Система Orphus

Religious Vocabulary
texts by students

* graduation year

(Part 1 is here)
Условные обозначения:
  • CAPITALS: active vocabulary words and collocations students have used
  • Underline: elements that have been corrected by the tutor
  • Underline and Delete: superfluous erroneous elements that have been corrected by the tutor
  • Italics: where appropriate, elements which explain the corrected mistakes
  • Dotted underline: elements not graded for various reasons (e.g. dubious or erroneous statements, vague in meaning).
  • [numbers in brackets]: grades students have accumulated by the time of this post (include grades for word tests)
  • [(number in parenthesis inside the brackets)]: grades the student has received for this particular post
  • [underlined numbers in brackets]: mid-term grades (include grades for word tests, class attendance, posts, as well as deductions in fines)
  • [numbers in brackets in bold type]: total number of grades students have accumulated throughout the semester (continuous assessment)

4th year of study: Spring 2019

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

We all know that we must be obedient to God. This is one of the ways how we can show Him our love. We can't give Him anything in return of what He does for us, but we can obey Him and follow His commandments. It is like when we listen to our fathers here on the earth, and trying to be obedient, because we know that the make it in the name of love and for our well-being. So why can't we act in the same way in the attitude to God? We should be eager to be obedient even more, because He is our Heavenly Father. We need to show Him our love in obedience to Him.

С.Ф. [(4) 28,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I think that Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg is right - satiety is extremely harmful for our souls. Most people in the world don’t think that overeating is bad, or moreover, that is a terrible sin. It’s a very dangerous thing, and not only for our souls and spiritual lives (because of this people often become lazy, sleepy, idle), but for our bodies and health – it can lead to many illnesses, for example, overweight. Also they could be drawn into great multitude of impure thoughts and desires. They forget about salvation and God Himself, and stop caring about their spiritual lives. We should fight against this sin and try to eat and drink less – it will be good for our spiritual life and our health.

О.Р. [(5) 69,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

For me it’s a rather difficult question, and I can’t give a definite answer to it. The Lord teaches us to give alms to those who are asking for it, and on the one hand, it seems that we should do it immediately. We can show our compassion to the others in this way. I believe if you can help someone who is really in need, you should do it. But on the other hand, many people in our world are simply pretending (and not only on the street, but with the help of Internet), and if someone gives them money, they may spend it on something bad, and later he/she will regret about doing this. I think we should listen to our hearts, and not to force yourself if you doubt in asking person’s honesty.

О.Р. [(5) 51]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the Abbot Nikon Vorobiev’s quote. Unfortunately, all the people in the world are not sinless, and during their lives they can commit same sins over and over again. We should try not to repeat our sins and pray to God for forgiveness. Because He came not to save the righteous, but the sinners, we must pray, do good deeds to the others, acknowledge our sins and repent. And the Lord will forgive us.

О.Р. [(5) 46]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the quotation of Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt. I think that God wants us to be patient and hardworking. He didn’t create the world just in one (or two) days, but in six. We shouldn’t complain about our life, even if it’s very hard and unbearable. Unfortunately, many people in the world are lazy and impatient, and they don’t understand that if they want to reach success, they need to make a little effort themselves towards their goal.

О.Р. [(5) 41]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with this quotation of Dorotheos of Gaza. We really should to cut off our desires, because we are often “blinded” by them and don’t pay attention to what is happening around us. We want more and more, we want to fulfill our desires, we become egoistical… and, because of this, we forget about our souls, our salvation and God Himself. We’re just not ourselves when we’re thinking only about our desires, so, we are not having any freedom. In order to be free, we should pay less attention to our desires, or, better, cut them off.

О.Р. [(4) 36]

1) The emblem of Russia has a big DOUBLE-HEADED EAGLE on it.
2) A HERMIT is a person who lives in seclusion from society, usually for religious reasons.
3) Saint Nilus of Sora’s followers are called NON-POSSESSORS, and saint Joseph’s (the Abbot of Volokolamsk) followers are called POSSESSORS.
4) Every Christian should HELP FOR THE SICK AND the POOR and SHOW HOSPITALITY to the others.
5) According to Non-Possessors, the monk must BE DETATCHED FROM THE WORLD.
6) People who voluntarily take upon themselves the Cross of madness, are called “FOOLS IN CHRIST”.
7) The seventeenth century in Russia was known as the TIME OF TROUBLES.
8) Sometimes it’s very difficult for people TO KEEP THE FASTS in full measure.
9) Patriarch Nicon said that the Russian SERVICE BOOKS should be altered wherever they differed from the Greek.
10) Before seventeenth century, Russian people made THE SIGN OF THE CROSS with two fingers.
11) People who didn’t accept Nicon’s church reform, are called OLD BELIEVERS (or OLD RITUALISTS).
12) If English DISSENT was a protest against the Church for not carrying reform far enough, Russian DISSENT was the protest of conservatives against the Church which in their eyes had carried reform too far.
13) In 1721 Peter the Great declared the PATRIARCHATE to be abolished and set up the SPIRITUAL COLLEGE.
14) The first CHIEF PROCURATOR of the HOLY SYNOD was Ivan Boltin.
15) The SYSTEM OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT continued in force until 1917.
16) LATINISM can refer to a word borrowed into another language directly from Latin.
17) The Russian PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT was a provisional government of Russia established immediately following the ABDICATION of Tsar Nicholas II of the Russian Empire.
18) SLAVOPHILES opposed the influences of Western Europe in Russia.
19) A LAY THEOLOGIAN is a theologian who has not received formal theological training.
20) In PUBLIC CONFESSION people confess their sins aloud simultaneously.
21) I think the LAITY should COMMUNICATE once or twice in a month.
22) A person may go to a SECLUDED place for privacy or peace and quiet.
23) The PHILOKALIA translates from Greek as “love of the beautiful, the good”.
24) The Orthodox Church do not allow CLERICAL MARRIAGE after ordination.
25) An ANCHORITE is someone who, for religious reasons, withdraws from secular society so as to be able to lead an intensely prayer-oriented, ascetic, or Eucharist-focused life.
26) Problems in RELATIONS BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE became wider in seventeenth century.
27) ALMSGIVING involves giving to others as an act of virtue.
28) The first Rome had fallen to the barbarians and then LAPSED INTO HERESY; the second Rome, Constantinople, had in turn FALLEN INTO HERESY at the Council of Florence.
29) AUTOCEPHALY is the status of a hierarchical Christian Church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop.
30) According to Non-Possessors, only those who are VOWED TO COMPLETE POVERTY can achieve true detachment from the world.

О.Р. [(17) 32]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It is a common statement that you cannot fully love God and at the same time be unfriendly to the people. All human beings were created in the image and likeness of God, and we are all children of God. When we partake of the Holy Communion we become partakers of God. So, you can not love God and at the same time hate His "partakers". For example, if a person is very diligent in prayers, he attends all services, knows everything from the Scriptures, but doesn't do anything for other people or simply condemns them and doesn't support them, so, in this case, all his works are absolutely useless.
I completely agree with this statement, because it is obvious that all people and especially Orthodox Christians should love each other, it should be in the human nature. And only through this love to the neighbour we can save our souls and reach the Kingdom of Heaven.

С.Ф. [(2,5) 8,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Without any doubts we shouldn't forget to pray to God. We need to thank Him for all that He is doing for us. One of the most grave sins is ingratitude. God is always thinking of us and wishes us only the best things. So we need to manage our lives in such a way as to find some time to say thanks to God and ask Him to deliver us from all bad things and help us to reach the paradise. It is the minimum that we can do. I remember one good example, after which I am trying not to omit prayers. It concerns prayers before communion. One old priest told his spiritual son, who also was a priest, that he has not said the prayers before communion only once. It was when he had been beaten up by thugs, who broke into the church. They left him in the church tied, and in the morning people found him, but he still had served liturgy after that night. So we need to bear in mind that the only thing we can give to God is our prayers. Because prayers are our communication and conversation with God.

С.Ф. [(2,5) 4,75]

When we are ABSORBED IN WORDLY CONCERNS all SECULAR ANXIETIES hamper us from being attentive to our spiritual life making us THINK IN A WORDLY WAY.
They came to bring a country which had LAPSED INTO HERESY to its SPIRITUAL REVIVAL and to remove all UNEDIFYING forms of a resurgent INFIDELITY.
Our HUMAN WEAKNESS reveals an inability to cope with the AUSTERITY OF THE FASTS and not all of us are capable of maintaining a life full of SPIRITUAL POVERTY and SELF-STRIPPING.

Е.Л. [(5,5) 60,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can agree with Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg about the idea of satiety which distracts us from important things. So it is a human body when a person eats, then it is difficult for him to concentrate. It is not for nothing that there is a general rule for everyone not to have breakfast, not only if you take communion but also before Liturgy. For those who find it hard to follow this rule, I can advise to drink Holy water in the morning before Liturgy. So you remain conscious and can concentrate on the liturgy. We must not forget that gluttony is one of the deadly sins.

Е.Л. [(5) 53,5]

It’s forbidden for women to enter the CHANCEL AREA.
Traditionally there is a cross on the top of the ROOD-SCREEN in the church.
Traditionally people stand in PORCH to cultivate their HUMILITY.
CREDENCE TABLE or THE TABLE OF OBLATION is a place where the priest takes out pieces of the LEAVENED BREAD.
All priest’s VESTMENTS are kept in the VESTRY. Sometimes it is also called SACRISTY.
Church’s MINISTERS always help the priest to held the SINDON and wipe off the lips of COMMUNICANTS after PARTAKING of the COMMUNION.
It is important for the leader of the CHOIR to have a MISSAL, especially when it is a feast and a special SERVICE is celebrated.
There is a tradition in WESTERN RITE CHRISTIANITY that all people in the church kiss the PAX-ICON while singing the CREED.
The priest puts the STOLE on the head of people after the MYSTERY of CONFESSION.
I have been to the SACRAMENT OF ANOINTING WITH OIL for the first time this year.
There are three types of SERVICES in WESTERN RITE, A SOLEMN LITURGY is celebrated with the DEACON, with singing and CENSING; A SUNG LITURGY is celebrated the same way, but without the DEACON; and the last one, A SIMPLE LITURGY which implies the SERVICE with one CELEBRANT and without singing.
It’s necessary to follow the RUBRICAL NOTES to serve in the church in a right way.
A COPE which is worn by the SACRED MINISTERS in Western Church somehow reminds the CHASUBLE which is used in our tradition.
A lot of English writers composed religious HYMNS or ANTHEMS.
When the BISHOP comes for a SERVICE to the church, the CHOIR sings the INTROIT and then with a help of MINISTERS VESTING is started.
During the RELIGIOUS PROCESSIONS priests usually do the ASPERSION, it became like a part of the feast.
There are special moments in the service for the PROFOUND BOWS.
There is a CRUCIFIX in every church to remind people about the sufferings of Christ and his sacrifice for all people.
Traditionally people SANCTIFY their EASTER CAKE on HOLY SATURDAY although as we were told it is not quite right.

А.К. [(19) 77,4]

They were sitting on the front PORCH asking for money.
A small breeze licked at the pages of the MISSAL.
He spent twenty years MINISTERING in some poor areas.
THE ASPERSION is the most favorite moment for old women.
I come in advance to the choir to look at the Troparion and Megalynarion in the ORDO.
CRUCIFIX is less common in churches of Protestant denominations.
Before receiving the blessing / Communion I made A PROFOUBD BOW and the archbishop looked slightly confused at me but everything proceeded normally afterwards.
The day is called both "Palm Sunday" and "PASSION SUNDAY."
Some Christians recognize HOLY SATURDAY, the seventh day of HOLY WEEK, as the day on which Jesus “rested” from His work of providing salvation.
THE CELEBRANTS are usually ordained by a religious denomination as members of the clergy.
People use RUBRICAL NOTES to prescribe how to serve on a particular day.
A SACRISTY is a room for keeping vestments and other church furnishings.

Е.Л. [(6,5) 48,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Sometimes we say we’re creatures with a sinful nature and can’t avoid committing sins because of this fact. But in reality we have a power from our Creator to struggle against sins. Passions provoke sins and sometimes passions are sins themselves. The easiest way is just keep doing what you want, but struggling with our wishes and passions is much more difficult. But what’s important, that indulging our passions leads to our being not happy and not free. It is something that becomes stronger than you as far as you condone it. But as we were created as free people, it means we can struggle against our sins, we have such an ability from God, so the success of this only depends on the strength of our will and faith.

А.К. [(4) 37]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It was rather difficult for me to understand the quote by Metropolitan Gregory Postnikov and I’m not sure I’ve got it right. But as I understood if you have a hard work to do it’s significant to cheer yourself up by praying or singing spiritual songs. It will help you to come over the hardness of what you’re doing and will bring calmness to your soul instead of being anxious about the difficulties you face while doing your exhausting or just unpleasant work. If you don’t pray and sing spiritual songs, at least it’s worth while to sing funny a bit foolish songs to encourage and elate yourself. But still prayers and spiritual songs work better.

А.К. [(4,5) 33]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Everybody knows that fasts are difficult to keep. People should give up doing things which are not really good for your spiritual life, people restrict themselves in their food, try to pray more; and in general people try to be more concentrated on their spiritual condition. But sometimes doing all these things people begin to think much of themselves. They start thinking they are better than others remembering all things they do because of the fast. But we shouldn’t forget that fasting is a time for trying to be better, but judging others or looking down on people is not the way you’re becoming better. So if a person keeps fasting including prayers, spiritual books, restrictions in food, but at the same time thinks much of himself because of it - it can’t be a true humility which is a point of fasting. So everything he does - is useless. First of all we need to love and forgive people, but judging them doesn’t imply love.

А.К. [(3,5) 28,5]

1) The man WITHDREW into the WILDERNESS and remained in the PLACE OF RETREAT until his death.
2) The country’s OVERLORDSHIP dwindled and it was made to surrender on terms of a huge TRIBUTE it had to PAY.
3) There were many attempts to abolish DEATH PENALTY as well as CORPORAL PUNISHMENT but the government couldn’t MITIGATE these terms of law because of an extremely high level of crime.
4) This MISSIONARY JOURNEY resulted in a meltdown caused by different misconceptions which appeared to be a discord in the VISION of the nation supposed to be ENLIGHTENED.
5) He appeared to be an example of the firm PERSEVERANCE in his struggle against those who called him an INFIDEL though the PERSECUTIONS he had to UNDERGO left a terrible mark on his generations.
6) There he met an old man who’d been accused of SIMONY and had to flee from the village.
7) We claimed that no one here was going to BOW EVENTUALLY TO THE INEVITABLE though the situation was evidently unwinnable.
8) They saw the whole nation LAPSING INTO HERESY and the head of the State House who was totally ABSORBED IN WORDLY CONCERNS didn’t consider the matter important enough though it affected the REALTIONS BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE.
9) CORPORATE WORSHIP enhances the power of one’s prayer because it involves strong capacity of many voices merged into one powerful invocation.

Д.Х. [(9) 82,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The idea of the quote concerns our attitude to the matter of prayer and the core reason of why we must pray. Some people consider prayer as a specific rite or action which involves salvation by itself. From this point of view one doesn’t have to understand the very meaning and significance of this dialog between God and a human being. The only thing to consider is his time which he spends on praying. He may consider it a sufficient effort and start to judge others by this very criterion. If you spend less time on praying than him he’ll take you as a bad Christian. That extremely superficial approach depicted in this quote given by Abbot Nikon Vorobiev is very similar to how Pharisees observed the matter of religion.

Д.Х. [(5) 60]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote concerns the issue of our will and its role in the life of any man. As we all know God gave us free will and freedom of choice. However, many people wonder about their destiny and place in the material world arguing that they do not want to live such a life. They may ask themselves whether they obtain this freedom of will because there may be no opportunity to affect their wealth condition. They are always under attack of different obligations, circumstances which constrain their ability to make a choice. These people do not see the crucial point of this gift. We always have a choice but this is not the one that brings us material wealth. This choice concerns our inner path which defines our place in the spiritual world. Just for the record, if we remain on the way of truth, our material life can become much brighter than we may even expect.

Д.Х. [(2,5) 55]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Sometimes we may stumble into a person who can ask us for some material help. We may have reasons not to trust his condition and even accuse him of feigning. One may say that this person will waste all the money he’s been given on alcohol, drugs etc. So there is no point in giving him money. But we should keep in mind that a gesture of good will is defined not by the consequences of the act we’ve performed but by the act itself and our intentions. It is said: “Helping others will never impoverish you”. Thus the quote given by Saint Paisios of Mount Athos brings us to a simple conclusion. Our help must come out of heart not out of calculations.

Д.Х. [(5) 52,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The message of the quote seems to be very relevant nowadays. The entity of ingratitude implies one’s inability to love even at the level of human relations. If a child doesn’t pay any attention to his parents’ anxiety and love he won’t be able to acquire any sense of responsibility. Everything they give him he takes for granted. He may remain a careless child until he gets himself deprived of this support. If we look at our society, the picture will be the same. People are ready to blame everyone and everything when they encounter calamities but remain blind and deaf when they receive help from God. I don’t want to see our current world as a depraved one. However it’s on its way down.

Д.Х. [(5) 47,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote reminds the one given by Abbot Nikon Vorobiev in its concern about true attitude to a prayer and real faith. This quotation given by Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt reveals a similar problem when a person can estimate his faith by mechanical and repeated actions he considers to be a true prayer. This very approach is obviously wrong. If your prayer is deprived of inner zealous outcry incoming from your very heart it is meaningless, even harmful. Thus your mind is overloaded with heaps of thoughts leaving no place for your faith.

Д.Х. [(4,5) 42,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The idea of the quote is undoubtedly correct but we should denote the usage of the word “desire” in this context. If we treat this word as a synonym to the word “obsession” the core of the quote will come up with its true message. Even the things we are used to here in our earthly life may lead us astray from the true path dazzling our eyes with everyday bustle and vanity. Our obsessions are much worse in this case. They’re pulling us down replacing this true path with different and false targets and achievements. The afterlife won’t bring us things we consider to be the most important. So cutting these “goals” off is the only way to attain inner freedom.

Д.Х. [(5) 37]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I reckon this quote is a bit difficult one. It seems to be evident that this earthly life is quite a long period of our own formation. We have to walk it through step by step encountering different situations which are supposed to be solved in way that brings us closer to Heaven. Our soul is a lifelong blueprint which should be filled with proper elements which may provide it with a way to God. However we cannot predict when this way faces its dead end. We do not know our actual predestination so we are supposed to follow His commandments.

Д.Х. [(2,5) 32]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The idea of this quote is similar to the one given by Saint Paisios of Mount Athos. The message concerns the issue of how we should treat unknown people who are asking us for some material help. According to this current quote we should help these people regardless of whether they are in actual need of our support or it is just a way to deceive us and get easy money. I think this quote is not easy to be dealt with. Sometimes we meet a person whose real intentions are quite clear and they are not as sincere as they try to show. Under this disguise of a beggar there may be a pure alcoholic, addict or just a lazybones. That is, by giving him money we maintain his wrong way of life and that seems to be quite sinful as well. As far as I’m concerned, God can always resolve this situation. Our task is to follow His rules and provide this man with help without thinking what is behind his entreaty.

Д.Х. [(4,5) 29,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I think that the idea of this quote is absolutely true. At first sight we may say that there can be nothing harmful in food because it is our primary source of fuel. But according to my own experience I should say that there are a lot of cases when food replaces almost everything in your life. I feel like there is nothing to do – I should eat. I’m in a bad mood – I should eat. Moreover, some people become even addicted to eating. In a way it becomes their only consolation. Their physical condition impedes them from paying attention to other things that surround them. Food becomes their god. It turns them into addicts. It brings down not only their physical but even spiritual health.

Д.Х. [(5) 25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The message of this quote implies our natural weakness and inability to prevent ourselves from committing sins. Our fallen nature cannot absolve itself from trespasses without God’s help. However we should ask Him for help because we’re given a freedom of will and our spiritual life has close connections with choices we are making on the route. The evil forces always keep trying to deflect us from the right way but we must put all our effort and regain this path by our sincere repentance.

Д.Х. [(5) 20]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The message of this quote seems to me a bit vague because I don’t like singing at all and can’t apply it to the work that requires lots of concentration. Moreover I’m not sure that singing may always help to overcome a work that seems to be unpleasant and prolonged. It may cause fatal distractions, which may bring your work to a meltdown. But I’m not the one who can judge those who enjoys singing. I reckon it is a matter of taste. If one thinks that it is fruitful it can really help him. As for me I can’t see any benefit in singing while doing some work.

Д.Х. [(5) 15]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The message of this quote reveals a tendency that provokes a recession among people who consider themselves as true believers. This effect caused by plenty of reasons and a spreading across the society propaganda is not the least of them. The core of the problem may lie in the acceleration of our pace of life. We are swallowed by everyday commotion which drives us through at a very high speed so it becomes nearly impossible to pay attention to our spiritual life. It seems to be much easier to put it aside and convince yourself that your faith is fictional and delusional. Some people don’t have a proper guidance and get lost without any chance of gaining truth.

Д.Х. [(5) 10]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This message appeals to the idea of what is the core principle that a Christian should follow and embrace. Man should not only pay attention to Christian traditions but also pass them through his soul in order to understand their meaning and significance. The primary goal of our life is to attain deification and that is the way Christian traditions help to follow. To my mind, this quote may also concern the inability of man to attain deification without his exterior spiritual life which is provided by these traditions. If you deny the Church it is impossible for you to gain salvation by means of what one may call a virtuous life because you can’t be sure that this way of life is virtuous indeed.

Д.Х. [(5) 5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can agree to the quotation of Abbot Nikon Vorobiev only partly. Undoubtedly, we should fear a high opinion of ourselves. In Orthodoxy pride is one of the eight sinful passions. In pride a person doesn’t thank God for all that he has, for example, sight, life, children, food and shelter or “thanks” for that he is divinely anointed. I can say that I’ve never met such people. I only know that they can exist. People who pray a little more than is customary, read a little of the Psalter, keep the fast are also wiser than others. I think such people are more humble. They know more and pray more, they also pray for not committing a sin, they know that they can fall into pride.

Е.Л. [(5) 42]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can’t disagree with the quotation of Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov). I believe that any singing will help a person to relax, to take something easy. People have been singing songs from ancient times. From the lyrics we can understand at what time people could sing them. For example, there are songs that are sung during collecting harvest or merely when people worked in the field. Singing can cheer up and encourage being productive. So, there is no doubt that songs help to look at life from the other side. Of course, singing that contains an appeal to God is the best thing that can be. If you have an opportunity to listen to or to sing church singing, do it!

Е.Л. [(4,5) 37]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

St. Antony the Great touched upon the subject of human freedom which I can share. God showed us by personal example that man is a free creation. Both Adam and Eve faced a choice: they could commit a sin and they also could abstain. God undoubtedly knew their thoughts, what they were going to do but He did not hinder them because the person is free and chooses what he is going to do on his own. We decide ourselves how to live, what religion we belong to because we have freedom from our birth.

Е.Л. [(3,5) 32,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can agree with the quotation of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos but it is hard for me to achieve it in reality. The matter is that there are a lot of people, children and elderly persons who ask for help. I know if you give something, don’t think what it will be in the future. If you want to help, do it heartfelt. God will see your good intentions, so it doesn’t matter where your help goes.

Е.Л. [(3) 29]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I share the idea of Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg. I can say that nowadays people constantly want something. We look at what other people have and we start to want the same things, hence anger, envy, discontent and ingratitude appear. I think we should slow down ourselves and understand that we don’t need so much to live. When we stand before God we will not need any material wealth. The need to buy has firmly entrenched in the human consciousness of the 21st century. I believe, this is due to social networks. People post what they buy, eat, achieve, where they live and travel. They take really cool photos. It is difficult not to be jealous, unfortunately. I will try.

Е.Л. [(5) 26]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I often face such a situation but I understand it in two ways. On the one hand, I understand that because of time our communication with God is reduced to two times a week or a little more because of the days off during the week. We must understand that we rarely have such an opportunity as to come to the church and pray. Some people work in shifts and they can’t go to the church even on Sunday. At this moment we should concentrate on the service, our thoughts and the heart should leave all vain things and pray. Sometimes it doesn't happen and our thoughts flood us. On the other hand, however, it's also worth taking in a good way. God sees our experiences, our sufferings, that we are responsible for someone and something. It doesn't make us bad people. We’re just worried about our future. Yes, we should not think about the future, because we do not know how much we are destined to live. But if the person is responsible, sometimes it is difficult not to be distracted. But it needs to be done.

Е.Л. [(2,5) 21]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with Elder Paisios of Mount Athos. We give alms to the beggar, showing love for him, depriving him of the need to commit a crime for the sake of money. If he deceives us and spends money on evil, then this is his sin. If our heart is embarrassed, then there is no need to do anything. Give alms without embarrassment, then it will be pleasing to God and will benefit your neighbor. If your heart is embarrassed - pass on. God gave us freedom to choose. Look around: how many really needy people there are!

Е.Л. [(5) 18,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can’t fully agree with this quote. It’s partly true, as for earthly thoughts and cares, but sometimes God can send you the right thoughts during the prayer, because prayer is a dialogue between God and a person, and this thought may be considered as an answer from Him. Surely you don’t think that every thought is an appropriate answer, but you should humbly wait for them and pray fervently, because God knows everything, and He will give you what you need at the right moment.

Е.К. [(4,5) 103,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To agree or to disagree with this quote it’s important to clarify what kind of joy is meant. The saints did have joy, but it was spiritual, because they understood that we have the Kingdom of God within us. Modern people seek the mortal joy and momentary happiness, forgetting that we should strive for the Kingdom of Heaven, and we’ll get everything in the afterlife.

Е.К. [(4,5) 72]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with this thought, because we usually obey those whom we love, and we are supposed to love God, because we are His children. We should obey to Him to show our love, and if we don’t, then we don’t love Him, and we don’t need to unite with Him in the Heavenly Kingdom of eternal joy. Are we even Christians then?

Е.К. [(4) 67,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I quite agree with this quote. God always wants to give us even more than we ask. He knows exactly what we need, even if we ourselves don’t. That’s why we should give ourselves into the hands of God, to find joy and peace, and to be delivered from all the earthly cares.

Е.К. [(3,5) 63,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can’t say this quote is exactly relevant for me, but I can say that the fullness of the Truth is not given to those who want to know it by the power of their minds. Only faith and experience of life in the Church will help discover the part of the Truth, that the human mind can accommodate.

Е.К. [(3) 60]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with this thought, because all the people in the world are sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, so we’re all brothers and sisters. Every person bears the Image of God in themselves. Other people's attitude towards me will be exactly the same as my attitude towards them. Love is a great disarming force that no one can resist.

Е.К. [(3) 57]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I quite agree with this quote, because the prayer is a dialogue with God, and even if we have been working all day and wearied, we should pray with all our hearts. It is in a way similar to a talk with our beloved ones – we are not negligent, because we love them. The same is for God, because He is Love, and we love Him, because we are Christians. So, we should pray fervently and put our hearts and minds into the prayer, to talk with God.

Е.К. [(4) 54]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with this thought, because God says, “love thy neighbour”, and every human being is our neighbour. The image of God is in each of us, thus, to love God truly, we should love every person in the world as ourselves. If we don’t love someone, that means we don’t love God, but He is Love, He sacrificed His Son for the love of all mankind, and we should strive to love like Him for His love to us.

Е.К. [(4) 50]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can't decide whether to agree with this quote or not. There is a good Russian saying which can be translated like "without a king in the head". It is about people who do not have thoughts about God, who is the King and the Creator of the world. These people easily fall into the trap of the devil, eager to destroy our souls. A person without any experience in the church tradition has no roots and rolls through life like a camel thorn, tormented by the winds of sins and passions.

Е.К. [(5) 46]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can agree with the quote, because the perfect freedom arises from absolute trust in God and His commandments to all the mankind. Therefore, as the holy fathers say: love God and do what you want, because you’ll never commit a sin if you love God.

Е.К. [(3) 41]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with this quote, because, as it is widely known, a prayer is a conversation with God, it’s a dialogue, not a monologue. When you have a proper conversation with somebody, you talk and listen to the person, so it is to God. We should put our hearts and minds in our prayer, and not only talk, but we are to listen and understand God’s answer and will.

Е.К. [(3) 38]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I mostly agree with the thought, because ingratitude arises from the absence of love. Love is the pinnacle of all virtues, and God Himself is Love. We can’t be ungrateful to the Lord, because He sacrificed His Son to deliver us from the evil one, out of His greatest love to all of us. We can draw love from the Holy Communion, then the gratitude in our heart will never run out.

Е.К. [(4) 35]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can agree with the quote, because if we can’t help the person with money, or if we’re in doubt, we can always pray for them. That’s the best help, because we ask God for help to this person, and this is the only kind of help which can be done discreetly.

Е.К. [(3) 31]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I quite agree with this quote, because God created us with free will, and He never makes us to do anything. But we should seek Him, because we are Christians, and our life goal is to reunite with God in the Kingdom of Heaven.
We actually can be slaves of passions, but for what exactly? They will bring us momentary, mortal joy, and eternal grief and pain in the afterlife, while God Himself is eternal joy and happiness.

Е.К. [(4,5) 28]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can’t fully agree with this quote, because not every person can sing, and sometimes unedifying singing can annoy people. So, in order not to tempt other people with bad singing and make them angry and irritated along with their prolonged and unpleasant work, I’d rather pray Jesus prayer, which protects us from the burden of the world. It would be more useful for me and the other people, because I can also pray for them discreetly.

Е.К. [(5) 23,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Under no circumstances can I question the authority of St Paisios of Mount Athos but in this very case my feelings are perplexed.
I know for sure that in some cases those who ask for money in the streets are tricksters or they may work for an organization of a specific kind. This organization treats such people with shelter and food and takes the money they collect. As I was told it is quite profitable. For example, in the main street of Pyatigorsk you most likely meet a man or a woman asking for 10 or 15 rubles “for a bus”. But they stand there, in different parts of the street, all day long! And this case is not the exception, of course.
But I do agree with St Paisios that even if you know precisely (and in most cases you do not know precisely) that this very person deceives you, you cannot help but regret later that you did not give them anything. So, I do know what it means “to be tempted by negative thoughts”. The question being viewed from this perspective, perhaps, it is actually better to help than to ignore, isn’t it? So for me the question is hard and remains open.

М.З. [(5) 104,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To my mind, ingratitude can be called a scourge of any time of prosperity. Abundance often results in ingratitude because man no longer appreciates the things and opportunities available. As we can see in the Bible, every time the Jews would become a rich nation, they would forget the Lord and turn their faces to idols. So an ordeal would come and having suffered they would wake up and come back to God.
That’s why I think that ingratitude can be called a sign of prosperity and apostasy which both blind the mind and confuse senses. So I cannot but agree with St Paul who wrote the Second Epistle to Timothy and, of course, with metropolitan Gregory who repeated St Paul’s words.

М.З. [(5) 70,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I do agree with this saying by St John of Kronstadt.
There is even a wonderful episode illustrating this point in one Orthodox feature film called “Parables”. An elder prayed to God asking why there were so many people praying to Him and so few who actually received what they had prayed for. So an angel came to that elder and showed him one church during the Divine Liturgy. The church was full of people but no word reached the Heaven because instead of praying people were thinking about all sorts of earthly things.
It seems to me that many people think so because they have come to the idea of the Church as a mystery but they actually confuse ‘mystery’ with ‘magic’. We would all like to wave a magic wand and have our problems solved without any work of our own. So some people expect that having done some actions (for example, having read some prayers as if they are magic spells or having lit a candle before an icon) they will receive what they want to. This way is the easiest one and does not require much effort. But it shows clearly that these people do not understand the very essence of the Orthodoxy which is Christ resurrected, and this is all very sad.

М.З. [(4) 65,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I absolutely agree with this quote but at the same time I find it extremely difficult to accomplish.
On the one hand, people may think that ‘to be free’ means to do what they want to, but it is a false perception of freedom. If we do only what we want to, we merely follow the desires of our nature. But our nature is corrupted by sin – which means that we are actually led by sin or, in other words, we are held captive by sin. We are slaves of sin. So the only true freedom is that from sin which paradoxically implies everlasting struggle and hard work.
Although I do understand it, it is still so difficult to repudiate some desires of my own in favor of the true freedom.

М.З. [(5) 61,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It is a very interesting interpretation and it is the first time when I come across it.
But I do agree with it anyway. There is even the proverb “haste makes waste” in English. I can also easily remember a large number of cases in my life when my haste resulted in something bad. So, consistency without haste is necessary in everything you do. Moreover, if you divide your task into several minor steps and start doing them one by one, it often helps to complete the whole task even faster and on a very high level of quality.
But on the other hand, men can do their job too slowly. It is another extreme which should be carefully avoided.

М.З. [(4,5) 56,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I do agree with this quote. In most cases we commit the same sins again and again. And it is very important not to lose your heart and continue to struggle.
It is a wide-spread spiritual problem – a person tries to struggle but commits the same sins again and again and in a while they fall into despair because of it. “How can I pray to God if I cannot overcome myself even a tiny everyday sin?” – such people think. But it is a very dangerous thought and the pride is its ground. Such way of thinking results in sloth which is a deadly sin.
We should remember that man can overcome any sin only with the help of the Lord. Salvation is synergy of man and God. So, we should not give way to despair and continue our struggle bearing in mind God’s love and mercy towards mankind.

М.З. [(4) 52]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote by St Paisios contains the direct answer to the question which is very hard for me because I know that very often all those people asking for money in the streets or anywhere else are not in need actually. But, no matter how hard it is for me to accept it, if elder Paisios said so, I think, that from this day on I will do my best to fulfill his words.
Of course, one may begin to argue. “If they are lying, why should I give them anything?” But in any case, I think, I do not have to give much to everybody but I can give at least something. And in cases when I am sure that those asking are not tricksters I can always give more than usual. So, I believe that to give at least something is a good way out.

М.З. [(5) 48]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I do agree with this quote. When you eat too much it always results in laziness. Satiety leads to a situation when you just cannot concentrate on something serious or meaningful for a while. And this ‘a while’ is spent usually in doing something useless. That’s why it is advised not to eat too much, to be moderate in eating – as well as in everything else.
Some people may say: “I become extremely nervous and cannot do anything when I am hungry. So, it is necessary for me to eat properly.” I would answer that “of course, you must eat properly!” Many people confuse ‘eating enough’ with ‘eating more than enough’ and satiety is the latter only. So, this quote is not about “being hungry all the time” but about discreet moderation which is good for both spiritual life and physical health.

М.З. [(5) 43]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

On the one hand, I cannot but agree with this quote. Man was created with this power, as St. Antony the Great said, and Christ the Savior revived it in us with His Life and Death which both were true evidence of the existence of such power in man’s nature.
But on the other hand, in practice, it is an extremely hard thing to fulfill. Demons are inventive. They have already got thousands of years of practice – how to make people fall into sin or lapse from their way to salvation. And it is said that evil is more appealing to man than God’s truth. So this idea, being so engaging on the one hand, is very hard to be fulfilled, on the other.

М.З. [(5) 38]

1. It seems to me that being THE SUCCESSORS OF BYZANTIUM can be compared to being the chosen people. In both cases there are privileges and responsibilities and ‘the chosen’ very soon tend to focus on privileges and forget responsibilities. The situation is repeated again and again in the course of the world history.
2. The CHIEF HIERARCH of the Russian Orthodox Church is patriarch Kirill.
3. Only an AUTOCEPHALOUS Orthodox Church can make chrism.
4. The history of the world is a way from democracy to an AUTOCRAT’s reign and back.
5. THE DOUBLE-HEADED EAGLE is still on the flag of Mount Athos. I was told that THE DOUBLE-HEADED EAGLE remains there because Mount Athos is considered to be a remnant of the Byzantine Empire.
6. It is very sad that the Iconoclastic period started when an emperor FELL INTO Iconoclastic HERESY.
7. Initially Origen was considered to be an authoritative theologian. His views were condemned after his death only when they found out that he had actually LAPSED INTO HERESY.
8. THE PROPHETICAL BOOKS are very important and therefore must not be disregarded.
9. St Constantine acted as a CHAMPION of Orthodoxy during the First Ecumenical Council.
10. This very sublime idea of Moscow as the Third Rome resulted sometimes in furthering THE ENDS OF RUSSIAN SECULAR IMPERIALISM.
11. It is very sad that Basil Osborne, who seemed to be a SPIRITUAL DESCENDANT of metropolitan Anthony (Bloom), split the diocese with his actions. And now he is married.
12. My very good friend often visits the Holy Mount. One of his favorite places there is Karuli – because the strictest HERMITS live there.
13. Joseph Volotsky, the head of the POSSESSORS, did a lot to reveal and persecute the Heresy of Judaizers.
14. Nil Sorsky was the leader of THE NON-POSSESSORS, also known as THE TRANSVOLGA HERMITS.
15. I do not actually like Catholic monasticism because of the emphasis on THE SOCIAL OBLIGATIONS OF MONASTICISM. I have nothing against any social and charitable work, of course, but I can see only prayer as the foremost obligation of a monk.
16. I think that everybody should CARE FOR THE SICK AND the POOR to the point they can afford it.
17. TO SHOW HOSPITALITY is woven into the Caucasian culture. It becomes especially obvious if you happen to visit, for example, a wedding celebration both in the Caucasus and in the West. Or, perhaps, a funeral. In both cases the difference is striking.
18. The description of ALMSGIVING is an important part of many saints’ lives.
19. It sounds so nice ‘TO BE DETACHED FROM THE WORLD’ but sometimes it actually turns out to be a very difficult thing to bear.
20. Every monk is VOWED TO COMPLETE POVERTY. But I wonder how those who became monks secretly during the Soviet time managed to fulfill this vow.
21. I am sure that from pagans’ perspective the first martyrs were very RECALCITRANT heretics. And, of course, they were considered to be politically unreliable.
22. I do like sermons by metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) because he talked a lot about being TANGLED UP IN SECULAR ANXIETIES, ABSORBED IN WORLDY CONCERNS and about our way back to God.
23. In the wonderful book called “My life with elder Joseph” Ephraim of Arizona describes several situations and dialogs when one was thinking in A WORLDLY WAY and the other was thinking in a Godly way. I especially like one episode about a rock hanging above the church.
24. RELATIONS BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE have always been varying through the course of the European history.
25. THE THINGS OF CAESAR AND THE THINGS OF GOD are not always easy to distinguish.
26. I think that A CLOSE ALLIANCE BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE can result in something good and fruitful only if it is a symphony. In any other case the success is doubtful. But nowadays I cannot see an alliance of such kind between the Church and the State (in our country) as possible.
27. There are so many beautiful variants how to sing THE TRISAGION!
28. I do love the CORPORATE WORSHIP and I think that both the outer and the inner splendor of the Church are manifested in it.
29. It may sound strange but I like to look up things in different SERVICE BOOKS. I know that now man can easily print out the text of any day’s service from the Internet but it is much more interesting for me to look for all troparia, kontakia etc. in the SERVICE BOOKS.
30. It is an interesting fact that there were only eight canonized FOOLS IN CHRIST in Byzantium while in Russia there were plenty of them. It is also interesting that the criteria to distinguish a FOOL IN CHRIST from an ordinary mad man differed a little in Byzantium and Russia. For example, in Russia it was enough if a man worked miracles. But in Byzantium it was necessary to prove that a man only played a fool. There are passages proving it in every life of a Byzantine FOOL IN CHRIST.
31. For me to call the seventeenth century ‘THE TIME OF TROUBLES’ means to simplify it extremely.
32. PARISH CLERGY in villages and in big cities differs.
33. For a long time I could not KEEP THE FASTS without dairy products.
34. When I just converted to Christianity I did my best to become a ‘DEVOUT Christian’. I made very few CONCESSIONS TO HUMAN WEAKNESS, I actually tried to OBSERVE THE FASTS WITH THE AUSTERITY which is described in the monastic rules. But all these RIGOROUS OBSERVANCES did not result in anything good for my health.
35. When I was a teenager I read a lot of desert ANCHORITES’ writings.
36. It is OK if the outer form of PRACTICES of different Orthodox Churches differs. It shows the richness of the Orthodox Tradition.
37. It is an interesting fact that the way in which people made THE SIGN OF THE CROSS changed through centuries. During the first centuries there were even different ways in which different people within one Church made it.
39. RITUAL ACTIONS play an important role in the everyday life of a Christian.
40. I wonder who was the first man who offered to BURN somebody else AT THE STAKE?
41. The main cathedral of the OLD BELIEVERS (although, of course, it would be more correct to call them the OLD RITUALISTS) is situated near the Paveletskaya metro station, not far from the St Nicholas Church in Kuznetsy.
42. In the seventeenth century people from both THE LAITY and THE PARISH CLERGY could become DISSENTERS, in other words, they could became a part of the movement of DESSENT.
43. To quarrel about THE TWO-FINGER or the three-finger SIGN OF THE CROSS means to put an emphasis on the outer instead of the inner.
44. MYSTICAL PRAYER is the most desirable, sacred and dangerous practice in the Orthodox Church. If you put too great an emphasis on THE EXTERNALS OF it then you can easily fall into spiritual delusion. If you concentrate on the ‘deepening you mind in your heart’ too much then you can easily either go mad or fall into spiritual delusion, too. So, without proper guidance it is a very dangerous thing.
45. There is so much bitter irony in the word ‘celebrated’ which metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) applies to the SPIRITUAL REGULATION. But it may merely seem so to me.
46. THE SPIRITUAL COLLEGE or HOLY SYNOD was set in 1721 by Peter the Great. It replaced the Patriarchate with a commission composed of bishops, other monks and THE MARRIED CLERGY.
47. THE CHIEF PROCURATOR was a government official who watched the work of the HOLY SYNOD.
48. The phrase ‘THE CROWN RIGHTS OF THE REDEEMER’ implies the spiritual independence of the Church.
49. The context is of great importance. Sometimes the word ‘a HOUSE’ can be used in the meaning of ‘a monastery’. One should be very careful.
50. There were two types of THE SYSTEM OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT in the course of the Russian Orthodox Church history. The first was a Patriarchate (initially, the Russian Orthodox Church was a part of a much bigger Patriarchate and it became autocephalous only later) and the second was that of Synodical government. In the second case THE CHURCH was IN COMPLETE SUBSERVIENCE TO THE STATE.
51. FREEMASONRY is wide-spread in the USA.
52. REFLECTIVE CHURCHMEN are those devout Christians who give a great deal of thought to the things happening in the Church.

М.З. [(33) 33]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

When somebody asks us for help it is necessary to remind ourselves what makes us Christians. We need to love people according to our faith, it means also helping when it is required. Sometimes there can be feeling that the person who asks for help could be dishonest. But Saint Paisios of Mount Athos says that still we should help this person without negative thoughts, because they are temptations. Even if there are some doubts we need to be open and ready to help with sincerity.

А.К. [(5) 25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

One most important thing as a part of every Christian’s life is gratefulness. It’s significant to value things we got from God. But what is more, we need to be grateful to people around us because they are part of God’s will. If we got help or something really valuable or useful for us, the best thing to be worthy of it is to say “thank you”. Sometimes we just get things and, being satisfied, take it for granted. We shouldn’t forget about people who are trying to do for us good things and also we shouldn’t be inattentive to such deeds. We need to be careful about other people feelings and to be grateful for all good things we have.

А.К. [(4) 20]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It’s difficult for us to realize how God is forgiving. He forgives all our sins, but first we need to confess. Repentance is a significant and necessary part of every Christian’s life. It does happen that sometimes we do the same things wrong again and again. We have, let’s say so, ‘constant sins’, which we can’t stop committing. We make confession of these sins but then commit them again. That’s how our sinful nature works. But still we need to bear in mind that despite all, God forgives us. But we need to be with him and ask for his remission every time we realize we have made a mistake which was sin. It’s important to remember that God is with us and he came to the world to help us people to struggle against sins, we can’t do it fully ourselves, but only with his help.

А.К. [(3,5) 16]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Sometimes God’s intention is unclear to us. In all his deeds he has a special meaning which is full of wisdom. As saint Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt said, the world was made by God not by chance, there was a special idea in the way he created it. He illustrates to all humans that all our plans should be realized with thinking, by dividing the whole project into the parts and steps. All deeds we’re planning to do require calmness and serious attentive approach. This is the way which is shown to us by God, so this is a true one.

А.К. [(4) 12,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Nowadays Orthodoxy is really popular in comparison with the previous age. So many people go to the church on a regular basis, know the services and feasts. Also a lot of people know parts of the services and prayers, some of them even by heart. But sometimes it happens that people while performing the rites, attending the survices forget the true meaning of all this. We get used to praying or standing in church for the service, but these things could become routine. Doing this outer part of the prayer, like saying words and bowing, people could forget about the inner one. People forget to think about God himself.
It’s really hard spiritual work to concentrate on prayer sometimes even for clergy. But it’s worthless to attend the church just observing things around and pray just saying words by heart and automatically bowing. It’s not true conversation with God. We shouldn’t do such things automatically but only consciously and fully participating.

А.К. [(3) 8,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can totally agree with Dorotheos of Gaza about his views on freedom. Today there are a lot of things which catch us in everyday life. We have a wide range choice of pleasures nowadays, so each person can find one for himself.
Nowadays we live in a consumer society, people are eager to buy more and more things, eat more, try more varied delicious food, drink more alcohol and have fun, smoke more, try different drugs, because we have an opportunity to do it. The most influential thing is our freedom, we’re free to choose things, we have an opportunity to choose in general: to buy or not, to drink or not, to try or not. But at the same time the more we try, the more we continue doing it. All these things make us feel happier or more satisfied with our lives. For example some entertainments which are also offered to us by this consumerist age make us forget about the reality and be relaxed and happy in the virtual world. It’s common to get used to good things, that’s why we do all the things again and again. We care about our pleasures and comfort without noticing the addiction caused by our wishes. So now, free to choose, we’re on the way to satisfy our demands and we really can do it in many possible ways. But this is the moment when we can’t live without these ways of giving ourselves pleasure, and now we’re addicted and not free any more. It’s a wide-known and serious problem nowadays.
So in conclusion, we’re facing the paradoxical solution. We need to control ourselves to preserve our freedom. We shouldn’t spoil ourselves, for while satisfying all the wishes, we lose ourselves, our inner freedom, because we can’t live any more without things we got addicted to.

А.К. [(3,5) 5,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can’t fully agree with this quote. It’s sometimes quite hard to even think when you’re hungry, and it’s even harder to pray in such a state of the body and mind. The person doesn’t have energy to do anything, and that is what draws the person into sleepiness, and this person can’t think of anything except the food. In Orthodoxy the fast has one of the most important roles for the spiritual life, but, as for me, it’d be healthier for the soul and more gratifying for God to pray and fast as hard as the person is able to, because God is merciful and He doesn’t make anyone suffer for Him in such a way.
So, in my opinion on this quote, it’s quite important both for the body and the soul of the person to eat and sleep properly, according to their own state of health.

Е.К. [(4,5) 18,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can agree with this quote, because we should always help people who beg us, and even those who don't (if they are in need). It’d be counted as our own good deed, and if that person pretends to be in need but in fact isn’t, it’d be their own sin. We aren’t responsible for the sins of other people, except in the cases when we push them to commit it. We can’t read people’s thoughts and being suspicious to our neighbours is almost a sin, I suppose. So, we always are to help people, because at the Last Judgment good deeds will be one of the criteria for the entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Е.К. [(2,5) 14]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I quite agree with this statement, because people rarely stop committing sins just after the confession. It’s a difficult and time-consuming process, and without God’s help we can do nothing about it. And this help we can get only after the confession and Communion, that is, after asking forgiveness. Eventually, by God’s grace and will, we can get into the Kingdom of Heaven, without sins, because the primary life goal for every Christian is to be delivered from sins and became like God, who only is sinless.

Е.К. [(4,25) 11,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can agree with this quote. I suppose, the man’s work considered here is his salvation. It’s not easy to reach the Kingdom of Heaven at once, because we’re all sinners, even the saints were sinners, and we can’t just remove all our transgressions and become like God, sinless, which is our goal as Christians. But it’s the hardest work in our life, and we should put all of us into it, with prayer, consideration and full understanding what we do and for what purpose.

Е.К. [(3,5) 7,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I do agree with the quotation of Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt. I think that God wanted to teach us to be humble. Some people believe that they have unbearable lives, heavy workload and a lot of duties which they must do every day. God gives us a personal example, He didn’t create the world easily like some magic but there were proceedings which lasted 6 days. Our aim is to try to be at least a little like God. If God works, why shouldn’t we work? I can say that it is like a motivation for me to do something when I have difficult tasks. I should remember that God showed me by His experience that we need to work, so it means, I must work in the image and likeness of God.

Е.Л. [(4) 13,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I completely agree with this quotation. I believe that we shouldn’t be afraid of our sins. There are no ideal people, even our clergy have sins. What makes us different is that we repent of our sins; we confess that we are spiritually weak. The Lord is merciful and He won’t turn away from anyone. Sometimes I have situations when I go to confess and a priest from my parish scolded me for confessing the same sins. It meant that I didn’t get better in the spiritual sense. I can deal with it but I think there are some people who won’t want to confess any more in fear that they will be scolded again. I think that everyone should be patient and able to forgive because God forgives all people. We shouldn’t be afraid of our sins. Worse is not what you did but what you didn't repent of it.

Е.Л. [(4) 8]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I do agree with the quotation of Dorotheos of Gaza. I think that when we have our desires, we don’t really feel freedom. They can be different desires and wishes but we are thinking of them. All our thoughts are absorbed in desires and we don’t pay attention to what is happening around us. We only think how we can fulfill our desires, what we would do after fulfilling them. We are lost in thoughts and dreams. We also forget about our main aims and destinations. We forget about our souls and spiritual lives. People are trapped and they aren’t free. So, it’s important to be able to cut desires off.

Е.Л. [(4) 4]

О.Р. [15]

Е.К. [3,75]

Д.Х. [0]

М.З. [0]

С.Ф. [2,25]

А.К. [2]

4th year of study: Autumn 2018

Our church experience abroad

We had a very interesting experience at the Russian Orthodox Church in England. It appears to be a little bit different from our church in Russia, and as we expected. In general we had only pleasant experience of communication with the parish and the priest.

There were some differences in traditions of serving Liturgy or in the Mysteries. Of course it was not an essential difference, but still. As we understand it is something concerning variety of traditions. And it is natural that people located so far away from each other, connected by one faith and one God, obviously can have some varieties. Because it is strictly depends on the atmosphere, opportunities of the parish and character of the priest. We shouldn’t be scared of it – it is just another rules or order, which helps to make the life of the parish more convenient for people.

It was a nice parish of Saint Aidan and Saint Chad which was located in an old Anglican Church, so the interior arrangement was quite unusual and more common for Protestants. But still there were many icons on the walls. Some Slavic parishioners brought them from Ukraine or Russia. Concerning iconostasis, it was a usual wall with icons and it had only one row of icons, but it was traditional enough. Mostly there were icons depicting Russian Saints and also there were some ancient English saints, such as Saint Columbus, Saint Aidan and Chad, Saint Cuthbert.

Talking about Mysteries and all rules such as saying prayers before Communion – they were all optional. There wasn’t a strict rule to confess before Communion. Everything was so–called “It’s up to you”, all depended on your consciousness. Maybe in those conditions that was the only one right decision, otherwise you can scare everybody away with the severity.

All the congregation was very friendly, kind and very attentive to us. They were really interested in life in Russia and the Orthodox Church here. We sang in the choir and all melodies were familiar but hymns and texts were half in English half in Church Slavonic. After the service we gathered together for a tea and conversations. At the feasts we were given lots of presents, food and drinks, especially on Christmas. Many parishioners invited us to their homes for a dinner. And also we met some young people there and spent time with them together outside the church too.

Besides attending our church, we visited two more. The first one was a Methodist church. Our English friend Bethany invited us to spend Catholic Christmas with her family who were Methodists. They lived in a small village near Durham. So their parish was small but very warm and friendly. As it turned out, Methodists don’t have priests, they only have leaders. They are lay people, but they just lead their meetings. They have only two Mysteries - Baptism and Communion. And every person can serve the Liturgy, even their grandpa and grandma did it.

So, we were at the morning meeting. It wasn’t Liturgy but it was like a small concert for celebrating Nativity. There were lots of Carols, their leader was telling stories, jokes, children performed plays, and guys were playing guitars and drums.

So everything was very simplified, but still very cute and kind. So-called “happy – clappy Christianity”.

And the second experience was attending the Western rite Orthodox liturgy.

It was completely different traditionally from our rites, but it was still Orthodox. There were lots of borrowings and allusions from Catholic and Western church, but the essence was Orthodox. I guess this tradition is more close to English people. Why should they be surrounded by Russian traditions if they have their own ancient Christian rites? Of course, there were very few people but the reviving of this tradition is definitely very good.

С.Ф. [53,5]

My religious experience in England

I spent last semester studying in England. It was an interesting opportunity for me as an Orthodox Christian to discover what does Orthodox Churches there look like, how services are being held. Also I was wondering about English people’s views on religion.

As I have noticed, that the most common situation is not having religious life at all, that’s why people have emptiness inside and they are trying somehow to fill it.

Young people have a lot of possible ways to entertain themselves, but in most cases it is all about partying and clubbing. Youngsters go out almost every day (especially freshers). As I said, every day or especially on Friday nights crowds of youth can be seen in long queues before the entrance to the club. I can’t say that it is the worst way to entertain yourself by dancing in the club, my point is that young people really don’t have limits, that’s why they drink really a lot. To my mind, student life in England is really relaxed, but at the same time by having a plenty of free time and without anyone’s control young people just lose their heads. Unfortunately, moral principles are suffering from this relaxed condition of mind clouded by drinking alcohol or smoking. But one day a person feels tired and annoyed by living such a lifestyle. That provokes depressions and thoughts about the absence of life’s meaning. People don’t have serious thoughts, talks on spiritual issues. But all of them were really tolerant and interested in our religious views and principles.

As for grown up people, I didn’t communicate with them much on such topics myself, but as I have heard from my friends, grown up people also suffer from emptiness very often; they don’t see meaning in their lives. People just have their small goals as buying new things, finding better jobs and houses to live.

I have some thoughts about the reasons for this problems. There is a great number of different branches of religion and a plenty of different churches. Each has its own peculiarities which can attract or, on the contrary, push the person away from it. I understand that it’s really hard for people to find religion and their own spiritual path. The choice is too wide and complicated!

But I also had an experience of communication with people who have a religious life. First, I would like to tell about the Orthodox Church we attended during the semester we spent in the city of Nottingham.

We have met a priest who worshipped in the church every Sunday. He is a really good not only as a priest but as a person as well. It was new for us that Orthodox priests in England have to work a secular job during the week and serve on weekends. They just need to earn money for a living because the church can’t provide them with it. So father Gregory, whom we met there, for many years had to work really hard the whole week. Talking about him I would like to emphasize his great personal features. He is really simple and open person, his manners are sincere and he always acts in an honest way. He doesn’t pretend to be better than others or above somebody. I was impressed by the way he communicated with the parishioners. They seemed like friends, there was no line between them, they could laugh and tell jokes as if he wasn’t a priest. I realize the fact that it could be a European manner of communication between the church leader and parishioners, but still it was shocking and amazed me a lot. After the Sunday services there was always time for sitting together and drinking tea. Sometimes people brought the soup for everybody. And the priest himself could serve it to others. Once I saw a deacon who was washing the dishes after the church lunch. The fact of clergy being so simple, so close and equal to people impressed me a lot.

I would like also to add how caring the priest was. He took us to different cities, arranged driving trips for us, always planned these trips or invited us to join some of them, also often gave us a lift.

What is more, the people in the church, the parishioners were so friendly and so open. They told us about their way of finding faith and church, asked about ours. We felt a really family atmosphere where people were so kind and welcoming.

Also we had an experience in a Methodist family and the Methodist Church. We had a really good friend there whose father invited us for Christmas to their place. That was incredibly kind of him. It was an amazing opportunity to spend some days in an English family. They have a big family of 4 children, parents and grandparents, we communicated with all of them. In the evening before Christmas the whole village they live in gathered in its centre. All the villagers were singing Christmas Carols; live music was being played. I am not sure that it was so spiritual and solemn, it was an atmosphere of the feast and joy. We visited their church together on Christmas day. It was a surprising service because the leader of the church was like an entertainer for everyone, he dressed up in different costumes like Santa Claus or Grinch (a character from the Christmas cartoon), asked children to come out and show everyone their Christmas presents and things like that. Our friend’s brothers were playing and singing Carols with their band during the service and everybody joined the singing. So it was like a concert or entertaining program. It was a unique experience. Also the interesting thing was that the whole family are really religious, they all know the Gospel and live as a true Christians. We had a great time with them.

A week before Christmas we visited the local Catholic church of St Mary to listen to Christmas Carols. It was like a concert but it made a great impression. The whole church was singing as one person. All of them know these Carols since childhood and every year they come to the church to sing them aloud all together.

As I have noticed, visiting church to sing Christmas Carols or just coming for Christmas Service is not that much about religious life as about traditions and way of spending time and sharing joyful mood of the feast with the neighbors, family, friends.

Traditions are really a significant part of every English person's life, and the sad thing about that is that religion has become just a part of it. Coming to church is more like living a social life.

In Orthodox church we met some English people who had their own way of starting spiritual life, though it’s not traditional for them.

To conclude, I would like to say that I’ve got such a great experience and interesting knowledge about the attitude to the church and religion in general. To my mind, people are all different and everyone has their own form of religious life. For the majority it has become as a form of an old good tradition, for some people it is a way of belonging to social community. But some people were struggling for a long time to find a true faith and they found it. And now they take it really seriously, it was something wonderful to hear their stories about it.

А.К. [57,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To my mind, the evil may very well be outside but it is our response that makes all the sense in our spiritual life. If I feel scandalized the first thing I wonder, is that me who is the real root of the problem? Have I done something wrong? In this case I really feel ashamed, I try to make amends. More often it is other people or just the world that makes me angry. I am quite short-tempered so I have a great deal of history to work on that. I have learnt to cope with that, to come to the idea, say, “No, Seva, these are not the people or the world, it is just you”.
So in a way I tend to put out my inner flame with Christian so-to-say attitude. God tolerates me still and I have no gratitude in response? I may be scandalized and the world may be wrong but it’s yourself you should start dealing with first.

В.T. [(3,5) 47,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Rarely are the moments when I brag about my spiritual illnesses with close ones whom I have only little. What is more important is to help others when they are in need. So frankly I am more informed of other people’s misfortunes than they are of mine. It is vain to write such words but that is true.
On the contrary, some of my relatives want to be dependent on others. They want to be understood and pitied. But there’s no good and there’s no God in profane listening and head-nodding. One should treat people as one. Everyone can be blessed with fortune and grace and everyone can stay in the dark, suffering greatly inwardly. If you can help, then do it. If you can’t, you still may guide a man or a woman with Christian life or Christian peace.
So peace becomes the general idea of one’s flaws. Life runs still, and all the horror and terror one can experience through heart and soul will go away someday when treated with peace and Christian mercy. They won’t go certainly when spoken of and heard by multitudes. Some feel like cleansed but only inner spiritual work makes the difference, not another man’s saying.

В.T. [(3) 39]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The ordeals of the saints serve a better example of a holy life to lead than any earthly man can show. Though they did go through earthly life, I think their ascent to the heavenly places is the true mark of their commitment to God’s name. No teaching can thoroughly make us process the necessity of a more religious life, but through those God does speak. We have a chance to wake up from the comfortably numb life we live.
One should study the lives of the saints with reverence only because we must show nothing but respect and gratitude toward the suffering, the holy and the blessed. God’s grace is upon us when there’s a simple but great strength in us to recognize the deeds of the saints and to treat them accordingly. I think that’s a great quote and purely Christian, I mean it is anyways but it is plain teaching and a piece of spiritual advice for all Christians to follow.

В.T. [(3) 36]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Christianity is many things. But the most important among them is meekness and humility. Being humble is to acknowledge to be a part of a greater scheme, not the center of the universe. Such anthropocentrism is a sin after all and a daring act against the laws of God.
Most importantly, this quote brings up the whole interconnected body of spiritual life. It has many parts but on the whole Christianity is many things. I know people who do believe in God, who live by God’s word and who make their lives truly Christian. There’s just something missing and quite sometimes it is that “humble of heart” that is out of the picture. Profound praying and deeds of light, a passionate desire to be saved and enter the Kingdom of Heaven are not possible without natural disposition for meekness. It is surely an act of man to be less vain about oneself; it is also an act of God that any man could reach such spiritual heights.

В.T. [(3) 33]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The words of St Mark of Thrace got me truly perplexed. The final destination of a Christian soul of the Kingdom of Heaven but can a man embrace such transcendent transformation with pure joy and utter awe with no care of earthly things?
Suppose man can aspire to such fate but I believe that true redemption and greater absolution takes its first step down on earth. We live in God’s name and seek for Heaven for it is granted to those who are pure and perfect. We receive Communion and seek for absolution, we make the world a better place and try to be Christian as hard as we can. However, I truly think that we cannot rejoice when the soul departs from suffering and light of rest receives one’s life and soul. We are put here by God’s will and we live our days here for a purpose. This is about endless labour and much suffering, spiritual wandering and illnesses both in- and outwardly. The world is corrupted with sin and temptations. We ourselves are corrupted with original sin we can’t repent of. So, probably it is an anti-Christian wish for joy and happy "end". In confronts with the very idea of Christianity. But it is rooted deeply in Christian teachings. Honestly I don’t know how to make it out in a good way but I believe that St Mark of Thrace could have done much more godly deeds among the living men though it is only temporal being here. But if he was truly ready and the light of his life started fading one has nothing to do but to understand his attitude to passing.

В.T. [(3) 30]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I really think that is a perfect and great way to describe the art of praying. When rendering to God His due nothing should distract the praying man. Because this is the closest and highest form of so-to-speak communication with God and no ado must turn the thought away.
But I do know people who think of God when having much fuss inside them. They care too much and they think too much, so they come to God to resolve them from misfortunes. Such way is deeply wrong. We live only so little and if you truly believe in God and want to live by His law then understand this: a truly necessary thing is so much less meaningful than prayer. Prayer is the ultimate form of man’s message. When praying we speak to God and we seek for forgiveness, we ask advice, we glorify the Holy Trinity, the saints and the martyrs. We already speak all the necessary things to God so earthly matter doesn’t need to be resolved with man’s request. It is about true faith and deep belief. We say all the things we might feel like saying, so no other words can transfer our hopes and fears in a better form than prayer does.

В.T. [(4) 27]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I think this quote is about true Christianity. What are we in need of when we come to God? Why do we believe in God, only to become comfortably serene and granted with more stable psyche? Jesus and the saints were insomuch greater than we ever may become. The joy we are seeking today with faith or without it tends to be a mere pleasure for the body and soul. So when we say we believe in God and live by the Ten Commandments, do we really get the idea? Do we truly and with all the heart have the gut to say «I Am Christian» when in the end it only means rest and peace? I think not. Moreover we stand upright on the shoulders of those who suffered and the entered the Kingdom of Heaven. So when we make ourselves a comfy plan and when we start getting ready for being Christian, it is a great responsibility to check the charts once more.

В.T. [(3) 23]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Obedience is all about God’s love and His will. If one has a stomach for getting against he or she really tramples upon God’s will. No matter how much ungodly life is out there one should always have in mind that it’s God’s design. He loves us more than we may understand so with all injustice and lies the world He created lives driven by His love. It is also about being meek and humble as it was said in the Sermon on the Mount. When we take action and create a world of our own, we disobey being proud and selfish. We trample upon His love, will and design. And we become even less Christian but still equally loved by God and granted with a gift of repentance.

В.T. [(4,5) 20]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I truly believe that a rational person who transforms the world around him by utilitarian design is deeply false. Salvation is granted with, for and because of love for humankind. Virtues are not rational because they rooted in one’s soul, nor mind. Love and virtues are the true earthly remnants of God’s work. So when we rationalize nature, feelings and man’s work (such as art) we put a gun against the human heart. Love is transcendent and human virtues work in mysterious ways as God does. Mind and brain concoct the perfect design for the world but there is no God in pride and egocentrism of a human being. The real truth is granted to those who are cleansed of rationalistic venom. And such truths stay true to both God and man.

В.T. [(3) 15,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It is a simple rule but difficult at the same time. When being courteous and respectful to all people we respect God’s work first. We cast His work away when we are being rude or cruel to anyone. But respectful behavior stays pleasing to God. It is a work of tolerance and acceptance towards the world He created. It is a pity that some people just can’t see they disregard their faith when they attack other people.
I think it gets more complicated when it comes to people of different faith or color or sexuality. It is only natural for man to spit upon the differences but in that difference we are united. We were created different and we pass away being even more different. Hatred and anger only make us farther from Heaven, not closer.

В.T. [(5) 12,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The thing about praying is that it is such a sacred and divine act we have to commit; and also it is very simple. Being honest and earnest in prayer is to be Christian after all. For thoughts and worries make us stranded in the sea of faith. Therefore prayer is the only true and strong connection, the prime and holy way to stick to the route.
Prayer often came as a sort of machinery when it comes to my relatives. They do pray and they do seek God but they never seemed fairly and honestly open about it when praying. We open ourselves most when the most tragic things happen; then our prayer becomes a true and awful cry for help. However, one should always take seriously prayer for it is our first and foremost responsibility.

В.T. [(3,5) 7,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Human beings are tricky to love. We all have unkind feelings toward other people but a Christian should have in mind that love keeps this world spinning. When we are unkind or when we tend to be negative and intolerant we cast a shade on our souls. We must openly confess to a priest, to God when we are unkind. It is difficult to be utterly kind and almost impossible, but heading towards kindness shows true love for God. He created people different; it is only our strength and will to love them as they are.

В.T. [(4) 4]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote is about the true meaning of labor. Certainly, labor and work on yourself help to achieve many results, but this is not the main thing. Labor should lead us to humbleness through awareness of our weakness. Hard work gives the opportunity to see the helplessness and turn to God for salvation, because only when a person understands the despair of his position he can pray for real. In this sense, the realization of our weakness is much more productive for us than the feeling of our own strength.
In the same way as Abba Dorotheos, reverend Arsenia (Serebrjakova) writes: “In their spiritual instructions, the Holy Fathers often admonish us to ask the Lord for wisdom if we do not have it, for strength when we are weak, for patience if we are exhausted in sorrows, and in general to ask from Him all the good. But I, talking to you, said that it is better not to ask Him anything except forgiveness.”

А.Л. [(3,5) 68]

1. There were two powerful armies clashed on the Kulikovo field: the Tatar horde of Khan Mamai and the combined army of Russian dukes led by THE GRAND DUKE OF MOSCOW Dmitry. Russian victory led to the fact that THE PRINCIPALITY OF MOSCOW was finally established.
2. St. STEPHEN of Perm can be numbered with EVANGELISTS, for he wanted to bring Christ to the pagan Zyrian people in their own language. To this end he formulated a Zyrian alphabet using Slavonic and Greek letters.
3. St. SERGIUS of Radonezh was a spiritual leader and played a great role in reforming Russian monasticism.
4. In 1238 SAINT LOUIS, KING OF FRANCES fell a prisoner among the Mohammedans during one of the crusades he headed.
5. The prototype of the WARRIOR SAINTS is Holy Martyr Longinus, the centurion who witnessed the Crucifixion and confessed before everyone, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Mt. 27:54).
6. The SUZERAINTY of the Mongol Tartars over weakened Russia which was PAYING TRIBUTE TO invaders provoked the Teutonic Knights to dream of THE REDUCTION OF THE RUSSIAN “SCHISMATICS” TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE POPE and in the long run of the Catholic OVERLORDSHIP in this country.
7. There was a pattern for Russian monks on the way to the salvation. For the sake of DELIBERATE SELF-HUMILIATION they WITHDREW INTO THE FORESTS to FOUND THE HERMITAGE. Step by step their PLACES OF RETREAT turned to regular monasteries and some of them turned from THE WILDERNESS into THE GREATEST RELIGIOUS HOUSES IN THE LAND. Thousands of people flocked to these places TO SECURE THEIR BLESSING. But in search of the solitary life these EXPLORER MONKS went further into the wilderness, leaving already formed communities. Very often they came to the places where wild pagan tribes lived AND UNDERTOOK MISSIONARY WORK among them, therefore they can be called COLONIST MONKS.
8. Through hard work and PERSEVERANCE he successfully resists THE ALLUREMENTS AND PLEASURES OF THIS WORLD. Despite of living among THE INFIEDEL, he KEEPS HIS FAITH with surprising constancy and tenacity. He NEVER UNDERGOS PERSECUTION from the MOSLEMS who may interfere in THE OBSERVANCE OF HIS FAITH, but don’t apparently do that out of great respect for him.
9. The crib in which Christ was found as a baby resembles A CRESCENT. Thus the cross rests symbolically on the birthplace of Christ and grows from His cradle.
10. My father serves as a CHAPLAIN in the hospital temple.
11. I believe that the married couples are under GOD’S PROVIDENTIAL DISPENSATION.
12. It is believed that Moscow is “GOD-PROTECTED CITY” and it is only an element in the claim that Moscow is the third Rome.
13. SENNACHERIB was a remarkable builder and under his rule Assyrian art reached its peak.
14. Holy Fathers call acquisitiveness “THE PRECURSOR OF ANTICHRIST”.
15. On no condition are they to ask the head of State to violate the Constitution of his country. This act must be considered as an attempt to turn him into an AUTOCRAT.
16. His PASTORAL STAFF have been well accommodated in the archbishop resident.
17. Islam is in the second place in the list of world religions thanks to the quantity of CHAMPIONS OF ISLAM.
18. I know a monk who prayed for one of the Moslems, but was led into temptation and APOSTATIZED TO ISLAM. Thanks to God he repented and continued WITNESSING TO CRISTIAN FAITH.
19. Perhaps it is not a regrettable thing that a state life is not organized around the Orthodox Church, because we know some historical examples when such connection between Church and government led to a SAD CONFUSION BETWEEN ORTHODOXY AND NATIONALISM.
20. SIMONY is an act which characterizes not only the Middle Ages.
21. It was hard to serve the Lord in the less prosperous countryside, as the bishop taxed PARISH CLERGY, but the clergy couldn’t tax their FLOCKS.
22. At the beginning of the twentieth century there were several candidates for the PATRIARCHAL THRONE.
23. Patriarch Alexy II was the 15th Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus' and HELD OFFICE for 18 years.
24. Nikolas II resisted as long as he could but BOWED EVENTUALLY TO THE INEVITABLE. The ABDICATION of the Tsar was followed by the political revolution. On 17 July 1918 he and his family SUFFERED VIOLENT DEATH.
25. Professor A. Osipov claims that the REFORMATION is a child of THE GREAT SCHISM.
26. The JESUITS played an important role in creating a trading empire in Portugal and Spain.
27. This famous garden of the FRANCISCANS was in the old part of the monastery.
28. It was Philipp Melanchthon, a professor at the University of Wittenberg and a close colleague and friend of Martin Luther who edited the first official publication of THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION.
29. FREE WILL AND GRACE are both involved in the work of our salvation.
30. Holy SCRIPTURE and Sacred TRADITION are two sources for the teaching of the Church which complement each other.
31. The SACRAMENT is a sacred act in which through an external sign the grace of the Holy Spirit is given us mysteriously and invisibly. The saving power of God is given without failure. This is the difference between the Sacraments and other prayful actions, such as PRAYERS TO THE SAINTS or PRAYERS FOR THE DEAD.
32. THE SOCIETY OF JESUS is thought of as the principal agent of the COUNTER-REFORMATION.
33. The priest dedicated his life to his flock and his sermons were eloquent and inspired.
34. EXCOMMUNICATION is a measure of punishment that can be applied not only to heretics, but also to ordinary sinners.
35. The difference between EXCOMMUNICATING and ANATHEMATIZING is that in the first case a person remains an Orthodox Christian, even though his participation in the mystical life of the church is restricted but in the second case he is considered completely torn from the Church until he repents.
36. THE UNIATES continue to follow Orthodox traditional PRACTICE. It is no coincidence they are named “CATHOLICS OF THE EASTERN RITE.”
37. Although the outward appearance of religious rites of Uniates are similar to Orthodox, they are still members of the Catholic Church. The Uniates recognized THE SUPREMACY OF THE POPE and formed the basis of the union at the COUNCIL OF FLORENCE.
38. Today the usage of term LITTLE RUSSIA is typically perceived as the attribute of imperialistic view and a desire to suppress the Ukrainian national idea. GREAT RUSSIA in this contest is called “a big brother.”
39. The invaders simply took an IMPOST and were not eager to get into the political and religious affairs of the country.
40. As a parishioner you should contribute a TITHE to the church.
41. JANISSARIES were not allowed to marry or to own property. As they had nothing to lose they used to apply totally UNEDIFYING methods.
42. The term “LOCAL COUNCIL” refers to non-ecumenical councils of antiquity as well as to the local councils of national churches.
43. The conference was attended by HIERARCHS of the main world religions and confessions, who gathered to discuss the fundamental global policy issues.
44. THE CONSECRATION is the big moment of the transubstantiation IN THE EUCHARIST.
46. The doctrine of PURGATORY has no place in the Orthodox Church.
47. The doctrine of PREDESTINATION is often referred to the "paradox of free will."
48. The procession was IN FORCE, the priests walked in full vestments, the laity carried candles and BANNERS.
49. The SANCTIFICATION given in sacraments is able to return spirit to the veritable life.
50. It is said that the period of SPITIRUAL REAWAKENING in in Russia is coming to an end.
51. Holy Fathers say that the period of persecution was the only way to awaken people’s conscience and lead Russia to a SPIRITUAL REVIVAL.

А.Л. [(38,5) 63,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I completely agree with Elder Paisios of Mount Athos. We can feel scandalized because of many occasions. For example, you are in a bad mood and your friend (or relative) asks you to do something that you don't want to do right now. You're getting annoyed and angry. But don't you think that it is better to restrain yourself and say "Yes, of course" instead? Unfortunately, people in the world are very often feeling scandalized over nothing and pour out evil on the one they love. We do so many bad things, and God tolerates us with them, and wants our salvation. We must ask ourselves how many people do we scandalize and offend? People must be treated with love and sympathy - and not only those who we love. God is Love - and we must love, not offend.

О.Н. [(3,5) 57]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I totally agree with abbot Nikon Vorobiev's words. We must preserve peace with our close ones. They are the most precious people we have, and we must love them despite their disadvantages. We must cherish and respect each member of our family and our close friends. And we must forgive them, even if we feel we can't. Christ said: «Do not judge and you will not be judged». But very often we forget these wise words and offend our friends and family (even because of nothing). It's very sad, but I sometimes can do it too - and afterwards I feel sorry about it. We mustn't rail at each other about our physical or spiritual illnesses - we must help, support and love each other no matter what.

О.Н. [(5) 43,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I know, sometimes it’s really difficult for me cast aside earthly thoughts when I offer up my prayer to God. And I totally agree with St. Ignatius Brianchaninov’s quotation. The prayers must be pure and come from the depths of our hearts. We should not simply try to leave all our earthly thoughts and cares, but try to become more open to God, focusing on the prayer. If we do so, the God will support us with growing power against earthly cares.

О.Н. [(3) 38,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with the words that obedience is love. First of all, obedience means that you need to abandon your own desires and wishes and follow God’s will. (“Thy will be done”). Unfortunately, many people misunderstand what “obedience” is and think that it means to be like a servant, like a slave, to do the work that they have to do without their will. That’s not right. Obedience is internally expressed as humility. It brings a peace with God, with our close ones and with yourself. Obedience might be unpleasant for you, but also it’s rewarding. So, as archbishop Seraphim says, never decline from obedience.

О.Н. [(4,5) 35,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I completely agree with the quotation of Abba Dorotheos. It’s very sad, but many people in the modern world can't despise material things. They want to make their lives more comfortable, and because of this, they forget about God, they can become more aggressive; they can't cut their own desires. Some of them become egoistical and don’t want to listen or comfort their neighbors. We shouldn’t depend on material things – they could be taken from us just as they were given to us. They are not the most important things in the world.

О.Н. [(4) 31]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Yes, it’s really important – to be courteous and respectful to all people. First of all, we must do so toward our closest ones – family and friends. We should listen to them carefully, respect their wishes and put them before our own; we mustn’t argue with them or shout at them. If we follow this simple rule throughout our life, we’ll be happier. And we also should understand that our evil behavior will lead to nothing. We will harm not only our close ones but also ourselves.

О.Н. [(4,5) 27]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with quotation of Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt. Our prayer is our communication with God. It’s not some sort of obligation. Every Christian is in need of the prayer, and his prayer must be said from the whole heart. Unfortunately, many people think about prayer as some sort of “daily routine” (especially morning and evening prayers) and read them like memorized verse. That’s wrong. We should pray wisely because it has many important aspects.

О.Н. [(4,5) 22,5]

1) The Slavs were CHRISTIANIZED under Prince Vladimir’s rule.
2) After his BAPTISM Prince Vladimir cancelled the DEATH PENALTY in Russia.
3) Only men are allowed to visit THE MOUNT ATHOS in Greece.
4) Saint MARTIN OF TOURS was born in 316 in Pannonia.
5) The PRINCIPALITY OF MOSCOW was a Rus’ principality of the Late Middle Ages centered around Moscow.
6) SERGIUS OF RADONEZH blessed Dmitry Donskoy when he went to fight the Tatars in the Battle of Kulikovo Field.
7) THE RULES OF THE MONASTERY sometimes can be very strict, but many people still want to become monks and nuns.
8) My younger brother was named and christianized after the WARRIOR SAINT George.
9) One of my favorite monasteries is the Holy Trinity Lavra of St.Sergius. The history of it begins when Sergius of Radonezh WITHDREW INTO THE FOREST, found a PLACE OF RETREAT and FOUNDED A HERMITAGE.
10) There were many HERESIES in the world, for example PELAGIANISM, GNOSTICISM, SABBELIANISM.
11) The FILIOQUISM is the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, according to it the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
12) Many people SUFFERED VIOLENT DEATHS in the terrible twentieth century and became NEW MARTYRS AND CONFESSORS of the Russian Orthodox Church.
13) The REFORMATION was a SCHISM in Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther in 16th-century Europe.
14) The First Council of Nicaea was summoned in 325 by the Roman Emperor Constantine I against the heresy of ARIANISM.
15) Every Christian must KEEP THE FASTS and spend long periods at prayer each day, either in church or before the icons at home.

О.Н. [(10) 18]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote relates to my world perception, so I agree with it fully. The Heavenly Kingdom is the best place ever, because God is there. Our goal as the Christians is to be with Him, that’s the target, which leads us through our life. We’re suffering labors and illnesses in the name of Christ, therefore the day of our death is the best day of our life, because we’re reuniting with our Father.
This quote has a great practical importance, for we must labor and suffer with the thought that we will bear it with God’s grace and eventually will be with Him – and that’s why we must rejoice on our deathbed. But until we’re dead we must do our best to follow the God’s example and deserve this honor to rest in His presence everlastingly.

Е.К. [(5) 51,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I do agree with this quote for several reasons. Firstly, it relates to my own life experience – I used to read the lives of saints when I was a child, and their example influenced me a lot, inspiring me in my growing faith in Christ. Secondly, I’m watching now how this practice of reading the lives of saints influences children in our Sunday school in general and my younger relatives in particular. Usually they think deeply on their own lives and try to be more like the saints at least in some things.
I suppose that reading the lives of saints with reverence is a prayer in a way, and a prayer is a communicating with saints and with Christ through their interceding – especially if we reverence our patron saints, as it’s commonly believed.

Е.К. [(4) 36]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote tells us about some critical things such as humility, patience and forgiveness, and I quite agree with it. The God Himself teaches us this via the Bible. And therefore, the elder says that if you "feel scandalized", it shows that "the evil is within you", for you are not following the God's example.
The elder's advice to ask yourself about how righteous your own life is can be compared to the following quote from the Gospel: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets" (Matt. 7:12). That has a vital importance for our life, because it’s the basic law of living in human society.
As for patience, the importance of it can be illustrated by the Gospel of Matthew: "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" (Matt. 5:39). Your meekness and humility eventually will turn your offenders towards the good.

Е.К. [(3,5) 32]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The meaning of the quote reveals to us the very idea of love. God said to us that we must love our neighbour if we want to show our faith to Him. If we drive away our neighbour we drive away His love. Sometimes we face the situations when the quarrel between two people can impede them from being kind even to others. Had they known that malice causes nothing but malice itself they would have thought twice before behaving in such a way. God said to us: “If anyone hits you on one cheek, let him hit the other one also”. That is the answer to the question, Why shouldn’t we be aggressive to our enemies? This phrase doesn’t have to be interpreted in a literal way; it means we must evade all hostile approaches towards solving the matter.

Д.Х. [(4) 63]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The message of this quote concerns the matter of being thoughtful while praying. As Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt stated, our prayer is a duty which we owe to God and that means we must be attentive and make our invocation fervent. That is, despite of what we’ve been doing the whole day we should remember that our salvation lies beyond all everyday deeds even if they may seem so vital to us. We shouldn’t allow them to distract us from our very mission and predestination. It can be the evil power which is trying to prevent us from the righteous deed under the disguise of everyday affairs and daily bustle.

Д.Х. [(4,5) 49,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote refers to another one in the list by Abbot Nikon Vorobiev which concerns the attitude to our neighbour. We should remain patient towards the arguments but not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by fury and anger. Moreover, if we stay humble and respectful to everyone’s opinion we may easily understand how we can deal with some misconceptions and mistakes made by our interlocutor. Finally, when we behave in such a way, when we control our mind and treat our opponent in a right way, we fight with ourselves suppressing all our fits of anger which always lead to something sinful.

Д.Х. [(3,5) 45]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote given by Venerable Justin (Popovic) of Chelije in Serbia seems to me a bit incomprehensible. The matter is that the Truth lies beyond our scarce insight. However, on the other hand, the concept of “understanding” is defined by one of the basic features of human nature which is curiosity. Curiosity inspires us to explore, to investigate, to provide all events and phenomena with certain representations and explanations which in their turn create a system of knowledge. We always fear it when we face something unknown and we look for understanding. Still, sometimes we can go astray while capturing the facts and approaching the “understanding”. I think that it also has something to do with our limited vision of the world. We use our earthly concepts and representations to simplify everything what is inconceivable. We are bounded to this material reality and we won’t gain the truth if we don’t leave these principles.

Д.Х. [(3,5) 41,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The idea of this quote has something to do with the one given by Venerable Justin (Popovic) of Chelije in Serbia which I covered earlier. Their intersection point is hidden in the idea of our bond with this material world. It’s hard to explain how strong this connection is. But our very target is to attain the Eternal Life which is beyond this world considered by mistake to be our home. When you have everything, when you live a prosperous life it becomes even harder to break this bond. Everyone’s heard this quote from the Bible “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matt. 19:24). That means that it’s very hard for a man who’s got used to comfort and wealthy life to leave this world with the very idea that he has to leave his riches too.

Д.Х. [(5) 38]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Obedience is considered to be a good tool for limiting our selfishness. For it gives us the way to become humble and meek. When we try to avoid it we step aside from the path of upbringing ourselves and it can result in conflicts and quarrels but what is more important, it keeps us away from the way to the eternal life. It can be compared to the situation when a child doesn’t follow his mother’s orders and that can bring him to unpleasant consequences. In addition by such behavior he expresses his protest to her love which intends to protect him.

Д.Х. [(5) 33]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This problem is very close to me because sometimes it seems to be very hard for me to control my emotions especially when it has something to do with arguments and conflicts. The actual problem as Elder Paisios of Mount Athos stated lies within our mind and heart which erupt evil which in its turn disguises the real reason of our wrath. That is, we often make problems out of nothing projecting our own inner sufferings and pain on our neighbours.

Д.Х. [(3,5) 28]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The act of praying is literary our conversation with God so there can be no way to be distracted by things and even thoughts which are not involved into this conversation. As St. Igantius Brianchaninov stated, that in the time of prayer we must put aside all our deeds no matter how important or vital they can be for us. For we should give God only what is God’s. We may recall another quote from the Bible "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21). In this context by the things of Caesar we mean everything which is not involved in prayer, while the things of God keep us closer to Him and help us on the way to eternal life.

Д.Х. [(3) 24,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote given by St Mark of Thrace concerns the matter of death. And that is a very contradictory issue because the very essence of death is alien for a human being. St Mark of Thrace describes death as a mysterious transformation when a man leaves this material world preparing to enter the eternity. Death shouldn’t be considered as a final point but as a starting one. But why are we afraid of it? There can be two plain answers. Firstly, we know that after the deadline there will be no chance to reclaim ourselves and our “biography”. Secondly death due to its mysterious nature appears to be the matter we cannot imagine or conceive. No one can tell what is there or if the actual word “there” fits the place.

Д.Х. [(4) 21,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote provides us with the idea that we should pay a special attention to the lifestyle chosen by saints. Unfortunately this way appears to be very hard for the most part of us due to our fallen nature affected and deformed by this material world. For many of us it’s nearly impossible to live without modern necessities. However, the actual point of the quote given by Elder Arsenios the Cave-dweller is a bit different. Despite the fact that we cannot attain this style of life, we should at least do our best and approach the very idea of it. That is, the examples of their lives reveal to us the truths which guide us on the way to salvation. Moreover, by reading their lives we ask them for prayer and intercession.

Д.Х. [(4,5) 17,5]

1. Everybody can find evidence of the fact that THE GOD is much more GRACIOUS than JUST in their own life.
2. In my opinion, those who are discussing the possibility of translating the Church Slavonic services into the modern Russian language lack the VISION of Cyril and Methodius and other great translators of the past. But the question is who actually does not lack such VISION? So, the very question remains open.
3. Just a year ago I was sure that the PRINCIPALITY of Moravia is an imaginary kingdom from old Russian fairy tales.
4. Before the course of the Russian Orthodox Church History I used to think that there were never any DOCTRINAL CONTROVERSIES or heresies on the territory of Russia.
5. It is very sad when the government (or the King as it used to be in the past) tries to make or simply makes the Church to SERVE THE ENDS OF THE NATIONAL POLITICS.
6. I wonder if it is possible to reinstitute the ECCLESIASTICAL TITHE nowadays. I think it is not.
7. It is very interesting that Dickens placed an emphasis upon THE SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF CHRISTIANITY in his books.
8. I think that CORPORAL PUNISHMENTS were very severe in England in the Middle Ages.
9. For a long time I did not understand the difference between martyrs and PASSION BEARERS. I used to think that these words were synonyms.
10. The existence of WARRIOR SAINTS is a great evidence of the fact that it is not the outer that is important to the Lord but the inner state of a person’s heart and their intentions.
11. I am sure that Vatican is still dreaming about THE REDUCTION of the Russian “SCHISMATICS” TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE POPE.
12. The very word “EVANGELIST” which is used to denote missionaries is very sweet because it also includes the idea of the Good Tidings.
13. Actually when I was reading the text by metropolitan Kallistos I had not the slightest idea who SENNACHERIB was.
14. The head of the Chechen Republic is a great CHAMPION OF ISLAM.
15. I think that nowadays we lack the understanding that WITHESSING TO our Orthodox FAITH is a great honour for a Christian, not a shame.
16. Now we are having a course of comparative (Orthodox-Catholic) theology so it is very interesting to know the inner reasons of the popularity of the REFORMATION in Europe and why the Orthodox world did not UNDERGO it at all.
17. To my mind, the EXCOMMUNICATION is the worst punishment which can happen to be put upon a Christian.
18. Last Thursday we were told about the Scholastic distinction between SUBSTANCE and ACCIDENTS and the difference between the Latin term “TRANSUBSTANTIATION” and the Orthodox point of view on this matter.
19. There was one young woman in Nottingham who was carrying a BANNER in the religious procession on Easter.
20. I used to COMMUNICATE once in two weeks but now I do my best to partake of this mystery once a month at least.
21. I can not say that I am an advocate of FREQUENT COMMUNION if it means to receive the Holy Gifts every day. But, of course, I think that it’s up to everybody to choose the frequency themselves.
22. I have got an icon of SAINT NICODEMUS THE HAGIORITE as well as some other elders OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN in front of my eyes now.
23. It is a great disaster for me if I cannot WORSHIP on Sunday.
24. I heard that there was a SPIRITUAL REVIVAL or a SPIRITUAL AWAKENING in Russia in 1990s.
25. There was a book called “PHILOKALIA” in the church library of my hometown.
26. I read about the Glorious Revolution but I had never come across any information about NON-JURORS before I read about them in the chapter 5 of “The Orthodox Church” by Met. Kallistos (Ware).

М.З. [(14,5) 71]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I wish I could agree with this quote!
A truly Orthodox perspective on death is manifested in it. This perspective can be found also in the Epistle to Philippians by St Paul (1:21): “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”, he said. But not only the perspective – the very state of mind which must precede the moment of death of a faithful Christian is described in this quote. Such state of mind indicates a life having been lived in Christ.
But I am sure that if the day of my death comes soon I will definitely not be in such state of mind. I will be at least terrified because of the profound conviction that I am not ready. Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

М.З. [(5) 34,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I do agree with this quote. Moreover, I think that it is simply impossible to pray heartily without casting aside earthly thoughts and cares.
It often happens that when I begin to pray, lots of great thoughts occur in my mind. I suddenly remember all things I could have forgotten to do, brilliant plans how to arrange everyday life better appear out of nothing. If I paid attention to every such thought I would never pray.
Besides, I often remember the following quote: “So, you cannot give one hour per day of your life to the Person Who gave you your lifetime, can you?” It brings me to senses.

М.З. [(5) 29,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I love this quote and I completely agree with it. It can be even called my motto.
There is a great philosophy behind it, the philosophy of love and obedience. The idea is that there is the God’s image in everybody – so, the way you treat others is the very way you show your attitude to the Lord.
But being expressed in such a short sentence with simple words, this philosophy is extremely hard to follow. Sometimes people pop up in your life out of the blue just like windows on a computer screen. You have no time to think, you just have to do something, to say something, or to pass by. The question arises – is mere politeness enough?.. Very often I feel that in every particular case I could have been more thoughtful, more polite, I could have been more helpful. It makes me extremely sad.

М.З. [(4,5) 24,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

On the one hand, I completely agree with this quote. The Lord Himself said that we could not love God if we did not love our neighbour. He said that if we did not love our neighbour whom we saw, how could we say that we loved the Lord whom we did not see?
But, on the other hand, it happens rather often in everyday life that somebody offends you or, rarely, even betrays. It is very difficult to forgive such people and keep your heart warm for them. Even if you do behave in a good way towards them sometimes it does not mean that there is no offence or bad feeling remained in your heart.
So, being true this quote shows us the ideal and how far we actually are from it in our everyday life. But this ideal is achievable and we must seek after it.

М.З. [(5) 20]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I completely agree with the quotation of Abbot Nikon Vorobiev. We were given a commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). It was Christ’s answer to the Pharisees when they asked Him about the greatest commandment in the Law. If we don’t keep this commandment, how can we prove that we love? If we love our God we should do things which He gave us. He taught us to love everyone in the world. It can be even our enemies but we should humble ourselves and love them. If we have unkind feelings for somebody we can not love our God.

Е.Л. [(4) 51]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I quite agree with this quotation of Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt. First of all, we should remember that our prayer is not an obligation. It is not something what we have to do. Our prayer is a communication with God. We are in need of a prayer. We do it not only because we have to do it but we need it with all our heart. I write it because some people perceive a prayer as a commitment and do it automatically; they forget the true meaning of it. So, I think, we should not spare ourselves and should pray in a proper way. Secondly, when we are praying, we thank God for what He gives us, that we could live one more day. We also should remember that true prayer is a prayer not only about yourself but also about other people, about those you know and about those you do not know. So, we should approach prayer correctly because it has a lot of important aspects.

Е.Л. [(4,5) 37]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I fully understand and can agree with this quote by Venerable Isaac the Syrian, bishop of Nineveh. If we treat people courteously and respectfully, and in this case they will treat us in the same way. It is the golden rule which we were given by Jesus Christ. ‘Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets’ (Matthew 7:12).
In one passage of the New Testament Paul the Apostle refers to the golden rule: ‘For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’ (Galatians 5:14).
We also should understand that our ignorant behavior will lead to nothing. Evil begets evil. We will harm not only our neighbor but also ourselves. We will suffer and ask ourselves why we behaved in such way. It will bring us more problems than if we had not done it.

Е.Л. [(3) 32,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

As I could understand, Venerable Justin (Popovic) of Chelije in Serbia concerned rationalism and its understanding in Orthodox society. It is a desire to know the fundamental principles of existence exclusively through the limited human mind.
Christian theology highly places the mind in the matter of knowledge of God and salvation of man. Rational mind is human’s nature. Rationalism is necessary in many spheres of human activity. However, with regard to faith which also includes issues that are known to be superior to their rational comprehension, rationalism can play a negative role. Attempts to comprehend these issues through rational thinking often led to delusions and heresies. I think that Orthodoxy has a skeptical attitude to rationalism in religion. We focus on the experience of communicating with God through the sacraments.

Е.Л. [(5) 29,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can agree with Abba Dorotheos because I think that all material things, glory and bodily comfort are a barrier to our salvation. We start to worry about these things and forget about our soul. All these things take away our spiritual entity. We must strive to make our body as a temple of the Holy Spirit living in it. The Apostle Paul says that we should strive for our body to become an instrument of labor, not an instrument of sin; to strive for our material side to ennoble us and not to make us poor.

Е.Л. [(4,5) 24,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I completely agree with Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk’s quotation. We should remember that obedience is the fulfillment of God's will. We must be obedient because it is given to us by God. It was the Lord's decision to give us this obedience. When we have it, we do the will of God. In this way we express our love for Him. Everyone knows that the fall of the first man was through disobedience. Obedience is higher than fasting and prayer.

Е.Л. [(4,5) 20]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

As I could understand the quotation of Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, nowadays people forget about true values in our life. They have joy only when they buy something, go travelling or have a raise of salary at work. Secular joys are material. Having all the benefits, people feel emptiness in the end. Secular joy is not constant and true. It is a momentary joy. It is not about this joy that is written in the lives of saints. True and pure joy is found near Christ. Nowadays, people build a house around them where they do not want to let anyone in. They do not want to hear anything unpleasant or lose a state of rest. They think only about their material things and how to get it more. People shield themselves from any kind of pain. The lives of saints are an example how we should live and pray. They were not afraid of pain and they had true joy. We should strive for it.

Е.Л. [(3,5) 15,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Undoubtedly I can agree with the quotation of St. Igantius Brianchaninov. We should understand that a prayer is the highest priority in our life. Nothing is more important. Material things are not important in comparison with spiritual things. Our material things, our plans depend on God. We assume something but the Lord arranges it. Nothing depends on us, so we have to thank God with a pure heart for what we have. ‘Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed (Mark 1:35)’. So we see that Jesus found time to pray and it was a place where nobody could disturb Him. That is what we need to learn.

Е.Л. [(3,75) 12]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I suppose in this quotation St Mark of Thrace meant sacrament of the Eucharist. The sacrament gives us peace and joy. This day is different from all the previous ones. This day we are not working but only thanking God that we have reached it. I think this quote should encourage us to think about how we should behave after the sacrament. A lot of books have been written about how we should behave before the sacrament but little has been written about what to do after. It is easier received than preserved. This quotation explains us what we should feel after the sacrament and I agree with it.

Е.Л. [(4) 8,25]

1. Once, long ago, I read somewhere the idea that nowadays living in a flat is like living at a PLACE OF RETREAT: you can live there for ages and get to know nobody. Therefore you do not actually need to WITHDRAW INTO THE FORESTS or INTO THE WILDERNESS to live a truly solitary life.
2. I remember very well how exciting it was to read about the MISSIONARY JOURNEY of St Nicholas to Japan and his life there. It was amazing to get to know how much he studied to actually INITIATE his MISSIONARY WORK there, to translate the Gospel and the SERVICE BOOKS into the Japanese language and to begin TAKING SERVICES in that language. And he was the first who was CONSECRATED AS ARCHBISHOP of Japan.
3. And it is interesting that the first person whom St Nicholas converted into the Christianity was a Shinto priest who came to kill the saint because he was sure that this new religion was SERVING THE ENDS OF the Russian NATIONAL POLITICS and was introduced to his country to destroy it.
4. It is actually a question whether the ALLUREMENTS AND PLEASURES OF THIS WORLD are actually strengthening and growing as the time passes. Perhaps this is only what we are trying to convince ourselves of, while the outer circumstances and, more importantly, Jesus Christ Himself remain actually the same.
5. I got used to seeing the CRESCENT because in my hometown I live near a mosque and I passed it on my way to school.
6. For a long time I lived among MOSLEM people but all of them were very kind to me. However, some of my friends had to UNDERGO PERSECUTIONS.
7. I always see a PASTORAL STAFF standing to the right of the Royal Doors at the Donskoy Monastery.
8. Recently I heard about a trend among European celebrities to APOSTATIZE TO ISLAM.
9. I hope very much that soon the PATRIARCHAL THRONE of the Ecumenical Church will become vacant and somebody a bit more Orthodox will be elected.
10. I like the following bishop’s blessing of his FLOCK very much: “Look from the Heaven, God, and see and come to your grapes and make them strong those who were planted by Your hand”.
11. The example of martyrs who SUFFERED VIOLENT DEATHS but remained firm is very inspiring.
12. The times of the greatest difficulties turn out be the most blessful and BENEFICIAL in the end.

М.З. [(8,5) 15]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote can be divided into two parts: the first part about “awakening to struggle” and the second part about “reading saints’ vita with reverence”.
I quite agree with the first part and I have experienced it many times. After reading lives of those whose motto was “give blood, receive the Spirit” you are actually becoming much more inspired and somehow gain power to struggle.
But I have never heard about the idea which is expressed in the second part of this quote. I have heard about “reading The Gospel like a prayer” and this very idea can be found in the prayers before and after reading the Gospel at home, but I have never heard that the very act of reading saints’ lives can be compared to a prayer to them. To my mind, it may have to do with reading of akathists because the greater part of them is a reflection upon a particular saint’s life. In my opinion, it is a very interesting idea and I think I will remember it if I happen to read any saint’s life the next time.

М.З. [(4,5) 4,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It is first 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 there 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 up 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 converts 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.Л. [(3,5) 25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote is about the necessity of human sufferings. 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 temptation 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.Л. [(4) 20,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Who is real believer? That is the question. Who has more rights to be called 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 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 for 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.Л. [(4,5) 16,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

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 being. A relationship with God makes life more actual, more real. Every action and each gesture become highly essential because they are filled with inner meaning when a person leads intense 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 influencethe 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 we make all too often 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 being let the life and truth will be in our every breath.

А.Л. [(3,5) 12]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

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.There 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). There 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 at this moment it is difficult to make the right decisions and keep yourself in hand. The best way out of the situation can be equal distribution of work on 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 any weariness.

А.Л. [(4) 8,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To begin with, many saints acknowledged that human language could 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 speak about essence of humility, he speaks 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 creatures 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 achieve humility in its entirety.

А.Л. [(4,5) 4,5]

1. Sometimes my father feels so upset about the poor state of our church that he wishes ECCLESIASTICAL TITHES to be returned in our modern law, because for him it’s one of the SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF CHRISTIANITY.
2. Now I’m translating my mother’s correspondence with one actor who gave one of his awards to MOUNT ATHOS as a present.
3. As a child I used to think of becoming a nun, even if the RULE OF THE MONASTERY was quite strict.
4. Last year my younger brother discovered that he hadn’t been named after the WARRIOR SAINT George and was quite surprised with this fact.
5. SERGIUS OF RADONEZH is the locally venerated saint in my parish, and since childhood we know his life.
6. The history of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius starts from the moment when Sergius of Radonezh WITHDREW INTO THE FOREST, found a PLACE OF RETREAT and FOUNDED A HERMITAGE, which through centuries became one of the most famous Russian monasteries in the world.
7. Learning the Russian history I was always struck by the fact that THE GRAND DUKES OF MOSCOW used to go into the WILDERNESSES to saints to SECURE THEIR BLESSING.
8. The presence of the PASTORAL STAFF in the icons was quite a mystery for me.
9. Yesterday I read an essay where the author mentioned some people WITNESSING to THEIR FAITH, which turned to be APOCATASTATIC.
10. This class helps me to understand the difference between all these heresies, especially GNOSTICISM, PELAGIANISM and MONOPHYSITISM.
11. Before this class I have never heard of ETHNOPHYLETISM, it looked like a racism to me.
12. It’s just terrifying how many saints SUFFERED VIOLENT DEATHS through the whole Church history.
13. As a pupil at school I often heard that THE PARISH CLERGY was such a privileged class which lived off the money of their FLOCKS.
14.There are some sad periods in Russian history when the Church UNDERWENT PERSECUTION, especially during the Soviet period.
15. For a long time words MOSLEM, INFIDEL and pagan were a synonyms for me, because I didn’t really understand the difference.
16. Teachers at our Sunday school find THE PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE GOSPEL during the classes with children.
17. I know a family where all four children were named after the Royal PASSION BEARERS.
18. As I understand the Divine Liturgy can’t be served without THE SACRED VESSELS.
19. During the first year in university we studied lives of some English saints, including ST. ALBAN.
20. In the 13th-14th centuries THE PRINCIPALITY OF MOSCOW was supposed to PAY TRIBUTE to the Golden Horde.

Е.К. [(15) 28,5]

О.Н. [8]

Д.Х. [13]

Е.Л. [4,25]

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