After all, what does He want from us?

After all, what does He want from us? That we should cast away from within us all the sin that defiles us. At midnight or even noon, because we sin throughout the day, enter into the depth of your soul and speak with Him who forgiveth all thine iniquities (cf. Ps. 103:2). And then say: “Forgive me, O Lord, forgive me, for I did not know that they occur before Your eyes! I was after all dead-hearted and did not think about You.” Do that throughout the day and learn to stand before God, for thus will you cleanse yourself and prepare for the coming Judgment.

And again you will see not only your smallness and the abundance of your sins, but the also goodness of God, Who desires not the death of the ungodly, as that the ungodly should turn from his way and live (Ez. 33:11).

- Hieroschemamonk Julian (Lazar)

The Precious Pearl

The enjoyment of this present life, though it seems to give delight and sweetness, is well thrust from us. At the very moment of its being it ceases to be, and for our joy repays us with sorrow sevenfold. Its happiness and its sorrow more frail than a shadow, and, like the traces of a ship passing over the sea, or a bird flying through the air, quickly disappear. But the hope of the life to come which the Christians preach is certain and quite sure; howbeit in this world it has tribulation, whereas our pleasures now are short-lived, and in the beyond they only win us correction and everlasting punishment without release. For the pleasures of life are temporary, but its pain eternal; while the Christians labors are temporary but their pleasure and gain immortal. Therefore, right it is to exchange the corruptible for the incorruptible.

- St. John of Damascus

The holy freedom of Christ

In truth there is only one freedom - the holy freedom of Christ, whereby He freed us from sin, from evil, from the devil. It binds us to God. All other freedoms are illusory, false, that is to say, they are all, in fact, slavery.

- St. Justin Popovich, Ascetical and Theological Chapters

For another time, let’s see how many we are :)
(note: you can add your fb under this pic if someone wants to add you)

For another time, let’s see how many we are :)

(note: you can add your fb under this pic if someone wants to add you)

The phenomenon of the Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary has been occurring for centuries during the festivities to the Theotokos between August 5 and August 15 in the village of Markopoulo on the island of Kefalonia, Greece. 

The small black snakes appear at the Eastern Orthodox Church of Panagia of Langouvarda on the site of a monastery, established as a nunnery and dedicated to Our Lady of Langouvarda.

The snakes have a small cross on their head and their tongues are also in the shape of a cross. They are known to belong to the Telescopus fallax species, also known as the European Cat Snake, and they appear in and around the courtyard of the church, on the walls and on the bell tower. The snakes show no fear while the services are held and are harmless during the festivities. As soon as the Liturgy concludes on the 15th of August, they become hostile and aggressive and disappear back into the wilderness of the area. The snakes cannot be found until the following year.

The inhabitants of the villages consider them to be holy, collecting them and setting them on the silver icon of the Virgin of the Snakes (Panagia Fidoussa). It has been documented by the locals that during World War II and the year of the island’s destructive 1953 earthquake in August, the snakes failed to appear. The locals now use this as a sign that if the snakes do not show just before the 15th of August that something bad is imminent.

This year, the snakes hadn’t appear until August 11, so panick attacked the believers that live in the island, because when they fail to appear, then it seems to mean that some sort of disaster is coming to the island.

Blessed Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos!

In giving birth you preserved your virginity,

In falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos.

You were translated to life, O Mother of Life,

And by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.

The principal thing..

The principal thing is to walk before God, or under God’s eye, aware that God is looking at you, searching your soul and your heart, seeing all that is there. This awareness is the most powerful lever in the mechanism of the inner spiritual life.

-St. Theophanes the Recluse

Fasting Guidelines: Dormition Fast 2014

Today, as every year, I post the guidelines for the fasting of the Dormition of Theotokos. The guidelines in this post are general. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father.

The general guidelines for the Dormition Fast are as follows:

WEEKDAYS are Strict Fast Days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, wine, and oil.

SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS are Wine and Oil Days. On these days the fast is relaxed to permit wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, and fowl.

The one exception to these general rules is that the Great Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ (August 6), which always falls during the Dormition Fast, is celebrated as a Fish, Wine, and Oil Day. On this great feastday, the fast is further relaxed to permit fish with backbones, in addition to wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, and fowl.

Notes:

  1. Meals for the fast should follow the dietary restrictions and be cooked simply. Portions should be smaller than usual.
  2. If you have a medical condition that requires you to relax the fasting guidelines, then do so.
  3. Generally speaking, children and elderly people are allowed to relax the fast under the guidance of their spiritual father.

Blessed fast!

(This icon is called “Dormition of the Mother of God”, by the hand of Matthew Garrett, 2007)

“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