On Confession

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The longer we go on without confessing, the worse it is for us, the more entangled we become in the bonds of sin, and therefore the more difficult it is to give account. We ought to confess our sins more frequently, in order to strike and scourge the sins by the open avowal of them, and in order to feel a greater loathing of them.

- St. John of Kronstadt

I need the Lord

There is nothing on earth that I need, except that which is most essential. What do I need, what is most essential? I need the Lord, I need His grace, His kingdom within me. On earth, which is the place of my wanderings, my temporary being, there is nothing that is truly mine, everything belongs to God and is temporal, everything serves my needs temporarily.

- Excerpts from the Spiritual Diary of St. John of Kronstadt, “My Life in Christ”

Respond eagerly…

…We know that God arranges the opportunities for salvation in different ways. Our situation is that we respond eagerly or in a laggardly manner to these opportunities made available by God to us. God made the call “come out of your homeland”; Abraham by coming out was exercising obedience. There was the instruction “come into the land”; it was done, and that was the work of obedience. But the addition “which I shall show you” has to do with the grace of God, who gave a command - and a promise.

- St. John Cassian

There is a sin…

There is a sin which is always ‘unto death’ (I Jn. 5:16): the sin for which we do not repent. For this sin even a saint’s prayers will not be heard.

- St. Mark the Ascetic, from “The Philokalia”

Photos from Eastern Orthodox monks and nuns with animals!

A message from Anonymous
Thank you for this great blog! Efharistó polí! I read it regularly. Can a protestant request a prayer? I was born in a protestant country, so I was baptised as a protestant. I have been reading orthodox blogs and I'm starting to believe that the orthodox church could be the most truthful church following the Holy Tradition. Actually I need help in earthly life and I think only God can help me now. If it's not too much trouble, please say a short prayer for me. Marko

Ηello dear Marko!

Of course I can pray for you, as well as all the Orthodox readers of this blog! Thank you so much for contacting me, and if you need anything else, please feel free to ask. Be sure that God is with you always and He’ll guide you to His Church.

God bless you always!

Holy Pentecost
In the Church’s annual liturgical cycle, Pentecost is “the last and great day.” It is the celebration by the Church of the coming of the Holy Spirit as the end—the achievement and fulfillment—of the entire history of salvation. For the same reason, however, it is also the celebration of the beginning: it is the “birthday” of the Church as the presence among us of the Holy Spirit, of the new life in Christ, of grace, knowledge, adoption to God and holiness.
This double meaning and double joy is revealed to us, first of all, in the very name of the feast. Pentecost in Greek means fifty, and in the sacred biblical symbolism of numbers, the number fifty symbolizes both the fulness of time and that which is beyond time: the Kingdom of God itself. It symbolizes the fulness of time by its first component: 49, which is the fulness of seven (7 x 7): the number of time. And, it symbolizes that which is beyond time by its second component: 49 + 1, this one being the new day, the “day without evening” of God’s eternal Kingdom. With the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s disciples, the time of salvation, the Divine work of redemption has been completed, the fulness revealed, all gifts bestowed: it belongs to us now to “appropriate” these gifts, to be that which we have become in Christ: participants and citizens of His Kingdom.

Holy Pentecost

In the Church’s annual liturgical cycle, Pentecost is “the last and great day.” It is the celebration by the Church of the coming of the Holy Spirit as the end—the achievement and fulfillment—of the entire history of salvation. For the same reason, however, it is also the celebration of the beginning: it is the “birthday” of the Church as the presence among us of the Holy Spirit, of the new life in Christ, of grace, knowledge, adoption to God and holiness.

This double meaning and double joy is revealed to us, first of all, in the very name of the feast. Pentecost in Greek means fifty, and in the sacred biblical symbolism of numbers, the number fifty symbolizes both the fulness of time and that which is beyond time: the Kingdom of God itself. It symbolizes the fulness of time by its first component: 49, which is the fulness of seven (7 x 7): the number of time. And, it symbolizes that which is beyond time by its second component: 49 + 1, this one being the new day, the “day without evening” of God’s eternal Kingdom. With the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s disciples, the time of salvation, the Divine work of redemption has been completed, the fulness revealed, all gifts bestowed: it belongs to us now to “appropriate” these gifts, to be that which we have become in Christ: participants and citizens of His Kingdom.

Prayer For Our Neighbors

We should pray not only for ourselves, but also for our neighbors. Every morning and every evening, as well as when we are in church, we should remember our relatives, family, friends, enemies, and offer prayer to God for them all. This is very important, because people are bound together by indissoluble bonds and often the prayer of one person for another saves the other from great danger.

- Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev

† Elder Epiphanios of Athens

† Elder Epiphanios of Athens

It’s impossible…

As it is not possible to walk without feet or fly without wings, so it is impossible to attain the Kingdom of Heaven without the fulfillment of the commandments.

- St. Theophan the Recluse, Five Teaching on the Way to Salvation, 3

Adorn yourself with truth…

Adorn yourself with truth, try to speak truth in all things; and do not support a lie, no matter who asks you. If you speak the truth and someone gets mad at you, don’t be upset, but take comfort in the words of the Lord: Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of truth, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 5:10).

- St. Gennadius of Constantinople, The Golden Chain, 26,2

There is no third option

A man in this world must solve a problem: to be with Christ, or to be against Him. And every man decides this, whether he wants to or not. He will either be a lover of Christ or a fighter of Christ. There is no third option.

- St. Justing Popovich

To deny oneself means…

To deny oneself means to give up one’s bad habits; to root out of the heart all that ties us to the world; not to cherish bad thoughts or desires; to suppress every evil thought; not to desire to do anything out of self love, but to do everything out of love for God.

- St. Innocent of Alaska

On charity

If we do not have love we are deprived of everything. For nothing attracts God so much as charity. And nothing enrages God so much, as for us to be uncharitable.

- St. John Chrysostom

Please pray for our brothers and sisters affected by floods… May God protect them and keep them safe!

Please pray for our brothers and sisters affected by floods… May God protect them and keep them safe!