They eventually become delirious, and onlookers consider them to be in a spiritual state, but this is actually a demonic state. What can you say? The confusion is immense! There was a sign outside a Roman Catholic Church in Paris that read: "Teaching of the Jesus Prayer with the yoga method." What have they come to! No wonder psychological problems abound, and people lose their mind. Impressed by the Elder's spiritual gifts, the man asked him about meditation and other spiritual techniques. "Look, my child," the Elder kindly interrupted him, "techniques do not matter at all. You are trying, but where you are digging, there is no gold; there is just the devil. The gold is Christ." ______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/16/202419 minutes, 41 seconds
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Papal Infallibility: The Ultimate Triumph of Humanism - St. Justin Popovic

"[Papal infallibility] is the ultimate triumph of humanism..." -St. Justin Popovic St. Justin expresses the ultimate implications of the dogma of papal infallibility. Regardless of how frequent or infrequent papal infallibility is exercised, the embrace of such an ability for a man, even if supposedly given by God, is why St. Justin is righteously provoked. He perceives the ultimate implications of such a dogmatic pronouncement and shutters, calling to repentance all those hooked by such lies. As St. Justin says, “In writing this, we are not writing either the history of Europe, of its virtues and faults, or the history of the European pseudo-Churches. We are simply setting forth the entirety of their ontology, penetrating to the heart of European conceit, its demonic underground, where its dark sources lie and with whose waters it threatens to poison the world. This is no passing of judgment on Europe, but a wholehearted and prayerful call to the only way to salvation: through repentance.” 0:00 Beginning 0:13 Introductory comments 1:24 Quote from Catherine of Sienna (RC saint): “Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not raise up our heads against him…” 2:24 Quote from Pope John Paul II (RC saint): “the name for that deep amazement at man’s worth and dignity is the gospel…” From St. Justin: 2:52 Papal infallibility dogmatized at Vatican I and upheld at Vatican II 5:25 “The dogma of the infallibility of the Pope is a Nietzschaen affirmation of the entire creation of European humanistic man.” 7:53 The Pope has “proclaimed himself a Church with the papist Church and has become all powerful in it.” 8:30 Three principles falls in human history: Adam, Judas, and the Pope 8:40 What is the core of the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope, a man? 10:55 The dogma of the infallibility of the Pope is the “final triumph of humanism” and the “heresy above all heresies” 12:36 Repentance is the only way out St. Justin's teachings in this video are excerpted from "Papism as the Oldest Protestantism - St. Justin Popović": https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/episodes/Papism-as-the-Oldest-Protestantism---St--Justin-Popovi-e1judki These excerpts are from the chapter “Man or the God-Man" from "The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism” NOTE: The meaning of Theanthropic: divine (in Greek theos = God) and human (in Greek anthropos = man); the Theanthropos = the God-Man, i.e. Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God. -BUY “The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism” by St. Justin: https://lazarica.co.uk/bookshop/ -LISTEN to more recordings by Orthodox Wisdom of St. Justin's teachings: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzFKi22k2KYgxvJMJchHwGAWGZebY0s2s -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/5/202415 minutes, 14 seconds
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Everyone Needs a Spiritual Father - St. Paisios the Athonite

Foundational to any spiritual life is to have an experienced guide. St. Paisios offers answers to various questions regarding this essential aspect of Orthodox spiritual life: finding an experienced spiritual father and being healed by love and obedience. 0:00 Beginning 0:14 The Spiritual Life Requires a Spiritual Guide 2:29 Refer People to a Spiritual Father 5:38 A Spiritual Father Must Be Nearby 7:48 The Spiritual Father in the Family This is a reading from "Spiritual Struggle: Saint Paisios the Athonite, Spiritual Counsels (Vol. III)", pp. 277-282. -BUY "Spiritual Struggle: Saint Paisios the Athonite, Spiritual Counsels (Vol. III)": https://www.holycross.org/products/spiritual-struggle-elder-paisios -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ St. Paisios teaches: The most necessary thing today is for people to find a Spiritual Father, to confess, trust him and follow his advice. If people have a spiritual guide and establish a rule of prayer and study, if they go to Church on a regular basis and receive Holy Communion, then they have nothing to fear in this life. The soul must be attended to closely by the Spiritual Father so that it does not go astray. Spiritual study certainly helps in our struggle for the spiritual life, but if we are without a spiritual guide, we can easily give our own interpretations to what is being studied and fall into error. For example, when someone is going on a long trip and is not certain of the way, he can consult the map but he can also stop and ask for directions. Of course, one should choose his spiritual guide carefully and not entrust his soul to just anyone. Just as one seeks the best doctor for his physical health, he should also seek out a good Spiritual Father for his spiritual health, and go to him, the doctor of his soul, on a regular basis. Just as one takes care to have his family doctor available as nearby as possible, he should also have his Spiritual Father near him. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/3/20249 minutes, 53 seconds
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Even if the Fasting is Over, Let the Piety Remain - St. John Chrysostom

Many Orthodox Christians have had to learn the hard way how to prepare not only to fast, but to feast. A feasting period, like we begin on Pascha and Christmas, requires us to remain watchful and sober if we are to preserve the grace we gained during the fast and avoid falling back into our old sins and bad habits. St. John Chrysostom is well aware of this and offers a timeless word to all who wish to take up their cross and follow Christ. -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you, the hospitals for all the passions: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ -HELP: An Orthodox ministry devoted to helping those struggling with drunkenness: https://inexhaustiblecup.org/ -PRAYER to overcome addictions: Akathist the Theotokos, “The Inexhaustible Cup”: https://prescottorthodox.com/text-akathist-inexhaustible-cup/ 0:00 Beginning 0:20 After fasting, we fast a different fast 2:39 Consequences of eating and drinking too much 3:41 The drunkenness from wine and the drunkenness NOT from wine 7:03 Continued analysis of St. Paul’s words / prodigal young men 8:18 Drunkenness is a self-chosen demon 10:19 “neither fornicators…nor drunkards will possess the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-11) 11:32 The reasons St. John teaches this to neophytes 13:47 “Human nature is inclined to nothing so harmful as ease.” / Examples of the Ancient Jews 17:02 The shining example of Apostle Paul 19:48 Consider what gifts, what dignity the King of all has given us 20:52 Unlike in human affairs, only we can remove our God-given dignity as Christians initiated into Christ 21:55 Keep watch and preserve our baptismal purity 24:01 Shine your weapons and armor, and spite the devil 25:01 Final exhortation This reading comes from “Baptismal Instructions” by St. John Chrysostom, pp. 80-92. Different versions exist online, and you can buy a copy here: https://svspress.com/saint-john-chrysostom-baptismal-instructions-hardcover/ _______ Beloved, even if the fasting is over, let the piety remain. Even if the time of the holy quarantine is gone by, let us not put aside the memory of it. Let no one feel displeasure at this exhortation; for I do not say it to impose on you another period of fasting, but because I wish you both to relax and to display not a more exact kind of fasting -- but the true one. For it is possible for one who is not fasting to fast. How is this? I shall tell you. While on the one hand we are taking food, let us, on the other, abstain from sin. For this is the fasting which helps us, and it is with this fasting in view that we abstain from food, so that we may more easily run in the course of virtue. Therefore, if we wish both to take proper care of the body and to keep the soul free from sin, let us take heed and act accordingly. You did not need exhortation and advice during the holy season of Lent as much as you need it now. During that season the practice of fasting made you be temperate, even in spite of yourselves; but now I am afraid and I fear the freedom from this obligation and the relaxation which it produces. Human nature is inclined to nothing so harmful as ease. Therefore, our loving Master, from the very beginning, has put on human nature a kind of curb and, in His great providence, has condemned man to toil and misery. Sin, however, is born precisely from such sources as wantonness, gluttony, and too much sloth. Therefore, I exhort, since we know clearly that these are wrong, let us not use what is wrong on the pretext that we are relaxing. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/26/202326 minutes, 15 seconds
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The Holy Zeal of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker - Archbishop Averky

An examination of an important part of the holy personality of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia, his great love and zeal for Christ and His Church. Archbishop Averky was a righteous shepherd of the 20th century who served as Abbot of the Holy Trinity Monastery and Rector of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY. He was spiritual son of the great 20th century theologian and holy hierarch, Archbishop Theophan of Poltava, Russia, and therefore a living link in America to the Faith of Pre-Revolutionary Russia. Archbishop Averky was so esteemed that before his repose, St. John Maximovitch told Fr. Seraphim Rose that if he had any theological questions to ask Archbishop Averky. The honorable Archbishop reposed in 1976 and his relics lie in a small chapel for veneration at Holy Trinity Monastery. This short text comes from "Holy Zeal" by Archbishop Averky -LISTEN to the entire article here: https://youtu.be/0DOZQ3WZWTI -READ to the entire article here: https://deathtotheworld.com/articles/holy-zeal/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ Archbishop Averky writes: By citing such a picturesque example, we do not in the least wish to say that every one of us can or should follow this example literally: for this one must be himself just as great a holy hierarch as St. Nicholas. But this should absolutely convince us that we do not dare to remain indifferent or be unconcerned about the manifestations of evil in the world, especially when the matter is one of God’s glory, of our Holy Faith and Church. Here we must show ourselves to be completely uncompromising, and we do not dare enter into any sort of cunning compromises or any reconciliation, even purely outward, or into any kind whatever of agreement with evil. To our personal enemies, according to Christ’s commandment, we must forgive everything, but with the enemies of God we cannot have peace! Friendship with the enemies of God makes us ourselves the enemies of God: this is a betrayal and treason towards God, under whatever well-seeming pretexts it might be done, and here no kind of cunning or skillful self-justification can help us! Only holy zeal for God, for Christ, without any admixture of any kind of slyness or ambiguous cunning politics, must guide us in all deeds and actions. Be zealous, therefore, and repent! (Apoc. 3:19). _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/19/20237 minutes, 14 seconds
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Negligence: The Unsleeping Danger - St. Joseph the Hesychast

"Don't be negligent, boys, lest you fall into the hands of thieves," counseled St. Joseph to his brotherhood. This short text is an ever-timely word from a God-bearing elder of our days. The text featured in this recording is from "The Elder Joseph the Hesychast (1897-1959): Struggles - Experiences - Teachings" by Elder Joseph of Vatopedi, p. 195-198. As of December 2023, it seems this book is out of print and very difficult to find. If this changes, please email me: [email protected] -BUY other books by and about St. Joseph here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/collections/all-books -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ When we asked about the chief cause of man's failure in his spiritual purpose, [St. Joseph] would reply that it was negligence. On one occasion I asked him how it was that the Fathers give self-esteem as the reason, and he replied, "Yes, that conspires against us too; but not all of us, only those it deceives. And again it affects only a few, because self-esteem corrupts treasures that have been amassed, while negligence does not even let you collect them. Negligence is like a drought in which nothing grows. Self-esteem damages those who have fruit, who have made some progress; whereas negligence harms everyone, because it impedes those who want to make a start, it stops those who have advanced, it does not allow the ignorant to learn, it prevents those who have gone astray from returning, it does not permit the fallen to get up - in general, negligence spells destruction for all those it holds captive. Using the pretext of physical needs and weariness from the struggle, this deceiver makes itself credible; and like a conductive material, listlessness transmits us and hands us over to self-love, the more general enemy. Only a courageous soul grounded in faith and hope in God can overthrow this conspiracy. Otherwise, it is difficult for someone inexperienced to escape from these nets. As a cure for negligence, the Elder recommended eschatological meditation in ascending and descending form: reward and punishment, the Kingdom of heaven and hell; and also calling to mind the honorable memory of those who have taken part in the struggle. The means of grace against negligence are prayer, tears and faith. Again, the Elder would recount many examples from the lives of earlier spiritual warriors who happened to be led astray by negligence and lost the record of spiritual progress which they had gained through great fervour and ascetic labour. To wake us up in the morning he would always shout to us, 'Don't be negligent, boys, lest you fall into the hands of thieves.' He even regarded a pointless occupation as negligence, because he believed that this too could lead to the same bondage. As David says, 'Let not thy foot be moved, and He who keeps thee will not slumber' (Ps. 121:3, LXX); and again, 'If Thy law had not been my meditation, I should have perished in my humiliation' (Ps. 119:92, LXX). _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/14/20235 minutes, 1 second
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Carnal Warfare - Elder Ephraim & Saint Joseph

Elder Ephraim writes, "Immediately say the [Jesus] prayer with pain of soul and at once you will be delivered from the warfare." This recording includes the following two excerpts: 1) My Elder Joseph the Hesychast by Elder Ephraim of Arizona, p. 339-343 -BUY HERE: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/products/my-elder-joseph-the-hesychast 2) Counsels from the Holy Mountain: Selected from the Letters and Homilies of Geronda Ephraim of Arizona, p. 165-169 -BUY HERE: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/products/counsels-from-the-holy-mountain 0:00 Intro From “My Elder Joseph the Hesychast” by Elder Ephraim 0:26 Advice on Carnal Warfare 3:57 Chastity 6:10 Facing Carnal Warfare From “Counsels from the Holy Mountain” by Elder Ephraim 10:04 Be patient--with the grace of God everything will pass 11:02 God knows how to deliver us from fornication 11:21 Carnal warfare stems from pride…so humble yourself 12:48 Be very careful with filthy fantasies 13:07 Do not lose heart, have courage 14:13 A letter from Athos, June 30, 1958 18:16 The weapons of demons and the weapons of Christ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ NOTE: A word regarding St. Joseph’s practice of fighting carnal warfare with a cane: A general principle of Orthodox life is that we imitate the saints. We look at the way they lived and seek to learn how to better love God and man by imitating their example. However, if we try to imitate each specific detail of the lives of one or more saints, then we are very prone to falling into prelest (spiritual deception), or worse. Our imitation must apply to our current spiritual state and be spiritually therapeutic for us now. The cancer patient and the man with a broken leg need very different treatment. When we see St. Joseph inflicting pain on himself with his cane, and even advising another monk suffering from carnal warfare to do the same, it would be exceedingly ignorant to quickly assume we should do the same. Certainly, both St. Joseph and the rest of us must apply the Lord’s command, “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you” (Matt 5:30) but we must do so in the way that is best for us, according to our abilities. This is not done alone; it is done under the guidance of an experienced spiritual father. If you desire to imitate St. Joseph in the details of his life, first speak with an experienced spiritual father and humbly submit to his guidance. _______ ---From "My Elder Joseph the Hesychast"--- Elder Joseph: “My child, carnal warfare is not set aflame so much by excessive eating, drinking, wine, and sleep, as it is by judging others.” Elder Ephraim: “Why, Geronda?” “So that we learn that we all have the same nature, the same devil fights us, and that we are all liable of being judged. Would you like to hear something even more amazing? “What, Geronda?” “A person who does not judge his neighbor gives evidence that he is saved. Whoever does not judge will not be judged, as the Word of God verifies: ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged.’” That is why he told us: “Has a judgmental thought about someone come to you? Don’t just sit there, debating with yourself whether that person is to blame or not. Justify everyone and take all the blame yourself. As soon as you start having negative thoughts about someone else, there is a danger that you will judge him. Just interrupt the thoughts and say to yourself: ‘What he is saying and doing is right. My ego is making me think evil about my brother, and so there’s no point trying to analyze it.’ If you don’t face the assaults of judgmental thoughts in this manner, whether you express them outwardly or cultivate them within you, you will have carnal warfare. And if you still don’t come to your senses then, then grace will abandon you, and you will fall. And if you do not repent after your fall and continue to judge others, your falls will have very serious consequences.” --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/7/202320 minutes, 37 seconds
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On Toys & Children - An Orthodox Analysis by Monk Hilarion

It's Christmas season again! This 1989 article is as timely as ever. Something here for everyone to learn, to go deeper in our knowledge of Christ and ourselves. Thumbnail (see full version on youtube) includes a variety of toys, some great, some terrible, some in between. -On the left: “Snuggly Saint” of St. George from Draw Near Designs: https://www.drawneardesigns.com/play -Life of St. Porphyrios for kids from Potomatis Publishing on the right: https://potamitis.us/collections/english/products/58-paterikon-for-kids-saint-porphyrios-1 -READ the article here from Orthodox Life, Nov-Dec 1989 (#6): https://orthodoxlifemagazines.blogspot.com/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ 0:00 Title 0:18 Introduction 1:51 The broader questions related to toys, children, and parents, quote by St. Theophan the Recluse 3:53 St. Diadochos on grace before and after baptism, parents need to nurture the grace in children 5:19 Marketing, television, and the root cause of the current attack on children 7:24 The nexus between toys and television, the often immoral and satanic influence from toy commercial and marketing 8:47 How some toys inhibit the development of a child’s imagination 10:17 Parents must strictly forbid certain toys, impure images inflicting the inner life of the child 11:10 Why are so many toys and cartoons based on occult symbolism? 12:01 A word on films, including E.T., Star Wars, Snow White, and Wizard of Oz 14:50 How we crush sin in our children and nourish the grace of God in them 17:37 The best of western Christian culture can act as a stepping stone in elevating the soul towards the higher, spiritual culture of the Church 18:31 Children must play, advice on the best toys and activities 21:00 Conclusion _______ In many cases there is no problem with the toy itself, the danger lies in the occult and the often violent images connected with it, which are conveyed to the child via television cartoons, and now also movies. The child "knows" how to play with the toy because he knows its abilities and characteristics, as seen on television. He no longer has to use his imagination to bring the toy to life.... At a simply practical level, this spoon-feeding of images inhibits the development of a child's imagination, because under normal circumstances a child would project his own imagination into a toy. One might be inclined to say that even Snow White and The Wizard of Oz have some frightening elements, but the difference between these and more recent films does not necessarily lie in the content, but rather in the way the story is told. " Disney" films presented a world in which there was a moral order. There was a sweetness in the way the stories were told several levels removed from the vivid realism of Indiana Jones, for instance. In pursuit of ever-larger audiences, film makers have escalated the amount of violence, brutality, arid sensuality, and aimed it at ever younger and younger audiences. It is also evident that a great influence for good is exercised on children by frequently taking them—from the earliest age—to church, by having them kiss the holy Cross, the Gospel, the icons, and by covering them with veils. Likewise, at home frequently placing the child under the icons, frequently signing him with the sign of the Cross, sprinkling him with holy water, burning incense, making the sign of the Cross over his food, his cradle, and everything connected with him. The blessing of the priest, the bringing into the house of icons from the church, the service of molebens, and in general everything from the Church, in a wondrous way warms and nourishes the life of grace in the child and protects him from attacks by invisible, dark powers ever ready to infect the developing soul. Likewise, the spirit of faith and piety in the parents should be regarded as the most powerful means for the preservation, upbringing, and strengthening of the life of grace in children. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/30/202322 minutes, 4 seconds
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How to Understand the Jews as Being a Chosen People: An Orthodox Analysis

Are the Jews, even in light of Christ's death and resurrection, still in some way the chosen people of God? If so, how should we understand them and their role in God's providence? Who are the true Jews and what role do Jews and Judaism have in the prophesied rise of Antichrist? Note from Metropolitan Vitaly (+,2006) Chief Hierarch of ROCOR, 1986-2001:"The author of the following article lives in Russia. We received it some years back. The whole tone of the article in composes, discrete, and sober. Its ideas are profound, clear, and in complete agreement with the teaching of the Orthodox Church and the Holy Fathers." This article is found in Orthodox Life, Vol. 41, No. 4, Jul-Aug 1991. Orthodox Life is the journal of Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary in Jordanville, NY, USA. -READ the article here: https://orthodoxlifemagazines.blogspot.com/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ Quotes from this article: If the Old Testament is understood as a foreshadowing, then one sees that the true Jews of the Old Testament are a foreshadowing of Christians, since all true Jews of the Old Testament are a foreshadowing of Christians, since all true Jews of the Old Testament lived spiritually in expectation of Christ the Savior, the Messiah. On the other hand, their enemies in the Old Testament are a foreshadowing of contemporary Judaism, that is, those who either consciously or unconsciously confess the Jewish religion, the very foundation of this religion being a rejection of Christ [Once one accepts the Christian Gospel, traditional Judaism loses its validity]. The Jewish religion which accepts Christ is the Christian religion. The first decree, the covenant with the Jewish people made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is never revoked, and therefore, in remaining a “special, different” people, since they do not accept Christianity, they repudiated their being the chosen people of God.… Even those Jews who do not accept Christianity, being infected by the bacillus of anti-Christianity, manage to preserve their identity supported by the Old Testament covenant. For this reason the hope of the Jews for universal supremacy is not in vain. This people will be preserved through all times; they will not be exterminated nor will they disintegrate. This Jewish materialistic approach openly and more subtly, under the appearance of various social theories and philosophical systems, encroaches upon the consciousness of Christians, breaking down Christian nations. In particular the penetration into the Christian consciousness of this Judaistic idea explains many heresies, the rise of Islam, the substitution of Christianity with humanism, altruism, Marxism, and separatist nationalism. What common denominator do some people seek in order to equalize black and white, Christianity and Judaism? — Judaism being a deified materialistic philosophy of earthly justice, worldly good, earthly freedom, and worldly well-being. Just as the deification of one’s aspiration for all that which is worldly comes from Judaism, for the Christian that which is worldly is used only in so much as it is necessary in one’s striving for the spiritual. It therefore follows that those who strive to equalize Judaism and Christianity, black and white, using the worldly as a basis, allow the spirit of Judaism to conquer them. In other words, having exchanged Christian spiritual goals for worldly ones, those that call themselves Christians lose that which distinguishes them from Jews and thus seek a union with Judaism, [perhaps unconsciously] rejecting Christ. They become co-workers in preparing for the kingdom of Antichrist. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/17/202314 minutes, 53 seconds
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The Call of Christ - Fr. George Calciu

Fr. George Calciu (+2006) was one of the great confessors of Christianity in the twentieth century. Having survived the diabolic prison experiments of Communist Romania, Fr. George went on to become an apostle to spiritual seekers in Romania and, eventually, throughout the world. He was able to speak authoritatively of God's love and forgiveness because of his own experience of God's mercy. As a priest in America, Fr. George maintained a strict ascetic life of fasting and prayer, while at the same time pastoring his flock as a joyful and loving father. This reading comes from “Father George Calciu: Interview, Homilies, and Talks” by St. Herman Press. We begin with the introduction written by Fr. Seraphim Rose followed by the first two homilies of seven that Fr. George gave in Romania in 1978 to students who had been raised and education in Communist Romania. Fr. George gave these homilies when many fellow clergy were silent about the persecution facing the Church and the restriction of freedom to teach and preach Christ to the people. 0:00 Title 0:16 Introduction by Fr. Seraphim Rose 4:32 Homily One: "The Call" 10:41 Homily Two: "Let Us Build Churches" Buy “Father George Calciu: Interview, Homilies, and Talks” here: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/Father-George-Cacliu-p/fgc.htm --Read the seven homilies here: https://deathtotheworld.com/articles/seven-homilies-to-the-youth-part-i/ --Article about Fr. George: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/46636.html --The relics of Fr. George found incorrupt 7 years after his repose: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2013/12/the-relic-of-fr-george-calciu-confessor.html Note: A section of Fr. George's homily titled "Let Us Build Churches" was quoted by Fr. Seraphim Rose at the end of arguably his most famous talk, "Living the Orthodox World-view": https://youtu.be/UguEoHSXuCg?si=NELDWcDLLi_T_EoX _______ Fr. George teaches: The time has come, young man, for you to hear a voice which has been calling you. It is a voice you have never heard before, or perhaps, one you have heard but which you have never understood or obeyed. It is the voice of Jesus! Don’t be shocked; don’t be amazed, and don’t smile incredulously, my young friend! The voice which calls you is not that of a dead man, but of One Who has risen from the dead. He does not shout after you from history, but from out of the depths of your own inner being. Come to the Church of Christ! Only here will you find consolation for your ravished soul. Only in the Church will you find certainty, because only in the Church will you hear the voice of Jesus saying meekly to you: “Son, all your sins are forgiven. You have suffered much. Behold, I have made you whole; go and sin no more.” You are in Christ’s Church whenever you uplift some­one bent down in sorrow, or when you give alms to the poor and visit the sick. You are in Christ’s Church when you cry out: “Lord, help me”. You are in Christ’s Church when you are good and patient, when you refuse to get angry at your brother, even if he has wounded your feelings. You are in Christ’s Church when you pray: “Lord, forgive him”. When you work honestly at your job, returning home weary in the evenings but with a smile upon your lips, when you repay evil with love —you are in Christ’s Church. Do you not see, therefore, young friend, how close the Church of Christ is? You are Peter and God is building His Church upon you. You are the rock of His Church against which nothing can prevail. You are a liberated rock, a soul that is fulfilled within His Church, and not one condemned to stagnation. Let us build churches with our faith. Churches which no human power can pull down. A church whose foundation is Christ. Let us build churches in our enlightened hearts where there shines the bright Sun of Righteousness, Who is Christ Himself, He Who has told us that by faith we are free from sin. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/2/202318 minutes, 9 seconds
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Divine Eros: Insatiable Love For Christ - St. Porphyrios

Our father among the saints, Porphyrios, is a most beloved elder of our day. The Lord poured out incredible love to the world through him. His heart was on fire with love of Christ and by God's grace we have been left with his life and witness as inspiration for us unworthy ones of these last days. This excerpt from "Wounded by Love" exhibits his insatiable love for Christ, his wounded yet healed heart. This reading is from "Wounded by Love: The Life and the Witness of Saint Porphyrios", pp. 107-109 & 96-99 -BUY Wounded by Love here: https://www.holycross.org/products/wounded-by-love-the-life-and-the-wisdom-of-elder-porphyrios -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ St. Porphyrios writes: Whoever wants to become a Christian must first become a poet. That's what it is! You must suffer. You must love and suffer—suffer for the one you love. Love makes effort for the loved one. She runs all through the night; she stays awake; she stains her feet with blood in order to meet her beloved. She makes sacrifices and disregards all impediments, threats and difficulties for the sake of the loved one. Love towards Christ is something even higher, infinitely higher. When you love Christ you exert yourself, but in blessed exertions. You suffer, but with joy. You make prostrations and pray because these are things you crave for with divine craving. They are at once pain and longing, passion and yearning and exaltation and joy and love. Prostrations and vigils and fasting are exertions which are made for the Beloved, exertions in order to experience Christ. But this exertion is not made under duress; you don't protest and rebel. Whatever you do under compulsion is very harmful both to you and to the work you are doing. The pressure and coercion provoke opposition. Exertion for Christ, true desire for Christ, is love, sacrifice and dissolution of self. This is also how David felt: My soul longs and faints for the courts of the Lord. My soul longs with craving and melts away out of love for God (Psalm 83:2). Christ is joy, the true light, happiness. Christ is our hope. Our relation to Christ is love, eros, passion, enthusiasm, longing for the divine. Christ is everything. He is our love. He is the object of our desire. This passionate longing for Christ is a love that cannot be taken away. This is where joy flows from. Qur task is to attempt to find a way to enter into the light of Christ. Christ is life, the source of life, the source of joy, the source of the true light, everything. Whoever loves Christ and other people truly lives life. Life without Christ is death; it is hell, not life. That is what hell is—the absence of love. Life is Christ. Love is the life of Christ. Either you will be in life or in death. It's up to you to decide. The Christian feels for everyone, he wants all to be saved, all to taste the Kingdom of God. That is Christianity: through love for our brother to arrive at love for God. That is what preoccupies me. I try to find ways to love Christ. This love is never sated. However much you love Christ, you always think that you don't love Him and you long all the more to love him. And without being aware of it, you go higher and higher! _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/10/202314 minutes, 42 seconds
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Preface to “On the Dogma of the Church” by St. Hilarion Troitsky

From the Publisher's Overview: On the Dogma of the Church: An Historical Overview of the Sources of Ecclesiology, the Holy Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky) explores patristic resources from the early centuries of Christianity. He brings seminal works at the periphery of the consciousness of every Christian to the forefront as living witnesses to the unbroken tradition of the Church. St. Hilarion's staggeringly extensive familiarity with sources both patristic and modern, coupled with his own lucid thinking and profoundly Orthodox outlook, superbly equip him for his extensive analysis of the subject. BUY the book: https://uncutmountainpress.com/shop/product/overview-of-the-dogma-concerning-the-church/ This recording was originally posted on the  @OrthodoxEthos  channel: https://youtu.be/3wTQKWCbJPI WATCH more on St. Hilarion's book: --OE EXTENDED PODCAST: NEW BOOK: On The DOGMA of the CHURCH by St. Hilarion Troitsky (UMP) https://www.youtube.com/live/kQ2EDb9b2mQ?feature=share --On the Dogma of the Church (BOOK TRAILER) - by Saint Hilarion Troitsky https://youtu.be/J_2NIJFfE-w LISTEN to more from St. Hilarion: --Christianity or the Church? - St. Hilarion Troitsky (Pt. I/III) https://youtu.be/zh2OwJhlxG4 --The History of the Baptism/Chrismation Controversy according to St. Hilarion Troitsky https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyU7oVMQViU&ab_channel=GregoryDecapolite --Christianity and Socialism - St. Hilarion, New Martyr of Russia https://youtu.be/OIIUuFXMjQM --Holy Scripture and The Church - St. Hilarion Troitsky (Pt. I/III) https://youtu.be/vcpkGHs96A4 --The Incarnation and Humility - St. Hilarion Troitsky https://youtu.be/C1_eYN9b4iQ _______ St. Hilarion writes in the Preface: The dogma concerning the Church may be termed the self-identification of the Church. It is this dogma that determines what the Church is and what distinguishes it from all that is not the Church. The Church is not a phenomenon of the natural earthly order: the mysterious depths of church life, in accordance with the unfailing promise of Christ the Savior, are always and invariably enveloped by the grace-filled power of the Holy Spirit. The full depth of this mystical life of the Church is not of course subject to logical definitions and scholarly research: it is given directly to him who participates in it, as Hilary of Poitiers expressed in the words: "This is the peculiar property of the Church, that when she makes herself known, then she is understood.” (On the Trinity 7.4). For this reason we may say that the self-identification of the Church is experienced specifically by one who dwells in the Church and is a living member of her living body. One cannot help but notice how in our time questions arise and are discussed that have long been quite sufficiently resolved by the writers of the ancient Church. Who is not aware that the question of the Church is the chief, principle question in modern polemics with sectarianism in various forms? And of course, in conducting these polemics one must always bear in mind the dogmatic conclusions reached by the theological thought of the ancient Church. This is why a study on the history of the dogma concerning the Church is able to meet the modern needs of church life. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/5/202317 minutes, 12 seconds
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UFOs & Aliens - Fr. Seraphim Rose

Fr. Seraphim Rose offers us the foundational, patristic approach to the modern phenomena of UFOs, aliens, and "intelligent beings" from above. Be not deceived...hold fast to Christ and the faith of the God-bearing Holy Fathers. 0:00 Title 0:08 Introduction, excerpt from “Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works”, Ch. 77 3:24 Excerpt from "Explanation of the UFO Phenomena", Ch. 6, Section 4 from "Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future" (ORF) 13:20 "The Meaning of UFOs", Section 5 (ORF) 26:22 Excerpt from "Living the Orthodox World-view" 28:26 Excerpt from Conclusion of ORF -BUY Fr. Seraphim's book "Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future" here ($10): https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/product-p/orf.htm -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ -Painting of Fr. Seraphim in thumbnail is by Shayne Swenson: https://shayneswenson.com/ _______ Fr. Seraphim writes: The most puzzling aspect of UFO phenomena to most researchers—namely, the strange mingling of physical and psychic characteristics in them—is no puzzle at all to readers of Orthodox spiritual books, especially the Lives of Saints. Demons also have "physical bodies," although the "matter” in them is of such subtlety that it cannot be perceived by men unless their spiritual "doors of perception" are opened, whether with God's will (as in the case of holy men) or against it (as in the case of sorcerers and mediums). A true evaluation of the UFO experience may be made only on the basis of Christian revelation and experience, and is accessible only to the humble Christian believer who trusts these sources. To be sure, it is not given to man entirely to "explain" the invisible world of angels and demons; but enough Christian knowledge has been given us to know how these beings act in our world and how we should respond to their actions, particularly in escaping the nets of the demons. UFO researchers have come to the conclusion that the phenomena they have studied are essentially identical with phenomena that used to be called "demonic; but only the Christian—the Orthodox Christian, who is enlightened by the Patristic understanding of Scripture and the 2,000-year experience of Saints encounters with invisible beings—is able to know the full meaning of this conclusion. In the Christian apocalyptic view, we can see that the power which until now has restrained the final and most terrible manifestation of demonic activity on earth has been taken away (II Thess. 2:7), Orthodox Christian government and public order (whose chief representative on earth was the Orthodox emperor) and the Orthodox Christian worldview no longer exist as a whole, and satan has been "loosed out of his prison," where he was kept by the grace of the Church of Christ, in order to "deceive the nations" (Apoc. 20:7-8) and prepare them to worship antichrist at the end of the age. Perhaps never since the beginning of the Christian era have demons appeared so openly and extensively as today. The "visitors from outer space" theory is but one of the many pretexts they are using to gain acceptance for the idea that "higher beings" are now to take charge of the destiny of mankind. Science fiction has given the images, ‘evolution’ has produced the philosophy, and the technology of the ‘space age’ has supplied the plausibility for such encounters. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/2/202330 minutes, 20 seconds
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Instructions For My Soul: To Cut Off Pride & Prepare For Death - St. Paisius Velichkovsky

A sobering call to our souls. Death awaits, wake up! This word from our holy Father Paisius calls us to chastise ourselves, repent, and endure every suffering for Him Who loves us and gave Himself for us. 0:00 Intro 0:18 A Brief Exposition of Thoughts Which Dispose To Repentance 7:57 The Battle Against Despondency, Slothfulness, and Weakness 10:13 An Instruction Moving To Contrition Which Cuts Off All Self-Exaltation and Human Pride, and Converts the Soul to Fountains of Tears This reading is from "Little Russian Philokalia, Vol. 4: St. Paisius Velichkovsky", pp.63-71 -DOWNLOAD this long out-of-print book here: https://www.thephronemainitiative.org/downloads/little-russian-philokalia4 -READ about the Life of St. Paisius here: https://stpaisiusmonastery.org/about-the-monastery/life-of-st-paisius/the-life-and-mission-of-st-paisius-velichkovsky-1722-1794/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ “For Orthodox Christians of the 20th century there is no more important Holy Father of recent times than Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky. This is so not merely because of his holy life; not merely because, like another Saint Gregory Palamas, he defended the hesychast practice of the mental Prayer of Jesus; not only because he, through his many disciples, inspired the great monastic revival of the 19th century which flowered most notably in the holy Elders of Optina Monastery; but most of all because he redirected the attention of Orthodox Christians to the sources of Holy Orthodoxy, which are the only foundation of true Orthodox life and thought whether of the past or of the present, whether of monks or of laymen.” -Fr. Seraphim Rose, Introduction to “Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky” _______ St. Paisius writes: Now, my beloved soul, is the time of patience; now is the time to endure sorrow; now is the time to keep the commandments and fulfill the virtues; now is the time of sweet lamentation and tearful mourning. If you truly wish to be saved, my soul, be in love with sorrow and groaning, as previously you loved repose. Remember the future endless life and the Kingdom of Heaven, the repose and unutterable joy. Stand firm, do not leave off the Prayer of Jesus. If you will recall and reflect on all this, then despondency, slothfulness and weakness will disappear, and your soul will come to life as from the dead, by the grace of Christ. O man! Labor, strive, struggle. Before your death a herald will not come! The reward of the Saints is at hand; crowns are being prepared for the righteous; for those who labor and endure sorrows, the Kingdom of Heaven is opened; endless repose is at hand, and unutterable joy is being prepared. Oh, oh! Woe, woe! Truly, in vain does everyone born of earth trouble himself. We all change, we all will die: kings and princes, judges and powerful ones, rich and poor, and every human being. Today he rejoices with us, takes enjoyment and adorns himself, and in the morning we weep over him and lament and mourn. Oh, man! Come to the tomb. Behold there a dead man lying. He is not glorious, not good of appearance, not beautiful. How he is swollen up and gives off a foul odor! The flesh rots and is corrupted and is devoured by worms: the bones are laid bare and the whole body crumbles to dust. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/28/202321 minutes, 12 seconds
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The Fragrance of Reverence - St. Paisios the Athonite

Hear many examples of how St. Paisios expressed his God-loving heart in daily life. These are expressions of true piety from a great saint of our times. A reading of pp. 414-421 from "Saint Paisios of Mount Athos" by Hieromonk Isaac -BUY "Saint Paisios of Mount Athos" by Hieromonk Isaac here: https://saintnektariosmonastery.com/Elder-Paisios-of-Mount-Athos -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ From "Saint Paisios of Mount Athos": The Elder had an innate reverence, but he also cultivated it a great deal. He placed such emphasis on it that he once said that "reverence is the greatest virtue, because it attracts the Grace of God." To the Elder, reverence was the fear of God and spiritual sensitivity. Reverent people behave carefully and modestly, because they intensely feel the presence of God. "If someone neglects the little things," he taught, "the danger is that he will start neglecting greater, holier things. And then, without realizing it, rationalizing it all to himself—'This is nothing, that does not matter’—he can end up, God forbid, totally neglecting the things of God and becoming irreverent, arrogant, and atheistic." He paid attention to details, but in a way that was not it-Malistic or fastidiously formal. This was his own attitude toward God, which was not laid out in advance by any typicon of the Church: it was his personal disposition. He felt that his whole hermitage, not just his chapel, was sacred space. He arranged his cell, where he prayed, just like a little church. There was an iconostasis with many icons and a lamp that burned continuously, and he would cense and light many candles there. He had constructed his bed so that it was like a coffin, and he would say, "This is the altar of my cell." Icons and holy books never touched his bed, with the exception of an icon at its head. He did not think it was right to refer to the Holy Fathers of the Church simply by their first names; for example, as "Vasileios" or "Gregorios." "We talk about Father So-and-so' and say Father' to monks and clergy," he commented, "and is this how we are going to talk about the Holy Fathers?" _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/20/202314 minutes, 48 seconds
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How To Be a True Theologian - St. Daniel of Katounakia

St. Daniel of Katounakia (+1929) cuts to the heart of who is a true theologian, and how one might walk the path towards that experience. His letter to a student of theology is especially applicable today when many are more drawn to follow academic theologians, Latin scholasticism and rationalism, and a devotion to an abstract reading of saints centuries ago without living connection to the saints of our day. Text of the letter: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2022/09/a-letter-of-saint-daniel-of-katounakia.html St. Daniel was born in 1846, lived in Smyrna and became interested in the life of Christ from a young age. He visited Saint Arsenios of Paros, as he wanted to receive his blessing in order to go to Mount Athos. There he became a monk, living in the monasteries of Saint Panteleimon and Vatopaidi. He was also friends with St. Nektarios of Aegina and had influence on a young St. Joseph the Hesychast. He lived with nephritis (a kidney disease) for almost ten years, before being healed by the Holy Belt of the Theotokos at Vatopaidi on the Belt’s feast day. A few years later he moved to Katounakia and lived alone for three years. More monks came to live there and that is how the Danielaioi brotherhood was founded. Saint Daniel had many God given gifts and abilities, which led to his recognition around the world. He fell asleep in peace in 1929. Saint Daniel’s feast day is celebrated on September 7. _______ ST. DANIEL'S SUMMARY: "To put it simply, he who has preferred the study of Theology, is bound by duty to practice the path of virtue, which in the future he will teach, and to practice without deviation his high profession, without aiming either for the attainment of hollow insignificant glory, or some speculative means, nor in the satiety and gratification of the passions; and then he will see the ageless fruits of his preaching abound." _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/15/20239 minutes, 5 seconds
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On Truth & Love - St. Theophan the Recluse

A reading of St. Theophan the Recluse's (+1894) homily examining the teachings of St. John the Theologian 0:21 St. John is above all an example and teacher of love 1:03 How contemporary "wise men" abuse St. John's teaching 2:01 The true teaching of St. John and the false teaching of “Indifferentism” 2:50 St. John binds together his teaching on love with God 5:03 On love and faith, and how St. John “categorically rejects those who say, ‘Believe as you want.’” 6:43 Test the spirits…is that compatible with “Believe as you want”? 7:28 The whole essence of Christianity 8:28 These excerpts should be enough, but the “Indifferentists” speak as though they have never read St. John the Theologian 9:14 We must enter into the right state to act properly 10:20 We enter into this state through baptism which gives us power to live a holy life 11:29 Make your life depend on Christ like you do an injection for your health 12:24 St. Theophan’s summary of St. John’s message 12:43 Some may not object to Christian teaching, but are repulsed by Christian institutions, which are “faith in reality and in action.” 13:54 “Only those who have never tasted the Truth can waver in it.” Read the text here in "Orthodox Life", 1996, # 6: https://orthodoxlifemagazines.blogspot.com/ Learn more about St. Theophan here: https://orthochristian.com/113979.html _______ In the subject of love St. John is especially well known, and no matter who would begin to muse, about love he would immediately bring to mind St. John as the model of love and turn to him as to a teacher of love. Now let us examine how contemporary wise men have made use of this teaching. They possess a special kind of vain wisdom called "Indifferentism" by which they reason say: "believe as you like, it makes no difference—just love everyone like brothers, be charitable to them, and have a good influence on them." What does the will of God consist of? In faith and love: thus the commandment says: "That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another" (1 John 3:23). It does not only command us to love but to believe in the Lord, and in such a way that faith is the source of love. If one were to gather into one all the places where St. John the Evangelist speaks only of love, one could still not confirm his teaching by the false reasoning: only love and believe as you want. Then there follows the warning: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Herein know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist" (1 John 4:1-3). He who says, "Believe as you want" does not confess Jesus Christ, for if he did confess Christ he would not speak thus. Therefore he cannot be from God. Where then is he from?—truly from the antichrist. If only they had a clear understanding of how it is indeed possible for man to act in a fruitful way, they would never remain fixed on their teaching. The essence of the matter is—that we are not in the proper state. Therefore we cannot act in the right way. In order for us to act in the correct way we must enter into the right state. By our own powers we are not capable of doing this.... We obtain this state through Holy Baptism, for those who are baptized into Christ have put on Christ. From the time of Baptism we become one with the Lord and begin to live His life and act by His power. Only those who have never tasted the Truth can waver in it. Let us fulfill with humility and in the spirit of truth all that our holy Faith demands. Then we will have, and carry within, a witness which will bring to naught all false arguments from without. May the Lord illumine us by His Truth. Amen. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/22/202314 minutes, 27 seconds
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Fr. Daniel Sysoev - Vol. 1 & 2 of the Booklet Series: "How to Inherit Eternal Life"

Excerpts from Vol. 1 & 2 from the 12 Volume Booklet Series by Fr. Daniel Sysoev titled "How to Inherit Eternal Life". These booklets are great to give out to inquirers and catechumens, to sell at parish bookstores, and more. This recording covers two excerpts from each of the first two booklets. BUY the entire 12 volume, 560 total page booklet set here ($45): https://mission-shop.com/product/how-to-inherit-eternal-life-whole-series-of-12-books/ 0:00 Intro Booklet 1: God's Love and God's Will 0:20 The Path to Divine Love 4:27 How Are We to Will Where Holy Scripture is Silent? Booklet 2: The Divine Names 8:10 The Meaning and Significance of Names 10:08 The Names of God Who Gives Life TITLES of the 12 booklets: --God’s Love and God’s Will --The Divine Names --How Does God Rule the World? --On Fear of God and Good Works --On Meekness and Freedom from Anger --On Internal and External Prayer --Spirit, Soul, and Body --On Gluttony and Avarice --On Envy and Despondency --How We Should View the Government --Orthodox Upbringing of Children --The Resurrection of the Dead LEARN more about Fr. Daniel: https://mission-shop.com/daniel/ DONATE to the Benevolent Fund to support Matushkas (priest wives) who have lost their husbands and need support for themselves and their children: https://mission-shop.com/pozhertvovanie-na-fond/ WATCH an interview with the wife, daughter, and spiritual son of Fr. Daniel Sysoev: --Who Was New-Martyr Daniel Sysoev? with Yulia Sysoeva: https://www.youtube.com/live/cXFNiKcoi9I?feature=share _______ Fr. Daniel teaches: "The apostle Peter says that we have already been given all the gifts that are necessary for salvation. They are given at the time of the sacraments of baptism and chrismation. These gifts are achievable through knowledge of God. The Lord, however, bestows not only gifts, but also the promise that we will be participants in the Divine nature, that through divine grace we will become participants in the nature of the Creator Himself." -from "God’s Love and God’s Will" "If there is no obvious answer to our question in Holy Scripture, how are we then to learn God’s will? For this we have the holy Church of God. We must go to the Church and ask the advice of the priest. This advice must be given grounded in Holy Scripture and the holy fathers. This is necessary not because we do not trust the priest, but so that we might learn, and the next time the choice will be simpler for us.... There are cases, however, where it is not possible to go to a priest or an elder for advice, and the situation must be resolved without delay. In this case there are several means of learning God’s will..." -from "God’s Love and God’s Will" "Ordinarily names are given by those in authority. For example, parents give their children names, exercising their authority over them.... Thus, on the one hand the name signifies personal contact, and on the other—a subordinate status. Hence, strictly speaking, our God is a nameless God. If we ask what God’s sole, absolute name is, the answer is that there is none! For there is no one greater than He." -from "The Divine Names" _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/17/202316 minutes, 32 seconds
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The Life of St. Isaac of the Kiev Caves

The story of St. Isaac, a great ascetic who was tricked by the devil who appeared to him in bright light, saying he was Christ. St. Isaac, after prostrating before him, was overcome by demonic power. They made him dance all night, leaving him near dead by the morning. After an arduous struggle, and with immense help from St. Anthony and St. Theodosius, St. Isaac regained his strength and abilities to take care of himself. He no longer lived as a hermit, but stayed with the brethren where he redoubled his ascetic efforts. By the grace of God, he conquered the demons and received a eternal crown from Christ. You can read the Life of St. Isaac (pp. 205-210) and the entire Kiev Caves Paterik (Patericon) here: https://diasporiana.org.ua/wp-content/uploads/books/11678/file.pdf _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/14/202313 minutes, 12 seconds
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Resisting False Union - Fr. Alexey Young

Fr. Alexey Young, also known as Hieroschemamonk Ambrose, is a close spiritual son of Fr. Seraphim Rose. In the same spirit of Fr. Seraphim, Fr. Alexey calls all Orthodox Christians to a greater awareness and conscious resistance to the error of Roman Catholicism and the grave temptation, very present in our own day, of false union with Rome. 0:00 Intro 0:10 The first way to resist false union is to pray and repent, then appeal to our hierarchs 0:30 What any patriarch and bishop does matters to all of us, from layman to hierarch 1:33 We must teach the faithful the truth and the true nature of Roman Catholicism 2:12 “This is not a time for half measures.” 2:51 Met. Philaret’s teaching on the boundaries and uniqueness of Orthodoxy 4:06 The meaning of “ecumenical” and how it means something different today 5:07 St. Mark of Ephesus: a great example for us today 6:15 Statement by Representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church in 1957 8:02 Elder Philetheos: “Let there be union… but in the way Christ wishes it: far from every worldly purpose and every compromise…” 8:40 Orthodoxy in America has fiddled with secondary matters while secularism has crept in to our Church 9:45 This worldliness is a new kind of Orthodoxy being preached today and it sets us up for false union with Rome 11:02 “Too many of us lack a sufficiently developed Orthodox conscientiousness to be aware of the present ecumenist threat to our Faith.” 11:58 Many have become numb to true repentance, accustomed to comforts, and it is this that makes many Orthodox Christians attracted to Roman Catholicism -from "The Rush to Embrace" by Fr. Alexey Young, pp. 80-86. More from Fr. Alexey: --The Rush to Embrace: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/9781879066090/ --Many of Fr. Alexey's other writings can be read here: https://orthochristian.com/83940.html --Letter From Father Seraphim: The twelve-year correspondence between Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) and Father Alexey Young: https://hvcbookstore.com/Letters-From-Father-Seraphim --A Man Is His Faith, the life of Ivan Kireyevsky, a lay theologian and disciple of Optina Elders.https://sjkp.org/products/a-man-is-his-faith Other recordings from Orthodox Wisdom: --A Desperate Appeal (Against False Union with Rome) - Elder Philotheos Zervakos: https://youtu.be/X19FQxiLlhA --On False Union With Rome & Fighting From Within - St. Paisios the Athonite: https://youtu.be/sAK7BMuUkic _______ Fr. Alexey writes: This is not a time for half measures. Orthodox priests who tell their flocks that they may attend Roman Catholic (or Episcopal) churches if there is no Orthodox parish nearby, must be corrected, and disciplined if they persist in this grievous error. Priests must be again reminded that they may not, under any circumstances, give Holy Communion to non-Orthodox. Also, those who tell Roman Catholic and Protestant inquirers that they should stay in their own Churches and not convert to Orthodoxy, must be reprimanded. Immortal souls are at stake! Too many of us lack a sufficiently developed Orthodox consciousness to be aware of the present ecumenist threat to our Faith. Not only is the development of such a consciousness greatly hindered by the relativism and materialism (the opposite of asceticism) that saturate our society, but our natural human longing for peace and harmony, for love and brotherhood, has made us vulnerable to ecumenical "sweet talk." An inadequate knowledge of Church history and a weak understanding of Orthodox ecclesiology is now putting us even further at risk. Brothers and sisters: our holy Orthodox Faith is at stake here! We cannot afford to be naive, and ignorance is not bliss—it is suicide. And it is this very ignorance that has made possible the growing "union fever" we see around us today. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/10/202313 minutes, 6 seconds
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On the Power of Sin & What Causes Sin To Cease - St. Isaac the Syrian

A reading of Homily 32 from St. Isaac the Syrian's Ascetical Homilies 0:11 One must hate sin to be freed from it 1:18 A Prayer 2:18 “On that Day God will not judge us about psalmody…" 3:55 “The End of unseasonable freedom is absolute slavery.” 4:48 “How sweet are the origins of the passions!” and “We do not desire sin, but with pleasure we accept the causes with bring it upon us.” 6:50 “Blessed is the man who has receded from this darkness and sees himself!” 7:54 “Every rest is followed by hardship.” 8:57 “Beware of the freedom that precede an evil slavery.” 10:27 The tragic consequences of “relaxation of the members” 12:16 Remember death, patiently endure your trial that you may receive a crown and enter into that rest which is without end Buy “Ascetical Homilies of Saint Issac the Syrian” here: https://www.bostonmonks.com/product_info.php/cPath/75_105/products_id/635 _______ St. Isaac writes: A man is not freed from the pleasure of sin's working until he truly abhors the cause of sin with his whole heart. This is the fiercest struggle, the struggle that withstands a man unto blood, wherein his free will is tested as to the unity of his love for the virtues. On that day God will not judge us about psalmody, nor for the neglect of prayer, but because by abandoning them we have opened our door to the demons. Beware of the freedom that precedes an evil slavery. Beware of the consolation that precedes warfare. Beware of the knowledge that is acquired before an encounter with temptations; but especially beware of the ardent love that is prior to the completion of repentance. If we are all sinners and no man is superior to [sin's] temptations, it is certainly true that no virtue is more pre-eminent than repentance. For a man can never complete the work of repentance. It is always suitable for every sinner and righteous man who wishes to gain salvation. There is no limit to perfection, for even the perfection of the perfect is truly without completion. And for this very reason repentance is bounded neither by periods of time nor by works until a man's death. Remember that every pleasure is followed by disgust and bitterness as inseparable companions. Do not be frightened by the turbulence of your Adamitic body, fashioned to enjoy that delight (the knowledge of which surpasses the intellect of carnal man) when it will put on the heavenly Image, Who is the King of peace. Do not be troubled by the change and turbulence of nature, for the hardship caused by this quickly passes from the man who accepts it gladly. The passions are like dogs that are wont to spend their time before the butchers' shops; they run away at the sound of a man's voice, but if they are left unattended, they attack like great lions. Set every small desire at naught, that you may not ponder upon the vehemence of its burning. For patience shown for a short time with respect to small matters disperses the danger of great ones. It is impossible to overcome great evils, if you do not subdue the lesser. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/8/202313 minutes, 19 seconds
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On the Place of Blessed Augustine - Hieromonk Seraphim Rose

In Fr. Seraphim Rose’s time, as well as today in 2023, many diverse and strongly held opinions exist when it comes to how we should regard Blessed Augustine of Hippo. In one extreme, some treat him as either the greatest father of the first millennium, as one can see in some western confessions and even by some Orthodox. In another extreme, some see him as the root source of a multitude of heresies, even explicitly or implicitly condemning him as a heretic. This collection of writings by Fr. Seraphim Rose is meant to express the moderate, sober understanding of the place Blessed Augustine holds in the Orthodox Church. What follows are readings from the biography of Fr. Seraphim Rose, titled “Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works”, sections from his book titled “The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church”, selected private letters, and concluding with the Troparion and Kontakion for Blessed Augustine. This collection of writings is by no means all of what Fr. Seraphim taught on Blessed Augustine. You’ll find much more when you buy the book here: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/mobile/Product.aspx?ProductCode=blaug 0:08 Editor’s Introduction 1:42 Excerpts from “Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works” From “On The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church”: 4:07 Preface 13:10 The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church 14:24 The Controversy over grace and free will 20:53 The Doctrine of Predestination 30:06 St. Photius on Blessed Augustine 35:26 Opinion of Blessed Augustine in Modern Times 40:58 A Note on the Contemporary Detractors of Blessed Augustine Readings of Sections of Letters Written by Fr. Seraphim Rose: 51:15 Letter to Nicholas 53:35 Letter to Fr. Michael Azkoul 58:30 Troparion and Kontakion for Blessed Augustine _______ "Probably St. Cassian would not have spoken so eloquently and so in detail on the subject of God's grace if Augustine had not already been teaching his own one-sided doctrine. But the important thing to bear in mind here is that the disagreement between Cassian and Augustine was not one between Orthodox Father and heretic (as was, for example, the disagreement between Augustine and Pelagius), but rather one between two Orthodox Fathers who disagreed only in the details of their presentation of one and the same doctrine. Both St. Cassian and Blessed Augustine were attempting to teach the Orthodox doctrine of grace and free will as against the heresy of Pelagius; but one did so with the full depth of the Eastern theological tradition, while the other was led into a certain distortion of this same teaching owing to his overly-logical approach to it.” -Fr. Seraphim Rose, pp. 34-35 "Today all we Orthodox Christians, whether of East or West-if only we are honest and sincere enough to admit it--are in a 'Western captivity' worse than any our Fathers in the past have known. In previous centuries, Western influences may have produced some theoretical formulations of doctrine that were wanting in preciseness; but today the 'Western captivity' surrounds and often governs the very atmosphere and tone of our Orthodoxy, which is often theoretically "correct" but wanting in true Christian spirit, in the indefinable savor of true Christianity." -Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 88 "I myself fear the cold hearts of the 'intellectually correct' much more than any errors you might find in Augustine. I sense in these cold hearts a preparation for the work of Antichrist (whose imitation of Christ must also extend to 'correct theology'); I feel in Augustine the love of Christ." -Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 100-101 "We, though, who know that some of our Holy Fathers and teachers strayed from the faith of true dogmas, do not take as doctrine those areas in which they strayed, but we embrace the men." -St. Photius the Great, p. 67 _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/3/202359 minutes, 34 seconds
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On Reception into the Orthodox Church - Elder Aimilianos Receives Roman Catholic Fr. Placide

Want to learn more about Baptism and the Reception of Converts? Uncut Mountain Press has just released a first-of-its-kind book: "Reception of the Heterodox into the Orthodox Church: Patristic Consensus and Criteria". BUY the book by 7/30/23 and receive excellent BONUS content. Learn more: --BUY the BOOK (including info about the bonus content and a free preview): https://uncutmountainpress.com/shop/product/on-the-reception-of-the-heterodox-into-the-orthodox-church-the-patristic-consensus-and-criteria/ --WATCH the Trailer: https://youtu.be/8qhnX3qEPUw --READ Endorsements by Bishop Luke of Jordanville, Fr. Zechariah Lynch, and more: https://www.orthodoxethos.com/blog _______ After years as the abbot of a Trappist Roman Catholic Monastery and well-known scholar, Fr. Placide Deseille and his brotherhood realized they could no longer be Roman Catholic and needed to come to the Orthodox Church. They had previously visited Athos before they realized they should become Orthodox, and later went back to Athos to be received by their new spiritual guide, Elder Aimilianos of Simona Petra Monastery. This is a portion of the complete account of Fr. Placide's journey to Orthodoxy. Learn more about Fr. Placide here: https://orthochristian.com/109855.html This account is found in "The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain: Contemporary Voices from Mount Athos", Translated, with Introduction and Notes by Hieromonk (now Archbishop) Alexander (Golitzin), pp.63-93. Photo in the middle of the thumbnail is Fr. Placide and his brotherhood on the day of their baptism at the hands of Elder Aimilianos. _______ Fr. Placide writes: On determining when to formally convert to Orthodoxy: "But how could we remain loyal members of the Catholic Church, and so continue to profess outwardly all her dogmas, when inwardly we were convinced that certain of these dogmas had departed from the Tradition of the Church? How could we continue to share in the same Eucharist while aware of our differences regarding the Faith? How could we remain outside the Orthodox Church, outside of which there could be no salvation and life in the Spirit for those who, having recognized her as the Church of Christ, refused to join her for human motives? To give in to considerations of ecumenical diplomacy, opportunity, and personal convenience would, in our case, have been to seek to please men rather than God, and to lie both to men and to God. Nothing could have justified such duplicity." "The monks of Mount Athos are often criticized for their opposition to ecumenism, and are quite happily accused of sacrificing love for truth. We readily saw, from the time of our first visit when we were still Roman Catholics with no thought whatever of becoming Orthodox, how well the monks knew how to combine a gracious and attentive love towards other people, whatever their religious convictions and allegiance, with doctrinal intransigence. As they see it, moreover, total respect for the truth is one of the first duties that love for the other requires of them.... Christian unity, which is as dear to their hearts as anyone’s, can only be brought to pass by the agreement of the non-Orthodox to the integrity and fullness of the Apostolic Faith. It could never be the fruit of compromise or of efforts born of a natural and human aspiration for unity among men. This would be to cheapen the deposit of faith entrusted to the Church. In ecumenism, as in the spiritual life, the Athonite position is one of sobriety and discernment. If one wants to please God and enter into His Kingdom, one must know how to assess the movements of one’s feelings as well as the rationalizings of one’ mind. Above all, one must give up being 'pleasing to men.'" "We asked freely to be received by baptism, in complete agreement with our abbot [Elder Aimilianos], because this procedure seemed to us both right and necessary for Athos, both theologically sound and canonically correct." --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/27/202318 minutes, 24 seconds
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Grace & Sin in the Heart Before and After Baptism - St. Diadochos of Photiki

Want to learn more about Baptism and the Reception of Converts? Uncut Mountain Press has just released a first-of-its-kind book: "Reception of the Heterodox into the Orthodox Church: Patristic Consensus and Criteria". BUY the book by 7/30/23 and receive excellent BONUS content. Learn more: --BUY the BOOK (including info about the bonus content and a free preview): https://uncutmountainpress.com/shop/product/on-the-reception-of-the-heterodox-into-the-orthodox-church-the-patristic-consensus-and-criteria/ --WATCH the Trailer: https://youtu.be/8qhnX3qEPUw --READ Endorsements by Bishop Luke of Jordanville and Fr. Zechariah Lynch: https://www.orthodoxethos.com/blog --WATCH a Short with a quote from St. Diadochos, narration from Timothy Honeycutt (Orthodox Wisdom): https://youtube.com/shorts/MATU6jsF_D4?feature=share _______ St. Diadochos reveals the immense grace and power of baptism: satan is expelled from the heart and Christ is planted therein. "As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ," (Gal 3:27) as the Apostle Paul proclaims. With Christ now dwelling in the depth of the heart, the battle against sin and the flesh is both similar and different than before baptism. St. Diadochos expresses with divine clarity the nature of the heart's activity and how the nous is purified and illumined as it battles against sin, no longer filled with demonic energy but now with grace and truth dwelling within. Sections 76-85 of "On Spiritual Knowledge and Discrimination: 100 Texts" by St. Diadochos of Photiki --BUY volume 1 of the Philokolia: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/9780571130139/ --LISTEN to the ENTIRE PHILOKALIA for FREE, from Patristic Nectar: https://patristicnectar.org/philokalia For more: --WATCH Fr. Peter discuss a portion of this text and how it teaches us about the nature of Grace in the Church and in the world: Is There Grace Outside the Church? St. Diadochos of Photiki and Fr. Peter Heers Answer https://youtu.be/nRv9OG0N6tU --READ: On the Operations of Nous according to St. Basil the Great https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/11/st-basil-great-on-operations-of-nous.html --LISTEN: On Watchfulness and Noetic Prayer - Elder Ephraim of Arizona https://youtu.be/sujsxSdh-MM _______ St. Diadochos writes: "Before holy baptism, grace encourages the soul towards good from the outside, while Satan lurks in its depths, trying to block all the nous's ways of approach to the divine. But from the moment that we are reborn through baptism, the demon is outside, grace is within. Thus, whereas before baptism error ruled the soul, after baptism truth rules it. Nevertheless, even after baptism Satan still acts on the soul, often, indeed, to a greater degree than before." "For when through holy baptism divine grace in its infinite love permeates the lineaments of God's image - thereby renewing in the soul the capacity for attaining the divine likeness - what place is there for the devil? For light has nothing in common with darkness (cf. 2 Cor 6:14). We who are pursuing the spiritual way believe that the protean serpent is expelled from the shrine of the intellect through the waters of baptism; but we must not be surprised if after baptism we still have wicked as well as good thoughts. For although baptism removes from us the stain resulting from sin, it does not thereby heal the duality of our will immediately, neither does it prevent the demons from attacking us or speaking deceitful words to us. In this way we are led to take up the weapons of righteousness, and to preserve through the power of God what we could not keep safe through the efforts of our soul alone." _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/25/202320 minutes, 8 seconds
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Never Will I Cease Honoring the Matter Which Wrought My Salvation! - St. John of Damascus

An excerpt from St. John of Damascus' Against Those Who Attack the Divine Images (First Apology) Full reading here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/3r8czLXFQOmTdZk6hnn1oT?si=wXGfEkHWR7SDrj_tpgio_A -BUY the book here: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/9780881412451/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ Going deeper on icons: --Against Those Who Attack the Divine Images (St. John of Damascus):https://www.ccel.org/ccel/damascus/icons.i.iv.html --A Dogmatic Epistle on the Holy Icons (St. Theodore the Studite): https://www.pappaspatristicinstitute.com/post/theodore-the-studite-a-dogmatic-epistle-on-the-holy-icons --How Did Early Christians Use Religious Imagery? (Craig Truglia): https://orthodoxchristiantheology.com/2023/01/13/how-did-early-christians-use-religious-imagery/--The Icon FAQ (Fr. John Whiteford) http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/icon_faq.aspx --ICONS ~ GRAVEN IMAGES OR NECESSARY FOR SALVATION? (Fr. Spyridon Bailey): https://youtu.be/yt6YHQX0JZs --How-To: The Orthodox Prayer Corner (Fr. Peter Heers): https://youtu.be/3_y5A465Rx8 --The Meaning of Icons (Fr. Maximos Constas) https://youtu.be/BGcygfkqT8g --"What Orthodox Iconography Is" (Blessed Photios Kontoglou) http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/kontoglou_iconography.aspx _______ St. John of Damascus writes: “In former times God, who is without form or body, could never be depicted. But now when God is seen in the flesh conversing with men, I make an image of the God whom I see. I do not worship matter; I worship the Creator of matter who became matter for my sake, who willed to take His abode in matter; who worked out my salvation through matter. Never will I cease honoring the matter which wrought my salvation!” “Either do away with the honor and veneration these things deserve, or accept the tradition of the Church and the veneration of images. Reverence God and his friends; follow the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” “We depict Christ as our King and Lord, then, and do not strip Him of His army. For the saints are the Lord's army…. For if the saints are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ they will also share in the divine glory and dominion. If they have partaken of Christ's sufferings, and are friends, shall they not receive a share of glory from the Church on earth? "No longer do I call you servants” (John 15:15), God says, "but I have called you friends." Shall we strip them of the glory given them by the Church? What audacity! What effrontery of mind, to fight with God, refusing to follow His commands! You who refuse to bow before images also refuse to bow before the Son of God who is the living image of the invisible God, and His unchanging likeness.” St. Basil says, "the honor given to the image is transferred to its prototype." -Letter on the Holy Spirit (18) _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/17/202311 minutes, 25 seconds
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The Household and the Spiritual Life of the Mother - St. Paisios the Athonite

A reading from the Spiritual Counsels of St. Paisios the Athonite: Family Life (Vol. 4) 0:09 Geronda, how can a housewife make time for prayer? 2:30 Geronda, a mother told me “I get very tired. I barely have enough time to finish chores let alone say my prayers properly.” 5:07 Geronda, what if a mother has a lot of children and a lot of work to do? -BUY the book here: https://www.holycross.org/products/family-life-elder-paisios -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ St. Paisios says: “The more a woman distances her heart from material things, the closer she comes to Christ. And when her heart is given to Christ, then she acquires great strength.” “Once I had gone to visit the home of a large family. I was so pleased to see the children with their childish naughtiness spoiling the worldly order of things—which requires having everything in its place. That is the greater disorder which wearies contemporary man.” “It's better for a mother to be involved with the nurturing of her children, rather than being overly involved with household chores and inanimate objects. A mother can speak to her children about Christ; she can read the Lives of the Saints to them. Thus, at the same time she will be occupying herself dusting off her own soul so that it will be spiritually shiny. The mother's spiritual life will then quietly help the souls of her children. Thus, her children will live happily, and she will be joyful because she will have Christ within her. If a mother doesn't find the time to even say a simple Trisagion, how can she expect her children to be sanctified? But Geronda, what if a mother has a lot of children and a lot of work to do? When she does her housework, can't she pray at the same time? It was my mother who taught me to say the Jesus Prayer. When we were children and had done some mischief, and my mother was about to get angry with us, I remember her saying, ‘Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.’ When she put the bread in the oven, she would say, ‘In the name of Christ and Panaghia.’ And whenever she was kneading or cooking, again, she constantly said the Jesus Prayer. In this manner, she herself was blessed, as were the bread and the food she was preparing, and so were those who partook of it later.” “The mother's devotion has great significance. If the mother has humility and fear of God, then family life is smooth. I know young mothers whose faces shine, even though they have no one to help them. I can understand a mother's spiritual state by looking at the children.” _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/12/20237 minutes, 15 seconds
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Unworthiness, Self-Reproach, & Hoping Only in the Mercy of God - St. Ephraim the Syrian

A reading of three psalms from St. Ephraim's "Spiritual Psalter". These psalms highlight the depths of humility, the darkness of sin in our hearts, and the boundless mercy of love of God for mankind. You may find it helpful to listen to this in preparation for not only the Mystery of Confession, but for Holy Communion as well. 0:13 Psalm 11 - I Can Control Neither Myself Nor The Enemy. Help me, O Lord! 1:48 Psalm 55 - How To Scrutinize and Reproach Yourself 7:21 Psalm 131 - All My Hope Is In God’s Mercy “How many times have I set boundaries for myself and built walls between myself and sin! But my thoughts transgressed the boundaries and my will tore down the walls, for the boundaries were not secured by fear of God, and the walls were not founded on sincere repentance.” -Psalm 11 “I am worthless, but think much of myself. I lie constantly, but get angry with liars. I defile the temple of my body with wanton thoughts, but sternly judge the wanton. I condemn those who fall, but myself fall constantly. I condemn slanderers and thieves, but am myself both a thief and a slanderer. I walk with a bright countenance, although I am altogether impure.” -Psalm 55 “Only hope in the manifestation of Thy grace, O man-befriending Master, consoles me and keeps me from despair. Whether Thou so desirest or not, save me, O all-good Lord, according to Thy great kindness.” -Psalm 131 As of July 2023, the "Spiritual Psalter" is out of print and hard to find. Amazon appears to be the best place at the moment, with copies available for $70. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/6/20239 minutes, 30 seconds
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Canon from Matins to St. Justin Popovic (Chanted)

On June 1/14 the Church commemorates the great Theologian and Confessor, St. Justin Popović. This is the canon chanted during matins. Listen to more from St. Justin here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzFKi22k2KYgxvJMJchHwGAWGZebY0s2s Books to purchase by St. Justin -Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/9781884729027/ -The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism: https://lazarica.co.uk/bookshop/ -Saint Justin Popovic "The New Philosopher": His Life and Service: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/9780578635743/ -Commentary of the Epistles of St. John the Theologian: https://sebastianpress.org/justin-popovich-commentary-on-the-epistles-of-st-john-the-theologian/ -Notes on Ecumenism: https://sebastianpress.org/notes-on-ecumenism/ -Man and the God-Man: https://sebastianpress.org/archimandrite-justin-popovich-man-and-the-god-man/ _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/19/202311 minutes, 8 seconds
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Excerpt from NEW BOOK by Fr. Daniel Sysoev: Evolutionsim and the Origin of Death

BUY the NEW BOOK: A CHRONICLE OF THE BEGINNING by Fr. Daniel Sysoev https://mission-shop.com/product/a-chronicle-of-the-beginning/ Publisher’s note: Where was science when God was making the universe? To this day the question of the world’s creation and the origin of the nations is the subject of numerous debates and disputes. The author asserts that Christian teaching on the origin of the universe in no way contradicts authentic science. The reader is presented with proof of the world’s divine origins, substantiated by modern scientific discoveries. This book gives a detailed description of the most enigmatic period in human history—the time from Adam until the exodus of Israel from Egypt. “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Prov. 30:5–6). 0:12 Excerpt from the Forward 2:21 Chapter 2: Evolutionism and the Origin of Death 4:04 Fr. Daniel examines Orthodox teachers who error, beginning with Fr. Stefan Lyashevsky who teaches that death was normal in Paradise, that animals “devoured each other” 7:41 The views of Fr. Alexander Men, writes Fr. Daniel “...death is the essential and original state of the world, and it leads to good. He deliberately confuses the providential work of the Lord with the creative.” 12:09 Fr. Daniel quotes Fr. Seraphim Rose in defense of the patristic view 12:54 The views of Bishop Vasily (Rodzyanko): “The world in which we live in was not created by God.” 18:11 The key error of Bishop Vasily: “that the logoi of creation are identical to the creations themselves.” 21:57 It is clear that attempting to reconcile Orthodoxy with evolution undermines the very roots of revelation 22:40 Evolution destroys the very reason Christ’s coming to earth was necessary Learn more about Fr. Daniel: https://mission-shop.com/daniel/ Donate to the Benevolent Fund to support Matushkas (priest wives) who have lost their husbands and need support for themselves and their children: https://mission-shop.com/pozhertvovanie-na-fond/ _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/19/202323 minutes, 42 seconds
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A Prophecy of Future Lawlessness - St. Anatole the Younger of Optina

A very important prophecy, focused more on the signs of the apostasy than specific people and places, from a Russian New Martyr, St. Anatole the Younger of Optina (+1922). This prophecy was given shortly after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. St. Anatole was a clairvoyant, God-bearing elder and one of the great cloud of elders from the monastery of Optina. -READ the prophecy here: https://www.orthodox.net/articles/anatoly-letter.html -BUY the book giving the full account of his life and teachings from St. Herman of Alaska Press, "Elder Anatole the Younger of Optina": https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/Elder-Anatole-the-Younger-of-Optina-p/ana.htm -READ a shorter version of his life in The Orthodox Word, Issue 39, Jul-Aug 1971. Read here: https://archive.org/details/100101V17N05061981SepOctNovDec -READ "Russia's Catacomb Saints": https://russiascatacombsaints.blogspot.com/ -FIND an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ [Satan] will not begin by crudely rejecting the dogmas of the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Jesus Christ and the virtue of the Theotokos, but he will begin imperceptibly to distort the teachings and statutes of the Church and their very spirit, handed down to us by the Holy Fathers through the Holy Spirit. Few will notice these wiles of the enemy, only those more experienced in the spiritual life. Heretics will seize power over the Church and will place their servants everywhere; the pious will be regarded with contempt. He (the Lord) said, by their fruits ye shall know them, and so, by their fruits, as well as by the actions of the heretics, strive to distinguish them from the true pastors. ...they will distort the Divine Faith imperceptibly, in order to succeed better in seducing and enticing the inexperienced into the net. ...all those ruled by heresy will not endure piety. Monastics will be greatly oppressed by the heretics and monastic life will be scorned. These threats will cause great despair among the fainthearted, but you, my son rejoice that you have lived until that time, for then the faithful who have not shown any other virtues, will receive crowns merely for standing firm in the faith, according to the word of the Lord. ...the holy martyrs and confessors, they will look upon you and your struggle with joy. But woe to the monks in those days who will be bound with possessions and riches, who because of love of peace will be ready to submit to the heretics. They will lull to sleep their conscience, saying, “We are preserving and saving the monastery and the Lord will forgive us.” The unfortunate and blind ones do not at all consider that through heresy the demons will enter the monastery and then it will no longer be a holy monastery, but merely walls from which grace will depart. Do not fear sorrows, rather fear pernicious heresy, for it strips us of grace and separates us from Christ. And so my son strengthen yourself in the grace of Jesus Christ. Hasten to confess the faith, to endure suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, Who has said, Be faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/2/20235 minutes, 19 seconds
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An Exorcism In Our Own Days by St. John Maximovitch

Hear the story of the healing of a demon-possessed man in Shanghai by St. John Maximovitch when he was Bishop of Shanghai from 1934-1949. This account comes from The Orthodox Word, Issue 48, Jan-Feb 1973. Read here: https://archive.org/details/100101V17N05061981SepOctNovDec Read here the Life of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (+1966): https://orthochristian.com/54575.html Buy the book "Man of God" which includes the reminiscences, miracles, sermons, and more on this exceptional saint on the 20th century: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/9781879066069/ _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/31/202310 minutes, 27 seconds
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Mothers and the Upbringing of Children - St. Nektarios of Aegina

Listen to St. Nektarios explain how critical the role of the mother is in raising children and how firm the foundation she can lay down in the hearts and minds of her children. Fathers, let us love and sacrifice for our wives and co-struggle in the holy labor of child-rearing! 0:10 Introduction 0:27 The education of children must begin from infancy 2:06 A mother’s influence on her children is beyond measure 3:44 The mother is best suited to impart the conception of God in her child’s heart 5:36 Just as the virtues of the mother are imparted to the child, so too the passions 7:20 The passions (sinful inclinations) of children must be subdued at a young age, just a potter molds clay before it hardens 9:20 If the formation of either the heart or the mind is neglected the child turns out “defective and impaired” 11:30 The examples of the mothers of The Great Hierarchs: St. Basil the Great and his mother, St. Emmelia, and St. Gregory the Theologian and his mother, St. Anthusa (and how the fire of their faith in Christ was not overcome by higher education given by pagan teachers) 13:54 On St. John Chrysostom and his mother, St. Anthusa 14:50 “What radiant examples we have before us in these pious mothers!... Who can deny it is the mothers who produce great and virtuous men?” -St. Nektarios 15:51 “It is necessary, then, that we form our daughters religiously and intellectually, so that we may present them worthy of their vocation.” 16:17 A one-sided upbringing leads either to superstition or atheism _______ -EDUCATION: Orthodox education resources at Saint Kosmas Orthodox Education Association: https://saintkosmas.org/ -PREGNANCY RESOURCES: ZOE for life! is a support center (in person and online) for women needing recourse for unplanned and planned pregnancies, adoption, and more: https://zoeforlife.org/ -BOOK: Orthodox Christian Parenting by Zoe Press: https://www.zoepress.us/all-books-cds/orthodox-christian-parenting-recipes-for-raising-children-2020-2nd-edition -PRAYER: Akathist to the Mother of God, "Nurturer of Children": https://www.akathists.com/the-most-holy-theotokos/nurturer-of-children/-PODCAST: Admonitions for Parents - St. John Chrysostom: https://youtu.be/lFcUbGHnU28-PODCAST: The Holy Childhood of Archbishop John Maximovitch (OW podcast): https://youtu.be/hXB4wW4iozw -TEXT OF THIS PODCAST: https://saintkosmas.org/st-nektarios-mothers-and-the-upbringing-of-children -FIND A CHURCH: Find an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ “It is necessary, then, that we form our daughters religiously and intellectually, so that we may present them worthy of their vocation. It is necessary, then, that reverent education and educated religion exist side by side, for these two things are the only sure provisions for traveling in this life, provisions that are able to help a man in manifold ways…. For if attention revolves around the mind only, sickliness of the man’s religious perception is unavoidable. But if our care revolves around religion only (and that not the educated kind), the intellectual faculties will wither and become dull. The result of the first situation will be irreligion and atheism, upon which follow boundless horrors; the result of the second, however, will be superstition, that curse of humanity, which, holding in its hands fire and the sword, threatens death to everyone who has a differing opinion. Such are the results of a one-sided education and the incomplete upbringing of mothers.” _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/23/202318 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Calendar Issue - St. Joseph the Hesychast

Hear about Christ's revelations to St. Joseph and his brotherhood on the difficult and often contentious issue of the calendar and true Orthodoxy. As a zealot of Athos once confessed, "Fathers, we must admit that Elder Joseph was right. It is not possible for a rotten root to produce such fruits [i.e. his spiritual children]. A tree is known by its fruit.’ Therefore, we must have been wrong, and Elder Joseph must have been right." 0:10 Background 5:14 Revelations from God 9:33 Exactitude with Obedience 12:19 The Encyclical of 1950 14:59 The Revelation (about grace with the New Calendarists) 16:19 Resistance 21:55 Geronda’s Revelation 25:42 More Grace With the New-Calendarists Buy "My Elder Joseph the Hesychast" written by his disciple, Elder Ephraim of Arizona, here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/products/my-elder-joseph-the-hesychast _______ For further study on the calendar issue, here is a short list of resources: -Elder Sophrony of Essex on the Calendar Issue: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2016/08/elder-sophrony-on-calendar-issue.html -Elder Paisios the Athonite on the Old Calendar Zealots: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/04/elder-paisios-athonite-on-old.html -Elder Ephraim of Arizona Exposes Old Calendarism: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2016/03/elder-ephraim-of-arizona-exposes-old.html -Ecumenism and Schismatic Old Calendarism, a letter by Blessed Elder Epiphanios Theodoropoulos: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/02/ecumenism-and-schismatic-old.html -Elder Philotheos Zervakos on the Schismatic Old Calendarists: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/01/elder-philotheos-on-schismatic-old.html -The Three Hierarchs and the Calendar Issue (Elder Cleopa Ilie): https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2020/01/the-three-hierarchs-and-calendar-issue.html#more -Schismatic Old-Calendarism is an Anti-Patristic Stance by Monk Basil Gregoriates (a few problems in this text, but overall good): https://www.oodegr.com/english//ekklisia/sxismata/antipater1.htm Fr. Peter Heers has some very helpful videos addressing the temptation on the right: -The Zealot Jungle Which is Growing Up Around Us - Letter from Fr. Seraphim Rose https://youtu.be/4nNsx5UJIfo -On Canon 15 and Ceasing Commemoration of One's Own Bishop https://youtu.be/NY-9baGX0Lc -The Prophecy of St. Anatole the Younger (“Heretics will take over the Church”) https://youtu.be/v_1vmlsNDl4 -Patristic and Canonical Treatment Toward a Local Church Whose Hierarch Preaches Heresy https://youtu.be/jUM5ividbGE *Not everything on the JohnSanidopoulos.com website is faithfully Orthodox _______ St. Joseph’s revelation from God about the Calendar issue: While I was praying, I saw a brilliant, beautiful church. It had a small exit on the side, and everyone was coming out of the church. In the courtyard, they were arguing. One person shouted, 'I am right!' Another person shouted, 'I am more right!' And a third person, 'I am with the true church!' This reveals that although they were arguing, they all belonged to a single church. They have dogmas in common, and they have grace, but they were arguing because they don't have an open mind and haven't achieved saint-hood. So how could I say now that the official Church of Greece is heretical and lacks God's grace? Should I call it heretical only because of the calendar? And should I say that their bishops are damned? I am with the old calendar, but I think differently from the old calendarists. Indeed, the calendar issue does not affect the salvation of the faithful because it is not a dogmatic issue. There can be differences between local churches in non-dogmatic issues of a liturgical or administrative nature. This does not deprive them of God's grace. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/19/202331 minutes, 6 seconds
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Royal Path: Neither Luke-Warmness Nor a Right-Wing Reaction Against It - Fr. Seraphim Rose

Excerpt from Fr. Seraphim's memorable article addressing the narrow path, the path that rises above false dichotomies, worldliness, and extremes: the royal path. -The Royal Path: True Orthodoxy in an Age of Apostasy by Fr. Seraphim Rose READ: http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/royal.aspx LISTEN to FULL PODCAST: https://youtu.be/PwDb-v6tli4 -What is the Royal Path? - A timely video in the same spirit, by Fr. Peter Heers WATCH: https://youtu.be/4YvIdHk1y54 -Holy Zeal by Archbishop Averky of Jordanville READ: http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/holyzeal.aspx LISTEN: https://youtu.be/0DOZQ3WZWTI -The Sorrowful Epistles of Met. Philaret of New York READ: http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/sorrow.aspx -Find an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/"As the Fathers say, the extremes from both sides are equally harmful... (We must) go on the royal path, avoiding the extremes on both sides." -St. John Cassian _______ Fr. Seraphim writes: Applying this teaching to our own situation, we may say that the "royal path" of true Orthodoxy today is a mean that lies between the extremes of ecumenism and reformism on the one side, and a "zeal not according to knowledge" (Rom. 10:2) on the other. True Orthodoxy does not go "in step with the times" on the one hand, nor does it make "strictness" or "correctness" or "canonicity" (good in themselves) an excuse for pharisaic self-satisfaction, exclusivism, and distrust, on the other. This true Orthodox moderation is not to be confused with mere luke-warmness or indifference, or with any kind of compromise between political extremes. The spirit of "reform" is so much in the air today that anyone whose views are molded by the "spirit of the times" will regard true Orthodox moderation as dose to "fanaticism," but anyone who looks at the question more deeply and applies the patristic standard will find the royal path to be far from any kind of extremism. The increasing realization in recent years of the basic oneness of the cause of True Orthodoxy throughout the world, whether in the Catacomb Church of Russia, the old calendarists of Greece, or the Russian Church Outside of Russia, has led some to think in terms of a "united front" of confessing Churches to oppose the ecumenical movement which has taken possession of "official" Orthodoxy. However, under present conditions this will hardly come to pass; and in any case, this is a "political" view of the situation which sees the significance of the mission of true Orthodoxy in too external a manner. The full dimensions of the True-Orthodox protest against "ecumenical Orthodoxy", against the neutralized, lukewarm Orthodoxy of the apostasy, have yet to be revealed, above all in Russia. But it cannot be that the witness of so many martyrs and confessors and champions of True Orthodoxy in the 20th century will have been in vain. May God preserve His zealots in the royal path of true Orthodoxy, faithful to Him and to His Holy Church until the end of the age! _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/16/20239 minutes, 54 seconds
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On False Union With Rome & Fighting From Within - St. Paisios the Athonite

A reading of St. Paisios’ letter written in 1969 to a priest regarding the recent scandalous actions of Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and how to respond in a healthy, salvific way as an Orthodox Christian. -read the text here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/elder-paisios-the-athonite-letter-on-ecumenism.aspx -Find an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ First of all, I would like to ask forgiveness from everyone for being bold to write something when I am neither holy nor a theologian. I trust everyone will understand me, that my writing is nothing more than an expression of my deep pain for the unfortunate stance and worldly love of our father Patriarch Athenagoras. It appears he loved another modern woman—which is called the Papist Church—because our Orthodox Mother has not made an impression on him at all, for She is so modest. This love, which was heard from Constantinople, caused a sensational impression of sorts among many Orthodox, who nowadays live in an environment of such meaningless love, in cities across the entire world. Moreover, this love is of the spirit of our age: the family will lose its divine meaning from just such kinds of love, which have as their aim breakup and not union. With just such a worldly love the Patriarch takes us to Rome. While he should have shown love first to us his children and to our Mother Church, he unfortunately sent his love very far away. The result, it’s true, delighted the secular children who love the world—who have this worldly love—, but completely scandalized us, the children of Orthodoxy, young and old, who have fear of God... Also, we should know well that our Orthodox Church does not have even one shortcoming. The only apparent insufficiency is the shortage of sober Hierarchs and Shepherds with a Patristic foundation. “Few are chosen.” This should not, however be upsetting. The Church is Christ’s Church, and He governs Her. It is not a Temple built by the pious from rocks, sand and mortar, which is then destroyed by the fire of barbarians; the Church is Christ Himself. “And whosoever shall fall on this Stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matt. 21:44-45) In times past we see that many faithful children of our Church, monastics and laymen, have unfortunately broken away from Her on account of the unionists. In my opinion, separation from the Church each time the Patriarch makes a mistake is not good at all. From within, close to the Mother Church, it is the duty and obligation of each member to struggle in their own way. To cease commemoration of the Patriarch; to break away and create their own Church; and to continue to speak insultingly to the Patriarch: this I think, is senseless. If, for this or that occasional deviation of the Patriarchs, we separate ourselves and make our own Churches—may God protect us!—we’ll pass up even the Protestants. It is easy for one to separate but difficult to return. I would further like to say that there does exist another, third group, within our Church. They are the brethren who remain as Her faithful children, but who don’t have spiritual concord between themselves. They spend their time criticizing one another, and not for the general good of the struggle. The one monitors the other (more than himself) to see what he will say or write so as to ruthlessly nail him. However, if this person had said or written the same thing, he’d certainly have supported it with numerous passages from the Holy Scriptures and the Fathers. We’re all needed within the Church. All the Fathers, both the mild and the austere, offered their services to Her. Just as the sweet, sour, bitter and even pungent herbs are necessary for a man’s body (each has its own flavor and vitamins), the same is true of the Body of the Church. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/12/20239 minutes, 6 seconds
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Keep Thy Mind in Hell and Despair Not - St. Silouan and St. Sophrony

A reading of the revelation of Jesus Christ to St. Silouan and commentary on the revelation by St. Sophrony from "Saint Silouan the Athonite" by St. Sophrony (p. 429-431, 208-213) 0:18 The revelation of Jesus Christ to St. Silouan 5:19 St. Sophrony’s commentary -Buy "Saint Silouan the Athonite" by St. Sophrony here: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.org/9780881416817/ -Find an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ _______ St. Silouan writes: 'Lord, Thou seest that I desire to pray to Thee with a single mind but the devils will not let me. Tell me what I must do to make them leave me.' And in my soul came the Lord's reply: 'The proud always suffer thus from devils.' ‘Lord,' I say, "Thou art merciful. My soul knoweth Thee. Tell me what I must do that my soul may grow humble?' And the Lord answered me in my soul: 'Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not.' Since then I have stayed my mind in hell and I burn in the sombre fire, yearning after the Lord and seeking Him in tears, and saying: ‘Soon shall I die and take up my abode in the dark prison of hell. And alone shall I burn there, and long for the Lord, and lament: 'Where is my Lord, Whom my soul knoweth?' And I had great profit from these thoughts: my mind was cleansed and my soul found rest. St. Sophrony writes: ‘Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not.’ What does it mean - to keep the mind in hell? Can it be that we are to use our imagination to conjure up circumstances for ourselves similar to those figured in some primitive painting? In this instance, no. Father Silouan, like certain great Fathers — St. Anthony, St. Sisoes, St. Makarios, St. Pimen — during his lifetime actually descended into the darkness and torments of hell. They did this not once but over and over again until their hearts were so permeated that they were able to repeat the movement at will. They took refuge in it when passion — especially that most subtle of passions, pride — reared its head. The struggle against pride is, in fact, the final stage in the battle against the passions. To begin with, the ascetic must wrestle with the greater passions of the flesh, then with irritability and, finally, pride. This last combat is undoubtedly the most painful of all. Taught by long experience that pride leads to loss of grace, the ascetic consciously descends into hell where every passion is 'seared with a hot iron'. Blessed Staretz Silouan said that many ascetics when they approached that state - which is vital if one would be cleansed of the passions - would fall into despair and be unable to continue. But the one who knows how greatly the Lord loveth us' escapes the pernicious effect of total despair and knows how to stand prudently on the verge so that the hellish fire burns away his every passion and he does not fall victim to despair. 'And despair not.’ If the Staretz' account is a simple one - as simple as the shoemaker's of Alexandria - the power and mystery of the matter will remain incomprehensible for anyone who has not known a similar experience of hellish torment, on the one hand, and the great gifts of grace, on the other. The Staretz declared, 'The Lord Himself taught me the way to humble myself. "Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not". Thus is the enemy vanquished. But when my mind emerges from the fire, the suggestions of passion gather strength again.' This brief inconsistent exposé is incapable of conveying any real understanding of the ineffably wondrous life where extreme suffering is allied to extreme bliss, the one accompanying the other in the strangest manner. If the suffering existed alone, it would be impossible to bear it. And if there were only bliss, that, too, would be past bearing. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/11/202317 minutes, 27 seconds
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On Watchfulness and Noetic Prayer - Elder Ephraim of Arizona

A reading of the homily titled, "On Watchfulness and Noetic Prayer" from Chapter 15 of "Counsels from the Holy Mountain" by Elder Ephraim of Arizona -Learn more about the ever-memorable Elder Ephraim: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/pages/elder-ephraim -Buy the book here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/products/counsels-from-the-holy-mountain -Find an Orthodox parish and monastery near you: https://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ 0:09 The Watchful Fathers, especially St. Gregory Palamas, showed us the way2:41 We must attack evil thoughts with anger, the Jesus Prayer, and rebuttal 5:06 Before noetic prayer was systematized, monks primarily focus on asceticism done with the body 8:02 The work of watchfulness led the Watchful Fathers to freedom from care 9:40 The value of silence 10:26 If one has tasted prayer and then loses prayer, he feels empty 11:29 Those who pray with watchfulness acquire great gifts 13:32 Prayer is the catapult against the demons, passions, and sin 14:45 The ax of prayer 15:37 A story of how a demon spoke through a woman to show a negligent monk that the Jesus prayer burns the demons 17:40 Must listen! A story of a man who comes to Elder Joseph and suffers from the demons yet courageously persists in saying the Jesus prayer 24:10 The power of prayer and the demons’ refusal to repent, yet we are lazy 25:34 Even laypeople occupy themselves with the prayer and bear fruit 27:54 Conclusion _______ Elder Ephraim teaches: A monk who lacks prayer feels empty, unless he has not tasted the benefit of prayer and does not realize his emptiness. If a poor man never had anything, he is not troubled. But if a monk who has been taught the prayer becomes neglectful and loses it, he knows his loss and is troubled. Therefore, monks must pray not only to carry out their duty as monks, but at the same time to be monks in deed; not just monks in name and outward appearance, but also inwardly. According to the Watchful Fathers, one is not called a monk if he does not have this hidden work within him. Therefore, we too must compel ourselves to pray for our soul to be full of benefit. Only then can we consider ourselves to be monks. Just as someone could wonder how a body could live without a soul, likewise a person experienced in prayer would be at a loss and say, "But how can people live without this spiritual nourishment!" Our passions of soul and body are remedied in proportion to the progress we have made in prayer and the benefit we have received from it. The healing of one's passions and weaknesses marks how much a person has advanced in prayer. Consequently, we must compel ourselves. We must constantly urge ourselves not to forget the prayer, not to neglect it. When we notice that the prayer has "sprung a leak," has weakened and begins to waver and stumble, it is necessary as quickly as possible to strive to correct it, to work with diligence, to restore strength to our prayer. How will this be accomplished? the soul must collect itself immediately, must concentrate, "tighten the belt,” as we say, and vigorously begin to pray. It must drive away thoughts, expel worries, free the mind from distraction and say, “I will occupy myself with the prayer now." And when we occupy ourselves with it in this way for a while, we shall soon feel the power which proceeds from diligence in prayer. In conclusion, there is nothing left for us to do except to compel ourselves; to compel ourselves constantly. We should occupy ourselves with prayer above all, saying continuously: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me." As we wake up in the morning we should say the prayer; then, we should do our work with the name of Christ on our lips. _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/3/202329 minutes, 38 seconds
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The Life of St. Sophia of Kiev - Abbess & Confessor of the Catacomb Church

St. Sophia of Kiev (+1941) was a valiant Abbess, Confessor, and spiritual guide for the faithful during their apocalyptic trial under the Bolshevik antichrists. This account of her life is found in "Russia's Catacomb Saints" written and translated by I. M. Andreyev, Fr. Seraphim Rose, Fr. Herman Podmoshensky, and others. Published in 1982 by the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood. Read "Russia's Catacomb Saints": https://russiascatacombsaints.blogspot.com/ From the Life of St. Sophia: “Of inestimable spiritual value is the fearless stand for Christ's Truth by the New Martyrs of Russia. Especially by their manful act of testifying where the Truth was to be found at a time when many did not see this—the Josephite confessors of 1927 and thereafter historically preserved the savor of Orthodoxy for generations to follow. Now that almost half a century has passed, history has shown that these "stubborn rebels," the followers of Metropolitan Joseph of Petrograd, were absolutely correct, and their significance now shines forth as equal to that of the great Confessors of Orthodoxy in ancient times. One of such Josephites was Abbess Sophia, whose boldness as a confessor was a direct result of her high spirituality and genuine Orthodox world-view. She reached spiritual maturity at the time of Russia's pinnacle of holiness, when the Russian land was preparing to offer itself as a pure and ripe sacrifice to God at the bloody hands of the God-hating Communists.” "Being a true offspring of the Optina Elders, with whom she was in constant contact, she soberly discerned the true nature of the Soviet Revolution and knew what to expect from it. Thus, when the assault of the "Living Church" struck, her convent was one of the first to give a blow back, although she herself had already been arrested. A new calendarist bishop was forced into the convent by GPU agents to serve Liturgy. When the women who attended it came up to kiss the Cross at the end, one after another they spit on the bishop's hand that held the Cross, and thus an end was put to "renovation" in the Protection Convent, and the bishop learned his lesson and repented. Hearing about this, Bishop Damascene exclaimed with bitterness: 'If it were not for women, who else would defend the Church? Let them at least defend it however they can!'" "The last morning in the much-suffering life of Abbess Sophia arrived when she was amidst her spiritual daughters, on a collective farm near Serpukhov which was a catacomb convent. She was in a state of absolute exhaustion. not having partaken of any food for several days. After morning prayers, when her room had been put in order, Mother Sophia asked to be left alone, and then began to read her favorite book, the Gospel, — when the sisters heard her coughing and gasping for air. The agony lasted for three hours, but she was fully conscious and her eyes were clear. Then she turned her gaze to an icon, closed her eyes for the last time, and departed to the Lord. That was on March 22 (April 4, NS), 1941." _______ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/21/202318 minutes, 16 seconds
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There is No Spiritual Life Without Sacrifice - St. Paisios the Athonite

My dear brothers and sisters, take these words to heart! Be encouraged and be courageous! Excerpt from "On Our Times" by St. Paisios the Athonite Full podcast: https://spotify.link/4JXWlzCKUyb Text: http://apantaortodoxias.blogspot.com/2015/06/on-our-times-st-paisios-of-holy-mount.html _______ More of St. Paisios' teachings from Orthodox Wisdom: Marriage or Monasticism? (The Young Facing the Two Paths in Life) https://spotify.link/qEajIFFKUyb On the Blasphemous Treatment of Holy Things, God's Wrath, & Trusting God https://spotify.link/5YivepEKUyb Work and Spiritual Life https://spotify.link/ozInRWAKUyb _______ St. Paisios teaches: The world has lost control of itself. Honor and self-sacrifice have abandoned people. The taste of sacrificial joy is unknown to today’s people, and that’s why they’re so tortured. For only when you co-participate in the pain of another do miracles happen. If a person doesn’t cultivate in himself the spirit of self- sacrifice then he thinks only of himself and doesn’t receive Divine Grace. The more a person forgets himself, the more God remembers him. Those who die heroically don’t really die. And where there’s no heroism nothing worthwhile can be expected. Our time is like a bubbling and steaming cauldron. One needs temperament, audacity, courage. Take care not to be caught unprepared, if something is to happen. Start getting ready now so that you’ll be able to resist difficulties. Christ Himself tells us: Therefore be ye also ready (Mt 24:44), doesn’t He? Today, living in such complicated times, we have to be not merely ready, but triply ready, at the minimum! Possibly we may meet not only with sudden death, but with other dangers. So let’s drive away the desire to arrange our lives comfortably! May love of honor and the spirit of self-sacrifice live in us. I see that something is in the works, that something lies just around the corner, but it’s constantly being put off. Little delays all the time. Who’s creating the delays? God? Another month passes, then another couple of months! That’s the main thing: for true brotherly love to exist between us. Kindness, love — that’s strength! Death in battle adds greatly to God’s mercy, for a person who dies the death of the brave sacrifices himself to defend others. Those who give up their lives out of pure love in order to defend their neighbor are imitating Christ. These people are supreme heroes. They arouse fear in our enemies. Death herself trembles before them, because they scorn her due to their great love, and attain immortality in this fashion, finding the key to eternity under the gravestone. They enter into eternal blessedness without difficulty. That’s why I say to you: Cultivate self-sacrifice, brotherly love. May each of you attain a spiritual condition which will allow you to get out of difficult situations. Without a spiritual condition a person loses courage, because he loves himself. He can renounce Christ, betray Him. There is no spiritual life without sacrifice. Try to remember, at least a little bit, that death exists. And since we’ll die in any case, let’s not take care of ourselves too much. Look after your health, but not to the degree where you begin to bow down before your peace and well-being. I’m not asking anyone to throw themselves headlong into dangerous adventures, but you have to have at least a bit of heroism, my brother! In order to succeed at anything one needs a wild streak, in the positive sense. He who lacks this wild streak can become neither a hero nor a saint. The heart must become uncalculating. Fear is necessary when it helps a person turn to God. Fear from lack of faith, from lack of trust in God, on the other hand, is ruinous. Such fear is driven out by audacity. We must remember: The more a person fears, the more he is tempted by the enemy. If a person refuses to strive to become courageous, and doesn’t strive for real love, then when a difficult situation arises he’ll become a laughingstock. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/11/20236 minutes, 31 seconds
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How St. Joseph the Hesychast Conquered the Demon of Fornication

Hear how St. Joseph faced the most fearsome spiritual battle of his life, an eight year battle against lust and fornication, and how by the powerful name of Christ and his indomitable spirit he became victorious. 0:27 St. Daniel the Hesychast calls Francis (St. Joseph the Hesychast) and Fr. Arsenios to be obedient to an Elder 2:32 Their Elders: Elder Joseph and Elder Ephraim the Barrel-Maker4:15 The perfect obedience of St. Joseph 6:43 The call to war 8:29 The battle against the demon of fornication begins 9:42 St. Joseph’s courage and dedication to be victorious 10:38 The intensity of the struggle 12:32 St. Joseph begins to despair and God grants a vision to console him 13:29 The vision 17:01 St. Joseph telling of the vision to his disciples 18:31 The warfare intensifies but St. Joseph did not give in 19:56 Physical manifestation of the demons battling against St. Joseph 22:55 Final victory Buy "My Elder Joseph the Hesychast" written by his disciple, Elder Ephraim of Arizona, here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/products/my-elder-joseph-the-hesychast NOTE: Francis was the name of St. Joseph before his monastic tonsure. ______________________________ From “My Elder Joseph the Hesychast”, p. 91-105: St. Joseph was called to this battle not because in his youth we was promiscuous and rebellious; no, “he had never had any past experience with carnal sins and was completely chaste…” "Francis struggled intensely because he was completely aware of what was happening. Besides, it was in his character never to give in to anything improper. He fasted strictly and kept vigil all night. He only partook of dry bread and water. When he would reach the limits of exhaustion, grace would strengthen him, and thus he would continue his fearsome struggle. The more time passed, the tougher the demons' warfare became—it was nearly incessant. But he, too, was full of rage against them. He was so courageous that he said to the demons,' 'Either I’ll devour you or you'll devour me.' This is why he never lost a single battle against the demons. With such dedication to fight till death, how could the grace of God not help him and raise him to lofty spiritual states?" “For it is a law of God: whatever causes sensual pleasure is cured by pain.” -St. Joseph It is very likely that contemporary monastics and struggling laymen will wonder why this young ascetic beat himself so mercilessly. Even though it sounds horrible, it is not a sign of mental instability, nor is it the only such instance in ascetical literature.** God has revealed through various miracles that He accepted this form of ascesis as a martyrdom. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers and The Ladder are full of similar ascetical struggles in which the body is not being punished but rather being subdued to the ruling nous. The aim of Orthodox asceticism is to kill the passions, not the body. Through his indomitable determination, Father Joseph attained this lofty state, even though he had not yet reached the age of thirty-two. From his own experience, he was able to teach his spiritual children: “When a person struggles to keep his body pure and his nous chaste from filthy thoughts, his life and his prayer ascend like fragrant incense to the heavens. I have seen in practice what I am telling you. There is no sacrifice to God more fragrant than chastity of the body which is obtained with a bloody and dreadful struggle...." **For example, see the lives of Saints Leontius, Epiphanius, Nephon, Martinius, and Benedict. Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/29/202327 minutes, 45 seconds
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Fr. Seraphim Rose: His Journey to Orthodoxy & Advice to a Beginner

Fr. Seraphim Rose writes to a woman who was baptized as a child, left the faith, and returned to the Church as an adult. Fr. Seraphim rejoices in her return, shares how he too was far from Christ, and some basic tenants of living the Orthodox life.   Fr. Seraphim writes:   “Coming from a Protestant background, I rejected it completely and became an agnostic and atheist, and then started searching for some meaning to life in various philosophies and Eastern religions, until I finally came to the point where I thought there was no meaning to life at all, and I wondered why I should keep on living. And then I went for the first time to a Russian Orthodox Church, and something in my soul responded to this, and I began a gradual but sure recovery from my spiritual disease of despair and lack of faith. Many people today say that God has turned away from us and does not listen to us. But I have found that just the opposite is true: it is we who have turned away from God and followed vain philosophies and our own selfish desires. But God remains always the same and is always ready to receive us with great love.”  “True faith comes from a small seed which is planted in our hearts by God Himself, and which is nourished and gradually grows through God’s grace and through our own actions which are in accordance with His commandments and the tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church, which has been given by the Holy Spirit and handed down to us through our Holy Fathers.”   The three practical suggestions Fr. Seraphim gives:   1) Daily Prayers, morning and evening  2) Read every day at least a chapter or even a few verses from the Four Gospels  3) Read a little each day of the book “Unseen Warfare”   “Do not read any books on “spirituality” by Catholics, Protestants, psychologists, or anyone who is not Orthodox, because they will only mix you up. There may be wisdom or insights in some of these, but only in our Orthodox Faith is there to be found the whole path of salvation, the infallible way of coming to God. Many people spend a lifetime trying to find what is only to be found in the Orthodox Church; but God has granted you the good fortune of being born in His Holy Church, and you only need to return to what is yours already. Even I, from a Protestant background, felt that I had “come home” when I found Holy Orthodoxy; how much more you will feel the same way when faith begins truly to grow within you.”  -Letter dated Jan. 23/Feb. 5, 1971   https://thoughtsintrusive.wordpress.com/letters-of-fr-seraphim-rose-1961-1982/  Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/15/20236 minutes, 19 seconds
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The Filioque: From the Latins Which Were Obedient to Satan - St. Gregory Palamas

Take advantage of a 20% discount, March 10-12, on all books. Type in discount code LENT20 when checking out at http://uncutmountainpress.com  St. Gregory Palamas wrote two treatises on the procession of the Holy Spirit presenting the Orthodox dogmatic teaching and refutes the Latin heresies, especially that of the “filioque.” Not only do these texts show forth the glory of true theology, of which St. Gregory acquired by God’s revelation to his heart, but they destroy any notion that St. Gregory thought of those in Roman Catholicism as “separated brethren” or still in any way part of the true Church of Christ. Furthermore, he explicitly states that not only do the Orthodox and Roman Catholics use different terminology, they indeed also have different theology. Let the listener be inspired by this brief excerpt from St. Gregory’s Apodicitic Treatises on the Procession of the Holy Spirit, now available for the first time in English from Uncut Mountain Press.   This recording was originally posted on the @OrthodoxEthos channel: https://youtube.com/watch?v=nHPzoOwi2x4&si=EnSIkaIECMiOmarE  St. Gregory writes:   Once again the subtle serpent and source of vice rears his own head against us, whispering things opposite to the truth. Or rather, since he has been crushed in his head by the Cross of Christ, he makes those who obey his destructive counsels in every generation each take the place of his own head, and similar to a hydra he has sprouted many heads instead of the one, relentlessly speaking utter unrighteousness through them. Thus he attached to his coiled body the Arians, thus the Apollinarians, thus the Eunomians and Macedonians, thus the host of many others who ran to him, spewing his venom through their speech against the sacred Church. In lieu of fangs, he has used their words and sunk them into the source of piety, as into the root of a plant that had youthfully grown virtue, burdened with the best of fruit; yet he was not able to utterly lay waste to it. For, his fangs were in turn shattered by those who had been bitten by him, meaning, by those who have truly made Christ their own Head.   Accordingly, this serpent, which is noetic and, because of this, all the more accursed, the first, middle, and final evil, the wicked one, always feeding off of serpentine and earthly wickedness, the vigilant stalker, tirelessly looking out for the heel,  that is to say, deception, the sophist, most resourceful and incomparably ingenious in every opinion obnoxious to God, not having at all forgotten his own evil art, introduces, through the Latins which were obedient to him, innovative expressions concerning God. While these innovations seem to make but a small change, they actually create the occasion for many evils and bring in many things that are subtle, foreign to piety, and logically absurd. In doing this he clearly displayed to all that even the smallest thing is not small in matters concerning God. For if, with each of our arguments, when one fallacious thing has initially been premised many absurdities ensue, how can it not be that, when one uncustomary premise has been made in relation to the common principle of all and to the indemonstrable first principles, from this more absurdities will not irreverently ensue? --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/12/20235 minutes, 1 second
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Against Common Prayer with the Heterodox - Met. Philaret of New York (from the book by UMP)

Metropolitan Philaret's letter to Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, written in 1969 in response to ecumenical prayer gatherings and statements expressing heretical ecclesiology from both the Archbishop and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras. Notice the royal path exhibited here by the great hierarch: when addressing the Archbishop and Patriarch he is very respectful, consistently using the given honorifics and hierarchical titles, yet stands firmly on the truth set down by the Apostles and Holy Fathers.   Purchase "Metropolitan Philaret of New York: Zealous Confessor for the Faith" edited by Subdeacon Nektarios Harrison, M.A. here:  https://uncutmountainpress.com/shop/product/metropolitan-philaret-of-new-york-zealous-confessor-for-the-faith/  For more on the topic of this video, buy "On Common Prayer with the Heterodox According to the Canons of the Church" by Protopresbyter Anastasios Gotsopoulos: https://uncutmountainpress.com/shop/product/on-common-prayer-with-the-heterodox/  This recording was originally posted on the @OrthodoxEthos channel: https://youtu.be/GGfjVcCEmoY  More recordings from Orthodox Wisdom on Met. Philaret:  The Life of Metropolitan Philaret of New York: https://youtu.be/4rR4jJ_23RY Patriotism & War: https://youtu.be/Za6rSKXyulM On the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ: https://youtu.be/LN3doqcUa1E  Met. Philaret writes:   "Our silence might be construed as consent, bringing consequent confusion to our own flock as well as misunderstanding to the heterodox expecting our actions, especially in matters of public worship to be performed by all of us in conformance with our doctrines and canons. Therefore, an incorrect action made by one Bishop may be taken for something permitted by the whole Church, and those who are 'without' may form a misconception in regard to Orthodox doctrine. In a time such as this, when so much mutual interest is shown by various confessions, we may be found offering them a stone instead of a loaf of bread." "The Holy Fathers however always regarded common public prayer as the culmination of the conversion of erring persons to the true Church — the achievement of it; not the means to it. Common Church prayer is a manifestation of an already existing unity of faith and spirit."   "In a speech during his visit to Rome in 1967, His Holiness Patriarch Athenagoras publicly declared in the Basilica of St. Peter that the Church should 'return to the solid ground on which the undivided Church was founded' as if since 1054 the Church has lost this foundation and as if before that time there existed no schisms. If, as Your Eminence and His Holiness declare, you are proceeding toward the restoration of this 'Undivided Church,' then this means that for you the Church is at present non-existent. We are also inescapably brought to the conclusion that Your Eminence and the Patriarch accept the 'branch' theory."   "You are uniting with the heterodox not in truth but in indifference to it." Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/10/202312 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ecumenism: One of the Most Dangerous Heresies - St. Sophrony the Athonite

St. Sophrony is one of the greatest saints of the 20th century, a teacher of prayer of the heart and one graced with the experience of the Uncreated Light. He was glorified as a Saint in 2019 and is beloved by the entire Church worldwide.   This excerpt comes from Letter 11, Dec 3/16, 1932 found in "Striving for Knowledge of God: Correspondence with David Balfour" available for sale here: https://essexmonastery.com/bookshop/striving-for-knowledge-of-god/  St. Sophrony writes:   "...I would like to say a little about the fact that at the present time a significant part of the Christian world tends to accept one of the most dangerous heresies. What is consists of is people saying that in our days there is not one Church which has kept fully the true teaching of Christ; or which possesses complete knowledge of the mystery of the holy, grace-filled Christian life on the ethical and ascetic level. Supposedly, many of the Churches which are nominally Christian have equal grace, and because of that we should proceed towards the union of the Churches on the basis of some common program."   "Some people think that no single one of the existing Churches can receive the fulness of knowledge and grace, because each one of them in one or another degree has deviated from the truth. They think that only now ‘at the end of the ages’ they (these sages) have fully grasped the spirit of the teaching of Christ, and that the entire Christian world has been led astray for many centuries until now. That now the time has come when we must unite all the separated parts into one universal and apostle Church, which will have the fulness of truth in all its aspects, even though this union will only embrace what is common to all the Churches. What is even worse, some of them are pondering in their hearts a certain high, supra-ecclesial, mystical, understanding of Christian religion, which… I won’t say more about this."  "I digressed into discussing this for one reason only: to tell you that I very much want you (and I pray to God for this) not to be deceived by all that, but to be convinced firmly in your heart and mind that on this earth there is one unique and true Church which Christ founded; that this Church maintains unspoiled the teaching of Christ, that she in her totality (and not in her individual members) possesses the fulness of knowledge and grace and infallibility."   "The definitive form of expression of the Church’s teaching at the Ecumenical Councils cannot be subjected to any change. All future academic work must obligatorily concur with what was given in divine revelation and in the teaching of the Ecumenical Councils of the Church. The same is true in connection with grace: only the one and unique Church can have the fulness of grace. All the other Churches, however, do have grace because of their faith in Christ, but not in its fulness. We can, furthermore, believe that in our days there are still people who, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, are equal to the great Saints of the Church of ancient times. (I am saying this in connection with what I heard about several people in Russia.) [This is] because Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb. 13:8). All this is the truth. Whoever departs from this faith will not stand."   Read the text here: https://classicalchristianity.com/2016/10/17/elder-sophrony-on-orthodoxy-and-ecumenism/ Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/6/20234 minutes, 29 seconds
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The 14 Bulgarians Martyred for Refusing to Eat Meat During Great Lent - St. Theodore the Studite

Blessed Lent brothers and sisters! St. Theodore the Studite (+826) reminds us of the stance of the righteous in the face of "small" matters such as eating or not eating meat during Great Lent. Yet, for "these men it was permissible to partake of any meat under necessity, as St Basil says. But since the order from the Scythians was aimed at the rejection of the faith, they refused..." Are not the demons the Sythians of our day? Those thoughts that say fasting is not necessary, that what we eat doesn't matter, than only loving others is the true fast...are they not inspired by the demons? Let us both fast from meat (and the other foods) during Lent and love others more deeply.    St. Theodore says:   In Bulgaria, as those who were accurately informed have reported, an evil decree went out from the ruler there that the Christians in captivity and our brothers were to eat meat during the period of the holy Forty Days; those who obeyed would live, those who disobeyed would be killed. The word of the godless was exceedingly strong and the people assembled and there was weeping and groans and much lamentation with women and children, on the one side of those clinging to the Christian law, on the other of those quailing before the death of the flesh. Finally—ah, the pitiable announcement—they were defeated and submitted to the godless order. Fourteen of them though broke away and stood apart saying it was not possible either to obey or to eat meat in violation of the Christian law. At this, appeals and exhortations by the people were made: 'Let them yield to constraint, not die foolishly, and through repentance they can be restored again.' But nothing could persuade them or weaken them from keeping their gaze fixed on God and on the blessedness that was laid up in his promises. The Scythian then, when he saw the implacable determination of the men, thought to subdue the rest by means of one, and having slain him he at once distributed his children and his wife among the Scythians as slaves, so that the others weakened by this would be brought over. But they rather remained unbowed and shouted out, 'We are Christians, and our lot is that of our dead brother'. At this confession they were crucified on planks and died in the Lord. They were obedient then to the commands of the Gospel, they obeyed the authority of the Lord and were wreathed with the crown of martyrdom, imitating the holy Maccabees and doubling their number, for the Maccabees were seven, but they were fourteen; the former so as not to taste swine's meat in violation of the law, the latter so as not to partake of any meat in violation of the Christian rule; this latter seems stricter, because for the Maccabees partaking of pork was utterly forbidden, but for these men it was permissible to partake of any meat under necessity, as St Basil says. But since the order from the Scythians was aimed at the rejection of the faith, they refused; but they considered all things as secondary for the love of Christ. O blessed men! O blessed action! They were obedient then to the commands of the Gospel, they obeyed the authority of the Lord and were wreathed with the crown of martyrdom, imitating the holy Maccabees and doubling their number, for the Maccabees were seven, but they were fourteen; the former so as not to taste swine's meat in violation of the law, the latter so as not to partake of any meat in violation of the Christian rule; this latter seems stricter, because for the Maccabees partaking of pork was utterly forbidden, but for these men it was permissible to partake of any meat under necessity, as St Basil says. But since the order from the Scythians was aimed at the rejection of the faith, they refused; but they considered all things as secondary for the love of Christ. O blessed men! O blessed action!   Text: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/03/catechesis-63-historical-concerning.html --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/22/20235 minutes, 55 seconds
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The Cowardly Shall Suffer in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 21:8) - Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios

Excerpt from homilies on Revelation, Lesson 89 (Rev. 21:8) by Elder Athanasios   The Lord said to the Apostle John: "But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death." -Revelation 21:8   Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios, a dynamic and beloved preacher, abbot of the Monastery of Komnineiou and Saint John the Theologian in Stomion, Larisa, Greece, gave 104 consecutive lessons of Revelation to thousands of faithful. This beloved elder, venerated by many in Greece and around the world, reposed in the Lord in the year 2006.    The edifying lecture series by Fr. Peter Heers on the Revelation of Jesus Christ can be viewed here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCFiE3qfVkDhKNfZnuLfsyW-xwVicvogB  Elder Athanasios says:   “The very first category includes the cowardly, which may be surprising to some. Did you ever dream that cowardice would be such a heavy sin? I believe with a little analysis you will come to agree with the mind of Scripture regarding this vice. Initially we must mention that many faithful Orthodox Christians suffer from cowardice. I do not know about you personally, but I feel that I must constantly remind myself about this danger. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, and I do not know how I will stand under persecution. No one should be totally confident about his ability to remain unscathed by future temptations and difficulties. He who is overconfident and self-assured of his bravery lacks understanding.”   “We do not know, beloved, how we will react if and when that time comes. Those who we may label as weak may turn into lions at the moment of challenge, and those who appear and act like lions now may prove to be most cowardly, and turn their back on their faith. Generally speaking, however, cowardice seems to be like a dark cloud that covers all of us faithful Christians today, and it is quite obvious in our daily lives. The coward is in direct opposition to the one who struggles and to the one who strives for victory. Christ promised His inheritance to the one who thirsts, the one who undertakes the Christian struggle, the victor. The cowardly do not wish to enter the spiritual arena, because they find the struggle burdensome, difficult, and unachievable. They are terribly afraid of the God-opposing powers of the world and everything that opposes their faith. They are afraid to face the opposite paradigm, and they finally betray the tenets of the their faith due to their cowardice. This can be especially true during a time of widespread persecution. Let us not forget that the gospel was never free of persecution, ever during its golden epochs. This is the nature of the genuine gospel, and it needs to be so, because otherwise the Word of God would be speaking falsehoods.”   “As we were saying, there has been no one who wished to live a godly life, a life of piety, who did not face persecution (cf. 1 Tim 3:12). The gospel and its followers are in a permanent state of persecution, not excluding the snide remarks, sarcasm, and opposition from those of our own family. And the enemies of a man will be the members of his own household (Matthew 10:36).”   Purchase Volume V of the homilies on Revelation, as well as Volume I to IV here: https://www.zoepress.us   Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/16/202311 minutes, 28 seconds
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A Lament for Sin - St. Basil the Great

A reading of St. Basil's Lament for Sin   Find the text here: https://www.orthodox.net/confess/lament.html  St. Basil prays:   In profound humility I weep for all my sins, voluntary and involuntary, conscious and unconscious, covert and overt, great and little, committed by word and deed, in thought and intention, day and night, at every hour and minute of my life.   How often, through selfishness, pride or false modesty, have I refused help and attention to those in need, been uncharitable, miserly, unsympathetic, mercenary and grasped at attention!   How often have I entered the House of God without fear and trembling, stood there in prayer, frivolous and absent-minded, and left it in the same spirit and disposition! And in prayer at home I have been just as cold and indifferent, praying little, lazily, and indolently, inattentively and impiously, and even completely omitting the appointed prayers!   My God, my God! Why hast Thou forsaken me? Be it unto me according to Thy will, 0 Lord! If Thou wouldst grant me light, be Thou blessed; if Thou wouldst grant me darkness, be Thou equally blessed. If Thou wouldst destroy me together with my lawlessness, glory to Thy righteous judgment; and if Thou wouldst not destroy me together with my lawlessness, glory to Thy boundless mercy!    Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/10/20238 minutes, 59 seconds
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The Lives of the Saints are Applied Dogmatics - St. Justin Popovic

An excerpt from "Introduction to the Lives of the Saints" by St. Justin Popovic.   Listen here: https://youtu.be/q1SQB8O2Aek Read here: here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/stjustin_intro.aspx  The Prologue of Ochrid by St. Nikolai Velimirovich is great for daily reading. It includes a brief life of one or two saints, a hymn of praise, reflection, and homily. Buy the Prologue from various Orthodox Bookstores online.    Listen free to the lives of the saints every day of the year at Patristic Nectar: https://patristicnectar.org/synaxarion  St. Justin writes:   “The Lives of the Saints are holy testimonies of the miraculous power of our Lord Jesus Christ. In reality they are the testimonies of the Acts of the Apostles, only continued throughout the ages.”   “And who are the Christians? Christians are those through whom the holy Divine-human life of Christ is continued from generation to generation until the end of the world and of time, and they all make up one body, the Body of Christ-the Church: they are sharers of the Body of Christ and members of one another. The stream of immortal divine life began to flow and still flows unceasingly from the Lord Christ, and through him Christians flow into eternal life. Christians are the Gospel of Christ continued throughout all the ages of the race of men.”   “What are the Lives of the Saints? Behold, we are in Paradise, in which everything which is Divine, holy, immortal, eternal, righteous, true, and evangelical grows and increases. For by the Cross in every one of the saints the tree of eternal, Divine, immortal life blossomed and brought forth much fruit.”   “Saints are people who live on earth by holy, eternal Divine truths. That is why the Lives of the Saints are actually applied dogmatics, for in them all the holy eternal dogmatic truths are experienced in all their life-creating and creative energies. In The Lives of the Saints it is most evidently shown that dogmas are not only ontological truths in themselves and for themselves, but that each one of them is a wellspring of eternal life and a source of holy spirituality.”    Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/6/202311 minutes, 2 seconds
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Against Those Who Attack the Divine Images (First Apology) - St. John of Damascus

A reading of “Against Those Who Attack the Divine Images” (First Apology) by St. John of Damascus (+749). In response to the iconoclast heresy of the 8th century St. John wrote three treatises in defense of the apostolic tradition. His defense centers on the incarnation of Christ, how the invisible God became visible, and how from the witness of Holy Scripture we are commanded by God to make and venerate holy icons. St. John’s message is ever relevant as sectarians and heretical-minded people continually find new ways to reject the veneration of icons which are a divine safeguard for truth and a means of God’s economy of salvation. 0:10 Introduction - When the Church is being attacked “I deem it unreasonable to keep silence" 1:40 St. John knows the teaching of the Church and exclaims we must not forsake Her ancient tradition 2:55 St. John’s prayer and stance in setting forth the Orthodox teaching on icons 4:08 St. John begins his defense of icons; there is one God Whose Son became flesh, the invisible became visible 7:15 Passages from Scripture that command no graven images lest idolatry ensue 8:47 More passages from Scripture showing that nothing is to be adored in the way God is to be adored 10:16 The newness of life in Christ, the fulfillment of the law in Christ, no longer means images are such a stumbling block to worship of God alone.  13:58 God has ordained that the intangible is made known through that which we can see 17:11 The images are of two kinds: words written down or material images. Either reject the authority of God Who willed them to be made or esteem them as is fitting. 18:10 The degrees of worship: 1) adoration which we offer to God alone 2) the honor we offer the friends of God, for the sake of God 3) the respect as we see with Abraham and the sons of Nahor. 19:30 God commands cherubim and other images to overshadow the mercy seat, calling us to worship Him through created matter 21:43 “I do not worship matter; I worship the Creator of matter who became matter for my sake..." 23:28 “Either do away with the honor and veneration these things deserve, or accept the tradition of the Church and the veneration of images.” 24:05 Exodus 31:1-6 and Exodus 35:4-10 26:44 The images worthy of God “sanctify the noblest of the senses, which is that of sight.” 28:08 If God ordered twelve stones to be taken from the Jordan after Israel passed through, shall we not make images of Christ and His saving passion? 29:06 It is utter foolishness to make images of Christ and not of His saints, for he says, “I will glorify those who glorify Me” (1 Sam 2:30). 31:30 On the images God commanded David and Soloman to make in the temple, and how depicting the saints is far greater 33:04 “Shall we strip [the saints] of the glory given them by the Church? What audacity! What effrontery of mind, to fight with God, refusing to follow His commands!” 38:08 Christians have seen God in human form. Peter’s shadow and Paul’s handkerchief healed and put demons to flight. Therefore, we glorify the saints in material images. 39:12 St. Basil the Great teaches that the tradition of the Church is passed down both orally and in writing and “both sources have equal power to lead us to righteousness.” 41:03 “Pagans make images of demons which they address as gods, but we make images of God incarnate, and of his servants and friends, and with them we drive away the demonic hosts.” 41:45 St. John: the words against icons from St. Epiphanius are “fictitious and inauthentic.” Furthermore, “one exception cannot be a law for the Church…” 43:23 “The former holy things, the tent, and everything therein were made by hands, and no one can deny that they were venerated.” --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/25/202344 minutes, 42 seconds
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Keys to Genesis: Divine Vision vs Human Philosophy - Fr. Seraphim Rose

What are the keys to understanding Genesis and the creation of the world? Where is true knowledge found? Fr. Seraphim Rose points us to the Holy Fathers, to Moses the God-Seer and their means of knowledge about things of the past, things which no man can observe, and the correct relationship between divine revelation and science.  This video contains excerpts from Fr. Seraphim's book "Genesis, Creation, and Early Man". These excerpts are also found in a longer video containing the teachings of over a dozen modern Holy Fathers on the topic: "Creation, Early Man, and Evolution | According to Modern Holy Fathers": https://youtu.be/Y0sdPLJO3cE   Fr. Seraphim's letter to Dr. Kalomiros, posthumously titled "The Patristic Doctrine of Creation", is arguably the best place to start for deeper understanding of this topic.  Read the letter here (letter 151, Fifth Week of Lent, 1974): https://thoughtsintrusive.wordpress.com/letters-of-fr-seraphim-rose-1961-1982/  Listen to a reading here: https://youtu.be/oWG3x0aYG3I   The scroll in the icon in the thumbnail read "Evolution is the key to the philosophy of Antichrist." Fr. Seraphim writes:  “Do you now see what is at stake in the argument between the Patristic understanding of Genesis and the doctrine of evolution? The doctrine of evolution attempts to understand the mysteries of God's creation by means of natural knowledge and worldly philosophy, not even allowing the possibility that there is something in these mysteries which places them beyond its capabilities of knowing; while the book of Genesis is an account of God's creation as seen in Divine vision by the God-seer Moses, and this vision is confirmed also by the experience of later Holy Fathers. Now, even though revealed knowledge is higher than natural knowledge, still we know that there can be no conflict between true revelation and true natural knowledge. But there can be conflict between revelation and human philosophy, which is often in error. There is thus no conflict between the knowledge of creation contained in Genesis, as interpreted for us by the Holy Fathers, and the true knowledge of creatures which modern science has acquired by observation; but there most certainly is an irreconcilable conflict between the knowledge contained in Genesis and the vain philosophical speculations of modern scientists, unenlightened by faith, about the state of the world in the Six Days of Creation. Where there is a genuine conflict between Genesis and modern philosophy, if we wish to know the truth we must accept the teaching of the Holy Fathers and reject the false opinions of scientific philosophers. The world has now become so infected by vain modern philosophy posing as science that very few, even among Orthodox Christians, are willing or able to examine this question dispassionately and discover what the Holy Fathers really taught, and then accept the Patristic teaching even if it seems utter foolishness to the vain wisdom of this world.” -pg 459-460, ”The Patristic Doctrine of Creation” ”…it is clear how much more profound is the true Patristic interpretation than that of the fundamentalists, on the one hand, who have never even heard of Divine vision and whose interpretation sometimes coincides with that of the Holy Fathers only by accident, as it were; and on the other hand, how much more profound is the Patristic interpretation than that of those who uncritically accept the speculations of modern philosophy as if they were true knowledge.” -pg 460, ”The Patristic Doctrine of Creation” Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/19/202312 minutes, 48 seconds
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"Christian Yoga" - Fr. Seraphim Rose

Fr. Seraphim Rose examines the phenomena of “Christian Yoga,” which in his day (1970s) was gaining popularity and acceptance, and offers a sober warning to all, especially Orthodox Christians. From “Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future”, Fr. Seraphim writes: “The essence of Yoga is not the discipline itself, but the meditation which is its end. The author (French Benedictine monk, J. M. Dechanet) is correct when he writes: ‘The aims of Hindu Yoga are spiritual. It is tantamount to treason to forget this and retain only the purely physical side of this ancient discipline, to see in it no more than a means towards bodily health or beauty’ (p. 54). To this it should be added that the person who uses Yoga only for physical well-being is already disposing himself towards certain spiritual attitudes and even experiences of which he is undoubtedly unaware…” “Anyone who understands the nature of prelest or spiritual deception will recognize in this description of ‘Christian Yoga’ precisely the characteristics of those who have gone spiritually astray, whether into pagan religious experiences or sectarian ‘Christian’ experiences. The same striving for ‘holy and divine feelings,’ the same openness and willingness to be ‘seized’ by a spirit, the same seeking not for God but for ‘spiritual consolations,’ the same self-intoxication which is mistaken for a ‘state of grace,’ the same incredible ease with which one becomes ‘contemplative’ or ‘mystical,’ the same ‘mystical revelations’ and pseudo-spiritual states. These are the common characteristics of all who are in this particular state of spiritual deception.” “Even the purely physical sides of psychic disciplines like Yoga are dangerous, because they are derived from and dispose one towards the psychic attitudes and experiences which are the original purpose of Yoga practice.” -Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, p. 38-42, 68-69.  Buy the book here: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/product-p/orf.htm For more on Yoga from an Orthodox perspective: Hidden Fire: Orthodox Perspectives on Yoga (article): https://orthochristian.com/80417.html Yoga: An Orthodox Christian Examination by Fr. Peter Heers: https://youtu.be/SLHuvdMIg8k Elder Paisios on Yoga and Hinduism: https://youtu.be/ICQzcZ7pS3w YOGA IS NOT GYMNASTICS-KLAUS KENNETH (An account of a very experienced former Yogi who lived in India and became and Orthodox Christian): https://youtu.be/wfSF2ftcpfw Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/10/202311 minutes, 8 seconds
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Christianity or the Church? - St. Hilarion Troitsky (III/III)

Part III of "Christianity or the Church?" Read the text here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/sthilarion_church.aspx 0:00 St. Irenaeus on how Christ’s incarnation is not about teaching but about man becoming a new creation in Christ 1:26 If Christ is only a teacher he is not very original 2:18 “The essence of Christ's activities, as we have seen, is not at all in teaching, but in salvation.” 4:13 People seeking life from the Bible and not the Church are like Adam and Eve seeking life from the apple and not from the God-Man 5:25 Leo Tolstoy, the infamous preacher of churchless Christianity in Russia 7:10 Tolstoy also denied the Holy Spirit, calling the Church “the Holy Spirit’s” and not Christ’s 8:35 At least Tolstoy showed us the logical conclusion of separating Christ’s salvific acts from his teaching 10:00 The example of Tolstoyism shows that churchless Christinaity even destroys Christiniaty itself, but not the Church, refuted by its own lifelessness 10:40 What have the Protestants obtained? Hopeless disunity and the destruction of Church life 12:46 An Orthodox researcher summarizes the state of Lutheranism 13:44 On Protestant student missions to Russia 15:31 St. Hilarion’s pain of heart of the chasm between Protestant “Christian” life and true Church life 16:28 Appeals to create and obtain a common religion, a “union” of religions under general, abstract theses 17:27 Many think the Orthodox teaching on the Church is too lofty and too despotic, but true love requires humility and this is a great burden to egotists 19:00 Those who reject and misunderstand the true teaching on the Church may even condemn those who are enthusiastic about the Church and Church life 21:37 Churchless Christianity is death 22:56 Many are positive toward Christian teaching and even call themselves Christian while disdaining the Church and Church life 25:26 Can the Church not excommunicate those who reject Her? 28:00 The reason the Church’s right of excommunication from the Church was readily accepted in past times 29:58 It seems the Church is in great disorder, what are we to do? 31:14 Many today are asking, “Where is the Church?” 32:13 Without clear boundaries between the Church and what is outside the Church, those seeking the Church can easily become wanderers and not Orthodox Christians 34:15 Orthodox Christians are responsible for making bright and clear the light of the Church for those seeking Her 35:27 “Only one who has come to believe in the Church, …one who has felt a Church life within himself, he and only he is on the correct path.” 36:12 One only comes to realize the truth and power of the Church by experience, not scholarly research 37:28 Any talk of “reviving the Church” is nonsense to one who lives Church life, for the life of the Church is the Holy Spirit 38:33 Church life is fullness of Christ and we must treasure and preach the truth and beauty of Church life 39:46 “While believing in the Church, we constantly seem to pardon ourselves for the fact that we still believe in it.” 41:08 CONCLUSION - “Thus it must be considered as the most vital necessity of the present time to confess openly that indisputable truth that Christ created precisely the Church and that it is absurd to separate Christianity from the Church and to speak of some sort of Christianity apart from the Holy Orthodox Church of Christ.” 42:05 A parable about a bird in storm, the tree he finds in refuge in is the Church "Members of the Church are very guilty in that they fail to point the way clearly and they poorly illuminate with their examples the final point of arrival for those who are seeking. This point is not the abstract understanding of Christianity, but precisely the Church of the living God." --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/3/202343 minutes, 35 seconds
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Christianity or the Church? - St. Hilarion Troitsky (Pt. II/III)

Part II of "Christianity or the Church?" Read the text here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/sthilarion_church.asp 0:05 To be a Christian means to belong to the visible Church and obey Her hierarchs 1:10 Heretics and schismatics do not have the true, unifying love of God 2:00 Not only no Christian love outside the Church, but no Christian teaching in the true sense 3:32 According to Saint Cyprian, to be outside the Church and yet remain a Christian is impossible, for to be outside the Church is to be outside Christ's camp. 4:46 St. Cyprian: "He who does not have the Church as his mother cannot have God as his Father." 5:13 For this reason St. Cyprian called for schismatics to enter the Church by baptism 6:07 Council of Carthage 256 (and later the 6th EC in Trullo) affirms St. Cyprian’s canon though modified his view that all schismatics should be received by baptism. “On this point, the views of Blessed Augustine differ somewhat, although his view of the relationship of Christianity to the Church remains exactly the same.” 7:27 The teaching of Blessed Augustine 8:18 If schismatics retain true baptism, is the Church necessary? Is salvation possible outside the Church? Bl. Augustine answers “No.” 9:03 St. Hilarion repeating Bl. Augustine: “All the wealth of the Church which is possessed by those who have separated themselves from the Church brings them absolutely no benefit, but only harm.” 11:39 “Schismatics are deprived of the hope of salvation not only because their baptism is invalid, but also because they are outside the Church and in enmity with it.” 13:28 “The points of view of Saint Cyprian and Blessed Augustine can be seen to differ somewhat, but they both arrive at exactly the same conclusion: outside the Church there is no salvation!” 15:00 Christ is not only a great teacher, but the Savior of the world. He gave life, not merely teaching 15:48 On the ninth article of the Creed: “[I believe] in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” 16:40 The concept of the Church, not Christianity, lay at the head of Christian beliefs from the beginning 17:11 The falsification of the Church with Christianity 18:19 “Thus it seems that we will not err if we express the thought that the truth of the Church, above all other truths, touches the very life of each Christian, defining not only his beliefs, but also his life.” 18:59 Western influence on Russian Society 20:23 Protestantism was created from Latinism and is a purely human creation 21:28 St. Hilarion identifies the Church with love and those who have broken off do not have the love of God in the Church 22:06 “Protestantism placed a papal tiara on every German professor…” 22:48 “The human soul is Church-prone by nature.” 23:04 “Self-love and Self-will received a sort of sanctification and blessing from Protestantism.” 24:02 Individualism blossoms in Protestantism in the West 25:22 Russian Literature has suffered from Protestantism’s influence as well 26:22 The Russian people have lost the habit of being Church-minded 27:33 This de-Churchification is a “subtle venom” 28:51 Wisdom from St. Vincent of Lérins 29:29 Christ left no system, no writings, and “there is nothing easier than to re-interpret Christ's teaching according to one's personal taste and to invent "Christianity," passing off, under this name, the dreams of one's heart and the images of one's own idle fantasy.” 32:58 When Christianity = The Church then Christ the God-Man = Jesus of Nazareth --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/30/202238 minutes, 19 seconds
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Christianity or the Church? - St. Hilarion Troitsky (Pt. I/III)

St. Hilarion Troitsky, New Martyr of Russia and righteous Confessor of the Church, brilliantly sets for the Scriptural and Patristic understanding of what Christ came to establish: not an invisible, personal “Christianity” but the Church which He promised He would build (cf. Matt 16:18). The question posed as the title of the work must be asked and answered by everyone who calls themselves a Christian. St. Hilarion is our guide if we are unsure how to answer.    Read the text of "Christianity or the Church" here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/sthilarion_church.aspx   2:47 The Church was designed to reflect the perfect unity of the Three-One God  4:47 There is no form of unity on earth that compares to the unity of the Church  7:17 St. Cyprian and St. Cyril of Alexandria on the unity of the Church  9:02 Christ did not come simply to teach, but to build his Church (cf. Matt 16:18)  10:40 On the Tower of Babel and the inadequacy of human law to rid us of egoism, the obstacle of Church unity  14:05 Church unity is organic, like a tree and its branches  14:22 St. Paul on the physical and organic nature of Church unity  16:19 How is such a unity possible?  16:46 The command to love is not enough, we must have the power, and we have this in the Church  17:43 The Holy Spirit is the source of life and organic Church unity  18:40 What is the unity of the Spirit? St. John Chrysostom, Blessed Theodoret, Blessed Jerome, and Blessed Theopylact answer  20:08 According to the teaching of the Apostle, all Church life is a manifestation of God's Holy Spirit  20:58 God is love and acts in love in His Church  21:31 The teachings of St. Paul on the Church and on love are inseparably linked, despite what some scholars say  22:50 All of [St. Paul’s] Christian ethics are based upon the dogmatic teaching about the Church.   23:31 Christ creates not only a moral person, but a perfect society, i.e. the Church  24:05 “Outside the Church and without the Church, Christian life is impossible.”  25:14 On Eph 4:16: “the body of the Church reaches perfection in all its members”  27:07 “the perfection of the human personality depends upon its belonging to the Church as a living organism”  27:46 A hand cut from the body, a branch cut from a tree, a ray separated from the sun  29:29 “Spiritual life can exist only in an organic unity with the Universal Church”  30:04 “Dogmatic truths have moral significance, and Christian morals are founded on dogma.”  31:18 The word "Church" (ekklisia) appears 110 times in the NT, while "Christianity" is completely unknown  32:05 What did it mean to be a Christian in the early days of the Church?  32:57 How St. Paul joined the Church  33:59 Saul (St. Paul) did not persecute followers of some Christian teaching, but the Church   35:29 The Church is not a theory but life itself  35:57 The Church is not a school but a life  36:35 Protestant teaching of an “invisible” church  37:53 We will look at two Church fathers who dealt extensively with the dogma of the Church: St. Cyprian and St. Augustine "Outside the Church and without the Church, Christian life is impossible. Without the Church, the Christian teaching alone remains as an empty sound, for Christian life is Church life. Only in the life of the Church can a person live and develop. In a bodily organism, separate members never grow or develop independently of one another, but always and only in connection with the whole organism. The same applies to the Church. For the growth of the Church is at the same time the growth of its members." -St. Hilarion --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/28/202238 minutes, 17 seconds
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On the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ - St. Nikolai Velimirović & St. Justin Popović

Christ is born! Glorify Him!   A Reading of the Prologue of Ochrid by St. Nikolai Velimirović and a homily on the Nativity by St. Justin Popović   0:11 Prologue of Ochrid by St. Nikolai Velimirović  0:23 On the Nativity  3:17 Hymn of Praise  4:50 Reflection  7:06 Contemplation  7:26 Homily   9:22 Homily by St. Justin Popović   “Out of burning love, Thou didst come down from heaven; from eternal beauty, Thou didst descend into monstrous pain; from eternal light, Thou didst descend into the thick darkness of evil. Thou didst extend Thy holy hand to those choked in sin. Heaven was amazed, the earth quaked. Welcome, O Christ! O ye people, rejoice!” -from Hymn of Praise by St. Nikolai   “The Lord was born in a cave to show that the whole world is one dark cave, which He alone can illumine.” -St. Nikolai   “By celebrating Christmas, we essentially confess and glorify the only true meaning and reason of human existence, human spirit, human thought, human sense, human life. Because on the day of the Birth of the Lord, “it was the light of knowledge that dawned on the world", of divine conception, and filled the entire world to its very ends, and revealed to us the eternal meaning and reason of this world and of the human being that is in this world.” -St. Justin   Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/25/202217 minutes
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Baptism by Immersion - Fr. Daniel Sysoev

Fr. Daniel Sysoev (+2009) was a priest, husband, confessor, and martyr. Listen to a brief reading of his life here: https://youtu.be/ufXoK_C1eyU From "Catechetical Talks", p. 328-336. Buy here: https://mission-shop.com/product/catechetical-talks/ 0:09 Baptizing by sprinkling and not immersion, without need, is "one of the most painful and gross violations in performing the sacrament"  2:08 The scriptural basis for baptism by triple immersion (Mark 1:10, Matt 28:19, etc)  3:40 The canonical basis for baptism by triple immersion (Canon 50 of the Holy Apostles, etc)  4:41 Baptism by effusion is only blessed in exceptional circumstances and must not become the standard. This is clearly asserted by Moscow 1620 and Constantinople 1755  5:26 The 1848 Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs, the Russian works against Catholicism, and the Kollyvades Fathers say sprinkling is “vile,” un-Orthodox, and means Lutherans and Catholics who were sprinkled cannot be considered baptized  6:11 St. Gregory Palamas quoted at length to show that emphasis on form is “by no means meaningless ritualism”  7:29 St. Gregory Palamas on the three-fold immersion showing forth the three day burial and resurrection of the Lord  9:32 St. Cyril of Jerusalem explains the symbolism and reality of baptism  11:44 Symbolism is reality  12:07 Sprinkling (effusion) is only blessed when immersion is not possible  13:57 How to properly baptize, step-by-step  15:28 The whole Body of Christ, not only the bishops but the laity as well, must ensure that innovations and errors are "uprooted from the churches of God"   Fr. Daniel says:  One of the most painful and gross violations in performing the sacrament of baptism is baptizing by effusion (pouring), or even by sprinkling, for no apparent reason. Due to this distortion many hundreds of Christians are confused as to whether their spiritual birth was indeed valid. Many commune unto judgment and condemnation because of this. Dozens of schisms profit by this distortion, claiming that many Christians, even bishops, are not actually baptized. The priests' criminal laziness and indifference give rise to conflicts between local churches. But the "effusionists" brazenly claim that it makes no difference how they baptize, that this is mere "ritualism", and has absolutely nothing to do with the essence of the sacrament. They care nothing for the opinion and the words of God, the tradition of the Church, and the dictates of their own hierarchs.   Baptism by triple immersion is expressly required by the Word of God. Canon 50 of the Holy Apostles: "If anyone, bishop or presbyter, does not perform three immersions in a single sacramental rite, but performs only one immersion, into the death of the Lord, let him be deposed. For the Lord said not: Baptize into My death; but: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."   St. Cyril of Jerusalem writes, “Christ was truly crucified, truly buried, and truly resurrected; and all this He gave us by grace, that in becoming participants in His sufferings by imitation we might find salvation in reality.” And so it turns out that one who distorts the apostolic form of the sacrament disrupts the symbol of rebirth. But for us this symbol is by no means meaningless. It is participation in the reality of the Lord's death and Resurrection! How then can one believe the form of baptism to be irrelevant to salvation?   Hence, if any pastor departs from similar divinely-instituted standards of baptism by immersion, the flock must humbly point out his error, and if he persists they must take the matter to the ruling bishop, that this lawlessness may be utterly uprooted in the holy churches of God. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/12/202217 minutes, 21 seconds
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The True Church of Christ - St. Sebastian of San Francisco & Jackson

St. Sebastian of San Francisco & Jackson (Nov. 30), Apostle to all America and first American-born priest, reposed in 1940 after his remarkable labor for Christ and His lost sheep. This essay comes from his book “Preaching in the Russian Church” and shines light, in a clear and simple way, on the truth of the uniqueness of the Orthodox Church. This saint is worthy of far greater recognition than he currently receives for all that Christ did through him. 0:09 Introduction by Fr. Seraphim Rose from The Orthodox Word 3:02 St. Sebastian: What is the Orthodox Church? 3:55 The true and divine doctrine of holy faith 5:08 Heresy, or injury to the teaching of Christ 7:39 God the Father 8:00 God the Son 8:23 God the Holy Spirit 9:05 To be saved one must belong to the Orthodox Church 13:03 conditions of the true of lawful hierarchy 13:13 1) grace-filled Apostolic Succession 15:06 2) confesses the truth and is foreign to heresy 15:22 3) The Sacraments must retain the form and actions, otherwise the Sacrament may not be valid. 16:49 4) the true and lawful hierarchy must obey the rules and canons universally accepted by the Orthdoox Church. 17:27 5) also needed is unity in a spirit of peace and love. 17:59 The Orthodox Church is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church ”What is the Orthodox Church? The Orthodox Church is a body or community of people who, 1: correctly believe in Divine Revelation; and, 2: who obey a lawful hierarchy instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, through the Holy Apostles.” “In the course of time the Apostolic Tradition, which was transmitted orally at first, was gradually, as the necessities of the Church demanded, committed to writing; and it is found in the works of the Holy Fathers and teachers of the first several centuries.” “The Apostles transmitted the power of conferring the Holy Spirit only to bishops.” -context is the example of how the Deacon Philip could not bring down the Holy Spirit on the Samaritans ”Therefore, it is the duty of Christians to obey the Church, for outside of her there is no salvation.” This text can be found in Issue #5 of The Orthodox Word: https://archive.org/details/100101V17N05061981SepOctNovDec/001%20V01N01%201965%20Jan%20Feb/ ALSO, listen to the Life of St. Sebastian (five parts) here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzFKi22k2KYiAmhiJ6mQaberXVJ0FZePY Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/30/202220 minutes, 8 seconds
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My Cross and the Cross of Christ - St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

St. Ignatius Brianchaninov writes in his book “The Field: Cultivating Salvation”:   “Filled with worry and futility is my cross, no matter how heavy it may be. if it does not become the Cross of Christ through our following in His footsteps. My cross becomes the Cross of Christ if I am a disciple of Christ, because a disciple of Christ is firmly convinced that Christ watches over him at all times; that Christ allows his sorrows as the inescapable and inevitable condition of Christianity; and that no sorrow would ever approach him if it were not allowed by Christ; and that through sorrows, the Christian becomes one with Christ, becomes a partaker of His lot on earth, and later in heaven.”   “Patient bearing of "my cross" is true recognition of one's sins. In this knowledge, there is no self-deception. However, he who admits himself to be a sinner but at the same time complains and groans from his cross, only proves that he is lying to himself with his superficial admission of sinfulness.”   “Thank God from the cross, thank Him for the priceless treasure of your own cross, for the precious gift to be able to emulate Christ's sufferings.”   “The Cross of Christ raises the crucified disciple of Christ from the earth. The disciple of Christ who is crucified on his cross thinks only of the heights, with his mind and heart he lives only in heaven, already seeing the mysteries of the Spirit in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”   This is a recording of chapter 32 from “The Field: Cultivating Salvation”. Buy the book here: https://www.holytrinitypublications.com/the-field   Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/26/20228 minutes, 31 seconds
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You Can Become A Saint! - Missionary Tract by Fr. Daniel Sysoev

A newly translated Missionary Tract written by Hieromartyr Daniel Sysoev. We commemorate this great missionary's martyrdom on Nov 7/20.   -Find Fr. Daniel's book for sale here: https://mission-shop.com   -Support the Rev. Daniel Sysoev Benevolent Fund that supports the widows and children of priests who die and leave their family in great need: https://mission-shop.com/pozhertvovanie-na-fond/   -Watch an interview with Fr. Daniel's Matushka, daughter, and two spiritual children at the Orthodoxy Christian Theology channel here: https://youtu.be/cXFNiKcoi9I   -Read a brief Life of the Hieromartyr here: https://orthochristian.com/117356.html   -Watch myself and Patrick (Craig) Truglia discuss Fr. Daniel's street mission tips followed by a Q&A: https://youtu.be/YOE9D2n6Xt0 "Sometimes people say: “How can I  possibly become a saint? Just avoiding  hell is plenty! And anyway, it would be  prideful of me to want to become like  the holy apostles, martyrs, or monastic  saints. This was meant for them, but  probably not for me.” But Christ says:  "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your  Father Which is in Heaven is perfect"  (Matthew 5:48). From the lives of the  saints it is clear that each of them,  by his own choice, wanted to attain  a great reward in Heaven and to rid  himself of the burden of sin as quickly  as possible, since sin was preventing  him from ascending from strength to  strength on the path to holiness."   “Let us not deceive ourselves: any pause in the spiritual life is a step backwards! If we try to grasp the secret of success in any earthly undertaking – be it sport, science, or art – we will see that the successful are those that continue to work until they have attained their goal, regardless of hardships or setbacks. The successful person never says: “I cannot” or “that is beyond me,” but firmly believes that he will attain his desired result, anticipating the thrill of victory.”   “How can we live calmly when we know our neighbor is headed for perdition? For if we do not try to preach to him, this means we do not love him: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God Whom he hath not seen? (1 John 4:20).” “The Lord arranges for the missionary to learn through converts. The Lord elevates the missionary higher and higher. But there is a necessary condition: the missionary must pray. Of course, mission itself teaches this: if someone does not pray, he will begin to grow discouraged due to his lack of success. If someone tries to be the mouth of God the Father, but does not turn to God the Father, nothing will come of it. One does not play around with missionary work. That is why missionary work forces people to pray, especially when they find themselves in extraordinary circumstances (and the missionary always lives in such extraordinary circumstances, for he is living between three worlds). His life is utterly intense, utterly rich, and the missionary grows accustomed to relying constantly upon the Lord God.” Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/20/202212 minutes, 36 seconds
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The Life of St. John the Almsgiver, Patriarch of Alexandria

We commemorate St. John the Almsgiver on Nov 12 / Nov 25.  From the Life of St. John, written by St. Sophronius of Jerusalem: "And indeed he was always on all occasions amiable to all, advising, encouraging, assisting, acting as peacemaker, doing a kindness, reconciling, and ever anxiously striving to display his love for the highest virtue in all its forms." "He absolutely refused to receive presents or money or any kind of gift whatsoever, not only as a fee for ordination, but also on any other pretext or excuse, whether the matter were great or small, for he ever kept in mind the words of the writer of Proverbs, who says ‘He that is greedy of gain destroys himself but he that hateth taking gifts shall live’. [Prov 15:27 LXX] Moreover from all those who were seeking ordination at his hands, whether as bishops or priests, he demanded a written declaration in order to safeguard the orthodox faith and to secure the observance of all the ordinances set forth in the Canons." Read the Life here: https://www.omhksea.org/archives/3364  Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/12/202215 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ecumenism Has A Spirit of Wickedness and is Dominated by Unclean Spirits - St. Ephraim of Katounakia

The word of the Lord to St. Ephraim: "Ecumenism has a spirit of wickedness and is dominated by unclean spirits."   Demetrios Tselengidis, professor of dogmatic theology at the University of Thessaloniki, writes of his experiences with St. Ephraim of Katounakia:    So I asked him on the matter in hand - if he could tell me what kind of thing Ecumenism is. He replied outright and without any difficulty:   "This question, my child, had also been posed by someone else, some time before you. I myself have been up here on these rocks for forty years... I have even forgotten my Greek (note that he had completed Middle School) and as such, I haven’t preoccupied myself with that issue. But, because I had to reply – seeing that I had been asked about it, and since I had no knowledge of the matter - I went to my cell and prayed, asking Christ to inform me what Ecumenism is. I received His reply, which was that Ecumenism has a spirit of wickedness and is dominated by unclean spirits."   So I asked him exactly how that was verified. He replied that "after praying, my cell became filled with an unbearable stench, which caused my soul to feel asphyxiated; I couldn’t breathe spiritually."   I asked him if that had been an extraordinary event for him, or if that was the way that Christ responds in analogous cases, and he assured me that "in all the cases that are involved with sorcery, with unclean spirits, that is the state in which He enlightens me. Sometimes there is a spoken response, but in the present case, that was His answer and I have the absolute certainty that Ecumenism does not have the Holy Spirit, but the unclean spirit."   Read the full account from Professor Tselengidis here: https://orthochristian.com/93492.html  Photo in the thumbnail is of an Ecumenical Prayer gathering at Sts. Peter and Paul’s Coptic Church in Cairo, Egypt in 2017. Featured at this gathering was Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria, Pope Francis of Rome, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and more: https://www.ecupatria.org/2017/05/01/ecumenical-prayer-in-egypt-for-peace-and-unity/  Many canons condemn prayer with the heterodox, among other expressions of the heresy of ecumenism. Apostolic Canon 45: “Let a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, who has only prayed with heretics, be excommunicated: but if he has permitted them to perform any clerical office, let him be deposed.”   A useful starting point to understand the heresy of ecumenism is the 1983 ROCOR condemnation of ecumenism, added to the Synodikon read on the Sunday of Orthodox in Great Lent: "Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ’s Church is divided into so-called “branches” which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all “branches” or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!"   Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/7/20225 minutes, 9 seconds
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Who Should I Marry? - Advice from Elder Aimilianos

Elder Aimilianos says, “Once we reach a certain age, moreover, the choice of one's life partner is a matter which should not be put off. Neither should one be in a hurry, because, as the saying goes, "quick to marry, quick to despair". But one should not delay, because delay is a mortal danger to the soul. As a rule, the normal rhythm of the spiritual life begins with marriage. An unmarried person is like someone trying to live permanently in a hallway: he doesn't seem to know what the rooms are for. Parents should take an interest in the child's social life, but also in his prayer life, so that the blessed hour will come as a gift sent by God.  Don't choose a person who wastes his time at clubs, having good time, and throwing away his money on traveling and luxuries. Neither should you choose someone who, as you'll find out, conceals his self-centeredness beneath words of love. Don't choose a woman as your wife who is like gun powder, so that as soon as you say something to her, she bursts to flames. She's no good as a wife.  Discuss things in advance with your spiritual father. Examine every detail with him, and he will stand by your side as a true friend, and, when you reach the desired goal, then your marriage will be a gift from God (cf. 1 Cor 7.7). God gives his own gift to each one of us. He leads one person to marriage and another to virginity. Not that God makes the choice by saying "you go here", and "you go there", but he gives us the nerve to choose what our heart desires, and the courage and the strength to carry it out.  If you choose your spouse in this way, then thank God. Bring him into touch with your spiritual father. If you don't have one, the two of you should choose a spiritual father together, who will be your Elder, your father, the one who will remind you of, and show you God.”   Read the full sermon: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/marriage.aspx  Listen to the full sermon "Marriage: The Great Sacrament" from Orthodox Wisdom on this platform. Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/4/202210 minutes
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On Prelest (Spiritual Deception) - Fr. Seraphim Rose

Fr. Seraphim Rose writes:   The concept of prelest, a key one in Orthodox ascetical teaching, is completely absent in the Protestant-Catholic world which produced the "charismatic" movement; and this fact explains why such an obvious deception can gain such a hold over nominally "Christian" circles, and also why a "prophet" like Nicholas Berdyaev who comes from an Orthodox background should regard it as absolutely essential that in the "new age of the Holy Spirit" "There will be no more of the ascetic world-view." The reason is obvious: the Orthodox ascetic world-view gives the only means by which men, having received the Holy Spirit at their Baptism and Chrismation, may truly continue to acquire the Holy Spirit in their lives; and it teaches how to distinguish and guard oneself against spiritual deception. The "new spirituality" of which Berdyaev dreamed and which the "charismatic revival" actually practices, has an entirely different foundation and is seen to be a fraud in the light of the Orthodox ascetical teaching. Therefore, there is not room for both conceptions in the same spiritual universe: to accept the "new spirituality" of the "charismatic revival" one must reject Orthodox Christianity; and conversely, to remain an Orthodox Christian, one must reject the "charismatic revival," which is a counterfeit of Orthodoxy.   From "Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future", p. 143-146. Buy the book here: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/product-p/orf.htm  For those interested, you can listen to my recent conversation with Joseph Sciambra on Fr. Seraphim Rose, "Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future", and more: https://youtu.be/kNRTZTzPrtY  Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/24/20226 minutes, 50 seconds
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Marriage or Monasticism? (The Young Facing the Two Paths in Life) - St. Paisios the Athonite

From "Spiritual Counsels Vol. IV: Family Life" 0:07 - Married life and monastic life are both blessed  3:15 - Anxiety in getting settled  5:14 - Let us help the young follow their inclination  8:30 - Deciding on a way of life  13:41 - Studies and getting settled  20:16 - The spiritual life is the basic prerequisite to a good marriage    Geronda, what should one say to young people who ask if monastic life is superior to married life?   -To begin with, one must help them understand what the destiny of man is and what the meaning of life is. Then one can explain to them that both roads indicated by our Church are blessed, because each can lead them to Paradise if they abide by the will of God. Let's say that two people start out on a pilgrimage. One takes the bus using the public road and the other goes on foot along some trail. Both have the same goal. God rejoices in the one and marvels at the other just the same. It would be bad if he who goes on foot criticizes the other who takes the bus, or vice versa. Those young people who may be thinking about monasticism should know that the mission of the monk or the nun is a very high calling; it is to become an angel. In the next life, in Heaven, we will live like angels, Jesus Christ had told the Sadducees. This is why some very philotimo-filled* young people become monks or nuns and embark on their angelic life from this present life. But let no one think that those who go to the monastery will be saved simply because they became monks or nuns. Each person will account to God about whether he sanctified the path of life he chose. Philotimo is needed everywhere. God does not make deserving or undeserving people; but, anyone who doesn't have this spirit of philotimo, no matter what path of life he follows, will be undeserving. On the contrary, the philotimo-filled man will make progress, wherever he may be, because Divine Grace is with him. There are married people who live most virtuously and are sanctified. The head of a household who loves God and is drawn by divine eros, can make great spiritual progress. In the meantime, they can endow their children with virtues, create a good family, and receive a double reward from God. This is why every young person should aim to struggle in life with philotimo and without anxiety, in order to sanctify his or her chosen path of life. Do they prefer marriage? Then they ought to wed, but they should struggle to be good spouses and live a holy life. Do they prefer monastic life? Then they should choose monastic life, but they must struggle to become a good monk or nun. One must weigh and assess his strengths, understand his limitations, before embarking on one of the two ways of life. If, for example, a young woman can see that she doesn't have the strength needed to become a nun, then she can humbly say to God, "My Lord, I am weak; I cannot live as a nun. Please send me a good man who can help me so that we create a good family and live a spiritual life.” God will not abandon her. If she chooses to marry and create a good family; if she lives in accordance with the Gospel, God will not ask for more from her.  *Philotimo means “love of honor” and in the spiritual life it is the desire to “outdo one another in showing honor” (Rom 12:10) and fulfill the Lord’s command that “whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” (Matt 5:41). Orthodox Wisdom is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/20/202223 minutes, 59 seconds
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On the Blasphemous Treatment of Holy Things, God's Wrath, & Trusting God - St. Paisios the Athonite

How instructive are the Lives of the Saints! How necessary they are to stay on the royal path and live in true repentance! St. Paisios: “I remember also at the Cenobium we had a monk who as a layman had been a police captain. They made him a reader because he was educated. He had been in the monastery for years yet still disgusted by many things. He would not even touch a doorknob! He would try to open a door with his foot, or try to turn the knob with his elbow and then clean his sleeve with alcohol. He would even enter the door of the Church with his foot. In his old age, God permitted that his feet develop gangrene, especially the one he used to open the door. I was serving as a nursing aide when he first came to the monastery’s hospital with his foot all bandaged up. The nursing orderly told me to untie it while he went to get some bandages. When I untied it, I gasped. It was covered with little worms.    'Go down to the sea to wash it and get rid of the worms, and come to have me change the bandages.' I was at a loss seeing the condition of his foot, the degree of his punishment. The nursing orderly asked me, 'Do you know the cause of his affliction?'  'Yes, it’s because he opens the door with his foot,' I told him."  _____  St. Paisios: "...Others would kiss the doorknob touched by the Elders, while the monk who was disgusted by everything would barely touch his moustache to the Holy Icons when he bowed to reverence them. One can only imagine what his poor moustache had to endure with the rubbing alcohol!"   Spiritual Child: "Geronda, when something like this happens with sacred things, is it not irreverence?"   St. Paisios: "Of course; this is how things start, and then move on to further developments. This same monk reached the point of not kissing the Icons because he feared that the monks who reverenced them before him had some illness!"  Read the complete account from "Spiritual Counsels III: Spiritual Struggle" here: https://www.orthodoxethos.com/post/a-must-read-st-paisios-on-the-blasphemous-treatment-of-holy-things-god-s-wrath-and-trusting-god __________ Elder Evthymios, disciple of St. Paisios, written April 2020 regarding the Coronavirus crisis:   "When Saint Paisios was asked, he said that we should do the sign of the cross and eat fearlessly, which he himself first did, setting an example. Were he alive today, it would be inconceivable for us to see him wearing a mask and gloves, carrying a little bottle of alcohol in his pocket and avoiding people or speaking to them from a distance. He would surely be pacifying the people, he would be helping them put away fear, and most of all he would be saddened by the closing of the churches. Such a fear is unbefitting for Christians inspired by the example of the God-Man and by the Martyrs of our faith."   Elder Evthymios offered us one of the most important letters to date regarding the Covid-19 crisis, addressing fear, vaccines, globalism, closure of churches, and the spirit of antichrist permeating so many both inside and outside the Church. Read the full letter here: https://www.orthodoxethos.com/post/the-coronavirus-crisis-letter-from-the-holy-mountain-elder-evthymios-of-kapsala This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/14/20225 minutes, 53 seconds
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Noetic Sound Waves of the Heart - From the Life of St. Porphyrios

A story of the power of prayer, of the noetic energy of the heart, that can overcome otherwise very disrupting noise. St. Porphyrios says, “As I was leafing through it I lighted on a page showing the following experiment: If you throw a small stone into a calm lake you see the water making ripples over a small area. If you then throw in a larger stone, the ripples become larger and extend over a larger area so that they outflank the first ripples. At that moment I received the answer to my dilemma. It was divine illumination. I reasoned as follows: the small ripples from the singing outside the church can be outflanked by the prayers of great spiritual intensity that are being said inside the church. And at the same time there came at once into my mind forcefully, very forcefully: 'And if you celebrate here and have your mind on God, who can cause you any harm?'” From ”Wounded by Love: The Life and the Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios”, p. 56-58   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/4/20226 minutes, 47 seconds
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Introduction to the Philokalia - St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

If after listening to this Introduction to the Philokalia you are inspired to read the Philokalia and learn to pray in a more God-pleasing way, we strongly advise you to do so with the blessing and guidance of your spiritual father. If you do not have a spiritual father, finding one is much more important than reading the Philokalia.  Fr. Maximos Constas writes: "Before reading any of the works in the Philokalia, it will be helpful to read the following two items. The first is St. Nikodemos’ outstanding summary of all the principle doctrines and practices that the reader will encounter on the traditional path of entry into the Philokalia. The second is his Introduction to the Philokalia, which was omitted by the English translators."   Listen to the entire Philokalia at Patristic Nectar: https://patristicnectar.org/philokalia Buy the 4 volume set of the Philokalia: https://www.holycross.org/products/the-philokalia-the-complete-text-4-volume-set   Read the Introduction by St. Nikodemos: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gl2cnU6FIooOKmJEaDQA4PIfwxf3FgpF/view?usp=sharing   This is the second recording from our new contributor, Timothy D. Please say a prayer for him and his family.   St. Nikodemos writes:   "The Spirit enlightens those Fathers wise in divine things, oriented toward uninterrupted watchfulness and attentiveness in all things and guarding of the nous, and He reveals to them a method to again find grace, a method truly wondrous and most scientific. The method was the ceaseless prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God."   "From this spiritual and scientific work, accompanied also by the practical execution of the commandments and of the remaining moral virtues, because of the warmth which is created in the heart and the spiritual energy from the calling on the all-holy Name, the passions are burned up; because our God is fire, fire which consumes evil (Deut. 4:24). Continuing on, the nous and the heart, little by little, are purified and are unified together. And when they are purified and united, one with the other, from that point the fruits of the Spirit rise up once again in the soul and all the fullness of good things are lavished upon man. And that I may speak briefly, from here it is possible to return to the perfect grace of the Spirit which was granted to us from the beginning in Baptism, and which certainly exists in us, but the passions have buried it, just like the ashes bury the spark."    "Come all, as many as are members in the Orthodox calling, lay people and monks together, as many as aspire to find the kingdom of God which is within you and the hidden treasure in the field of your heart (Lk. 17:21; Matt. 13:44), which is sweet Jesus Christ. Thusly, free from the captivity of this world and from the wandering of your nous and with a heart purified of the passions, by the ceaseless and awesome calling upon our Lord Jesus Christ and with the other co-operative virtues, which this book teaches, you shall be united together among yourselves and being united together in this way you shall all together be united to God, according to the supplication of our Lord to the Father where he said: 'That they may be one, as we are one' (Jn. 17:11)"    This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/29/202218 minutes, 47 seconds
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On the Knowledge of God - St. Silouan the Athonite

St. Silouan the Athonite (+1938) has reached the hearts of many around the world, first through his prayer in his cell, and now through his writings and his heavenly intercession. A towering figure full of love, a great ascetic who by God’s grace mastered the passions, his witness is essential for the Orthodox Christian today. He is the spiritual father of St. Sophrony the Athonite. We commemorate St. Silouan on September 24.    St. Silouan writes:  We do not require wealth or learning in order to know the Lord - we must simply be obedient and sober, have a humble spirit and love our fellow-men. The Lord will love such a soul as this, of His own accord make Himself manifest to her and instruct her in love and humility, and give her all things needful for her to fund rest in God.  We may study as much as we will but we shall still not come to know the Lord unless we live according to His commandments, for the Lord is not made known through learning but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and scholars have arrived at a belief in the existence of God but they have not come to know God. And we monks apply ourselves day and night to the study of the Lord's command but not all of us by a long way have come to know the Lord, although we believe in Him. To believe that God exists is one thing, to know God another.   With the mere mind we can only come to know the things of this earth, and then only in part, while God and all that is of heaven are known through the Holy Spirit.  But if we take pains to explore the human heart, this is what we shall see: the Kingdom of Heaven in the soul of the saint but in the soul of the sinner - darkness and torment. And it is good to know this because we shall dwell eternally either in the Kingdom or in torment.   But the man who cries out against evil men but does not pray for them will never know the grace of God.   If you would know of the Lord's love for us, hate sin and evil thoughts, and day and night pray fervently. The Lord will then give you His grace, and you will know Him through the Holy Spirit, and after death, when you enter into paradise, there, too, you will know the Lord through the Holy Spirit, as you knew Him on earth.  O ye peoples of the earth, fashioned by God, know your Creator and His love for us! Know the love of Christ, and live in peace and thereby rejoice the Lord, Who in His mercy waits for all men to come to Him.  O Lord, do Thou grant them to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit. As Thou didst give the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and they knew Thee, so grant all peoples to know Thee, by the Holy Spirit.    This text comes from “St. Silouan the Athonite” by St. Sophrony the Athonite: https://www.holycross.org/products/sa... This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/24/202216 minutes, 26 seconds
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Idolatry of Sexual Relations: Separation of the Purpose from Pleasure - Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios

Excerpt from Elder Athanasios homilies on Revelation, Lesson 13. Read the text of this recording here: https://orthodoxethos.com/post/elements-of-idolatry-sexual-pleasure  Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios, a dynamic and beloved preacher, abbot of the Monastery of Komnineiou and Saint John the Theologian in Stomion, Larisa, Greece, gave 104 consecutive lessons of Revelation to thousands of faithful. This beloved elder, venerated by many in Greece and around the world, reposed in the Lord in the year 2006.  The fantastic and edifying lecture series by Fr. Peter Heers on the Revelation of Jesus Christ can be viewed here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCFiE3qfVkDhKNfZnuLfsyW-xwVicvogB  Purchase Volume 1 of the homilies on Revelation, as well as Volume II to V here: https://www.zoepress.us   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/16/20224 minutes, 37 seconds
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On Guarding the Mind and the Heart - St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

This foundational text comes from “A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel” by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite. This particular chapter is a summary of the principles and practices found in the Philokalia. According to Fr. Maximos Constas, this should be read before beginning the Philokalia. St. Nikodemos, the great man of prayer and illumined teacher of Athos, guides the faithful in the method of spiritual healing and noetic progress. Especially key in seeking to apply the teaching of St. Nikodemos is to be under the guidance of a true spiritual father. He can help you take the next steps based on who you are and your current stage of spiritual progress. If you do not have a spiritual father, ask God for the grace to find the one meant for you.    This is the first recording of the newest contributer to Orthodox Wisdom: Timothy D. He cam into the Church in 2018 and lives in Alabama. Please pray for Timothy and give thanks to God for another co-laborer with Orthodox Wisdom! A word about the nous:   The English word that best conveys the meaning of the Greek word "νοῦς" is the word "mind." The Fathers use this term with several other meanings, too. They mainly refer to the nous as the soul (the "spiritual nature" of a man—St. Isaac the Syrian) and the heart (or "the essence of the soul"—vid. Philokalia, Vol. I, p. 109, 73). More specifically, it constitutes the innermost aspect of the heart (St. Diadochos §§79, 88). However, they also refer to it as the "eye of the soul" (St. John of Damascus, The Orthodox Faith, FC Vol. 37, p. 236) or "the organ of theoria" (Makarian Homilies) which "is engaged in pure prayer" (St. Isaac the Syrian). They call the energy of the nous "a power of the soul" (St. Gregory Palamas, On the Holy Spirit, 2, 9) "consisting of thoughts and conceptual images" (St. Gregory Palamas, On the Hesychasts, p. 410, 3). However, the nous is more commonly known as the energy of the soul, whereas the heart is known as the essence of the soul. (From the glossary of “Counsels from the Holy Mountain” by Elder Ephraim of Philotheou and Arizona) From “On Guarding the Mind of the Heart”:  "In guarding the heart and keeping it pure, one can also keep all the divine commandments of Christ. For in truth this is how it is. The guarding of the mind and the heart and the spiritual prayer of the heart that is thus made possible has as its subject matter the commandment to love God. But by virtue of the power of this one commandment all of the other commandments are also included and fulfilled. This is why the Lord said: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15)."   “The memory of God is a pain to the heart [that is done] for the sake of piety; everyone who forgets God experiences sweetness by remains unhealed.” -St. Mark the Ascetic Download “A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel” here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_zym...   Orthodox Wisdom is now on your favorite podcast platform! Go to the “About” tab at the top of the this channel to find links to:  -Apple Podcasts  -Spotify  -Stitcher  -and more…   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/13/202246 minutes, 7 seconds
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Orthodoxy of the Heart - Chapter 86 from "Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works"

Today we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the falling asleep of one of the most blessed and saintly Americans: Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina. Memory eternal! Holy Father Seraphim, pray to God for us!   From chapter 86 of the biography by Hieromonk Damascene, “Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works”:   He never changed his basic, original philosophy; he was no closer to becoming an ecumenist, modernist, or a New Calendarist at the end of his life than he had been when he had first started printing The Orthodox Word. It was just that now, especially after witnessing the bitter fruits of “correctness disease” in the Church, he saw that there was something much more essential that he should be preaching in these last times, when “the love of many grows cold.” Above all, Fr. Seraphim became a preacher of Orthodoxy of the heart. Besides the resurrection of Holy Russia (of which more will be said later), this was his main theme during the last part of his life. “St. Tikhon, therefore, gives us a start in understanding what Orthodoxy is: it is something first of all of the heart, not just the mind, something living and warm, not abstract and cold, something that is learned and practiced in life, not just in school.”   In preaching inward Orthodoxy of the heart, Fr. Seraphim warned against being calculating and critical. He identified this as the temptation of following “external wisdom.” “Sometimes,” he said, “one’s zeal for ‘Orthodoxy’ (in quotes) can be so excessive that it produces a situation similar to that which caused an old Russian woman** to remark about an enthusiastic American convert: ‘Well, he’s certainly Orthodox, all right—but is he a Christian?’ To be ‘Orthodox but not Christian’ is a state that has a particular name in Christian language: it means to be a pharisee, to be so bogged down in the letter of the Church’s laws that one loses the spirit that gives them life, the spirit of true Christianity.” Fr. Herman recalls how, when he and Fr. Seraphim were first honoring the memory of Fr. Gerasim in The Orthodox Word in the early 1970s, he had expressed his reservations to his co-laborer. “How can we present Fr. Gerasim as a modern giant of traditional Orthodoxy,” Fr. Herman asked, “when he had those nineteenth-century Western-style icons in his church?” “Those very icons,” Fr. Seraphim replied, ”prove that he was in the tradition, because he accepted simply and lovingly what was handed down to him from his righteous fathers in the Faith.”   Fr. Seraphim also observed how we can be following “external wisdom” when we get caught up in exalted ideas: “It is the fashion now to learn about the Jesus Prayer, to read the Philokalia, to go ‘back to the Fathers.’ These kinds of things also will not save us—they are external. They may be helpful if they are used rightly, but if they become your passion, the first thing you are after, then they become externals which lead not to Christ, but to Antichrist.” For more quotes from this reading and access to Fr. Seraphim's full biography, please go to the YouTube upload of this podcast at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05xUvmYAAZM. This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/2/202224 minutes, 38 seconds
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On Divine Fear - Abba Dorotheos of Gaza

St. Dorotheos of Gaza (+565), disciple of Sts. Barsanuphius and John, is one of the most revered teachers on spiritual life, speaking from his direct experience with Christ through his ascetic struggle. Many basic questions we have about the fear of God and how to have it are answered here.   St. Dorotheos writes, “If, now, even the Saints, who so love the Lord, fear Him, why does St. John say that ‘love casteth out fear?’ The Saint wishes to indicate to us that there are two kinds of fear, one initial and the other perfect, and that, while one is characteristic of neophytes, as we say, in the spiritual life, the other is characteristic of the holy, of those who have been made perfect spiritually and have attained to a measure of holy love. Heed what I am saying. One does the Will of God out of fear of punishment. He, as we have said, is a total neophyte. He does not strive on account of goodness itself, but because he fears chastisements. The other does the Will of God because he loves God and since he especially rejoices when his life is pleasing to God. He knows the essence of goodness; he has tasted of what it means for one to be united to God. This is the one who has the true love that St. John calls ‘perfect.’ And this love leads him to perfect fear. For he fears and does the Will of God, not out of fear of chastisements, not out of fear of perhaps going to Hell, but, just as we have said, because he has tasted of the sweetness experienced by those who are united to God and fears that he might be deprived of it. Thus, this perfect fear, which comes forth from love, distances us from initial fear. And for this reason, it is said that: ‘Perfect love casteth out fear.’ Nonetheless, it is impossible for one to arrive otherwise at perfect fear, save by initial fear.”   “As St. Anthony the Great says, ‘I do not fear God, because I love Him,’ and as the Lord said to Abraham, after the latter offered to sacrifice his son, ‘for now I know that thou fearest God." It is this sort of fear that is meant: fear that comes into the soul from love.’” “I do not know if I have ever done anything good; but if the Grace of God has always covered me, I know that I have been protected by that fact that I never favored myself over my brother, but always put my brother first.”   “Of course, indifference is a bad thing. But neither is it, once more, a good thing for one to become so preoccupied with something that happens that he loses his irenic disposition, such that the soul is harmed. Because, in whatever obedience you may undertake, and even if it is urgent and important, I do not wish you to do anything that occasions squabbling and upset, but to be convinced that every task that you fulfill, great or small, as I earlier said, is but an eighth of what is asked of us. Indeed, to maintain your peace, even if thereby you should fail at your obedience, is four eighths, or half, of what has been asked of you. Do you see the difference?”    For more quotes from the text, please look at the description for our YouTube upload of this podcast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CHHNtUv2YQ Text from "Our Holy Father Dorotheos of Gaza: Various Soul-Profiting Instructions to His Disciples" by Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies. Buy the text here: https://www.ctosonline.org/patristic/...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/31/202232 minutes, 20 seconds
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Why Should We Dress Modestly? - Fr. Daniel Sysoev Answers

Fr. Daniel Sysoev (+2009) was a priest, husband, confessor, and martyr. His great love for God and his fellow man led him to write many texts and convert many to the Orthodox Faith, including personally baptizing over 80 Muslims. Because of this great missionary fruit, he was murdered by an enraged enemy of Christ in his own mission church. Fr. Daniel is not yet canonized as a Saint but his witness, both before and after his repose, has given the faithful confidence in his holy prayers. Full Text:   Why should we dress modestly?   Some people tell me that new converts for some reason come to church every week dressed in long skirts, and they ask me why this is necessary. Zeal in the beginning of a person's entry into the Church is something that is absolutely essential. If a person does not begin his spiritual life zealously, he will never end it well. It is simply indispensable, even when it comes to those details that seem unimportant, such as wearing a skirt. But actually it is not an altogether trivial thing: at times it can be very beneficial for young ladies, if they are habitually flirtatious, to dress in some worn-out skirt; I am sure you will agree that this produces an entirely different feeling. Some find it useful to dress in loose, unfitted jackets for this very same reason: a person has been accustomed to wearing fine clothes. This in and of itself is not virtue: it is a method for overcoming one's passions. If we see it this way then, naturally, everything will be fine.   That being said, when we go to church we should try to dress nicely but not provocatively, because we must go to the house of God as if to a feast. But nevertheless, the outward, ritualistic side of the Church, which people ridicule today, has a real, spiritual significance. It is not about the clothes themselves, but about the heart of the person who dresses up for these reasons. When a person dresses like a peacock, that is one state of soul; and it is another state of soul when a person dresses simply. Eventually a person should arrive at a normal state of soul, when he will be indifferent to what he is wearing: if the clothes are clean--glory to God. Being a new convert has its advantages, but it must grow into wisdom; not lukewarmness, as many think, but into wisdom. One should not wear pants to church, but we are lenient with women in that regard. In Deuteronomy it forbids women to dress in men's clothing and men to dress in women's clothing: The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God (Deut. 22:5). If a man came to church dressed as a woman he would be thrown out, and rightly so. Clothing must convey the difference in gender. I think that for our climate--and this is my personal opinion--we should have Orthodox fashion designers. For the winter there should be an outfit made from pants and a skirt--both at once--so that no one freezes. This would be a marvelous solution. It would be very beautiful and remarkable. It would convey femininity, and on the other hand it would keep women from freezing in their pantyhose. For the rest of the text, please check the YouTube upload of this recording at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BliiHVYngc, or purchase the book, "Questions to Priest Daniel Sysoev" at https://mission-shop.com/product/questions-to-priest-daniel-sysoev/. This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/18/20224 minutes, 33 seconds
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The Church, Ecumenism, and the Salvation of the World - Elder Ephraim of Philotheou and Arizona

This excerpt is from “A Call From the Holy Mountain” by Elder Ephraim, written in 1974 (based on the text) and published in English in 1991. Elder Ephraim covers many aspects of the life of the Church, speaking to both monks and laymen. These words may be difficult to hear; they are written by the greatest missionary to America of our times. Let us take heed to stand firm on the teachings of our holy Elder Ephraim lest we fall away from the narrow path.   ---PLEASE SUPPORT the fundraiser and purchase you copy of “Sent by God: The Life of Geronda Ephraim”: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/se...   “Christ's Church is Catholic in the sense that it possesses the entire fullness of the truth and the grace to illuminate and redeem the world; it is, moreover, Catholic in the sense that it tends not to conquer but to sanctify the world. The Head of the Church is Christ and we are members of it connected by the common faith in conjunction with love.”   “The history of the Church is the story of its struggle to sanctify its faithful.”   “…mere knowledge of things divine cannot save us; it is the taste, indeed, the experience of a life in Christ that will do so. And this is so because Christian truth is not an intellectual affair but a living experience of the dogmatic and moral doctrines of the faith and a mysterious and mystic communication between the faithful and its Founder.”   “In cases of deliberate or undeliberate deviation from tradition, judgement has always been, is and shall be pronounced by the sound public opinion of the Church which by right intervenes and restores peace in the Church; peace not truth, for the grace and the truth never abandon the Divine Body of the Church. It abandons those who in wavering ‘concerning faith have made shipwreck, and betray the birthright of the common heritage of those ‘taxed’ in the heavens.”   “Satan did his best to snatch away countless men from the bosom of the Church and to present it before the world as being divided and weak. Now he is again doing his best to unite it into a peculiar union of his own inspiration, using as leaven the formula of ‘love.’ Such has been the plethoric use and abuse of this ‘love’ by so many that others neither wish to hear nor talk about love.” For more quotes from Elder Ephraim, please click the description on the YouTube upload of this podcast. Read the full text here: https://www.scribd.com/document/16671...   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/12/202228 minutes, 12 seconds
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The Life of St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson (V/V)

The first Orthodox priest born in America, St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson is an Apostle to America for having served across its vast land in countless parishes amongst Orthodox and non-Orthodox people of all ethnic backgrounds. Born in San Francisco in 1863, he helped establish the first Serbian Orthodox parish in the Western Hemisphere in Jackson, CA in 1894. He served tirelessly in America and Serbia where he reposed in 1940 at the Zhicha Monastery. In 2007 his holy relics were transferred back to Jackson, CA and in 2015 he was formally canonized a Saint by the Orthodox Church, confirming what the faithful had known for some time--that St. Sebastian's last wish had been granted him: “the Kingdom of Heaven without end.“   This is part five of five of the Life of Saint Sebastian and has been generously offered by our brother Sergius. In part four we read the end of his earthly life and here were read the events surrounding the translation of his relics and his then possible canonization that later happened in 2015.   1. Read the Life of St. Sebastian here (link to PDF at top of page): http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/archi... 2. Read his Catechism "The Holy Orthodox Church" here: https://books.google.com/books?id=5jJ... 3. On the canonization of St. Sebastian and St. Mardarije, including Troparion and Kontakion: https://westsrbdio.org/canonication/ 4. Akathist: https://www.stsavajackson.org/akathis...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/9/202226 minutes, 40 seconds
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The Life of St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson (IV/V)

The first Orthodox priest born in America, St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson is an Apostle to America for having served across its vast land in countless parishes amongst Orthodox and non-Orthodox people of all ethnic backgrounds. Born in San Francisco in 1863, he helped establish the first Serbian Orthodox parish in the Western Hemisphere in Jackson, CA in 1894. He served tirelessly in America and Serbia where he reposed in 1940 at the Zhicha Monastery. In 2007 his holy relics were transferred back to Jackson, CA and in 2015 he was formally canonized a Saint by the Orthodox Church, confirming what the faithful had known for some time--that St. Sebastian's last wish had been granted him: “the Kingdom of Heaven without end.“   This is part four of five of the Life of Saint Sebastian and has been generously offered by our brother Sergius.   1. Read the Life of St. Sebastian here (link to PDF at top of page): http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/archi... 2. Read his Catechism "The Holy Orthodox Church" here: https://books.google.com/books?id=5jJ... 3. On the canonization of St. Sebastian and St. Mardarije, including Troparion and Kontakion: https://westsrbdio.org/canonication/ 4. Akathist: https://www.stsavajackson.org/akathis... Orthodox Wisdom is now on your favorite podcast platform!  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/4/202228 minutes, 51 seconds
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They Have Done an Insult to Nature Itself - St. John Chrysostom on Romans 1:26-27

A reading of St. John Chrysostom’s fourth homily on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. This is St. John the Golden-mouthed “speaking the truth in love” (Eph 4:15) and echoing the divine Apostle who revealed to him the meaning of his letters (see icon of St. Paul speaking into St. John’s ear).   St. John addresses verses 26 and 27: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”   St. John preaches:  “...having dishonored that which was natural, they ran after that which was contrary to nature. But that which is contrary to nature has in it an irksomeness and displeasingness, so that they could not fairly allege even pleasure. For genuine pleasure is that which is according to nature.”   “Here in the place of the world he sets the pleasure according to nature, which they would have enjoyed with more sense of security and greater glad-heartedness, and so have been far removed from shameful deeds. But they would not; whence they are quite out of the pale of pardon, and have done an insult to nature itself.”   “But if you say, and whence came this intensity of lust? It was from the desertion of God: and whence is the desertion of God? From the lawlessness of them that left Him; men with men working that which is unseemly. Do not, he means, because you have heard that they burned, suppose that the evil was only in desire. For the greater part of it came of their luxuriousness, which also kindled into flame their lust. And this is why he did not say being swept along or being overtaken, an expression he uses elsewhere; but what? Working. They made a business of the sin, and not only a business, but even one zealously followed up.” For more quotes from this reading in text, please check the description for the YouTube upload. Read the full text here: https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/210...  The title of this video is a quote from St. John in this homily.    This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/30/202221 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Life of St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson (III/V)

The first Orthodox priest born in America, St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson is an Apostle to America for having served across its vast land in countless parishes amongst Orthodox and non-Orthodox people of all ethnic backgrounds. Born in San Francisco in 1863, he helped establish the first Serbian Orthodox parish in the Western Hemisphere in Jackson, CA in 1894. He served tirelessly in America and Serbia where he reposed in 1940 at the Zhicha Monastery. In 2007 his holy relics were transferred back to Jackson, CA and in 2015 he was formally canonized a Saint by the Orthodox Church, confirming what the faithful had known for some time--that St. Sebastian's last wish had been granted him: “the Kingdom of Heaven without end.“   This is part three of five of the Life of Saint Sebastian and has been generously offered by our brother Sergius.   1. Read the Life of St. Sebastian here (link to PDF at top of page): http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/archi... 2. Read his Catechism "The Holy Orthodox Church" here: https://books.google.com/books?id=5jJ... 3. On the canonization of St. Sebastian and St. Mardarije, including Troparion and Kontakion: https://westsrbdio.org/canonication/ 4. Akathist: https://www.stsavajackson.org/akathis...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/27/202226 minutes, 21 seconds
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The Life of St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson (II/V)

The first Orthodox priest born in America, St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson is an Apostle to America for having served across its vast land in countless parishes amongst Orthodox and non-Orthodox people of all ethnic backgrounds. Born in San Francisco in 1863, he helped establish the first Serbian Orthodox parish in the Western Hemisphere in Jackson, CA in 1894. He served tirelessly in America and Serbia where he reposed in 1940 at the Zhicha Monastery. In 2007 his holy relics were transferred back to Jackson, CA and in 2015 he was formally canonized a Saint by the Orthodox Church, confirming what the faithful had known for some time--that St. Sebastian's last wish had been granted him: “the Kingdom of Heaven without end.“   This is part two of five of the Life of Saint Sebastian and has been generously offered by our brother Sergius.   1. Read the Life of St. Sebastian here (link to PDF at top of page): http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/archi... 2. Read his Catechism "The Holy Orthodox Church" here: https://books.google.com/books?id=5jJ... 3. On the canonization of St. Sebastian and St. Mardarije, including Troparion and Kontakion: https://westsrbdio.org/canonication/ 4. Akathist: https://www.stsavajackson.org/akathis...   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/19/202218 minutes, 55 seconds
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The Life of St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson (I/V)

The first Orthodox priest born in America, St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson is an Apostle to America for having served across its vast land in countless parishes amongst Orthodox and non-Orthodox people of all ethnic backgrounds. Born in San Francisco in 1863, he helped establish the first Serbian Orthodox parish in the Western Hemisphere in Jackson, CA in 1894. He served tirelessly in America and Serbia where he reposed in 1940 at the Zhicha Monastery. In 2007 his holy relics were transferred back to Jackson, CA and in 2015 he was formally canonized a Saint by the Orthodox Church, confirming what the faithful had known for some time--that St. Sebastian's last wish had been granted him: “the Kingdom of Heaven without end.“   This is part one of five of the Life of Saint Sebastian and has been generously offered by our brother Sergius.   1. Read the Life of St. Sebastian here (link to PDF at top of page): http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/archi... 2. Read his Catechism "The Holy Orthodox Church" here: https://books.google.com/books?id=5jJ... 3. On the canonization of St. Sebastian and St. Mardarije, including Troparion and Kontakion: https://westsrbdio.org/canonication/ 4. Akathist: https://www.stsavajackson.org/akathis...   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/14/202218 minutes, 46 seconds
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Prayer at Daybreak - St. Sophrony the Athonite

St. Sophrony the Athonite of Essex, England (+1993, June 28/July 11) is the founder of the St. John the Baptist Monastery outside of London and spiritual son of St. Silouan the Athonite. He wrote the life of St. Silouan, along with compiling his writings, and has authored books such as “His Life in Mine” and his autobiography “We Shall See Him As He Is”. This God-illumined hieromonk was glorified as a saint in 2019 and the faithful can visit his tomb in Essex, England.   Prayer at Daybreak: http://www.saintgregoryoutreach.org/2...  Prayers of St. Silouan and St. Sophrony: https://youtu.be/80krKfNKosE This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/11/20224 minutes, 27 seconds
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On Trials and Temptations - Elder Ephraim of Arizona

“Many times a temptation happens which, at first glance, does not seem to conceal anything salvific within it. Yet afterwards, we see that within it is eternal life!”   “God allows temptations so that they might rouse us to remember Him. When we call upon Him, He acts as though He does not hear us so that we multiply our supplications and cry out His holy name, in fear of the various passions. Then, through the pain of the entreaties, our heart is sanctified, and through experience we learn the weakness of our lame nature. And thus we realize in practice that without God's help we are not able to do anything.”   “Is there anyone who has entered paradise by a different path, a path without temptations, whom we can imitate? No. All the saints passed through fire and water, through various temptations and afflictions, and they glorified God with their patience and received crowns of eternal glory!”   The text is from “Counsels from the Holy Mountain” by Elder Ephraim of Arizona. The book can purchased here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/produ...  Audiobooks from St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, including “Counsels from the Holy Mountain” can be found for free here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/pages...  Learn more about this great Athonite Elder and Saint of America here: https://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/a... This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/27/202218 minutes, 43 seconds
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Never Despair of Your Salvation (Concerning the Sin of Self-abuse)

This story is from the Evergetinos (Sayings of the Desert Fathers) as related by St. Amphilochios of Icononium. Take courage all who struggle with this most grievous sin, the sin of self-abuse (masturbation).  “Resist to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12:4) and remember the immeasurable love God has for you. Seek a spiritual guide if you do not already have one. The fight is spiritual and we need a guide to learn from and be obedient to. Every moment you offer your will to God and obey His commandments you receive both temporal and eternal rewards.    The Lord says to satan regarding the man who again repented of his self-abuse, “You, when he turns again to sin, do not turn him away, but receive him with joy, neither chastising him nor preventing him from committing sin, out of the hope that you might win him over. Yet, I, Who am merciful and love mankind, Who counseled My laudable Apostle Peter, to forgive sins seven times seventy (Matt. 18:22), do I not show him mercy and compassion? Indeed – simply because he flees to Me – I will not turn him away until I have won him over. Furthermore, I was crucified for sinners and for their salvation; My immaculate hands were nailed to the Cross, that those who so wish might take refuge in Me and be saved. For this reason, then, I neither turn away nor reject anyone, even if he should fall many times a day and many times return to Me; such a person will not leave My Temple saddened, for I came not to call the righteous, but to call sinners to repent.”  Text: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElzfY...A different translation: https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/20... This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/23/20228 minutes, 34 seconds
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The Farewell Letter of St. Porphyrios

"Although I had sinned a lot from when I was a small child, when I returned to the world I continued to commit sins which, today are very many. The world, however, thought highly of me, and everyone shouts that I'm a saint. I however, feel that I am the most sinful person in the world."   While at the Holy Skete of Kavsokalyvia on Mt. Athos, Elder Porphyrios had given orders for his grave to be dug. Through a spiritual child of his, he dictated a farewell letter of advice and forgiveness to all his spiritual children. It is dated June 17, 1991. It was found amongst the monk's garments that were laid out for his burial on the day of his departure. Elder Porphyrios departed in the Lord on December 2, 1991. It again indicates his profound humility.   Text: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/20/20223 minutes, 56 seconds
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Papism as the Oldest Protestantism - St. Justin Popović

“In writing this, we are not writing either the history of Europe, of its virtues and faults, or the history of the European pseudo-Churches. We are simply setting forth the entirety of their ontology, penetrating to the heart of European conceit, its demonic underground, where its dark sources lie and with whose waters it threatens to poison the world. This is no passing of judgment on Europe, but a wholehearted and prayerful call to the only way to salvation: through repentance.”    St. Justin Popović (+1979), the great twentieth century theologian of Serbia, masterfully expounds upon the nature of protestantism, both its papal and reformed varieties, refining and preserving the dogmatic conscience of his disciples and students. Some of what St. Justin says may be shocking, but as disciples of Christ we must run to the saints, those saints the Church has glorified and recognized as authentic teachers of the Faith. St. Justin is a theologian par excellence.   The meaning of Theanthropic: divine (in Greek theos = God) and human (in Greek anthropos = man); the Theanthropos = the God-Man, i.e. Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God. “The supreme rule of the Orthodox philosophy of society is: We must not adapt Christ the Theanthropos to the spirit of the times, but adapt the spirit of the times to Christ's eternity, Christ's theanthropy.”  “Various pseudo-Christian humanisms fill the world with books, but Orthodoxy fills it with saints.”  “However, the tragedy of western Christendom consists precisely in its having attempted, whether by revising the image of the Theanthropos or denying Him, to reintroduce the demonised humanism that is characteristic of sinful human nature into the heart of the very theanthropic organism, the Church, the purpose of which is to liberate from it; and through the Church into all spheres of life, by pronouncing it to be a dogma, a universal dogma. Man's demonised pride, under the auspices of the Church, in that way becomes a dogma of faith without which there is no salvation. It is terrible even to contemplate, let alone say, that in this way the only 'workshop of salvation' and theanthropisation in this world is gradually being transformed into a demonised 'workshop' of violence against the conscience and of dehumanisation, a workshop of the disfigurement of God and man through the disfigurement of the Theanthropos.”  The text is from “The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism,” pages 119-126, 142-154. The first half of this text: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/pap... The second half is found in “The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism”: https://lazarica.co.uk/bookshop/ For extra information about the divisions between sections in this episode, please go to the YouTube upload at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xXm1PfcQUw&ab_channel=OrthodoxWisdom. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/14/202245 minutes, 55 seconds
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The Trial of St. Victora of Carthage, Martyred for Illegal Worship

The inspiring account of St. Victoria’s trial and martyrdom for assembling to celebrate the Eucharist in secret against the law of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Along with 48 others, she was arrested and put on trial for celebrating this secret Divine Liturgy. She is unwavering, holding fast to the Faith and the centrality of the worship of the true God. May this be an ongoing source of inspiration as we continue to see increased persecution of the Church in America and around the world, whether Coronavirus related or otherwise, whether from outside the Church or within.    This recording was inspired by Fr. Josiah Trenham, who in his reflection titled “Dangerous and Illegal Worship?” he recounted the words of St. Victoria “We cannot do without the Eucharist” and tells us about the centrality of Holy Communion for each Orthodox Christian. Listen to his reflection on youtube at PatristicNectarFilms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKE67...  0:19 Background on St. Victoria and those with her  4:35 The account of her trial  17:55 St. Victoria responds “We cannot do without the Eucharist.”   It was difficult to find good sources from known Orthodox websites. Therefore I have used information as best I could find. The account of the trial is the same account Fr. Josiah read from in his reflection linked above.   The Life/Background: https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint... The Trial (pages 86-103): https://archive.org/details/dailylife...  St. Victoria reposed in 304 and is celebrated on February 11th.    Holy Martyr Victoria, pray to God for us!  This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/14/202228 minutes, 9 seconds
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On Refusal to Judge Our Neighbor - St. Dorotheos of Gaza

This is bitter medicine that heals deep, often unseen, wounds. St. Dorotheos of Gaza (+565), disciple of Sts. Barsanuphius and John, plainly teaches us the necessity to cease from judging our neighbor, for we may only know the actions, but not the inner heart. He uses many examples, including the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, by saying, “Because of this he was not condemned, as I said, not even because he said, 'I am not like other men', but [he was condemned] because he said, 'I am not like this tax-collector'. It was then that he made a judgment. He condemned a person and the dispositions of his soul—to put it shortly, his whole life. Therefore, the tax-collector rather than the Pharisee went away justified. Nothing is more serious, nothing more difficult to deal with, as I say repeatedly, than judging and despising our neighbor.”   O Lord Jesus Christ, through the prayers of St. Dorotheos, forgive us and lead us on the path to love and holy discernment.   The text can be found here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/doroth...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/9/202222 minutes, 30 seconds
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For Catechumens in the Orthodox Church - Met. Augoustinos of Florina

How did catechumens live in the ancient Church? How do they live today? Metropolitan Augoustinos (Kantiotis) of Florina (+2010) gives us the answers and instructs us in how the faithful can better assist the catechumens in their preparation to enter the Body of Christ and how catechumens can recognize what the catechumenate truly is and why the ancient Church has much to teach them today.  We all are called to follow the Holy Fathers and be faithful to Christ Who manifests Himself in His Saints.  00:09 Homily One: The Catechumens  03:00 The Ancient Church focused on the quality of Christians, not quantity  04:04 On how the Catechumens are to depart from the Liturgy at their appointed time  06:45 Homily Two: For the Catechumens  07:17 Again, quality not quantity  08:33 What do the faithful pray for when they pray for the catechumens?  12:55 Homily Three: Infant Baptism?  13:33 Becoming a catechumen in the ancient Church  15:26 Catechumens are to be given Christian names  16:18 Preparing for baptism at Pascha and the bishop’s last words before baptism  18:03 The ancient Church catechesis compared to today; infant baptism; “We seek a free and vibrant Church.”  These homilies are found in “On the Divine Liturgy” vol. 1 and can be purchased here: http://ibmgs.org/chatechetic.html Learn more about Met. Augoustinos here: https://orthodoxwiki.org/Augustinos_(... \ “The ancient Church held catechism to be of great importance. She was interested more in quality than in quantity. A few faithful, dedicated to Christ, were worth much more than hundreds and thousands of people called Christians who did not lead a Christian life. Just as it is impossible to keep an army in fighting condition with soldiers who were never properly trained, so too the living and free Church the Militant, which is conquering and triumphing, cannot exist if all those who want to be Christians are not first instructed in the sacred weapons of the Faith. Untrained Christians are worthless, and nothing noble and important can ever be expected from them. Because the ancient Church used to instruct Her members systematically before baptism, many heroes of the Faith, confessors and martyrs, came out of these ranks of catechumens.”   “The catechumens were permitted to attend Church, to stand in a designated place, and attend a part of the Divine Liturgy, but not all of it. They stayed in Church, prayed with others, listened to the readings and preaching; and after the deacon said the Ektenes and other special petitions for the catechumens, he called them to leave the church. Only when they had all left would the Divine Liturgy continue. And because only the faithful attended it, it was called the Liturgy of the Faithful.” This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/6/202220 minutes, 6 seconds
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On the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Met. Philaret of New York

Spradznikom! Joyous Feast!   SIGN THE PETITION FOR CANONIZATION of Vladyka Philaret! We are asking the ROCOR Hierarchs to officially glorify Vladyka Philaret and confirm on earth what has been shown forth from heaven. Learn more and sign the petition here: https://www.saint-philaret.com/  “So, beloved brethren, as we have said above, the descent of the Holy Spirit is unbreakably linked to the glorification of Christ the Saviour. And this glorification - the glorification of His Theanthropic nature - is most exaltedly and fully revealed precisely in His Ascension and His sitting on the right hand of God the Father. This is why the Church celebrates the radiant festival of the Ascension  so festively and joyously. This festival is the feast of the final solemnity and crowning as victor of the Originator of our salvation…” -Metropolitan Philaret   This homily was preached by Saint Philaret when he was still an Archimandrite, and was first published in “The Heavenly Bread” in 1939, and then again in “Orthodox Russia” in 1994.   Read the text here: http://blessedphilaret.blogspot.com/2...  Orthodox Wisdom is now on your favorite podcast platform!  Go to the “About” tab at the top of the this channel to find links to:   -Apple Podcasts  -Spotify  -Stitcher  -and more…   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/3/20228 minutes, 32 seconds
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Prayer for America

Prayer for all of America, for peace, justice, and unity, with one end in mind: the salvation of our souls and eternal joy in the Holy Trinity. #Orthodox  This prayer can be used for any nation, not just the United States, just substitute the name of the country. Come Lord Jesus!   I encourage you all to join your prayer with action, whatever God directs you to do to help others who are suffering in one way or another. Ask your priest, your mentor, your friend for help and mutual support.  You can find this prayer in the new St. Tikhon's prayer book "Orthodox Christian Prayer": https://www.stspress.com/shop/books/p...  Photo is of Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York.   This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/1/20223 minutes, 7 seconds
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Akathist to St. Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne

It is fitting not only to read about God's saints but also to sing to them and lift our hearts to God. This beautiful akathist hymn to St. Cuthbert is chanted with this is mind. Let us seek to emulate God's chosen saints in chanting to Him and His holy ones.   For the Akathist text: http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/oe4...  To listen to the Audiobook of the life of St. Cuthbert: https://youtu.be/Ct_d7PTABJY  To read his Life and download the Audiobook: www.orthodox-wisdom.blogspot.com   Icon of St. Cuthbert: www.leeharveyicons.com   This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
6/1/202228 minutes, 33 seconds
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The Royal Path - Fr. Seraphim Rose

This article’s aim is to present the Royal Path of Orthodoxy which falls not too far to the left, into slothfulness and ecumenism, or to the right, into over-strictness and divisiveness. Fr. Seraphim wrote this in response to attacks from the “super-correct” factions who, as Fr. Seraphim wrote, “wish to make everything absolutely ‘simple’ and ‘black and white.’” In their zeal for Orthodoxy, they were proclaiming that all new calendar churches were without grace, that Orthodox Christians joining their jurisdictions must be rebaptized, and other “super-correct” positions. Fr. Seraphim not only saw these views were not in step with the Royal Path, but that they created a novel “branch-theory” within Orthodoxy. In anguish and conviction, he penned writing this article attempting to rise above false dichotomies and worldly thinking, transmitting the mind of the Fathers for his day. This article is a guide for us not just on ecclesiastical matters, but in all of life, since our enemy wishes nothing more than to draw us away from the Royal Path, the Path that leads to Christ.   This recording begins with context for the letter from “Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works” by Hieromonk Damascene to help listeners understand better what Fr. Seraphim wrote.   0:19 Excerpt from “Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works” by Hieromonk Damascene  4:38 The Royal Path: True Orthodoxy in an Age of Apostasy   The text of the article can be found here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/roy...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/31/202227 minutes, 53 seconds
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Living Torches of the Divine Lamp - St. Seraphim Zvezdinski on the Divine Liturgy (IV)

The fourth of twenty-two sermons specifically on the subject of the Divine Liturgy, preached by New Martyr St. Seraphim (Zvezdinski). Learn more about yet another inspiring martyr under the Soviet antichrists here: https://orthochristian.com/7426.html  “At this time in Antioch, it happened that persecutors seized the priest Lucian together with his flock. He was condemned (and while in prison) his flock said with sorrow to St. Lucian, “Our dear Father, how will we partake of the Holy Mysteries?” Lucian lay motionless on a hard board, his legs were shackled so that he could not stand up. “Do you have bread and wine?” He asked. “Yes, some kind people have brought some,” they answered. “Only, how will you serve the Liturgy, for we have no altar?” “Bring here the bread and wine and place them on my chest, let it be a living altar for the Most-Pure Mysteries of the Lord,” proclaimed the imprisoned priest. And so they brought the bread and wine and St. Lucian served the Divine Liturgy on his own chest. He together with all the assembled Christians partook of the Holy Mysteries.”   “The Liturgy is the diamond, that priceless gift from Christ. The Liturgy is the river, strengthening and refreshing, flowing from the side of Christ. The Liturgy is the golden bridge on which only it is possible to come to eternal life.”   This was recently translated into English by Fr. Zechariah Lynch, rector of Archangel Michael Orthodox Church (OCA) in Pueblo, CO. If you have not already done so, follow Fr. Zechariah’s excellent blog at https://inklesspen.blog  Text: https://inklesspen.blog/2021/09/19/th...  Orthodox Wisdom is now on your favorite podcast platform! Go to the “About” tab at the top of the this channel to find links to:  -Apple Podcasts  -Spotify  -Stitcher  -and more…   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/20/20227 minutes, 18 seconds
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The Life of St. Cuthbert - Audiobook (4/4): Ch 36-46 (Corrected Upload)

The account of St. Cuthbert's life by his contemporary, the Venerable Bede, translated in the 19th century by J. A. Giles, and adapted in 2019 by Timothy Honeycutt. St. Cuthbert is a man of universal importance and the most venerated saint of Lindisfarne and Northern England. Through his many miracles and faithful witness, he has inspired, and continues to inspire, countless people to live for Christ. Pilgrims can still venerate his relics, travel to his islands, and find consolation by his prayers. Go to orthodox-wisdom.blogspot.com to DOWNLOAD: -Adapted Text of The Life of St. Cuthbert (PDF) -Audiobook of The Life of St. Cuthbert (mp3) This is the audiobook of the adapted text by Timothy Honeycutt. The intended goal of this adaptation is to maintain the integrity of the original text, both in substance and in style, while adding clarity in two different ways: first, by substituting select antiquated words with more modern, yet reverent, language; secondly, with a desire to help Eastern Christians learn more about this blessed saint of the West, since during St. Cuthbert’s time the Faith in the East and in the West was one and the same, certain religious terminology more common in the East has been used. Both the text and the audiobook are in the public domain. Commercial profit is forbidden. Icon of St. Cuthbert by Lee Harvey: www.leeharveyicons.com “Northumbria is exceeding glad, cherishing the sacred relics of the holy Cuthbert in its bosom; and England exulteth in his intercessions; but all the Orthodox throughout the world trust in his heavenly mediation.”  –From the Service to St. Cuthbert This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/16/202237 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Life of St. Cuthbert - Audiobook (3/4): Ch 23-35 (Corrected Upload)

The account of St. Cuthbert's life by his contemporary, the Venerable Bede, translated in the 19th century by J. A. Giles, and adapted in 2019 by Timothy Honeycutt.   St. Cuthbert is a man of universal importance and the most venerated saint of Lindisfarne and Northern England. Through his many miracles and faithful witness, he has inspired, and continues to inspire, countless people to live for Christ. Pilgrims can still venerate his relics, travel to his islands, and find consolation by his prayers.   Go to orthodox-wisdom.blogspot.com to DOWNLOAD:   -Adapted Text of The Life of St. Cuthbert (PDF)  -Audiobook of The Life of St. Cuthbert (mp3)    This is the audiobook of the adapted text by Timothy Honeycutt. The intended goal of this adaptation is to maintain the integrity of the original text, both in substance and in style, while adding clarity in two different ways: first, by substituting select antiquated words with more modern, yet reverent, language; secondly, with a desire to help Eastern Christians learn more about this blessed saint of the West, since during St. Cuthbert’s time the Faith in the East and in the West was one and the same, certain religious terminology more common in the East has been used.   Both the text and the audiobook are in the public domain. Commercial profit is forbidden.   Icon of St. Cuthbert by Lee Harvey: www.leeharveyicons.com    “Northumbria is exceeding glad, cherishing the sacred relics of the holy Cuthbert in its bosom; and England exulteth in his intercessions; but all the Orthodox throughout the world trust in his heavenly mediation.”  –From the Service to St. Cuthbert   This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/13/202235 minutes, 37 seconds
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The Life of St. Cuthbert - Audiobook (2/4): Ch 11-22

The account of St. Cuthbert's life by his contemporary, the Venerable Bede, translated in the 19th century by J. A. Giles, and adapted in 2019 by Timothy Honeycutt.   St. Cuthbert is a man of universal importance and the most venerated saint of Lindisfarne and Northern England. Through his many miracles and faithful witness, he has inspired, and continues to inspire, countless people to live for Christ. Pilgrims can still venerate his relics, travel to his islands, and find consolation by his prayers.   Go to orthodox-wisdom.blogspot.com to DOWNLOAD:   -Adapted Text of The Life of St. Cuthbert (PDF)  -Audiobook of The Life of St. Cuthbert (mp3)    This is the audiobook of the adapted text by Timothy Honeycutt. The intended goal of this adaptation is to maintain the integrity of the original text, both in substance and in style, while adding clarity in two different ways: first, by substituting select antiquated words with more modern, yet reverent, language; secondly, with a desire to help Eastern Christians learn more about this blessed saint of the West, since during St. Cuthbert’s time the Faith in the East and in the West was one and the same, certain religious terminology more common in the East has been used.   Both the text and the audiobook are in the public domain. Commercial profit is forbidden.   Icon of St. Cuthbert by Lee Harvey: www.leeharveyicons.com    “Northumbria is exceeding glad, cherishing the sacred relics of the holy Cuthbert in its bosom; and England exulteth in his intercessions; but all the Orthodox throughout the world trust in his heavenly mediation.”  –From the Service to St. Cuthbert   This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/12/202236 minutes, 45 seconds
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The Life of St. Cuthbert - Audiobook (1/4): Preface to Chapter 10

The account of St. Cuthbert's life by his contemporary, the Venerable Bede, translated in the 19th century by J. A. Giles, and adapted in 2019 by Timothy Honeycutt.   St. Cuthbert is a man of universal importance and the most venerated saint of Lindisfarne and Northern England. Through his many miracles and faithful witness, he has inspired, and continues to inspire, countless people to live for Christ. Pilgrims can still venerate his relics, travel to his islands, and find consolation by his prayers.   Go to orthodox-wisdom.blogspot.com to DOWNLOAD:  -Adapted Text of The Life of St. Cuthbert (PDF)  -Audiobook of The Life of St. Cuthbert (mp3)    This is the audiobook of the adapted text by Timothy Honeycutt. The intended goal of this adaptation is to maintain the integrity of the original text, both in substance and in style, while adding clarity in two different ways: first, by substituting select antiquated words with more modern, yet reverent, language; secondly, with a desire to help Eastern Christians learn more about this blessed saint of the West, since during St. Cuthbert’s time the Faith in the East and in the West was one and the same, certain religious terminology more common in the East has been used.   Both the text and the audiobook are in the public domain. Commercial profit is forbidden.   Icon of St. Cuthbert by Lee Harvey: www.leeharveyicons.com    “Northumbria is exceedingly glad, cherishing the sacred relics of the holy Cuthbert in its bosom; and England exulteth in his intercessions; but all the Orthodox throughout the world trust in his heavenly mediation.”   –From the Service to St. Cuthbert   This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/11/202238 minutes, 47 seconds
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Their Torment Ascends Unto Ages of Ages - Heaven, Hell, and Universalism According to the Holy Fathers

A collection of some of the most clear and direct teachings of the Holy Fathers on Heaven, Hell, and Universalism: the belief that in the end all will be saved, even those in hell. Sometimes simply referred to "Apokotastisis," which in Greek means "restoration," is often referred to as the restoration of all things in Christ, in this world and in all of creation. Origen and his modern companions distort the patristic teaching and posit that ultimately everyone will use their free will to choose to love God, even after death. Let the listener hear what the Church has said, what the consensus of the Fathers is, and may we all follow the wisdom of St. Isaac the Syrian: "This life has been given to you for repentance. Do no waste it in vain pursuits." We all must be sober, not triumphalistic nor arrogant, but must labor diligently that we may enter through the narrow gate that leads to life! This is not a complete treatment of this most important issue. But this collection of teachings should stand as a signpost of the true teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. A fuller treatment is scheduled to be finished by Orthodox Wisdom later in 2022. INTRODUCTION: 00:00  Holy Scripture (KJV): 00:56  St. Ignatius of Antioch: 04:29  St. Justin Martyr: 05:01  St. Theophilus of Antioch: 05:14  St. Irenaeus of Lyons: 05:38  St. Hippolytus of Rome: 06:08  St. Cyprian of Carthage: 06:26  St. Cyril of Jerusalem: 06:43  St. Basil the Great: 07:25  St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: 08:20  St. John Chysostom: 08:50  Blessed Jerome of Stridonium: 09:43  Blessed Augustine: 10:10  St. Theodore the Studite: 12:43  St. Symeon the New Theologian: 13:08  St. Nicetas Stethatos: 13:48  Blessed Theophylact of Bulgaria: 14:14  St. Symeon of Thessalonica: 14:56  St. Elias Miniatis: 15:46  St. Ignatius Brianchaninov: 16:44  St. Theophan the Recluse: 18:00  St. Cyriacus the Solitary: 20:53  Blessed John Moschus: 21:50  Evening Prayers by St. John Chrysostom and St. John Damascene: 23:08  St. John Chrysostom: 23:30  St. Amphilochius of Iconium: 24:52  St. Ephraim the Syrian: 25:08  Synodical Letter of St. Sophronius of Jerusalem read and accepted by the Sixth Ecumenical Council: 26:15  Concerning the views of St. Isaac the Syrian: 29:44  Concerning the views of St. Gregory of Nyssa: 31:51  CONCLUSION:  St. Paisios the Athonite: 34:47  Prayer to the Mother of God during Compline of Great Lent: 35:15  Evening Prayer from St. John Chrysostom: 36:14 "Here it is possible to go unto the king, and entreat, and free the condemned person: but there, no longer; for He permits it not, but they continue in the scorching torment, and in so great anguish, as it is not possible for words to tell. For if, when any are in flames here, no speech can describe their sharp pangs, much less theirs, who suffer it in that place: since here indeed all is over in a brief point of time, but in that place there is buming indeed, but what is burnt is not consumed." -St. John Chrysostom (Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew, NPNF 1.10, Homily 43, p. 269.) "We must not be going, together with the demons, to where the fire is unquenchable ... and not for a certain time, or for a year, or for a hundred or a thousand years: for the torment will not have an end, as Origen thought, but will be forever and for eternity, as the Lord said." -St. Theodore the Studite, Catechetical Instructions and Testaments (Moscow. 1908) p. 75 [in Russian]. Quoted in The Orthodox Word, “Will the Torments of Hades Have an End?”, Vol. 56, Nos. 1-2 (330-331), p.4 --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/10/202236 minutes, 30 seconds
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Paschal Hours

The joyful service of Bright Week done solo in singing and chant for the Paschal joy and salvation of us all. There are many wonderful recordings of choirs singing this service, but I wanted to offer a simpler version of this service. Blessed Pascha to all! Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! Христосъ воскресе!  Воистину воскресе! Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!  Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!   Apart from the Paschal Troparion, the translation is from Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston, MA.   This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/7/20224 minutes, 33 seconds
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Synodical Letter of St. Sophronius of Jerusalem (6th Council) - Universalism, Evolution, & more

Many today say that universalism (i.e. that all souls will be saved and enjoy heavenly bliss) has never been condemned by a Council, that some Saints taught this doctrine, and that therefore it is an acceptable view for Orthodox Christians to hold, even if it is a minority view. While some Saints appear to have held this view in some way, the vast majority of Saints rejected such ideas, and some even specifically distinguished their sanctity from their error on this matter. St. Photios the Great said, “What St. Gregory, the bishop of Nyssa, said about the apocatastasis, the Church does not accept.” Both the 5th and 6th Ecumenical Councils explicitly reject any notion that all unrepentant souls, both men and demons, will ultimately be redeemed and will enjoy the love and truth of Christ. St. Sophronius of Jerusalem (+638) wrote this letter upon becoming Patriarch of Jerusalem in 634 while the monothelite heresy (i.e. that Christ has one will, not two) was raging. His Synodical Letter was read and accepted at the 6th Ecumeincal Council that condemned monothelitism, as well as the teachings of Origen and those of like mind. In it we find a clear condemnation of universalism as well as a condemnation of principles essential to the theory of evolution. May we pray genuinely and simply those prayers of the evening prayer rule: "O Lord, deliver me from the eternal torments" (prayer of St. John Chrysostom), and "O Lord, I fear Thy Judgment and the endless torments" (prayer of St. John Damascene). +Universalism, eternal hell+ “[Origen and other heretics] want an end to punishment” “alleging the restoration of all rational creatures, angels, human beings, demons” “we both speak of the consummation of the present world and believe that that life which is to come after the present life will last forever, and we hold to unending punishment” +Adam, Eve, Paradise, Creation, Evolution+ “They throw out the planting of paradise, they do not want Adam fashioned in the flesh, they object to the moulding of Eve from him, they reject the utterance of the snake” “But it is not only on this point that the deranged err and go astray from the straight road (such impiety would be tolerable in comparison with [their other] evils), but they also make myriads of other statements contrary to the tradition of the apostles and our Fathers. They throw out the planting of paradise, they do not want Adam fashioned in the flesh, they object to the moulding of Eve from him, they reject the utterance of the snake, they forbid the ranks of heavenly armies as they were created to be in the beginning by God, imagining that they resulted from a primordial condemnation and deviation. They dream up, both godlessly and mythically, that all rational things were produced in a henad of minds, and they abuse the creation of the waters above heaven, and want an end to punishment, and they introduce besides total corruptibility of all perceptible things, while alleging the restoration of all rational creatures, angels, human beings, demons, and again confounding their differences into one mythical unity, when Christ will be different from us in no respect, whom they preach in a foolish manner, not the one whom we proclaim in pious belief in glory or honour or kingship or lordship. They seethe like demons and bring forth myriads of things from the diabolical and impious store of their heart…” Sophronius of Jerusalem and Seventh-Century Heresy from Oxford Univeristy Press. See pgs 119-125: https://www.scribd.com/document/20535... Orthodox Wisdom is now on your favorite podcast platform! Go to the “About” tab at the top of the this channel to find links to: -Apple Podcasts -Spotify -Stitcher -and more… This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/5/20227 minutes, 22 seconds
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Homily on the Mystery of the Resurrection of Christ- St. Symeon the New Theologian

St. Symeon writes, "Brothers and fathers, already Pascha, that joyous day, that day of all gladness and delight, the day of Christ’s Resurrection, has arrived in the annual cycle. Rather, it occurs daily and eternally in those who know its mystery, and so has filled our hearts with ineffable joy and exultation. At the same time, it has brought to an end the toil of the all-venerable Fast; or, better to say, it has perfected our souls and consoled them as well. Therefore, as you see, after inviting all the faithful together to rest and to thanksgiving, it has passed." "For He sees the dispositions and intentions of our souls rather than the toils of our bodies, whereby we exercise ourselves in virtue, whether we intensify our asceticism out of eagerness of soul or practice less than the zealous because of the weakness of our bodies. In accordance with our intentions He measures out the prizes and the charisms of the Spirit to each one, either granting fame and glory to him who is zealous or leaving him still in a lowly state and in need of more strenuous purification." "Most men believe in the Resurrection of Christ, but very few are they that have a clear vision thereof. Those who do not behold it cannot even worship Christ Jesus as Holy and Lord. As Scripture says, 'No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit,' and, elsewhere, 'God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.'" "That most sacred phrase which is daily on our lips does not say, 'Having believed in the Resurrection of Christ,' but, 'Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless One.'" Read the text here: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/05/mystical-resurrection-of-christ.html?m=1 CHRIST IS RISEN! This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
5/2/202211 minutes, 57 seconds
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Worldly Idealism, Social Mission, and the Kingdom Not of This World - Eugene (Fr. Seraphim) Rose

Eugene wrote this letter to Thomas Merton in 1962, the same year he was received into the Orthodox Church after an arduous and painful journey in search of the truth, which he ultimately realized is a person: the Lord Jesus Christ, whose Body is the Holy Orthodox Church. He had been previously inspired by Thomas Merton and his pursuit of the other world, and with pain of heart wrote a letter expressing his concerns, concerns which were later justified by Merton’s ultimate abandonment of not only prayerful, ascetic Christianity, but of the uniqueness of Christian truth altogether. The ideas set forth in this letter were written at the same time Eugene was writing his desired magnum opus, The Kingdom of Man and the Kingdom of God, specifically the chapter titled “New Christianity.” Neither this chapter nor the entire book were finished, but in addition to this letter to Merton, what was completed was the chapter on Nihilism, available from St. Herman Press under the title: “Nihilism: the root of the Revolution of the modern age”.   Presented here is a reading of Eugene’s letter in its entirety, beginning and ending with valuable context from the biography of Fr. Seraphim: “Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works” by Hieromonk Damascene, finishing with a quote by Fr. Seraphim from his book “Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future” Introduction: 00:00 Letter to Thomas Merton: 04:52 Conclusion: 44:36 Excerpt from “Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future”: 48:37   Excerpts from Eugene’s letter:    “The outward Gospel of social idealism is a symptom of this loss of faith.”   “The Kingdom is not of this world; to think or hope that Christianity can be outwardly "successful" in the world is a denial of all that Christ and His prophets have said of the future of the Church. Christianity can be "successful" on one condition: that of renouncing (or conveniently forgetting) the true Kingdom and seeking to build up a Kingdom in the world. The "Earthly Kingdom" is precisely the goal of the modern mentality; the building of it is the meaning of the modern age. It is not Christian; as Christians, we know whose Kingdom it is. And what so greatly troubles me is that today Christians—Catholic and Orthodox alike—are themselves joining, often quite unaware of the fact, often with the best possible intentions, in the building of this new Babel....” “When I feed my hungry brother, this is a Christian act and a preaching of the Kingdom that needs no words; it is done for the personal reason that my brother—he who stands before me at this moment—is hungry, and it is a Christian act because my brother is, in some sense, Christ. But if I generalize from this case and embark on a political crusade to abolish the "evil of hunger," that is something entirely different; though individuals who participate in such a crusade may act in a perfectly Christian way, the whole project—and precisely because it is a "project," a thing of human planning—has become wrapped in a kind of cloak of “idealism.”" Orthodox Wisdom is now on your favorite podcast platform! Go to the “About” tab at the top of the this channel to find links to:  -Apple Podcasts  -Spotify  -Stitcher -and more…   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/28/202250 minutes, 30 seconds
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We Ought to Rejoice in the Resurrection Joy of the Theotokos - St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

St. Nikodemos writes, “Reflect, my beloved, that we have a duty to rejoice with the Virgin Panagia, who upon seeing her Son and God risen, was filled immediately with such great joy which was as great as her grief experienced during His Passion.” Every true Christian heart is eager to rejoice in the Theotokos, and to share in the pure joy she has in her Son. Let us rejoice with her, now that we have noetically beheld the Resurrection of Christ, and remember that “The greatest joy which you can give to the Theotokos, however, is the decision to conquer your passions and at every moment to live with chastity for the love of the Virgin.”   CHRIST IS RISEN!   Text by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite (also known as St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain): https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2012...  Orthodox Wisdom is now on your favorite podcast platform!  Go to the “About” tab at the top of the this channel to find links to:  -Apple Podcasts  -Spotify  -Stitcher  -and more…   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/26/20228 minutes, 3 seconds
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Paschal Vigil - Homily by the Venerable Bede

"Let us ask Him who is the Christ, who was immolated for us as our Paschal Lamb, to grant us to bring to worthy contemplation the solemnity of Paschal joy which we have entered upon, and through this to attain eternal joys." -Venerable Bede   This reading of St. Bede's homily at the Paschal (Easter) Vigil illumines the mind and brings joy to the heart. St. Bede lived in the 7th and 8th centuries in Northumbria (Northern England) as a priest, monk, true scholar, and author of many books, most notably The Ecclesiastical History of the English People and my personal favorite, The Life of St. Cuthbert.    Through the prayers of the Venerable Bede, may we all celebrate our Christ, our Risen Chirst, for all eternity. Amen.   This homily is from Book II of Homilies on the Gospels - Lent to The Dedication of the Church by Bede the Venerable. Published by Cistercian Publications.    This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/26/202220 minutes, 57 seconds
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Pascha in the Catacombs of Russia

A first-hand account of Pascha celebrated by prisoners of the Solovki concentration-camp, a formerly active monastery. CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED, HE IS RISEN!   "The white night of Solovki was nearing its end. The delicate, rose-colored morning of Solovki, the sun playing for joy, greeted the monastery-concentration camp, converting it into the invisible city of Kitezh and filling out free souls with a quiet, unearthly joy. Many years have passed since that time, but the fragrant remembrance of this delicate Paschal morning is unforgettably alive; it was literally only yesterday."   Text: The Orthodox Word, Issue 32, pages 161-163: https://archive.org/details/100101V17...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/24/20226 minutes, 26 seconds
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Our Duties for Holy and Great Week - Met. Augoustinos of Florina

“We have arrived, my beloved, at the saving Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, at Great Week. This week is called Great, because in its 168 hours from today until the night of the Resurrection, we give honor to great events, unique and world historic, which shocked the earth, the heavens, and that which is below the earth. This is why this week is called Great, and it is why it should not pass us by like all the others.”   He lists these duties for all Orthodox Chrisitans:   1) To thank our Lord Jesus Christ from the bottom of our hearts  2) To follow the sacred services  3) To fast  4) To go to Confession and receive Divine Communion 5) To serve our brethren who are suffering and are in need  6) To forgive everyone for everything.  Met. Augoustinos reminds us that if we do not forgive “then you are not a Christian”   “Do you know who we are like? We are like a beggar who every day has fifteen cents thrown at him, but one day a certain king passes by him and says, "Open your pockets!" and begins to count 1, 2, 3,... 5,... 10,... 100,... 168 gold coins that dazzle his eyes. And he, instead of taking this treasure to use it, he goes to the river and throws the gold coins in the water. Isn't this insanity? These hours therefore that the Church gives us is a treasure. Every hour, every bell ring, every beat, every second, is an important hour.  Let us take advantage of these holy days. Let us not allow them to escape from us like the rest of our lives. Do we know if we will live to celebrate another Great Week? Perhaps this Great Week is the last of our lives? How many people did we have with us last year? Where are they now? We are leaving, the train is whistling, only once do we go through life with this skin.  I pray this Great Week is an important milestone in our lives. May the Lord give us this week holy thoughts, holy feelings, heroic decisions, sanctification of the soul. May we seal Holy Week with the words, "Remember me, Lord, when You come into Your kingdom" (Lk. 23:42).”    Text: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2020...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/15/202210 minutes, 34 seconds
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The Inseparable Union of Dogma and Ethos & How Christianity is a Kingdom and Not a Religion - Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios

An excerpt from Lesson 7 on the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle & Evangelist John the Theologian by Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios. Elder Athanasios looks at two keys in the spiritual life and guards us against the common deceptions of our day.    You can read the full excerpt at Orthodox Ethos: https://orthodoxethos.com/post/the-in...  ____________________________   If you benefitted from this, please join us for the Course on Revelation taught by Fr. Peter Heers. Tonight (4/12/22) will be Lesson 7 from which this excerpt comes from. Watch here: https://youtu.be/XwR-6n3L8es  Also, consider becoming a patron of Orthodox Ethos. Sign up for any amount you wish and get:   -Access to exclusive weekly Q&A sessions  -Access to all previous lectures, including the following which are not available any other way:       -Orthodox Survival Course 2020       -The Truth of Our Faith       -Fr. Seraphim Rose's "Orthodox Survival Course"       -On the Divine Liturgy  -Access to all previous weekly Q&A sessions  -PDF downloads of Lecture slides   -Connect with other Orthodox Christians, possibly in your area  -Exclusive access to our Discourse forum  -The blessing of supporting the many labors of The Orthodox Ethos and Uncut Mountain Press  -And more!   SIGN UP HERE: https://www.patreon.com/frpeterheers ____________________________  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/15/20228 minutes, 50 seconds
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On the Lord's Teaching That He Who Has Faith and Does Not Doubt Can Cast Mountains Into the Sea - St. Maximos the Confessor

St. Maximos the Confessor answers the following question:   What is the meaning of: “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast in the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him”? And how are we to understand the words: “and does not doubt”?   An excerpt from his answer: “Since the human person is composed of soul and body, he wavers between two laws, by which I mean the law of the flesh and that of the spirit. On the one hand, the law of the flesh operates by virtue of the senses, but that of the spirit by virtue of the intellect [i.e. nous]. Now the law of the flesh, operating by means of the senses, is of a nature to bind one closely to matter, but the law of the spirit, operating by means of the intellect, brings about an unmediated union with God. Thus it is only reasonable that “he who does not doubt in his heart,” that is, who does not distinguish in his intellect—which is to say, who does not sever the unmediated union with God, which has come about through faith, inasmuch as he is dispassionate, or rather because he has already become God through union with Him by faith—is able to “say to this mountain, move, and it will be moved,” indicating, through the demonstrative pronoun “this mountain,” the mind and law of the flesh, which truly is heavy and difficult to move, and as far as our natural powers are concerned, is absolutely immovable and unshakeable.”    Read the full text here: https://www.scribd.com/document/40331...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/7/20224 minutes, 21 seconds
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The Ascetics Are Orthodoxy's Only Missionaries - St. Justin Popovic

St. Justin Popovic writes, “Our Church's mission is to infuse these God-human virtues and ascetic exertions into the people's way of living; to have their life and soul knit firm with the Christ-like God-human virtues. For therein lies salvation from the world and from all those soul-destroying, death-dealing, and Godless organizations of the world. In response to the "erudite" atheism and refined cannibalism of contemporary civilization we must give place to those Christ-bearing personalities, who with the meekness of sheep will put down the roused lust of wolves, and with the harmlessness of doves will save the soul of the people from cultural and political putrefaction. We must execute ascetic effort in Christ's name in response to the cultural exercising which is performed in the name of the decayed and disfigured European being, in the name of atheism, civilization, or the Antichrist. Which is why the major task of our Church is the creation of such Christ-bearing ascetics. The watchword which should be heard within our Church today is: Let us return to the Christ-bearing ascetics and to the Holy Fathers! To resume the virtues of Saint Anthony, Saint Athanasios, Saint Basil, and Saint Gregory, of Saints Sergios and Seraphim of the Russians, of Saints Savva, Prochios, and Gabriel of the Serbs, and others like them because it was these God-human virtues which brought about Saint Anthony, Saint Gregory and Saint Savva. And today only Orthodox ascetic efforts and virtues can bring about sanctity in every soul, in the soul of all our people—seeing that the God-human objective of the Church is unalterable and its means are likewise so, since Christ is the same yesterday, today and unto all ages (Heb. 13:8). Herein lies the difference between the world of men and the one in Christ: the human world is transient and time-bound, whilst that of Christ is ever whole, for evermore. Orthodoxy, as the single vessel and guardian of the perfect and radiant Person of God-human Christ, is brought about exclusively by this extension of virtues by grace, through entirely God-human Orthodox means, not through borrowings from Roman Catholicism or Protestantism, because the latter are forms of Christianity after the pattern of the proud European being, and not of the humble God-human being. This mission of the Church is facilitated by God Himself because among our people there exists an ascetic spirit as created by Orthodoxy through the centuries. The Orthodox soul of our people leans towards the Holy Fathers and the Orthodox ascetics. Ascetic exertion, at the personal, family, and parish level, particularly of prayer and fasting, is the characteristic of Orthodoxy. Our people is a people of Christ, an Orthodox people, because—as Christ did—it sums up the Gospel in these two virtues: prayer and fasting. And it is a people convinced that all defilement, all foul thoughts, can be driven out of man by these alone (Matt. 17:21). In its heart of hearts our people know Christ and Orthodoxy, they know just what it is that makes an Orthodox person Orthodox. Orthodoxy will always generate ascetic rebirth. She recognizes no other." To see the rest of the description, please go to our YouTube channel. https://youtube.com/watch?v=q8v3qlhQ-T8&ab_channel=OrthodoxWisdom Excerpt from “The Inward Mission of Our Church” by St. Justin Popovic: https://youtu.be/_TqHRv7WEtI Read the entire text here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/inwar... This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/7/20225 minutes, 24 seconds
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The Knowledge to Detect the Fatal Error of the Academic "Theologians" - Fr. Seraphim Rose

Fr. Seraphim Rose writes, "Yet we must go to the Holy Fathers not merely to "learn about them"; if we do no more than this we are in no better state than the idle disputants of The dead academies of this perishing modern civilization, even when these academies are "Orthodox" and the learned theologians in them neatly define and explain all about "sanctity" and "spirituality" and "theosis," but have not the experience needed to speak straight to the heart of thirsting souls and wound them into desiring the path of spiritual struggle, nor the knowledge to detect the fatal error of the academic "theologians" who speak of God with cigarette or wineglass in hand, nor the courage to accuse the apostate "canonical" hierarchs of their betrayal of Christ. We must go to the Holy Fathers, rather, in order to become their disciples, to receive the teaching of true life, the soul's salvation, even while knowing that by doing this we shall lose the favor of this world and become outcasts from it. If we do this we shall find the way out of the confused swamp of modern thought, which is based precisely upon abandonment of the sacred teaching of the Fathers. We shall find that the Holy Fathers are most "contemporary" in that they speak directly to the struggle of the Orthodox Christian today, giving answers to the crucial questions of life and death which mere academic scholarship is usually afraid even to ask—and when it does ask them, gives a harmless answer which "explains" these questions to those who are merely curious about them, but are not thirsting for answers. We shall find true guidance from the Fathers, learning humility and distrust of our own vain worldly wisdom, which we have sucked in with the air of these pestilential times, by means of trusting those who have pleased God and not the world. We shall find in them true fathers, so lacking in our own day when the love of many has grown cold (Matt. 24:12)—fathers whose only aim is to lead us their children to God and His Heavenly Kingdom, where we shall walk and converse with these angelic men in unutterable joy forever. There is no problem of our own confused times which cannot find its solution by a careful and reverent reading of the Holy Fathers: whether the problem of the sects and heresies that abound today, or the schisms and "jurisdictions"; whether the pretense of spiritual life put forth by the "charismatic revival," or the subtle temptations of modern comfort and convenience; whether complex philosophical questions such as "evolution," or the straightforward moral questions of abortion, euthanasia, and "birth control"; whether the refined apostasy of "Sergianism," which offers a church organization in place of the Body of Christ, or the crudeness of "renovationism," which begins by "revising the calendar" and ends in "Eastern-rite Protestantism." In all these questions the Holy Fathers, and our living Fathers who follow them, are our only sure guide." A recording of the complete article by Fr. Seraphim can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEDGp...  Complete Text: http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/rose...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
4/1/20223 minutes, 31 seconds
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Patriotism & War - Metropolitan Philaret of New York

Let us sit at the feet of the great Confessor as he teaches on patriotism and war: “Christian patriotism is, of course, alien to those extremes and errors into which "super-patriots" fall. A Christian patriot, while loving his nation, does not close his eyes to its inadequacies, but soberly looks at its properties and characteristics. He will never agree with those "patriots" who are inclined to elevate and justify everything native (even national vices and inadequacies). Such "patriots" do not realize that this is not patriotism at all, but puffed up national pride - that very sin against which Christianity struggles so strongly. No, a true patriot does not close his eyes to the sins and ills of his people; he sees them, grieves over them, struggles with them and repents before God and other peoples for himself and his nation. In addition, Christian patriotism is completely alien to hatred of other peoples. If I love my own people, then surely I must also love the Chinese, the Turks or any other people. Not to love them would be non-Christian. No, God grant them well-being and every success, for we are all people, children of one God.” War in itself is absolutely evil, an extremely sad phenomenon and deeply contrary to the very essence of Christianity. Words cannot express how joyous it would be if people ceased to war with one another and peace reigned on earth. Sad reality speaks quite otherwise, however. Only some dreamers far removed from reality and some narrowly one-sided sectarians can pretend that war can be omitted from real life.”   “It is quite correct to point out that war is a violation of the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex. 20:15). No one will argue against that. Still, we see from the Holy Scriptures that in that very same Old Testament time when this commandment was given, the Israelite people fought on command from God, and defeated its enemies with God's help. Consequently, the meaning of the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” does not refer unconditionally to every act of removing a person's life. This commandment forbids killing for revenge, in anger, by personal decision or act of will. When our Saviour explained the deep meaning of this commandment, He pointed out that it forbids not only actual killing, but also unchristian, vain anger.” “In a conversation with Mohammedans, about war, St. Cyril, the Enlightener of the Slavs, said, "We meekly endure personal offenses; but as a society, we defend each other, laying down our lives for our neighbors, so that you having taken them captive, do not force them to deny their faith or perform acts against God." Finally, what Russian does not know the example of St. Sergius of Radonezh, who blessed Prince Dimitry Donskoy to go to war, prayed for the success of the Russian army, and commemorated those soldiers who died on the field of battle?” “One can, of course, sin and sin greatly while participating in war. This happens when one participates in war with a feeling of personal hatred, vengeance, or vainglory and with proud personal aims. On the contrary, the less he thinks about himself, and the more he is ready to lay down his life for others, the closer the Christian soldier approaches the martyr's crown.” --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/30/202213 minutes, 10 seconds
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In Church, Everything is Different; There One's Particular World is Not Earthly, But Heavenly

Consider Archbishop Averky’s words in the context of the previous two years, and even to this day. Does fear of sickness and avoidance of the holy things have any place in this “earthly heaven,” as St. John of Krondstadt calls the holy temple? Do face masks (as well as immodest attire) conform to the mind of Archbishop Averky when he says, “All those who come into church - this “earthly heaven,” - must, even in their outward appearance, imitate the celestial ones, with whom they are entering into converse there, and they should not by any means cause them, or the other people praying there, any visual offence”? Is not the grace of God attracted to the man of faith and resistant to the rationalistic and proud? As the Apostle says, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom 14:23). Our beloved Fr. Seraphim Rose says, “Orthodox Christians! Hold fast to the grace which you have; never let it become a matter of habit; never measure it by merely human standards or expect it to be logical or comprehensible to those who understand nothing higher than what is human or who think to obtain the grace of the Holy Spirit in some other way than that which the one Church of Christ has handed down to us. True Orthodoxy by its very nature must seem totally out of place in these demonic times.” Let us simply and humbly heed the words of our Saints, begging their help in all things, that we may not fall prey to the noetic wolf and with a nous cleansed of the passions glorify our Father in Heaven, now in this “earthly heaven,” the temple of the living God. For if we are not faithful in this earthly heaven, will we be prepared for the heaven above?   Excerpt from “Standing in the Temple of Thy Glory, We Think Ourselves to Stand in Heaven, O Theotokos.”  Full text here: https://orthodoxethos.com/post/standi...  Read more from Archbishop Averky: https://www.holytrinitypublications.c...  https://archbishopaverky.blogspot.com/  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/24/20224 minutes, 46 seconds
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St. Maximos the Confessor - If "He Who is Born of God Does Not Sin," How Then Can We Sin...

St. Maximos the Confessor answers the following question:   If, according to Saint John, “he who is born of God does not sin, because God’s seed is in him, and he cannot sin,” and if he who is “born of water and Spirit” is himself born of God, then how are we who are born of God through baptism still able to sin?   An excerpt from his answer: “So even if we should possess the Spirit of adoption—which is a life-giving seed that bestows the likeness of the Sower upon those who are born of it—but do not offer Him a disposition of the will pure of any propensity or inclination toward something else, we will, as a result, willingly sin even after “being born through water and the Spirit.” But if, to the contrary, we were to prepare the disposition of our will to receive cognitively the operations of the water and the Spirit, then, through our ascetic practice, the mystical water would cleanse our conscience, and the life-creating Spirit would actualize in us the unchanging perfection of the good through knowledge acquired in experience. What is lacking, therefore, in each of us who is still able to sin, is the unequivocal desire to surrender our whole selves, in the disposition of our will, to the Spirit.   Read the full text here: https://www.scribd.com/document/40331...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/21/20224 minutes, 18 seconds
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Both Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition Stand or Fall Together With The Church - St Hilarion Troitsky

Excerpt from "Holy Scripture and the Church" by St. Hilarion Troitsky   St. Hilarion offers much clarity and foundational argumentation to help both Protestants and Orthodox come to a truly Christian approach to these central matters.    This except is from part II. Listen to all three parts here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz...  Read the full text here: https://www.newmartyr.info/files/Sain...  "“Two sources of doctrine are usually spoken of: Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition. Both of these sources are necessary, although preference is often given to Holy Scripture. In disputes with sectarians and Protestants, much effort is made to prove that Holy Scripture alone is insufficient, that besides Scripture Holy Tradition is also needed. But if Holy Scripture is a source of doctrine, how do we extract the doctrine contained within this source? It is enough to remember Arianism and the First Ecumenical Council in order to realize that every heresy is based on Scripture. e question clearly arises: “How are we to understand Scripture so as to obtain from it true doctrine?” “It has to be understood in accordance with Tradition,” they respond to us. “Wonderful! And what sort of tradition should we accept?” “ at which does not contradict Scripture.” What do we end up with? Scripture must be interpreted in accordance with Tradition, and Tradition must be veri ed by Scripture. We end up with circular logic, idem per idem, or, translated somewhat loosely into Russian, the story of the white calf.                       Church doctrine has but one Source: the Holy Spirit, Who lives within the Church, Whom Christ promised would guide (ὁδηγήσει) the Church into all truth (John 16:13). Thus, the Church possesses true doctrine not because she draws it from Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition, but only because she is in fact the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth (1Tim 3:15), guided by the Holy Spirit. It is necessary to speak only about the Church. Both Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition stand or fall together with the Church.”   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/17/20225 minutes, 46 seconds
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The Life of Metropolitan Philaret of New York

Metropolitan Philaret of New York, third First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and towering figure in the great cloud of 20th century witnesses. An ardent defender of the Truth, both the Person of Christ and the dogma and ethos of His Body, the Orthodox Church, Vladyka Philaret’s ascetic and prayer-filled heart guided ROCOR from 1964 until his repose in 1985. He is well known for his three “Sorrowful Epistles” written to the Hierarchy of the world in defense of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church against ecumenism and modernist corruptions of the life of the Church. Thirteen years after his repose on Nov 8/21, 1985, his relics were translated to the crypt under the altar at Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary in Jordanville, NY and were found to be incorrupt. In God’s time, we may see this righteous Hierarch officially number with the Saints.   Fr. Seraphim Rose wrote of Met. Philaret in 1976: “Among the Primates of the Orthodox Churches today, there is only one from whom is always expected—and not only by members of his own Church, but by very many in a number of other Orthodox Churches as well—the clear voice of Orthodox righteousness and truth and conscience, untainted by political considerations or calculations of any kind.  The voice of Metropolitan Philaret of New York, Chief Hierarch of the Russian Church Outside of Russia, is the only fully Orthodox voice among all the Orthodox primates.  In this he is like to the Holy Fathers of ancient times, who placed purity of Orthodoxy above all else, and he stands in the midst of today's confused religious world as a solitary champion of Orthodoxy in the spirit of the Ecumenical Councils.”    Learn more about Met. Philaret at the ROCOR Eastern Diocese website: https://www.eadiocese.org/metropolita...  And also at this blog (run by an Old Calendarist, for your information): http://blessedphilaret.blogspot.com  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/15/202217 minutes, 36 seconds
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Homily on the Sunday of Orthodoxy - St. Tikhon of Moscow, Enlightener of North America

This homily was given on February 23, 1903 at the Cathedral Church of San Francisco, California when St. Tikhon was Bishop of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska.   “This Sunday, brethren, begins the week of Orthodoxy, or the week of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, because it is today that the Holy Orthodox Church solemnly recalls its victory over the Iconoclast heresy and other heresies and gratefully remembers all who fought for the Orthodox faith in word, writing, teaching, suffering, or godly living.”   “If you do not preserve the Orthodox faith and the commandments of God, the least you can do is not to humiliate your hearts by inventing false excuses for your sins! If you do not honor our customs, the least you can do is not to laugh at things you do not know or understand. If you do not accept the motherly care of the Holy Orthodox Church, the least you can do is to confess you act wrongly, that you are sinning against the Church and behave like children! If you do, the Orthodox Church may forgive you, like a loving mother, your coldness and slights, and will receive you back into her embrace, as if you were erring Children.”  “At the beginning, not only pastors alone suffered for the faith of Christ, but lay people also, men, women and even children. Heresies were fought against by lay people as well. Likewise, the spread of Christ’s faith ought to be near and precious to the heart of every Christian. In this work every member of the Church ought to take a lively and heart-felt interest. This interest may show itself in personal preaching of the Gospel of Christ.”   Text: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2016...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/14/202212 minutes, 17 seconds
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On the Holy Lenten Fast - St. Dorotheos of Gaza

The Great Fast is upon us. Let us attend!   “You see, God gave us these holy days so that by diligence in abstinence, in the spirit of humility and repentance, a man may be cleansed of the sins of the whole year and the soul relieved of its burden. Purified, he goes forward to the holy day of the Resurrection, and being made a new man through the change of heart induced by the fast, he can take his part in the Holy Mysteries and remain in spiritual joy and happiness, feasting with God the whole fifty days.”   “Everyone who wants to purify himself of the sins of the whole year during these days must first of all restrain himself from the pleasure of eating. For the pleasure of eating, as the Fathers say, caused all men’s evil. Likewise he must take care not to break the fast without great necessity or to look for pleasurable things to eat, or weigh himself down by eating and drinking until he is full.”   “So also let our eyes keep fast. No looking for trivialities, no letting the eyes wander freely, no impudent lying in wait for people to talk to. The same with the hands and feet, to prevent them from doing anything evil. Fasting in this way, as Saint Basil says, is an acceptable fast and, leaving behind all the evil to which our senses are inclined, we may come to the holy day of the Resurrection, renewed and clean and worthy to share in the Holy Mysteries, as we have already said.”   Text: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/4/202210 minutes, 24 seconds
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The Unbreakable Divine Liturgy - St Seraphim Zvezdinski on the Divine Liturgy (III)

The third of twenty-two sermons specifically on the subject of the Divine Liturgy, preached by New Martyr St. Seraphim (Zvezdinski). Learn more about yet another inspiring martyr under the Soviet antichrists here: https://orthochristian.com/7426.htm  “In the flow of nineteen centuries there has not been one day in which the Divine Liturgy was not offered; and it will not cease as long as the world exists, as long as this earth exists. No kind of enemy power is able to extinguish this lamp of the Divine Liturgy which is lit by the very Divine Ray Himself. Satan has stirred up storms, he has raised up the most cruel abuse, and has incited raging waves of suffering – all of this so to extinguish the lamp of the Divine Liturgy! Yet he has not succeeded, nor will he ever succeed.”   This was recently translated into English be Fr. Zechariah Lynch, rector of Archangel Michael Orthodox Church (OCA) in Pueblo, CO. If you have not already done so, follow Fr. Zechariah’s excellent blog at inklesspen.blog.   Text of the sermon: https://inklesspen.blog/2021/09/19/th...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/4/20225 minutes, 35 seconds
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Homily on the Sunday of the Last Judgment - St. John Maximovitch

On the second Sunday before Great Lent the Church commemorates the Last Judgment when all will be judged according to their love and faith. The great Wonderworker of the latter times, St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, offers a message ever timely and sobering, with the sole purpose of rousing our sleeping souls to watchfulness, to stand worthily before the dread judgment seat of Christ at the end of time.   “Under Antichrist, there will be an immense falling away from the faith. Many bishops will change in faith and in justification will point to the brilliant situation of the Church. The search for compromise will be the characteristic disposition of men. Straight-forwardness of confession will disappear. Men will cleverly justify their fall, and gracious evil will support such a general disposition. There will be the habit of apostasy from truth and the sweetness of compromise and sin in men.”   “‘The end of the world’ signifies not the annihilation of the world, but its transformation. Everything will be transformed suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye.”  “When ‘the books are opened,’ it will become clear that the roots of all vices lie in the human soul. Here is a drunkard or a lecher: when the body has died, some may think that sin is dead too. No! There was an inclination to sin in the soul, and that sin was sweet to the soul, and if the soul has not repented and has not freed itself of the sin, it will come to the Last Judgment with the same desire for sin. It will never satisfy that desire and in that soul there will be the suffering of hatred. It will accuse everyone and everything in its tortured condition; it will hate everyone and everything. ‘There will be gnashing of teeth’ of powerless malice and the unquenchable fire of hatred.”   Text: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
3/1/202212 minutes, 11 seconds
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Exhortation on the Prayer Rule - St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

St. Ignatius teaches, “The prayer rule, chosen prudently to suit one’s strength and manner of life, offers great support to those seeking to attain salvation. Observance of the rule at the proper times of day and night turns into a habit, into a natural and indispensable requirement. And as soon as the one who has acquired this happy habit comes near the place where he usually performs the rule, his soul is filled with a prayerful mood, and before he can even begin reciting his prayers, his heart is filled with emotion and his mind withdraws into his inner chamber [the heart].”  St. Isaac the Syrian says: “It is not for abandoning Psalms that we shall be adjudged by God on His Judgment Day, not for abandoning prayer, but for the entry of demons into us which follows. When demons find the place, they come in and shut the doors of our eyes, and then they use us, as their instruments, to perform forcibly and uncleanly, with the worst of vengeance, everything forbidden by God. And because we abandon a small [rule], which grants us Christ’s intercession, we fall under the sway of demons, as one most wise abba wrote: ‘He who fails to submit his will to God, such a one shall submit unto his adversary.’ These rules may look small to you, but they shall be the walls protecting you from those who want to take you prisoner. The keeping of these rules within your cell was most wisely established by the makers of the Church rule, by a Divine revelation, in order to safeguard our life.” (Homily 71)   Text: https://pravoslavie.ru/81258.html  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/22/202217 minutes, 3 seconds
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Comboschini (The Prayer Rope) - Meditations of a Monk of the Holy Mountain Athos

Have you wanted to learn more about The Jesus Prayer? Have you wondered, “How do you use a prayer rope?” This short text explains the basics of the what the prayer rope is and the meaning it has in the Holy Tradition of the Church. When it comes to details of praying the Jesus Prayer, please speak with your spiritual father as he can guide you on the specific rule you will have. With Great Lent approaching, may this spur you on to speak with your spiritual father about prayer and say more often and more deeply, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.”   “The prayer rope is not intended to be used only by monks, but it can also be used by laymen and, generally, by anyone who wants to pray to God. The prayer rope is not some kind of amulet with magic or exorcising powers, like those given to simple-minded people by magicians or mediums, worn on the wrist or round the neck. On the contrary, it is a purely Orthodox holy object used only for praying and nothing else. We use the prayer rope in order to pray secretly.”   “The prayer rope is one of the items given to an Orthodox Christian monk at the time of tonsure: it is given to him as his spiritual sword with which he, as a soldier of Christ, must make war against our spiritual enemy, the devil. This sword is wielded by calling on the name of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ in a plea for mercy on me a sinner. This prayer can be said in a shorter form, such as: ‘Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me’; or in a longer form, as: ‘By the prayers of the Most Holy Theotokos and all the Saints, Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me’.”   Text: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/combos...  Photo is of Mount Athos   This text is read by our brother Sergius, a co-laborer in the work of Orthodox Wisdom.   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/21/202218 minutes, 56 seconds
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I Have Not Come To Bring Peace, But A Sword - Archbishop Averky of Jordanville

Archbishop Averky speaks to our times in the context of a frequently neglected saying of Christ. His peace is not the peace of the world, His truth both unites and divides. As he said to His disciples after his tough sayings led many to leave Him: “Do you also want to go away?” Let us respond like the Apostle Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Archbishop Averky: “All of these frequent, unnaturally flowery speeches, and until now, hysterical cries about peace for the world are for the most part from people who are either far from true Christianity or openly hostile towards the Church. These speeches come from people who themselves do not live in peace with God and their consciences. Their relations with their neighbors are filled with malice. Can we believe the sincerity of the words pronounced by people who reject faith in God and love for their neighbor, and do not recognize the voice of conscience? Can we believe that those who audaciously and arrogantly blaspheme, declaring war on God Himself and His Holy Church, are truly striving for peace? These are the same people who not long ago did not conceal the fact that their plan was "to kindle a worldwide fire" [Communism], and who openly preached "class hatred" as the basis for their ideology. They are not at all troubled over shedding rivers of blood and exterminating millions of people simply on the suspicion that they may not be in agreement with their ideology. Can we truly believe the sincerity of peace lovers who speak sweetly of "Christian love" and "universal forgiveness," yet at the same time sow conflict and dissension, spreading lies and slander which incite enmity and division, setting people against one another.” “Surely one understands that when our Lord Jesus Christ said, Resist not evil (Matt. 5:39) he was only replacing the previous Old Testament law of personal revenge, forbidding us to take revenge on those Who personally offend us. There is no way that one should understand this saying to refer to no resistance to evil in general, as Leo Tolstoy and his followers understood it. On the contrary, our Lord taught very clearly that His true followers must be completely uncompromising towards evil, even in those most difficult circumstances which involve our conscience, in those circumstances where evil becomes incarnate in people close and dear to us. Let us recall for example the following words of our Savior which so disturb those who view Christian love as something sweet, sentimental, nice: If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:26).” This text is from “The Modern World in the Light of the Word of God, vol. I, 1951-1960,” pp. 404-409.   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/15/202215 minutes, 3 seconds
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Commentary on Canon 46 of the Holy Apostles - St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain

“In the face of what has thus been said one might rightfully wonder why the holy Second Ecumenical Council in its seventh Canon, but still more so why the Sixth Ecumenical in its ninety-fifth Canon, failed to disapprove the baptism of all heretics, in accordance with the Apostolical Canons and St. Cyprian's Synod and all the other great God-bearing Fathers aforcmentioned whose writings were confirmed and ratified, as we have said, by the Sixth Ecumenical Council itself in its second Canon, whereas, on the contrary, it accepted the baptism of some heretics, but not that of others. In order lo have an easily understandable solution of this perplexity there is need that one should know beforehand that two kinds of government and correction arc in vogue in the Church of Christ, One kind is called Akrevia: the other kind is called Economia and Moderatism; with which the economists of the Spirit promote the salvation of souls at times with the one, and at times with the other kind….” “Let not the systems of the heretics fool you, my dear listener: for they have a baptism, but no illumination; accordingly, they are baptized, it is true, with respect to the body, but as respects the soul they are not illuminated.” –St. John Chrysostom in his sermon on John 1:1 "He who does anything as a matter of economia, does it, not as simply something good, but as something needed for the time being." –Blessed Theophylact (commentary on Gal 5:11) Akrevia = exactitude, precision (sometimes problematically called “rigorism”)  Economia = management of the house, blessed adjustment from the rule, (sometimes problematically called “concession”)    The matters of ecclesiology, sacramental theology, and reception of converts are not for those still only able to drink milk, but for those able to eat meat. Whatever your stance on these matters, seek the truth with humility, patience, and fear of God, the ascetic life, and obedience to your spiritual father in all things except sin and heresy. May God help us.    Text of “The Rudder,” also called “The Pedallion”: https://s3.amazonaws.com/orthodox/The...  Learn more about St. Nikodemos here: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2016... Books by St. Nikodemos available here: www.uncutmountainpress.com  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! NOTE: Due to platform limitations, the YouTube video description contains more quotes from the Fathers on this issue. If you want to read them, please go here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSjVX7DX0Os&ab_channel=OrthodoxWisdom --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/11/202235 minutes, 45 seconds
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Marriage: The Great Sacrament - Elder Aimilianos of Mount Athos

A sermon given in 1971 by Elder Aimilianos of Siminopetra, Mount Athos on Holy Matrimony and the life of husband and wife in Christ.   “Christ says, "wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am among them" (Mt 18.20). And whenever two people are married in the name of Christ, they become the sign which contains and expresses Christ himself. When you see a couple who are conscious of this, it is as if you are seeing Christ. Together they are a theophany.”  “Above all, pay attention to the person's faith. Does he or she have faith? Has the person whom you're thinking of making the companion of your life have ideals? If Christ means nothing to him, how are you going to be able to enter his heart? If he has not been able to value Christ, do you think he will value you? Holy Scripture says to the husband that the wife should be "of your testament" (Mal 2.14), that is, of your faith, your religion, so that she can join you to God. It is only then that you can have, as the Church Fathers say, a marriage "with the consent of the bishop," that is, with the approval of the Church, and not simply a formal license.”   “Bring him into touch with your spiritual father. If you don't have one, the two of you should choose a spiritual father together, who will be your Elder, your father, the one who will remind you of, and show you God.”   “Oh, my dear friends, who can say that his life has not been marked by difficult moments? But it is no small thing to know that, in your difficult moments, in your worries, in your temptations, you will be holding in your hand the hand of your beloved.”   “Remember: from the moment you marry, he says, you will have much pain, you will suffer, and your life will be a cross, but a cross blossoming with flowers. Your marriage will have its joys, its smiles, and its beautiful things. But during the days of sunshine, remember that all the lovely flowers conceal a cross, which can emerge into your sunshine at any moment.”   Read the text here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/marria...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/11/202234 minutes, 39 seconds
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Death Must Find Us Ready - Elder Ephraim of Arizona

“Let us correct our lives in order to avoid eternal Hell and instead acquire (through God’s mercy and compassion) the Kingdom of Heaven. We must take a long, hard look at our salvation and realize that it is not a game; it is not something we can ignore; it is not a joke.”   “May our good God enlighten each one of us and give us the strength to settle and arrange any outstanding debts. Let us exert ourselves; let us not be negligent. The present life is not a time for negligence and procrastination.”    This homily is found in the Epilogue of “The Departure of the Soul” published by St. Anthony’s Monastery in Florence, AZ. Purchase this book here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/produ...  Holy Elder Ephraim of Philotheou and Arizona, pray to God for us!  Read the text of the this homily here: https://www.eighthdayinstitute.org/de...  This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/10/20226 minutes, 8 seconds
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Commentary on James 2:14-26 by the Venerable Bede

The Venerable Bede sheds patristic light on this passage which not a few have stumbled over. He clearly presents a harmony of faith and works, of the Apostles James and Paul, of how seemingly contradictory teachings in the Scriptures find their balance while retaining their intended weight. All will do well to head his words, especially Protestants so convinced their teaching matches what was “once delivered to the saints.” On James 2:15-17: “It is evident that just as words of concern alone do not help a naked or hungry person if food or clothing is not provided, so faith observed in name only does not save, for it is dead in itself if it is not made alive by works of charity, by which it may be made to come to life. Nor is that contrary to this statement which the Lord uttered, He who believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16) for it must be understood there that only he truly believes who carries out in deed what he believes.”   On James 2:20-21: “Since the apostle Paul, preaching that man is made righteous by faith without works, was not well understood by those who took this saying to mean that when they had once believed in Christ, even though they might commit evils and live wickedly and basely, they could be saved by faith, [James] explains how the passage of the apostle of Paul ought to be understood to have the same meaning as this letter. And all the more therefore he uses the example of Abraham about faith being useless if it does not issue in good works, because the apostle Paul also used the example of Abraham to demonstrate that man is made righteous without deeds.”   This text can be found in “The Venerable Bede: Commentary on the Seven Catholic Epistles,” published by Cistercian Publications.   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/3/202217 minutes, 50 seconds
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Akathist Hymn to our Sweetest Lord Jesus Christ

Chanted in English from the Holy Transfiguration Monastery Prayer Book   Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me!   This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
2/1/202217 minutes, 21 seconds
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Temple of the Living God- St Seraphim Zvezdinski

This is the first of twenty-two sermons specifically on the subject of the Divine Liturgy, preached by New Martyr St. Seraphim (Zvezdinski). Learn more about yet another inspiring martyr under the Soviet antichrists here: https://orthochristian.com/7426.html “In the Church we have the hands of Christ, His mouth, and His eyes, and also His Divine heart. His hands are the sacred rites; the language of Christ’s mouth is His holy Gospel; His eyes are the holy mysteries, through which He gazes into our souls; His heart is the Divine Liturgy.” “My dear ones, my God-given flock, love the Divine Liturgy; guard the fragrant rose of Christ, enlighten your souls with the light of the Divine sun. When you fail to attend the Divine Liturgy, count it as if you lost a day of your life.”  This was recently translated into English be Fr. Zechariah Lynch, rector of Archangel Michael Orthodox Church (OCA) in Pueblo, CO. If you have not already done so, follow Fr. Zechariah’s excellent blog at inklesspen.blog. Text of the sermon: https://inklesspen.blog/2021/06/12/the-temple-of-the-living-god/ This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/28/20227 minutes, 11 seconds
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It's Time to Prepare... - New Martyr St. Damascene

“It’s Time to Prepare…” is an archived letter (dated 1929) written by St. Damascene to his flock, two years after the Declaration by Met. Sergius. St. Damascene writes, “How dangerous it is to deceive ourselves and lull the vigilance commanded by Christ by the possibility of accepting compromises with the enemies of Christ's faith and the Church. All such compromises will only cause greater division among the believers, belittle the dignity of the Church yet more, and finally they will suppress the authority of Her representatives. This has now become apparent to all of us.”“It is especially timely for our priests to reflect on this matter. In time, as they continue in their podvig, they will die in prisons and exile, they will boldly speak out with a word of reproof and admonition before the atheists and the God fighters, striving even to blood for the glory of the Name of Christ. Others, for the sake of preserving and nurturing the flock of Christ, must prepare their own exodus to the "catacombs." Wisdom and zeal for the salvation of our souls should tell us the forms in which this “exodus” should take place. As for the civil order, let it choose whichever road for itself, let it proclaim any principles of life, let it in its insane pride declare war on the Creator of the universe, - we will go our way "with Christ and to Christ." We will use from the "outside" only those few things that are necessary for a modest life and which are not contrary to our Christian conscience and spirit. Let us be patient, displaying brotherly love, towards the perishing, let us obey their civil laws which are not contrary to the spirit of Christ; - but we will not sacrifice before the "outside", before the power of man, a single one of the church regulations, not one iota of the dogmas of the Christian faith; we will not allow the godless to shamefully prevent our participation in the Holy Sacraments, we will not allow their corrupting influence in the area of ​​our spiritual relations, in the world of our mutual love for Christ, our faith, the Sacraments, or in our Church - the Holy of Holies of our soul and life.”Read the text here: https://catacombhistory.blogspot.com/...Read the Life of St. Damascene from “Russia’s Catacomb Saints” here: http://russiascatacombsaints.blogspot...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/28/202214 minutes, 42 seconds
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Without It Being The Lord's Will, We Neither Get Sick Nor Die (Letter 30) - St. Joseph the Hesychast

See NOTE below. Very important!"Once again I write these things to give you courage so that you do not fear illnesses, even if they make you suffer for life. Since God is continuously present, why do you worry? For in Him we live and move. We are carried in His arms.""Since our sweet Jesus is so good, compassionate, and kind, why should you despair? We seek one small thing from Him, and He gives us so much. We ask for one beam of light, and He gives us Himself as all Light, Trust, and Love. So humble yourself and rest all your hope in Him."This letter, including his subsequent letters, shows us the heights of Orthodox spirituality as it relates to illness, fear, and death. Imagine what St. Joseph would say to us today when the sins of fear and rationalism abound and are justified, sins of justifying evil that good may come, even by the leaders of the Church. Let us follow the Saints, begging God for their faith, for they and those who follow them are the only true guides God has established for us. NOTE: In Letter 30 we read “Believe me, for I tell the truth: Ever since I became a monk, every time I got sick, I absolutely never took care of myself; nor did I let anyone care for my physical health, but I placed all my hope in the unmercenary Physician.” A footnote here reads, “The Elder later modified his opinion of health care, as is evident in his 49th Letter. In Letter 49 we read, “Three times they stayed up all night thinking that I would die. They called everyone to come to my side. I bid them farewell for the last time. They cried by my side day and night. Finally, I recovered once again. They sent me a special medicine, and it, after God, healed me. I hadn’t eaten for forty days. When I took the medicine, I ate, slept, and got better. Glory to Thee, O God! I began to move somewhat and to write again…. Courage! It’s not just you. There are many others. Many people have come to me, and with prayer and fasting they were healed. But now, the Lord doesn’t hear me, so that I learn about medicine and the doctors and be lenient with others. I also read the letters of St. Nectarios, and I saw how much he, such a great saint, paid attention to the doctors and medicines! I am just a poor ascetic who has grown old in the wilderness, and I wanted to heal only through faith. But now I, too, am learning that both medicines and grace are necessary. So now I shall say like the saint, “See to it that you get well.” Fix your nerves in any way you can, and you will find your prayer and peace again.” How instructive! We see a great saint adjusting his stance according to God’s will. He, like St. Basil the Great so beautifully taught (see recording on this channel), “both medicines and grace are necessary.” Have faith in God above all, and do not spurn those things the He Himself have provided for us. Not all medicine is given to us by God. Nothing produced based on the murder of babies or other such evils will produce the eternal good that medicine exists for (see Romans 3:8). Trust God above all, endure suffering, neither rush to nor reject medicine, and do not be anxious, for “we are carried in His arms.”St. Joseph the Hesycast is one of the greatest ascetics of the 20th Century and spiritual father of St. Ephraim of Katounakia and Elder Ephraim of Philotheou and Arizona. Learn more about St. Joseph here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/pages...This reading is Letter 30 from “Monastic Wisdom: The Letter of Elder Joseph the Hesychast”. Purchase the book here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/produ...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/17/202214 minutes, 27 seconds
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The Incarnation and Humilty - St. Hilarion Troitsky

“Denial of the incarnation, denial of the Lord Jesus Christ’s divine dignity is unthinkable to a member of the Church, and any denier of it has of course already thereby apostatized from the Church. Who is the liar if not he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son (cf. 1 Jn. 2:22).”“Listening to the modern religious pulse beat, you involuntarily notice that in this sense, antichrist reigns in religious consciousness. Lately large waves of scientific ideas have rushed upon the rock that lies in the foundation of the Church. In the area of New Testament studies, especially many new—or renewed—ideas are appearing lately from comparative study of religion. New, monumental discoveries are broadening our knowledge of the ancient East, and people have started to discuss the Gospels in the light of this knowledge. Once, the magi came from the East to worship the Infant God-Man, and brought their treasures of gold, frankincense and myrrh. From the same countries that produced the magi, now different wise men are coming to Europe. Entire scientific expeditions, supplied by governments and private individuals, are carrying away their loot in huge treasure boxes. There are no gold, frankincense, or myrrh in these treasure boxes, but rather entire blocks of stone, or broken pieces of stone with mysterious inscriptions. Scholars in Europe will read these mysterious inscriptions and will not worship the newborn Infant. The star of the East leads science away from Bethlehem. Comparative studies of eastern religions end in nothing other than the very denial of the incarnation of the Son of God.”“Christianity requires a humble awareness. My forefather, Adam, was perfect, but I, mankind, introduced only sin and corruption. The Church calls us to humility when it calls Adam our ancestor. But evolution? Descent from the ape? No matter how modestly we rate ourselves, it is impossible not to think with a certain pride: “After all, I am not an ape; after all, progress is manifest in me.” Thus, by calling the ape our ancestor, evolution feeds human pride.”“The worldview that is not of the Church—descent from the ape, progress, having no need of and denying the incarnation—is pride. Accepting the incarnation is inseparably bound with humility. Pride wars with the incarnation, as with something unneeded.Taking part in the triumphant Church celebration of the Nativity of Christ, we should shout aloud: Be humble, proud man, and believe in the incarnation of the Only Begotten Son of God!”New Martyr St. Hilarion Troitsky, Archbishop of Verey reposed in 1929 from sickness after suffering in the Solovki prison camp for resisting the Soviet antichrists. He is a shining star in the firmament of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. Read his Life here: http://www.orthodox.net/russiannm/hil...Service text to St. Hilarion: https://orthochristian.com/53416.htmlListen to my recording of his excellent treatise “Holy Scripture and the Church,” which is ideal for Protestants inquiring into Orthodoxy: https://youtu.be/vcpkGHs96A4Holy Hieromartyr Hilarion, pray to God for us!This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/14/202217 minutes, 4 seconds
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Homily on Revelation 1:1-3 - Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios

Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios, a dynamic and beloved preacher, abbot of the Monastery of Komnineiou and Saint John the Theologian in Stomion, Larisa, Greece, gave 104 consecutive lessons of Revelation to thousands of faithful. This beloved elder, venerated by many in Greece and around the world, reposed in the Lord in the year 2006. This homily is recorded with the blessing of Constantine Zalalas, translator of “Revelation: The Seven Golden Lampstands” by Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios.Purchase this volume, as well as volume II to V here: https://www.zoepress.us---------------------------------------------------------NEW LECTURE SERIES at ORTHODOX ETHOS: The Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle & Evangelist John the Theologian (Series 1)This lecture series will be presented under the tutelage of the teachings of Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios, walking line by line through the book of RevelationVia Youtube: https://youtu.be/hPhoLrcBh1QLesson 1: January 11th: Introduction: An Ecclesiastical BookWHEN: The Course begins on Tuesday, January 11th at 8 PM EST (5 PM PST); lectures will be held every other Tuesday, with question and answer sessions held every Thursday at 8 PM EST through The Orthodox Ethos Patreon page (patreon.com/frpeterheers)WHERE: Lectures will be live-streamed simultaneously through: Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/orthodoxethosFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/frpeterheers Twitter: https://twitter.com/orthodoxethos Crowdcast: https://www.crowdcast.io/theorthodoxe...WHO: The Course will be presented by Archpriest Peter Heers, Lecturer, Holy Trinity Orthodox SeminaryHOW: To attend the course* and the question answer sessions visit the Orthodox Ethos Patreon page - www.patreon.com/frpeterheers.Lecture Times and Dates [Series One]: Meets: Tuesday evenings, 8 PM EST, 5 PM PST, 12 AM (Wed.) (AEDT).January 11, 25; February 8, 22; March 15, 29; April 12, 26; May 10, 24; June 7, 21*Tuesday evening lectures will be available to all.Lecture Topics: Lesson 1: January 11th: Introduction: An Ecclesiastical BookLesson 2: January 25th: Rev. 1:1: Definition of TermsLesson 3: February 8th: Rev. 1: 1-4: Keepers of the Divine WordLesson 4: February 22nd: Rev. 1: 4-6: The One Who Is and WasLesson 5: March 15th: Rev. 1: 4-7: Christ: Prophet, Priest and KingLesson 6: March 29th: Rev. 1: 7-9: Christ: The Alpha and the OmegaLesson 7: April 12th: Rev. 1: 9-11: On Suffering, the Kingdom and PatienceLesson 8: April 26th: Rev. 1: 11-19: The Vision of the Seven LampstandsLesson 9: May 10th: Rev. 1: 20-22: The Seven StarsLesson 10: May 24th: Rev. 2: 4-7: The First Love & the Fight Against NicolaitanismLesson 11: June 7th: Rev. 2: 7-9: The Epistles to the Angels of Ephesus & SmyrnaLesson 12: June 21st: Rev. 2: 9-12: The Synagogue of SatanWe all need to become well-informed as to the message and meaning of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, not only because we live in apocalyptic times - although we do - and not only because there are many signs alerting us to spirit of our end times - although there are - but mainly because The Revelation is a book for the Church, about the Church, from the First to the Second Coming. You are invited to join us as we - under the close tutelage of the Holy Fathers and the great Elder and Teacher, Archimandrite Athanasius Mitilinaios - walk line by line through the last book of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega of history, and are blessed, according to the book itself: “Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near” (Rev. 1:1-3).---------------------------------------------------------Intro – 00:00Lesson 2 on Revelation 1:1-3 – 02:04“Let’s not think that while we are leafing through the pages of this book, while analyzing it, we will be able to understand anything in it in the absence of divine illumination.”“Revelation is not --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/12/202239 minutes, 11 seconds
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The Life and Final Homily of Fr. Daniel Sysoev

Fr. Daniel Sysoev (+2009) was a priest, husband, confessor, and martyr. His great love for God and man led him to write many texts and convert many to the Orthodox Faith, including personally baptizing over 80 Muslims. Because of this great missionary effectiveness, he was murdered in his own mission church. Fr. Daniel is not yet canonized as a Saint but his witness, both before and after his repose, has given the faithful confidence in his holy prayers and witness. “Fr. Daniel loved the Divine services of the Church and the beauty and logic of their structure. He did not countenance liturgical liberalism. There are those within the Church who believe that for the sake of missionary work the Church needs to accommodate itself to the world. Fr. Daniel, on the contrary, took a maximalist stance, with regard to both the Church services and to the work of evangelization. This he believed to be the true missionary approach.” From Fr. Daniel’s final homily: “Truly, right now the devil wants to divide Christians and then to destroy everything that the Christians depend on. It is because of Christians that God maintains the world. Because of Christians, the Lord gives peace to nations. Why are there wars? It happens when Christians forget about their unity, when they relate themselves to this world...” Homily begins at 7:55 Test of his Life: https://orthochristian.com/117356.html Text of his final homily: https://orthochristian.com/33371.html This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/11/202213 minutes, 9 seconds
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Does the Russian Orthodox Church Need to Participate in the Ecumenical Movement? (Part II/II)

St. Seraphim (Sobolev) of Sofia (+1950) gives an exemplary defense of the ecclesiology of the Church and on this basis, why the Russian Orthodox Church (and all local Orthodox Churches) should not participate in the Ecumenical Movement. Delivered euring the proceedings of the Congress of the Orthodox Churches at the celebration of the Quincentennial of the autocephaly of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow, Russia, July 13, 1948, on the eve of the Amsterdam Conference of the World Council of Churches. Consider how much has changed since this address as given, and how the words of the Saint have been followed by some, and rejected by others.St. Seraphim is known as defender of the truth of the Church and as a wonderworker. He was glorified as a Saint by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2016. A beautiful and well-known saying of his reads, “Adapt your life to your Faith, not the other way around.” The book of his life and works: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.or...A brief account of his life here: https://blog.obitel-minsk.com/2021/02...Text of recording: http://www.dep.church/downloads/StSer...From “Does the Russian Orthodox Church Need to Participate in the Ecumenical Movement?”:“Let us remember its essence and its aim, and let us wholly reject the ecumenical movement. It constitutes a falling-away from the Orthodox Faith, a betrayal of and treason against Christ, which are things that we must avoid in every way so as not to fulfill the words of Saint Seraphim: ‘Woe to him who even in one iota falls away from the Holy Ecumenical Synods.’” “From this, it is obvious who really stands behind the ecumenical movement: Freemasons, longtime foes of the Orthodox Church. It is also clear to what end the ecumenical movement, at all of its gatherings since its inception, has striven: not a dogmatic union of all so-called “Christian churches” with the Orthodox Church, but a commixture of both, achieved by means of the falling away of the Orthodox from their Faith through an ecumenical familiarity with heretics, especially with Protestants. This commixture is equivalent to the destruction of Orthodoxy.”“The Orthodox Church should never join with those of other confessions. Such a union is unfeasible, utopian, and extremely harmful and even disastrous for the Orthodox Church. Orthodox Christians should, rather, join with each other, and so fulfill the commandment of Christ: “Neither pray I for these alone [i.e., the Apostles], but for them also which shall believe on Me through their world; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us.” In this context, the word “all” means “believers,” and the word “believers,” here, does not signify Orthodox together with ecumenists and heterodox Christians; one can only understand the word to mean “true believers,” i.e., Orthodox Christians. As God declared, “I am...the truth,” He could not have meant, here, heretical Christians, but rather only right-believing ones.”“For not joining the ecumenical movement as the Orthodox ecumenists have, we are accused of an essential lack of love for non-Orthodox Christians. However, through their involvement in the ecumenical movement, Orthodox ecumenists break the Holy Canons; violate Orthodox ecclesiological dogma; establish friendships with Protestants and Freemasons at ecumenical gatherings, which makes them lenient toward Protestants propagandizing in Orthodox countries; and assist the enemies of the Orthodox Church in their work for Her elimination. The Orthodox ecumenists’ behavior in their relationship to ecumenism is a complete outrage; it is egregiously unseemly behavior, in which, according to the teaching of Saint Paul, there is no love: “Love,” he says, “doth not behave itself unseemly.” It is obvious, however, that any lack of love is not to be found with us, but with the Orthodox ecumenists, since they do not express love, but rather behave unseemly. Let them ask their conscience—it will answer --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/8/202229 minutes, 59 seconds
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Does the Russian Orthodox Church Need to Participate in the Ecumenical Movement? (Part I/II)

St. Seraphim (Sobolev) of Sofia (+1950) gives an exemplary defense of the ecclesiology of the Church and on this basis, why the Russian Orthodox Church (and all local Orthodox Churches) should not participate in the Ecumenical Movement. Delivered during the proceedings of the Congress of the Orthodox Churches at the celebration of the Quincentennial of the autocephaly of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow, Russia, July 13, 1948, on the eve of the Amsterdam Conference of the World Council of Churches. Consider how much has changed since this address as given, and how the words of the Saint have been followed by some, and rejected by others.St. Seraphim is known as defender of the truth of the Church and as a wonderworker. He was glorified as a Saint by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2016. A beautiful and well-known saying of his reads, “Adapt your life to your Faith, not the other way around.” The book of his life and works: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.or...A brief account of his life here: https://blog.obitel-minsk.com/2021/02...Full text: http://www.dep.church/downloads/StSer...From “Does the Russian Orthodox Church Need to Participate in the Ecumenical Movement?”:“The Russian Orthodox Church has been invited to participate in this ecumenical conference as one of many ecclesiastical organizations, each of which understands itself to be the Church. But we Orthodox Christians confess that, strictly speaking, only one community of true, faithful Christians can be called “the Church,” as established by God Himself for our salvation. To call every heretical community “the Church” is to have an incorrect understanding of the word and to trample upon the dogma of the Church as it is taught in our Faith, as laid down by the ninth article of the Symbol of the Faith.”“The Orthodox viewpoint always defines the One Church as consisting only of right-believing Orthodox Christians. Our Church has never considered heretics to be included in Her ranks, as members of the Body of Christ.”“Members of the Orthodox Church who are sinners, no matter how great their sins may be, are always able through the Mystery of Repentance and with the help of active and saving Grace to become Saints; they can attain to a true and perfect Grace-filled sanctity. But for the heterodox, whether as individuals or as a group, it is not possible to become Saints, because the Grace of the Mystery of Chrismation and the Grace of the Mystery of Repentance are not active among them. Heterodox are only able to become Saints if they repent, renounce all of their heresies, and unite themselves with the Orthodox Church; only then can one include other Christians in the Holy Church of Christ.”“But what sort of Grace is this, which, according to ecumenists, allows Christians of other creeds to become Saints? According to the teaching of the Holy Fathers, the Grace of the Holy Spirit is manifest in two forms: firstly, as an external, providential Grace, which acts in and throughout the lives of everybody, enabling anyone to accept the True Faith; and, secondly, as an internal, salvific Grace, which revivifies, redeems, and functions solely in the Orthodox Church. Undoubtedly, in the previously cited quote by the Orthodox ecumenist, external Grace was not what he had in mind, since when it acts in the lives of Christians of other creeds, and even in the lives of non-Christians, it does not make them Saints. It follows, then, that what he had in mind was the internal, revivifying Grace. But this Grace is either wholly absent in Christians of other creeds or is present but inactive, unable to save or to make them Saints. So neither the one nor the other type of Grace can make heterodox Christians into Saints. Subsequently, it is inappropriate for Orthodox ecumenists to speak at all about either Grace or sanctity in connection with Christians of other creeds.”This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Ch --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/6/202225 minutes, 48 seconds
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The Saints of Each Generation Form a Kind of Golden Chain - St. Symeon the New Theologian

"The Saints — those who appear from generation to generation, from time to time, following the Saints who preceded them — become linked with their predecessors through obedience to the divine commandments, and endowed with divine grace, become filled with the same light. In such a sequence all of them together form a kind of golden chain, each Saint being a separate link in this chain, joined to the first by faith, right actions and love; a chain which has its strength in God and can hardly be broken. A man who does not express a desire to link himself to the latest ofthe saints (in time) in all love and humility owing to a certain distrust in himself, will never be linked to the preceding saintsand will not be admitted to their succession, even though he thinks he possesses all possible faith and love for God and for all His saints. He will be cast out of their midst, as one who refused to take humbly the place allotted to him by God before all time, and to link himself to that latest saint (in time) as God had disposed." -St. Symeon the New TheologianFrom "Practical and Theological Precepts", 157-158. Writings From the Philokalia: On the Prayerof the Heart.“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” -2 Timothy 2:2This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
1/2/20221 minute, 24 seconds
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The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ - Homily by St. Gregory Palamas

Christ is born! Glorify Him! Merry Christmas to you all!“This is the festival of the virgin birth! Our address must be exulted therefore in accordance with the greatness of the feast, and enter into the mystery, as far as this is accessible and permissible, and time allows, that something of its inner power might be revealed even to us. Please strive, brethren, to lift up your minds as well, that they may better perceive the light of divine knowledge, as though brightly illumined by a holy star. For today I see equality of honor between heaven and earth, and a way up for all those below to things above, matching the condescension of those on high.”“Brethren, let us preserve this peace in ourselves as far as we can, for we have received it as an inheritance from our Savior who has now been born, who gives us the Spirit of adoption, through which we have become heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ (cf. Romans 8:15, 17). Let us be at peace with God, and doing those things which are well pleasing to Him, living chastely, telling the truth, behaving righteously, "continuing in prayer and supplication" (cf. Acts 1:14), "signing and making peace with ourselves, by subjecting our flesh to our spirit, choosing to conduct ourselves according to our conscience, and having the inner world of our thoughts motivated by good order and purity.”“May we all attain to this, at the future glorious advent and epiphany of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, to Whom belongs glory unto the ages. Amen.”Text: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2016...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/31/202121 minutes, 53 seconds
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On Our Times - St Paisios the Athonite

A memorable word by one of the greatest men of the 20th century: St. Paisios the Athonite (+1994). Here he exhibits his pain of heart for his fellow man, his boldness in speaking the truth in love, his spiritual illumination on things to come. “We have to witness our faith with boldness, because if we continue to be silent we’ll have to answer in the end. In these difficult days each must do what’s in their power. Leave what’s out of their power to the will of God. In this way our conscience will be clear.It’s unseemly to become angry in one’s own defense. Resisting evildoers is another matter, however, when it’s in defense of serious spiritual matters, when our holy faith, Orthodoxy, is concerned. Then it’s your duty. To think of others, to counter the blasphemers in order to defend one’s neighbor—this is pure, because it is carried out in love.If you want to help the Church, then try to mend your own ways, rather than others’. In straightening yourself out you straighten out a particle of the Church. If everyone were to do that then the Church would be in perfect order. But today’s people attend to everything under the sun, only not to themselves, because it’s easy to teach others, while mending one’s own ways requires effort.A Christian must not be a fanatic but have love in his heart for all. He who throws words around carelessly, even true words, does evil.And if someone receives the mark unknowingly?It’d be better to say “uncaringly.” How can one be unknowing, when everything is crystal clear? And if a person doesn’t know, then he should become interested and find out. By accepting the mark, even unknowingly, a person loses Divine Grace and gives himself up to demonic influence.Behind the “perfected credit card system,” behind “computerized security," lurks worldwide dictatorship and the yoke of the Antichrist: And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Our time is like a bubbling and steaming cauldron. One needs temperament, audacity, courage. Take care not to be caught unprepared, if something is to happen. Start getting ready now so that you’ll be able to resist difficulties.There is no spiritual life without sacrifice.Look after your health, but not to the degree where you begin to bow down before your peace and well-being. I’m not asking anyone to throw themselves headlong into dangerous adventures, but you have to have at least a bit of heroism, my brother!”The icons from the thumbnail are from Dionysiou Monastery on Mount Athos: https://athosweblog.com/2010/09/20/11...https://athosweblog.com/2010/10/17/11...Read the text here: http://apantaortodoxias.blogspot.com/...Christ says to church of Smyrna, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/22/202126 minutes, 22 seconds
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Holy Scripture and The Church - Part III

Written in 1914, this treatise by St. Hilarion (Troitsky), Archbishop in Russia martyred by the Soviet Communists, is especially helpful in our days when there is so much misunderstanding regarding the place of Holy Scripture in Christian life and the nature of the Church that wrote, taught, and preserved these Scriptures. St. Hilarion shows in various ways the approach that non-Orthodox, especially Protestants, take towards Scripture is misguided and leads to tragic results for their souls. Divorcing the Bible from the Church (i.e. Sola Scriptura and versions of it) and assuming one can interpret it properly apart from the Body of Christ, which is guided by the Holy Spirit, is the height of arrogance and one can clearly see the divisive results today.This treatise also demonstrates the fallacies of modern “higher criticism,” sometimes even employed by the Orthodox, and how one can rightly orient themselves toward Christ and His revelation. Scripture can only serve its purpose inside the Church; the Church wrote Scripture, determined its canon, and interprets it faithfully, and no one outside the Church has rights to it. Often critics of the Orthodox Church say we disparage and ignore Scripture. This is absolutely false: we value Scripture so highly that we preserved it for centuries, have in-depth commentaries on it, and most importantly, the very words of Scripture comprise the majority of our worship services. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find more Scripture-saturated worship than that of the Orthodox Church. Anyone with ears to hear will come away with new questions and a new way of understanding life as a Christian, or a deeper understanding of what they already live in their daily lives. “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” –Apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:15)If you have benefitted from this recording, please share it with others who might be open to hearing this essential message.“Christ did not write anything. It seems that if one reflects enough on this fact, one can somewhat understand the very essence of the work of Christ.” –St. Hilarion“Today we ever more frequently run up against this kind of reasoning: ‘We read such and such in Holy Scripture. The Church teaches differently. So the Church is wrong.’ All kinds of sectarians monotonously chant in this manner ad nauseam. There are even those who echo these ideas while calling themselves Christians, that is, they have adopted incomprehensible arrogance in their attitude toward the Church, placing themselves far above her…. Scripture belongs to the Church, but heretics are not Christians and have no right to Christian Scripture. The Church can ask the heretics: ‘Who are you? You are not of my own; what are you doing here? It is my property. I have long possessed it. I trace my foundation from the authors themselves, to whom the Scripture belongs. I am the heir of the Apostles. As for you, they have, it is certain, always held you as disinherited, and rejected you as strangers, as enemies.’ The truth we have sought to substantiate is not new, but it should be reiterated in the twentieth century, because although it has been repeatedly verified by history, it is now quite often forgotten.” –St. HilarionHoly Hieromartyr Hilarion, pray for God for us!This text can be found here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/saint...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/20/202130 minutes, 54 seconds
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Holy Scripture and The Church - Part II

Written in 1914, this treatise by St. Hilarion (Troitsky), Archbishop in Russia martyred by the Soviet Communists, is especially helpful in our days when there is so much misunderstanding regarding the place of Holy Scripture in Christian life and the nature of the Church that wrote, taught, and preserved these Scriptures. St. Hilarion shows in various ways the approach that non-Orthodox, especially Protestants, take towards Scripture is misguided and leads to tragic results for their souls. Divorcing the Bible from the Church (i.e. Sola Scriptura and versions of it) and assuming one can interpret it properly apart from the Body of Christ, which is guided by the Holy Spirit, is the height of arrogance and one can clearly see the divisive results today.This treatise also demonstrates the fallacies of modern “higher criticism,” sometimes even employed by the Orthodox, and how one can rightly orient themselves toward Christ and His revelation. Scripture can only serve its purpose inside the Church; the Church wrote Scripture, determined its canon, and interprets it faithfully, and no one outside the Church has rights to it. Often critics of the Orthodox Church say we disparage and ignore Scripture. This is absolutely false: we value Scripture so highly that we preserved it for centuries, have in-depth commentaries on it, and most importantly, the very words of Scripture comprise the majority of our worship services. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find more Scripture-saturated worship than that of the Orthodox Church. Anyone with ears to hear will come away with new questions and a new way of understanding life as a Christian, or a deeper understanding of what they already live in their daily lives. “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” –Apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:15)If you have benefitted from this recording, please share it with others who might be open to hearing this essential message.“Christ did not write anything. It seems that if one reflects enough on this fact, one can somewhat understand the very essence of the work of Christ.” –St. Hilarion“Today we ever more frequently run up against this kind of reasoning: ‘We read such and such in Holy Scripture. The Church teaches differently. So the Church is wrong.’ All kinds of sectarians monotonously chant in this manner ad nauseam. There are even those who echo these ideas while calling themselves Christians, that is, they have adopted incomprehensible arrogance in their attitude toward the Church, placing themselves far above her…. Scripture belongs to the Church, but heretics are not Christians and have no right to Christian Scripture. The Church can ask the heretics: ‘Who are you? You are not of my own; what are you doing here? It is my property. I have long possessed it. I trace my foundation from the authors themselves, to whom the Scripture belongs. I am the heir of the Apostles. As for you, they have, it is certain, always held you as disinherited, and rejected you as strangers, as enemies.’ The truth we have sought to substantiate is not new, but it should be reiterated in the twentieth century, because although it has been repeatedly verified by history, it is now quite often forgotten.” –St. HilarionHoly Hieromartyr Hilarion, pray for God for us!This text can be found here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/saint...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/16/202137 minutes, 24 seconds
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Holy Scripture and The Church - Part I

Written in 1914, this treatise by St. Hilarion (Troitsky), Archbishop in Russia martyred by the Soviet Communists, is especially helpful in our days when there is so much misunderstanding regarding the place of Holy Scripture in Christian life and the nature of the Church that wrote, taught, and preserved these Scriptures. St. Hilarion shows in various ways the approach that non-Orthodox, especially Protestants, take towards Scripture is misguided and leads to tragic results for their souls. Divorcing the Bible from the Church (i.e. Sola Scriptura and versions of it) and assuming one can interpret it properly apart from the Body of Christ, which is guided by the Holy Spirit, is the height of arrogance and one can clearly see the divisive results today.This treatise also demonstrates the fallacies of modern “higher criticism,” sometimes even employed by the Orthodox, and how one can rightly orient themselves toward Christ and His revelation. Scripture can only serve its purpose inside the Church; the Church wrote Scripture, determined its canon, and interprets it faithfully, and no one outside the Church has rights to it. Often critics of the Orthodox Church say we disparage and ignore Scripture. This is absolutely false: we value Scripture so highly that we preserved it for centuries, have in-depth commentaries on it, and most importantly, the very words of Scripture comprise the majority of our worship services. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find more Scripture-saturated worship than that of the Orthodox Church. Anyone with ears to hear will come away with new questions and a new way of understanding life as a Christian, or a deeper understanding of what they already live in their daily lives. “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” –Apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:15)If you have benefitted from this recording, please share it with others who might be open to hearing this essential message.“Christ did not write anything. It seems that if one reflects enough on this fact, one can somewhat understand the very essence of the work of Christ.” –St. Hilarion“Today we ever more frequently run up against this kind of reasoning: ‘We read such and such in Holy Scripture. The Church teaches differently. So the Church is wrong.’ All kinds of sectarians monotonously chant in this manner ad nauseam. There are even those who echo these ideas while calling themselves Christians, that is, they have adopted incomprehensible arrogance in their attitude toward the Church, placing themselves far above her…. Scripture belongs to the Church, but heretics are not Christians and have no right to Christian Scripture. The Church can ask the heretics: ‘Who are you? You are not of my own; what are you doing here? It is my property. I have long possessed it. I trace my foundation from the authors themselves, to whom the Scripture belongs. I am the heir of the Apostles. As for you, they have, it is certain, always held you as disinherited, and rejected you as strangers, as enemies.’ The truth we have sought to substantiate is not new, but it should be reiterated in the twentieth century, because although it has been repeatedly verified by history, it is now quite often forgotten.” –St. HilarionHoly Hieromartyr Hilarion, pray for God for us!This text can be found here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/saint...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/15/202128 minutes, 51 seconds
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A Desperate Appeal (Against False Union with Rome) - Elder Philotheos Zervakos

Reader’s Note: As you listen to this Appeal written in 1968 to then Patriarch of Constantinople, His All-Holiness Athenagoras, notice how few words would need correction or updating in order to apply to our own day, now in the year 2021.“What do You think You have achieved by Your unique, but wholly uncanonical and unprecedented meeting with the Bishop of Rome? Most simply, You strengthened the Latin position on the schism. And what did Your melodramatic, far-fetched salutation, Your clinging embraces, and Your uncanonical exchange of gifts achieve? Precisely to increase the danger—the danger that the awareness the faithful now have that Papists are heretics will be blunted. Dialogue, prayers together, receiving of gifts, and "liberalizing" innovations are unforgivable according to Orthodox prescription, because they adulterate and change what has been transmitted through the holy Apostles, the holy Fathers, and the Ecumenical and Local Councils.”“Glory be to God, there exist in this land of martyrdom a love of Orthodoxy and a spirit of resistance. Like an ocean wave, Orthodox thought will overwhelm and sink Your skiff on its course toward a servile, anti-Christ union (submission) with the superheresy of Papism. Florence shall never live again in any form whatsoever. We will tolerate no kind of betrayal. The Greek people, a people who has once given birth to many like St. Photios, Patriarch Michael Cerularios, and St. Mark Evgenikos [i.e. St. Mark of Ephesus (+1439)], will not tolerate betrayal. God has swept away the betrayers.”“We rejoice over them as he that has found great spoil, and press to our bosom with gladness the divine Canons, holding fast all the precepts of the same complete and without change, whether they have been set forth by the holy trumpets of the Spirit, the renowned Apostles, the six Ecumenical Councils, by councils Iocally assembled,... or by our Holy Fathers... And those whom they placed under anathema we also anathematize; those whom they deposed, we also depose; those whom they excommunicated, we also excommunicate; and those whom they delivered over to punishment, we subject to the same penalty...” (First Canon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council).Elder Philotheos Zervakos (+1980) was an Archimandrite, spiritual father, missionary, confessor, and wonderworker in Greece in the 20th century. The spiritual son of St. Nektarios of Aegina, Elder Philotheos preached and heard confessions for 68 years and built 12 churches, two monasteries, three cemeteries and two schools. The money he would receive from the faithful he would distribute to the poor, the widows and the orphans. He zealously confessed the faith, guarding his spiritual children and all who would listen against the many temptations and deceptions facing his people. Elder Philotheos is not formally glorified as a saint, but he is treated like a saint by the people of Greece and beyond.Read more about his life here: https://orthochristian.com/93177.htmlThis Appeal was originally published in English in The Orthodox Word, Issue #13, Jan.-Feb., 1968. Read “A Desperate Appeal” here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/des...Holy Father Philotheos, pray to God for us!This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/10/202127 minutes, 48 seconds
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The Search for Orthodoxy - Fr. Seraphim Rose

“In many different places and many different ways, people today are searching and finding the roots of Christianity in Orthodoxy. Things which we take for granted are astonishing discoveries for them: the splendor of our Divine services, coming down from ancient times and so suited to the need of the human soul to worship God in spirit and in truth; the depth of the spiritual teaching contained in the writings of the Holy Fathers; simply the continuity with the past of Christianity, since we trace our beginnings not to some more or less recent teacher, but to Christ Himself and His Apostles, and our bishops and priests received their ordinations in a direct line going back to the Apostles. If we ourselves, having these roots, are leading a conscious Christian life, we can be of tremendous help to those who are weary of personal interpretations of Christianity and want with all their heart the “true old Christianity”—Orthodoxy.”“All of politics is heading in the direction of a one-world government which cannot be anything but universal slavery.”“People today are searching for the truth, searching for Christ, searching for Orthodoxy; we who are already Orthodox are in a position to help give it to them.”“Everything in this life passes away—only God remains, only He is worth struggling towards. We have a choice: to follow the way of this world, of the society that surrounds us, and thereby find ourselves outside of God; or to choose the way of life, to choose God Who calls us and for Whom our heart is searching. Let us take the way of St. Herman and put into our hearts the deep resolve: “From this day, from this hour, from this minute, let us love God above all.”To listen to more readings of Fr. Seraphim’s teachings: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz...Text can be read here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/searc...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/6/202130 minutes, 59 seconds
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Each One of Us is Potentially a Judas - Fr. Seraphim Rose

“If we think that we are something superior to Judas—that he was some kind of a ‘kook’ and we are not—we are quite mistaken. Like Judas, everyone of us has passions in his heart. Let us therefore look at them…. each one of us is potentially a Judas. Therefore, when the opportunity comes—when the passion begins to operate in us and logically begins to develop from a passion into betrayal—we should stop right there and say, ‘Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!’” –Fr. Seraphim RoseFr. Seraphim gave this homily during Great Lent, 1982, just a few months before his repose. Read the text here: https://orthochristian.com/78550.htmlThis is read by our brother Sergius, who assists with the work of this channel alongside Timothy.This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/3/20215 minutes, 13 seconds
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On Fasting - St. Paisius Velichkovsky

St. Paisius writes, “…having eaten, one should be a little hungry so that the body will be submissive to the spirit and capable of labors and sensitive to mental movements, and so the bodily passions will be conquered.”“A moderate and sensible fast is the foundation and chief of all virtues. One should fight evil as one fights a lion and a fierce serpent—in the infirmity of the body and spiritual poverty. He who wishes his mind to be firm against defiled thoughts should make his body refined through fasting.”Blessed Nativity Fast to all! On Nov 15/28 we begin the Nativity Fast and commemorate St. Paisius (+1794). May we struggle well, by the prayers of St. Paisius and the great mercy of God.Text of this reading: https://orthochristian.com/88203.htmlIf you are not familiar with St. Paisius, you should be. He is one of the most significant Saints in the last few hundred years and much of the rebirth of monasticism and spiritual heights in recent years can trace itself back to his labors. Learn more about this great Saint here: https://stpaisiusmonastery.org/about-...Here is a book of his writings that, to my knowledge, is out of print: http://austroca.org/wp-content/upload...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
12/1/20218 minutes, 21 seconds
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The Theanthropic Mystery of the Church - St. Justin Popovic

Three separate texts from St. Justin Popovic are brought together in this reading. I pray you can feel in your bones, nay, in the spiritual marrow of your soul the depth of the truth and beauty of his God-inspired teachings. Note: the word theanthropic is a combination of “Theos” = God and “Anthropos” = man“The New Testament can be summed up in one, this one comprehensive truth: the God-man is the essence, the purpose, the meaning, and the essential value of the Church. He is its soul, its heart, and its life. He is the Church in its entire theanthropic fullness. The Church is nothing other than the God-man Christ projected through all the centuries: ‘And lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age’ (Matt 28:20; cf. Eph 1:21-23).” –from “Highest Value and Last Criterion in Orthodoxy”“The holy day of the Spirit which dawned at Pentecost continues without interruption in the Orthodox Church, with the untold fulness of the divine gifts and life-giving powers. Everything in the Church exists in the Holy Spirit, from the most minute to the most stupendous.” –from “The Orthodox Church as Continuous Pentecost”“Humanistic Ecumenism,” pages 172-174 in “Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ”“Highest Value and Last Criterion in Orthodoxy,” pages 79-82 in “Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ”“The Orthodox Church as Continuous Pentecost” – Read here: https://pemptousia.com/2021/06/the-or...Purchase “Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ” here: https://churchsupplies.jordanville.or...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/26/202115 minutes, 12 seconds
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On Patience and Endurance (Letters 50 & 54) - Elder Joseph the Hesychast

“Now then, my child, if His divine will is in accordance to our desire, certainly you will get well. But if He foresees something that we do not know—since as God He sees and judges differently from above—then you will not get well. Nevertheless, we do not lose our reward: it is stored up in His kingdom. So be patient and struggle.”“And you, my child, write to me about whatever happens to you, and do not be afraid of the tempter. Just say the prayer without ceasing. He, my dear child, is the tempter—the devil—and only the prayer burns him, and fasting severs his nerves; it unnerves him.”“Christ, Who sets the contest, allows temptations for this reason: so that we may gain victories against the enemy, be purged from passions, and be perfected. So, struggle and be patient. Do not grow weary. Do not turn back.”St. Joseph the Hesycast is one of the greatest ascetics of the 20th Century and spiritual father of St. Ephraim of Katounakia and Elder Ephraim of Philotheou and Arizona. Learn more about St. Joseph here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/pages...This reading is of Letters 50 and 54 from “Monastic Wisdom: The Letter of Elder Joseph the Hesychast”. Purchase the book here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/produ...Read the recorded text here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/elderj...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/24/20217 minutes, 51 seconds
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Builder of the Invisible City of God - St. Damascene of Glukhov

I strongly encourage you to listen to the end. What St. Damascene says may be words you find yourself, as I have, reflecting on many times over. Please listen all the way through this short recording. Of all the writings of the New Martyrs that have come down to us, this excerpt from St. Damascene of Glukhov is one of the most inspiring and hopeful. In the very midst of the height of uncertainty, division, and persecution, St. Damascene writes:"Unite yourselves for grace-given guidance around one of the worthy pastors, and let everyone separately and all together prepare themselves for yet greater service to Christ ... Just a few people united in such a life already makes up a small Church, the Body of Christ, in which the Spirit and the Love of Christ dwell ... If we do not become members of the Body of Christ, the temple of His Life-giving Spirit, then this Spirit will depart from the world, and the frightful convulsions of the dying world organism will be the natural result of this."“Therefore, let it be that darkness has temporarily covered the earth (from the sixth to the ninth hour), let it be that the lamps of certain Churches are hidden under bushels so as not to be put out by the satanic whirlwind (as has occurred with the majority).  After a short time of rest from the Lord (perhaps even the time when the darkness will imagine that its work has already been completed), the lamps will be revealed, will come together, will ignite a multitude of others which had been put out, will pour together into a great flame of faith which, when efforts are made to put it out, will burn more brightly; for many which have been put out and have felt the torment of the darkness and the cold of Tartarus will prefer to burn upon the bonfire of the flame of faith than again to be immersed in darkness."“With us is Christ, the Conqueror of death and hell.  The history of Christianity shows us that in all the periods when temptations and heresies have agitated the Church, the bearers of church truth and the expressors of it were few, but these few with the fire of their faith and their zealous standing in the Truth have gradually ignited everyone ... The same thing will happen now if we few will fulfill our duty before Christ and His Church to the end."The fearless confession of faith and of one's hope and a firm standing in the Church's laws are the most convincing refutation of the Sergian deviation and are an unconquerable obstacle to the hostile powers directed against the Church.  Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."Read this text, and the entire “Russia’s Catacomb Saints” by I. M. Andreyev and Fr. Seraphim Rose here: http://russiascatacombsaints.blogspot...You can also find a wealth of lesser known info on St. Damascene and other Catacomb Saints here: https://catacombhistory.blogspot.com/...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/17/20218 minutes, 49 seconds
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On Patience and Endurance (Letter 40) - Elder Joseph the Hesychast

“Now you become angry and fainthearted and grieved, thinking that the heavenly Father is slow in answering. But I tell you that this will also happen as you desire—it will definitely happen—but first it takes prayer with all your soul, and then you must wait. And when you have forgotten your request and have ceased asking for it, it will come to you as a reward for your patience and endurance. When you reach the verge of despair while praying and seeking, then the fulfillment of your request is near. Christ wants to heal some hidden passion within you, and this is why He delays in granting your request. If you obtain it sooner, when you demand it, your passion remains uncured within you. If you wait, you obtain your request and the cure of the passion. And then you rejoice exceedingly and give warm thanks to God Who arranges all things in wisdom and does everything for our benefit.” “Don't fume with anger, as if to work it out of your system, but rather be calm. Burn the devil through patience and forbearance.”“Christ allows temptations so that we may be purified of our predispositions. Temptations are like soap and a mallet which hits us and whitens us. All the clothes that are firm are useful for the Bridegroom. But those which do not endure the mallet are torn and thrown out in the trash.”St. Joseph the Hesycast is one of the greatest ascetics of the 20th Century and spiritual father of St. Ephraim of Katounakia and Elder Ephraim of Philotheou and Arizona. Learn more about St. Joseph here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/pages...This reading is Letter 40 from “Monastic Wisdom: The Letter of Elder Joseph the Hesychast”. Purchase the book here: https://stanthonysmonastery.org/produ...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/15/20219 minutes, 39 seconds
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Sermon on the 1910 Cholera Pandemic - St. Peter Zverev

St. Peter Zverev, Archbishop of Voronezh (+1929), New Martyr and Confessor under the Soviet antichrists, offers here a homily on the 1910 Cholera pandemic. Are his words anachronistic? Or do they speak to us today, us who suffer not only from a virus that attacks the body, but from the virus of impiety and lack of love according to truth and sacrifice? “There are still reports being received from various places that infectious disease is spreading across our country, and that it is carrying away to the grave many thousands of people. It is not surprising that in the face of this frightful phenomenon people are brought to anxiety and are striving to think of any means whereby they may avoid the impending thunderstorm.  But this is our grief – we have invented all the wrong means by which we think to be saved from this terrible sickness that has mercy on no one. We try to utilize various serums and vaccines … Every commission (agency) and the vast majority of people almost completely leave out the spiritual starting point in a person – his soul; of this only they desire not to think! The first and only evil behind sickness, misfortune, and suffering on this earth is sin. It is sin that we must eradicate and fight by every means, with all out strength, however difficult it may be. All these viruses, microbes, and bacteria are only but weapons and means in the hands of the Providence of God, Who seeks the salvation of mankind. By sending pestilence upon people, the Lord is reminding us to always hold our death before our eyes; after which will be the Dread Judgment, and the eternal punishment of unrepentant sinners which follows. It is to Him first and foremost that we should turn with prayers and supplications. And as we offer prayers we must also be striving to be found worth of the mercy of God. It is imperative to confess your sins, repent of them, and make a firm resolution to carry out your life in harmony with the Gospel commandments.  Yet, it is somehow frightful to see what takes place around us, on one side people are struck with the fear of contagious, deadly diseases, and they are terrified of death; yet at the same time they indulge in unbridled pleasures, amusements, and spectacles. All the while they completely forget about their holy responsibilities according to their calling as Orthodox Christians. How could there not be death bearing illness in our country when we have stepped away from God and brought upon ourselves His righteous wrath? We should also stand in awe of God’s immeasurable long-patience and that He mercifully chastises us; we must give heartfelt thanks to Him that we have not been completely destroyed. Let us all repent and amend our lives and turn to God, for it is we who have left Him.” Sermon: https://inklesspen.blog/2021/02/12/ho... Read more about St. Peter Zverev here: https://www.orthodox.net/russiannm/pe... This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
11/4/20212 minutes, 58 seconds
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Weep! - I. M. Andreyev (Mature Content)

In this short article by I. M. Andreyev, we gain a deeper understanding of the true Christian social ethic through the lens of a true and most heinous act of a mother murdering her young child, and the great evil, yet triumph, of the crucifixion of Christ. This co-suffering and self-identification with the evil in the world kills the rationalism and individualism that plagues all of us, especially in the West, and opens to us the doors of the bright sorrow of repentance.NOTE: What follows includes some rather gruesome and dreadful descriptions of a murder, and that of a young child. This may not be suitable for young children, or those whose imagination will get the best of them.I. M. Andreyev writes, “…on West 84th Street there occurred a frightening event, a horrible crime—a mother beat to death her two-year old son…. The sight of the boy was so horrible that even the police, accustomed to all sorts of crimes, ‘were not able to bear the sight of the little body’…. During the interrogation the mother-murderer, a young twenty-nine year old woman, showed no sign of repentance.His face had been so pummeled that it was hard to distinguish it from the back of his head, which was also batter and bruised…. His stomach was full of the blood he had swallowed, and so to his throat, which no doubt caused him to choke during his last shuddering wails.‘Ah, please don’t!’ ‘Don’t talk this way!’ ‘It is impossible to listen this…’ Will not many readers began to cry out with these words?Orthodox people! Compassionate Orthodox people! Do not be afraid to clearly imagine the awful reality of this infanticide, for it is a sign from Heaven! Our faith and love in our Saviour is so weak, our deep and conscious awareness of the suffering He endured for ours sins so feeble that only a very few of those who venerate the Holy Shroud of Christ on Holy Friday of Passion Week appreciate (and then only for a fleeting moment) the awesome act of redemption of Our Lord; and without this awareness it is impossible to appreciate the profound meaning of Golgotha.It is not God but we ourselves that we must reproach for the evils surrounding us. One for all and all for one we are all guilty before one another—this is the essence of the Christian social ethic. We are all guilty before the face of this little tortured lamb found on West 84th Street in New York City. Since we are all sinners we create evil and our evil becomes a part of the world’s treasury of evil. This evil coalesces into a huge energy of evil which seeks vessels of graceless bodies to pour itself into, and when it finds them, it will be incarnated in them and they will do great acts of evil. We are all brothers and sisters. All mankind is one large family and this tortured infant is our brother and his ‘mother’-killer is our sister. In her evil act is found a drop of the evil found in each one of us.Let each one of us consider himself… What were you doing on the evening when this unbelievable but very real act was carried out? Indeed perhaps it was your sin, your depravity, your malice that provided the last drop of evil necessary for this child-killer’s vessel of evil to overflow? This is how we must understand these matters if we are to call ourselves real Christians.Weep brothers and sisters! Do not be ashamed of this weeping!Weep! Let these tears be the ones to fill the font in which God will baptize the infant-martyr, who most probably was not baptized, and who was anointed not with Holy Oil but with his innocent infant blood. Weep!...Do not be ashamed to weep with tears of sorrow, compassion, and repentance!"This article was originally published in “Orthodox Life,” March-April 1993 (orthodoxlife.org). Read this article here: https://orthodoxethos.com/post/weep-b...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/28/202113 minutes, 41 seconds
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On Illness, Doctors, and Healing - St. Basil the Great

“To place the hope of one's health in the hands of the doctor is the act of an irrational animal. This, nevertheless, is what we observe in the case of certain unhappy persons who do not hesitate to call their doctors their saviors. Yet, to reject entirely the benefits to be derived from this art is the sign of a pettish nature.”“The fact, also, that chronic illnesses persist over a long period and despite varied and painful remedies is a sign that we should amend the sins of the soul by assiduous prayer, prolonged penance, and the severe disciplinary treatment which reason may advise as adequate for the cure. Nor, because some sinners do not make good use of the art of medicine, should we repudiate all the advantages to be derived from it.”“There is no small danger, however, that we will fall into the error of thinking that every kind of suffering requires medical relief. Not all sicknesses for whose treatment we observe medicine to be occasionally beneficial arise from natural causes, whether from faulty diet or from any other physical origin. Illness is often a punishment for sin imposed for our conversion; 'For whom the Lord loveth,’ says the Scripture, 'he chastiseth… (Prov 3:12).”How important these words are for us today! How balanced and true!Text can be found here: https://sites.google.com/site/stbasil...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/27/202113 minutes, 56 seconds
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The Suicidal Church, In Body or In Spirit - Archimandrite Gregorios Estephan of Lebanon

This timely treatise addresses current issues in the Orthodox Church, including Coronavirus, closure of churches, methods of receiving the Mystery of Holy Communion, the inability of disease to pass to the recipient of Holy Communion, and the Church's weakness and need to repent and be strengthened before the coming of Antichrist. I recorded this because I believe it will stand the test of time and be a source of hope and courage for the Faithful. #Covid-19 #Orthodox #CommunionPlease share with others and help strengthen the Body of Christ.Archimandrite Gregorios Estephan is Abbot of Holy Dormition of the Theotokos Monastery in Bkeftine, Lebanon.The transcript of this recording can be at Orthodox Ethos: https://orthodoxethos.com/post/the-su...This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/16/202136 minutes, 3 seconds
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Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life - Part II

Part II/II - This short treatise clearly and powerfully explains the true purpose of each and every human being: union with God, or Theosis. Fr. George (Kapsanis), former Abbot of the St. Gregorios Monastery on Mount Athos who reposed in the Lord on Pentecost 2014, presents the Orthodox understanding of Theosis and the essential path towards receiving this divine gift. In part II, he focuses on the practical matters of Theosis, what is required for attaining it, and what keeps us lost in sin. Following the advice of this spiritual father, who merely transmits the teaching of the Holy Fathers before him, will lead to a life worthy of being called successful: eternal union with God. “If man cannot be deified with divine Grace and divine energies what purpose does his life have? Only that he becomes morally better. But moral perfection is not enough for man. It is not enough for us simply to become better than before, simply to perform moral deeds. We have as our final aim to unite with holy God Himself.” -Fr. George of Mount Athos0:14 Qualifications for Theosis14:08 Experiences of Theosis24:01 Failure of many people to reach Theosis30:34 Consequences of guidance for Theosis34:52 Consequences of guidance that does not lead to TheosisThe text of this recording can be found here, and in many languages: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theos...A reflection on the life and works of Fr. George by His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2014...This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/12/202141 minutes, 54 seconds
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Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life - Part I

Part I/II - This short treatise clearly and powerfully explains the true purpose of each and every human being: union with God, or Theosis. Fr. George (Kapsanis), former Abbot of the St. Gregorios Monastery on Mount Athos who reposed in the Lord on Pentecost 2014, presents the Orthodox understanding of Theosis and the essential path towards receiving this divine gift of God. In part I, he explains what Theosis is and how it is the aim of our life, examines the role of the Incarnation and the Theotokos in Theosis, and summarizes the importance of St. Gregory Palamas, the essence and energies distinction, and his affirmation of the true Orthodox teaching against the heresies of the Roman Catholics, Protestants, and non-Christian traditions. This is presented in a way that Orthodox Christians, Catechumens, and inquirers will be able to understand and respond in faith to God.“If man cannot be deified with divine Grace and divine energies what purpose does his life have? Only that he becomes morally better. But moral perfection is not enough for man. It is not enough for us simply to become better than before, simply to perform moral deeds. We have as our final aim to unite with holy God Himself.” -Fr. George of Mount Athos0:14 Preface3:21 Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life9:40 The Incarnation of God: The Cause of Man’s Theosis17:08 The Contribution of the Theotokos to the Theosis of Man.22:30 The Church: The Place of Man’s Theosis29:37 Theosis is Possible Through the Uncreated Energies of GodThe text of this recording can be found here, and in many languages: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theos...A reflection on the life and works of Fr. George by His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2014...This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/10/202140 minutes, 43 seconds
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St. Justin Popović - Commentary on the First Epistle of St. John the Theologian

“What is love? Immortalizing those whom you love, giving the divine and immortal to your beloved ones, giving eternal life to your beloved ones. That means giving the eternal Divine Truth, Divine Justice, Divine Love, Divine Eternity, and the rest of the Divine perfections to your beloved ones. This is true and divine eternal love.” -St. Justin Popović, Commentary on 1 John 3:16-17 “Man, in actuality, is in the world to solve one problem: is he with Christ or against Christ? Every man, whether he wants to or not, solves only this problem. He is either a lover of Christ or a fighter against Christ—a third does not exist.” -St. Justin Popović, Commentary on 1 John 4:2-3St. Justin Popović (+1979), the New Philosopher of Serbia, wrote his commentary of the epistles of St. John between Pascha and Ascension of 1945, with the apocalyptic backdrop of WWII. Unlike many of his commentaries written earlier in life, St. Justin did not return to this work and add further comments of his own or from the Holy Fathers. He felt perhaps that the times in which he wrote provided a discourse that was sufficient for its purposes. From the Introduction by two of his disciples, Bishop Irenej Bulovic and Bishop Atanasiju Yevtic: “Fr. Justin finishes his commentary on the Second Epistle of St. John with words dedicated to the same Apostle and Evangelist: “He is simultaneously the greatest Thunderer of New Testament Truth and the greatest Thunderer of New Testament Love…. Upon encountering him, such an extraordinary Apostle, people’s souls must have felt exceptional joy and exceptional elation.” We believe and feel through mutual love that such was the heavenly encounter of Venerable Fr. Justin, a rare Christ-lover and God-lover in our generation and age, with the First-Enthroned Apostle of theanthropic Love, in Christ the God-man—the God of Love and the Only Lover of Man. And we believe and hope that, through this encounter, the reader of these holy Epistles and this inspired commentary will experience something of this love.”1 John 1:1 – 00:17 1 John 1:8 – 04:361 John 1:9 – 07:491 John 2:6 – 11:261 John 2:16 – 12:481 John 2:17 – 16:081 John 2:18 – 18:541 John 2:19 – 22:051 John 3:1 – 23:501 John 3:6 – 27:311 John 3:16-17 – 31:121 John 4:1 – 34:401 John 4:2-3 – 37:361 John 4:18 – 41:191 John 4:19 – 43:071 John 4:20-21 – 44:551 John 5:3 – 47:001 John 5:8-10 – 48:311 John 5:15 – 53:261 John 5:20-21 – 54:28Purchase this book at any of the following bookstores. One bookstore might be sold out, therefore I have listed three that have sold it before:sebastianpress.comchurchsupplies.jordanville.org/9780971950566/hvcbookstore.com/Commentary-on-the-Epistles-of-St.-John-the-TheologianYou can find more recording of St. Justin's writings on this channel.This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
10/8/202158 minutes, 27 seconds
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Met. Joseph of Petrograd and the Beginning of the Catacomb Church

“The statements of Metropolitan Joseph, it is true, are extremely outspoken, absolutely uncompromising in principle, and unsparing of persons. But those who find ‘pride’ in such words are perhaps simply unaware of the critical urgency of the issues involved. When the Church is being betrayed and the faithful led astray, it is no time for compliments and polite ‘dialogues,’ not for placing ‘sympathy’ above truth.” The bold confessor and shepherd of the Russian land, St. Joseph of Petrograd, is a witness for all who wish to live Godly in the face of persecution and secularism. His voice gave strength to many Russian Orthodox Christians who could not abide by the Soviet demands, and who opposed Metropolitan Sergius, his lamentable ‘Declaration’ in 1927, and his submission to the Soviet yoke. Metropolitan Joseph, along with a great number of Russian martyrs, was glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 1981.Memorable words from the end of this text: “The prophecy of the holy and clairvoyant Elder Ignaty of Harbin, made some 30 years ago, no longer seems remote: ‘What began in Russia, will end in America.’ But if such terrible days be truly upon us, even Orthodox America – so weak, so inexperienced, so naïve – has all that is necessary to face these days in the example of Metropolitan Joseph and the True Orthodox Christians of the first land to experience the fearful yoke of satanic atheism. Holy New Hieromartyr Joseph and all the new martyrs of the Communist Yoke, pray to God for us!”This recording comes from chapter 7 in “Russia’s Catacomb Saints” by I. M. Andreyev, published by St. Herman of Alaska Press in 1982. Fr. Seraphim Rose labored to bring this book to his fellow Americans. Download the pdf of this invaluable and out of print book here: http://russiascatacombsaints.blogspot...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/24/202145 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ecclesiastical Affairs & Politics - I. M. Andreyev

I. M. Andreyev (+1976) was an “outstanding churchman and statesman, doctor of psychiatry, pedagogue, lecturer, publicist and author of a series of theological textbooks” as was stated in the Memoriam in the publication “Orthodox Life.” As a member of the Catacomb Church he suffered five years at the Solovki Monastery, which in the 1920s operated a concentration camp, before being released and coming to America. His personal experiences shape a sizable portion of the famous book “Russia’s Catacomb Saints,” published by St. Herman of Alaska Press and co-authored by Fr. Seraphim Rose.This short recording highlights an important concept that helps guard us against snares of the enemy, and orients us toward a faithful stance as members of the Holy Orthodox Church.“Today there is not and there cannot be any separation between ecclesiastical affairs and politics. Politics pretends to universality, i.e., it wishes to take into its hands the resolution of questions concerning spiritual life also. This means that political actions cannot be indifferent for the Church as well. Furthermore, when Antichrist shall have power on the earth, he will naturally be a political figure. This means that the Church also will have to oppose his political persecution. And so as, even now, to weaken this opposition, his forerunners, taking advantage of the idea that the Church should be above politics, conceal their warfare against God under a political cloak: the martyrs are 'political criminals.' To be sure, the Church should not intrigue, but as soon as politics touches on questions of spiritual life, the Church cannot close her eyes to this.This is why the question of the battle against Communism is a question of the spirit, and not of politics. This is why the question of our jurisdictional divisions is not a question of 'quarrels of bishops over portfolios.' No, it is a question of cooperation (or tacit agreement) with the forerunners of Antichrist, or else uncompromising battle against them. This alone separates us from those who have broken away from the Truth; but it does not separate us from the Russian people, for there the soul, even if it is invisible, even if it has retreated within itself, is still alive, is not spiritually enslaved; it is drawn to the light of Truth. And a testimony of this is the existence, in the frightful conditions of the Soviet Union, where there are many Judases out of fear and others out of conscience, of a Catacomb Church that has not fallen.”Text: http://russiascatacombsaints.blogspot...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/22/20212 minutes, 28 seconds
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Prayer for Unity - St. Sophrony the Athonite

One prayer from a collection of prayers by St. Silouan and St. Soprony the Athonites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80krK...Our Lord prayed, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” –John 17:21-23St. Sophrony's Prayer for Unity:LORD JESUS CHRIST, Thou, Lamb of God, who didst take upon Thyself the sin of the world, Who by Thine ascent to Golgotha didst redeem us from the curse of the Law and didst restore Thy fallen image; Who didst stretch Thy most pure hands on the Cross, gathering together in one the scattered children of God, and by the descent of the most Holy Spirit didst call all men to unity; THOU, THAT ART the brightness of the Father, before going forth to this great and sacred work for the salvation of the world, didst pray to Thy Father that all may be one, even as Thou art one with the Father and the Holy Ghost:Do Thou grant even unto us the grace and wisdom each day to fulfill this commandment, and strengthen us to strive for that love, which Thou didst command of us, saying: “LOVE ONE ANOTHER, AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.”By Thy Holy Spirit give us the power to humble ourselves, one before the other, mindful that he who loveth the more doth humble himself the more. Teach us to pray for one another, in patience to bear one another’s burdens, and unite us with the unbreakable bond of love in thy holy Name. Grant us to behold in our every brother and sister the image of Thine ineffable glory, and never to forget that our brother is our life.Yea, O Lord, Who hast gathered us together of Thy good providence, make us truly into one family, living with one heart, one will, a single love, as one man, according to Thy pre-eternal counsel for Adam the first-born. Fill our house with the spirit of Thy holy fear, and let the prayers of Thy Most Holy Mother, of Thy Forerunner John, and our hallowed Fathers Silouan and Seraphim overshadow it always, blessing and defending each one of them that dwell therein (Names), preserving us from pernicious thoughts, from unseemly words or impulses of the heart that might destroy peace and concord; that this house may be builded on the rock of Thy Gospel commandments as a place of prayer, of sanctification and salvation, for ourselves and for all who visit us, our labouring and burdened brothers and sisters, that we may all find rest in Thee, our meek and lowly King, now and for ever; world without end. Amen.This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/22/20212 minutes, 39 seconds
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I See Your Bridal Chamber - Elder Ephraim of Arizona

“Do you think that Christ our God, the ocean of compassion and mercy, is incapable of lifting the weight of one sinful soul? What is a handful of sand when thrown in the ocean? It is nothing; it disappears. Does even a single grain remain visible on the surface of the water? Not at all. This is precisely what happens with all the sins of humanity. They are nothing in comparison to the abyss of God’s compassion. This is even more true with the sins of only one soul!” -Elder EphraimIn this beautiful homily given toward the end of Lent before Holy Week (it appears), Elder Ephraim of Arizona encourages us to trust in the great mercy of the divine Bridegroom and shed tears of repentance that we might receive His forgiveness. May we all, by the prayers of Elder Ephraim, have a blessed Holy Week and a bright Pascha.The homily can be found in the book “The Art of Salvation” by Elder Ephraim, available to purchase at St. Anthony’s Monastery: https://shop.stanthonysmonastery.org/...Learn more about this great Athonite Elder and Saint of America here: https://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/a...Text: https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2020...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/16/202116 minutes, 7 seconds
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The Holy Childhood of Archbishop John Maximovitch

Gathered by eyewitnesses, principally his own brother and sister, we see here the beginnings of a young man who would become a Saint of universal significance: St. John Maximovitch, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco. As a boy, Michael Maximovitch was kind, obedient to his parents, and especially loved reading the lives of the Saints. It’s not difficult to see how his consumption of the lives of the Saints as a boy sparked in him a love for God, and in response God granted him many of the same gifts and virtues as the Saints he came to know as a boy. St. John resposed on July 2nd, 1966 in Seattle, WA while praying before the Kursk Root icon of the Mother of God.This text comes from Issue #55 of The Orthodox Word: https://archive.org/details/100101V17...Holy Hierarch John, pray to God for us!This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/15/202112 minutes, 48 seconds
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How Should We Treat the Non-Orthodox? Fr. Seraphim Rose Responds

“I am deeply troubled,” a woman wrote Fr. Seraphim, “as to how Orthodoxy views what the world would call Western Christians, i.e., Protestants and Roman Catholics. I have read many articles by many Orthodox writers, and a few use words like ‘Papists,’ etc., which I find deeply disturbing and quite offensive. I find them offensive because as a person of a race (the woman writing is black) which has been subjected to much name-calling I despise and do not wish to adopt the habit of name-calling myself. Even ‘heretic’ disturbs me....Where do I stand with my friends and relatives? They do not know about Orthodoxy or they do not understand it. Yet they believe in and worship Christ.... Am I to treat my friends and relatives as if they have no God, no Christ?... Or can I call them Christians, but just ones who do not know the true Church?”Fr. Seraphim Rose gives a pastoral response to a very real issue, still relevant of our day. In his response, Fr. Seraphim holds together in harmony things that are often in tension, showing us the royal path. If we can treat people the God would have us, more would come to Orthodoxy and find the joy we have find in Christ in His Church. This text comes from Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works by Hieromonk Damascene, published by St. Herman Press in Platina, California (pgs 812-815).This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/6/20217 minutes, 34 seconds
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On Convert Pitfalls: Obstacles in the Orthodox Mission Today - Fr. Seraphim Rose

Taken as an obedience, Fr. Seraphim Rose was asked to write on “Convert Pitfalls” and how to avoid them. Being a convert himself, and having overcome so many spiritual obstacles, he was well-suited for this task. While his work on this specific text did not progress to completion, these notes of his give us simple and direct guidance to keep us on the narrow path.Fr. Seraphim’s notes, starting at 01:25 :A) Trusting oneself, samost [in Russian].Remedy: sober distrust of oneself, taking counsel of others wiser, guidance from Holy Fathers.B) Academic approach — overly intellectual, uninvolved, uncommitted, abstract, unreal. Bound up with A. also.C) Not keeping the secret of the Kingdom, gossip, publicity. Overemphasis on outward side of mission, success. Danger of creating empty shell, form of mission without substance.Remedy: concentrate on spiritual life, keep out of limelight, stay uninvolved from passionate disputes.D) “Spiritual Experiences.”Symptoms: feverish excitement, always something “tremendous” happening — the blood is boiling. Inflated vocabulary, indicates puffed up instead of humble. Sources in Protestantism, and in one’s own opinions “picked up” in the air.Remedy: sober distrust of oneself, constant grounding in Holy Fathers and Lives of Saints, counsel.E) Discouragement, giving up — “Quenched” syndrome.Cause: overemphasis on outward side, public opinion, etc.Remedy: emphasis on inward, spiritual struggle, lack of concern for outward success, mindfulness of Whom we are followers of (Christ crucified but triumphant).F) A double axe: broadness on one hand, narrowness on the other.This text comes from Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works by Hieromonk Damascene, published by St. Herman Press in Platina, California (pgs 847-848).This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/4/20214 minutes, 17 seconds
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Miraculous Intercessions of Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina

“It is through more than his literary inheritance that Fr. Seraphim is leading these converts. As the accounts related in this chapter indicate, Fr. Seraphim, being still alive in Christ, is even now personally drawing people into the fullness of the ancient Christian Faith.” –Hieromonk DamasceneI humbly ask all listeners to ask for Fr. Seraphim’s intercession and pray to God that one day soon he may be officially glorified as a Saint of the Holy Orthodox Church. Next year is the 40th anniversary of his repose. If you desire to see him glorifed as a Saint, there are things you can do to help make this happen. Pray for God's guidance. One simple and direct way is to write Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Western Diocese, or even other Serbian or ROCOR Bishops. Their addresses should be on the diocesan websites. Pray above all.These accounts of Fr. Seraphim’s miraculous intercessions, which are merely a few of the many, affirm that truly we can say, “Holy Father Seraphim, pray to God for us!”(NOTE: The timestamps in this description link to the video on YouTube.)00:06 Intro02:07 Healing of Matushka’s Susan’s cancer, which even her doctors admit is a miracle04:23 Help bringing a searching community into the Church, and providing them with a new property08:16 Fr. Seraphim comes in a dream to a despairing young man, who visited Fr. Seraphim in Platina many times, to comfort him and help him find his path in life13:07 A Roman Catholic priest reads Fr. Seraphim’s life and works and converts to Holy Orthodoxy. He commissions one of the most well-known icons of Fr. Seraphim, and two copies of this icon in Russia stream myrrh16:01 Healing of a young woman’s back pain after praying at Fr. Seraphim’s grave21:27 Fr. Seraphim appears in a dream to Protestant man, and through his guidance and the prayers of St. Herman, the man and his family become Orthodox and now he serves as a priest31:21 ConclusionExcerpts from “Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works” by Hieromonk Damascene (St. Herman of Alaska Press). Once the book is available for purchase again, please buy a copy. Until then, here is the PDF: https://www.scribd.com/document/44059...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
9/3/202133 minutes, 12 seconds
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The Antichrist will be the Natural Result of the Spiritual Direction of Man - St Ignatius Brianchaninov

This reading contains excerpts from St. Ignatius’ essay “On Miracles and Signs.” The reason for this recording is to raise the awareness and discernment of Orthodox Christians regarding the degree of deception manifested first in the spirit of Antichrist, which is increasingly obvious in the world, and secondly in the Antichrist himself, who will be the fulfillment of “the spiritual direction of man.”Quotes from this essay:“The antichrist will be a logical, equitable, natural result of the common moral and spiritual direction of man.”“The antichrist will show himself to be meek, merciful, filled with love, filled with all virtue. Those who will acclaim him as such, and will submit to him as the highest good, are they who accept the truth of fallen mankind and will not deny it for the truth of the Gospel.”“The antichrist will offer to mankind the most exalted earthly organisation of well being and prosperity. He will offer honour, riches, luxury, enjoyment, physical comfort, and delight.”“Only with the special help of Divine Grace and under its guidance, will the elect of God be able to stand against the enemy of God, to confess the Lord Jesus before him and before men.St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (1807–1867) served as Bishop in the Caucuses near the Black Sea and is best known as a prolific author of Orthodox Christian ascetical works. Published toward the end of his life, his writings continued to grow in popularity long after his death. Along with his contemporary, St. Theophan the Recluse, St. Ignatius is now considered a foremost authority on Orthodox spirituality. He was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1988. His writings have previously appeared in English as The Arena and On the Prayer of Jesus, among other works.Read a brief account of his Life: https://orthochristian.com/103425.htmlRead “On Miracles and Signs” by St. Ignatius: http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/st-...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/20/202111 minutes, 17 seconds
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On Love for our Enemies - St. Silouan the Athonite

St. Silouan teaches, “The soul cannot know peace unless she prays for her enemies.Without the grace of God we cannot love our enemies.If you will pray for your enemies, peace will come to you; but when you can love your enemies – know that a great measure of the grace of God dwells in you, though I do not say perfect grace as yet, but sufficient for salvation.”“O Merciful Lord, give Thy graceto all the peoples of the earth,that they may come to know Thee,for without the Holy Spiritman cannot know Thee, and conceive of Thy love.”St. Silouan the Athonite (+1938) has reached the hearts of many around the world, first through his prayer in his cell, and now through his writings and his heavenly intercession. A towering figure full of love, a great ascetic who by God’s grace mastered the passions, his witness is essential for the Orthodox Christian today. He is the spiritual father of St. Sophrony the Athonite.Read more about St. Silouan here: https://pemptousia.com/2018/09/saint-...From “St. Silouan the Athonite” by Archimandrite Sophrony,” St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, pages 376-379, 364. Purchase the book here: https://svspress.com/saint-silouan-th...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/18/20216 minutes, 2 seconds
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Through the Pages of the Theological Works of Archimandrite Justin Popović

This article traces the life of St. Justin Popović of Ćelije, Serbia in the context of his grace-filled writings, showing the depth of his love and wisdom. St. Justin, spiritual son of St. Nikolai Velimirović, produced various dogmatic works and also a tome on the Lives of Saints. St. Justin writes, “The lives of saints are, as a matter of fact, dogmatics incarnate, because in them all the eternal and holy dogmatic truths come to life in all their life-giving and substantive force.” This same truth was witnessed to not only by St. Justin’s pen, but by his very life. Since St. Justin was both born and reposed on April 7th, the feast of the Annunciation, his feast day was moved to June 1st, the same day as his patron, St. Justin the Philosopher (also called: St. Justin Martyr). O holy Father Justin, pray to God for us!This article was originally published in Russian in 1984, five years after the repose of St. Justin: http://www.pravmir.com/through-the-pa...This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/14/202135 minutes, 57 seconds
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Introduction to the Lives of the Saints - St. Justin Popović

St. Justin Popović gives the quintessential teaching on the Saints and the meaning of their Lives for us today. He writes, "The Lives of the Saints are in fact the life of the Godman Christ, which is poured out into His followers and is experienced by them in His Church." Everything good and holy in the Saints finds its beginning, middle, and end in Christ. St. Justin also points out that the Lives of the Saints are "applied dogmatics" and are nothing less than the continuation of the Acts of the Apostles. And at a basic, pastoral level, "If you are suffering for your faith in Christ, the Lives of the Saints will console you and encourage you and make you bold and give you wings, and your torments will be changed into joy."O holy Father Justin, pray to God for us!This text is the introduction to the Synaxarion as compiled by St. Justin, a collection of many Lives of Saints organized by day of commemoration. The text of this reading can be found here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/stjus...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/13/202138 minutes, 5 seconds
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Standing in the Temple of Thy Glory, We Think Ourselves to Stand in Heaven, O Theotokos

“Everything in the Church must be heavenly.”“In truth the church is an earthly heaven, where God’s altar is, where the awesome Mysteries are celebrated, where the Angels minister with men, where there is uninterrupted glorification of the Almighty - there heaven truly is, and the heaven of heavens.” –St. John of Krodstadt“In church, everything is different:  there one’s particular world is not earthly, but heavenly; there one’s rules, customs, one’s regulations and customs are prescribed by the church order.  And he who loves the church, for whom it is the way to heavenly sanctity, such a one must know all this, and, if he does not know it, he must strive to learn it.”“And so, see the characteristic sign of our times: the true Church of Christ with her preaching of the spiritual life must needs be abolished, and exchanged for a certain false likeness, one with exclusively worldly working principles, aims and tasks.But isn’t such a mentality the very clearest sign of the approach of that dread time, of which the Saviour and Lord spoke: “When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)? Already many have no faith in God, no faith in Christ and no faith in the Church; and in the place devoid of faith, they set up other idols, among which the proponents of the new “false Church” have the idol of “organization” and that of “administration.”  But why, and what for, if the most important thing, faith, is not there, if it is unknown?“Organization” and “administration,” without real faith, without a genuine spiritual life, are but a body without a soul, a dead, lifeless corpse!”Archbishop Averky was a righteous shepherd of the 20th century who served as Abbot of the Holy Trinity Monastery and Rector of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY. He was spiritual son of the great 20th century theologian and holy hierarch, Archbishop Theophan of Poltava, Russia, who himself was a disciple of St. Theophan the Recluse, and therefore is a living link in America to the Faith of Pre-Revolutionary Russia. Archbishop Averky was so esteemed that before his repose, St. John Maximovitch told Fr. Seraphim Rose that if he had any theological questions to ask Archbishop Averky. The honorable Archbishop reposed in 1976 and his relics lie in a small chapel for veneration at Holy Trinity Monastery.Full text: https://orthodoxethos.com/post/standi...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/12/202117 minutes, 8 seconds
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Christianity and Socialism - St. Hilarion, New Martyr of Russia

St. Hilarion of Verey (+1929), New Martyr under the Soviet yoke, was an Archbishop, bold confessor, and shining star of the Russian, before and after the 1917 revolution. This text was written in 1914. Read his life here: https://www.orthodox.net/russiannm/hi... “I have only wanted to show what moral ugliness socialism is, what an abyss of falsehood lies within it, and, therefore, how mistaken is any attempt to reconcile socialism and the divine Christian Faith.  Such attempts are being made not only by Christians who have lost their faith, who have “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like the corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things” (Rom. 1:23); certain among the socialists, or better to say, workers seduced by socialism, are also naively convinced that it is possible to combine socialism and Christianity.”“If one could conceive the full satanic evil of socialism, which is expressed in the socialists’ own words, one’s heart would die of horror.” –St. HilarionNOTE: It is false to think that just because the Church stands against socialism and communism that it therefore supports capitalism and democracy. Often we are presented with this dichotomy, but both, either explicitly or implicitly, aim for a utopia on earth apart from God. Neither socialism nor capitalism are natural to Orthodoxy for they do not have the eschatological stance we see in the Saints of God.St. Theophan the Recluse writes: “When royal authority falls, and the people everywhere institute self-government (republics, democracies), then there will be room for the Antichrist to act. It will not be hard for Satan to prepare voices in favor of renouncing Christ, as experience showed during the French Revolution. There will be no one to pronounce the authoritative veto. And so when such regimes, suitable for disclosing the Antichrist’s aspirations, are instituted everywhere, then the Antichrist will appear.”In his journal, dated February 3, 1961, Eugene (Fr. Seraphim) wrote: “Christ is the only exit from this world; all other exits – sexual rapture, political utopia, economic independence – are but blind alleys in which rot the corpses of the many that have tried them.”Holy New Martyr Hilarion, pray to God for us!00:00 Introduction and words from Fr. Seraphim Rose, Archbishop Averky, and St. Theophan the Recluse04:15 “Christianity and Socialism” by St. HilarionText of “Christianity and Socialism” from Orthodox Life, May-June 1998: http://orthodoxlifemagazines.blogspot...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/5/202138 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Acquisition of the Holy Spirit- St. Seraphim of Sarov

St. Seraphim said, “My joy, I beg you, acquire the spirit of peace.”St. Seraphim of Sarov (+1833) is one of the most beloved Saints on recent times, truly a Saint of God cleansed and illumined, whose life and teachings overflow with divine energy. You may have heard his words: “Acquire the spirit of peace and thousands around you will be saved.” If you are not yet familiar with St. Seraphim please buy the book linked below or find more online. He is a wonderful Saint to learn from, from inquirer to holy elder.This is the second recording for Orthodox Wisdom by our brother Sergius. Please pray for us.Text from The Orthodox Word, Issue #10, 1966; “The Teaching of St. Seraphim of Sarov on: The Acquisition of the Holy Spirit”: https://archive.org/details/100101V17...To read more from St. Seraphim, there is quite possibly no better place to start than “Little Russian Philokalia, Vol. 1” which includes the Life of St. Seraphim, his “Spiritual Instructions to Laymen and Monks,” his soul-saving conversation with Nicholas Motovilov “On the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit,” and his prophetic “Great Diveyevo Mystery.” Buy here: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/...This channel is dedicated to sharing the writings and lives of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
8/5/20214 minutes, 2 seconds
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Life of St. Juvenaly, Protomartyr of America

Aflame with Apostolic zeal, the young Hieromonk Juvenaly brought thousands into the Faith before his martyrdom in 1796 at age 35. He joined St. Herman of Alaska and others on the first official Orthodox mission to the Americas, landing in Kodiak, Alaska in 1794.While there are various stories of the Saint's life and death, I have done my best to draw from multiple resources and give a reliable account. My main source for the account of his death is from Fr. Michael Oleksa who documented the native Yup'ik oral tradition.Sources:1) https://orthodoxhistory.org/2010/05/1...2) https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2016...3) https://www.oca.org/history-archives/...4) https://deathtotheworld.com/articles/...7:45 - Troparion and Kontakion to St. Juvenaly and St. Peter the AleutHoly Protomartyr Juvenaly, pray to God for us!This channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/29/20218 minutes, 55 seconds
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Matushka Olga - Her Life and Early Miracles

Blessed Olga said, "God can create great beauty from complete desolation and nothingness." These words of healing came during an appearance of Mat. Olga to a woman who had suffered sexual abuse, and this account is recorded here. During her life on earth Mat. Olga selflessly cared for her husband, Fr. Nikolai, and their eight children. She helped others as a midwife, knit and made clothes for many people in her town and beyond, and battled two bouts with cancer, the second leading to her blessed repose on November 8, 1979 in Kwethluk, Alaska.As seen in the life and early miracles of Mat. Olga, she is truly a Saint blessed of God and continues to show her love for others, especially women who have suffered trauma. In God's time, the Church may officially recognize her as a Saint of God. Until then, may we follow her steps and ask her for prayers, along with the rest of the Saints of North America. O Blessed Mother Olga, pray to God for us!This is a reading of the following text from OrthoChristian.com : http://orthochristian.com/86554.htmlThis channel is dedicated to sharing the prayers, hymns, teachings, and service texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Glory to Jesus Christ! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/orthodox-wisdom/message
7/27/202111 minutes, 44 seconds
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Creation, Early Man, and Evolution according to Modern Holy Fathers

Hear over a dozen modern Orthodox Holy Fathers teach about the beginnings of God’s creation and the theory of evolution. This collection of teachings is specifically from Orthodox Holy Fathers of the 19th and 20th centuries. By no means is this meant to deemphasize the earlier Holy Fathers in any way; it is simply meant to highlight Fathers of our times who were familiar with the “enlightenment” of modern man, bound up with atheism and evolutionary theory. While their focus was on a true and authentic understanding of the origins of man and creation, and this apart from and beyond humanist theories like evolution, they nonetheless offered an Orthodox appraisal of evolution and other modern theories in order to guard the Faithful against soul-destroying heresy.I encourage you to read the early Fathers and gain their understanding of Genesis and creation, which stands firmly on its own and which was not ignorant of the truth about creation. Just as Moses was a prophet not only of the future, but of the past, the early Patristic writers were also inspired by the same Spirit to perceive reality as Moses did.Lastly, this recording is not meant to stir up further debates between “creation vs evolution” and “science vs religion.” These binary discussions are often fruitless and miss the point. What this recording aims to show is that not only do Orthodox Saints regard the theory of evolution as false and incompatible with Orthodoxy, as well as notions of theistic evolution (since “by man came death” -1 Cor 15, verse 21), but that their vision of Creation is not a reaction to the theory of evolution, rather it is enlightened by the Holy Spirit and retains fundamental presuppositions that allow for a truly God-inspired understanding.Wrestle with these words. They are spoken by men illumined by God, and can help lead a humble man to the Kingdom of Heaven.00:00 - Introduction00:38 - Fr. Seraphim Rose, Hieromonk of Platina, California (+1982) – Basic presuppositions for knowledge of creation and early man.04:33 - St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Bishop of the Caucasus and Stavropol (+1867) – The state of creation before the Fall of Adam.06:55 - St. Hilarion (Troitsky), Hieromartyr and Archbishop of Verey (+1929) – The Church’s view leads to humility, the secular view leads to pride.10:38 - St. Nikolai (Velimirovic), Bishop of Zica (+1956) – “Death is Unnatural”13:32 - St. Justin (Popovic) of Celije (+1979) – How man and the rest of creation are inseparable. When man fell, all of creation fell.15:22 - St. Ambrose of Optina (+1891) – “Don’t believe at face value all kinds of nonsense…”15:46 - St. John of Kronstadt (+1908) – True knowledge and the over-educated.16:49 - St. Vladimir, Hieromartyr and Metropolitan of Kiev and Gallich (+1918) – Do not listen to teachings of unbelief for they “promise you nothing but despair and an inconsolable life.”18:44 - St. Theophan the Recluse, Bishop of Tambov (+1894) – Evolution is anathema, along with other secular Western philosophies, and only a pure nous can accurately contemplate divine reality.29:19 - St. Barsanuphius of Optina (+1913) – The moral ramifications of evolutionist philosophy.30:05 - St. Nectarios, Metropolitan of Pentapolis and Wonderworker of Aegina (+1920) – “Without the acceptance of revealed truth, man will remain an insoluble problem.”31:42 - Fr. Seraphim Rose (+1982) – Knowledge of