When asked, “Who are the best people?” the prophet Muhammad said: “Those who are cheerful, when they do good; who are repentant, when they do wrong; who are grateful, when they receive; who show patience, when in difficulty; and pardon, when they are angered.”
In the person of St. Mary the transition from the Old to the New Testament is already complete. She is in the temple and will soon herself become the temple of the Son and Word of God, Jesus. She is a more holy temple than the one in Jerusalem and the greatest of all temples, that is, she is what all of us have as our objective to become, given the premises created by the resurrection and by the descent of the Holy Spirit.
Our Guardian Angel rejoices over our good deeds and grieves when we do evil. We should try to live in such a way that the Angels may rejoice at our lives.
To avoid sin, one must know what the will of God is. This is what we learn from our conscience, and this is what we learn from the Holy Scriptures.
The person who always has a prayer on his lips and in his heart, coupled with repentance, is a difficult target for the evil powers because prayer protects him.
These are challenging times, but these are also times when you need to be attentive to yourselves, so that political passions and human wisdom would not lead us astray from the path of the right faith. If we keep our faith pure, if we try to live by faith, God will send us peace and tranquility. However if we sink into the abyss of human passions, enmity and confrontation, then, of course, we will stray from the Lord’s way, and it will not do any good.
The ability to tolerate one’s neighbor is the wisdom of life. One should perceive one’s neighbor as he is. Do you want him to be better? Pray for him. God can make him better. This is how Christian patience manifests itself.
Just as a person suffocates without air, so a soul without prayer becomes dead and insensitive. Prayer is necessary not for God but for us; it is like spiritual oxygen without which a person dies. This conversation with God provides a source of life for a person.
It is one thing when people shed blood for Christ, and the other when they tolerate abuse, insults and resentment for the sake of their faith. Such people receive the crown of bloodless martyrdom.
Thoughts filled with love, mercy, patience and respect attract God’s grace, and those that harbor anger, hatred and pride drive it away. If we are overcome by anger, hatred and pride, it indicates that God’s image within us is damaged.
Nowadays, we need to live according to Christian laws and not according to the laws of this world. There is no need to watch how the world lives; it is governed by somewhat different rules.
If God’s grace is lacking, a man can be placed in the most beautiful place, surrounded by all the benefits of the world, and he will yet be unhappy.
The more one collects earthly goods, the more desperate one becomes, because they do not bring spiritual joy. You can collect all the treasures of the earth and put them in front of you and still be the most miserable person.
Sorrows are a spiritual lesson by which a man learns his weakness and the power of God. The harder the sorrow, the deeper the lesson is. All we have to do is to endure these tribulations with patience and gratitude to God.
You do not have to wait. Great things are made by great people, and we are small people. Hence, we have to do small things.
Love for our enemies is not easy, but we must pray, read the Holy Scriptures, coerce ourselves and be patient in dealing with those who hurt us.
During our earthly lives, we need to make sure we have a decent garment for our souls. Our soul garments are soiled by sin. We must repent immediately after we have committed a sin.
Courage means going against the current. Only dead fish flow freely wherever the river flows, while living fish flow upstream to the pure spring and the pristine environment. Only those who have been able to summon up some measure of humility are capable of true courage.
They say there are a lot of restrictions in Christianity, but that is not true. Anything is all right but in good measure and with reason. The saints show us how little we really need for survival.
If a person pays attention to himself and lives a decent life according to God’s commandments, then he feels the presence of God inside him, beside him and in the whole universe.
Every man is a vessel of God’s grace. By touching a person, we touch the grace of God.
(Metropolitan Onuphrius of Kiev and All Ukraine)
~~ Sent from mobile computer ~~
The word orthodox was coined by the ancient Christian Fathers of the Church, the name traditionally given to the Christian writers in the first centuries. Orthodox is a combination of two Greek words, orthos and doxa. Orthos means “straight” or “upright”; doxa means “glory”, “worship” as well as “doctrine”. So, the word “orthodox” signifies both “proper worship” and “upright doctrine”. True Orthodox Christians are not defined by the company they keep, but by living their faith.The protestant reformer Martin Luther is said to have once remarked that he believed the pure Faith of primitive Christianity is to be found in the Orthodox Church.
The ancient population of the islands of Britain, Ireland and parts of modern France celebrated their main feast – Samhain, the end of the old and the beginning of the new year, on October 31. The revelry night of Samhain was one of the worst in the year: it was believed that on this night the veil separating people and the sídhe (magical creatures hostile to people) becomes very thin, so that people and the sídhe can penetrate each other’s worlds. After the Christianization of the islands of Britain and Ireland, the remembrance of Samhain still remained among next generations.
Since 835 A.D., at the direction of the Roman Patriarch, Pope Gregory IV, the Western Church began to celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1. The day before – October 31 – was called in medieval English “All Hallows Eve” or “Halloween”. The coincidence of dates led to the fact that this feast and Samhain were partially equated in the public consciousness, which is why Halloween changed its color to Samhain and was celebrated violently. Samhain is a pagan religious festival originating from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition. Celebrants believe that the barriers between the physical world and the spirit world break down during Samhain, allowing more interaction between humans and the denizens of the otherworld.
Many children have no idea about the meaning, origins and spiritual dangers of the “Halloween”, neither do their parents.
In us, there are psychological moral barriers between the soul and sin, which the soul does not dare to overstep. Here is what psychologist Tatyana Goncharenko says about such “feasts”: “In the case of such spectacular, emotional shows vivid pictures are deeply imprinted in the child’s unconscious, and the phantoms of such monsters live in his or her psyche. For sensitive, impressionable, suspicious children, this can turn into persistent fears of darkness, loneliness, neurosis, nightmares. It does not even occur to parents that such a pseudo-feast could cause their child’s problems.” Perceiving emotionally such “feasts” or horror films, a person always puts him- or herself in the place of the characters and, depending on his spiritual accumulations, lives the action in either a positive or a negative role, which is imprinted in him or her. In such fake feasts, they almost don’t give a positive image to children; even those who are internally ready to reach for it. Materialism and hedonism suppress higher, spiritual needs of the soul.