Archive for the ‘in English’ Category

Remembering Metropolitan Anthony

august 4, 2012 Lasă un comentariu

Remembering Metropolitan Anthony


Today is the 9th anniversary of the repose of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh.  We offer you the following essay written in 2003 by Jim Forest,  International Secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship.

“We should try to live in such a way that if the Gospels were lost, they could be re-written by looking at us.”

– Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

One of the significant events in the Orthodox Church this year  was the death from cancer on August 4th of a remarkable, indeed saintly, bishop: Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. He was 89. For many years he headed the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Great Britain.

Though he was not a member of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship’s advisory board, Metropolitan Anthony’s letters and conversations with those responsible for OPF played an important role in the path the Fellowship has followed. He passionately believed that peacemaking required active, warrior-like combat with evil. He had a strong aversion to the word “pacifist,” not only because it sounded with “passive-ist” but because of unpleasant encounters with self-righteous people quick to denounce those who failed to share their ideology. He preferred the phase “a man — or woman — of peace” which meant, he explained, a person “ready to work for the reconciliation of those who have grown apart or turned away from one another in enmity.” He was unhesitating in declaring that hatred is incompatible with Christianity, but saw the use of violence against Nazism in the Second World War as a lesser evil.

He sometimes told the story of an encounter he had during a retreat for university students. “After my first address one of them asked me for permission to leave it because I was not a pacifist.” “Are you one?” Metropolitan Anthony replied. “Yes.” “What would you do,” he asked, “if you came into this room and found a man about to rape your girl friend?” “I would try to get him to desist from his intention!” the man replied. “And if he proceeded, before your own eyes, to rape her?” “I would pray to God to prevent it.” “And if God did not intervene, and the man raped your girl friend and walked out contentedly, what would you do?” “I would ask God who has brought light out of darkness to bring good out of evil.” Metropolitan Anthony responded: “If I was your girl friend I would look for another boy friend.”

Yet, while hating passivity in the face of evil, his own commitment to reconciliation had deep roots in his life. During the years the German army occupied France when he was a physician active in the Maquis, a section of the French resistance, he had occasion to use his medical skills to save the life of a German soldier. Condemned for this act of Christian mercy by colleagues in the resistance, it was an action which almost cost him his own life. He was nearly executed. It was in that crucible of expected death that he decided, should he survive the war, that he would become a monk. Citește mai mult…

Categorii:in English, ORTODOXIE

The Son of the Prime Minister of Kenya is Baptized Orthodox

iulie 31, 2012 Lasă un comentariu

The Son of the Prime Minister of Kenya is Baptized Orthodox


July 29, 2012

Metropolitan Makarios of Kenya received about a month ago into the Orthodox Church the first-born son of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Fidel Castro Odinga (named after the Cuban revolutionary leader), who was accompanied by his then future wife Lwam Getachew Bekele who is half Eritrean and half Ethiopian.

The couple had expressed their great desire for Fidel to join the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

Having made the necessary arrangements, catechism, etc, His Eminence celebrated the Sacrament of Baptism in the large baptistry of the Orthodox Patriarchal School “Archbishop Makarios III of Cyprus”, baptizing Fidel, together with 22 others, and giving him the name Makarios.

On July 28 His Eminence celebrated Fidel’s and Lwam’s marriage ceremony at the Patriarchal Cathedral Church of the Holy Unmercenaries in Nairobi.

The ceremony was attended by the parents of both newlyweds, and the Metropolitan, in the end, gave fatherly admonitions as they embark on their new journey together.



Categorii:in English, ORTODOXIE

Prayer is the Test of Everything….

iulie 31, 2012 Lasă un comentariu

Prayer is the Test of Everything….


Prayer is the test of everything; prayer is also the source of everything; prayer is the driving force of everything; prayer is also the director of everything. If prayer is right, everything is right. For prayer will not allow anything to go wrong.” — St. Theophan the Recluse.
Perhaps the most popular and basic definition of prayer is that it is a conversation with God. While this is essentially true, Orthodox Christianity looks upon prayer as something deeper than „conversation”.
Prayer is understood as an intimate encounter with God. When we pray, we meet with God in our hearts, in the sanctuary of all our thoughts, motivations, dreams, emotions and concerns. This is a place where we can share our inner selves with no other human person as completely as we can share ourselves with the Lord.
To enter into this very personal and intimate place with God, full of faith and love, is to feel His presence in our lives in the most profound and life-giving of ways. In this place in our hearts, we no longer perceive God as being „out there”, looking down on us. Rather, we sense His presence inside us, stirring our hearts, guiding our actions, enlightening our minds.
Our Orthodox Christian Faith teaches us that prayer is the most natural thing a person can do, it is what we are created for. In Paradise Adam and God converse frequently. It is only after the Fall that we hide from God and choose not to speak openly with Him. Citește mai mult…
Categorii:in English, ORTODOXIE

Religious perscutions of Christians in the world of Islam

iulie 30, 2012 Lasă un comentariu

Religious perscutions of Christians in the world of Islam


  Pancretan Association of Theologians
Religious perscutions of Christians in the world of Islam

In recent years both the Greek people – but also all those who have access to information media – are being frequently informed of the constantly increasing incidents of religious violence which result in the torture, the killing, or the compulsory expulsion of those fellow-men who convert to Christianity from Islam.

Acts such as these are reminiscent of the dark eras of the past, which all of us had hoped were long gone, never to return again. Unfortunately, apart from all the horrific social and psychological consequences for the societies upon which they are being inflicted, there are also exceptionally negative repercussions on the image of those countries that commit and foster such acts, including the image of their civilization and their religion, in the eyes of the whole world.

During the entire length of Her history, the Orthodox Church has suffered the violence of persecutions innumerable times.  With horror we recall the atrocious martyrdoms of Orthodox martyrs during Greece’s 400 years of Turkish occupation, which are unfortunately very similar to the aforementioned current events. Even during the 20th century, there have been thousands of martyrs – especially in anti-Christian regimes – who have given their lives out of love for Christ and have adorned Orthodoxy’s Book of Saints with their heroism and offering of their life-blood. Citește mai mult…

Categorii:in English, ORTODOXIE

Holy Synod requests prayers for victims of Colorado shooting

iulie 23, 2012 Lasă un comentariu

Holy Synod requests prayers for victims of Colorado shooting



On the morning of Friday, July 20, 2012, Americans awoke to the tragic news that shortly after midnight, seventy-one innocent people attending a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in an Aurora, Colorado theater had been shot by a lone gunman. Ten of the victims died at the scene; two others died in area hospitals.

It goes without saying that at times like these, as we are once again left with a sense of confusion and righteous indignation, our faith is sorely tested. Left with a sense of confusion and righteous indignation, it is reasonable to ask what would possess someone to enter a theater, dressed in black with body armor, and open fire at the audience? Attempting to rationalize an act that, by its very nature can only be termed irrational, is futile. Accepting the fact that such irrational acts do indeed occur, however, reminds us that we indeed live in a fallen world, a world that so desperately needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ, centered as it is on forgiveness and love. Citește mai mult…

Categorii:in English

Anthony Bloom, Metropolitan of Sourozh – On suffering (Video, English)

iulie 10, 2012 Lasă un comentariu

Anthony Bloom, Metropolitan of Sourozh – On suffering

(Video, English)


What is the sense of suffering in our lives? A talk with Anthony Bloom, Metropolitan of Sourozh (The Eastern Orthodox Church in Britain).


*** Citește mai mult…

Spirituality and the Role of a Spiritual Father

iulie 6, 2012 Lasă un comentariu

Spirituality and the Role of a Spiritual Father


The video recording from which this transcript was taken was made almost twenty-five years ago, on May 18, 1987. In those days, in connection with the millennial of the Baptism of Russia, international conferences were held in the Publishing Department of the Moscow Patriarchate. On that day, Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Surouzh appeared with his famous report, “Spirituality and the Role of a Spiritual Father.” His talk was unforgettable for both its essence and the power of its pastoral word.

The videotape of this film that I made after Metropolitan Pitirim had given me my own wonderful video camera was recently unearthed, and I was filming everything I could get my hands on. I needed experience, and that is how this film came into being. The films were somewhat mediocre, but I am just happy that they were preserved.

How is it that this tape was not lost? If I find the time, I will be looking for other interesting films, and I will definitely put them on our website.

Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov)

*   *   *

I should first of all ask forgiveness for not having a text for this talk; am hoping in the prayers of some of you here that this talk will turn out well today.

The theme of my talk is spirituality and the role of a spiritual father, or if you prefer, spiritual nourishment, or care of souls. Citește mai mult…

Categorii:in English, ORTODOXIE

The Prologue July 4 / July 17

iulie 3, 2012 Lasă un comentariu

The Prologue July 4 / July 17


The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date July 4, and New Calendar date July 17.


Andrew was born in Damascus of Christian parents. He was a mute from birth until the age of seven. When his parents brought him to church and he received Holy Communion, he began to speak. So great is the power of the Divine and Holy Communion. At age fourteen, Andrew went to Jerusalem and was tonsured in the Lavra of St. Sabas the Sanctified. By virtue of his understanding and asceticism, he surpassed many of the older monks and was an example to them. After a while, the patriarch took him as his personal secretary. When the Monothelite heresy began to rage the heresy which taught that the Lord Jesus did not possess a human will but only a divine will the Sixth Ecumenical Council convened in Constantinople in the year 681 A.D. during the reign of Constantine IV [Bearded One]. Theodore, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, was unable to attend the council but sent Andrew as his representative who, at that time, was an Archdeacon. At the council, Andrew displayed his wonderful gift of oratory, his zeal for the Faith and rare prudence. Having assisted in strengthening the Orthodox Faith, Andrew returned to his duties in Jerusalem. Later, he was elected and installed as the Archbishop of the Island of Crete. As an archbishop, he was greatly loved by the people. Andrew was very zealous for Orthodoxy and vehemently eradicated all heresies. Through his prayers he worked miracles. By his prayers, he drove the Saracens from the Island of Crete. Andrew wrote many books of instruction, hymns and canons of which the most renown is the Great Canon to the Birth-giver of God read on Thursday of the Fifth Sunday of the Great Lenten Season. His outward appearance was such that „seeing his face and hearing his words flowing like honey, everyone found pleasure and amended their ways.” On one occasion, returning from Constantinople, Andrew foretold his death before he arrived in Crete. And so it happened. When the boat in which he traveled sailed near the island of Mitylene, this beacon of the Church ended his earthly life and with his soul, took up habitation in the Kingdom of Christ in the year 721 A.D. Citește mai mult…

Categorii:in English, ORTODOXIE

June 29th – Holy Glorious and all praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter & Paul

iunie 28, 2012 Lasă un comentariu

June 29th – Holy Glorious and all praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter & Paul


Saint Peter, originally known as Simon,
was the son of a man named John,
and his brother’s name was Andrew.
We also know that he was married,
since Jesus cured his mother-in-law at the family home
at Bethsaida in Gallilee [Matth.8: 14-17].

A fisherman by trade, Jesus was to call Peter,
along with his brother Andrew and James and John,
to leave everything behind to become His followers.
He said to them
Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men“.
Matthew 4: 19

It is because of Peter’s confession of faith
in Jesus as Messiah
that Jesus gave him the nickname of “rock”
and stated that
it was upon the rock of Peter’s faith
that the Church would rise [Matth.16: 18].
All the Gospel writers list Peter first
when naming the apostles of Jesus,
and there is no doubt that Peter was
the “first among equals
in the minds of the earliest Christians.
Time and again in the Gospels, however,
Peter demonstrates that his faith is imperfect, but growing.
He says things that make Jesus react strongly:
he denies that Jesus’ coming death should ever be allowed to happen [Matth.16: 22],
tells Jesus at the last Supper that He will never wash his feet [John 13: 8],
and denies association with Jesus three times, Citește mai mult…

Categorii:in English, ORTODOXIE


iunie 26, 2012 Lasă un comentariu



*** Citește mai mult…

Categorii:in English, ORTODOXIE, VIDEO

A Vacation… From Orthodoxy?

iunie 24, 2012 Lasă un comentariu

A Vacation… From Orthodoxy?


Summer is here. More and more parishioners are approaching me with the request: “Batiushka, bless me to go on vacation.” Following this request, as a rule, come a great many questions about how to combine rest with our faith.

When replying to the majority of these questions, I take a personal approach. The personalities, situations, and state of health of my parishioners vary a great deal. Nonetheless, there are some principles and frequently asked questions that are worth talking about in general, in the hope of making life easier for those going on vacation.

Vassily Nesterenko, „Summer in Jerusalem,” 1996

Taking a rest is not only permissible, but necessary. Ideally, our rest from the vanity of this world should consist of prayer and communion with God. We need a vacation from whatever we consider work. When prayer is a joy, when fasting has become as habitual as breathing, and when we wait impatiently all year to go on pilgrimage, then the question of the compatibility of vacationing and faith simply does not come up – and no rest from faith is required.

The reality is that a certain portion of our spiritual lives is taken up by labor and discipline. Everyone has his own boundary between spiritual joy and ascetic struggle. Therefore, advice should be offered primarily on an individual basis. Citește mai mult…

Categorii:in English, ORTODOXIE

So Your Child Wants to Become a Monastic

iunie 23, 2012 Lasă un comentariu

So Your Child Wants to Become a Monastic


I should like to ask you to think of something you may not have onsidered before; how would you feel if your son or daughter expressed the desire to enter a monastery? You may be an Orthodox Christian, and very devout; you may be diligent in attending services and reading spiritual books; you may have tried your best to raise your children in an Orthodox Tewahedo manner; you may even admire Monasticism. Nonetheless, how would you really feel?

We live in a time and society quite different from years ago where monasticism was a visible and acceptable part of every day life. It was not uncommon for entire families to make pilgrimages to monasteries. Few people today, in the Western world, however, have any significant exposure to Monasticism and it is little wonder that in our un-Orthodox and even anti-Christian society, the very thought of one’s child becoming a monastic, Monk or Nun, can seem very threatening.


There are a number of reasons one can give for such a reaction. Lack of familiarity breeds fear. Not a few people imagine Monasticism to be very grim and even inhuman. They may envision their child locked behind a grating and subsisting for the rest of his or her life on bread and water. The other extreme is an equally- erroneous view of a romanticized spiritual state in which the child spends his days floating above the ground in an exalted state of endless holiness. In both cases it is imagined that entering a monastery presupposes leaving behind the human race. Citește mai mult…

Categorii:in English, ORTODOXIE