Wednesday, June 30, 2010

There are a number of musty jokes and anecdotes about the “soft” life and the “one-day-a-week” workweek of the parish priest. Surprisingly enough many otherwise intel­ligent people put stock in such nonsense. It comes as a very rude shock to these people to read articles, like the recent feature story in Life magazine, which reveals that priests and other clergymen now have a higher percentage of heart attacks, nervous breakdowns, ulcers and other oc­cupational ailments, than almost every other trade and profession. The “pressures” under which the modern par­ish priest functions, these documented articles disclose, are unequaled anywhere.
Years ago, of course, parish priests had less to do. The demands upon them were fewer and less complex. Life moved at a slower tempo and even the most energetic priest moved with the times.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Church And The Family
By Father Joseph J. Allen
There are many sociologists and psychologists who say today that the family, as the basic structure of our society, is disappearing. At the worst, it could mean that the family as that basic unit is unnecessary. This the Church will forever fight. At the best, it could mean that the family has undergone a tremendous change from what that word “family” has traditionally meant in the Christian perspective. This the Church would he foolish not to recognize.
But before we can say another word we must first establish that the family must be the main concern of the Church. This is so because Christianity has always been con­cerned for individuals—for the whole man” and how he lives— that is, how each individual adjusts to the world as a fully integrated
Person, who is capable of realizing the full potential of his physical, spiritual and intellectual capacity. The Church must see to this because every person deserves this opportun­ity as a child of God. READ MORE
By John T. Chirban, PH.D., TH.D.
WE HAVE GOOD REASON TO ASK, WHAT VALUES?’ AND “WHOSE VALUES?” are we applying in raising an Orthodox family in North America because the message of our faith and the notion of family are challenged today as never before.
A new report by feminist researcher Shere Hite scorns the traditional family as “outdated, and the cradle of many of society’s injustices” —and so, she concludes, “It’s not worth saving”.1 She states that chil­dren have more need of “warm and mature people around them than the archetypal two-parent family, and are better off growing up in a single parent family than an atmos­phere poisoned by gender inequali­ty. So, Ms. Hite concludes that a family can be made up of any com­bination of people whether het­erosexual or homosexual who share their faces in an intimate way.
I will not defend the traditional family that Ms. Hite condemns; rather, I will discuss the unique characteristics and significance of raising an Orthodox family that are, in fact, different from the excesses that may occur in “the traditional family” and certainly distinctive from leading us to the extremes that Ms. Hite suggests.  READ MORE

Monday, June 28, 2010

صلاة القديسين من أجلنا
القديس يوحنا الذهبي الفم
يحسن بنا الإعتماد على صلاة قديسي الله ولو كنا نشيطين بتتميم الواجب، وربما تقول: ما الحاجة الى صلاة الآخرين، إذا كنت أتمم واجباتي بنشاط؟ فأنا لست بحاجة إليها! لم يقل القديس بولس الرسول: لا حاجة إلى صلاة الآخرين. مع أن الذين صلّوا لأجله لا يُضاهونه بشيء. فكيف تقول انت ما حاجتي إلى صلاة الآخرين عني؟ والقديس بطرس الرسول لم يقل ما الحاجة إلى هذه الصلاة، بل قيل: "وكانت الكنيسة تصلي إلى الله من أجله بلا انقطاع" (أعمال ٢:٥) وأنت تقول ما الحاجة إلى صلاة الآخرين؟

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some reflections on Confession
- Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann
1. For each conscientious priest confession is without any doubt one of the most difficult and frustrating aspects of his ministry. It is here, on the one hand, that he encounters the only real object of his pastoral care: the human soul, man, as he stands sinful and miserable, before God. But it is here, one the other hand, that he realizes to what degree nominal Christianity has pervaded our Church life. The basic Christian notions of sin and repentance, reconciliation with God and renewal of life, seem to have become irrelevant. If the terms are still used, their meaning is certainly quite different from that, on which our whole Christian faith is based.
2. Another source of difficulties is the theoretical, or even theological, confusion as to the nature of the sacrament of penance. In practice a purely formal and juridical understanding of it, clearly Western and "romanizing" in its origin, coexists paradoxically with an equally doubtful reduction of confession to psychology. In the first case the man comes to the priest, confesses transgressions of Christian law, and receives absolution which entitles him to the second sacrament "of obligation" - Holy Communion. Confession proper is reduced here to a minimum, and in some churches even replaced by a general formula to be read by the penitent. All emphasis is on the priest's power of absolution and the latter is
55 Maxims from Fr. Thomas Hopko
WHAT ARE THE BASIC elements of a victorious Christian life?
In response to a request, the Rev. Fr. Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary, prepared a list of 55 Maxims for Christian Living.
1. Be always with Christ and trust God in everything
2. Pray as you can, not as you think you must
3. Have a keepable rule of prayer done by discipline
4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times each day
5. Repeat a short prayer when your mind is not occupied
6. Make some prostrations when you pray
7. Eat good foods in moderation and fast on fasting days
8. Practice silence, inner and outer
9. Sit in silence 20 to 30 minutes each day
10. Do acts of mercy in secret

Monday, June 21, 2010

المسيحي في تعليم بولس
من يقرأ رسائل بولس لا يجد تعليماً منظّماً عن "المسيحيّ"، ولكنّه يستطيع تنظيم حياته كلّها انطلاقاً من كلماته المنثورة القادرة على تجديده وتقديسه، وذلك إذا قرأ وفهم وأحبّ وأطاع. وهذا سنتبيّنه في تعليم بولس عن علاقة المسيحيّ بالله المثلّث الأقانيم.
مبدأ التجدّد هو الإيمان بالمسيح يسوع الذي قام من بين الأموات ووهب العالم حياة أبديّة. فالمسيح، بموته وقيامته، يخلق "إنساناً جديداً" (أفسس 2: 15). وهذه الجدّة ممكنة دائماً على قدر ما يندمج المؤمن في المسيح، ويرى فيه - وحده - وجوده ومصيره. وهذا يعني أنّ دعوة المسيحيّ أن يقتدي دائماً بالمسيح ويتخلّق بأخلاقه (فيلبي 2: 5)، ويسير فيه (أفسس 5: 1)، وأن يصبح، بنعمته، على مثال صورته (رومية 8: 29؛ 1 كورنثوس 15: 49؛ فيلبي 3: 21).
ما من شكّ في أنّ هذا التجدّد يصير أولاً بالمشاركة في أسرار الكنيسة وحياتها ونشاطاتها، غير أنّه يفترض، تالياً، إخلاصاً دائماً، أي أن يرفض المسيحيّ الخطايا التي تريد أن تفصله عن إلهه وتشوّهه وتعيده الى العتاقة. فمن ذاق قوّة المسيح وغلبته في شركة الكنيسة دعوته أن يبقى مخلصاً وأن يردّد مع بولس: "نحمل في أجسادنا كلّ حين موت المسيح لتظهر في أجسادنا حياة المسيح أيضاً..." (2 كورنثوس 4: 10و11). ذلك أنّ الله يريد الإنسان "إلهيا" في حياته كلّها. واذا قلنا حياته فنقصد، بالضبط، كلّ ما يفكّر فيه ويعمله ويواجهه في هذا الوجود.
فالمؤمن لا يختبر حضور الله المحيي في لقاء الكنيسة وما اليها فحسب، ولكنّه أيضاً
The Churching of Women
Kathryn Wehr
A few months ago I witnessed my first “Churching” – a liturgy said for a new mother when she returns to church, usually 40 days after the birth of her child. Often it is done just before the child’s baptism. The mother waited with her infant daughter at the back door of the church, facing the iconostasis. The priest came and read the Churching prayers and then led them and their friends and family forward to the baptismal font set in front of the royal doors.
Churching follows a long tradition of purification prayers for new mothers used in both the Christian East and West, but they have fallen out of use in some places because people are ambivalent about what these prayers mean, particularly references to the woman’s uncleanness and sin. Some Orthodox priests use the prayers, others avoid them or use them only at the mother’s request. There is no universal Orthodox practice. Orthodox women’s groups and several synods have expressed concern that the “practices and prayers do not properly express the theology of the church regarding the dignity of God’s creation of woman and her redemption in Christ Jesus.”1 There is a call for the Orthodox Church to clarify meaning and practice.
So what is really happening when a woman is Churched? Why do the Churching prayers talk about the
إدخال الطفل إلى الكنيسة
 درجت العادة في كنيستنا أن تأتي الأم مع طفلها بعد مرور أربعين يوما على ولادته، ليدخل معها الى الكنيسة التي رتبت خدمة لقبولهما معاً في الاحتفال الشكري. يرافق هذا الطقس بعض الاشكالات: هل هو دخول للطفل الى الكنيسة أم هو دخول الأم اليها أم هو دخول لكليهما؟ وما هو مغزى الإدخال الى الكنيسة؟
في كتاب "مختصر الإفخولوجي" (كتاب الصلوات الذي يستعمله الكاهن في كل الخِدم) لا يبدو واضحاً من المقصود الأساسي بالدخول: ففي الخدمة صلاة مخصصة للأم بعد تعافيها من أتعاب الولادة تستعيد على أثرها المشاركة في الأسرار الكنسية وبخاصة سر الشكر. وفي الخدمة نفسها صلاة تتلى على رأس المولود الجديد، الذي، بحسب الصلاة، لم يقبل
المعمودية بعد. وفي نهاية الخدمة إشارة الى ان ام الطفل تدخل الى الكنيسة دون طفلها إذا لم يكن قد تعمّد بعد، عندئذ يبقى الطفل عند باب الكنيسة ويعامل كالبالغ الموعوظ المقبلِ

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is Orthodoxy a Religion?
by Fr. John Romanides
This is an excerpt from the upcoming book Patristic Theology, The University Lectures of Father John Romanides, by Uncut Mountain Press.
Many are of the opinion that Orthodoxy is just one religion among many and that its chief concern is to prepare the members of the Church for life after death, securing a place in paradise for every Orthodox Christian. Orthodox doctrine is presumed to offer some additional guarantee, because it is Orthodox, and not believing in Orthodox dogma is seen as yet another reason for someone to go to Hell, besides his personal sins that would otherwise send him there. Those Orthodox Christians who believe that this describes Orthodoxy have associated Orthodoxy exclusively with the afterlife. But in this life such people do not accomplish very much. They just wait to die, believing that they will go to paradise for the simple reason that while they were alive they were Orthodox Christians.
Another section of the Orthodox is involved with and active in the Church, interested not in the next life, but chiefly in this life, here and now. What interests them is how Orthodoxy can help them to have a good life in the present. These Orthodox Christians pray to God, have priests say prayers for them, have their homes blessed with holy water, have services of supplication sung, are anointed with oil, and so forth, all so that
هل الأرثوذكسية دين؟
الأب يوحنا رومانيدس
 نقلها إلى العربية الأب أنطوان ملكي
كثيرون هم أصحاب الرأي القائل بأنّ الأرثوذكسية هي واحدة من بين أديان كثيرة وأن اهتمامها الأول هو بتهيئة أعضاء الكنيسة للحياة بعد الموت، مؤمِّنَة مكاناً في الفردوس لكل أرثوذكسي.
مسلّمٌ أن العقيدة الأرثوذكسية تقدّم بعض الضمان الإضافي لأنّها أرثوذكسية، وعدم الإيمان بالعقيدة الأرثوذكسية يراه البعض سبباً للذهاب إلى الجحيم
يُضاف إلى الخطايا الشخصية التي بحد ذاتها تقود إلى هناك. هؤلاء الأرثوذكس الذين يؤمنون بأن هذا هو وصف الأرثوذكسية قد ربطوها حصراً بالحياة بعد الموت. لكن هؤلاء لا يحققون الكثير في هذه الحياة. فهم ينتظرون الموت ليس إلا، مؤمنين بأنهم ذاهبون إلى الملكوت لأنهم، ببساطة، كانوا أرثوذكسيين في حياتهم. قسم آخر من الأرثوذكس الملتزمين والناشطين في الكنيسة، مهتمون لا بالحياة الآتية، بل بشكل أساسي بهذه الحياة هنا والآن. 

The Lord
is my Shepherd
By His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira & Great Britain
Written for the April 2009 issue of ‘Common Ground’ – a magazine dedicated to Jewish-Christian dialogue
The psalms are a fundamental part not only of the Jewish but also of the Christian Orthodox Tradition. The Psalter is the cornerstone of every Orthodox service. From the psalms Orthodox Christians have drawn inspiration, spiritual comfort and peace for centuries.
In all Orthodox churches, the authoritative text of the Old Testament is the ancient Greek translation known as the Septuagint. The Hebrew version of the Old Testament contains thirty-nine books. The Septuagint contains in addition ten further books, not present in the Hebrew, which are known in the Orthodox Church as the ‘Deutero-Canonical Books’, more commonly known in the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches as the ‘Apocrypha’ (3 Esdras; Tobit; Judith; 1, 2, and 3 Maccabees; Wisdom of Solomon; Ecclesiasticus; Baruch; Letter of Jeremiah).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Attributes Of The Church
by St. Justin Popovich
The attributes of the Church are innumerable because her attributes are actually the attributes of the Lord Christ, the God-man, and, through Him, those of the Triune Godhead. However, the holy and divinely wise fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council, guided and instructed by the Holy Spirit, reduced them in the ninth article of the Symbol of Faith to four — I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. These attributes of the Church — unity, holiness, catholicity (sobornost), and apostolicity — are derived from the very nature of the Church and of her purpose. They clearly and accurately define the character of the Orthodox Church of Christ whereby, as a theanthropic institution and community, she is distinguishable from any institution or community of the human sort.
I. The Unity and Uniqueness of the Church
Just as the Person of Christ the God-man is one and unique, so is the Church founded by Him, in Him, and upon Him. The unity of the Church follows necessarily from the unity of the Person of the Lord Christ, the God-man. Being an organically integral and theanthropic organism unique in all the worlds, the Church, according to all the laws of Heaven and earth, is indivisible. Any division would signify her

Sunday, June 13, 2010

(From the O.C.P.M. Website)
1. Be yourself.
2. Be an understanding friend and a good listener.
3. Be honest.
4. Be consistent and dependable.
5. Be willing to learn.
6. Be prepared for the reality. Have a plan and follow it.
7. Always be respectful of and work with the chaplain and the correctional facility administration and staff.
Official Prison Guidelines
for Letter Writing

Florida Department of Corrections
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding
Writing to an Inmate
1. How do I write to an inmate?
1. All correspondence addressed to inmates must be sent by U.S. Postal Service mail. Correspondence sent by other courier or delivery services will be refused.
2. Inmates shall not be permitted to receive routine mail in padded envelopes.
3. Always use the inmate's committed name, DC number, and institutional address when addressing your letters.
4. Use the Facility Profiles to locate the address for major institutions. Use the printable directory to locate Work and Forestry Camps, Road Prisons, Work Release Centers, and Administrative Service Center addresses.

Friday, June 11, 2010

شرح الوصايا العشر
القديس غريغوريوس بالاماس
نقلها إلى العربية الأب أنطوان ملكي

1. الرَّبُّ إِلهُنَا رَبٌّ وَاحِدٌ
الرب، إلهك، هو رب واحد (تثنية 4:6)، وهو معروف كآب، وابن وروح قدس. ألآب غير مولود. الابن مولود ككلمة ألآب، من غير ابتداء سرمدي وبلا هوى. لقد سُمّي المسيح لأنّه مسح من ذاته الطبيعة البشرية التي أخذها منّا. يخرج الروح القدس من ألآب، ليس بالولادة بل بالانبثاق. ربنا هو الإله الوحيد. إنّه الإله الحقيقي، الرب بثلاثة أقانيم، الذي لا ينقسم بالطبيعة ولا بالمشيئة ولا بالقوة، ولا بأي صفة من صفات الألوهة.
أحبب فقط هذا الإله ألثالوثي واعبده وحده، بكل فكرك وبكل قلبك وبكل قوتك. أحفظ كلماته ووصاياه في قلبك، حتى تنفّذها وتدرسها وترددها في جلوسك، ومسيرك وفي سريرك وعندما تنهض. تذكّر الرب إلهك بلا انقطاع. ارهب منه وحده. لا تنسَه هو ولا وصاياه. وهكذا هو يعطيك قوة لتتمّ مشيئته، لأنّه لا يطلب منك أي شيء سوى أن تكون مكرّساً له وتحبّه وتسير على دروب وصاياه. إنّه فخرك وإلهك.
عندما تعلم أنّ الملائكة السماويين هم بلا هوى وغير منظورين، وأن الشيطان الذي سقط من السماء هو شرير جداً وذكي وقوي ومحنك في خديعة الإنسان، لا تظنّ أنّ أياً منهم يساوي الله في الشرف. وعندما ترى أيضاً عظمة السماء وتعقيدها، لمعان الشمس، بهاء القمر، نقاوة النجوم الأخرى، سهولة تنشق الهواء، كثرة منتجات الأرض والبحر، لا تؤلّه أيّاً منها. إنّها كلّها خلائق الإله الواحد، وهي تخضع له وهو بكلمته خلقها كلّها من العدم. "لأَنَّهُ قَالَ فَكَانَ. هُوَ أَمَرَ فَصَارَ" (مزمور 9:33). إذاً وحده رب الكون وخالقه أنت تمجّد كإله. تعلّق
“Honor your father and your mother that you may have a long life in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you,” (Exodus 20:12; cf Deut. 5:16).
It seems to me imperative in this instance to start my article with some exegetical notes. First of all, the commandment to honor our parents stands unique in the Decalogue in that it is positive in both form and content*; the others begin usually with: “You shall not . . .“. Secondly, it is the only case where the goal of the com­mand is mentioned: “that — so that, in or­der that — you may have a long life. Thirdly, please note that the text does not read: “that you may have long life on earth”, but “that you may have a long life in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you.”
In the Old Testament the land of Pales­tine is not a property by right, but a gift of God; it is promised as gift and it is offered as gift. The land is not a possession where we settle, but an inheritance where we so­journ as pilgrims. It is the place where we are always reminded that it is God and only He who, in an act of pure love and mere grace, brought us out of slavery and bond­age into freedom and creativity, out of nothingness into being. The land is His and not ours, and in this sense it is a reflection of His realm and kingdom. To have then a long life in the land means to receive the gift of living
Student's Prayer

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Place of Holy Relics
in the Orthodox Church
by St. Justin Popovich
Without doubt, matter is represented in the human body in a manner which is most puzzling, most mysterious, and most complex. The brain: What wondrous mysteries pass between its physical and spiritual parts! How vast is the experience of the human race. In no manner can one ever fully comprehend or grasp these mysteries. Indeed, little of this is accessible to the human senses or intellectual investigation. So it is also with the heart of man, formed as it is entirely and solely from cosmic mysteries. So formed, too, are every cell, every molecule, every atom. Everyone and all are set on their mystical path toward God, toward the God-Man.
Inasmuch as it was created by God, the Logos, matter possesses this same theocentricity. Moreover, by His advent into our earthly world, by His all-embracing condescension as God and Man for the redemption of the world, the Lord Christ clearly demonstrated that not only the soul, but matter also was created by God and for God, and that He is God and Man; and for it, matter, He is all and everything in the same manner as for the soul. Being created by God, the Logos, matter is, in its innermost core, God-longing and Christ-longing.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sermon of
Saint Augustine,
Bishop of Hippo
Today the Holy Church piously remembers the sufferings of the Holy Glorious and All-Praised Apostles Peter and Paul.
St. Peter, the fervent follower of Jesus Christ, for the profound confession of His Divinity: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God," was deemed worthy by the Savior to hear in answer, "Blessed art thou, Simon ... I tell thee, that thou art Peter [Petrus], and on this stone [petra] I build My Church" (Mt.16:16-18). On "this stone" [petra], is on that which thou sayest: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God" it is on this thy confession I build My Church. Wherefore the "thou art Peter": it is from the "stone" [petra] that Peter [Petrus] is, and not from Peter [Petrus] that the "stone" [petra] is, just as the Christian is from Christ, and not Christ from the Christian. Do you want to know, from what sort of "rock" [petra] the Apostle Peter [Petrus] was named? Hear the Apostle Paul: "Brethren, I do not want ye to be

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage
in the Orthodox Church:
Economia and Pastoral Guidance
by Mgr. Athenagoras Peckstadt
Bishop of Sinope[1]
International Congress
Catholic University of Leuven (18-20 April 2005)
The question is often asked what the orthodox position is on marriage. The answer to this question should be sought in the orthodox teaching on the “mystery or the sacrament” of marriage. We also know that the Roman Catholic Church considers marriage as a sacrament. There is however a very important difference which should be clarified here. In the first place, the Roman Catholic Church holds that the bride and bridegroom execute the marriage themselves, in their vows to each other. In the Orthodox Church it is the priest or the bishop who consecrates the marriage, who calls upon God in the name of the community, and asks that the Holy Spirit be sent down (epiclesis) on the man and woman and in this way make them “into one flesh”. In addition marriage is for the Orthodox Church rather a spiritual path, a seeking after God, the mystery of oneness and love, the preparatory portrayal of the Kingdom of God, than a necessity for reproduction.
All the acts of God are wonder­ful and mysterious. Each one of His Works, being a divine manifestation, bears the stamp of the mysterious and the incomprehensible. But the Blessed Sacrament of Holy Com­munion is the greatest of all the mir­acles that our Lord wrought upon earth.
The little, fragile, unpretentious Lamb which we adore upon our altars outviews the very stars of heaven in their infinity and splen­dor; it outweighs the whole universe, filled though it be with the wonders of the Almighty. Not only one mir­acle, but a whole chain of miracles envelop it like the crystal, and en­compass it like the gold and the precious stones of the Chalice. “Manhu, what is it?” exclaimed the people of Israel in joyful surprise when the manna fell like snowflakes from heaven. Manhu, what is it?” we may likewise exclaim, when we gaze upon our “Bread” from heaven and meditate on the wonders mani­fested in that miraculous Food.
In this inspiring Sacrament two golden chains of divine love unite. One extends from heaven to earth; the other ascends from earth to heaven.  READ MORE
An important quote in the Orthodox Matrimonial Service captures the aspects of unity and education in only a few words:
Unite them in one mind and one flesh, and grant unto them fair children for education in thy faith and fear.
Listening carefully to that quote, one will see two distinct ideas. The first idea has to do with the union of husband and wife: “Unite them in one mind and one flesh.” The second idea has to do with children and education: “Grant unto them fair children for education in thy faith and fear.”  READ MORE

Saturday, June 5, 2010

صلاة تأملية لاهالي غزة
 لصاحب السيادة المطران جورج خضر
’’يا رب، يا يسوع المسيح، يا ملك السلام إفتقد أهلنا في غزة برحمتك الواسعة وخذ أطفالها على يديك واجعل رعايتك لكل شعبها وامسح من كل عين كل دمعة وعوّض عن الحزن بالفرح
يا سيّدي يا من هو عزاء لكل قلب اجعل روحك في القلوب المتوجعة حتى تطمئن إليك وإلى حنانك. كن أنت راحة للجرحى وشفاء. خفّف... آلامهم. نجّهم من كل خوف. خذ على عاتقك كل وجودهم وارحم الذين ذهبوا إليك.
اللهم نقّ أرضهم من كل دنس وارفع عنهم كل طمع. طهّر أعداءهم من شهوة الإغتصاب وارفع كل ضربة عن المساكين. أطعم أهل المدينة جميعاً ما يقتاتون به ولا تجعلهم يعرفون الموت ولا القهر ولا الظلم إذ ليس فيك سوى العدل والحياة.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

صلاة القديسين من أجلنا
أحد جميع القديسين
القديس يوحنا الذهبي الفم
عن كتاب "منهج الواعظ" للمطران أبيفانيوس زائد
يحسن بنا الإعتماد على صلاة قديسي الله ولو كنا نشيطين بتتميم الواجب، وربما تقول: ما الحاجة الى صلاة الآخرين، إذا كنت أتمم واجباتي بنشاط؟ فأنا لست بحاجة إليها! لم يقل القديس بولس الرسول: لا حاجة الى صلاة الآخرين. مع أن الذين صلّوا لأجله لا يُضاهونه بشيء. فكيف تقول انت ما حاجتي الى صلاة الآخرين عني؟ والقديس بطرس الرسول لم يقل ما الحاجة الى هذه الصلاة، بل قيل: "وكانت الكنيسة تصلي الى الله من أجله بلا انقطاع" (أعمال 5 : 2) وأنت تقول ما الحاجة الى صلاة الآخرين؟
إنها تلزم، وخاصة لأنك لا تعترف بالحاجة إليها. إنك في حاجة الى صلاة الآخرين، ولو كنت معادلاً للرسل المتقدمين على غيرهم.
How To Set Up a Home Prayer Corner
 We offer for your consideration the article by Serge Alexeev, and hope that in it our readers will find answers to the questions most frequently posed. The article has been abridged.
• Where to place icons at home?
• Which icons should you have at home?
• How and in what order should you arrange your icons?
Are there strict rules in that regard?
• What should be our attitude toward holy things? What should you do if an icon's condition has rendered it unfit for use and it cannot be restored?
Quantity and quality are two different categories. It would be naïve to assume that the more holy images there are in an Orthodox Christian's house, the more pious his life is. A disorganized collection of icons, prints, religious wall calendars covering a significant amount of living space, can often have a directly opposite effect on a person's spiritual life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

رسل المسيح الأثني عشر
:أندراوس الرسول
اسم يوناني معناه "رجل حقاً" ويكتب Ἀνδρέας
اسم أبيه يونا متى 16: 17. وأخوه بطرس الرسول متى 10:2.
مهنة أندراوس الرسول صيد السمك مثل القديس بطرس وكان في الأصل تلميذ يوحنا المعمدان
بشّر القديس أندراوس في سكيثيا بيزنطية والأراضي على طول نهر الدانوب وروسيا وحول البحر الأسود، وأخيراً في اليونان
Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas
June 11th
Apostle Bartholomew
He died as he had lived – afraid of nothing, and full of praise for the Holy Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Crucified upside down after having been betrayed by a group of pagan priests in Armenia, St. Bartholomew the Holy Apostle continued to preach the Good News of Christianity to everyone in earshot!
He was dying in a far-off land, around 80 A.D., and yet his heart was bursting with love and also with forgiveness for his killers. For this Great Apostle, nothing could diminish the sheer joy of having been allowed to serve Almighty God.
His life was a dramatic spectacle – an adventurous saga that ranged from the deserts of Palestine to the mountains of Phrygia to the great forest-covered plains of India, and everywhere in between. During  his amazing odyssey as a defender of Jesus Christ, this fervent and bold-hearted Apostle would drive demons from the tiny body of a king’s daughter and fight a giant serpent (worshipped as a god by pagans) to
TAKEN FROMthe death. He would also restore the sight of a man who had been blind for more than 40 years.
The Miraculous Icon of the Theotokos "Of the Three Hands" and
St. John of Damascus
"Synaxis of the Icon of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos "Of the Three Hands." [Celebrated June 28th]
"The great defender of the Orthodox Faith against the Iconoclasts, our righteous Father John of Damascus, was slandered to the Caliph of Damascus by the Iconoclast Emperor Leo the Isaurian (reigned 717-741). Saint John was accused of sedition and his right hand was cut off. Having asked for the severed hand, Saint John passed the night in great pain, praying for the aid of the most holy Theotokos."
[The Immaculate Virgin appeared to the sufferer in his sleep, and gazing mercifully at him said: "Thy hand is now whole; sorrow no  more"    :// )]
"Awaking from sleep, he found that his hand had been miraculously restored, with only a red scar about the wrist where it had been severed, as a testimony to the wonderous healing. In thanksgiving, he had a silver hand attached to the icon to commemorate this great miracle."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

الوفاق المسيحي
القديس يوحنا الذهبي الفم
نقلها على العربية المطران أبيفانيوس زائد
"من أجل ذلك فليتخذ بعضكم بعضاً كما اتّخذكم المسيح لمجد الله" (رومية7:15) يا له من مثل عالٍ وثمر لا يوصف. علينا أن نمجّد الله، وخاصة إذا عشنا بسلام بعضاً مع بعض. أما إذا كنّا في خصام مع القريب فيجب أن نفكّر في ترك الغضب جانباً وتمجيد أبينا الذي في السموات، وفي مسامحة أخينا لأجل مجد الله قبل كل شيء. و هذا القول قد كرّره السيد يسوع المسيح لما خاطب أباه قائلاً: "حتى يؤمن العالم أنك أنت أرسلتني إذا كان تلاميذي كلهم واحد" (يوحنا2:17).
لنتبعْ أيها الأخوة وصية رسول المسيح متّفقين بعضاً مع بعض. إذا أراد احد أن ينفصل عنك فلا تنفصل عنه أنت بل أظهِر له محبتك بنوع خاص في مثل هذه الحالة حتى تجذبه إليك. إن القريب أحد أعضائك فإذا انفصل عضو من أعضائنا عن تركيب الجسد لسبب من الأسباب نبذل الجهد ونتذرّع بكل الوسائل الفعّالة لنرجِع هذا العضو إلى ما كان عليه