Thou art the good Shepherd…

Thou art the good Shepherd; seek me, Thy lamb, and neglect not me who have gone astray. [John 10:11-14]

Thou art my sweet Jesus, Thou art my Creator; in Thee, O Savior, I shall be justified.

I confess to Thee, O Savior, I have sinned, I have sinned against Thee, but absolve and forgive me in Thy compassion.

- From the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

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

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

“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

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

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

We must love people…

We must love people and accept them in our hearts as God presents them to us. It has been thus ordained by the Lord Himself and by the Orthodox Tradition.

- Eldress Gabriela

Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!

Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!

Moment’s from the ceremony of the Holy Fire Miracle that annually happens in Jerusalem!

Right now we are still waiting for the Holy Fire to appear from Jesus grave throught the prayers of the Patriarch. In a few hours the miracle will happen, and the light will travel with special flights to all over the Orthodox countries, and all over the world in order to receive it tonight at the Resurrection.

I can’t wait!!!!

He knew…

… Do you think God, who is King of the universe, claimed this dominion and aspired to become King of this small, hardened people of Israel, who did not recognize or receive their Messiah and now were preparing to deliver Him to a horrible and tortuous death by crucifixion? All the holy heavenly bodiless powers would lament at His festal entrance into Jerusalem, if they knew the horrible cross they were preparing for Him on Golgotha.

Did the Lord Jesus Christ weep only for His contemporary Jews? Certainly not! The Omniscient One also knew that which we see today. He knew that over the centuries the human race would entirely forget Him, that they would blaspheme and ridicule His holy Name. He knew this, which is why He said that the Son of Man, when He comes the second time, He probably will not find faith on earth.

- Saint Luke of Crimea on Palm Sunday (excerpt)

By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion,Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, 0 Christ God!Like the children with the palms of victory,we cry out to Thee, 0 Vanquisher of Death:Hosanna in the highest!Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!
- Troparion of the Feast, sung on both Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday

By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion,
Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, 0 Christ God!
Like the children with the palms of victory,
we cry out to Thee, 0 Vanquisher of Death:
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!

- Troparion of the Feast, sung on both Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday

When our soul has no love for Christ…

When our soul has no love for Christ, we are like ships that have no fuel, no gas in their engines. We must always remember Christ with love. Then our soul will leap for joy.

- Elder Amphilochios of Patmos

God always helps

God always helps. He always comes in time, but patience is necessary. He hears us immediately when we cry out to Him, but not in accordance with our own way of thinking.

- Elder Joseph the Hesyhast