Система Orphus

Religious Vocabulary
TEXT BANK 2017
texts by students (2)

(Part 1 is here)



Условные обозначения:
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4th year of study: Spring 2017

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(71)

This week's quote is on love towards one's neighbour. Christ gave the commandment that goes: Love thy neighbour as thyself. Abba Poemen spoke on such an important subject to make sure Christians understand God's will. He gives us two examples: when you hear someone complain and you struggle with yourself and do not answer him back and when you are hurt and bear it patiently. I think Abba Poemen guides us to follow Christ's pass of the Cross. Everyone's cross is unique and we should bear it humbly and gratefully. Our neighbours must not suffer with us, furthermore, we should help them with their struggles, lay down our lives for them just like Jesus Christ laid down His life for our sakes.

Д.К. [(5) 69]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(61)

I've been going through major lack of faith lately and so I can tell life's become easier in a scary way. You stop thinking about going to hell or being a bad person, hurting yourself or hurting others, you don't think of death. Those are signs of a spiritual illness that imposes great sins onto the soul and influences me as a person. I agree with the quote and am praying to God for forgiveness of my sins.

Д.К. [(4,5) 64]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(74)

God has a design concerning this world and every human who ever lived. Consciousness that great outstands our corrupted earthly minds. We see things through the veil of our sins. People's nature is fallen and the Original sin drives us away from being what Adam was - "superhuman". But even Adam could not predict what was about to happen to him and Eve. But the day they fell was the same day God promised us Christ the Saviour. This is why we should never fall into despair and always remember that whatever bad happens to us, God will turn into good because He is loving and gracious.

Д.К. [(4,5) 59,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(45)

In each matter about which a man boasts himself, God permits that he change, so that he should be humbled, and learn humility, - says St. Isaac the Syrian.
I cannot agree more, for what he warns us about is too well-known to me. It is a painful experience but I like to believe it is done for the best and I am grateful for whatever God has prepared for me and whatever consequences I might be going through. I hope for His might to help me go through it and for His forgiveness for my pride. I thank Him for reminding me to stay humble and to give up on my laziness and excuses to stay the way I am. And I am praying so that He gives me the strength to become a better person.

Д.К. [(5) 54]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(48)

I think, but I am not sure, that what St. Symeon was trying to deliver with the quote means that it is not enough to be a good person to enter the Kingdom of God. It is well known that we also need to be active in the life of the Church. Partaking of the Holy Communion is becoming One with Christ. And without Him we cannot enter the "bridge" He built when he had trampled down death by death and entered the Sheol. So, to be like Jesus, in my opinion, includes many things. To recap, it means being devout to God, tradition and the Church.

Д.К. [(4) 49]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(49)

Every day consists of small things. They pile up and decide whether the day was good or bad. Take an average housewife. She tends to so many details: wiped clean cutlery, closed tube of toothpate, brushed out cat and so on and so forth among with, let's say, waxing the floor, helping the kids with their homework, doing the laundry. My granddad used to tell me it is in small details that married couples demonstrate their love and care towards each other.
Spiritual life is a battlefield that consists of small things. Holy fathers knew that and carefully worked on every little detail of their everyday lives. It included everything: the way they kept their shelter, the way they treated people, the way they worshipped God and the way they acted. I am grateful to be yet again reminded of the true meaning of the choices that I make, whether it is helping my mother do the laundry or apologise for what I have done wrongly.

Д.К. [(4,5) 45]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(50)

Not the righteous have I come to call, but sinners to salvation; there is more joy in heaven over one who repents than over ninety righteous ones.
Forgive me, Lord, for I have sinned.
I believe God spoke figuratively here and He values the righteous just as much as the sinners. But as a mother's heart hurts more for her sick child, so is the Father eager for us, sinners, to come to Him. As long as we repent and make it up to God by sinning no more and by good deeds, for faith without work is dead, He will welcome us into His Heavenly Kingdom.
Thus I agree with the quote by St. Herman in Alaska and put my hopes in God's mercy towards me. Amen.

Д.К. [(4,5) 40,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(52)

We all experience spiritual ups and downs. Self-justification drags us down, there's no doubt about that. Humility, on the other hand, gets us back on the feet. How does it work? Well, clearly, it is easier to make up an excuse for your false actions. But Christianity is not about being comfortable, it is about finding the harder ways, roads untravelled. If we want to follow Christ's example, we want to follow his path - which is the hardest. I bet each step on it is completely worth it.

Д.К. [(3) 36]


Repentance is the abandoning of all false paths that have been trodden by men’s feet, and men’s thoughts and desires, and a return to the new path: Christ’s path. But how can a sinful man repent unless he, in his heart, meets with the Lord and knows his own shame? Before little Zacchaeus saw the Lord with his eyes, he met Him in his heart and was ashamed of all his ways.

+ St. Nikolai Velimirovic


As there are many things I need to be grateful to God for, thrice as many I need to confess. "And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us", says the prayer.
St. Nikolai remenisces about a Bible event when Zacchaeus climbed up a sycamore fig tree so that he might be able to see Jesus because he was an outcast of society, not because he was short. His status didn't let him get close to Jesus, not his height. The crowd was shocked that Jesus, a religious teacher/prophet, would sully himself by being a guest of a tax collector. I ask myself: is there a single person on Earth who cannot reach out to Jesus Christ? Who cannot rely on His help and forgiveness? The Bible teaches us otherwise. The Lord despised the letter of law because He is the Law Giver, and His law is greater. It is shown to us by His helping the man with the dry hand on the Sabbath day. I spent Pascha in Israel this year. I didn't see the man with the dry hand there, nor Zacchaeus, nor Jesus. All I saw there was joy, happiness, beauty of architecture and nature. But I also couldn't help noticing fig trees, and they kept me thinking about miseries of the past. Of the far past, when Lord's disciples were learning His ways and making mistakes. Like that time when we were going up the Mount of Tabor in a comfortable car and I was so ready to fall asleep. Yet there they were - climbing the same mount, making their way through bushes, and stones, and trees. I was guiltier for wantng to sleep than they were on the day of Transfiguration. I hope God forgives me, a sinner, for what I've done.

Д.К. [(5) 33]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(96)

People tend to complain about hardness of their life. We pity ourselves and postpone everything until the deadline. The same happens in our spiritual life. We delay our daily prayers, prefer sleep to service and so on. We justify ourselves by the fact that it is difficult. But in comparison to Lord’s sufferings on the Cross our efforts are nothing. So we should stop procrastination. Time is fleeting, so we should use it to gain salvation.

М.С. [(5) 45]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(95)

Talents can be different and it’s true. Someone can sing, someone can teach and someone can masterly sweep the street. If we use our talents whatever they are in order to help people, to lead them to God and God’s name, then these talents are the tools for our salvation. But if we try to gain fame and popularity via these talents, then they became the tools of sin. We should be very careful with the abilities we’ve been granted by God. We should remember that every gift we have is given us for salvation.

М.С. [(3) 40]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(94)

I can not agree more with this quote. It usually happens that people don’t hear each other during a discussion or a conversation. It happens because they don’t want to listen – they want just to state their opinion. More than this, a lot of people believe that only their opinion can be correct. People think so because of self-love and pride. The real conversation should consist of telling and listening. Only then there will be some point in it. Otherwise it is better not to talk at all until healing this devil’s disease.

М.С. [(3,5) 37]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(93)

Archbishop Seraphim writes that the main passion we should struggle against during our whole life is self-love. Every other passion grows out of self-love. Living for others gives you a feeling of satisfaction with life and happiness. But if the ruler of your life is self-love, you will feel emptiness in your heart, have no power to struggle against passions and lose any hope to be happy.

М.С. [(4,5) 33,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(92)

I believe that it is very important for us to have relationships with spiritual people. They could be monks, elders or just righteous people. Living in a sinful world we need a living example of true spiritual life. And these people are such examples. Also via communication with them we can feel the power of God’s grace, get answers to unasked questions and learn how to lead our life.

М.С. [(4,5) 29]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(91)

I completely agree with this quote. Some people believe that if they point out a person’s mistake or, on the contrary, make a compliment, it helps the person to improve himself in future. But such comments should be made wisely in order not to make the person angry or self-proud. If it is necessary to point out a person’s mistakes then do it really tenderly, with care. And if you need to make a compliment, don’t flatter this person. Just tell him a few encouraging words. And if you feel you won’t manage to do it, just stay silent. It would cause less harm than incorrect words.

М.С. [(3) 24,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(90)

It is said “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. People are weak and it is hard for us to understand something or to believe in it without facing it. If a person never experienced (or better say never noticed) the presence of God in his life, it will be very hard for him to believe with all his heart. And even if you have experienced goodness of God, there is no way to explain it with words. Because there is no such a word which could be compared with the experience of God’s grace. That’s why teaching can help to believe only those who have already noticed the presence of God in their life.

М.С. [(5) 21,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(89)

I think this quote deals with ‘true humility’ and ‘false humility’. You cannot become meek in a few minutes just by wishing it. You should pacify your pride every day, every hour and every minute with great patience. To be patient towards your neighbor and especially towards your enemy is a great labor. And in the end these efforts will make you truly meek and will help you to lead a true spiritual life.

М.С. [(4) 16,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(88)

I partly agree with this quote. I believe that every person is granted with different traits and features. One person is kind by his nature; the other one is hard-working and so on. Those who don’t have these traits should work hard to gain them. But those who have such features should work even harder to keep and cherish them. God will judge not the level of kindness which we have reached but the amount of efforts we have used to struggle with passions. And it shows that He loves us equally no matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we were from the start.

М.С. [(4) 12,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(87)

I completely agree with this quote. People are granted with free will. We can choose whether to let God into our hearts or not. And if we choose God we shall learn to obey Him and we shall lose our freedom in order to follow His plan. And then it turns out to be the best way of living. By letting God to be our Ruler, we give Him an opportunity to make us happier than ever. But our faith should also be strong enough to entrust to Him our relatives and friends. We should pray for them and ask for them a better life, because only God knows what is good for our neighbors.

М.С. [(3,5) 8,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(24)

I can't agree with this quote more! First of all, thinking about the wrongs all the time can make you nervous, angry, it doesn't allow you to trust anybody.
I like the words from the prayer "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us". To my mind thinking about your offenders leads not only to the physical illnesses, but to the illness of your soul. And we should forgive and forget of wrongs, instead of boiling in them.

П.П. [(3) 72]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(2)

It's impossible to disagree with the Elder Nazarius. How many people, being attracted by the weal of life, died without repentance. How many people don't even believe in God and in the immortality of the human soul. Everything here on earth is inconstant, everything turns to the ashes. For the believers it's very important to be ready to leave this world, so we shouldn't forget that we won't live on earth forever, and we won't be able to take with us all the goods.

П.П. [(4) 69]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(1)

I partly agree with this quote. On the one hand, it's really hard to be a Christian. All these constant self-restrictions...
But on the other hand, why is it impossible to get the best from the both worlds? Once a nun told me that it's much harder to be saved in our modern world, because there are lots of temptations at every corner, so the layman is like a hero, who struggles every day. The monastery life is different, and it's easier not to fall into sins for monks. I suppose she said it in order to cheer me up, but I still think the opposite: the monks for me are almost saints.
Anyway, I believe that it is possible to be a so-called modern Christian who lives in both worlds. If you have God in your soul and heart and live according to you conscience, so why don't you enjoy living on earth?

П.П. [(3,5) 65]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(82)

I agree with this quote. From the smallest things appear the greatest. So on your path to salvation it's important to start from tiny steps. Sometimes so-called neophytes rush into the new spiritual life like into a pool and go overboard about it, cutting off all the lay things and torturing themselves with long prayers and fasts. But even the priests say that it's unacceptable.
The same is with the good deeds. You can help people do something trivial, and it is already good both for others and for yourself.

П.П. [(3,5) 61,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(95)

I agree with this quote. We all have different talents, which are, according to the Bible, shouldn't be buried, but should be grown and increased, and having them you should be careful not to become haughty and not to fall into sin. Leading the life according to the rules, given to us by God, we are protected from falling into so-called "woe from wit". Moreover there are so many people on earth who use their talents for serving people, and that's a good example.
As for the part "It is better to be a little stupider and simpler, but to be saved", I can say that we all know the example of mother Xenia of St. Petersburg, who intentionally chose the path of foolishness. Also I would like to cite a passage by Ambrose of Optina: "there are hundreds of angels where the simplicity is". So, I can say that I agree with the quote by St. Nikon of Optina.

П.П. [(4,5) 58]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(72)

The true believer shouldn't be ashamed of his faith, and shouldn't even think about the fear of being laughed at. First of all, is it really important what people say, if you believe in God, and not in a human? Thank our Lord we live in the country with the religious freedom.

П.П. [(2,5) 53,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(72)

I agree with this quote. To achieve the goal we should make an effort. The same is with the faith. It's said that the faith is dead without any deeds. That's why I think there should be a tangible proof of our faith. In word we are all Christians. Some people think they are true believers only because of the fact they were baptized in childhood, and that sometimes they visit Church. To my mind the real Orthodoxy is much deeper. So it really needs lots of work to be a Christian.

П.П. [(5) 51]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(87)

I completely agree with this statement. God gave us free will not accidentally, but so that we could choose and decide for ourselves how to act and which path to go. If a man chooses to be with God, he won't be rejected. That's why it's said in the Bible: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you".

П.П. [(3) 46]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(3)

Someone who gives money for charity can even be proud of what he does, although it may be the easiest thing for him if he's rich. Thinking yourself to be good may lead to the arrogance of heart, so I completely agree with this quote. Only humility and repentance helps our soul to be closer to God.

П.П. [(3) 43]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(21)

Everything in our world has been created so wisely! It's impossible for me not to be astonished how mighty God is. When you look at the ocean, at the power of waves crashing on the rocks, you just can't say a word, you like a grain of sand in front of it. The night sky which is full of stars can't leave anyone indifferent. Everything in our world is amazing, and it's impossible not to understand the might of the Creator through all His creations.

П.П. [(4) 40]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(22)

I think here is a thought that even an intention to help somebody or to make a good deed is already a plus. The same is with the evil. Evil thoughts coming to our mind can be accepted or ignored. And if we even think about doing something bad, and we have an intention to do it, it's already a sin in the eyes of God.

П.П. [(3) 36]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(55)

I completely agree with this quote. I think that's why we shouldn't judge anyone. Someone has done an evil thing and we start to think bad about him, even if he repented later and became better. And we ourselves fall into the sin of condemnation.
Everybody has his own life and history, and we are not able to see it fully. To my mind it's better to attend to your own life, because as it has been said in the Bible "Why do you see the speck of chaff that is in your brother’s eye, but don’t consider the beam that is in your own eye?"

П.П. [(3) 33]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(53)

To my mind this quote can be used in any sphere of our life. But if it is seen from the religious point of view, here it speaks about the narrow path to God. This way is very hard and thorny, but that's why it's really valuable, because we get it through the toil.
If we speak about the physical world, here it is the same. The house built by yourself is more valuable than if you get it for free.

П.П. [(2) 30]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(79)

I agree with this quote. Great faith thinks about eternity and doesn't depend on other people's opinion. The good example of such abehaviour is foolishness for Christ. Such people sacrifice public opinion to please God and kill the love of fame completely. When the Lord said: "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God", He meant that nothing earthly should attract us if we want to reach the Heavenly Kingdom.
My grandmother used to say, that only fools and children speak the truth. I think that true Christians are such fools and children for other people. They are unsophisticated, unsuspecting and trustful. And the last thing for them to do is to fear ridicule because they have "chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away" from them.

Е.З. [(3,5) 52]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(74)

I think nobody can disagree with this quote. In every person’s life, there was at least one event when somebody wanted something, but he didn't get it and it was for good. In the film "Remember me" there was an episode when a man was going to his workplace with his daughter. He was in a hurry, but the girl had a corn on her heel and couldn't go fast. A man was late for his work but in was divine goodness, because it was 11Th of September 2001 and the man worked in the World Trade Center.
There is one good Russian song from the Soviet period with wise words: "If it is snowing or raining or some other kind of weather, we should gratefully accept it". I think that a true Christian has to trust God every time and in every case and he will achieve happiness and peace in his soul.

Е.З. [(4) 48,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(73)

I like this quote very much because it proves that Protestants are not right about Sola Scriptura. They think that man doesn't need any expounding of Holy Scripture because everybody has a right to read it in his own way. But as Father Seraphim said, human reason has been corrupted and it needs a divine help in revelation.
This corruption humbled humanity. Nobody can be as arrogant to to think that he is like God. People are not perfectly clever, strong and good to be as proud as Lucifer. It helps us to be a flock of Christ, trust and believe in Him with all our being.

Е.З. [(3,5) 44,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(72)

Being a Christian is a hard work. One must understand that "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment", and every minute and action. We should be awake and use every chance to serve and please God, to be a true man and a true Christian.
We have to struggle unto blood and this is really necessary. The aim of this struggling is to win and if you are lazy you will fatally lose the fight. I think that there is no work harder than being a Christian because you have not got weekends, this work never ends.

Е.З. [(5) 41]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(11)

I completely agree with this quotation. It’s true, of course, that you notice a mote in another’s eye and don’t see a beam in your own. My mother used to tell me that every person hates his own sins so much that somehow he projects them into others. You see, it’s easier this way. In that case you don’t have to hate yourself. And even worse, it makes you feel like you’re better than this person. It prevents you from seeing your own flaws. But this is the wrong way of thinking. We waste all of our time thinking of the ways one should act or behave, while we can spend this precious time on repentance. I have a friend (let’s not mention any names) who is living a life full of lies to himself (herself). Always making excuses for his behavior, blaming everyone around him for his misery. It’s hard to change when you don’t see any flaws in yourself; as a result you stay the same person as you were 10 years ago.

Ю.К. [(2,5) 70]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(13)

I completely agree with this quotation. We need to try and please only God. We need to think of ways to save our souls and not to please men. The salvation of the soul should be our top priority. No matter how big of an influence these people have on our lives right now, in a few years it won’t matter. Sometimes by pleasing men you neglect God and it’s inexcusable. No, of course we should help each other, but there is a fine distinction between helping and pleasing that we should be aware of.

Ю.К. [(3,5) 41]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(23)

I completely agree with this quotation. All Saints considered themselves sinners and that’s what helped them to attain Holiness. They saw in themselves even the tiniest imperfections and worked really hard to get rid of them. Sometimes we see those imperfections too, but sometimes they become a part of our everyday life. And in that way it’s harder to get rid of them. It’s really important to be aware of our weaknesses in order to become a better version of ourselves.

Ю.К. [(3) 37,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(24)

I completely agree with this quotation. I do agree that you have to be aware of your sinning, but you shouldn’t dwell on it. You need to change, you need to repent and try not to sin again. It won’t do you any good if you just blame yourself for everything that you’ve done wrong. Let’s take me for example; I’ve always blamed myself for not studying hard enough. I’ve spent hours and hours cursing myself for not having self-control, but the results were seen to everyone - I still wasn’t a good student. But I decided to change it and it worked. As my grandmother used to tell me: «Less words, more action!»

Ю.К. [(2,5) 34,5]

It’s hard to imagine how torturous it was TO BEAR WITNESS TO ONE’S FAITH during the rule of militant atheism. What other atrocities were they able to commit? How a human being was able to COMMIT SACRILEGE or CONTEMPT THE HOLY SPIRIT?

Ю.К. [(1,5) 32]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(93)

I highly appreciate this quote. It deals with bitter truth about life, but this truth is also beautiful, because every victory in this struggle makes us closer to God for one step. Every minute fleshly passions and self-love attack us, and we have to be strong. And the greatest trouble of mankind is a self-love. One has only to remember about Eve’s temptation. The enemy of mankind tempted her with self-love, he promised that she would become greater than God. By the way, Lucifer himself fell because he was too happy about his own beauty. So since the Fall of man we are all suffering from a self-love. It can ruin all people’s good actions in a moment, because in the minute you think that you are a good and merciful person, all your mercies disappear.
We have to struggle unto blood and this is really necessary. The aim of this struggle is to win and if you feel pity about yourself you will lose the fight fatally. The Heavenly Kingdom is on a line.
In my opinion, to struggle self-love people should pray and ask for help. The fact is that we can’t achieve our aim all by ourselves. We should humbly realize that we are poor people and we can’t do anything without God.
Self-love brings emptiness to people’s life because we are parted from God and other people. Loneliness is a heavy and hard thing.

Е.З. [(3) 36]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(92)

Fr. Seraphim of Sarov said: “Save yourself and thousands around you will be saved”. It means that spiritual people have a great ability to help others by their own example. So, this quote is absolutely true. What is more, if there are only spiritual people around you, it won’t be possible to behave badly, because your conscience wouldn’t allow it.
I think that the spiritual father of my family is such a person. It was in Moscow when my father came to the church for nearly the first time. There was no service in it and he just sat on the bench. Soon Fr. Semion came up and talked to him. My father became Orthodox, gave up smoking and got married to my mother. My father is sure that Fr. Semion has a gift of foresight. Now I am happy to live in Moscow and see Fr. Semion twice a week. He is a monk and he serves God with all his heart. People in his parish often say that Fr. Semion is not their father – he is their mother.
He helps me a lot because when he is looking at me I know for sure that he sees the darkness of my soul. Sometimes I have thoughts to confess my sins somewhere else, because telling my wrong-doings in front of him is the hardest work ever. He never rebukes me but I am afraid of him very much. So, if I don’t want to tell something in front of Fr. Semion I shouldn’t do it. This is a great inspiration for being a good Christian.

Е.З. [(4) 16]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(90)

I agree with this quote fully. It means that we know about God only if we have met Him. That’s why I am sure that all disputes with non-believers are fruitless. We are speaking two different languages and we will never understand each other. Surely, teaching will not be useful, either.
The only way of a missionary is to become a true Christians by following the commandments. This is the only true way of living but it is not easy. We have to be daring and our life will become full and we will be happy. This way is more eloquent than teaching and this is the only thing that we can do for non-believers.
The main proof of God’s goodness is that He died for us.

Е.З. [(4) 12]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(89)

How good this quote is! Patience is the basis of spiritual life. When God sends you something not very pleasant to teach you and to make you better, the best way of behavior is to be patient and to thank God for these events. Such a behavior can help you to be humble, and this aim is one of the first for Christians.
Every day each of us has plenty of occasions to practice patience. I am not an exception. For example, my dorm neighbor never closes the door when she comes out. Every time when she leaves the room, I have to stand up and close the door. This is a highly irritating thing but I know that God tries me and I dream of passing this exam.
As for imitation of spiritual life I think Fr. John spoke about external manifestation of Christianity. You can be at the church twice a day, you can eat only bread and water during the Lent but at the same time you can hate everybody around you. Spiritual life is an inner struggling, and it is not just ostentatious saintliness.

Е.З. [(3) 8]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(87)

I agree with quote with all my heart. God needs only one thing and this is the human heart. The only true way of living is to give your heart to God and to let Him do whatever He wants. It is scary and we should be brave to do it. How to open the gates of our heart? I think, we can do it only by praying. Somebody said: “A flower is a flower because it blossoms, a bird is a bird because it sings, a man is a man because he prays”. The first thing to learn on this planet is how to pray.
Fr. Vojislav Dosenovich noticed that God will not come uninvited. “Can God create such a rock, which He cannot raise?” A human has free will and without his desire God won’t come. But if he has a wish to meet God, he has an opportunity to become firstly a true man, and then to become something more.

Е.З. [(5) 5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(15)

I completely agree with St. Theophan the Recluse. Our spiritual life demands great work on ourselves, patience, willpower and discipline. In my opinion, we as Christians should lead our life according to the dictates of reason, not to the dictates of our heart. It is often full of blind impulses. So, make yourself do what you should do as a Christian and you will see how God supports you. Accustom yourself to pray and you will feel God's blessing and His care for you. Father Sergius Bulgakov said, "Oh, what a mercy of God - prayer! Accustom yourself to the breath of prayer, entrust yourself with prayer, learn to do nothing without prayer, and you will be benefited!"

Н.Т. [(5) 76]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(14)

I completely agree with St. Ignatius Brianchaninov. I believe spiritual growth cannot happen without the efforts of soul and body and suffering some privations. We, Christians, should move bravely towards our spiritual aims, be strong in our struggling against temptations and direct our mind and heart to God asking His blessing in all our endeavours. Sometimes God gives us troubles in order to strengthen our spirit. For The Lord hasn't promised us an easy life, but he said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).

Н.Т. [(5) 50]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(13)

I agree with St. John Climacus's quote. Our Lord Jesus Christ told us, "Love your neighbour as yourself". However, that was the second Commandment, but the first one went, "Love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind". So the order in which these Commandments were given has very subtle and vital importance in the context of this quote. Our love to God should develop through the love to the neighbour. If we begin to please our neigbour for the neighbour's sake, but not for God's sake, we do it actually to satisfy our pride and conceit. That is the dangerous path that leads to hypocrisy and flattery.

Н.Т. [(4) 45]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(12)

I agree with this quote. I suppose an Orthodox Christian should work on himself everywhere and always. The peculiarity of this sinful world and our fallen nature is that even if we do not think about our sins and do not want to sin, we still do it. When we start to work on ourselves, when we stay in continuous spiritual sobriety and control ourselves, pray to God, He gives us power and strength to struggle against our sins and temptations. Apostle Paul says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:10-12).

Н.Т. [(5) 41]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(11)

I agree with Elder Joseph the Hesychast's quote. Our contemporary world is full of sinful pleasure which tries to replace the joy of communion with God. Such fun withers and devastates our souls. Of course, there is a huge variety of plants, animals and places on the planet that were created to attract us, to serve us. But let us do not forget about entertainment which destroys our souls and deprives us of spiritual integrity. Let me remind you this earthly life will end, for we are dust, and to dust we shall return, while our souls will live forever. That is why Christ says, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26).

Н.Т. [(4) 36]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(8)

I agree with this quote. I suppose, before teaching our neighbours we should mind our own lives, sins and frailties. Some people in the history, who denounced deeds of others in the name of The Lord, are known as blessed or holy fools. They rejected not only all earthly blessings but their minds for God's sake. They led pure devotional lives. I believe only the Saints, the Holy Fathers or priests have a right to denounce people, teach them, but not we, the laity, such sinful people, who cannot help even ourselves. I suppose, if you love your neighbour and would like to help him, pray for him. The Lord always hears our prayers. Apostle Paul says,"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people" (1 Timothy 2:1).

Н.Т. [(5) 32]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(7)

I completely agree with St. Tikhon of Zadonsk's quote. I believe, the conscience is the voice of God. We should live our lives according to Gods' Commandments, the Tradition of the Holy Fathers and the Holy Scripture in order to obtain salvation. In my opinion, the conscience as the gift of God can guide us even more surely than our mind. As for patience God teaches us by His own example. The Lord says, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls " (Matthew 11:29).

Н.Т. [(5) 27]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(6)

I suppose St. Ignatius Brianchaninov speaks about those who believe they are already saved. No matter how virtuous and pure our lives are, we always have the height which we should aim at. We have examples of the holy lives of our Fathers and Saints, of our Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, I am sure the closer we get to God, the clearer and deeper we can see our sins, penetrate their nature. Christ told us, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).

Н.Т. [(5) 22]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(5)

I completely agree with this quote. First of all, the man whose gaze does not go beyond the confines of this earth cannot reach the joy of being in Christ and with Christ here, in our world. Secondary, his life is limited only to earthly joys, pleasures of the flesh and of the mind. Our souls perish without God. I am fond of the quote by Blaise Pascal, it says, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ". Man cannot experience true freedom from a sin, "true freedom and glory of the children of God" without leading his life according to God's Commandments. In conclusion, I would like to add the words of The Lord, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 16:25).

Н.Т. [(3) 17]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(91)

I completely agree with this quote. There is a proverb and it goes, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions". Even if our message is vital, correct and proper we should not always use it or voice it. You cannot know which way a person will react to your message or which feeling you will cause with your comment. I know a couple of stories which tell us about people who reject the Church as an organization because being in the church for the first time they underwent unpleasant experience. An old woman or someone else made some comment in a rude and aggressive way about their appearance or other minor things. Let us better look more closely at ourselves! Saint Seraphim of Sarov says, "Save yourself and that is enough".

Н.Т. [(4) 14]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(93)

I completely agree with Archbishop Seraphim. Sometimes people hide their self-love under God's Commandment "Love your neighbour as yourself". However self-love and love for yourself are not only non-identical, but opposed. Self-love is self-conceit, satisfaction with yourself, the life for the satisfaction of your desires. Love for yourself is respect for your integrity, for your uniqueness, reconciliation with your demerits. Love for yourself is inseparable from respect for the other person, love to and understanding him, as the unique image of God.
Apostle Paul says, "Serve one another humbly in love" (Gal. 5:13). The man who serves another man with love, can show us by this he loves himself too. In contrast, a selfish person loves neither God, nor his brother and even has no peace within himself.

Н.Т. [(5) 10]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(92)

I completely agree with Elder Paisios as I believe spiritual people receive special grace from God. They lead pure and devotional lives and God rewards them for it. Spiritual people have not only worldly wisdom but a spiritual practice and know the Will of God better than we, the laity, who are burdened with worldly vanity. Spiritual people can help us with recommendations and with prayers for us.

Н.Т. [(5) 5]


1. All the Christians no matter what exactly they are - Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant - are WORSHIPPERS OF ONE GOD.
2. Soviet Russia was an ATHEIST STATE with the policy of CULTURAL STRANGULATION towards the Church provided by AGGRESSIVE and MILITANT ATHEISM, whose purpose was to EXTIRPATE ALL RELIGIOUS BELIEF.
3. There are some SERVICE BOOKS and ECCLESIASTICAL PUBLICATIONS with RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTIONS in our PARISH LIBRARY.
4. The members of the "LEAGUE OF MILITANT ATHEISTS" were adherents of INDIRECT METHODS OF PERSECUTION as well as of direct ones such as THE FORCED CLOSING OF CHURCHES and the IMPRISONMENT OF CLERGY, they also COMMITTED frequent SACRILEGE and killed thousands of PRIESTS, NUNS, MONKS and other ORDAINED PERSONS.
5. The Russian Church was in a very difficult situation under the Soviet TOTALITARIAN GOVERNMENT, it POSSESSED no LEGAL RIGHTS, it was prohibited to HOLD PROPERTY and lots of churches were even DESECRATED, MANY LAITY suffered IMPOVERISHMENT, in addition to it, the Church had to keep a COMPLETE LOYALTY to the SOVIET GOVERNMENT, that was a really HUMILIATING CONCESSION.
6. Most of the Bolsheviks were EXCOMMUNICATED and ANATHEMATIZED.
7. After lots of attempts to decline to RECONCILE the IRRECONCILABLE some kind of CONCILIATORY POLICY TOWARDS COMMUNIST AUTHORITIES has been accepted.
8. A SUBSERVIENT CHURCH was very useful for THE SOVIET GOVERNMENT.
9. Many people who died for their faith during the Soviet period of Russian history were later proclaimed THE NEW MARTYRS and CONFESSORS OF RUSSIA, who caused an AMAZING QUICKENING OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE and ABUNDANT OUTPOURING OF GRACE by their example and proved the impossibility of THE OVERTHROW OF ALL RELIGION.
10. People of the same religion are called CO-RELIGIONISTS.
11. THE DECREE ON THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE underscored THE BASIC INCOMPATIBILITY BETWEEN COMMUNIST IDEOLOGY AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.

А.Я. [(17) 61]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(91)

I think that this quote is true concerning children or someone who has just taken up some activities. When someone doesn't manage something in the very beginning of his way it is not necessary to tell him about it, even if it is the truth. Otherwise, this someone can loose his desire for this activity and give it up, although one can become really successful in that in the end. On the contrary, we should encourage and support such people, stimulate their further development by telling them that they are wonderful at what they do and that they are ought to continue doing this.
But actually it depends on the person. For some people it's better to hear the truth even (or may be especially) if it is bitter, so they put themselves together and try to do their best, proving that they can do it well if they make lots of effort.

А.Я. [(5) 19]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(92)

It's obvious that one man who works or fights alone cannot do much. It's also true in respect to the Orthodox. That's why we need co-religionists, who are adherents of the same idea, the same faith, that is, we have one great common cause and should help each other to achieve our main goal, that is salvation of our souls. This task is not simple at all and one man is not able to complete this mission alone without any help. Even when we go to church that is necessary, we are not alone there, we pray and worship God all together. So, when we are together, forming the so-called Christian community, we are helped not only by each other but also by God Himself.

А.Я. [(4,5) 14]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(93)

I agree with the quote by Archbishop Seraphim of Bogucharsk. Of course, the path that leads us to the Heavenly Kingdom is not flat and simple, it is full of pitfalls in the form of passions and temptations, which we should always struggle against. And according to Archbishop Seraphim Sobolev, this struggle is supposed to be "unto blood" in order to extirpate them forever and not to fall into them again. One of the most dangerous form of fleshly passion is self-love, which paradoxically leads to emptiness of life and sorrow. It happens because one loves and notices nobody except oneself, but as we know, happiness is the love to God and to all your neighbors, who fill your life with joy and lovely moments, who can convert all your sorrows into pleasure by helping and encouraging you.

А.Я. [(4,5) 9,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(4)

I completely disagree with this quotation. I don’t think that a person that lets himself to be carried away by pleasure doesn’t have a chance to be saved. Every person has a right to choose his or her path, but as I gathered from this quotation it is not so. It is said here that if a soul makes a mistake, there is no way for her to get out of it. We have a lot of examples in our lives when people were able to find a way back to where they were before. And even the examples when God Himself was helping to those people. Even I have such an example. My friend has lost her true self when she moved out of her parents. She allowed herself to slip into the slough of enjoyment, but after some time she was able to pull herself out of it. Yes, I do agree that a person can make mistakes, but I completely disagree with the fact that there is no way to save yourself from it.

Ю.К. [(3) 30,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(93)

I completely agree with this quotation. The path that leads to God lies through the struggling with your passions. We live in a time when self-love is introduced as something good, it’s somehow become a cult. People ignore the fact that self-love is the root of sins. People are trying to justify themselves and the fact that they don’t want to sacrifice their comfort in order to safe their souls. Self-love has become way more important than the love to God. People try to distance themselves from the Church, because they think that it would make their life easier. But in reality, all they have left is emptiness. At the end of the day they are left with sorrow, an endless string of empty promises and sadness. Sometimes it’s good to just take a step back and take a look at your life. This kind of quotes are really helpful. They help to keep your heart and head in the right place.

Ю.К. [(5) 27,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(92)

I completely agree with Elder Paisios. There are times when a person can’t decide which path he should take. In times like this we can rely on the help of spiritual people. Unfortunately I have not had a chance to meet such person. But a close friend of my mother had an encounter with a spiritual person. This meeting turned her whole life for the better. She was living her life in a sin, she didn’t live Orthodoxy. However that person was able to reach her heart and helped her to become closer to God. She once told me that spiritual people come into your life just when you need them to, just at the right time. I hope that someday I will be able to meet such person.

Ю.К. [(4,5) 22,5]


1. When I was a child my mother used to tell me about THE NEW MARTYRS AND CONFESSORS OF RUSSIA.
2. Back in the days of Perestroika the policy of THE ECCLESIASTICAL HIERARCHY was severely criticized.
3. The fact that THE FORCED CLOSING OF CHURCHES and THE IMPRISONMENT OF CLERGY took place gives me a headache. Why was it a normal thing to do? To me it was an act of unspeakable cruelty.
4. The POLICY OF CULTURAL STRANGULATION failed to EXTERMINATE RELIGIOUS BELIEF at once, so Bolsheviks decided that a SUBSERVIENT CHURCH is better than no Church at all. They wanted to attack the Church from the inside. As a result a group of people called ‘RENEWED’ OR ‘LIVING CHURCH’ initiated a reform.
5. St. Tikhon designated three LOCUM TENENTES or ‘GUARDIANS’ OF THE PATRIARCHAL THRONE: Metropolitans Cyril, Agathangel, and Peter.
6. Sergius, Metropolitan of Nizhni-Novgorod had a curious title ‘DEPUTY TO THE LOCUM TENENS’. Many say that he was brainwashed during his time in a prison. He asked the authorities to permit him to live in Moscow and to LEGALIZE THE PATRIARCHAL SYNOD. He was forced to make HUMILIATING CONCESSIONS to the State. And some have felt that he involved the Church in A SOUL-DESTROYING POLICY OF SYSTEMATIC DUPLICITY. He was the head of the RUSSIAN CHURCH IN EXILE.
7. The dissolution of THE LEAGUE OF MILITANT ATHEISTS wasn’t a threat to the Church, but it was a huge blow to the government.
8. I still don’t understand why someone thought that it would be a good idea to connect the Church with the Communist State. I’m not even talking about the fact that the Church should posses the internal freedom, which it should. I’m talking about THE BASIC INCOMPABILITY BETWEEN COMMUNIST IDEOLOGY AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.
9.In 1927 Maximus was PROFESSED A MONK and CONSECRATED BISHOP.

Ю.К. [(9) 18]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(91)

I completely agree with Elder Paisios, that if you see someone making a mistake, instead of tossing out a comment you should try and help him. We can see such things in the Church, when old ladies, out of good intentions of course, are making a harsh comments, which can push away the people who are not so strong in their faith. Not long ago I was talking with my friend, she told me about her first time being in the church. She was passing by a church and she had this instant urge to go to the service. Due to the fact that it was a spontaneous decision she was wearing jeans. During the service an old lady came up to her and pointed out in a rude manner that she wasn’t wearing a skirt. The lady not so nicely asked her to leave. My friend left the church. As a result, for a long period of time she didn’t have enough courage to go there again, she was too afraid to do something wrong. This quotation doesn’t hold a new information to me, but it is important to keep reminding these words to yourself.

Ю.К. [(4) 9]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(90)

I completely agree with this quotation. It doesn’t matter how many books you have read, what really matters is what is in your heart. You need to open the gates of your heart from the inside for God to come into your life. I can relate to this quotation. Before I entered this University I wasn’t living in Orthodoxy. At first I didn’t really understand the truth that professors were trying to explain to us during our theological lectures. I did get the point, but I wasn’t feeling it in my heart. But as the time passed I started to feel it. Now I don’t fully understand how I managed to live before (if you can call the life without God – a life). This quotation doesn’t express anything new to me, but it is nice to be reminded of it from time to time. We need to keep in mind that teachings are important, but it doesn’t go without a sacrifice.

Ю.К. [(5) 5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(94)

St. John Climacus lived in 579-606 AD which seems like a long time ago, yet his words are still valid. I particularly like this week's quote because it aims at so many people of different backgrounds and different beliefs. Not only Christians can comprehend and accept the message. Especially in today's Western society there is a tendency to take extra care of speech to prevent any offence through it. On the Internet we come across slang acronyms as imho (in my humble opinion), which proves the point: people want to maintain peaceful discussions with one another. I'm not saying that certain slang words appeared due to St. John's input, but what I'm trying to say is that it's important to have respect towards other people's views since we do not know details of their upbringing, education and, well, because we ourselves might be wrong.
As religious people, we should put love above all other things including the urge to impose our own opinion on others! If after a steamy argument the opponent leaves assured of your arrogance, it means you've failed to be a good Christian!

Д.К. [(5) 28]


The idea of a SUBSERVIENT CHURCH is extremely dangerous as it contradicts to the very purpose of the church which is to be the house of God on the Earth and not a political weapon of the government.
A lot of people were CONVERTED to Christianity during the World War II as they witnessed various miracles.
The Soviet Union had a TOTALITARIAN GOVERNMENT that aimed to the OVERTHROW OF ALL RELIGIONS and COMMITTED SACRILEGES such as desecrating churches.
THE CLOSURE OF CHURCHES during the Soviet time had a devastating effect on the Orthodox community in Russia and made people think about following the example of the CATACOMB CHURCH.
One of the main reasons for the conflict between the Church and the communists was the BASIC INCOMPATIBILITY BETWEEN COMMUNIST IDEOLOGY AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.

А.К. [(4) 46]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(93)

The quote says that the way to the Heaven is very hard. It consists of endless struggle with yourself. It says that it is very important to be strict with yourself and not to give in to your whims and weaknesses as they are easily transformed into temptations and passions. I agree with this quote because I believe that it is impossible for the path to Heaven to be easy. That the whole point of life to be hard and full of trials. There is no other way to be deemed worthy of entering the Kingdom of God.

А.К. [(5) 20]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(92)

A spiritual person is the one who is very close to God. Such people are very calm and kind. Such people can become an incredibly motivating example of the fact that being a Christian is a joyous thing. The quote states that meeting such person can be very helpful for those who are struggling — and that is the indisputable truth. Such people possess a quality of great patience and can be very sympathetic to problems of those who struggle. They can easily inspire and encourage them to continue their fight against the temptations.

А.К. [(5) 15]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(91)

The quote says that sometimes it is for the best to keep silent and do not correct your neighbour. It can be inconsiderate due to the possibility of your comment to make the other person angry or despondent or even give up. I believe that some things are better to be figured out by people on their own. Advice and comments from other people may disturb them. Also, there is nothing worse than pushing other people to do something, especially concerning matters of faith. If a mother wants her child to never attend the church ever again, the best thing she can do is to press him into going there. The other interesting thing is that sometimes false comments can be good. So-called white lies can motivate people and let them be better at whatever they are aspiring to do their best. Though it is important to remember that white lies should be very close to the truth.

А.К. [(5) 10]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(90)

The meaning of this quote is that faith cannot be taught however eloquent the teacher is unless the student has had a glimpse of what Christianity is from inside. Matters of faith are impossible to describe to a clueless person as they will simply not understand what you are talking about. It is especially difficult for outsiders to get how it is possible to be not overly anxious about the future. Non-believers are not used to the idea of being constantly cared about by God — it is undebatable that He still cares about them but since they do not know where to look for the acts of His grace they cannot see it and tend to believe that miracles do not exist. Moreover, even the most of experienced Christians are tempted sometimes with thoughts whether their faith is real. Nevertheless, we all should remember that the very existence of our world is the proof of the goodness of our Lord.

А.К. [(5) 5]


1) Even this AGGRESSIVE AND MILITANT ATHEISM could not EXTIRPATE all religious belief and we can witness an amazing QUICKENING OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE and abundant OUTPOURINGS OF GRACE in this period.
2) Though we are WORSHIPPERS OF ONE GOD we are not CO-RELIGIONISTS at all and there is so much INCOMPATIBILITY in our doctrines. If we agree to these HUMILIATING CONCESSIONS we will lose our INTEGRITY, for it has been just another attempt to RECONCILE THE IRRECONCILABLE.
3) Every day he went to the PARISH LIBRARY where he could read RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTIONS of saints and modern ECCLESIASTICAL PUBLICATIONS and on Sundays he attended CATECHISM CLASSES where he studied theology with great ASSIDUITY.

Ю.Г. [(8) 92]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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Every tree is known by its fruit. But there are various kinds of trees that differ in their origin and consequently they yield different fruit. Thus, you cannot expect an apple-tree to yield pears but you want it to yield good apples. You treat different trees accordingly but with equal care and love as they are different components of the same garden. Similarly, all people have a certain heredity and upbringing which influence on them throughout all their lives. That is why we are told not to judge. We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge people on the raw material at all, but on what they have done with it. Jesus Christ says: But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked (Luke 12:48).
However we should always remember that everything is possible with God’s help. If only He wills, those of us who are originally apple-trees will begin to yield pears, or peaches, or plums or whatever else. Let’s entrust ourselves to the Gardener and undergo obediently and gratefully all those methods of care that He designed for us so that we would not wither but thrive and yield such fruit which will enable our souls to enter the garden of God.

Ю.Г. [(5) 58]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(89)

We all know how difficult it is to control yourself and keep patient when you actually want to give vent to all your negative feelings and emotions. But if you persist in learning patience, one day you will discover something new in your inner state. You will begin to react calmly to those things which used to irritate you. Your soul will receive strength to endure afflictions courageously, without anger or despondency. That's how patience turns into humility on condition that you practice it constantly and not out of pride or vainglory but for the sake of God as this is His commandment.
It is said in the Hebrews: "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it”.
If we fail to stay patient and instead indulge in pride we will come to a dead end because where there is pride there is no love but alienation from God and other people which brings hatred and malice into our souls. How can such a damaged soul enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

Ю.Г. [(4,5) 53]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(92)

I think that spiritual people have a special ability to inspire others to lead a spiritual life. That is why many people try to find a confessor who is believed to be truly spiritual so that he could share his wisdom with them and communicate to them his spiritual state.
When we feel desperate or confused we need someone to support us, to help us get away from troublesome thoughts which are eating us up. God is the only one who can give us comfort and consolation but our sins, our doubts and fears prevent us from opening our hearts to Him. Thus we need someone who can instruct us and show us a way to God. Saints have left us priceless heritage and we can and should apply to their teachings. And still, a spiritual person who can be near us, who can talk personally to us is of great help.
So, spiritual people are guides who encourage us to incline ourselves towards virtues and away from vices by their own example which leads us to spiritual improvement. As the saying goes, man is known by the company he keeps.

Ю.Г. [(5) 48,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(91)

When people come to Church for the first time they may meet those parishioners who consider themselves to be all-knowing specialists in Church life so they tend to give remarks (often aggressive ones) when they spot that something doesn’t conform to certain rules. These may be both real Church regulations and some made-up rules. Unfortunately newcomers often take such remarks to close to heart, they take offense and some of them just go away and never come back.
We should be very careful about what we say to others if we care about their feelings. Even truth should be revealed with mild words. It is said in Proverbs: "Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences" (Proverbs 18:20-24).

Ю.Г. [(5) 43,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(90)

No matter what you read or hear about God – if you don’t open your heart to accept Him you just stay blind and deaf to all those words. Only through our own experience we can get to know God’s grace. We’ll know it when we feel it ourselves. And to receive it we have to cleanse our hearts. Saint Nicholas of Serbia says to unbelievers: "It’s wrong to say that there is no God. You’ll be more correct if you say that you have no God. As you yourself can see many people around you who feel God’s presence and claim that there is God. Therefore, it is you who doesn’t have God, but it doesn’t mean that no one else in this world has Him and that He doesn’t exist".

Ю.Г. [(5) 38,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(18)

The modern world constantly offers us its ideology of being lenient to ourselves. It says: don’t beat yourself up, don’t strive for the impossible; enjoy the moment while you still have it, for lost time is never found again. But let’s put some weight on the other side of the scale: those constraints the Church advises us to put ourselves into are there for a reason. Struggle against passions is what we have to be aimed at. This is meant to be the race we are trying to run. For how can God abide in our hearts if they are occupied by earthly pleasures?
Comfort and enjoyments the world offers are so primitive. They all prove to be meaningless in the end. The only true Comfort and Joy is God.

Ю.Г. [(4,5) 33,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(10)

We as Christians should set an example to others so that other people could see that there is something reasonable and serious in what Christianity teaches. When people look at Christians and see that they are just as angry, greedy, self-centered and easily irritated as they themselves are, they come to the conclusion that there is no sense in such religion as it has nothing to offer, it cannot help people change. So, it’s a direct obligation of the faithful to show others the right path by their own example. If we persist in endeavoring to lead a truly Christian life then our spiritual state will change and people will see it and feel it. And such feelings may induce them to try this way of life too.

Ю.Г. [(5) 29]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(14)

Some people want to create the paradise here on Earth. They suppose that it’s possible to extirpate the evil and make this world infallible and perfect. But what is the purpose of this imaginable perfection if it just makes your life easy and carefree? God gives us all a cross to bear so that we could regenerate from fallen people to heavenly creatures. Thus, tribulations serve to purify us. This purification is the purpose of our lives and there is no other way except to take pains and bear your burden.

Ю.Г. [(4) 24]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(87)

When something bad happens to us we immediately remember God and ask Him for help, but when we are satisfied with our lives we tend to forget Him and even see Him as a barrier in the way to our happiness, as His commandments do not always correlate with our wishes. Thus, we prevent God from entering our hearts, we deliberately avoid Him and decide to build our own world without Him. Little children object to parents because they want liberty and independence which appear to them as something great. But if a little child leaves parents' home he won’t be safe out in the streets. Similarly we as creatures rebel against our Creator. We fight for something what we consider to be great but what proves to be nothing in the end while we could surrender and accept God Who is everything.

Ю.Г. [(5) 20]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(84)

I heard many Orthodox people saying that they believe in God in their hearts but they don’t need Church and all its rules and teachings. What surprises me most of all is that they still claim to be Orthodox. How can you consider yourself to be a member of a certain group if you don’t share its ideology? Obviously, you are not a member then, but an outsider. At the same time you can be rather good and virtuous, you can love your neighbours, but are you sure that you are on the safe side, that you don’t deprive yourself of something really important if you ignore a centuries-old tradition? Maybe the root of the problem is our laziness or ignorance. Whatever it is, it needs reconsideration, for Orthodoxy is not just a term but a way of life which you either follow or reject.

Ю.Г. [(5) 15]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(33)

The purpose of piety is not to regulate our outward conduct but to change the inner state of our souls. Piety can prove to be just hypocrisy if it’s not beneficial to the soul, if it’s not directed to cleansing of one’s heart from vices. St. Kosmas Aitolos says: "Even if we perform upon thousands of good works, my brethren: fasts, prayers, almsgiving; even if we shed our blood for our Christ and we don’t have these two loves [love of God and love of brethren], but on the contrary have hatred and malice toward our brethren, all the good we have done is of the devil and we go to hell".
Some people think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain: if you follow a certain set of rules you’ll be saved. Indeed we should follow the rules but not take them as the guarantee of our salvation. These rules are the methods of cure for our souls. Thus, they are not the goal themselves but a means for us to reach the true goal – to transform ourselves spiritually by following the path of deification.

Ю.Г. [(5) 10]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(11)

People spend their lives indulging in entertainments and enjoyments in hope of becoming happy. They rely upon earthly things and expect them to bring complete bliss. But how mistaken are they, who are seeking rest in this present life, who are attempting to make pleasures of this world their portion, for there can be no happiness outside of God. And God abides only in a pure heart. St. Nektarios of Aegina says: "It is the same thing to construct the tower of happiness outside of ourselves as it is to build a house in a place that is consistently shaken by earthquakes. Happiness is found within ourselves, and blessed is the man who has understood this. Happiness is a pure heart, for such a heart becomes the throne of God".
I also like the way Clive Lewis elaborates on this subject: "God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there".

Ю.Г. [(5) 5]

1. The communists wanted to EXTERMINATE RELIGIOUS BELIEF.
2. Holy Patriarch Tikhon refused to support any movements that had CRYPTO-COMMUNIST character.
3. The ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE of Constantinople is one of the fourteen autocephalous churches that together compose the Eastern Orthodox Church.
4. LOCUM TENENS from Latin means "one holding a place".

П.П. [(2) 28]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(90)

I completely agree with the quote by St. Basil the Great, because everybody knows that it's better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times. It seems to me that everybody even once felt the goodness of the Lord. As for the atheists, maybe they felt it too, but couldn't explain and didn't understand it.
I can say that the Lord has helped me a lot since my birth, so I can truly feel His goodness. I was at the border between life and death, and He saved me.

П.П. [(5) 5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(90)

I tend to agree with the author of this quote. It's difficult to explain somebody what the goodness of God is and almost impossible to persuade someone, who is rather far from religion, that it exists. But it does. It appears in every single moment of our lives. For me, the greatest experience of goodness of God is the fact that I was born in such a wonderful, united family, where the parents love each other and their children, bringing them up in the atmosphere of harmony, kindness, love and mutual understanding. And if we start to analyze our life from this point of view we can quickly realize that it's full of similar examples of God's goodness.

А.Я. [(5) 5]




М.С. [(0) 5]


4th year of study: Autumn 2016

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(72)

So many people consider themselves Christians. Here in Russia being Orthodox is a part of self-identity: I'm Russian thus I'm Orthodox. In fact, they have little idea of what they're talking about. Some of them go to church maximum twice a year: at Christmas and on Pascha. Many show up there twice: at the baptism and the funeral. This is clearly not what Christianity is about. I must admit that it requires certain efforts to wake up and attend the Liturgy. Even more effort we need to put into staying virtuous throughout the day after the Liturgy and to restrain from sinning.

Д.К. [(5) 98,3]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(66)

This quote is aimed to show an example of misunderstanding of the spiritual life. The girl who came to the elder certainly possessed dedication. Her problem was that the hard work she had been doing: fasting and learning the Scriptures by heart was useless to her. She had probably never read the Holy Fathers who explain the Old and the New Testaments verse by verse, otherwise she would have given the elder proper answers to his deep questions. The girl cannot differenciate between good and evil. I hope that having had a conversation about it with the elder she then moved to another spiritual level.

Д.К. [(3,5) 93,3]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(65)

I both approve and disapprove of this week's comparison between man and dog. Dogs have no free will whereas human beings are complex and have common sense. Still, it is hard to disagree that a well-bread dog stays loyal, kind and loving throughout its life and humans keep changing which sometimes leads to them deceiving and betraying. On the other hand, men can always repent and I have never heard of any dog going to confession. I think the quote makes us ponder about humility and love to the neighbor.

Д.К. [(5) 89,8]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(55)

St. John Climacus expressed how disgusting it is to judge people in just one sentence. We never judge ourselves, we believe in our own goodness and readily make up excuses. But when it comes to others, we are more than willing to point out their failures, sins and mistakes. We forget to excuse others, we daily violate the words of the prayer: "and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". Not only do we not forgive but also do not wish to accept that others may be better than us, repent more often and more sincerely.

Д.К. [(5) 84,8]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(80)

Father Seraphim is ready to pursue the pass of crucifixion and asks God to support him in it. What does the ascetic mean?
I am certain that the word "crucifixion" is used metaphorically here. Indeed, we cannot all be crucified like Jesus was. Although some holy martyrs ended their lives that way and are venerated by the Orthodox church. Laymen as I am can crucify our earthly demands, passions and lay everything down to Christ's suffering feet. We're all caring our personal crosses. We all suffer. Our sorrows should not lead us to devastation as we are to remember what God the Lord came through for us. We should bear them with joy but also increase the earthly suffering by rejecting sinful pleasures for the sake of the Heavenly Kingdom. Thus we will gain inner happiness which will keep us going to the very end.

Д.К. [(5) 79,8]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(79)

Bishop Nikolay speaks about great faith that does not depend on the opinion of people. They may believe that you are a complete failure and a ridiculous person, mock your beliefs and your behavior but if you carry true faith within you, you do not care and do not even think about it. How often have I heard non-believers call religious people "morons"! Maybe we create this kind of impression, but is it bad? Does it influence us? Orthodox children suffer severe bullying at school and sometimes it shrinks their faith. Even adults may get self-conscious about the topic of faith and try to avoid it in conversation. We read in the Scriptures: "Lift up your eyes to the heavens and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner; but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed". (Is 51:6) To my mind, this verse is comforting for it reminds us that everything is temporary and only God is eternal. We are Orthodox Christians and we seek eternity and unity with God and in God.

Д.К. [(4,5) 74,8]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(78)

May it be easy for us to perform good deeds, to show everyone how virtuous we are? Yes it may, taking that we are prosperous, healthy, wealthy, happy with our lives and have the means to help others. Maybe we work as government officials and it is our daily responsibility to help people! But does it actually make us good? Will God accept good deeds when they're performed at ease? "Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matt 18:21) Here is the answer given by God Himself. He wants us to share, not only give. He wants our personal dedication, we need to humiliate ourselves and put the neighbor at first place. Only this way will we attain spiritual perfection.

Д.К. [(5) 70,3]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(87)

The quote brings up important theological issues such as the free will and God's power. We read: "God comes into our lives when we invite Him" and also "He will not come uninvited". God entering the human soul and interfering in human affairs without the person's will would be violating the human nature and God Himself. For God created us in the image and likeness of Himself. He doesn't want to make us follow the commadnments, He's not willing to force us into His Kingdom. And that's what Fr. Vojislav Dosenovich talks about in this extract.
The second part of the quote, however, sounds extreme to me. The father says that God comes to help us when we're willing to surrender our life, our loved ones, our health, our victories and defeats to Him. It's hard for me to imagine that such people exist and if they do, it should be a small amount of the faithful. In my own experience, God helps me whenever I remember about my spiritual life and ask Him for help. Sometimes His help comes later but always at the right moment.
He works with His powers - His grace. And when we experience grace we can be sure that we're communicating with God Himself for He has got nature (unknowable to man) and powers. Sometimes we feel His grace in the temple or in popular cloisters. My favourite one is The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius. It's essential for every Christian to partake of the Holy Communion, too.

Д.К. [(4) 65,3]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(86)

Father Tithoes speaks of a "way" or road to humility. Self-control and prayer are easier to accept than "thinking yourself inferior to all creatures". Is it physchologically healthy to think of yourself as inferior? But the desert elders are not using "inferior" in a hierarchichal context where one person is more or less important than another. Neither do they refer to a moral distinction that declares one person is better or worse than someone else. Like St. Paul, they realised the danger of comparing oneself with a neighbour or leader. The wisdom in "thinking yourself inferior" lies in awareness that we are walking the path of humility together and each person has unique gifts to offer. In like manner, we all have weaknesses and make mistakes. When "thinking yourself inferior" is understood as not desiring to be "in the first place" in relation to another person, it becomes an attitude of solidarity, rather than competition or judgement. We can be present to another person as he or she is, not in reference to ourselves.

Д.К. [(5) 61,3]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(85)

How shall we understand the words "God does not come near to where flesh is in charge"? Does it mean that He isn't omnipotent? Indeed He is. What Saint Theophan means is that if flesh is the priority of ours, there is no place for the heavenly. In order to reunite with God we should put our spirit in the first place. And, of course, the spirit is and will be corrupted or "out of the proper order" as the holy hierarch says. But we should not be discouraged by it, for God is our Healer.
St. Theophan speaks about the first calling of God, it's unique for every individual but there has to be fear of God and the voice of conscience. "And when a man finally makes his free deliberate choice for the spirit, then God will join that man and dwell in him".
Interesting are the words "From that moment on begins the conversion of his soul and body". They mean that God reaches to the body through the soul. It has to begin with the soul, there's no other way. "And the man which once was carnal, transforms into a spiritual being and becomes sanctified" - God abides in us and brings us to salvation. St. Theophan truly was a wise man and he managed to describe the process of salvation clearly and in few words.

Д.К. [(4,5) 56,3]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(84)

I deeply relate to the view on Orthodoxy expressed by Father Seraphim Rose. There're all sorts of people in the Church. Sometimes you meet those who present "simple faith" like that of the illiterate shepherds that came to meet and glorify little Jesus Christ. There're saints, great scholars, wonderful people but also bishops without faith, theologians that care about their scientific works and disputes more than about Christ. We must always bear in mind that Jesus Christ is the centre, the core of the Church and nothing is more important. What use have dogmas for you if you curse your parents? If you insult, judge, lose temper and do not repent? Orthodoxy shouldn't be all about clever books and loud disputes over consensus patrum, Orthodoxy is first and foremost - a lifestyle. The lifestyle of taking narrow paths, embracing sorrows with gratitude, humiliating yourself, caring for the neighbour. On the last day of judgement we won't recite the Creed, we will answer for what we've done or not done. “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matt 25:41-46)

Д.К. [(5) 51,8]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(83)

There's a strong belief within the Russian Orthodox community that religious people should be calm, reserved, serious, always thinking of the sin, death, Christ's suffering and the corruption of the world. The words of St. Seraphim of Sarov are aimed at such people. The saint is a great example of a joyous person, from the first glance at his icons one understands how loving and kind he was.
Father Seraphim points out that cheerfulness drives away weariness and I completely agree. I'm always up to something fun! And so it helps me gain new wonderful memories that keep me going. Thus I'm being protected from despondency by having an easy attitude towards problems.

Д.К. [(5) 46,8]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(82)

"We should never say that nothing is important. On the contrary, everything is important". Modern young people tend to consider scepticism, sarcasm and light attitude towards everything fashionable. They often "don't care", "don't love", mock morals and everything that's believed classical, good and important. And of course they don't pay attention to the details.
Elder Sergei of Vanves was one of the most charismatic figures in 20th-century Western Europe. Elder Sergei spent his life in a post-Christian country where struggles for Orthodoxy were very few, and indifference to religion was great. His counsels to his spiritual children who lived in a secular Western society are of great benefit to us today, as he bears living witness to the traditions of the Fathers in our own context. He reminds us that God is not an optional part of our lives and that "Even the smallest of our actions impact our eternal salvation".
Everything that is done, is done for a reason. I say everything that is done by humans has consequences. A simple smile may cheer up others, a stray word may lead to one's suicide. We should always be conscious of our smallest deeds and care, if not love, for our neighbour.

Д.К. [(5) 41,8]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(81)

Some people treat God as a "magic wand". Sometimes I hear them say "No wonder you're prosperous, you pray a lot". But it's important to realise that religion does not make your dreams come true, it is not the point. Religion is a lifestyle. The point of it is salvation, deification, which have nothing or little to do with earthly delights. Thus when people light a candle once a year and do not receive what they are asking for, they feel let down or deceived. It is true that God does not fulfil all our demands. If He did, the world would be such mess! And that is why: our nature is corrupted by the Original sin and our spiritual vision is blurred; we cannot predict what is awaiting us in future. It may be that our wish could be damaging for the soul, the spiritual life. Or else what we long for is harmful to the neighbor. God is above all, He loves everyone and sees through things. We should put our trust in Him and let Him perform His sacred Will on us.

Д.К. [(5) 36,8]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(77)

Usually faith is understood in a religious context but there are other aspects of it such as... faith in the existence of Egyptian pyramids. They're huge and mysterious and we learn about them from books and TV shows. They're created by people who have been to the pyramids and studied the subject. Information about God we also learn from books and TV shows, especially Christians who live somewhere in India and do not have access to Orthodox churches. There's more information about God than that about pyramids, history has seen many great examples of saints. These cases are united by the fact that we believe in the information we get. Those who doubt pyramids go and see them, what should we do when we doubt God's existence? "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Matt. 07:07). God's willing to help us on this endeavor.

Д.К. [(4,5) 31,8]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(76)

Venerable father Isaac draws our attention to the importance of humility. According to his words, a humble person "has arrived at perfection". By "perfection" I understand St Isaac to mean Christ's passion. The Orthodox faith teaches us to be like Christ, we believe in deification, and that's why He is the perfect example for Christians. Jesus endured His struggles with humility and in remembrance of Him we are to stay humble to the very end.
Sometimes, but not as much as I would like, I act humbly. This state of mind keeps my inner harmony. I am certain that humility is the opposite of weakness, however ridiculous it might sound. I can't remember ever regretting humility, it certainly does me good.
We are often unjustly accused. No doubt, it hurts. Once I asked my spiritual father for advice and he said to me: "When the heart is full of God, we carry inner peace that enables us to endure the accusations with humility". We are servants to God and God says: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them" (Matt 5:3). The beatitude teaches us to humiliate ourselves in order to stay with Christ. It is up to us to decide what we estimate more - truth on Earth or Christ, Who is the Truth.

Д.К. [(5) 27,3]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(86)

I completely agree with Abba Thithoes's quote. The trials of life are given to people to help them achieve humility. If we look at the example of Christ we will see His life is full of humility. He was born in the cave as an ordinary person not as an earthly king, He washed the feet of His disciples and was crucified on the cross being sinless just for our sins. "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."(Mathew 23:11-12) Jesus Christ also says, "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Mathew 5:39)
Christ is not only fully divine but He is also fully human, so during His earthly life He was exposed to temptations as well as we, human beings, are. However, what did Christ do in those cases? He fasted and prayed heartily to God our Father during 40 days and nights.
We should not forget about self-control. We are to be afraid of offending our neighbour and of breaking God's Will.

Н.Т. [(3,5) 75]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(84)

I completely agree with Father Seraphim. If I am not mistaken to lead Orthodox life means not only to hold formal beliefs but also to live according to God's Commandments, the Holy Scripture and the Tradition of the Holy Fathers. We should always think both about the form and the content of Orthodoxy.
Let us remember the words of Christ, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." (Mathew 23:27-28)
He also says, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."(John 14:21)
I suppose the Holy Scripture is the light of our lives and the Tradition of the Holy Fathers can help us to understand it in the right way distinguishing truth from falsehood.

Н.Т. [(4,5) 48,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(83)

I completely agree with this quote. We, Christians, are the happiest people in the world. We should be afraid of nothing because we are with God. What else to wish for? God leads us during all our life even though we grieve Him.
Fulfilling God's Commandments and love for God makes Christians feel cheerful and keep smiling.
"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice."(Philippians 4:4)
And as it is the Nativity fast today I would like to cite these words of Christ, "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly."(Mathew 16-18)

Н.Т. [(4,5) 44]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(82)

I agree with Elder Sergei of Vanves's quote. I believe we should learn to control all our thoughts, words and actions. Our deeds are born of our thoughts. And even a fugitive idea could lead to a spiritual fall. We should be very strict to ourselves and it would be better for us to be always in the mental and spiritual sobriety. To be careful is a significant part of our salvation.
"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Mathew 6:22-23)
I think this extract from the New Testament could illustrate the whole idea of the quote of Elder Sergei of Vanves.

Н.Т. [(4,5) 39,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(81)

I suppose this quote is about trust in God. People pray to God in the hope of getting something for their spiritual or every-day life. Sometimes it happens (and they gain the desirable things), sometimes - does not.
But we, Christians, should always remember that everything what happens to us does so only with God's blessing, by His Will and for our own good. When we trust God we are obedient to His Will. Sometimes God shows us other ways (better for us) which we couldn't see ourselves as weak creatures.
A believer will get all things which he needs indeed. God never abandons His sons and daughters.
For Christ says, "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:9-11)

Н.Т. [(4,5) 34]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(80)

I agree with Father Seraphim. I believe our life is an exam and we should pass it as well as possible. We come through different temptations during our life because of our fallen nature. However we should remember God our Father is always with us. He gives us power especially when we are praying to Him, calling to Him, and asking for help even in trifles.
Our Cross or crucifixion is our temptations, losses and tribulations. So we should walk the path of our life worthily.

Н.Т. [(4,5) 29,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(79)

Our Lord Jesus Christ says, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12)
God here points out to faithful ascetics who were persecuted long ago. Through their examples we should not be afraid of ridicules. By praying to God and trusting in Him we are becoming closer to Our Father and His Kingdom. Then your life becomes Christian and you do not even think about persecutions, because you are already with God and He leads you. No one single doubt and ridicule could separate us from God. And the rest is not so fearful. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

Н.Т. [(4,5) 25]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(78)

If I see the point of St Gregory Palamas' quote correctly it says a human being should endure temptations and probations with humility and love to God and to a neigbour.
To my mind, this is a quite right sentence as Christians are exhorted to fulfill God's Commandments and bear the sorrows intended for and sent to us. The Elder Josef Vatopedskyi said those human beings are blessed who bear the cross, endure omnifarious troubles with humility, who receive those as a visit of our Heavenly Father. I completely agree with Fr. Joseph and with St. Gregory and believe sorrows make us better and purer.

Н.Т. [(3,5) 20,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(77)

I agree with St. Nicholas' quote. We, ordinary and sinful people, haven't achieved immediate proximity to God yet, then we need someone who has, we need witnesses. They are Apostles who have brought us the Word of God, the Gospel. Our Holy Fathers stood close to God, too. They have reached holiness and acquired the Holy Spirit. Thus, thanks to them both we can get an impression of God. For Christ said to His Apostles, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16)

Н.Т. [(5) 17]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(76)

I completely agree with this quote. I believe a human being should not respond with anger to anger. We live in this imperfect world only once, and all what we are going through is our way (whether it's a thorny path, or a beaten one, but always - ours). So it is up to us by which way we will overcome obstacles and will cover this path. We should make this world brighter and kinder.
Only with good a human being can conquer evil. If you respond with accusations then how do you differ from your offender?
Our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a Commandment, "Love your neighbour as yourself." (Mark 12:31) That is why I suppose to return good for evil is a great virtue. We should rejoice always and thank God for the given opportunity to humble ourselves.

Н.Т. [(4,5) 12]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(75)

I completely agree with Elder Sergei of Vanves' quote. The Elder motivates us to struggle to the last breath. Our whole life is a spiritual struggle. Jesus Christ says, "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."(Matthew 7:14)
We should always be alert to our thoughts, actions and to our temptations. Moreover, if you have fallen - stand up, pray and with God's blessing continue your struggle and struggle to succeed! Therefore, if you disparage yourself because of your failures severely, you will fall into despondency and you won't be able to struggle for your spiritual life at all. So, a struggle leads to self-perfection and spiritual growth.

Н.Т. [(4,2) 7,5]


1) There was a huge period in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church which was called SYNODICAL. It started when Peter the Great declared the Patriarchate abolished and set up THE SPIRITUAL COLLEGE or HOLY SYNOD. The CHIEF PROCURATOR represented the Emperor there. Such SYSTEM OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT existed for about 200 years. That was a period when THE CHURCH WAS IN COMPLETE SUBSERVIENCE TO THE STATE.
2) In the synodical period church art and theology were westernized, but STANDARDS OF SCHOLARSHIP were high and REFLECTIVE CHURCHMEN were well aware of the defects of Peter’s reforms. Nevertheless there was an outburst of popularity of western movements such as FREEMASONRY.
3) One of the saints of the synodical period was Paissy, who translated PHILOKALIA into Slavonic. His DISCIPLES inspired a spread of MONASTIC REVIVAL. Also in those times the tradition of THE NON-POSSESSORS was restored and THE PRACTICE OF SPIRITUAL DIRECTION was in its development.
4) The first of startsi was St. Seraphim of Sarov. He spent 16 years in THE COMMUNITY, then 2 years in SECLUSION, then A THOUSAND SUCCESSIVE NIGHTS IN CONTINUAL PRAYEER. Being SEVERE to himself, St. Seraphim was GENTLE to others without being INDULGENT.
5) Like the Byzantine Hesychasts, St. Seraphim was granted THE VISION OF THE DIVINE AND UNCREATED LIGHT. He and his spiritual child Motovilov were surrounded by THE LIGHT OF THE AGE TO COME and that became an illustration to the Orthodox idea of SANCTIFICATION, which includes the body.
6) One of the saints who spread monastic revival was BISHOP THEOPHAN THE RECLUSE who translated Philokalia into Russian.
7) Father John of Kronstadt organized CHARITABLE WORK. He insisted on FREQUENT COMMUNION, established a PUBLIC CONFESSION, and returned to the more ancient form of CHANCEL SCREEN. He possessed the gift of INSIGHT and SPIRITUAL DIRECTION. He was PROCLAIMED A SAINT by RUSSIAN CHURCH IN EXILE in 1964.
8) A lot of LAY THEOLOGIANS believed that all western churches share the same ASSUMPTIONS and that it isn’t proper for the ORTHODOX to borrow their theology.
9) The Synodical period ended in 1917 after the ABDICATION of Emperor Nicolas II, when THE PROVISIOAL GOVERNMENT was in power.

М.С. [(17) 74]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(86)

A meek person is a man who has no pride and does not try to look better than others. To think thyself inferior is a real challenge because of the fallen human nature. We can reach and accept the knowledge that we are no better than anyone else only with the help of prayer. We shall ask God to take our pride from us and to grant us humility. But to make it true we should control our actions towards our neighbours. We shall notice any movement of our heart to hurt them and stop it. Only then we reach humility when we will stop living for ourselves and will live for our neighbours.

М.С. [(3,5) 48,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(85)

This quote deals with two different ideas. One is that a human being who cares only about flesh can not hear the voice of God and, as a result, can not follow His will. God gave man a free will and will wait until the person makes his choice. And if his choice is life according to fleshly desires, God will not enter his heart. The second idea is about the great privilege which human beings have. And it is an ability of man to make the choice to let God into his heart and to be united with Him and to be sanctified by Him. This is the ability of every human being but not everyone lets God to enter.
And here we come back to the first idea, that God will not enter the heart of a human against his choice. So we should be really watchful to understand that God is knocking on the doors of our heart. We shall let Him in and be ready to meet Him as a Dear Guest through the purity of our souls.

М.С. [(3,5) 45]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(84)

I could not agree more with this quote. It is well known that 70% of Russian population consider themselves Orthodox. And only 1% among them attend church. But how many of them are real Orthodox? To be Orthodox is not to perform all the rites of the church. Being Orthodox means to live the commandments of God. If a person considers himself Orthodox, attends church and even participates in the sacraments of the Church, but he does not have love for his neigbours and breaks other commandments of Christ, then he is not truly Orthodox. Certainly being Orthodox does not mean to be perfect and infallible. But an Orthodox person should make great effort to live his life in love to God. Because only with the person’s effort and God’s help one can be truly Orthodox.

М.С. [(3,5) 41,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(80)

I completely agree with this quote. Christian life is a battlefield where evil and the human being are struggling. Certainly the human would never be able to overcome evil without God’s help. And God knows it and to those who fight with courage for the sake of His Name, He certainly will send enough strength to succeed. But the human should never stop in this spiritual struggle because the evil will not wait while we are taking a rest. We shall struggle through all our life. We should not be afraid of being wounded or injured, we should not be afraid of being tortured or crucified. We shall know that God will give us enough strength to bear all these ordeals. We should just continue our fight and not to back down. Then our struggle will be crowned with success and only then we could be Christians in the full sense of this word.

М.С. [(3,5) 38]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(79)

I could not agree more with this quote. I think that people with weak faith are usually ashamed of it: they are afraid of telling that they are Orthodox in order not to be laughed out, they try not to show any evidences of their faith when they are with other people. Also such people start to doubt in their religion when something goes wrong or if they have no response from God. They start to lose faith and any ridicules and failures make it weaker and weaker. But if a person have a strong faith and also cherish and strengthen it, he will not mention any ridicules, he wouldn’t be afraid of them. Even if he has any doubts, he will overcome them and it will make his faith even greater. We should trust God and be sure about His truth and then our faith would be unshakable and any failures will be transcended.

М.С. [(4,5) 34,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(78)

I partly agree with this quote. I believe that we don’t know how a person would be judged and which of the virtues are greater. But I agree that a person who endures all afflictions and temptations with courage, perseverance, and trust in God, will “produce fruit worthy of the divine wine-press”. Also I think that such person would gain all other virtues via his work and faith. If you work on yourself, don’t yield to sin and keep your faith, you will overcome any afflictions and will become spiritually stronger. All these temptations are sent to us by God to make us stronger and to let us not forget about feebleness of humankind. We can not do anything without God and in every temptation we should turn to Him and ask for His help.

М.С. [(3) 30]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(77)

This quote can be understood in different ways. Personally I think that St. Nicolas meant that there are two ways of believing in God for different people. For people who are accustomed to asking questions and doubt in everything it would be more useful to try themselves to “take pains to come into proximity to God”. They would understand God only if they will see, or better to say feel the presence of God themselves. But some people are ready to believe unconditionally without even knowing it for sure. They can reach proximity to God via following the tradition and accepting it with all the heart. Both ways are possible, they just suit different people.

М.С. [(3) 27]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(74)

We as Christians believe that God always knows better what would be better for us. But it is a common phenomenon that people are determined that they would live better if they have this or that. They ask God for these things or gifts and have no answer. Then they start thinking that God didn’t hear them and they try to reach all these things themselves, ignoring God’s will. They may even succeed in it, but one day they will find out that these things are useless or even harmful to them. And that was the reason why God didn’t answer to their prayers. He wanted them to go the other way which was useful for them, but their stubbornness and ignorance led them to such results. I myself ask God for a lot of things, but when after fervent prayers I don’t receive the answer, I try to accept that this thing is harmful to me, or the time has not yet come and God wants me to reach it the long way round.

М.С. [(4) 24]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(73)

The fact is that human nature is fallen. Without any guardians our soul will be lost and become evil. And God gives us such guardians – faith and revelation. We can trust them and rely upon them. With their help we can follow God and become His faithful servants. And then He will lead our reason to a higher level. And if we continue following Him, He will grant us all heavenly blessings and will lead us to His Kingdom.

М.С. [(4,5) 20]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(72)

I completely agree with this quote. To be a Christian means to work every day very hard in order to become better and to move closer to God. If you don’t do your daily work, then the evil will replace God in your soul. Human nature is fallen and it is very hard not to turn to the darkness. It is impossible to keep yourself on the same stage of goodness without any efforts and kind actions. If you stop making good actions, you unavoidably fall into the abyss of sin. I myself can confirm that when I delay my daily prayers or postpone the work of good, it becomes harder and harder to come back to them and not to become an evil person. So, to be Christians we ought to struggle every minute against evil and against our own desires and laziness.

М.С. [(4,5) 15,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(70)

This quote teaches us to be careful towards everything. People usually notice big things and forget about the small ones. But the small things are really important. If a person throws garbage on the lawn it can lead to a disaster. He might think that this garbage is so small that no one will even notice it. But then he will repeat this action again and again. And one day the small piece of garbage will turn into a huge pile of it. The same happens when a person does not notice his small sins. They are accumulating and filling the whole space of his soul. And the same happens with laws and traditions. If we do not follow a little rule, then how can we follow the bigger one? That’s why we should not forget about small tings even if they seem to be unimportant.

М.С. [(3) 11]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(69)

It is very hard for people to get rid of their habits. That’s why we should work hard to control our bodies. Without obedience of the body to the soul a person will not be able to follow God’s will. He will always be distracted by fleshly desires. Body and soul are interconnected and inseparable. If the soul is corrupted it is seen in the body. And if the body is not trained and a person lives according to its wishes the soul becomes hard and useless. We should develop both soul and body. But we should firstly subordinate body to the soul, in order not to start following fleshly will.

М.С. [(4,7) 8]


1. The USSR was an ATHEIST STATE.
2. The communists established A POLICY OF CULTURAL STRANGULATION towards religion.
3. There is a PARISH LIBRARY in our church and there are lots of SERVICE BOOKS.
4. The LEAGUE OF MILITANT ATHEISTS were formed in the USSR.
5. Because of the revolution a lot of MONKS, PRIESTS and NUNS were killed, as well as ORDAINED PERSONS.

П.П. [(4) 58]


1. My Granny usually makes the TWO-FINGER SIGN OF THE CROSS, but she doesn't think she's an Old Believer.
2. Once I read the article "Is friendship between the priest and the LAITY possible?"
3. Three years ago I first heard about The HOLY SYNOD of Bishops and EPISCOPACY of The Orthodox Church in America.
4. Peter the Great established THE SYSTEM OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT.
5. Nowadays a lot of priests write articles about The PHILOKALIA as it is the great collection of texts.
6. Everybody knows that there were twelve DISCIPLES of Christ.
7. A MONASTIC REVIVAL took place in Russia in the 19th century.
8. St. Nilus of Sora was the leader of the NON-POSSESSORS.
9. A lot of elders lived in SECLUSION from society and practiced ASCETICISM.
10. Lots of priests wrote about the DIVINE LIGHT.
11. I've never been to the HERMITAGE OF OPTINA.
12. In our church there is a well-organized CHARITABLE WORK.
13. I think that the FREQUENT COMMUNION is the best thing for the salvation.
14. It's important to COMMUNICATE at least once a month.
15. Father John of Kronstadt established a form of PUBLIC CONFESSION.
16. I heard that mother Theresa was PROCLAIMED A SAINT by Pope Francis.
17. Maslenitsa is a HEATHEN custom.
18. Alexey Khomiakov was not only a THEOLOGIAN, but also the leader of the SLAVOPHIL circle.

П.П. [(10,5) 41]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(84)

I completely agree with the quote. Nowadays many people regard themselves as truly Orthodox, but in fact they are, but only formally, because they think that if they were baptized in childhood and wear the cross now, and twice a year go to church to light a candle, it means that they are Orthodox. However, what does it mean to live Orthodoxy? I think first of all it means to follow the commandments, of course. And if one honors only the external aspects of religion, ignoring the real gist, he acts like a pharisee.
As for the words "Orthodoxy is life" I can say that once when I was in the church the priest in his serman said: "Some of us are Orthodox while staying in the temple, but leaving the church we forget about everything and immerse in our needs, sins and so on." I also think that Orthodoxy should not be only a part of our life, it should be a life itself.

П.П. [(4,5) 30,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(81)

I agree with the quote. Man is the Crown of Creation, we were created in the image of God, and everything around us is the direct proof of His power. But the original sin made people as strong as an insect - we are weak to any circumstances, illnesses, the forces of nature. The essence of one who believes is that he tames his own will and his pride, embraces the right path and trusts to the Providence of God, and the Lord seeing this humility makes the impossible possible on the way to the salvation.

П.П. [(3,5) 26]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(86)

I agree with this quote. Father Andrew Tkachev said that a humble person is invulnerable to sins, while a proud man is always a great sinner. The humility is one of the main virtues. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”. So, we all need to be humble.
The main thing that can help us to become humble is prayer because it is difficult to escape pride and people need help. Thinking yourself inferior to all creatures is also important, but this feeling must be sincere. And finally, self-control will also help people to reach this aim because attentiveness is one of the main conditions of transformation.

Е.З. [(5) 53]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(85)

I don’t agree with this quote. It means that God calls man only when he makes choice for the spirit. But who can be saved then? And how a person can make this choice without God’s help? The Lord says: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you”. I believe that God calls us constantly whether we make choice for the spirit or not. Saul didn’t make such a choice. He was an evil antichristian but God made him an apostle. Maybe in some cases this choice can really help a person to become closer to God but I hope that God calls everybody.

Е.З. [(4,5) 44,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(84)

This quote means that we can be truely Orthodox only by actions. I fully agree with this opinion. The Lord says: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” We are not Protestants who believe that they can be saved only by their faith. But I think that a person who really believes in God and who loves Him can’t be inactive. He needs communion with God and he prays, he loves God’s creatures and he does good things for them. So, if we put it this way, we also can say that our beliefs can lead us to eternal life.

Е.З. [(4) 40,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(83)

I agree with this quote. Many Orthodox people think that we all have to be constantly sad because we are sinners and have to weep for sins during the whole life. Their convincing argument is the fact that Christ didn’t smile.
I fundamentally disagree with this point of view. I am sure that man was created for happiness. One priest said: “The greatest thankfulness is joy” and I appreciate this opinion. We must be happy because we have an opportunity to be saved and because the world is wonderful. What is more, I think that if a person follows God’s commandments he is already happy, because he is in God’s love and grace.

Е.З. [(4,5) 36,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(81)

I agree with this quote. It means that a believer is a person who trusts God. He believes that he will get everything he needs. Even if he is suffering, he must believe and trust, that it is the thing which is necessary for him now. I think that such faith helped martyrs of all time. If a person believes that God gives him everything that is good for his soul he can cope with any suffering. This quite squarely fits my idea of Christianity. True faith is not faith in the almighty God, it is faith in the loving God.

Е.З. [(5) 32]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(84)

Many people say that they are Orthodox but only few of them really are. Some people were just baptized in Orthodoxy and that’s the reason why they claim to be Orthodox. But they don’t really know about the Church life, let alone partaking of the sacraments. Others do observe every rule established for people by the Church. They keep fasts, say prayers and attend services and so on. And yet they fail do the most important thing – to do good deeds for people. An Orthodox is one who follows God’s commandments, the main of which are to love God and to love your neighbors as yourself, which means to help people and do for them what we want for ourselves. God says that every thing we do for people we do for Him.

Ю.К. [(5) 95]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(83)

I believe that cheerfulness is what helps me to move on and go forward despite all my troubles and worries. It fills my heart with strength and makes me positive as I know that even if everything is going to be not so good I still have something to be cheerful about. And this makes a life worth living for everybody. You always can find something good, just open your eyes wider, do not get caught in an endless loop of your problems.

Ю.К. [(4) 61]


1. Back in 1842 the Academy of Kazan was concerned with MISSIONARY STUDIES.
2. SLAVOPHILIA was an intellectual movement, the leader of it was Alexis Khomiakov. He was the first to look upon LATINISM and Protestantism from the point of view of the Church.
3. My uncle serves as A PARISH PRIEST, he visits the poor and the sick, in his free time he organizes CHARITABLE WORK.
4. It was incredible to read the spiritual autobiography of Father John. What impressed me the most was the fact that he possessed the gifts of healing, of INSIGHT, and of SPIRITUAL DIRECTION.
5. In Moldova we still follow some traditions from the HEATHEN times.
6. I think that FORCED CLOSING OF CHURCHES was an act of unforgivable cruelty. Why was it considered normal to IMPRISON THE CLERGY? Why a lot of people supported the POLICY OF CULTURAL STRAGULATION pursued by the communists towards the Church? It was forbidden to have a PARISH LIBRARY service since the only books which were allowed were SERVICE BOOKS. ECCLASIASTICAL PUBLICATIONS were also forbidden. The Church didn’t POSSESS any LEGAL RIGHTS.
7. Communists desecrated a lot of Orthodox churches. Many LAITY SUFFERED IMPOVERISHMENT, some PRIESTS, MONKS and NUNS had been killed. Patriarch Tikhon EXCOMMUNICATED those who were partaking in this.
8. I think that the worst punishment for an Orthodox person is to be ANATHEMATIZED.

Ю.К. [(10) 57]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(82)

I think that our every deed somehow influences on us, our spiritual state and therefore it influences on our future life. These may be quite trivial deeds which do not change us immediately, yet even they may leave some imprint on our mind. But some deeds may be just life-changing and may lead to huge consequences at once. So, beware of what you say or do, as once you've done it there is no way back. As they say, second thoughts are best.

Ю.К. [(5) 47]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(81)

God gives us not what we want but what we need. We may not realize this simple thing, as we always believe that we know ourselves what’s best for us. However, that’s wrong. We may become disoriented as we are feeble and tend to be self-indulgent. While God sees everything and cares for us. It’s much safer to trust Him and rely upon His will. So we shouldn’t ask Him why He gave us this or that but rather try to understand for what purpose He gave it.

Ю.К. [(5) 42]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(80)

I agree with the quote. It is impossible to be a Christian and to live easily and at your own will. The physical body is weak and it can not avoid the temptations, so every believer is given his own cross - it can be a disease or the difficult financial situation, or it also can be people among the relatives or just the people around.
This cross is a symbol of the cross of Christ, it was given us to promote the spirit and to humiliate the body.

П.П. [(4,5) 22,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(77)

I partly agree with the quote. Because I think that this comparison is not completely true. I mean, that in case with the pyramids we can really see them ourselves, but we can't say this about God. For example, many people think that if they can't see Him, He is not real. As for the way how to get an idea of God I think it's better to combine these two things: to believe people who stand in proximity to God (fortunately, nowadays we have an access to the lots and lots of books written by saints and elders, so it's so easy to learn how to come to God) and to follow the Commandments.

П.П. [(4) 18]


1. THE SPIRITUAL COLLEGE or HOLY SYNOD mainly consisted of twelve member bishops, heads of monasteries and THE MARRIED CLERGY.
2. In the history lectures at my University I discovered that the meetings of the SYNOD were attended by THE CHIEF PROCURATOR and not the Emperor himself.
3. It shocked me when my professor told us that back at that the time THE CHURCH was IN COMPLETE SUBSERVIENCE OF THE STATE. How is it even possible?
4. I consider myself a REFLECTIVE CHURCHPERSON. I think it is important to understand what your religion is about.
5. THE STANDARDS OF THE SCHOLARSHIP are so high nowadays. I’m afraid I don’t fit.
6. At my exam in history the professor asked me about the Slavonic translation of the PHILOKALIA.
7. It is so hard for me to keep up with my CORPORATE life.
8. I don’t think I would be able to live in SECLUSION. This particular thought makes me feel miserable. In my childhood, when I was behaving badly, my mom was telling me about Saint Seraphim of Sarov who is known to be extraordinary SEVERE to himself, he spent A THOUSAND SUCCESSIVE NIGHTS IN CONTINUAL PRAYER. It always made me rethink my attitude.
9. My mother is such a complex person she can be GENLE without being INDULGENT.
10. A few lectures ago we were talking about FREQUENT COMMUNION. Father John was the one who has insisted on it. He also established PUBLIC CONFESSION. This form of confession meant that every person should shout their sins aloud. Later he was PROCLAIMED A SAINT by THE RUSSIAN CHURCH IN EXILE.

Ю.К. [(8,5) 37]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(80)

I agree with this quote. Jesus Christ could not avoid crucifixion in order to save his people, therefore there is only one way for people to become true Christians and it is the way of crucifixion. If a person is ready to follow Christ through all the misery, then He won't let that person to go through this alone. Sufferings should be a part of every person's life, through sufferings lays the path to God. My whole life I was wondering how can I be a happy Christian? And only when I enrolled in my University I’ve realized that it is impossible. There is no easy way to God, but in the end all the suffering will pay off.
Everyone has a cross and carries it throughout the whole life. A cross may seem to be a burden and make us despondent, weak and hopeless as we can’t easily handle our problems and get rid of our worries. Sometimes we even start to feel as if God abandoned us if He does not deliver us from wrath, need and tribulations despite our prayers for that. But this earth is not a paradise and you cannot expect this life to be easy. Though saints say that God never gives a cross which weight is beyond strength of a man. What’s more, God is always there for you and He will give you consolation if you open your heart to Him, if your soul is ready to accept His grace which is possible only on condition that you stay a true Christian and follow God’s commandments.

Ю.К. [(4,5) 28,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(79)

Being dependent on other people's opinion is never a good trade. To my mind it is what this quote is about. We always forget that only God can judge us. Many of us seek for human praise right after the good deed is done. Sometimes we do something good just to receive compliments from someone. We pay too much attention to what other people think of us while what we really should think of is how God sees us. We should rely upon Him despite any circumstances and not on a human beings.

Ю.К. [(4,5) 24]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(78)

I agree with this quote. It is not that hard to have a prosperous life and be a good person. In fact it is very easy. Only in the times of trouble people show their real faces, their real intentions and character. When all is well people are more predisposed to do good, but if anything goes wrong we may start to behave in the way even we didn’t know we could act. To earn a place in heaven we should work really hard. Every day is our chance to be better. We should use every opportunity. We all have to be patient and endure all the voluntary and involuntary afflictions.

Ю.К. [(5) 19,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(77)

I agree with this quote. Indeed there are only two ways. One is to follow the example of saints and the other is to find your own way to God. There is no other option. I think that by «those who have stood and stand in immediate proximity to God» St. Nicholas meant saints, because only the blessed can see God, only those who’re pure in heart. Unfortunately not all of us can overcome our fallen nature, it’s a very hard work which stops only when you die. Every day is a chance to be a better version of ourselves. So, to sum it all up, I think that the whole point of this quote is that if we are not saints we should follow their belief. Also, we should spend every day trying to reduce our sinning by working hard on ourselves.

Ю.К. [(4) 14,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(76)

As for me, I completely agree with this quotation. I think that this quote suggests that we people can’t handle even a small bit of criticism without responding to the aggressor. I keep reminding myself this quote when someone says something rude to me, because answering back basically means that I stoop to their level and I don’t want to be that kind of a person. It is really hard to keep your mouth shut sometimes, but it is worth it. Saying something mean in the heat of the moment is never a good idea.

Ю.К. [(4,5) 10,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(75)

As for me, I completely agree with Elder Sergei. I think it is important for every Orthodox person to realize that our problems and struggles are meant to help us to be better. We don’t have to expect an immediate deliverance from our problems. We need to bear in our minds that everything that comes our way is for us, that all the struggling leads us to God. Sometimes people confuse struggling with the punishment, but it couldn’t be any more farther from the truth, in fact, it is the chance to become a better version of ourselves and come one step closer in our way to God. I think that this quotation is regardless of time. It is the simple truth, that every Orthodox person carries through his entire life.

Ю.К. [(3,2) 6]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(83)

Everybody knows that in the Bible the word "rejoice" appears more than hundred times. To my mind it avouches that there is no sin in cheerfulness, for God tells us "rejoice".
I completely agree that despondency is the most terrible thing, because it has a tendency to grow to the enormous scope. Beginning from being slightly negative, you risk to fall into the deep depression when nothing brings you happiness. The knowing that there is no happiness can lead to the thoughts that life has no meaning, etc.
To my mind the term "cheerfulness" includes also the notion of humility, because when you rejoice, you accept the present moment.
But again, until this joy stays healthy and adequate. When it transforms into the mindless fun, it may lead to the sins.
So the middle ground is the best in every thing.

П.П. [(4) 14]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(76)

To my mind nowadays it's unacceptable to turn the other cheek to a slap. If you accept all the accusations with humility instead of defending yourself, so you are seen in society as a weak person who chooses to give up humbly and not to protect himself.
For example, someone was falsely accused of fraud and let us say, someone went to the court. Instead of hiring a good lawyer and proving his innocence, he endures accusations against himself with humility and goes to prison for several years. So is it the greatest virtue?
But from a less broad perspective, sometimes it's really better to keep silent and not to respond to the charges to avoid any conflict.
All in all, the best variant is the middle ground. And we should remember that we are laypeople.

П.П. [(5) 10]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(75)

I completely agree with Elder Sergei of Vanves. We must struggle continuously against our passions. And each time we fall we should rise again and go along. For our sinful human nature is such that only the eternal struggle can help us to survive. So to my mind we shouldn't give up and despair. And as it's truly said that our life is a motion, so spiritually we also shouldn't stop in our eagerness to be better and to be closer to God.

П.П. [(5) 5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(81)

To my mind, this quote is about our reliance on God. Of course we believe that God is almighty and omniscient but it does not mean that we should put ourselves entirely in God's hands and do nothing waiting for a "mysterious miracle" by dint of which all our problems would be solved. To achieve our aims we should make lots of effort remembering that God is always with us and He undoubtedly helps us but He will not do anything instead of us. Another point that is concerned here is the fact that everything is possible for a real believer ("Faith paves the way for what seems impossible"). Even if you think that you will never obtain something, it's not a way out to give up without even trying to do it. It's better to make an attempt with hope and belief that with God's help and ardent prayer you will get what you are eager to eventually. If you have a strong faith, if you are devoted to your cause and do everything that is in your power and if you really need it, be sure, God will see that you deserve it and will help you to obtain everything even if it seems to be impossible.

А.Я. [(5) 55]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(86)

To begin with, many saints acknowledged that human language can not express the essence of humility. Why? Because humility is divine in its essence and its nature can experience only one who has found God in himself. For instance, St. Isaac the Syrian says that humility is a mysterious force that is given by God in its entirety only to saints. Therefore Abba Thithoes does not say about the essence of humility, he says about the way of humility.
Christ says: “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matt 11:29). Self-control and prayer are the things which are evidently inherent to Christ. The idea about inferiority to all creatures is more difficult. Should not people be aware of their dignity in front of the animal world? Everyone understands that the value of the individual is above the animal's value. On the other hand, Christ came into this world to suffer for the people. Creator came to die for His creation and to be crucified as the worst type of a person. And not the animals killed Him, but people. Is it not the example of true humility and the reason for us to think that we are worse than animals, than all creatures?
However, from my own experience I know that such thoughts can lead a person into depression and despair; therefore we need two other components – self-control and prayer. They are able to make a person a saint and help achieve humility in its entirety.

А.Б. [(4,5) 26]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(85)

First it is necessary to say that God is transcendental to the world and is not material as everything which belongs to it. The other point is that our world follows the law of hierarchy and this law affects a person as well. The mortal body, the immortal soul and human spirit are three components of a man, but the spirit is above all. Therefore God contacts with man through the spirit – something which is incorporeal and sublime.
What is more important, there is no God where is a sort of anarchy. The fear of God, which means love for him, and the voice of conscience can help a person to build this inner hierarchy. In other words to make a free deliberate choice for the spirit means to make the spirit but not the flesh to be in charge, to take your Cross and follow Christ. And when a person does this, then God dwells in him and sanctifies him. As the apostle Paul said: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal 2:20).
It should be emphasized that God converted the soul and body because Christ came to heal the whole man, therefore he became incarnate.
As for me, there is no more strong sense of God than in such rare moments when I attempt to fulfil my duty. To my mind, the more your body and soul are exhausted, the deeper are feelings of peace, happiness and love inside.

А.Б. [(3,5) 20,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(83)

This quote is about some objective laws of human life and how they influence on the interconnection of three human components - the body, the soul, and the spirit. Physical exhaustion leads to emotional devastation, which manifests itself as despondency. Saint Seraphim of Sarov says that it is the worst thing, maybe because in such condition a person doesn’t want anything and his inner strength, attention and will are weakened. This is the perfect moment for the devil to attack.
There is also a common misunderstanding about cheerfulness. Some people suppose that Christianity requires a serious and harsh life in which there is no place for cheerfulness. However, the apostle Paul writes: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). These are three actions which are going together, not excluding but complementing each other.
I can say from personal experience that being exhausted is very dangerous because in this moment it is difficult to make the right decisions and keep yourself in your hands. The best way out of the situation can be equal distribution of work during each day. But this requires a strong will and a high level of self-organization. Maybe it is easier to find more reasons for joy to drive away all weariness.

А.Б. [(3,5) 17]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(82)

To begin with, this quote takes us to the heart of the matter: what is Orthodox Christianity. To my mind it is a religion of beingness. A relationship with God makes life more immediate, more real. Every action and each gesture become highly essential because they are filled with inner meaning when a person leads intensive spiritual life.
Therefore everything is important. The spiritual life is often compared with the war. As Dostoevsky said: “Here are fighting the devil with God, and the battlefield are hearts of people”. Who can argue that when it comes to fight even the smallest action can influence the outcome of the battle?
On the contrary, the philosophy of Buddhism sets a goal of breaking out of bhava-cakra – the wheel of life. And even though this religious teaching says that each of our actions has an impact on the final outcome, nevertheless the aim is to escape the life, because it is nothing more than suffering and burden, because nothing is important in this life.
Finally it should be said that all too often we make one great mistake. We suppose that there are things, steps, actions and sins too small to take notice of them. But we shouldn’t forget that all our life consists of the smallest events, which form great adventures. If everything starts from the thought, again everything is important. And if our religion is a religion of beingness let the life and truth will be present in our every breath.

А.Б. [(3,5) 13,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(81)

Who is a real believer? That is the question. Who has more rights to be called a believer – a person who believes in God’s might or one who trusts God? Saint John Climacus says we shouldn’t think that God can do everything, but the most important thing of all is to believe we will obtain all things. All things? What if we want something unwholesome, abnormal or just merely needless? The point is if you trust God you think you will obtain everything which you really need, perhaps obtain even without praying about it.
One saint said: “If you can ask nothing, it is better not to ask.” And it seems to me that it is absolutely true. I was told one story about a priest who asked God to teach him to build houses. After a while his house was burnt. And this priest learnt building houses, simply because he needed a roof over his family’s head.
Of course it could be argued that God answers prays in a different way and gives comforts and true happiness, but the point is that if you trust God, you love Him. And love doesn’t wish to gain anything by all means, but believes that He will do all things which are essential, because He knows better.

А.Б. [(4,5) 10]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(78)

This quote is about the necessity of human suffering. It is insufficient to possess the virtues, even if one possesses all of them. There is a great mystery of salvation: why God saves people through unpleasant burdens of temptations and why He himself suffered for us to save us.
Our vital aim is to produce fruit worthy of the Kingdom. And there is no other way except the way of temptations, sufferings and death. Christ says: “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit”. (John 12:24)
This quote squarely fits my idea of Christianity. From my own experience I can say that it’s rather difficult to pray when you live happily. There is no such intensity of perception, you always think about your fortune and thank God at the best. There is no place for penance and repentance and the connection with God gradually weakens. In contrast to this, the inner pain helps to take a more sober look at your own spiritual order and to appeal to God from the bottom of the heart.
Events show us that temptations are always with us. If we do not want them to be in vain let us endure them courageously.

А.Б. [(4,5) 5,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(84)

I agree with this quote by Fr. Seraphim Rose that Orthodoxy is life. But what does it look like? To my mind, such a "way of life" requires following the Orthodox traditions, that is partaking of the sacraments (at least Baptism, Chrismation, Eucharist, Confession), fulfillment of the commandments, regular prayers and going to the services. From my point of view, the main rule of Orthodox life is to love and to help your neighbor, no matter how do you like him, you should love him, especially if it is your enemy. You should pray for him, obtaining in such a way a salvation not only of his soul, but also of your own soul. True Orthodox Christian should remember also about deeds of mercy and donate to charity if he has such opportunity. That is Orthodoxy. All these things and rules should become natural and matter-of-course for every Orthodox person. When you are accustomed to these things, Orthodoxy becomes your way of life. No formal beliefs can make you Orthodox if you do nothing to live Orthodoxy, because it's common knowledge that everyone is rewarded according to one's works, not according to one's words or thoughts.

А.Я. [(3) 22]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(86)

The quote gives us simple instructions for reaching humility. Thinking oneself to be inferior to all other creatures is the essence of humility. And such state of mind can be reached by severe self-control. As it is very hard for every human being to be in such control all the time, praying is necessary. I fully agree with this quote. From lives of saints we know that they never thought themselves to be better than others. They led simple lives and obviously prayed a lot. And it is important to point out that they never were proud of the way they lived. Following their example and the advice of this quote it is possible for every person to become more humble.

А.К. [(5) 83]


The Soviet government was very MALEVOLENT towards the Orthodox and wanted to EXTERMINATE all RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. There was a lot of FORCED CLOSINGS OF CHURCHES and IMPRISONMENTS OF CLERGY at that time because of that. THE WORSHIPPERS and MANY LAITY were persecuted and ostracised. A lot of PRIESTS, NUNS, and MONKS were killed or sent to labour camps. They were treated as if they didn't POSSES any LEGAL RIGHTS. A lot of churches were PLUNDERED and DESECRATED by turning them into community centres or even warehouses. If someone was KIN to a priest, it was difficult for them to find a job. But despite all that priests continued to MINISTER and people continued to attend church. However, they had to TAKE HEED of how they did it.

А.К. [(7) 72,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(85)

The quote explains why it is important to be able to control any urges of our flesh. It says that as long as the actions of man are controlled by his physical desires, God will not come to him. And there is more to that — such person will never be able to hear and understand God as he is spiritually blind and deaf. The spirit must be in control of the body and not the other way around. People whose lives are ruled by their flesh are not so hard to distinguish. Their decisions are hugely dependent on their basic desires. And even though some basic desires of flesh should be satisfied in order to allow our bodies properly function, it is still not the most important goal in our lives.
Moreover, if a person satisfies his every physical need, still he will not be happy as long as he has no connection with God. In contrast to that, people are able to survive and be happy without their basic physical needs satisfied, if they are close to God. A perfect example can be Mary the Egyptian. From her life, we know that she was so close to God, that she needed no food and no water at all. And yet she did not die from starvation. It shows how much more important the spirit is in comparison with the body.

А.К. [(5) 65,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(84)

This quote reminds us that Orthodoxy is not a set of particular rituals, following which one will be saved in the end. Choosing being an Orthodox means choosing to live as an Orthodox every second of one’s life. It requires more than simply claiming oneself to be Orthodox and going to Church every Sunday. Some people do it as a chore and behave in everyday life very differently from how they do at church. Such people cannot be called Orthodox. I believe that the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican can be used here as an example. We always should remember that as far as one’s faith is concerned it is immensely important to be rather than to seem or as famous Latin phrase goes — esse quam videri.

А.К. [(4,5) 60,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(83)

The message of this quote is that being happy and cheerful does not come together with being reckless and not serious in a dangerous way. Undoubtedly, there are some kinds of laughter after which it is possible to feel empty inside, but does it mean that we should evade any kind of cheerfulness? Come to think of it, saints are never pictured gloomy. Moreover, if a person avoids being cheerful and refuses himself happiness, he most certainly will drive himself into despondency. And from my personal experience I have come to realise that nothing drives people from God as successfuly as the feeling of despondency does. It makes people indifferent towards everything — and especially towards sin, which is extremely dangerous and can deprive one of salvation.

А.К. [(4,5) 56]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(83)

When we get tired of our problems and troubles we become despondent and unable to move on as everything seems to be so complicated and all our efforts seem to be just futile. It may also seem that everybody has turned against us and God has abandoned us. Depression begins and the more it lasts, the less chances we have to stop it.
But if we manage to stay cheerful despite anything, life becomes so much easier and brighter. God wants us to be cheerful, to have joy in our souls. It is said in the Gospel: «Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ».
This quote also reminds me of the novel «Polyanna», written by Eleanor Porter. Polyanna had a very optimistic and positive philosophy of life which centered on what she called «The Glad game». The game consisted of finding something to be glad about in every situation, no matter how bleak it may be. Once on Christmas when she was hoping for a doll as a present from a missionary organization she got a pair of crutches. Her father told her to look at the good side of things. In this case, to be glad about the crutches because she didn’t need to use them.

Ю.Г. [(5) 79]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(82)

All our actions have influence on our future life, even those that we consider to be insignificant, as a minor action can lead to huge consequences. For example, someone asks you for help and you can help but you don’t want to spend your time on this so you make your apologies and reject the request. This person asks others for help, but no one can help. Thus, he (or she) fails to do what was intended to be done and eventually it changes his (or her) fate for the worse. It is you now who is also responsible for this. You didn’t follow God’s commandment «Love your neighbor as yourself».
Some of our actions don’t seem to be so bad at first sight, but if you take a second look you may see their true meaning and taken together they show who we really are and what we deserve.

Ю.Г. [(5) 42]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(81)

Truly faithful people do not anticipate that God will give them everything they want. But they believe that God will give them everything they need. For He alone really knows what’s better for us.
Sometimes we get despondent when we don’t receive what we ask God about, but in time we will see that it was for our good and we received something better instead. Maybe it was not that pleasant but it was beneficial for our souls.
So we should trust God and always remember that He cares about us. Jesus Christ says: «Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you». What seems impossible to men, will become possible if God wills this.

Ю.Г. [(5) 37]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(80)

If we claim to be Christians we have to be ready to endure afflictions, as everyone has his cross. St. Theodosius says: «We should follow Christ Who offered Himself as an example, so that we should humble ourselves in His name. He suffered insults, was spat upon and beaten for our salvation. How just it is, then, that we should suffer in order to gain Christ».
And if we bear weight and hardship courageously, without repining against God but otherwise trusting His will, then God will comfort us and give us His grace which will enable us to stay strong.
St. Nicholas of Serbia says that «we do not enter this world in order to enjoy it, but in order to be saved from it; we enter this temporal life for the sake of something greater: for eternal life». But as long as we abide in Christ we won’t become despondent despite our troubles. We may not have happiness outside but we will have happiness within ourselves.

Ю.Г. [(5) 32]

HOLY SYNOD was established by Peter the Great for managing the Church by means of SPIRITUAL REGULATION.
VAINGLORY often prevents people from listening to God which sometimes is followed by SEVERE SCOURGES and CHASTISEMENT.
THE SYSTEM OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT which was set by Peter the Great was quite complicated and included THE CHURCH being IN COMPLETE SUBSERVIENCE TO THE STATE.
Christ’s DISCIPLES were given the power TO WORK MIRACLES in order to show HEATHENS the glory of God.
One shouldn’t be INDULGENT or GENTLE towards one’s sins.
Even the worst of heathens can be TRANSFIGURED BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
THE HERMITAGE OF OPTINO is one of the most well-known monastic COMMUNITIES.
People can be EXCOMMUNICATED for certain TRANSGRESSIONS.
John of Kronshtadt is known among other things for his opinion on the FREQUENT COMMUNION and for the fact that he arranged PUBLIC CONFESSIONS for MULTITUDES of people.
THE RUSSIAN CHURCH IN EXILE published their own editions of the New Testament which were sometimes smuggled into Russia.
THE MILITANT ATHEISTS did a lot of damage to the Orthodox Church and the consequences are still very much present in our lives.
The state of GODLESSNESS which occurred in our country during the 20th century was one of the biggest trials for the Orthodox.
The main goal of the AGGRESSIVE AND MILITANT ATHEISM of the Soviet government was TO EXTIRPATE ALL RELIGIOUS BELIEF.

А.К. [(12) 51,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(83)

I can't completely agree with this quote by St. Seraphim of Sarov. On the one hand, despondency is a really dangerous condition which is difficult to put up with. It bedims our mind and can lead to the whole range of serious sins such as drinking, debauchery, fornication, narcotism, despair and even to the thought of suicide, making you stand back from the religion. Despondency is a kind of illness, which is characterized by the feelings of depressive mood, which becomes permanent and fills up the soul, of loneliness, as if you were abandoned by all the people and even God Himself.
On the other hand, despondency is a benefit for people, who have not strong belief, since it serves as a call and inducement to repentance. When people are in trouble and understand that they cannot rely only on themselves anymore, they appeal to the Church, to God, which can result in conversion of these people into deeply religious believers and lead them to salvation of their souls.

А.Я. [(4,5) 19]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(82)

This quote says that as every person's life is a sort of trial, there is no unimportant thing. Every thought or deed can be crucial in the question of their salvation. The smallest of our actions are parts of a big chain of events. And though an action can seem insignificant, it can lead to some bigger outcome. Moreover, it is important to remember that even thoughts have their significance, too. Because some people believe that if it is not done but only said or written or thought then it can do no harm. But still, every big change starts with a small thought or sometimes even a shadow of thought. So it is important to control ourselves and to remember that people are weak and easily convinced and that those qualities are often used by evil spirits.

А.К. [(5) 39,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(81)

This quote states that a believer knows that God cannot do everything. Humans were created to have free will, and God cannot make them believe in Him. But a believer also knows that he is never left by God and that anything he will ever need for his salvation will be provided by God. The only thing that is required from us is not to be blind and to be able to recognize those things. Throughout the Holy Scriptures, we read about different signs that were sent to saints and prophets in order to tell them what they need to do. And I believe that it is important to remember that even though we are no saints or prophets, we are sent our signs, too. And it is one of the reasons why it is important to be in constant contact with God as it helps not to miss those signs.

А.К. [(5) 34,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(80)

This quote tells us that even though there is no other way to attain salvation but through suffering and complications, God will never send us anything we cannot cope with. So in a sense, it is our duty to manage to live through all our problems and to never give up. Giving up would mark how fragile one's faith is. For example, Holy Royals Martyrs did take every horrible event of the revolution with humility, and that is the reason they were glorified saints as passion bearers. I agree with this quote as it is impossible to reach any goal without having to put up a fight, and the matter of faith is no exception.

А.К. [(4,5) 29,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(79)

This quote states that if one's faith is true he will never change his beliefs no matter what other people say. I fully agree with this quote as it is clear that only true love for God will endure all ups and downs of life. And if one's faith isn't sincere enough the first trial will show it. I think that any story of any saint can be used as an example here as all of them were given the hardest of trials throughout their lives. It is endlessly admirable how great their love was that they were not afraid to even die for their faith.

А.К. [(5) 25]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(78)

This quote points out that the harder we fight for something the more valuable it becomes for us. Temptations are what tests our faith, and I believe it is impossible for a person to be perfectly sure of their beliefs if they never doubted them. Living through a temptation of any kind makes one's faith stronger and more powerful. I believe the life of Mary the Egyptian is the best example here. Her lifestyle before she turned to God was so immoral it is almost hard to believe. But then she changed and she repented as flamingly as she used to give in to her temptations.

А.К. [(3,5) 20]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(77)

This quote says that there are not so many ways to learn about God. And if one does not trust other people's opinion about the faith, he'll have to know God himself which is not always easy. Everyone knows the story of Simeon the God-receiver, who doubted a word in the Burden of Isaiah. He was visited by the Holy Spirit and told that he would not die until he sees the Lord's Christ. I do not quite agree with this quote. I believe that it is always better to see something for yourself. Especially considering the matters of faith and religion.

А.К. [(3,5) 16,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(76)

This quote tells us that humility is one of the greatest virtues. And of course, it is very hard to stay calm when you are being accused of something you haven't done. I believe we should always try to remember and follow the example of Jesus Christ as much as possible. From the New Testament it is clear that He always protected those who were hurt unfairly but endured all accusations against Himself with humility. Another example of great humility can be the last Russian empress Alexandra. Once she wasn't recognized in a shop and the shopkeeper scolded her for something and she took that with humility and didn't argue with him. I very much agree with this quote and I believe that though it's very hard to be humble, it can make one's relationships with other people easier.

А.К. [(5) 13]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(75)

This quote touches upon an essential problem: why do we have struggles in our life at all, does it mean that God is angry at us for some reason, what is the point of the struggle. The quote states that our life itself is a constant litany of struggles. And the point of our going through this is to gain more experience, to become better, to show that we are worthy of going to Heaven. Leading a dull life without any struggles doesn't leave any room for improvement. Personally, I agree with this quote and I believe struggles to be a blessing even though sometimes a blessing is disguised so well, you never understand that until the very end. Some people say that God sends struggles to those whom He loves, which is very much true. For example, everyone knows the story of Job the Longsuffering. He was a wealthy man with a large family. He suddenly lost his family and wealth but maintained his integrity and focus on God and was eventually rewarded with even greater prosperity than before.

А.К. [(4,7) 8]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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I. The quote sounds frightening but I am afraid it's true. It means that we should be careful every minute of our life because every wrong step leads to really bad consequences. The Lord said: "But I say onto you, that every idle word that men shall speak they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment". This quote proves that every little word is important in our life. One rude word can result in a big quarrel. We may react to all this by words: "Who then can be saved?" The Lord answered: "With men, it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." We have Sacrament of Confession and it is feasible for us to change everything while we are alive.
II. I agree with this quote. All of ours actions impact our eternal salvation. God is all-seeing and we can hide nothing from His view. Even our thoughts will be weighty at the Last Judgement. The Lord says: “But I say unto, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment”. It sounds scary because it means that we must be attentive to ourselves every second of our life. It seems impossible for the old man, but things that really can help is to try our best and to hope that God will be merciful to us.

Е.З. [(4,5) 27]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(80)

I agree with this quote and enjoy it. When I was younger I tried to find ways of being a Christian while being happy with earthly happiness, but now I understand that it is impossible. If you are so brave to be a Christian, if you challenge all that is bad in your soul, all world’s evil will strive against you. Every person’s life is a great battle. You struggle every minute and there is no end of it. And I dare to say that this is the greatest thing that I know about life. Our path of crucifixion guides us to God. If we love God, if we want to get closer to Him, we will love our crosses and this path. This is the real meaning of life, this is both our duty and our choice. I am sure that real Christians are the happiest people in the world, because every soul tries to find this path and it is the only way of true living. But all this struggle will be unbearable without God. He helps their lambs to pass along this path. He gives us the strength and He lights our way.

Е.З. [(3,5) 22,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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I agree with this quote. The hardest thing in our life is struggling against temptations. A man should forget himself and follow Christ zealously enduring both all the voluntary and involuntary afflictions. This work is extremely difficult and if one is successful in it, he is a real fighter and he will reach the Kingdom of Heaven. But most of us are old men and we often fail these battles. So that we shouldn’t forget about other virtues. We should do our best to help people because Christ said: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”.

Е.З. [(3,5) 15,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(77)

I agree with this quote. Atheists say that nobody sees God, so He doesn’t exist. But Jesus Christ said: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. If you don’t see God, it means that your heart is not pure. Just stop sinning, and everything opens for you. But this is extremely hard work, it takes a whole life to become a little bit better, only a few people can reach holiness. So that, if we are not able to become saints, we are to believe such people. “There is no third opinion”.

Е.З. [(5) 12]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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I partly agree with this quote. If I know something bad about myself I will take accusations for granted. For example, if someone tells me that I am lazy it won’t be a piece of news for me. But if I think something good about myself and the person tells me that it is not so good as I imagined, it will be really hard. I will resent and take offence. This virtue is so far from me, so I haven’t even thought about it yet.

Е.З. [(3) 7]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(79)

If we fear ridicule or failure we are dependent on other people's opinions and try to please them instead of pleasing God. Some of us fear human judgement and scorn while God says: «I am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear?» (Is. 51:12).
Some of us seek for human praise while Jesus Christ says: «How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?» (John 5:44). Sometimes we pay too much attention to what other people think of us instead of worrying about what God sees. If we truly believe in God we should commend ourselves to Him and rely upon Him despite any circumstances. St. Peter says: «Give all your worries and cares to God for He cares about what happens to you».

Ю.Г. [(4,5) 27]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
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When you have a prosperous happy life it’s easy enough to go by the path of virtue. People love you and you love them back, people need your help and you help them easily as you have means to do that. In fact this is not a big deal. Only when we face real troubles we show who we really are. We can be very kind, humble and generous when everything is okay but if anything goes wrong we may immediately change behavior. Those of us who don’t resist temptations are like hypocrites. As the saying goes, «calamity is man’s true touchstone». To attain spiritual perfection we have to endure courageously all the voluntary and involuntary afflictions without getting angry or despondent.

Ю.Г. [(5) 18,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(77)

We need to have some reasons to believe in God. Either we trust those people who show their beliefs and testify of God and follow their example, or we can try to find God in our own experience. For this we should first take God on faith rather than try to understand Him because He is beyond our comprehension. God says: «My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts» (Isaiah 55:8–9). Then, if we manage to lead a spiritual life we may learn to see how God reveals Himself through His deeds.
It’s really hard to acquire faith especially for extremely rational people who prefer to rely only on proved facts. Fortunately, we have so many evidences of God’s existence. One should just pay attention to them. Patriarch of Russia Cyril says: «People do not come with pails to an empty well. Nobody would turn to God if He didn’t answer».

Ю.Г. [(4,5) 13,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(76)

Every time when we are accused by others we can either take offense and become exasperated or keep calm and without any resentment try to clear up what the matter is all about. The second approach is what humble behavior means, through which only we can reach righteousness. While being resentful we become vainglorious and arrogant. We can spend much time being upset or angry at people or mortify our sensitive feelings instead and get free of this bondage which destroys us internally. Even when we are accused unjustly we shouldn’t take it too close to heart because it’s impossible to please everyone, our major aim is to please God. The Lord says: «Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them» (Mat. 5:3).
If we are withdrawn from God we can’t endure even mild criticism, but if we keep God and His Word in our hearts, if we abide in Christ, He will give us peace which will enable us to become resistant to any offenses.

Ю.Г. [(4) 9]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(75)

Passions are what obstruct our salvation. While we are alive we are constantly tempted by the devil. If we give up our fight against him, he will win. To prevent this we have to struggle unceasingly, which means to pray, repent and do good works. If we are obedient to the teachings of the Church we will receive strength from God to subdue our sins and win this struggle eventually. For God says: «Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father… and we will come to him and make our home with him» (John 14:21, 23).

Ю.Г. [(5) 5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(80)

This quote asserts that everyone should take up one's cross, which is usually associated with difficulties and tribulations. And we, being Christians, are supposed to endure all this with dignity, because God does not send us difficulties which we will not be able to cope with.
It is not enough to be thankful to God only for happiness we have, but also we should appreciate calamities which enter our life from time to time, since their task is not to torment us or to make us suffer, but to save our souls and lead us to the Kingdom of God, to the eternal life. All the sorrows which accrue to us are the tools of mercy and expressions of God's love, which we also should reciprocate with love to God and all surrounding us people, with humility and gratitude. Those ungrateful people who are always annoyed, discouraged and discontented with their unhappy lot thereby abandon their cross and refuse to carry it, consequently, they deprive themselves of the Kingdom of Heaven.
None of us yearns for suffering, but when it happens we should realize that it's our cross and put up with it.

А.Я. [(5) 14,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(76)

I agree that ability to endure the accusations with humility is worthy to be admired at. For us, people, it is very difficult to respond to a critic peacefully, because it is in our nature, in our character not to allow others to think badly about us or criticize us. We can scold ourselves but the others have no right to scold us or to accuse us. To endure accusation is a work of time. You need to be self-restrained, which requires humility as well. For the people of today it's almost impossible to be accused of something and not to answer back or not to take it amiss. It is a really hard toil to develop in yourself such qualities as humility, humbleness, tolerance and self-control. And those who managed to achieve these qualities and to arrive at this so-called "perfection" had much work to be done, and it's common knowledge that everyone is rewarded according to one's works.

А.Я. [(4) 7]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(75)

I think that this quote lets us talk about struggle against our sins, which is permanent owing to the fallen human nature. I completely agree with Sergei of Vanves that the more we struggle the better chances we have to win this battle. To my mind, some of the main weapons of this so-called "war" are self-control and self-restriction which help us to avoid some sins, to better our behavior and souls; but to achieve these conditions requires lots of effort and toil, that's why we should constantly struggle against our sins in order to develop good qualities in ourselves.

А.Я. [(3) 3]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(75)

This week's quote suggests that we think about struggle as a part of our lives. There are several ways of treating obstacles but we, as Orthodox Christians, do better to embrace them and be grateful for the opportunity to spiritually grow from them. Hope "to be delivered from the struggle" is in a sense deteriorating for our spirituality because it means caring about the earthly and the mortal.
I agree with Elder Sergey of Vanves that struggles will go on forever and we should struggle to the very end. It is not to upset us but to remind us of God and His Kingdom. I myself have noticed that the more I struggle, the more I'm willing to pray and address the Savior. God grants me temptations, but He kindly delivers me from them which means life is good despite struggling.

Д.К. [(5) 22,3]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(75)

The point of this quote is that people should struggle against their sins and passions during all their life. One can't reach the top of the holiness, so this struggle never ends. I am not happy to agree with it but I do. We live for becoming better and this process is very painful. A. Pushkin said: "I want to live for thinking and for suffering". I think that he spoke about suffering because of our everlasting struggle. All this looks very dreary, but I know for sure that struggling gives the meaning to our life. If we stop the struggle, we become dejected very soon and we lose everything: our talents, interests and good relations with people. So, struggling is the best way of living. We are becoming better, and make the world around us brighter.

Е.З. [(4) 4]




Н.Т. [3,3]




А.К. [3,3]




М.С. [3,3]




Ю.К. [2,8]




А.Б. [1]




П.П. [0]


3rd year of study: Spring 2016

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(10.05.16)

I completely agree with the quote of Father Seraphim. Our human nature is fallen. So we should attend to our thoughts and feelings with great caution. I am afraid we cannot trust ourselves completely. The right way is to rely on Gods’ Commandments and the help of God. We should reach a higher level, become a different person. And the healing for our soul is prayer. We can reach the Salvation only through sorrows.

Н.Т. [(2,5) 63]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(20.04.16)

I completely agree with Elder Porphyrios’ quote. First of all, Jesus Christ says “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it” (Matthew 7:13). So that we can see that the way of a Christian has many obstacles and difficulties. Then, living according to Commandments of Christ, demands from us a lot of work. We should purify our hearts from our sins and passions. Physical work is important too, as through labour we can purify our souls.

Н.Т. [(4,5) 54,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(13.04.16)

I completely agree with Abba Poemen’s quote. Before it I thought “to lay down one's life for one's neighbor” meant to die for the neighbor, but now Abba Poemen gives me a new meaning of this verse of the Holy Scripture.
To humble yourself, to endure, and to forgive are the ways to suffer for your neighbor. To fight against temptations, passions - is the way to serve God. So, it is not necessarily to sacrifice your life for your neighbor, to die for him; we can start, at least, from pulling down our pride.

Н.Т. [(4) 50]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(06.04.16)

I agree with the quote of the elder Paisios. Actually, I have never thought of this before and this idea is quite new for me. However, I believe that some small things truly lead us to greater things. Such small things are quite symbolic in some sort. For example, lighting candles during the service or writing notes for the repose of a soul, kissing icons. I consider only through these things we can learn how to venerate God and our Holy Saints, how to pray to God, maintain and respect Tradition. Nevertheless, I believe that love to God is greater than all the rest. But respect is a part of love, isn’t it?

Н.Т. [(5) 46]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(30.03.16)

I agree with the quote of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov. I believe our habits are fruits of our acts: on the one hand, human preferences are fixed into habits, and on the other hand, formed habits then grow and influence a person much. So that people at first form their habits and then reap the fruits of these habits. Moreover, formed and confirmed habits affect a person so much that it is quite difficult to oppose them. It can be possible with the help of God, heart-felt prayer and in abstinence only.

Н.Т. [(4,5) 41]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(23.03.16)

I completely agree with St. John’s quote. To my mind, we should mark and admire good qualities of a person, because each person whom we meet on our way is a gift of God for us. When we try to see only positive qualities of a person we will become better and purer. Then the vices and failings are not our business. Of course, we can see sins of other people and sometimes need mark them, but, I think, we can’t judge. For we have never had the experience as that guy had, we have never lived his life. We have only our personal background, our sinful nature; that is why “our eyes are deceived”.

Н.Т. [(5) 36,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(09.03.16)

I completely agree with St. Maximos’ quote. I suppose we should love each person who we meet (our neighbor). Of course, we cannot have equal attitude to everybody but we should try to love all people despite their behavior towards us. Once my confessor said to me, “Patience is the least form of love”. These words influenced me a lot. So, trying to love somebody despite reproaches and insults is a way to learn how to love God. And we can remember the words of the Holy Apostle Paul, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”.

Н.Т. [(4,5) 31,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(02.03.16)

The quote of Abba Xanthios is rather unusual. I suppose, it is a question of loyalty, devotion and love of a dog in comparison with a human being. It is about the so-called perfect love – to love not expecting anything in return. People love others in return analyzing their behavior, judging them. It is not about dogs. If someone offends you, you will rethink your attitude to this person. I believe, Abba Xanthios meant this very thing. We should strive to love other people despite their attitude towards us, pray for them, and should not think of them in an offensive way.

Н.Т. [(4) 27]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(24.02.16)

I absolutely agree with Fr. Seraphim’s quote. I believe we came to this world to be purified through the sufferings. So, challenges and difficulties are everyday part of our life. And we can find consolation only in God our Father, in the prayer to Him. Jesus Christ tells us, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). God gives us opportunity to be healed, helps us through other people. For God loves us and He is waiting for our conversion.

Н.Т. [(4) 23]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(17.02.16)

I agree with this quote. I believe “humility is the most saving cure” as St. Isaac the Syrian said. Humility helps us to stay with God and not to pride, not to tower above other people. We should continually call to mind who we are and how many sins we have committed. No one good deed can purify all our evil. Humility helps us to be in contrition. So, in my opinion, only through humility we can achieve any virtue.

Н.Т. [(5) 19]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(10.02.16)

I agree with St. Seraphim’s quote. The spirit of despondency can hurt our souls very much. A human being can’t lead normal healthy life being in despondency. I believe we should beware of that condition with a prayer to God. Only God can help us to overcome obstacles of life and lead us out of despondency. In that condition a human being doesn’t want anything including to return to normal life and to communicate with other people, doesn’t want to help himself. This is a frightful thing, that’s why, I suppose, St. Seraphim of Sarov says, “Beware!”. We should prevent even little oppressive thoughts from entering into our mind.

Н.Т. [(4) 14]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(20.01.16)

I completely agree with St. Mark’s quote. I believe we should thank God for all He gave us in our life: first of all, for our birth, because it is a great gift. The feeling of gratefulness helps us to be led by Commandments of Christ, to be obedient and humble. That feeling reminds us not to forget about the end of our earthly life, about immortality of our soul. It reminds us of necessity to communicate with God and to give Him thanks continually and unceasingly. It helps us to follow the right way and not “to flounder into a morass”. So, to my mind, perhaps, we need that gratefulness more than God Himself needs it.

Н.Т. [(4) 10]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(18.05.16)

When we look back we can see that some things we asked God about did not realize and only now we understand that it was for the better and God gave us something other instead, which turned out to be much more beneficial for us. We should understand that everything that God sends us is meant to do profit to our souls. If we want to live in union with God we should submit our wishes and desires to His will and accept it with humility and obedience, whatever troubles we have to endure. Everyone has his cross, and when we bear the cross without repining against God, but otherwise trust Him, we receive relief and God’s grace.

Ю.Г. [(4,5) 130]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(11.05.16)

Due to the fallen nature people are subjected to many passions, sinful thoughts come out of human mind. Faith is what can lead people to the good, it directs our actions and leads us on the right path. Faith can heal human reason, cleanse it from the evil and raise it up to a higher level.

Ю.Г. [(4,5) 109,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(20.04.16)

There is a dogma that salvation is by God’s power but only with man’s active cooperation. God wants all people to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth, but not all people want to live their lives with Him, following His commandments, because it requires a lot of effort. Our belief in Christ must be combined with putting that belief into action – we should do good works, otherwise our faith is dead. Jesus Christ says: «Not everyone who says to Me “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven».

Ю.Г. [(4,5) 105]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(23.03.16)

If we do not restrain ourselves, but indulge our bad habits, then the soul becomes affected and it’s getting really hard for us to stop doing bad things, because we get obsessed with them. Then the moral state gradually changes and we start to take sinful things as normal. So, we cannot control our thoughts if we allow bad actions to become our habits.

Ю.Г. [(5) 100,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(09.03.16)

We often notice only the bad in people, we mark their sinful deeds, but we do not know what repentance they can have for their failings and how they can struggle to become better. We denounce people seeing the outside of them, but not knowing the inside of them, and this approach is imprudent. We should try to seek out the good in people and neglect their vices, so that we do not fall into the sin of condemnation, for God said: «Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven».

Ю.Г. [(4,5) 95,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(25.05.16)

I completely agree with the quote by St. Ambrose of Optina. We always try to rule our fate forgetting that there is God who directs our lives to the right paths. We also try to deceive our inevitable destiny by changing something that should not be changed. Usually all our efforts result in frustration, sorrow, discontentment and insincere unrighteous life. To avoid these consequences we should be reconciled to our destiny and remember that there is the all-good Providence of God which settles one's destiny only for the better. So, sometimes it would be more sensible not to struggle against the circumstances but to humble ourselves and be carried by the all-good Providence of God that can lead you to the life which you have ever wished for.

А.Я. [(4) 58]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(06.04.16)

Tradition is an inherited, established pattern of action, which was developing for a very long time. Tradition was being accumulated beginning with the little things which gradually grew into the great things. So, in order not to break Tradition one should cherish carefully every small part of it, because it is a small thing which breeds the bigger one. It relates not only to Tradition, it relates actually to everything. For example, we can become nearer to God doing lots of easiest good things starting with the work on ourselves. Little everyday deeds inure us to kindness, mercifulness, tolerance and lots of other virtues, which lead us to salvation. If we ignore these everyday opportunities of doing something good, we will never achieve the main aim of our lives, which is salvation of our souls.

А.Я. [(5) 41]


1. DELIBERATE SELF-HUMILIATION is the most important condition on a path leading to DEIFICATION. In search of holiness many saints WITHDREW INTO THE FORESTS and other PLACES OF RETREAT. In THE WILDERNESS they often FOUNDED HERMITAGES. However, what started as hermitages soon grew into THE GREATEST RELIGIOUS HOUSES IN THE LAND.
2. Deep conversion of the pagan Slavs took many centuries despite the fact that the Russian Church was quick to send EVANGELISTS to all parts of the country.
3. The SUZERAINTY of the Mongol Tartars over Russia with the necessity TO PAY TRIBUTE to conquerors was a minor evil in comparison with the TEUTONIC KNIGHTS, who were eager to interfere in the life of the Church.

А.Б. [(5,5) 14]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(23.03.16)

I completely agree with the quote of St. John Climacus. We have not the slightest right to judge anybody, because it's an exceptional prerogative of God. We never know exactly what circumstances and situations induced a person to do such things which we consider to be his sins he should be judged for. Moreover, judging someone we fall ourselves into such a heavy sin as condemnation of our neighbor, which in its turn is directly connected with other sins, these are egoism and pride. Someone who condemns another for his conduct obviously conceives of oneself as a better person but, as we can see, in fact it does not work so. People in hospitals do not judge each other for their illnesses, likewise we should not judge each other as all of us are spiritually ill because of our sins.

А.Я. [(4,5) 36]


1) He did much GUILE and many IGNOMINIOUS deeds, but still he was a CONTRITE sinner, ENLIGHTENED by the Orthodox faith, who always EXALTED and MAGNIFIED God, asking Him to DELIVER him from NEED and TRIBULATIONS.
2) She says it is BLASPHEMY to deny any ATTRIBUTE of GODHEAD.
3) There was no room in front of her, so she asked that the COMMUNICANT does not make BOWS and PROSTRATIONS.
4) The way they PROPHESY is full of many AMBUSHES and DEVICES.
5) These WICKED can never find COMFORT and CONSOLATION unless they start to BEWARE of their PROFLIGATE deeds.
6) The monks of these HERMITAGES and RELIGIOUS HOUSES led lives of SELF-HUMILIATION and SELF-EMPTYING.
7) They prayed to the most holy and MOST IMMACULATE Theotokos, singing the GREAT DOXOLOGY during the GREAT COMPLINE.
8) They believe that if you have ever APOSTATIZED, you could never be ABSOLVED due to your UNWORTHINESS.
9) He believed it was his VOCATION and God’s PROVIDENTIAL DISPENSATION that he had to bear that WEIGHT and UNDERGO PERSECUTION.
10) We know that there should be SYNERGY in relationship with God, so some people say that deeds of INFIDELS are INERT.
11) The CHAPLAIN helped him to UNBURDEN himself and put him on the path of OBSERVANCE OF THE FAITH.
12) These days PARISH CLERGY tell to their FLOCKS the parable of the Pharisee and the PUBLICAN.
13) Some priests HELD OFFICES because they bought them, and this act is called SIMONY.
14) They showed VIGOROUS RESISTANCE and STABLE PERSEVERANCE, but eventually they had to BOW TO THE INEVITABLE and suffered VIOLENT DEATH.
15) He is the only PERPETRATOR as he is the one who DISTORTED the STATUTE.
16) Catholics believe that during CONSECRATION there happens a change of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, a change refered to as TRANSUBSTANTIATION, which according to their belief happens right after the priest speaks the WORDS OF INSTITUTION.

Ю.Г. [(24,5) 91]


1) It is important to INITIATE A MISSIONARY WORK in order to fight the IGNORANCE.
2) BLASPHEMY deserves CONDEMNATION.
3) THE GRAND DUKES OF MOSCOW asked SERGIUS OF RADONEZH for advice about their OVERLORDSHIP and TO SECURE HIS BLESSING.
4) Some saints WITHDREW INTO THE FORESTS and THE WILDERNESS in order to find a PLACE OF RETREAT away from earthly concerns.

А.К. [(5,5) 40]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(09.03.16)

This quote says that a person who comprehended the existence of God has true strength. I agree with that completely. In Psalm 23 according to King James Bible it says: "I will fear no evil: for thou art with me". Knowing that you are not alone and is being cared about gives you energy to live without heaviness of heart and accept everything happening to you without repining.

А.К. [(4) 29]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(02.03.16)

Corporal labour has no sense if it is not beneficial to the soul, if it does not raise a person spiritually. We can study the Scripture, observe a strict fast, restrain ourselves in all things, and still never acquire righteousness in our hearts. There can be a great difference between outer and inner moral states, and outer piety can prove to be just hypocrisy. The aim of corporal labour is to lead to humility, which protects people from temptations and fills their hearts with love.
Recently I listened to a priest telling a story about a woman who was angry at a girl because that girl occupied her place in the church, the place where she stood during every service. The woman said that she had been going to that church for twenty years, and that was the place where she always stood, so nobody else should stand there. Apparently she believed that she deserved to stand there by praying there for so many years.
The priest told this story to make people realize that all our corporal achievements are useless if they do not humble our souls.

Ю.Г. [(4,5) 33,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(24.02.16)

Due to the fallen nature people are subjected to many passions, which prevent them from true love and make them perform sinful deeds – we lack humility, patience, so we tend to judge others. And animals have surpassed people. A man is God to animals, and if people treat animals with love, they love back. And they would never judge. So, people should take animals for a model and change themselves. If we love God, we should love others and do not condemn them.

Ю.Г. [(5) 29]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(17.02.16)

When people have many difficulties and sufferings, they turn to God, because they realize that only He can help them. We call God to mind for different reasons, but most often it is desperation caused by sufferings that leads us to God. Sometimes when we have no problems, we don’t remember God, and only while being in trouble we start to search for Him. And the more we search for God and rely upon Him, the more He is going to come to our aid and give us consolation.

Ю.Г. [(5) 24]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(17.02.16)

I think, that being converted into another religion is the same as to be newly born. A person like an infant makes his first steps in the absolutely new world for him. And these steps are unsteady and unsure. Such person desperately needs support, and God provides him with so called "first aid" in order not to let him be dragged down by his sins and the lack of knowledge. It is much harder to hold on for such a person than for someone who is aware of most important and general things concerning one's religion. That's why God reveals Himself more to a person who is in suffering and difficulties, unless he gets accustomed to his new way of life, to his new worldview.

А.Я. [(5) 12]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(10.02.16)

Humility gives birth to many good deeds, as it keeps people away from passions and puts them on the path of virtue. Only through humility people can reach righteousness, for humble people realize their sins and are able to repent of them. To humble ourselves we should understand that all our achievements are not our merits, but are the gifts of God that He deigns to bestow on us. So there is nothing we can be proud of, for a man can attain nothing without God. We should trust God and rely upon His will without complaints about our fate. The Lord says: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them.

Ю.Г. [(5) 19]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(10.02.16)

The point of this quote is that without being humble we cannot expect our good deeds to be good for us too. In the First Epistle of Peter it is said: "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble" (5:5). It is also said in the Gospel According to Matthew: "They have their reward" (6:5). That is the proud refuse to wait for God's reward, they value their mortal life more. Such people cannot be made sons of God. I agree with this quote completely. Being patient and controlling one's arrogance are the hardest things, but they are required if a person wants to lead a Christian life.

А.К. [(4) 25]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(10.02.16)

I agree with this quote. I am absolutely sure that pride is the core of every sin and passion. It prevents us from loving people because it makes us self-centered. We always want people to love and to help us, and we feel that we are deprived because our heart is never satisfied. Many marriages are broken because of the pride, many parents don’t communicate with their children, and good friends cut off contacts with each other. How could mankind stand against this evil? The Lord says: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. How wonderful the world would be, if everybody followed these words! The core task of every Christian is to acquire humility, because, as the Beatitudes say: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven”.

Е.З. [(3) 19]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(03.02.16)

The point of this quote is that burying one's mind in sadness is a sin. Mourning over every little bad thing that happens in life and refusal to see good sides in everything will lead the soul to a fall. It will make a person to do things which are quite unnatural for a human being such as withdrawal from close relatives and constant ill humor.

А.К. [(5) 21]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(03.02.16)

When people fall into despondency, they begin to believe that everybody turned back on them and even God Himself abandoned them. Such thoughts lead to many negative feelings, such as resentment, rage, envy, condemnation, pride and so on. Then it seems to people that there is nothing but evil and injustice around them. They blame God for their troubles and turn away from Him. But if people humble themselves, and pray to God, they receive comfort and consolation. So we should never yield to despondency, but stay high-spirited and patient, and trust God whatever temptations we have to endure.

Ю.Г. [(5) 14]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(03.02.16)

I agree with the quote of St. Seraphim of Sarov about despondency. Despondency is one of the most general but terrible sins because it breeds lots of other transgressions. A man falls into despondency when he stops enjoing and appreciating his life. Despondency is tightly connected with laziness, it is a period of a spiritual crisis in which you need to force yourself to do something, first of all, to go to the church, because it gives you strength and power, fills with energy and willingness to do good deeds. The more you are in despondency the more you get accustomed to being in this condition of laziness, boredom and mourning. In order to avoid it you need to struggle against it, exercising your will and soul and moving yourself to do good. We always think that the reason of all our troubles is in the things surrounding us, we always want to change something around us, but the only thing we need is to change ourselves by the self-cultivation.

А.Я. [(3,5) 7]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(27.01.16)

This quote says that even if a faithless person knows about the concept of Hell and Heaven, the thought of it never sinks in properly. A person knows, but he never thinks about it as of something that can happen to him too. Therefore he has no reason to prepare himself. While a faithful person is aware that he will not escape the afterlife in any way, and knows that he should use his mortal life in order to prepare for it.

А.К. [(4) 16]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(27.01.16)

If people do not believe in God, they have no fear before Him. Therefore, they are not afraid of the danger to be punished for their sinful deeds. So they fearlessly indulge their passions and have no repentance for this. But if people believe in God and understand that they are responsible for their every deed, they begin to watch themselves, to pray to God and repent. Hell appears to them, and its appearance gives them fear, which prevents people from sinning and puts them on the right path.

Ю.Г. [(5) 9]


1) Yesterday I read about the iconography of WARRIOR SAINTS.
2) Everybody knows about the four EVANGELISTS.

П.П. [(1) 14]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(20.01.16)

It is very important to remember all those bounties which God deigns to give us and to thank Him unceasingly for His mercy, as everything we have is a gift of God Who always cares about us. If we forget to give thanks to God for our many blessings we fall into the sin of ingratitude. And without gratefulness we become arrogant and self-centered, we begin to believe that we have achieved everything on our own. This sin moves us away from God and our life becomes useless. We fall into despondency or even start to repine against God. But if we continually call to mind all the gifts God has ever given to us, we realize how much we have thanks to Him, and these memories encourage us to praise Him and to make an effort to follow His commandments.

Ю.Г. [4]


1. There are always plenty of COMMUNICANTS in our parish.
2. We shall be careful about the devil's AMBUSHES and DEVICES.
3. You don't want to PROSTRATE on Sundays, but if it is the only day of the week when you are at church, you probably should.

Д.К. [(2) 12]


1. Lots of saints followed Christ in His SACRIFICIAL DEATH.
2. I know that MOUNT ATHOS is the center of Eastern Orthodox Monasticism.

П.П. [(1) 5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(20.01.16)

The point of this quote is that one should value every lesson one receives throughout life. Everything that happens to a person happens for a reason, and it is important not only to know how to recognize it, but to remember that experience and think it over and use it later. It is also important to bear such things in mind, because sometimes answers come before one has asked a question.

А.К. [(5) 12]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(20.01.16)

I agree with this statement. How often we don't even notice sometimes how merciful the Lord is, and we forget to thank Him. When everything is fine in our life we often abandon prayer, then God gives us different temptations, trials to make us find the right path. We must always remember that everything that happens - is only for the salvation of our souls and we should accept it with humility and attention.

П.П. [4]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(20.01.16)

This week's quote is on gratitude. St Mark the Ascetic, who lived in the fifth century AD, encourages his flock to unceasingly thank God. His idea is that we can all remember many great things from the past, which is especially good to do when depressed, so that we understand how strongly God loves us. Once understood, it is clear that His blessings are still bestowed. We should be careful not to grow unmindful of God's mercy. This can demotivate and lead to frustration, laziness. Although St Mark lived so long ago and was a monk whose advice is addressed to other monks, it can be still taken in consideration. Modern people, the laymen, suffer from frustration, laziness and lack of motivation indeed. I understand that I don't want to pass the rest of my life uselessly but work for God and in the name of the Lord, therefore I need to regularly recall all the good that has happened to me and give thanks and pray.

Д.К. [4,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(20.01.16)

I agree with St. Mark the Ascetic that we should remember all the blessings given us by God. We must be thankful to God for everything we do and everything we have or had at one time with the consent of His blessing. If we forget to thank God, our life stops heaving any sense because gratitude is a sign of our humility, humbleness and obedience which lead us to salvation of our souls, that is to the main purpose of Christian life. An ungrateful person is unable to appreciate invisible care and love of our Heavenly Father. Gratitude is a thread which connects us with God; it is our responsibility for everything that God gives us. If we are thankful toward Him, He will see it and be thankful towards us, revealing to us Himself and His Kingdom.

А.Я. [3,5]


"Orthodox Quote of the Week"
(к 09.12.15)

I agree with this quote. It is difficult for people to be thankful when malady comes to them. But it is obvious that Providence sends us sicknesses for a good reason. I think that this quote can help sick people to cope with their suffering.
I knew many examples of profits which illnesses can bring to people’s souls.
In our family we tend to eat much delicious food, and I was born with allergy to many tasty things. I think, God plans to save me from the sin of gluttony.
We came to this world to become better for the Kingdom of God, and usually we can’t improve without God’s help.

When I speak about PAPAL CLAIMS people think that I am really smart.
It is difficult to communicate with people who don’t live a SACRAMENTAL LIFE.
When we were studying THE FLORENTINE UNION, I was shocked that I had never heard about it before.
А MOSQUE is an unusual and interesting place for me.
I wonder where LAY THEOLOGIANS usually work.
Speaking about DEATH PENALTY, I think that people don’t have a right to kill somebody.
It is disturbing when somebody calls the members of the last Czar’s family martyrs, they are PASSION BEARERS.
I feel really happy that the Slavs were CHRISTIANIZED.
I heard that sometimes sacristans are allowed to touch SACRED VESSELS.

Е.З. [8]


1) I like THE CHERUBIC HYMN sung by the choir of The Epiphany Cathedral at Yelokhovo the best.
2) Orthodox USAGES are often not clear for non-Orthodox people.
3) TO GIVE ALMS doesn't always mean to give money to the poor.
4) Every soul is IMMORTAL.
5) When I was little it was hard for me to understand what the words "LET US ATTEND" said during the Liturgy meant.
6) FOUL DEMONS make people's souls SUFFER ILL if they do not turn to the NOBLE LIFE.
7) Human beings can barely understand what ETERNITY is.
8) I believe the PROSELYTES are the happiest people in the Church.
9) My mother reads THE SCRIPTURES to my sisters during fasts.
10) It is extremely hard to COMMIT one's life to God's will.
11) Sometimes I wonder how many people have been ever ANATHEMATIZED.
12) I have never seen a SYNAGOGUE in my life, and I don't actually want to as I feel uncomfortable even in a Catholic church.

А.К. [7]




А.Б. [1]




Ю.К. [5]




М.С. [14]




Н.Т. [6]





SEE ALSO:
Text Bank 2017 PART I








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