April 24, 2014

Met. Hilarion: Unbelief is Spiritual Blindness

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Source: Russian Orthodox Church, Department of External Church Relations Dear Brothers and Sisters, today we heard during the Gospel Reading the story of how the Lord Jesus Christ healed a blind man who was sitting at roadside, asking for salvation and healing. The Lord said to him, Go, your faith has healed you (Mk. 10:51-52). These words of our Saviour point to the direct relationship between spiritual vision and faith, between spiritual blindness and lack of faith. Unbelief is spiritual blindness that obturates God and the reality of the spiritual world. A non-believer is incapable of seeing the spiritual reality behind the phenomena of the visible world, which is present and co-exists with the material world. Spiritual blindness is the inability of man to see the hand of God in his life. A spiritually blind one ascribes all the good things in one’s life to oneself and thinks that if one succeeded in anything it happened thanks to one’s own talents, abilities and … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah addresses inter-Christian assembly in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Nov. 2010) [VIDEO]

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On November 5, 2010, His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah traveled to Grace Lutheran Church, in Tulsa Oklahoma, where he had been invited to speak on Orthodox Christian Spirituality. His talk, entitled "Do Not React, Do Not Resent, Keep Inner Stillness." From the Holy Apostles Orthodox Church website: We were blessed to receive an archpastoral visit from His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah this past weekend, November 5th - 7th. His Beatitude arrived on Friday, and went straight to Grace Lutheran Church, where he had been invited to speak on Orthodox Christian Spirituality. His talk, entitled "Do not react, do not resent, keep inner stillness" was well received by the audience of Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and other Christians. Watch the video: Source: Holy Apostle Orthodox Christian Church, 15710 S. Peoria Ave. Bixby, OK 74008. … [Read more...]

Mattingly on Fr. Siarhei Hardun, the Presbyterian Assembly, and the press

Journalist Terry Mattingly edits the blog "Get Religion" which examines religion in the media. The blog is a great read and worth a (repeating) look. A few excepts from Mattingly's commentary on Fr. Hardun's recent comments at the Presbyterian assembly (see: MINNEAPOLIS: Presbyterian gay measures criticized by visiting (Orthodox) priest): As you would expect, the only place one can find more extensive coverage of Father Siarhei’s remarks — which were spoken gently, but were extremely blunt — is in publications linked to the PCUSA conservatives, such as The Layman. For those who paid close attention to the doctrinal comments in his text, his words could only be called shockingly offensive. (Fr. Hardun) is saying that the divisions inside the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) may be rooted in a clash between those who are heeding the God of the Bible and those who are hearing the voices of, literally, another god. He is asking if part of the assembly is, in a very real way, … [Read more...]

Christianity is a spiritual path

“Buddhists aren’t the only ones who talk about consciousness. Tibetan monasteries were Christian before they were Buddhist.” Metropolitan Jonah, March 2010. Lenten Retreat with His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah given at Saint Matthew Orthodox Church in Columbia, MD on March 13, 2010. Listen here: Part 1 Part 2 … [Read more...]

The world is losing its sacred character without meeting any resistance…

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H/T: jbburnet.com Before our eyes the world is losing its sacred character without meeting any resistance. Formerly the sacred was a sign formed by the matter of this world and reflecting a “wholly other”, translating this and testifying to its presence by means of the sign. Does this “wholly other” speak to man today? For him the transcendent no longer transcends anything; it has lost all correspondence with the real. It is non-existent. How symptomatic of this brutal fact is the recent appearance of a form of atheism that is organic and normal. Far from seeming to be a neurosis of civilization, it appears rather to express a certain health, a psychic state free from all metaphysical disquietude, occupied fully with this world, insensible to religion. Such a “profaneness”, such a smiling and disillusioned scepticism does not fight against anything. Neither does it any longer ask questions about God. To be intelligent today means to understand everything and to believe … [Read more...]

Jacobse: Sunday of Orthodoxy sermon

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Yup, it's a bit long and even though I am a believer in short sermons, it held the audience nevertheless. I gave it yesterday at the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers at St. Paul Antiochian Church in Naples, FL. Sunday of Orthodoxy February 21, 2010 On this day we celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy, the commemoration of the defeat of the heresy of iconoclasm. The word “heresy,” as we know, means “false teaching” and the false teaching that was finally vanquished was iconoclasm. “Iconclast” comes from the Greek work that means “icon-breaker.” The iconoclasts were those who smashed the icons because they believed that the Orthodox faithful, in venerating icons, were breaking the first commandment that says, “Thou shalt not make unto yourself any graven image.” Of course the objection ran deeper than that. Look at it closely and you see that the false teaching – the heresy – of iconclasm taught something else too. It taught that Jesus Christ never really existed. The second person … [Read more...]

St. John Chrysostom on fasting

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DO YOU FAST? Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all the members of our bodies. Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice. Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin. Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful. Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip. Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism. For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers and sisters? May He who came to the world to save sinners strengthen us to complete the fast with humility, have mercy on us and save us. St. John Chrysostom THE EVIL SPEAKER "The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. Because of this Paul utters the fearful saying, "If you bite and … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah addresses St. Tikhon’s seminarians

Practical, pragmatic, teaching drawing deep from the Orthodox tradition yet contexutalized to our present circumstances, particularly our interior life. This man fulfills his apostolic calling to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. [vimeo]http://vimeo.com/9576405[/vimeo] [vimeo]http://vimeo.com/9577595[/vimeo] [vimeo]http://vimeo.com/9580699[/vimeo] [vimeo]http://vimeo.com/9581694[/vimeo] … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Hilarion: Christianity is a religion of the people of spirit

Many ask: what does it mean to be a Christian? This is what we read in the 3d century manuscript known as ‘A Letter to Diognetus’ and ascribed to St. Justin the Martyr: ‘there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country… To speak in general terms, the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body’. These words speak to us about the self-determination of the early Christian community. In spite of the fact that many centuries have elapsed since this letter was written, its words in fact concern each of us. We really live in our own country, while wearing the same clothes, other people do and speak in the same language as those around us, but we are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. … [Read more...]

The DECR Chairman: “We vigorously oppose atheism perceived as a ‘common denominator’ of all religions”

We vigorously oppose atheism perceived as a ‘common denominator’ of all religions, as secular politicians sometimes try to present it, saying, ‘There are differences among religions; therefore, let us proceed from atheistic prerequisites so that no religion feels offended.’ This position is absolutely false and unacceptable to us. We state that traditional religions have much more in common rather than different in the sphere of morality...” 13.01.2010 · DECR Chairman, The Far Abroad On 12 January 2010, Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk met with journalists at the Moscow Patriarchate Department for external church relations. While answering their questions, he told them that the Russian Orthodox Church intended to continue dialogue with different European institutions, including the European Union and the Council of Europe, “on the problems linked to the moral and spiritual human life.” “We shall try to attain the decision-making, in legislation in particular, that … [Read more...]

“The Pope Is the First Among the Patriarchs.” Just How Remains to Be Seen

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ROME, January 25, 2010 – This evening, with vespers in the basilica of Saint Paul's Outside the Walls, Benedict XVI is closing the week of prayer for Christian unity. There are some who say that ecumenism has entered a phase of retreat and chill. But as soon as one that looks to the East, the facts say the opposite. Relations with the Orthodox Churches have never been so promising as they have since Joseph Ratzinger has been pope. The dates speak for themselves. A period of chill in the theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches of Byzantine tradition began in 1990, when the two sides clashed over so-called "uniatism," meaning the ways in which Catholic communities of the Eastern rites duplicate in everything the parallel Orthodox communities, differing only by their obedience to the Church of Rome. In Balamond, in Lebanon, the dialogue came to a halt. It hit an even bigger obstacle on the Russian side, where the patriarchate of Moscow … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox Church opens seminary in France

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H/T: Byzantine, TX The Russian Orthodox Church has opened its first seminary outside the former Soviet Union - in a small French town outside Paris. The institution is starting modestly but has big ambitions: to serve Russia's growing diaspora and foster closer ties between Eastern and Western Christian churches. It is a bitterly cold afternoon, but the large stone building in the heart of Epinay-Sous-Senart is warm and welcoming, with smells of cooking and a Christmas tree in the front hall. Upstairs, half a dozen black-robed students are studying theology. The building is an old convent. But the nuns are gone and their Roman Catholic crosses have been traded for Russian icons and incense. The students are on the front lines of a bold experiment launched by the Russian Orthodox church, the first pupils of the church's first seminary in the West. "The Russian Orthodox church needs more than ever good specialists who know not only the life of Christian churches in western … [Read more...]