Friday, May 25, 2018

"The Father is light, the Logos is light, and the Holy Spirit is light..."

The Hospitality of Abraham and the Mystery of the Holy Trinity (source)
  
The Father is light, the Logos is light, and the Holy Spirit is light, which was sent down upon the Apostles as fiery tongues, and through Whom the whole world is enlightened to worship the Holy Trinity.
-Exaposteilarion of the Feast of Pentecost
  
(source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

"A great and awesome wonder is seen in you, O Father!"

St. John the Russian (source)
  
A great and awesome wonder is seen in you, O Father! For many years after your burial in the tomb, O blessed one, your body is kept incorrupt! But through this you glorify the Lord Who glorified you.
-from the Matins Canon of St. John the Russian
  
(source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Elder Nikon of Mount Athos on the Mystery of Pain

   
This is a wonderful talk by Fr. Nikon of Mount Athos on the nature and mystery of pain in our lives, with English subtitles. As there are so many people every day who are aching in body and heart and soul, may we turn to our Lord Who is the ultimate balm for our wounds, in this life and unto eternity, using all the tools He gives us for our healing and consolation.
   
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"Strange and awesome is Your divine Ascension..."

The Holy Ascension of Christ (source)
  
Strange is Your Nativity, strange is Your Resurrection, strange and awesome is Your divine Ascension from the mountain, O Giver of Life, which was depicted before by Elijah's ascent in the chariot, hymning You, O Lover of Man.

O, the gifts surpassing description! O awesome mystery! For He Who is the Master of all is lifted from the earth to the heavens, in order to send down upon the Disciples the Holy Spirit, to enlighten their minds, and make them fiery through grace.
-Excerpts from the Matins Canons of the Feast of the Ascension.
  
(source)
  
The Ascension of Christ, detail (source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Elder Symeon Kragiopoulos on the Sunday of the Blind Man

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
Christ healing the Blind Man (source)
  
5th Sunday After Pascha - May 25, 2014 (John 9: 1-38)
“Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”
  
It doesn’t work this way. We sin, we don’t sin; who’s to blame, who’s not to blame and each of us is what we are. It only matters that the Lord, who is Light, the Physician, is present and is able to heal and illumine our souls so that we can feel and live the reality of our salvation. You’re not able to comprehend, nor express, this reality,  since you’ve never experienced what release means, never experienced healing from sin. You’ve never experienced what it means for God to illumine you, for the darkness within you to flee as the light of God enters.
  
But people today are complicated, multi-faceted, confused, and in one way or another, their souls are layered: layer upon layer of blindness, layer upon layer of callousness, layer upon layer of pride. For this reason they are never healed once and for all. As soon as you take a humble attitude, though, Grace intervenes and works a miracle: you are freed. But the work does not end here. This Grace, this light, this healing that comes proceeds also to the next layer further down. And here the sin is more unyielding, is more strongly rooted, the resistance is uncompromising. If you say, “May it be blessed, My God. I will look even deeper and I will acknowledge my stubbornness and my sin, and will humble myself”, then another miracle takes place. And in some incomprehensible way, the second and the third, the fourth and the fifth layers of the soul are put right. But some people will not accept this. They remain at the superficial layers, and spend their life like this and are never healed.  
Transcribed talks by Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
From: Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
Translated:  by Fr. Matthew Penney
  
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life!
Truly the Lord is risen!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Prayer to St. Christopher before driving

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
  
Prayer before driving (to St. Christopher),
Translated from Greek By Fr. Ayman Kfouf.
The Orthodox tradition describes saint Christopher as a tall man of tremendous strength who made a living carrying people across a raging river. One day his passenger was a child who grew so heavy as they crossed the river that St. Christopher feared they would both drown. He was amazed that such a small child could overcome someone so mighty as himself. The child then revealed that he was Christ, and the heaviness was caused by the weight of the world which He bore. St. Christopher a patron Saint for travelers and drivers, thus many Christians place his icon in their modes of transportation, especially upon the blessing of a new vehicle.
   
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life!
Truly the Lord is risen!

Friday, May 4, 2018

St. Ephraim healing a woman with lung cancer

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
St. Ephraim of Neak Makri healing the sick (source)
  
As was related by S. K., an inhabitant of Kalamata in 2008:
"I was feeling like I had a cold, but I didn't go to the doctor.

Because my situation became dangerous, however, instead of getting better, I decided ultimately to go. When I went, I had great shortness of breath, and he decided to do a CAT scan of the lungs. When he read it, he said that there was a serious problem, and from that instant began the drama.

He sent it to the hospital "Sotiria", where they did bronchoscopy and because they diagnosed advanced lung cancer, they immediately began chemotherapy, because they only gave me 20 days to live. We were going crazy at that time, but due to good chance, my husband took me immediately to the Monastery of St. Ephraim in Nea Makri, where we venerated with faith and reverence the saint's holy body, and entreated Panagia and the Saint to make me well, because I also had a disabled daughter who needed me.

That evening, we returned to our home, and the next morning I had terrible shortness of breath and unbearable pain in my chest which reached my side. I want to the bathroom, without waking my husband, and I was leaning on the toilet because I was hurting so much. My eyes fell on the holy water from the Monastery of St. Ephraim. With difficulty I did my cross and drank some. Immediately, I began to groan and cough and out from my mouth came something like liver with blood around it. Immediately my shortness of breath and pain disappeared and I breathed with relief. I thought with joy that the grace of the Saint removed the cancer, and again drank the holy water and did my cross. When I did another CAT scan, my doctor confirmed that, O the wonder! the cancer had indeed disappeared.

From then on, I do the occasional tests which my doctors order and they all come back clean. Because of this, I glorify Panagia and St. Ephraim, who so speedily granted me my health.

Out of thanksgiving, my husband built a small chapel to St. Ephraim in N. Messenias.

O Saint of God Ephraim, we entreat you to intercede on behalf of all those who call upon your help. Amen!
(source)
  
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life!
Truly the Lord is risen!