I'm doing research for a class assignment. What can you tell me about the angel Jegudiel and could you post up any depictions of him, please?
I am so sorry for the late reply but I receive many questions daily and it’s quite difficult to answer quickly!
He’s mentioned in the Book of Enoch. Archangel Jegudiel encourages those who are willing to glorify God. This Archangel is the patron, defender and helper of all those who toil. And we must all be such, for we have been commanded to eat our bread in the sweat of our faces. We toil not only physically, to earn our daily bread, but also spiritually, in order to perfect ourselves.
Jegudiel is depicted holding a golden crown of victory in his right hand. Such crowns will be earned by those of us who endure to the very end, who will worthily bear the light yoke of Christ. In his left hand is a whip made of three thongs. His duty is to guard, advise and defend, together with a host of subordinate angels, in the name of the Holy Trinity and by the power of the Cross, all those who work for the glory of God in various responsible domains of human endeavor, to reward the good laborers and punish the bad. This great celestial denizen should be appealed to with prayer by kings, military and civil leaders, judges, heads of households, etc.
If you need to find any Eastern Orthodox depictions of him, you can see here and here.
The prayer of Mount Athos, who does not recognize it? It is comprised of one small phrase, of measured words.
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
With the loud cry “Lord”, we glorify God, His glorious majesty, the King of Israel, the Creator of visible and invisible creation, Whom Seraphim and Cherubim tremble before.
With the sweet invocation and summons “Jesus”, we witness that Christ is present, our Savior, and we gratefully thank Him, because He has prepared for us life eternal.
With the third word “Christ”, we theologically confess that Christ is the Son of God and God. No man saved us, nor angel, but Jesus Christ, the true God.
There follows the intimate petition “have mercy”, and we venerate and entreat that God would be propitious, fulfilling our salvation’s demands, the desires and needs of our hearts.
That “on me”, what range it has! It is not only myself, it is everyone admitted to citizenship in the state of Christ, in the holy Church; it is all those who are members of the body of the Bridegroom.
And finally, so that our prayer be full of life, we close with the word “a sinner”, confessing – since we are all sinners – as all the Saints confess and became through this sound sons of light and of the day.
Despite appearances and the unworthiness of the monks and clergy, the Church is an endless source of miracles. It takes water and makes it Holy Water; it takes bread and wine and makes the Holy Eucharist; it takes man made of dirt and makes him a god! But many people do not see the miracles. Because if they saw them they would not despise or hate the Church of Christ, but they would love and honor Her and would not be talking about Her with contempt as they do.
Abba John said, ‘I am like a man sitting under a great tree, who sees wild beasts and snakes coming against him in great numbers. When he cannot withstand them any longer, he runs to climb the tree and is saved. It is just the same with me; I sit in my cell and I am aware of evil thoughts coming against me, and when I have no more strength against them, I take refuge in God by prayer and I am saved from the enemy.’
Do you know what a great gift it is that God gave us the right to speak to Him every hour and moment, wherever we are? He always listens to us. This is the greatest honor we have. For this reason we must love God.
A hermit was once asked: “What should we do when we are praised and complemented?”
And he replied:
"You should be humble and know yourselves well. I will give you an example. When I carve on a piece of wood the face of a saint, and finish it, I think it is good. After a while I look at it again and discover that it has shortcomings. If I use a magnifying glass, I will see that it is not such marvelous craftsmanship after all. The same thing applies with one’s hands. We see that they are clean. But if we examine them again under a microscope, we will see that they have dirt and many germs on them."
Ethiopian athlete Meseret Defar provided one of the most emotional moments of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games when she crossed the finish line in the 5000 meter race to win the gold.
She then pulled a picture of the Virgin Mary out from under her jersey, showed it to the cameras and held it up to her face in deep prayer.
An Orthodox Christian, Defar entrusted her race to God with the sign of the cross and reached the finish line in 15:04:24, beating her fellow Ethiopian rival Tirunesh Dibaba, who was the favorite to win.
A teary-eyed Defar proudly showed the picture of the Virgin Mary with the Baby Jesus that she carried with her for the entire race…
She actually made all of us to weep… Orthodox Christians are not afraid to show their faith. She’s an example for all of us. May God bless her always, as well as all the Orthodox Christian, Catholic and other Christian athletes that trust themselves to God… may Theotokos pray for them!
Mount Athos, the most important center of Eastern Orthodox spirituality in the world is in danger because of fire. The fire has already burned approximately 15,000 acres of virgin forestland, olive groves and vineyards and it may soon threaten the monasteries. Please pray to our Lord for Mount Athos, the Garden of Virgin Mary, for the security of the lives of the monks, the beautiful ancient monasteries and the forests and the wildlife there.
Please pray to the Theotokos to protect her Holy Garden! Let’s unite our prayers now!!!
Once when I was a young novice I was praying before an icon of the Mother of God, and the Jesus Prayer entered into my heart and there begun to repeat itself of its own accord. Here is a wondrous thing which passes understanding: she dwells in heaven and ever beholds the glory of God, yet she does not forget us, poor wretches that we are, and spreads her compassion over the whole earth, over all peoples. And this most pure Mother of His, the Lord has bestowed on us. She is our joy and our expectation. She is our Mother in the spirit, and kin to us by nature, as a human being, and every Christian soul leaps to her in love.
- From Saint Silouan the Athonite by Archimandrite Sophrony p.391,393.
It is important to remember that fasting is not just about foods that we are to abstain from, but also about the quantity of food we eat. It is hardly a true fast if we eat the same amount of food that we would normally eat during a non-fast period. Furthermore, if we hunt for foods that are legally eaten, avoiding simple foods such as vegetables, breads and vegan soups, and eat rich foods that are just as satisfying as non-fasting foods, we miss the point of the fast. It is hardly fasting if we consume a great variety of food and in large amounts.
Forget for at least this space of time the bustle and concerns of everyday life. Be like an angel, filled only with thoughts of God and of serving Him. After all, He is present now, and is blessing you.
- Hieromartyr Seraphim (Zvezdinsky), Bishop of Dmitrov
Our lack of compassion, hardness of heart, and mercilessness towards orthers form an impenetrable curtain between ourselves and God. It is as if we had covered a plant with a black hood, and then complained because it died from lack of sunlight.
The way someone upholds and confesses his truth is evidence of what its nature is. We have to know God in a godly manner and speak about Him accordingly. Thus only those who are free from anxiety and constraint of their own will and have given themselves over to the will of God can move about at their ease in the testimony of the truth, moved in a place of freedom, beyond all anguish, by the Spirit of God Himself.
When you feel slack, or a certain coolness, do not leave off the usual order of prayer and pious practices which you have established. Everything that you do in the name of the Lord Jesus, even the small and imperfect things, becomes an act of piety.
- From “Rules of pious life”, by Archbishop Platon of Kostroma
Our world is guided by two principles and sources: God and the devil. All that is better in the world of men has its source in God, and all that is bad has the devil as its principle and source. In the final account, all good comes from God, and all evil from the devil.
The Gospel teaches us to cut off the roots of our sins and not merely their fruits. When we have dug the root of anger out of our heart, we will no longer act with hatred or envy. ‘Whoever hates his brother is a murderer’ (I Jn. 3:15), for he kills him with the hatred in his mind. The blood of a man who has been slain by the sword can be seen by men, but blood shed by the hatred in the mind is seen by God, Who rewards each man with punishment or a crown not only for his acts but for his thoughts and intentions as well.
As bodily food fattens the body, so fasting strengthens the soul; imparting it an easy flight, it makes it able to ascend on high, to contemplate lofty things and to put the heavenly higher than the pleasant and pleasurable things of life.
What's your stance on Christian martyrs outside the Orthodox Church?
Hello dear friend!
My priest had said once in his sermon that the Baptism of blood (he meant the martyrdom) is higher than the mystery of Baptism. So, if a Christian outside the Orthodox Church loose his life for the sake of Jesus, though he has not been declared a Saint within the secure boundaries of the Orthodox Church, it doesn’t mean he has not found favor with God or he is not ranked among the Saints in the here-after.
Saint Cyprian says:
When any die for the confession of Christ without having received the washing of regeneration, it avails as much for the remission of their sins as if they had been washed in the sacred font of baptism.
As in any case, it’s not my buisness to pass judgement one way or the other on those outside the Church, Roman Catholics, Protestant or other who suffer and are martyred for their confession of Jesus Christ. That’s why I said in the past that though I don’t venerate Saints outside Orthodoxy for the reason that their life and teachings may contradict with the teachings of my Church, however I respect their Christian witness, life and martyrdom. I don’t see how anyone who dies for the sake of Christ - unless they died consciously renouncing the Truth of His holy Orthodox Church or something like this - can be viewed as heretic.
But these are only personal thoughts. I am not the one who’ll judge or say who is a Saint or not or to talk for what’s happening outside Orthodoxy. I am just a Christian who tries to follow the teachings of Jesus and to live an Orthodox Christian way of life.
Please pray for me, a sinner, in order to obtain humility and to dedicate my life only to our Saviour.
We must remember that we are warriors of Christ, that the Church is not to serve us, but that we are servants of the Church and that, by the grace and mercy of God, we are called to be coworkers of the Lord Himself.
Prayer is, in fact, everything. Prayer is having your heart inside God’s heart. This is a sort of education that one must “impose” upon oneself – to bepresent with one’s heart inside God, no matter whatever else the person happens to be saying during that time. Prayer is deep silence and a state that surpasses human imagination. It is talking with God – but not with human words. It is something that goes completely beyond oneself. Prayer is necessary… prayer is our life.
Therefore, let us not be afraid of being considered a little “crazy” by the world, and let us continue to practice the Christian love and forgiveness which the world can never understand, but which in its heart it needs and even craves.
Abba Elias, the minister, said, ‘What can sin do where there is penitence? And of what use is love where there is pride?’
Observe your thoughts, and beware of what you have in your heart and your spirit, knowing that the demons put ideas into you so as to corrupt your soul by making it think of that which is not right, in order to turn your spirit from the consideration of your sins and of God.
Hi! I feel very close to the Orthodox Church, but have been raised Catholic. Do Orthodox people believe at least in the possibility of Mary's-Theotokos- apparitions around the world, including in Cairo, and Yugoslavia? What I mean is there isn't some definate statement that they are all false, right? I would feel more comfortable, if I knew that it was still accepted as possible, because I really believe in those apparitions and feel very close to our holy Mother. Thankyou so much for any info!
Hello dearest friend! :)
It’s a very interesting issue indeed. In the past, I had made a deep research about what the Orthodox Churches stance is, because I really love the Most Holy Theotokos, just as all the Orthodox and the Catholic Christians.
But as an Orthodox Christian, I am always skeptic about miracles and apparitions outside the Orthodox Church, and mostly when these apparitions or miracles contradict to my faith and the doctrines of the Orthodox Church. Of course, we can’t say that God does not perform miracles to Christians of other confessions, and in this case in Catholics, but outside Church, from the Orthodox point of view, they may be delusions, traps of the devil. I personally can’t say which of these apparitions is true or not, so I simply state I don’t know.
I found two links that are discussing the Apparitions of Mary from the Orthodox Christian point of view:
I know you propably may not agree with Orthodoxy’s stance, as the majority of the Catholics, but it would be nice just to take a look at these articles.
May God bless you abundantly!
stina2711 said: I believe the apparitions in Cairo are true! St Mary appeared on a Coptic Orthodox church (Oriental Orthodox). But I definitely agree with simlyorthodox about being skeptical about these things. It can be tricky area.
The Christian with the pure heart has a characteristic sign. He is so good that he looks at everyone around him as good and pure. You will never hear him say that another person is impure and dirty in his acts, his life, or his heart. While on the other hand, the Christian who does not have a pure heart suspects everyone of being ‘impure’ and ‘bad.’
- Archimandrite Spyridon Logothetis, “The heart -An Orthodox Christian Spiritual Guide”
All outwardness without inwardness is nothing. Whatever is not inside the heart does not exist in actual fact. Virtue is not true virtue when it is not within the heart. Therefore correct your heart and your will, and you shall be good and your outward deeds will be good, for the inward is the beginning of the outward. When evil is not in the heart, then it will not appear outwardly.
It’s almost a week since the Dormition Fast start. Don’t forget that today is the Transfiguration of our Saviour, so xerophagy (strict fasting) does not exist. Only for today, it’s a Fish, Wine, and Oil Day. Today’s recipe for the Dormition Fast is Pasta with Spinach! I hope you like it!
-1 pound chopped cooked spinach, well drained
-1 carrot finely
-½ cup oil (we can do it without oil too)
-Salt and pepper
Carrying out of the sauté onion in olive oil, celery and carrots, until wilted. Then add the spinach,salt, pepper and let the vegetables simmer. Boil the pasta to drain and put into a deep platter. Finally add the spinach in the middle of spaghetti.
The fruits of the inner man begin only with the shedding of tears. When you reach the place of tears, then know that your spirit has come out from the prison of this world and has set its foot upon the path that leads to the new age. Your spirit begins at this moment to breathe the wonderful air which is there, and it starts to shed tears.
Transfiguration, Light, and an Icon - This week as we think about the Transfiguration of our Lord, Frederica has some interesting reflections on a particular icon of the Transfiguration from the apse of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai. To view the icon, click HERE for a large image, and HERE for a smaller one.
There is nothing impossible unto those who believe; lively and unshaken faith can accomplish great miracles in the twinkling of an eye. Besides, even without our sincere and firm faith, miracles are accomplished, such as the miracles of the sacraments; for God’s Mystery is always accomplished, even though we were incredulous or unbelieving at the time of its celebration. “Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” (Rom. 3:3). Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God’s wisdom, nor our infirmity God’s omnipotence.
Marriage is the key of moderation and the harmony of desires, the seal of a deep friendship… the unique drink from a fountain enclosed, inaccessible to those without. United in the flesh, one in spirit, they urge each other on by the goad of their mutual love. For marriage does not remove God, but brings all closer to Him, for it is God Himself who draws us to it.
He who has acquired perfect love for God goes through this life as if he did not exist. For he considers himself a stranger to all that is visible, and awaits with patience that which is unseen. He is completely transformed into love for God and has abandoned all worldly attachments.