Orthodox Mummy

Ramblings of a Redneck Priest

 

My dear brother, Fr. Seraphim, Abbot of the Holy Cross Monastery, said in a video, From the Little Mountain,  that when a man comes to the monastery, he soon has a very sobering experience. Now as he enters into a deeper life of prayer, he begins to see the flaws in his personality and life. Its like coming out of a dark closet. In the dark, you feel that your appearance is acceptable, but when you begin to open the door and the light pours in, you find that your clothes are dirty and you are covered with sores.   (www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooZiPrSm8sI)

I have opened my door very slowly. I’ve been Orthodox for over 20 years but I have not stepped out into the full light. There has been enough light that I find that like Lazarus, I am dressed in grave clothes.  I think that makes me an Orthodox mummy.

Jesus…

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Akathist Hymn to Saint Nicholas, Great Wonderworker

via Akathist Hymn to Saint Nicholas, Great Wonderworker

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Recommendations on How to Prepare Yourself for Confession

By Hieromonk Agapius (Golub)

Confession is a sacrament of reconciliation of a man with God, which occurs in the Church. Through the sin a person losses the Kingdom of Christ, shown in numerous sacraments of the Church. Thanks to repentance, which makes a person reborn, we have an opportunity to enter the spiritual life of the Church again. When a priest is accepting someone’s repentance, he becomes a witness on behalf of the Church and at the same time a guarantor who states that this person was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found (Luke 15:32). What is more, a priest proclaims before God that this person is going to reconcile with the Church. At the end of Confession, the priest reads a special prayer, in which he asks God to unite the person with the Church – just like the broken branch which can take on the tree and bear fruit.

If you confess from time to time but do not analyze regularly your condition in terms of the New Testament, then your Confession is not full. The less attentive we are the worse we realize our sins.

The path to God is open. There is no sin, which cannot be forgiven or healed. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews, 13:8).

To read the entire article, Click here −−−>  Confession

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The Divine Liturgy

The Divine Liturgy is truly a heavenly service upon earth, during which God Himself, in a particular, immediate, and most close manner, is present and dwells with men, being Himself the invisible Celebrant of the service, offering and being offered. There is nothing upon earth holier, higher, grander, more solemn, more life-giving than the Liturgy.

The temple, at this particular time, becomes an earthly heaven; those who officiate represent Christ Himself, the Angels, the Cherubim, Seraphim and Apostles. The Liturgy is the continually repeated solemnization of God’s love to mankind, and of His all-powerful mediation for the salvation of the whole world, and of every member separately: the marriage of the Lamb—the marriage of the King’s Son, in which the bride of the Son of God is—every faithful soul; and the Giver of the bride—the Holy Spirit.

With what prepared, pure, elevated souls it is therefore necessary to assist at the Liturgy, in order not to be amongst the number of those who, having no wedding garment, but a garment defiled by passions, were bound hand and foot, and cast out from the marriage feast into utter darkness. Whilst now, unfortunately, many do not even consider it necessary to assist at the Liturgy at all; others only go out of habit, and go away in the same state of mind as they came, without elevated thoughts, without a contrite heart, with an unrepentant soul, without the determination to amend.

Some stand in church irreverently, inattentively, without any concentration of mind, without any previous self-preparation at home by means of meditation and abstinence; and many manage to drink and eat more than they should before service.

When the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai the Hebrew people were ordered to previously prepare and cleanse themselves. In the Divine service we have not a lesser event than God’s descent upon Mount Sinai, but a greater one: here before us is the very face of God the Lawgiver.

When the Lord appeared to Moses upon Mount Horeb in the bush, he was ordered to put off his shoes from his feet; but here is a greater manifestation of God than upon Horeb; there was only the prototype, here is the Typifier Himself.

O, how we cling to earthly things! We do not even wish to devote one hour exclusively to God! Even during the Divine, most heavenly Liturgy we allow ourselves to think and dream of earthly things, and fill our souls with images and desires for earthly things, sometimes—alas!—even with impure images; when we ought to be praying ardently, to be assiduously meditating upon this great mystery, to be repenting of our sins, longing and praying to be cleansed, sanctified, enlightened, renewed, and strengthened in the Christian life, and in the fulfillment of Christ’s commandments; when we ought to be praying for the living and dead; for the Liturgy is a sacrifice of propitiation, thanksgiving, praise, and prayer.
Great is the Liturgy! In it remembrance is made, not of the life of any great man, but that of God Incarnate, Who suffered and died for us, Who rose again, ascended into heaven, and Who shall come again to judge the whole world!

+ St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

Photo taken from: The Ascetic Experience

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10 Things you can do to grow or revitalize your parish

“Revitalizing a parish starts with revitalizing our own souls. We can not give what we do not have. If we wish to offer the community the peace of Christ then we must first acquire this peace though frequent confession and communion.”

via 10 Things you can do to grow or revitalize your parish

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The Death of Halloween?

Again and Again

fallcolors1H/T: Here

Death to Halloween! (Very Scary!)
Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov

It is that time of year again when Orthodox and some other Christian writers attempt to warn people about the evils of Halloween. They assert—and I have done no less in my much younger days—that Halloween is a pagan holiday, and thus everyone who participates in its celebrations by default participates in the ancient Gaelic harvest festival called Samhain (“summer’s end”). As I grew older I saw that the people who dress up as princesses and Marvel super heroes have about as much to do with devil worship (for this is often the claim) as people who send each other Christmas cards or Easter candy have to do with worshiping Jesus Christ. This is all that I will say about it, and it may be a topic for another time. For myself, I still do not see any need to…

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Is YHWH a War Criminal?

Very interesting look at war and devastation in the Old Testament.

Alastair's Adversaria

The question of divine goodness and justice in light of the deep problems raised by the biblical commands concerning the slaughter of the Canaanites seems to be the hot topic right now. Philip Jenkins writes on the subject of the Bible’s violent texts in the Huffington Post. John Piper has recently made some remarks on the subject. The subject has also come up in several conversations on Twitter that I have seen or been involved in over the last few days.

John Piper takes the God owes us nothing approach to the question, making the startling and, frankly, appalling statement that ‘It’s right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases.’ Such a proposed solution to the problem seems to be founded upon a profoundly nominalistic conception of God, which conceives of God in terms of will, right, and power, to the exclusion of or in detachment…

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