Thursday, June 17, 2021

"Let us not criticize,...

"Let us not criticize, because God will allow us to fall into the same sins.Thus, a housewife in a village, while lighting a fire in her oven to bake bread," wished "that she could burn alive in her oven, a girl from a neighboring village, who became pregnant with a stranger.

The man of this housewife emigrated after some years.Then she also got pregnant, with a fellow villager.
That is why God advises us not to curse anyone and to bless everyone, even our enemies."
Saint Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Flowers and Colors of the Holy Trinity


Holy Trinity is a very beautiful feast. On this day, temples and homes are decorated with flowers and green plants. People also go to the Church for the service with bunches of flowers. And these bouquets are filled with the symbol of the feast: white is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, red is the symbol of the blood of Christ, spilled for the salvation of people, blue is the symbol of the Heavenly Father. But the most important color of the Trinity is green. Temples and homes are decorated with green branches and even small trees.

These branches remind us of the oak of Mamre, the green oak under which God, the Holy Trinity, appeared to Abraham in the form of three angels. These branches and flowers take us back to that fiftieth day when the Lord gave Moses the Ten Commandments, and it was the time of spring, and the whole of Mount Sinai was covered with blossoming trees. This reminds us of the events of that morning, when tongues of fire descended on the apostles and Jerusalem was drowned in flowers and greenery.

But Holy Trinity's greenery also has a symbolic meaning.

Green is a symbol of the soul which blossoms because it has been touched by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Green is a symbol of the soul that lives, blooms and is filled with life as long as it is grafted into the true Vine-Christ. The Feast of the Holy Trinity is a day of communion with eternal life, eternal youth and beauty. And even the little bouquet in hand is filled with wonderful meaning.

Peter Hanhi

What we carry within us is transmitted to others...

What we carry within us is transmitted to others.Therefore, we must work to ensure that there is peace in our home.
Peace can come from each of us and be transmitted to others.
You see how few humble and kind people are on earth, but they are blessed.

Archimandrite Thaddeus Vitovnitsky

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Saturday of the Souls (June 19)

On Saturday of the Souls (June 19) before Pentecost we commemorate all departed Orthodox Christians who have fallen asleep in the Lord.

On this seventh Saturday of Pascha, Saint John Chrysostom’s “Homily on Patience and Gratitude” is appointed to be read in church. It is also prescribed to be read at the funeral service of an Orthodox Christian.
Has the devil filled you with sorrow on account of some harm he has brought upon you? Make him sad as well by thanking God.
The best thing, of course, is for you not to become sad at all. In this manner, you will give the devil a fatal blow.
When he sees you ignoring him and his evil ways, he will depart in shame.
[…] But let us now return to the magnificent example of Job.
[…] When his rotted flesh was falling to the ground, when worms were eating away at his body, when he could no longer tolerate the excruciating pain and desired death, this is precisely when the evil one incited Job’s wife to advise him:
“Until when will you be so patient? How long will you wait and hope for your suffering to come to an end?…Go ahead! Blaspheme God and die!” (Job 2:9-14).
At that moment, the devil was certain that he would finally witness Job’s downfall. However, he was terribly fooled!
Not only did this blessed man not blaspheme God, but he glorified the Lord: “Despite all this, Job sinned not” (Job 1:22). Who ever saw or heard of such a wondrous achievement?
During a boxing match, the winner is he who knocks his opponent to the ground. In this case, however, the opposite took place: the devil was defeated and ran away shamefully after he gave Job a beating and laid him up on a dunghill.
“What’s wrong, O devil? Why are you running away? Didn’t you accomplish everything you wanted? … Why then are you running away?”
“I’m leaving,” the devil replies, “because I accomplished everything I wanted except for one thing! The one thing I desired more than all the others did not occur. The end result that I was hoping to achieve through all these things did not take place. Job did not blaspheme God!
“Therefore, I gained nothing by destroying his wealth, killing his children, and wounding his body. On the contrary, I suffered a great loss, because on account of his steadfast patience and devoutness, he was glorified even more by humanity, and he became even more loved by God.”
Do you see what Job gained from his sufferings? He won both the admiration of men and the love of God. He gained both earthly and heavenly glory. This was because his virtue became evident through his sufferings. Therefore, let us all envy his godliness.
Having witnessed all the good things that spring forth from patience, let us not lose courage when we are hit by misfortunes—no matter how difficult they may be. For there is no human in misfortune who cannot find consolation from Job’s example.
John Chrysostom (c.347-407): Homily on Patience and Gratitude

Mother Silouana ascended to heavenly rest 40 days after Easter 🙏

Monk Gabriel, Kayres, Mt. Athos

"What is the significance of Mount Athos for humanity?" "There are many monks on Mount Athos who pray for people all over the world." "Elder Parthenios lived in Russia, where the Mother of God once appeared. He asked her: "What is the role of a monk?" She explained to him that he should pray and make requests for all mankind. We will never save ourselves. We will be saved by others for our attitude towards them."

Monk Gabriel, Kayres, Mt. Athos

Monday, June 14, 2021

Eagles are Alaskan Pigeons

On one of the icons at St. Michael's Church in Sitka you can see an image of St. Innocent (Veniaminov) with a large eagle on his shoulder.
The story of this image is very touching.
One day the saint was climbing the mountains and heard the cry of a wounded bird. He approached and saw that an eagle had hurt its wing and was entangled in the bushes. And so the lord picked it up and came out.
After that the Aleuts began to notice a strange thing.
"It is strange," they said, "eagles are dragging chickens away from everybody else, but none of the lord's chickens was dragged away.
And one day a certain Aleut went to the temple and saw a big eagle sitting on the road in front of the temple and would not let him in. He decided to kill the bird, but he thought that he needed a blessing first. He went to the lord, but he did not give his blessing, so he went to the church to see what was happening there.
It turned out to be the same eagle that the saint had cured. The eagle bowed at his feet, then flew up and sat on his shoulder.
This, of course, made a great impression on the Aleuts.
Icon by Fr. Silouan Justiniano