True fast…

Let us fast an acceptable and very pleasing fast to the Lord. True fast is the estrangement from evil, temperance of tongue, abstinence from anger, separation from desires, slander, falsehood, and perjury. Privation of these is true fasting.

- St. Basil the Great

Orthodox groups/pages on Facebook

Some of you ask me if there are any pages and groups I like on facebook. So I found some that I personally like. If you have any more recommendations to add, please leave a comment here.

Holy Fathers (quotes from the Orthodox spirituality)

Orthodox teens - Ορθόδοξη νεολαία (a group that is run by greek teens, it contains articles and photos mostly in greek but also in English and Spanish)

Christian Orthodox  (a group in which participate many Orthodox people from tumblr that contains articles and quotes)

Orthodox notes (photo-quotes with the sayings of the Saints)

Orthodox youth (Saint of the Day, articles and news about Orthodoxy)

The Two Comings of Christ

…Christians live between the two comings of Christ. They remember His first coming to be sacrificed. They anticipate His second coming to reign.

…The two comings of Christ are held together in Christian thought, action, and prayer at all times. They cannot be separated. When they are, it is the end of Christian faith, life and worship. The first coming without the second is a meaningless tragedy. The second coming without the first is an absurd impossibility. Jesus is born to bring God’s kingdom. He dies to prove His kingship. He rises to establish his reign. He comes again in glory to share it with His people. In the kingdom of God there are no subjects. All rule with the risen Messiah. He came, and is coming, for this purpose alone.

At Your first coming to us, O Christ,
You desired to save the race of Adam;
When You come again to judge us,
Show mercy on those who honor Your Holy Nativity.

- Excerpts from The Winter Pascha, by Fr. Thomas Hopko

If the soul…

If the soul keeps far away from all discourse in words, from all disorder and human disturbance, the Spirit of God will come in to her and she who was barren will be fruitful.

- Abba Poemen

You have already gained something…

Do not say, after spending a long time in prayer, that nothing has been gained; for you have already gained something. And what higher good is there than to cling to the Lord and persevere in unceasing union with Him?

- St. John Climacus

"It has been truly said that there was a cross in the heart of God before there was one planted outside Jerusalem; and though the cross of wood has been taken down, the cross in God’s heart still remains. It is the cross of pain and triumph - both together. And those who can believe this will find that joy is mingled with their cup of bitterness. They will share on a human level in the divine experience of victorious suffering."
- Kallistos Ware, “The Orthodox Way”
(thanks to my dearest friend oliveseraphim for the submission!)

"It has been truly said that there was a cross in the heart of God before there was one planted outside Jerusalem; and though the cross of wood has been taken down, the cross in God’s heart still remains. It is the cross of pain and triumph - both together. And those who can believe this will find that joy is mingled with their cup of bitterness. They will share on a human level in the divine experience of victorious suffering."

- Kallistos Ware, “The Orthodox Way”

(thanks to my dearest friend oliveseraphim for the submission!)

Why wait until Pascha?

For us Orthodox Christians to be so madly in love with our resurrected Lord that we sometimes even forget what time of the year it is and continue to proclaim that Christ is Risen in every season! I am not proposing anything official (no liturgical innovations); but when we run into the cashier at Wal-Mart and have nothing meaningful to say in Mid August, Why not proclaim Christ is Risen? Our beloved ones come to us in November or in January with big problems, (sickness in the family, lost all of their money, lost their job, their husband or my wife has left them, etc.). How important it is for us to remember at those times that Christ is Risen after all is said and done and by that same power we can be healed. Why wait until Pascha each year to live and share that reality? St. Seraphim of Russia greeted everyone with Christ is Risen all year round and he is a Saint of our Church! He experienced the divine insanity of being a Christian every day… not only during Pascha.

- Fr. Gregory Horton

Orthodoxy is life

Orthodoxy is life. If we don’t live Orthodoxy, we simply are not Orthodox, no matter what formal beliefs we might hold.

- Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim Rose

On persecution

“Throughout its history, the Church does not know long periods of prosperity: in times of peace and tranquility will certainly coming times of adversity and trials. But in all circumstances, in word and deed the Church proclaimed the truth of God, she proclaims it today, suggesting that a society based on the principles of profit, permissiveness, unlimited freedom, neglect of eternal truths, denial of authority, moral sickness, is threatened by many dangers.”

- Patriarch Kirill, 21st Century Russian Patriarch, from 2012 Nativity Message

You do not just suddenly leap into heaven…

You do not just suddenly leap into heaven, but you enter it with humility. The worst of all sins is when we are overwhelmed by our pride and our own opinion about everything.

- St. Macarius of Optina

Wherever and however You wish

When I was seriously ill and on the point of leaving this life, I didn’t want to think about my sins. I wanted to think about the love of my Lord, my Christ, and about eternal life. I didn’t want to feel fear. I wanted to go to the Lord and to think about His goodness, His love. And now that my life is nearing its end, I don’t feel anxiety or apprehension, but I think that when I appear at the Second Coming and Christ says to me: Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment? I will bow my head and I will say to Him: ‘Whatever you want, my Lord, whatever your love desires. I know I am not worthy. Send me wherever your love wishes. I am fit for hell. And place me in hell, as long as I am with You. There is one thing I want, one thing I desire, one thing I ask for, and that is to be with You, wherever and however You wish.

- Elder Porphyrios

The truths of Orthodoxy

All truths of Orthodoxy emerge from the one Truth and converge on one Truth, infinite and eternal. That Truth is the God-man Christ. If you experience any truth of Orthodoxy to its limit, you will inevitably discover that its kernel is the God-man Christ. In fact, all truths of Orthodoxy are nothing other than different aspects of the one Truth - the God-man Jesus Christ.

- St. Justin Popovic

God listens…

God listens, not to our voice, but to our heart. He does not need to be prodded with shouts, since He sees our thoughts.

- St. Cyprian of Carthage

Stand patiently and pray steadfastly

image

Stand patiently and pray steadfastly, brushing off the impacts of worldly cares and all thoughts; for they distract and worry you in order to disturb the impetus of your prayer.

- St. Nilus of Mount Sinai