Система Orphus

Religious Vocabulary
texts by graduate students

* graduation year

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Autumn 2018

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Close ones are those of one flesh, no wonder the Lord was so angry with the crime of Cain against his brother. «It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy» (Proverbs 14:21)
And in fact, do we have the right to judge our neighbors and to bring hate into our hearts? «Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven» (Gospel of Luke 6:37)
Everyone should think about his own behavior and condemnation is not a way. It will not help to make the world and ourselves better. Since everyone of us has something dark in the soul, nobody is perfect and it should be a fight inside us, not outside with another person to prove something.
There is no one closer to us on the Earth than relatives, but there is nothing worse than their enmity. We can help our neighbors to become better and to get closer to the Lord only through love. «Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up» (Epistle to the Romans 15:2)
The words of St. Peter in relation to the family are very revealing: «Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing» (The First Epistle of Peter 3:8-9)
We should help our close ones, but not attack them for their illnesses, because it will be also of help and assistance to God in fight for our souls by this attempt to overcome spiritual weakness or some evil manifestations in us and our neighbors.
Without loved ones a person may have a lack of strength and desire to turn to the Creator. He will not be able to return to God and to achieve salvation.

Ю.М. [(4) 50]

1. The Old Testament practiced THE ASPERSION with sacrificial blood, and in Christianity we see THE ASPERSION with holy water.
2. THE SPRINKLER is a device for sprinkling holy water during worship, a kind of church utensil.
3. THE THURIBLE is a metal vessel were incense is burned on burning coals.
4. SEPTUAGESIMA, passing on the eve of Quadragesima, invokes all sinners to repentance and conversion, to the beginning of the path for moral rebirth.
5. The CHANCEL AREA symbolizes Elisium, the spiritual sky and the place where the God is.
6. Unlike the CHANCEL AREA, the PORCH is located in a room attached to the west side of the temple.
7. SACRISTY is a part of chancel or a separate room at the Christian church to hold the liturgical vestments of the priests and church utensils.
8. The tasks of the SACRED MINISTER include carrying out all sorts of sacrals and sacraments.
9. When praying people BESEECH God to help them in difficult situations, to absolve their sins and grant everlasting life.
10. Any INIQUITY will be punished by God.
11. The second Sunday of PASCHALTIDE (the first is Easter itself) is dedicated to the Apostle Thomas, therefore it is called Thomas' Sunday.
12. The SOLEMNITY of Easter is an important event in the life of Orthodox people.
13. A PURIFICATOR is used to wipe the discos and dry the chalice during the Eucharist.
14. A WATER-CRUET is made for keeping water or wine in it.
15. An OCCASIONAL RITE is a church service at the request or at the insistence of believers.
16. The holy apostles, chosen by the Savior, received from God the grace TO ADMINISTER THE HOLY SACRAMENTS.
17. The OBSERVANCES of the Church grow out of experience of prayer and communion with God, they are not something accidental or meaningless.
18. INSTALLATION of archbishop and metropolitan is made on the initiative and decision of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
19. THE HOST is the Body and Blood of Christ, having a form of ordinary bread and wine.
20. An Altar CRUCIFIX or ALTAR CROSS is a cross placed upon an altar, and is the principal ornament of the altar.

Ю.М. [(11) 46]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The lives of saints are an example to all of us of how a person is able to give himself away in the service to the Lord. N. Pestov says in the book "St. Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg" that all the saints in the Russian land appeared at the time when there was an urgent need in a spiritual feat and in the expression of love for God and people. They are true heroes in God's war against the Devil for our souls.
With the help of reading lives of saints, the Christian can become stronger in the faith and atheists are able to come to Christ. “Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Epistle to the Hebrews 13:7)
Through the lives of saints we also pray to God and ask for protection and help from His nearest who have achieved by their lifes the title of saints.
For example, Holy Blessed Matrona of Moscow, who never boasted of her gift and learned from childhood that all the gifts come from God. A more precious gift requires more humility you need to have, otherwise you won’t bear and keep it. Holy Blessed Matrona said: "Everybody come to me and tell me about your sorrows. I will see and hear you and help you. Everybody who asked me for help, I will meet at death, everyone".
Through their lives, the saints show us an example of holiness and strive to show for every believer that the path to God can be difficult and may include fight and rejection, but the reward is more than worthy.
Let’s conclude with the words of Patriarch Kirill: "God grant that holiness wouldn’t become something canonically pictured at the frescoes and incomprehensible by modern man, but that holiness will become desirable and people aspire to achieve holiness."

Ю.М. [(3) 35]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

St. Symeon the New Theologian in this quotation shows all the difficulty of the way to the gate of Paradise but even he also exclaimed: "Oh, Lord! Probably, there is nothing better in the world than this bliss!" And this is not a contradiction, he means that the difficulty of the path pays off with the significance of the reward.
However, Solomon was said that «The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead» (Proverbs 15:24)
Faith in Christ, knowledge and understanding of the Bible, Baptism, conscious acceptance of God through enlightenment and, finally, the fulfilment of good deeds and humility – all these things will help to deserve place in paradise near God.
You mustn’t be limited to only one thing, because when you accept Christ in your heart you need to change completely, you need to prepare for rebirth during lifetime. And therefore limiting yourself by some one thing it is difficult to reach such state of the spirit that is required for the Lord to accept the soul after death to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Metropolitan Antony, speaking about how to be a Christian today, how to achieve the bliss of paradise, says: "We can be not like heroes during our life because this is a rarity, but we can be ascetic and constantly move along the path with the aim to be more and more like Christ and to please Him more when we become like Him. We all become lighter when we take His personality traits and when we learn what is disgusting for Him and what is a joy for Him."
You cannot separate yourself from God in the hope for future forgiveness. The way to Paradise is difficult but achievable. The main thing is to walk along it confidently, without turning aside.

Ю.М. [(2,5) 32]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The basis of Christianity is the sacrament of transition to eternal life. But should we grieve when a person leaves this world, having fulfilled many things and with the true understanding that outside the body life will be greater and more perfect?
Of course, people don’t accept death. The flesh is too strong to fully embrace the happiness of a new life. «For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten. Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun» (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6).
Before the atoning sacrifice of Christ most people had no hope. Death scared people inexpressibly. «But man dies and is laid away; Indeed he breathes his last and where is he?... So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they will not awake nor be roused from their sleep» (Job 14:10, 12).
Christ's sacrifice didn’t destroy physical death, but it made her power temporary.
After liberation from the bodily shell those who lived their life with dignity and tried to make the light of God brighter, who didn’t fill their existence with bad deeds and thoughts, will come to their Creator, to their eternal home. From this position the day of death is really great and even the best, because we are preparing for it all our earthly life.

Ю.М. [(4) 29,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

All the time man carries the Lord in himself, but when he prays, there is no place for the earthly things, because, according to St. John of the Ladder «Prayer is communication and unity of man with God».
If a person decides to communicate directly with God, how can he introduce into this process his everyday issues? Abbot Sabbas of the Pskov-Сaves said on this occasion: «You don’t hear your prayer by yourself; how can you expect God to hear your prayer?». And St. John of the Ladder confirms this thought: «Or do you think that God will heed the prayer that you do not heed?».
Prayer is so sacred that the mundane becomes the fly in the ointment. It is necessary to prepare for it the way we prepare for any important deal or action but the prayer is the most important of all things possible: «Before thou prayest, prepare thyself; and be not as one that tempteth the Lord» (Ecclesiasticus 18:23).
Prayer as the unity of the worshipper and God is able to help us, first of all, by increasing our comprehension. Becoming closer to the Creator a person can see the ways of his further existence. As Solomon said: «Therefore I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded and the spirit of Wisdom came to me» (Wisdom 7:7).
It is necessary to leave all material things outside of prayer, «in another room», and to close yourself from vanity as it is metaphorically written about it in the Bible: «But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you» (Gospel of Matthew 6:6). And after praying you can go into the world with a pure heart and God in your soul.

Ю.М. [(3) 25,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Elder Paisios of Mount Athos is quite strict talking about the way of living like an «ostrich» when people try to turn away from the pain of the real world. This method became widespread in our times of global imposition of consumption and entertainment culture. But is it possible to escape only through the pleasure and laughter? «I consider that our present sufferings are not worth with the glory that will be revealed in us». (Epistle to the Romans 8:18)
Patriarch Kirill talked about it: «We don’t know why God chose suffering as an instrument of salvation. He didn’t choose the human mind or education as the instrument of salvation. He didn’t choose a smile, fun or joy as an instrument of salvation. He chooses grief, suffering and sorrow as the instrument of salvation and none of people can answer the question whether another way of salvation was possible».
So it is necessary to accept the world created by God as it is. Everything that we experience is an ordeal and those who in the attempt to avoid this ordeal by abstracting from the world will fail it because «if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us»(The second Epistle to Timothy 2: 12)
The Lord mercifully gives us a choice. But by choosing love for Him we mustn’t expect only sweets and fun games like a capricious child, because even for children parents have to use persuasion and deprivation with the aim of ensuring for them a decent future. Often children don’t understand what is good for them. «We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose». (Epistle to the Romans 8:28)
A Christian should be open-hearted to the world. And there is nothing bad in laughter, of course. «A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit» (Proverbs 15: 13). But this laughter should go together with love.
«Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted» (Gospel of Matthew 5:4). Of course, this doesn’t mean that the only thing you need to do is to mourn and cry to the Lord in tears. But it means that those who are incapable of compassion, who can only mindlessly have fun, will achieve nothing, ultimately.

Ю.М. [(3,5) 22,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Venerable Justin raised the topic that has been concerned the minds of mankind for many centuries. Could man have a pure Mind without Faith? Will such person be a fully thinking being? Today when the creation of artificial intelligence is close these issues are more topical than ever. From the moment of the Fall the human Mind, according to the Bible, became «depraved» and «corrupted»: «Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done» (Epistle to the Romans 1:28); «Vain disputations of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, which think that gain is godliness; from such separate thyself». (The first Epistle to Timothy 6:5); «Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected» (The second Epistle to Timothy 3:8); «To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted» (Epistle to Titus 1:15)
Only when peace with God guides and fills us, we are capable of true life: «…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus». (Epistle to the Philippians 4:7)
A pure Mind without faith is deprived of love and the ability to give with joy and therefore of the opportunity to receive. «Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you» (Gospel of Luke 6:38)
Patriarch Kirill also denies pure mind in its self-sufficiency: «Culture is also one of the ways of cultivating the human mind, human feelings and human will». And concludes: «...the mind is not enough - it is necessary that the heart participates in the knowledge». So the Faith is in the first place, then is the cultivation of human values in the soul (by the culture, for example) and finally the Mind is able to achieve true greatness.

Ю.М. [(4) 19]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Here abba Dorotheos points out to us the demonic essence of civilization of consumption which is forcefully imposed nowadays. What can represent a person who has put love for things, comfort or power above everything else? «For they that will be rich, fall into temptation and snares, and into many foolish and noisome lusts, which drown men in perdition and destruction. For the desire of money is the root of all evil, which while some lusted after, they erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows». (The First Epistle to Timothy 6:9-10)
And one more thing can be revealed in the words of abba Dorotheos: rejection of the so-called «hype», cheap fame for the sake of which modern man is capable of real madness. The pursuit of rating that is generated by the vanity doesn’t contribute to spiritual growth.
Finally, the consolation of others: is a rich and influential person able to understand the troubles of a common man? Or it will be as in the story about Marie-Antoinette: «If they have no bread, let them eat cake»?
It is not without reason that at all times people went and still go for wisdom to hermits. The Truth is revealed to him who left the world and worldly desires. It’s not necessary to leave the world, but changing God for iPhones is unwise.

Ю.М. [(3) 15]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Holy Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt, as no one else knew about the miraculous power of prayer. During his life he was able to help tens of thousands of people. And he did not help with the demonic magic, but it was only his prayer to God.
Faith is a necessary part of prayer, but there is another condition, about which Patriarch Kirill said: «When we start praying, we must entrust ourselves to the Divine will. Sometimes we ask the Lord for things that are not good for us, but we do not understand it».
Father John saw only one salvation - the change of people from the inside: pray and fulfill your duty to God and see that the world around you is changing, but it is only when there is a prayer from the heart which doesn’t become a routine and a formal reply.
You can’t unsubscribe the Lord, as it is written: «But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him». (Epistle to the Hebrews 11:6)
Prayer cleanses and sincere prayer will always be heard by God. Who will we turn into if we forget about supplications to Him and so we will forget about Him? Will the Lord leave sinners to live in abundance, but without the right to eternal life? «No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins». (Isaiah 64:7)

Ю.М. [(3,5) 12]

1. Christ REBUKED the HYPOCRITICAL Jewish priests.
2. In some PARISHES the PAX ICON is brought to THE FAITHFUL who kiss it and PROSTRATE themselves before it.
3. At MATINS on Sundays and great feasts, THE HOLY GOSPEL is brought out of THE ALTAR to THE LAITY.
4. The day of Elevation of the Holy Cross is a day of FASTING and REPENTANCE.
5. In THE SACRAMENTS there is a combination of visible signs and SPIRITUAL GRACE.
6. According to the Gospel, The Lord established THE EUCHARIST at THE LAST SUPPER.
7. The sacrament of BAPTISM starts with a RENUNCIATION OF THE FALLEN WORLD to sanctify the human nature TAINTED BY ORIGINAL SIN.
8. THE BOOK OF REVELATION occupies a central place in Christian ESCHATOLOGY and includes the description of THE KINGDOM OF THE END of TIMES.
9. A SPONSOR is someone who MAKES A PROFESSION OF FAITH for the person being baptized.
10. Saint Seraphim of Sarov is widely VENERATED in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
11. In addition to writing and telling messages from God, THE PROPHETS often acted out prophetic PARABLES.
12. On the feast of Epiphany the Orthodox Christian Church COMMEMORATES the first time when God REVEALED HIMSELF as THE HOLY TRINITY.
13. The primary statement of what the Church believes about God could be found in THE CREED, which was formulated at the First and Second ECUMENICAL COUNCILS.
14. Because of THE FALL of man, THE INCARNATION is considered not only an act of love towards mankind, but also an ACT OF SALVATION.
15. THE RELICS of saints are usually embedded in altar table during CONSECRATION OF CHURCHES.
16. THE PERSECUTION which took place at the time of THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH could not destroy the HIERARCHICAL structure and SACRAMENTAL essence of it.
17. Differences over THE DOCTRINE OF FILIOQUE and the question of PAPAL SUPREMACY have been and remain primary causes of SCHISM between the Eastern Orthodox and Western churches. An INTERNAL PROCESSION OF THE SPIRIT FROM THE FARTHER ALONE is the eastern position.
18. God created man ACCORDING TO THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS of God, but when man fell, he REPUDIATED assimilation to God.

В.Е. [(20,5) 54,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

If we try to please the Lord and seek humility, then we are likely to make fewer mistakes. However, it is not enough just to do what we were told and taught to, we should have the internal readiness for obedience. When true love enters a person's life it changes his life completely. It changes the way he looks, speaks, acts, and what is more important the virtue of obedience enters his life. If we love God with all our hearts, God dwells in us. Then obedience to Him surely comes along with it, because love towards God makes us perceive every obstacle in our path as something painful. While disobedience is that sort of an obstacle – when we disobey, spiritual grace we get from our Lord departs, and our souls turn out to be empty. If we fight against this obstacle and any other mistake, we come to obedience.

В.Е. [(4,5) 18,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The Holy Fathers call prayer a dialog between God and the faithful. When we pray we address to God and nothing should disturb us. We should try each time to say prayers with full attention and corresponding feelings. To be more successful at this, we could spend free time at reading over all prayers separately. Prayer does not mean just reciting prayers, but that they are pronounced as if they come from our minds and hearts. It is necessary to stand carefully at prayer and keep our minds from drifting and our feelings from coldness and indifference.
Sometimes it is better to say a small number of prayers properly than to hurry through a large number of prayers. As we are subject to being inattentive and oblivious, we use prayer book and prayer ropes.

В.Е. [(4,5) 14]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Is there any limit in the life of a real Christian, having crossed which he could say: “I have done everything to be with God, I have reached the holiness, now I am permitted to enjoy my life and do whatever I want”? Is he a real Christian then? No, because our life is a constant, never-ending way to God and only death is considered to bring us to Christ as near as possible. This is the reason why in Orthodox Christianity the burial prayers are full of both grief and joy.
Nevertheless, after death we cannot improve our life, that is why we have to labour while it is possible. Only then we could deserve the rest. Our last hours are the greatest in our lives because we are extremely close to God.

В.Е. [(4,5) 9,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Being scandalized by others always makes us grieve deeply. However, we have to seek the roots and reasons of such attitude towards us in our own life. Usually, the way people treat us is a reflection of how we relate to them. Even more, our unjust actions toward others come back doubled.
Before we start talking about someone’s sins, we should revive in our memory the lives of the saints who were subjected to the most vicious calumny, but never complained. Instead, they prayed for their enemies. They were living examples to illustrate our Lord’s commandment to love our neighbours as ourselves.

В.Е. [(5) 5]

1. I have never been at THE HOLY MASS, but I go to THE DIVINE LITURGY every Sunday.
2. A few FAITHFUL can understand RUBRICAL NOTES.
4. A COPE and A MANIPLE are the parts of CHASUBLE.
5. During THE VESTING THE CELEBRANT DONS his chasuble.
6. I think that THE ASPERSION is a very good tradition, as well as THE CENSING.
7. Sometimes SUBDEACONS think that they are better that simple MINISTERS.
8. It is a question for me if we can think of the deacons as CONCELEBRANTS.
10. BRETHREN in the monasteries BESEECH God TO DELIVER people from GRIEVOUS sins.
11. We can reach PURITY through confession and PARDON, ABSOLUTION AND REMISSION OF SINS.
12. CRAFTY people can commit INIQUITIES but they can be REVIVED for EVERLASTING LIFE through THE ABSOLUTION.
13. Every HOLY SATURDAY I watch on TV about miracle of the Holy Fire.
14. PASSION SUNDAY is both the happy and the sad day.
15. PRELIMINARY RITES are performed at the same time as a minister INTONES plasmatic HYMNS.
16. In Church everything is usually beautifully decorated – even THE THURIBLE and THE SPRINKLER.
17. I have never seen a CATECHUMEN exit at the appropriate moment.
18. Despite of the fact that in ORDO proper OFFICE is clearly described, ministers often confuse VERSES before reading the Testament.
19. I know that in the ancient Church there was a tradition of NUPTIAL LITURGY, but now the Orthodox Church doesn’t have it.
20. Celebrants do CENSING very often during the LITURGY OF THE DEAD.
21. Usually there is a big queue of people wanting to kiss THE ALTAR CROSS.
22. THE PRELATE sometimes VOUCHSAFES to visit some small churches IN A PROPER OF THE DAY.
23. I like PASCHALTIDE because in this period we sing “Christ is risen” very often.
24. We give A SALUTATION to a priest by kissing his hand.
25. ROOD-SCREEN divides CHANCEL AREA from the Church.
26. When I was a child I always played in THE PORCH.
27. I think every SERVER dreams of becoming a priest.
28. My spiritual father always wears a green STOLE as if it is always THE SOLEMNITY of the Pentecost.
29. I think that announcing THE BANNS of marriage is a good tradition.
30. Some OFFICERS don’t like to do OCCASIONAL RITES.
31. I think that priests are very brave people because they have INTENTION TO ADMINISTER THE HOLY SACRAMENTS.
32. PASSIONTIDE is the most mournful period in the year.

Е.В. [(25) 59]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

What a good advice, and how difficult it is to bring it to life! Every Christian knows that prayer is everything, because it is the only thing that makes us closer to God. Without prayer we are like a naked person on a frosty day. Without prayer everything is a temptation, we are helpless.
But what shall we do when we are standing in front of holy icons and whispering prayers, while our brain is far away? How can we bring it back? I don’t know the answer. Such quotes make me feel like a spiritual outsider because the main thing for every Christion - prayer – seems to be unachievable to me.
But as a Christian I don’t have a right to despair. God is merciful and He can bring back to life every person who loves and believes.

Е.В. [(4) 19]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with this quote. Firstly, we should be obedient to God. It is a vital thing. We believe that God is Love, and His Holy Will is the most true and good. So if God made us to be a cleaner, we should be thankful and obedient. Otherwise If, on the other hand, He made us a president, we should be obedient even more. Only God knows what is better for our salvation.
Secondly, we should be obedient to our parents (and husbands). I have a personal experience in this matter. When I was a teenager, I dreamed of being an archaeologist, but my father was against of it. He thought that my way relates to English language. I am so happy now that I was obedient and gave up my true love – history. I am still not perfect in speaking English, but I have discovered the beautiful world of teaching English, and I want to become better in it. I feel as if it is my way, as my father said almost six years ago.

Е.В. [(3,5) 15]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote seems to be the answer to the quote № 136.
Indeed, we should cut off everything that distracts us from prayer. It is not easy, but it is highly important.
Sometimes I think that to pray well one should go far away from Moscow, from the Internet and other distracting things. But it is a self-deception. This noise in one’s head is going to stay there, even if a person is alone on the top of a mountain.
The only way is to try to concentrate on praying and then, after some time, the situation will become better.

Е.В. [(4,5) 11,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

People berate each other because they think that they are better, like that very pharisee thought. Deep in their heart they think: “My sister is evil, but I am a kind person. My brother is jealous, but what about me? No, never”. While this poor person is thinking of it, he is signing his death sentence. Even if he was right, the next thing to happen is falling into the same sin, and even worse sins. It happens to make people more humble. They sat in the first place, and now they are sitting in the last. Much better to be a publican – he put himself to the last place, and God welcomes him to take the better place.
So, this quote is right. We are all in the same boat, and it is much wiser to pray for the healing of your own diseases that to be proud that your leg is not so badly broken as your neighbor’s one.

Е.В. [(3,5) 7]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Only a holy person can say such things. He has a pure heart and he is not so afraid to stand in front of God.
I think that if a person dies quietly, it means that he has reached this purity of heart. But, more often, people are extremely afraid of the death. If they fell ill, they try to do everything to escape the death. Holy people usually pray for death, because they are eager to see their God face to face.
People should try to seek purity, because everyone is going to be dead one day, we can’t change this thing. So, the only way to solve this problem is to become closer to God here, not to be feeling bad in His presence there.

Е.В. [(3,5) 3,5]

1. In the Biblical story there are three SALVIFIC acts of God: creation, redemption and glorification.
2. There is an endless quantity of icons of Theotokos in Russia which signifies the ABIDING love of the Mother of God to the Russian people and their love to Theotokos.
3. After Adam’s fall, the sin was given the possibility to keep a human being under its perpetual BONDAGE.
4. The humanity inherits the spiritual RAMIFICATIONS of the original sin which distorted the image of God.
5. Jesus Christ the Son of God was the very first PREACHER of salvation through Himself and was later followed by His disciples who spread that salvific knowledge through the entire world.

М.К. [(2,5) 83,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The second commandment of Christ is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
While asking: “Why would I want to be courteous and respectful to others?” you should ask yourself: “Would I myself want to be treated like that with respect? Would that be pleasing to me?”
It is clear that each of us would agree on such attitude. After being treated with love, we would most likely want to respond with the same good attitude, rather than show disrespect in return. This is how we, as Christians, were called to increase and spread love all over the world.
Fr. Seraphim of Sarov showed a great example of love to his neighbor and to God. Even after having been beaten by a gang of thieves, he pleaded then to the judge for mercy on their behalf. He was always kind and gentle to others — always greeting his guests with a prostration, a kiss, and exclaiming “Christ is risen, my joy!”
The second commandment, as Christ Himself says, is “like” the first one, when every man should love his Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind (Matthew 22:37). Therefore, the both commandments are actually one in a way that they are indissolubly tied to one another and cannot survive separately: neither can you love God and despise your neighbors, nor is it possible to love your neighbors without loving God. In other words, the love for God is expressed by means of loving your neighbors and by loving your neighbors, by being courteous and respectful to them, one first of all pays respect to his Creator and “having no respect, a person ceases to love” (F. Dostoevsky).

М.К. [(5) 61,5]

1. The inward SPLENDOR of the soul will be DECKED with the spiritual body at the day of the Resurrection.
2. The Holy Communion was established at the LAST SUPPER of Christ with His disciples.
3. On the day of PENTECOST churches are decorated with flowers and birch greenery due to the Russian Orthodox tradition.
4. For his OATH’s sake Herod could not but comply with the request of Herodias’ daughter despite being sorry for John.
5. Each man is called to DWELL in God as the Holy Trinity dwells in one another.

М.К. [(3) 56,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

God in the Gospel of St. Matthew says: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (16:24). What is meant by denying oneself? Those words are directly connected to another commandment of Christ in the First Epistle of John: “Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world” (2:15). So denying yourself means denying the world that consists exactly of what Abba Dorotheos is talking about: material things, glory, bodily comfort and your rights. All of those aspects are the expressions of a human will aimed at the world.
God calls us to reject all that and follow Him and only then it would be possible to do any good, such as comforting your neighbor or being delivered from any kind of passions, for “without Me ye can do nothing” says the Lord (John 15:5).
Our task is to choose between God and the world, knowing that our will, if it is not with God, is swallowed up by the world, which is only “the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life” (I John 2:16).

М.К. [(4,5) 53,5]

1. By IMMOLATING His Son, God shows the highest self-sacrificial love towards each of us.
2. In the Orthodox Church, the CATECHUMENS are subject to a number of restrictions concerning their participation in the life of the Church.
3. The TWELVE GREAT FEASTS are the most important and the most significant dates in the Orthodox Church, together with Pascha, which is the “feast of feasts”.
4. The element of joy has always been ENSHRINED by the Church and can be felt, heard or seen in the Church OFFICE.
5. The roots of the history of using INCENSE in the Church office can be found in the Gospel of Matthew (2:11) when incense, together with gold and myrrh, was one of the gifts brought to Jesus.

М.К. [(2,5) 49]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Archbishop Seraphim says that obedience is love. But why is it so?
Obedience is sacrifice because it is the rejection of your desires, your needs and most importantly, it is the rejection of your free will, the highest gift that we have from God, and it is the submission of your whole self either to your parents or to your spiritual father and through them to God.
In the old Imperial Russia, the government was also built exactly on this principle, the obedience to the authority, to the Tsar, who was considered the father of the nation and the icon of God.
Sacrifice therefore is the highest expression of love, for it is only love that moves you to be obedient to those who you love and to sacrifice yourself for the benefit of them. God shows us the example of such self-sacrificial love by immolating His Son for the salvation of the humankind.
Therefore, obedience is love. The words of the Gospel prove it, when the Lord Himself says, “If a man love me, he will keep my words” (John 14:23).

М.К. [(5) 46,5]

1. The New Year on the first of January new style has recently become a triumph of GOURMANDIZING and sin against Christian fasting.
2. One of the earliest examples of HERMITS is the life of Mary of Egypt in the 5th century AD.
3. The Blessed FOOL-FOR-CHRIST’S-SAKE known as Euphrosyne, buried near the town of Alexin, was born Princess Eudocia of Viazma.
4. The Canons of the Ecumenical Councils are absolutely INFALLIBLE.
5. In Tsarist Russia, each parishioner was registered in the list of a certain PARISH to which he or she belonged.

М.К. [(2,5) 41,5]

1. Each man is guilty of REPUDIATING his natural state of God’s image and likeness.
2. A great number of monasteries across old Russia were built with the help of ENDOWMENTS of the Royal Family.
3. Each passion or sin INFRINGES UPON the SERENITY of a human soul given by God, and is therefore unnatural.
4. The whole church is CENSED thrice during the all-night vigil.
5. The COMPELLING method in churching should be avoided, otherwise it will certainly lead to apostasy.

М.К. [(2) 39]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Elder Paisios talks about the fact that our life cannot be fully joyous with no pain or sorrow whatsoever. We cannot escape any of that because of the original sin of humanity. That is the cross of each and every person, the same cross that Christ bore to Golgotha.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God Himself, had His afflictions. Thus, for example, in the Gospel of St. John we read the story of the resurrection of Lazarus and it is said that Jesus, when He came to his grave, He “groaned in the spirit” and “wept” (John 11:33-35) as a human being, because Lazarus was His friend and He loved him, even though Jesus knew, as the Son of God, that He would raise Lazarus from the dead.
On His way to Golgotha, Jesus Christ felt the physical pain when He was beaten and then crucified.
The Mother of God bewailed seeing the agony of Her Son. None of the Apostles escaped this narrow path either, nor did any of the Saints.
However, this hard way through the narrow gate leads to life, as the Gospel says (Matthew 7:14). The idea of that promised life is what makes Christians full of heavenly joy, with the help of which men are able to get through any earthly miseries.

М.К. [(5) 37]

1. Islam rejects the divinity of Jesus Christ, calling Him a prophet and a wonder-worker.
2. Apostles were the first PREACHERS of Jesus Christ and His resurrection.
3. As with Chrismation, oil is used in the rite of ANOINTING as a sign of God’s presence, strength and forgiveness.
4. In religion, TRANSCENDENCE refers to the aspect of a deity’s nature and power that is wholly independent of the material universe, beyond all known physical laws.
5. Oil was also considered gladness to the ancient Christians because they could add it to their strict LENTEN food.

М.К. [(2) 32]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

A prayer is defined as a lifting of the mind and heart to God. It is also called a dialogue with God, the aim of which is to have communion between one’s heart and its Creator. This is why it is important to pray with your whole heart, giving heed to the sense of the words in a prayer. That is the only aim of praying; otherwise, it would just be reading a text with no result for the soul.
But there are also demons who are very aware of what good such prayer brings to one’s soul. Every time they do everything just not to let the heart unite with God, by ways of suggesting a whole set of thoughts and ideas and thus interfering in the process of communication with God. St. Macarius says: the whole concern of our enemy is this – to turn our thought away from remembrance of God, and from fear and love of Him.
However, whatever great thoughts come to one’s mind while praying, one should not accept them, nor engage in them but instead ignore them and only immerse oneself in the sense of the words one is saying.
Some saints suggest that every time one finds himself engaged in irrelevant thoughts during the prayer, he should come back and read the prayer once again but attentively. Although it is a hard struggle, God will help those who start it, seeing the will to unite with Him.

М.К. [(4) 30]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Any life, even with regular happy times, is still full of sorrow, which no one can avoid. Some saints lead such sorrowful lives that none of us could bear. Thus, for instance, from the life of a Fool-for-Christ’s-Sake Hieroschemamonk Theophilus we learn that his life started with such an evil hatred from his mother to him, that she triply attempted to kill her own child. Throughout his life, he was left alone, hated, slandered, persecuted and mocked at. There was no happiness, but the love of Christ kept him alive and supported.
If we read the lives of saints, we will notice that each of those lives was filled with terrible sufferings. It is not that they did not want to live at all but they still looked forward to their death as to the end of the sorrowful life and return to God’s bliss forever.
From the life story of St. Mark of Thrace we know that he was a great ascetic hermit who worked night and day praying. He achieved such a high level of holiness that he no longer belonged to this world. His body, which was just a covering of his inner spirit, was, as he called it, “the habitation of illness, pain and loss”. Therefore, he longed to get free from it and inherit the Kingdom of God where there is no death, no pain and no sorrow, but the eternal love.

М.К. [(4,5) 26]

1. Life would be much simpler if we treated one another WITH REVERENCE.
2. If it were not for our INTERCEDERS to God, we might not be able to live even a day.
3. Jesus Christ COMMANDED His disciples to SOW THE WORD not only in big cities but also in humble villages.
4. We can ABIDE in Christ only by constantly taking part in the Eucharist.
5. To DESPISE the law of God means to neglect your own salvation.

М.К. [(2,5) 21,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Who are the saints? It is no secret that most of them were ordinary people, just like us, they had the same feelings and sins as we do but they chose to live with God and struggled to the very end to inherit the Kingdom of God.
There are thousands of saints and each one of us sooner or later may find a good example of a holy life similar to his. Moreover, when a person gets baptized he assumes a name after a holy person and throughout his whole life he will see the sacred relation with his saint.
That is why Fr. Herman (Podmoshensky) always reminded us that each and every Christian should be aware of the life of his saint and should become “friends” with him or her, always asking for help and thus, this holy person will always be interceding to Christ for you. That is very important because our saints are very close to us and are always eager to become our so-called “friends”.
In old Orthodox Russia people used to read the lives of saints daily. Therefore, not only did they gain the constant interceders for them, but also the readers always kept the examples of the holy life in front of them. Nowadays this holy tradition is almost lost, the models have changed and many people tend to live according to the slogan “Enjoy life to the full”, forgetting God and His saints.

М.К. [(4) 19]

1. If we do not spare people around us, God will not SPARE us.
2. God said that a PROPHET was not without honor except in his own country, because He knew that most people would not believe in Him.
3. Our main and everlasting aim as Christians is to PRESERVE PEACE in our hearts and not lose the divine grace.
4. If we always treated people as our brothers and sisters, we would not even think of BERATING any of them.
5. The doctrine of the INCARNATION means that Jesus Christ is fully divine and fully human.

М.К. [(2,5) 15]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ”, says Paul the Apostle in his Epistle to the Galatians (6:2). The truth is that we all are spiritually terminally ill, and remembering that, we should treat one another compassionately.
Jesus Christ, when being incarnate, treated people around Him as a doctor treats his patients. He healed those who believed in Him, not only by some kind of action, but also by a word, by the Word of God and He said the following: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another”. Thus, if we want to be called Christians, we shall have love to everyone and try as much as possible to be such doctors to people around us by being patient with them, sparing them and always having mercy on them. Surely, we cannot fully behave like Christ, the divine fullness of love is just unapproachable for us because of our own sinful sickness but we can at least try to follow the Christ’s commandment of love and in doing so, we may hope to get the mercy of God on us.

М.К. [(4) 12,5]

1. The second part of a church after the PORCH is the NAVE.
2. THE DECREES OF THE ECUMENICAL COUNCILS also form a great part of the Holy Tradition.
3. THE EUCHARIST is one of the Seven Sacraments of the Orthodox Christian Church.
4. One of the main COMMANDMENTS which Christ gave to His DISCIPLES was to love one another, as He had loved them.
5. MATINS, also known as Orthos, is the longest and the most complex of the daily cycle of services.

М.К. [(3,5) 8,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Why do we get scandalized by other people? Because we do not have love. It is as simple as that, but at the same time, it is probably the hardest thing for us. We understand that but for some reason cannot keep it always in mind. The problem is that we do not see other people as our brothers and sisters.
For instance, if there is a big family and one of the six children gets swept away by Satan, starts living a sinful life, how would his siblings react to his behavior? Would they get scandalized? No, because they love him. They would pray for him because he is their brother.
Now let us see, do we tolerate other people like our brothers and sisters? No, we do not. Thus, this way we break the second commandment given by Christ.
There was a good living example of a loving priest in the Solovki prison camp, Fr. Nikodim. Many people were gathering there around him to listen to his the so-called “holy tales” – his retelling of the Gospel stories. There were absolutely different people, including real jailbirds who were far out of any kind of religion, but they still loved him for his love towards themselves. Never would Fr. Nikodim even think of getting scandalized at any of them, because he had that gift – love to each and every person, the Christian love.
I believe that love to each other is the main idea of Christianity, of Orthodox Christianity. It is the simple truth, which is so hard to understand and remember, but there is the only way we can learn it – ask God for help.

М.К. [(5) 5]

Е.К. [11,25]

Ю.М. [8,5]

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