“Follow Me”…

When Christ says to us “Follow Me,” He does not call us to walk a frightening, dark road; He says, “I have trodden all this road, I know every meander of it — you can safely follow! I am like the good shepherd that walks in front of his sheep, meeting all dangers himself, so that the sheep may be safe.”

- Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
A message from Anonymous
Hi I am Greek orthodox I wear my wedding ring on my right hand but I don't know the real reason behind "why" we wear it on the right... can you help me understand?

Hello dear friend,

This is a good explanation for the biblical and cultural origins of the practice:

"It has always been the tradition of the Church to place the wedding ring on the right hand of the couple based on biblical references. This is seen very clearly in one of the prayers in the Betrothal Service. A portion of the prayer refers to the biblical references: “For You, O Lord, have declared that a pledge is to be given and held inviolate in all things. By a ring Joseph was given might in Egypt; by a ring Daniel was exalted in Babylon; by a ring our heavenly Father showed compassion upon His prodigal son, for He said, ‘Put a ring upon his right hand, kill the fatted calf, and let us eat and rejoice.’ Your own right hand, O Lord, armed Moses in the Red Sea. By word of Your truth were the Heavens established and the earth set upon her sure foundations; and the right hands of Your servants shall be blessed by Your mighty word, and by Your uplifted arm.” As we see, it was scripturally the practice to wear rings on the right hand, the hand of authority and power completing the pledge of commitment. The power and authority comes from the right hand of God.

The practice of wearing rings on the left hand is rooted in superstition that says that there is a vein that goes from the left hand directly to the heart. This medieval superstition, like many others, was brought to America from Western Europe no doubt. Unfortunately, too many people today just follow what the majority in society do without truly understanding its meaning. Hopefully, with education and faith we will maintain the richness and meaningfulness of the Orthodox faith.” (taken from Journey to Orthodoxy)

God bless you!

When a man prays…

'They that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.' When a man prays outwardly aloud, then he cannot always follow all the movements of his heart, which are so rapid that he is necessarily obliged to pay attention to the pronunciation of the words, and to their outward form. Thus the prayers of many of the clergy [or laity] who read rapidly become quite untrue: with their lips they seem to pray; in appearance they are pious, but their hearts are asleep, and do not know what their lips say. This proceeds from the fact that they hurry, and do not meditate in their hearts upon what they are saying.

- St. John of Kronstadt

Please pray for me!

Something new is coming in my life… please pray that everything will be fine at last, with God’s help, and I’ll not be disapointed for another time! Pray that God will enlighten both me and all the people involved, with the intercessions of Virgin Mary and all the Saints!

God bless you all <3

Prayer requests

Though I don’t post all the prayer requests as I used to in the past, I am still praying for you all. God is always listening to you and He’s here to help you, so don’t worry about anything!

Please pray for the anonymous friend that wrote me about his/her auto-immune disease, about Justin, Christina, Rengitha and all the people that have contacted me in the past, from my very first moment on tumblr until today. I don’t remember you all, but God does…

God bless you all!

An amazingly beautiful video about Eastern Orthodoxy

Remain in Place and do not Flee from Temptation

Amma Theodora said: A certain monk, afflicted by many sorrows, said to himself, “Leave this place.” With these words he began to put his sandals on his feet, and suddenly he saw the devil in the form of a man sitting in the corner of his cell. The devil was also putting on his sandals. He said to the monk, “Are you leaving here because of me? Well then, wherever you go, I will be there before you.

- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Patericon

Whoever prays…

Whoever prays for those who hurt him lays the demons low; but he who opposes his affronter is bound to the demons.

- St. Mark the Ascetic

Ask for humility

With all your power, ask the Lord for humility and brotherly love, because God freely gives His grace for love towards one’s brother. Do an experiment on yourself: one day ask God for love towards your brother, and another day - live without love. You will see the difference.

- St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings

But the angels…

Unclean spirits increase the passions in us, making use of our negligence, and inciting them. But the angels decrease our passions, inciting us to the perfection of virtue.

- St. Maximus the Confessor, Chapters on Love, 2:69

Prayer request

Aaron shared with us his prayer request. So, let us unite our prayers…

"My prayer request is for my lovely wife, LeeAnn, who suffers from a chronic illness effecting her Autonomic System. (essentially her nervous system) This illness causes heavy fatigue, dizziness, her heart rate will rise sometimes into the 140s while laying down slowly coming back down, 

She’s a cardiac nurse and is currently enrolled in grad school to get her doctorate in nursing for being a nurse Practitioner.

Please prayer not only for healing, but also patience and strength for the day to day as the Lord often shapes us in our struggles no matter what they are.”

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”

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.