Система Orphus

Religious Vocabulary
texts by students (2)

* graduation year

(Part 1 is here
Part 3 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
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  • Dotted underline: elements not graded for various reasons (e.g. dubious or erroneous statements, vague in meaning).
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  • [(number in parenthesis inside the brackets)]: grades the student has received for this particular post
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  • [numbers in brackets in bold type]: total number of grades students have accumulated throughout the semester (continuous assessment)

4th year of study: Autumn 2019

1 The CHANCEL AREA is the space around the altar which includes the choir and the sanctuary.
2 The ROOD SCREEN has association with the rood which in Old English means “cross” and “crucifixion”.
3 The CREDENCE is a small side table in a church for holding the elements of the Eucharist before they are consecrated.
4 A church PORCH is a room-like structure at a church's main entrance which has an outer door, others a simple gate, and in some cases the outer opening is not closed in any way.
5 It's important to say that the term "MISSAL" is also can be used for books intended for use not by the priest but by others assisting at Mass or the service of worship.
6 PAX ICON a small metal or ivory plate, often with a representation of the Crucifixion. In the past it was used to convey the kiss of peace from the celebrant at Mass to those attending it, who kissed the plate in turn.
7 The priest likes to have three to six altar SERVERS to help them do the Mass in many Catholic churches.
8 The CHASUBLE is the outermost liturgical vestment worn by clergy for the celebration of the Eucharist.
9 An ALB is a full length white linen vestment used at Mass and also it can be the white garment worn by the newly baptized person from Holy Saturday to the Sunday after Easter.
10 It is important to understand that the quest for Solemn Masses is a quest for seriousness and sobriety, not for the somber.
11 A SUNG LITURGY (Missa Cantata) is a Liturgy which is celebrated without sacred ministers.
12 A CONCELEBRANT is one who takes part in a Eucharist or Mass.
13 ACCORDING TO THE ORDO or liturgical calender the Easter is going to be on 12th of the April.
14 A grievous sin is a mortal sin in Catholic theology which can lead to damnation if a person does not repent of the sin before death.
15 During the Lent people are preparing themselves for the EVERLASTING LIFE.

А.К. [(6) 57]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Praise may lead to mental blindness. It’s when we are unable to see our flaws. We should perceive good things in us not because of praise, but of genuine wish to become a better person, a virtuous Christian. Praise is like a kid to Pride, Pride is a mother of all sins. That’s the danger.
But it may also help to encourage ourselves to do well next time again. It’s just unnecessary to tell everyone about it, because people might get jealous or they can use it against us as a weapon to mock or discourage us.

E.З. [(5) 29]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It’s important not to judge anyone but ourselves. Because only we know what is going on in our lives. We have no idea why some people are the way they are. We can easily see flaws of others but fail to notice ours. That happens because we are obsessed with ourselves and most of the time think that we are the right ones. So here is why we should try our best to never offend people or teach them.
If we stick to restraining ourselves, we will be more focused on the innermost. This helps to establish strong relationship with God. The phrase «Glory to God!» is a good affirmation that helps us to express our gratitude to God and accept His will.

E.З. [(4,5) 19,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It’s always been hard to confront temptations. For this is our human nature. There is way more entertainment or rather it has become more accessible. We are not ashamed of many things anymore. We don’t cover up the innermost. Life in big cities contributes to egoism. It’s a huge human race. It’s every man for himself.
The modern world is indeed like a whirlwind. Everything happens way too quickly, so that’s why we don’t succeed to collect ourselves. Human beings are further and further from the Church.
The Archbishop is right. It’s the aim of our enemy. He plays with us. And it’s a tough game.

E.З. [(4,5) 15]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I strongly believe that every person has their own mission to complete, a Divine plan that was mentioned by Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica. So we better find out what is that Divine plan instead of going against God’s will. Because we can’t confront Him, as creation can’t confront their creator. The example of this is the devil. He disobeyed, thus was banished by God.
So instead of asking «Why me?» we should unleash the potential that was given to us from the very beginning. If we rely on Our Father, He will help us and support throughout our lives.

E.З. [(5) 10,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I find this quote of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk to be very poetic and magnificent. For we are all were born to die, but die to live. We have a chance to join the Heavenly Kingdom and it’s our choice to use it. If we do use it, then there is no death to the soul. The death of the flesh in this case is just a door that the righteous open to meet God.
If we live righteously, then this life on the Earth will be just a short phase before the eternity. But though it may be quick, there is a mission from God that awaits each of us. This means we should use our life here up to the fullest for the sake of Our Heavenly Father.

E.З. [(4) 5,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Day and night there is a struggle for the soul of man. We all know the expression "the devil does not sleep." And why? He wants to destroy the person, not to allow him to enter into the Kingdom of God, where he himself cannot get. He does his best to make us farther from God. Man is always spinning in a stream of temptations. We show weakness by succumbing to them, plunging headlong into entertainment and forgetting about more important things. You should be able to hear the voice of your soul through the noise of bustle. It is a very painstaking work that can keep us from being controlled by an evil spirit.

Э.К. [(5) 52]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The power of God is unlimited. We question the will of God because of recreancy, because of weak faith. The Bible tells how Jonah went through a similar ordeal - he questioned the will of God when God commanded him to preach in the city of Nineveh. Jonah knew that the people in that city could not be saved, and there was nothing he could say that would change the situation. Another example from the Bible is the story of Naaman. Naaman did not want to follow God's instruction given to him through the prophet Elisha, to plunge into the river Jordan to be cured of leprosy. The Jordan river was very dirty, and the idea that he could cure his leprosy by plunging into it seemed absurd. These examples show how our reluctance to submit to the will of God stems from our doubts that the Lord knows best and can actually do what He promised. What God has in store for us is better than anything we have planned for ourselves.

Э.К. [(5) 41]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It is rightly said, "faith without works is dead". No matter how many books of Holy Scripture you read, no matter how many quotations from theological textbooks you can repeat by heart - if you do not apply it in your life, then you are empty. We must try to live by the Gospel. It is our precious clue in this life and just knowing will not help us much. It is very difficult for a man to live as the Lord has commanded, because we are everywhere persecuted by temptations. Knowledge puffs a person up, and its application in practice, on the contrary, helps to strengthen faith. We can clearly see this from the examples of the elders who devoted themselves to the ascetic life.

Э.К. [(4,5) 36]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I think this statement of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk is very interesting. Here he says that everything in this life passes, we get older, and that takes us closer to inevitable death. But we, as Orthodox Christians, should not be afraid of death, because, as St. Tikhon says, “we die that we may live.” Of course, he writes about everlasting life, in a place where there will be no more sorrows or sadness. However, a Christian has to work hard in this earthly life to get to Heaven.

А.Т. [(4) 111]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I think that “true knowledge” here refers to the Orthodox faith, and “theoretical knowledge” to any science. I can partly agree with this statement, because I believe that it is necessary for a person to be educated. However, I agree that one must live a righteous life in order to attain “true knowledge.” I believe that the Lord reveals some knowledge to people if they have endurance, try to humble themselves or at least try to do it. Worldly knowledge can often harm a person in the sense that he starts to be proud and consider himself better than other people because of his knowledge.

А.Т. [(4,5) 69]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I absolutely agree with this statement, but I can say that it is very difficult to believe it. People in modern society are used to managing their own lives; they plan their activity for a long time ahead and constantly try to develop themselves. I think it is not easy for people today to understand and accept that Someone else can guide their actions. I think we need to learn to trust God, because He definitely doesn't want to hurt us. And the most important thing is to remember this in the most difficult moment of life and understand that what happened, happened for the best.

А.Т. [(4,5) 64,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can say that I agree with this statement. When we are mired down in daily activities and problems, we do not always remember about God, unfortunately. We constantly postpone prayer or going to church because we are tired or have a lot to do. This is what the Devil wants, so that every day we seek solutions to worldly problems, instead of thinking about our souls. However, we must always remember that we should first do the works of faith and then everything else.

А.Т. [(5) 60]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In general, I can say that praise is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, a person who is praised can very easily become proud and selfish. If a person is praised, he starts to think that he is doing something better than others. On the other hand, praise is often for the benefit of man. This is especially good for a diffident person, because he feels that his efforts are appreciated. However, I think that Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) talks about something else. He says that a person should not praise himself. Otherwise, instead of the purpose of his good deed, he will think of praise and reward. The Lord teaches that if we do not receive a reward here on earth, then we will be rewarded in Heaven. No need to praise yourself for a good deed, because good work should not be done for the sake of reward, but in all sincerity.

А.Т. [(5) 55]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Of course, in theory it should work. However, I believe that in practice this is unattainable. In our modern society, it is impossible to treat everyone with kindness - there will always be people who will annoy us. In order not to offend anyone, we also need to make a lot of effort, because we can involuntarily offend a person by our careless words. I don't quite agree with Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev)'s statement, “Never teach.” When your neighbour makes a mistake, will you be silent? We teach our loved ones or just friends so that they do not repeat mistakes and become better. Nevertheless, I absolutely agree that we should always try to restrain ourselves. In anger we will achieve nothing, we can just hurt ourselves and other people.

А.Т. [(5) 50]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can say that this statement is very unusual because it can be viewed from different perspectives. On the one hand, it can be said that the monks constantly pray and make prostrations; hence they “fall and get up.” On the other hand, the monk's answer can be considered as a metaphor. In the monastery, the monks are constantly struggling with the passions and temptations that torment them. And a monk, like any man, does not always succeed. Thus he “falls and gets up” in a spiritual sense. Human life is a constant struggle between good and evil, and if a man "fell", then he should not despair, but should "get up" and go ahead.

А.Т. [(5) 45]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In fact, I can say that I completely agree with the opinion of the Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt. Sometimes we become so irritated that we can offend people around us. In this case, it is very difficult to get a grip and calm down. St. John of Kronstadt says that in such situations “it is the very time for endurance.” Indeed, when you are angry and annoyed, the best solution is to humble yourself and let it go than to let the evil take root in your heart.

А.Т. [(5) 40]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I share the opinion of Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg. When you succeed in something, it is much better to keep silent than tell about it to people in the hope of hearing praise. Of course, each of us wants to hear pleasant words. We want to feel our importance. However, praise can have a negative effect on us. We can start to be proud of ourselves and forget that all in our life happens by the grace of God. Our success is largely the merit of God, and consequently we should always be grateful to Him. It is also better to destroy the desire of praise, because other people might envy you, so you should be careful not to tempt your neighbour.

М.Ч. [(5) 80]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

These words can be interpreted in different ways. The first is that a monk’s life consists in a constant prayer: they fall and get up, fall and get up, fall and get up again. They remove themselves from the bustle of this world into a monastery to be in incessant and close communion with God. Here all their thoughts and deeds are focused on Him. The second is that monks, even despite the fact that they are more superior in their spiritual development, have the same sinful nature as lay people. They also fall and get up, fall and get up again as all humans making mistakes. But when they commit a sin, they repent and pray, they do not give up in the fight against sins and ask God for help to avoid doing bad things. This struggle with sinful nature is a good example for us.

М.Ч. [(4,5) 52]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The main reason of anger and irritability is pride which is considered the most dangerous sinful passion. Pride is a source of many vices therefore we should fight against it with special diligence. A soul of a proud person is so sick with their own self-love that if something does not meet their expectations they are upset and begin to get angry at others. Such people are touchy and cannot bear a single, rough, harsh word because they love themselves and strive to be better than others. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt also says that they cannot endure any spiritual or material obstacles. I think it happens because they hope to cope with their difficulties themselves, without God’s help or a neighbour’s help. They believe that they are greater and smarter than other people and do not need any advice. But it is obviously not true. We are all so sinful, that is why we should be grateful to God that He still continues to love us and care for the salvation of our souls. We should to be patient to fight against pride. It requires a lot of time and labour.

М.Ч. [(4) 47,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Our earthly life is fleeting. It is like a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing away. Unfortunately, most of us often pay attention to such things that are actually not as important as might seem. Modern people worry about abortive plans, problems with study and work, about what others think about them and so on and so forth, but we torment ourselves with these things in vain. We are in a constant race for a comfortable life, but do we need it to be really happy? First of all, we should take care of our souls. We should prepare ourselves for the afterlife. St. Tikhon of Zadonsk says: ‘I was born in order to die. I die that I may live.’ We were all born to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but we should remember that not everyone will be able to do it. Only those who truly love God will inherit eternal life.

М.Ч. [(5) 43,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I absolutely agree with Elder Thaddeus (Strabulovich) of Vitovnica: ‘God has a Divine plan for each one of us, and we must submit to His plan.’ We should try to accept the life as it is given to us by God and not ask ‘Why do all these bad things happen to me?’. God is everlasting love. He wants our souls to be saved. We are often blind and do not know what is soul-saving for us. We should not say ‘Why me?’ but ‘What is that for?’. Perhaps, we have gone the wrong way, and God is trying to get through to us.

М.Ч. [(4,5) 38,5]

Unfortunately from time to time the Christian world got into situations when AUTOCEPHALOUS Churches lead their parishioners to FALL INTO HERESY, and there’s nothing anybody can do with it.
Many characters from PROPHETICAL BOOKS are not to blame of LAPSING INTO HERESY just because they might be spiritually blind until the coming of Christ.
It is considered that for an Orthodox Christian there should be no CONCESSIONS TO HUMAN WEAKNESS, because their labour, demonstration of spiritual patience and love of God as KEEPING THE FASTS stand above earthly weaknesses.
We often face the problem of RIGOROUS OBSERVANCES asking ourselves about the necessity of strong restrictions, but there’s no need, for example, to take over THE AUSTERITY OF THE FASTS, if there’s no love to God in your actions.
Orthodox RITUAL ACTIONS consist of many important aspects such as obligatory presence of SERVICE BOOKS or specific arrangement of church attributes.
It was appeared that in Stuart’s reign thousands of Protestants were BURNT AT THE STAKES just because of THE SYMBOLIC GESTURES WHEREBY THE INNER BELIEF OF A CHRISTIAN WAS EXPRESSED.
PASSION SUNDAY, which is the fifth Sunday of Lent, includes sprinkling of the laity after reading of THE ANTIPHON.
Many Greek traditions influenced historically on Russian national customs such as DYARCHY in the Kievan period.
Long time ago Christians used THE TWO-FINGER SIGN OF THE CROSS, each finger representing one of the natures of Christ – fully God and fully Man, but now the three-finger sign is an integral part of THE EXTERNALS OF WORSHIP.
As the story goes the long era of THE MOSCOW TSARDOM was replaced by a new revolutionary SYNODICAL PERIOD with its close relationships with Europe.
One of the most influential aspects in the issue of STANDARDS OF SCHOLARSHIP is undoubtedly interconnected and CORPORATE activity within certain societies.
If you consider yourself a true Christian, you should beware of PIETISM, otherwise it will lead you astray.
ASCETICISM is not only a way of living in SECLUSION, but also of achieving so-called spiritual senses or goals.
It seems that it’s not necessary to spend A THOUSAND SUCCESSIVE NIGHTS IN CONTINUAL PRAYER, if someone wants to reach out to God and make your pleas be answered, but also some enlightening situations can help you obtain REVERENT AWE.
The truth is that THE MONASTIC REVIVAL set a truly different mood in the whole peoples’ lives, so that time let the relief for THE EXCOMMUNICATED to come.
As nowadays many Orthodox Christians are doing CHARITABLE WORK, people can take an example and lead themselves towards THE SPIRITUAL DIRECTION.
George Abbot was one of the best known LAY THEOLOGIANS and wasn’t ORTHODOX, but a Puritan, who took part in the work of the House of Commons.
Many linguists had had some DELIBERATIONS about Latin-borrowed words and then have placed them into the group called LATINISM.

М.К. [(15) 36]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

There are many different sins and temptations around. Around the modern man there are a lot of opportunities and pleasures. They are literally at hand. However, it is not always possible to consider entertainment a product of the devil. It seems to me wrong to say that the Church often believes that the devil is always trying to spoil our way to eternal life. Often the very fasting and abstinence is the primary destroyer of our soul. Condemning people around who do not fast or do something wrong is a major sin. The absence of any joy in the long period is also harmful to the person. Not everyone can control their thoughts and desires. Sometimes there is more sin in the thoughts than in the process. Therefore, I do not fully agree with this statement. However, this does not mean that at the first call of the flesh during fasting, it is necessary to make yourself relaxed.

А.К. [(5) 45]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In discussing this subject, I have read many opinions of priests. So I have come to the conclusion that most people do not succeed in so-called missionary teaching. Many do not reach the point where they are able to convince a person that he should follow Christ. Everyone has their own talents and abilities and it is not necessary to do in what you clearly do not succeed. This means that each person has his own history, his own path, his own destiny. This does not diminish the importance of man, just his mission on this earth is different. I found an interesting opinion on this topic. First, set a number of questions that will help to reveal the topic. Do we Christians always behave correctly? Should we talk about God in the circle of our non-Church relatives? How to react to their comments and discontent? How true is the desire to involve those who live near you in the Church life?
Reasoning on this subject it is necessary to understand that if we are talking about your closest people, they will not believe you. Christ himself in the gospel says: There is no prophet in his country. He could not work miracles in the places where he was born and raised, because people said, "Isn't this the carpenter's son that we all know? What a Messiah he is!". The main thing is not to oppose yourself to your loved ones, not to become their opponent. It's the easiest thing to oppose, but what do you get as a result? Conflict.
After all, Christianity is when you sincerely love your loved ones, despite their rejection of your faith, respect them. And because of the desire to fit all under one bar, to reduce life to a certain set of rules can lead to bad consequences. In life, there is bound to be a break in such a pattern, something will certainly break out of your correct scheme. However, I do not believe that we offend God in this way. Rather we need a precise formulation: we commit sin precisely by our actions and thoughts during our disputes. So God is offended because of that.

А.К. [(5) 40]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with this statement. We have everything for life. But in these words there is a lit bit of utopia. I mean that this self work between people can be in case of strong desire to do it. There are plenty of families which do not raise in their children any moral characteristics. Parents create only the appearance of honesty. Often the basis of moral education are only words, but the examples of actions are absent. The starting point of the spiritual life usually is launched by the driving force of love. So first of all the person needs love. God is love. We need God in our hearts. We need strength to prepare our hearts for that.

А.К. [(4) 35]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote sounds quite wise and Christian. However, I dispute this statement.
Everyone has a healthy desire to achieve some goal. This can be the creation of a happy family, achievements in work or study, obtaining material benefits.
 In order to achieve this goal you need self-confidence and understanding that you can get what you want. We live in the material world and often a person needs huge energy forces in order to achieve something. Someone already has a family and it needs to be supported financially. In addition to the material aspect, you need love that sincerely comes from within. How can it come from a heart that is engaged in self-flagellation? The man who thinks himself the worst can rarely achieve high goals, because in the end his own state of lowness will destroy him. This is how human psychology works.
Perhaps this method is suitable for people who do not have a lot of responsibility. For people who have a lot of time to think. In the secular world, this is almost impossible. Often, on the contrary, people suffer from a sense of their own insignificance. And humility has nothing to do with it.

А.К. [(5) 31]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

My opinion about this statement is quite twofold. On the one hand, it's true. Often we become unjust to others. Our spirit becomes irritable for no reason and becomes uncontrollable. Often these are the consequences of our own pride. However, it is important to notice that some quarrels are not our fault. It is necessary to distinguish between your own guilt and bad deeds towards you. If you forgive this, it can lead to a worse result. The other person has forgotten how to see you as a person. This man will lose respect for you. By this humility you will lose your own sense of dignity and this can lead another person to sin.

А.К. [(5) 26]

1. Altar SERVER is a helper to the clergy during the Liturgy.
2. The most significant VESTING is at the Last Liturgy of the Lent, when the clergy are changing dark garments into the light.
3. The most relieving part of the confession is the covering of the head by the STOLE.
4. During the celebration of the Eucharist the CHASUBLE is the outermost liturgical vestment worn by clergy.
5. During the wedding our CELEBRANT was the rector of the parish.
6. After the reading of the Gospel came the ASPERSION with trice Holy Hymn.
7. ACCORDING TO THE ORDO or liturgical calender the Easter is going to be on 12th of the April.
8. A CONCELEBRANT is one who takes part in the Eucharist or Mass.
10. People have a free access to the opportunity to WORSHIP Sunday by Sunday in his parish church.
11. Orthodox WORK OF DEVOTION is similar in its structure to the Catholic, but in fact they are absolutely different.
12. During the nineteenth century in Russia there was a SPIRITUAL REVIVAL.
13. After the the collapse of the Soviet Union the country had a SPIRITUAL REAWAKENING.
14. The recent lectures of history gave the reason for the fact that people think: religion is a weapon in the hand of the government. In the eighteenth century all the actions in the church were written in a special book and given to the secret police. It was told about every person and their Confession (permission for the Communion), so many officials COMMUNICATED only one or few times a year to prove their purity of conscience before the state.

А.К. [(5) 21]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I find this quote really interesting and I like how logical it is. If even worldly writings can be profitable for us “as a citizen and a member of a family” and even as a Christian, so, how useful it will be to read God-inspired Scriptures.
However, I find the last line a bit controversial: “for it would be sinful for a Christian, who reads worldly writings, not to read divinely-inspired ones.” Here the logical question arises – if you don`t read worldly things, so you don`t have to read the Bible and other divinely-inspired books? I don`t think so.
Whatever we read or not read we should read the Bible, at least just to hear the words of God, which we definitely need if we want to lead a righteous life.

В.Г. [(5) 78]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

We all are children of God. And if God is good, we have the potential for good. We are children of light and we should go all this difficult and long way to the Source of Light, our God.
God loves us whatever we do. He waits for us wherever we are. And He is ready to meet us and to help us whenever we want to be with Him. We are prodigal sons and we should not be afraid of being rejected by our Father. We should all remember that He is waiting for us, and love Him back.

В.Г. [(5) 58]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It is interesting that usually we are taught to be meek and that meekness is a virtue. But definitely not in this case.
People usually tend to protect what they love, what they believe in. And when it comes to sacred things, we should protect them as well.
But is it always possible? Are we allowed to get angry and judge others? Are we allowed to commit some sins in order to protect the divine? Or can God protect Himself without our “help”? I find it difficult to answer these questions. Of course, we have the examples of Nicolas the Wonderworker and Cyril of Alexandria who could get mad because of reviling holy things, but should we?
I would like to act gently and carefully not to make the situation worse. I prefer to ask people to stop and think about what they are doing. I think the best that Christians can do is set an example.

В.Г. [(5) 53]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Faith is not a matter of facts, knowledge and experiments. All that matters is your personal faith in Christ, our God.
And as we know God speaks through the Church. We can see the evidence of this in The Acts of Apostles: Peter, the supreme apostle, obeyed the decision of the Church`s council. What is it if not the proof of the quote?
God is somehow knowable (as far as He wants to be knowable), and on the Theology module we were told that we should try to know God (through the Bible, through observation of the surrounding world, etc.). But it is not as important as faith and obedience to the Church.

В.Г. [(5) 48]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Humility is definitely one of the most important qualities of a Christian. It is taught to all of us and it's difficult to argue with.
But I personally don't like the way we are suggested to achieve it. I am convinced that a person should love himself and should not compare himself to others. All those comparisons destroy a person, destroy his personality.
We were told to love our neighbors as ourselves. So, it is obvious that we should (and even must) love ourselves. In the modern world there are so many mental problems among people. One of the reasons for these problems is that modern people see too many other people and their lives (for example, on the internet) and compare themselves to it. It is just impossible to live in constant misery.
If you are the worst, why would God save you? People need hope, people need love, people need to feel worthy. So, I am convinced that it is not the best and it is rather dangerous way to attain humility.

В.Г. [(5) 43]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote I find really useful. There are some good pieces of advice. "Strive never to offend anyone." First of all, we have no right to hurt other people, physically or mentally/emotionally. They are different people who we have no right even to touch or do anything without their permission.
"Never grow angry." Well, when you are angry you can hurt others, which is prohibited. Moreover, anger is the feeling that can destroy not only things and people around you, but you as well. It's a really negative and destructive feeling.
"Never teach." I just love this advice so much, I don`t even need to comment on it. Glorify God. I suppose it's an important thing a lot of people often forget to do. But praising and thanking God may be useful, positive and calming experience. God knows what we need and gives it, and we should be thankful no matter what.

В.Г. [(5) 38]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This quote represents the way of life in our world, not only that of human beings, but of all creatures and nature as well.
All in this world falls and gets up, falls asleep and then wakes up, gets ill and recovers, dies and is born (I don't mean “reincarnation”, but maybe even it may work in the Nature, I don't know). The Nature represents this idea: seasons, days and nights, etc.
And it all can be in a direct or figurative way. We, people, have the great potential for both good and bad.
Monks are still people. Yes, they have abandoned all the earthly things and have made a choice for life in God, but that doesn't change their nature. So, they live like all the other people - fall and get up, fall and get up again.

В.Г. [(4,5) 33]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I find this quote rather strange. On the one hand, it's right and it's difficult to argue with this. But as I see it, the river as a symbol of transience of life is not perfect. I agree with the idea, but I don't like the way it's expressed.
The author of the quote gives us this picture of the river, even with some rubbish, that is passing by in vain, as it seems. And all the years of your life are passing by as well.
Well, I don't agree. I'd like to say that the river is beautiful. And watching it flow can make people calm and peaceful, which is good. The same is with our life, we shouldn't just watch it go away.
Secondly, I don't like the phrase "I was born in order to die". Yes, we are all people and we all will die eventually. But we are born in order to live forever. Why should we put emphasis on the fact of death?

В.Г. [(5) 28,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I can partly agree with the statement.
First of all, I would like to say that there's may be difference in terminology. What is this theoretical knowledge that will puff a man up? Are we in the modern world into theoretical knowledge? I suppose we hanker for more practical knowledge that we can immediately use for our benefit, don't we?
As for the topic, the idea of asceticism is pretty common in the area of knowledge. A lot of ancient philosophers claimed the same. And it sounds pretty logical: for the purpose of knowledge it can be useful to withdraw, to be closer to Nature and observe.
If we speak about Christian knowledge, it's even more like this. In order to know God we should leave all the earthly things behind.

В.Г. [(4,5) 23,5]

1. My brothers used to be MINISTERS in a small church in my grandmother`s town.
2. I love to hear HYMNS sung on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
3. I like it when THE ASPERSION is at the end of the service simultaneously with kissing the cross.
4. Smells make me sick, so I don`t like THURIBLES and try to stay as far from A MINISTER OF INCENSE as I can.

В.Г. [(2,5) 19]

1) When I come to the church and learn there will be no Communion, I remember Saint John of Kronstadt who, as we were told at university, was for FREQUENT COMMUNION. In such cases I can't understand why do THE PARISH CLERGY allows it. I really believe this is the most important event in the life of any Christian, as it leads to our SALVATION.
2) I still remember a RELIGIOUS PROCESSION in the church of the Holy Sepulchre. There were a lot of priests wearing FULL VESTMENTS. Some of them carried BANNERS. And the funny thing was that we couldn't find there the Pope, as he was much smaller.

M.O. [(3) 121]

1) A priest in any Orthodox Church doesn't need a PULPIT to PREACH A SERMON, he usually just stands on the AMBO.
2) When I came closer to the SOLEA, I saw a priest going into the altar, coming to the CREDENCE TABLE and placing veiled GIFTS on the CORPORAL.
3) It was time of COMMEMORATION of the INCARNATION when I came into the church and heard SEASONAL PRAYERS and SALUTATIONS which were CHANTED before THE COLLECT.
4) The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY is one of the issues which separates us from Roman Catholics.
5) THE LENT is the period of successive PENITENTIAL DAYS, it's time for PENITENCE, which means, according to words of a hieromonk Pimen (Kheladze), changing of our internal state and our life.
6) When the choir pronounced "GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST" I looked at a VOTIVE LAMP and the flames of the fire shuddered at the same time as my heart.

M.O. [(9) 107]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Every quote like this makes me think about my sinfulness and pushes for changes. And this is the value of spiritual literature: you read about other people, but unwittingly think about your own life and see real way of changing yourself.
But personally I neglect reading it. This is one of the hardest things in our Christian life - not to read, but to start reading these special, divinely-inspired books. It's easy to start reading magazines - we see them everywhere: in shops or on the internet. But why does it happen? I suppose, that such books require spiritual work while reading. It's difficult to open it in the subway or when you are in a hurry on the way to your university. You need to calm down, to prepare somehow, to adjust yourself. And it seems unreal when you are captured by bustling and all the thoughts and plans you have in mind. But is it possible to live this way always? Sometimes we need to forget about worldly life and make time for the other part of our soul. And if we do, we see another side of the world, another attitude to life.

M.O. [(4,5) 98]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To my mind, this statement is wonderful! One part of says that we all are sons of God, His children, we are all close to Him and to each other. We should remember that He is our Father, listen and follow Him. The second part is about light, about His mercy, grace and generosity. It means that the closer we are to Him, the more kindness we have in our life.
Sometimes I notice that there are more and more irritation and injustice in my life. I feel that everything goes wrong and like I'm at a dead end. Then, I call my mother, tell her about it with all the details and she asks me: "When was the last time you were in the church?" In other words, she asks, how long have I been out of touch with our Father. And this realization changes everything. The reason for my problems was that I lived without feeling His light because of the lack of attention and my deafness, having forgotten its warmth and softness, but still not having lost it, as we also are children of light. The light is always in us and we always have a spark, a hope for forgiveness and absolution. So, when our Father calls us we should come to Him through our weakness and sinfulness, as He is the closest, the kindest, loving, forgiving everything.

M.O. [(4,5) 93,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The fact that people abuse and revile holy and sacred things makes me shocked. We speak a lot about the right of each person to choose a particular religion and at the same time people continue to destroy things which are valuable for others and think that they can do it without consequences. It's great that there are people who can fight for their faith, for everything that connected with their beliefs.
But what about me... I don't know, maybe I am not so strong and confident now. I'm not ready to come out with protests on the street and demand to stop doing such things. I'd better go to church and pray silently. And I'm not sure if it is right or wrong. Maybe it's also because of my age or the problem is in my temperament. I still think there are different ways to solve various problems. Anyway, I'm not meek in such things. I discuss these events with my family and friends, I can write a post on the internet, but I am not an activist, and I hope this is not the reason to call my behavior demonic...
What's more, sometimes I look at such catastrophic situations as at provocation. Yes, they provoke us to condemnation and anger. They do it to hurt believers, to prove they are right, because they don't have other arguments. And can we do anything good in such state of irritation and offence? I don't think so.

M.O. [(4,5) 89]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with this statement, but I still want to make some comments. I suppose that those Christians who were baptized in their early childhood understand the words of protopresbyter Theodore Zissis. But what about those who are not Christians now and are in spiritual search?
One of my friends was a Moslem two years ago. When I asked him why he decided to become a Christian, he told me about books about Christianity he read. He read and read, identified differences between all the religions and then came up to the truth. He said, he felt the message from God and even saw a sign while reading the Gospel. He rewrote a lot of quotes from two epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians and to the Corinthians, tried to live following his pieces of advice and then, he noticed great changes in his life. Here I see the importance of learning, reading Holy Scripture which can save us from falling into heresy and lead us to the truth.
I firmly believe, faith is humble obedience to "the timeless and eternal truth of the Church". But knowledge is also very important, although it can't be full, it's limited. We always have a lot of questions connected with religion, but not all of them can be answered, and everything we can lean on in such cases is our faith, our love and trust in God.

M.O. [(4,5) 84,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Well, maybe I don't have humility at all, but I can't agree with such formulation of words. I don't think that we should always acknowledge others as being better than ourselves and that this is the key. The idea is that we shouldn't think about ourselves as being better than others. Egoism and arrogance - these are the main things which don't let us humble ourselves. But humility and humiliation are absolutely different things. And if you humiliate yourself by comparing yourself to others, you degrade your self-esteem, which can lead to psychological problems, and neglect of what God has given to your personality.
Every person is a special person. Each of us can become a professional in any sphere and be better than others. And that's okey. And humility has nothing to do with it. It's just the matter of not overestimating yourself.
As a child, I often took part in dance competitions. It was an integral part of my life. If I won, I wasn't proud of it. I just enjoyed the process. If I did not take the 1st place, but, for example, the second, I did not necessarily think that I was worse than the girl who received the gold medal. I was happy anyway and just kept doing my job. But one day we went to the competition in the city of Orel. We prepared for the competition very hard and for a long time. Girls and boys of our school were all very good dancers. But none of us took honorable places. All medals were received by children from Orel. And it was absolutely unfair, because we were really stronger than our rivals. We never took part in this competition again after that. We were very angry and just went away. We didn't make a conflict and didn't write letters with complaints, although to this day we remember this contest as one of the most dishonest. But we never for a moment doubted our abilities. We adequately and objectively evaluated ourselves and other dancers according to certain dance rules. We chose other competitions where we gained what we deserved.
Here I should add that if a person thinks that he's worse than others, he won't achieve anything in this life. I see here this fine line between self-confidence and haughtiness. And this is the most difficult thing for anyone - to feel it, to believe in ourselves and appreciate all the qualities which God gave us, to be grateful to Him for our talents, but not to rise above the others; not to humiliate people around, while not humiliating yourself. And the key to humility, as one priest said to me, is unceasing prayer. Only in this state you can see the truth and understand where it's your fault and where you did everything that depended on you, using your unique qualities and talents.

M.O. [(4) 80]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I partly agree with these words. Of course, people tend to buy more and more goods to make their life more comfortable and thinking about their physical comfort forget about spiritual things. They waste their money and don't think about those around them who really need it. Sometimes we all do this, but personally I and members of my family do it in a different way.
We can buy, in someone's opinion, useless things that can bring us, for example, aesthetic pleasure, which is, as we all admit, very important for the psychological state of any person. We often present such things to each other, according to our preferences. For example, my grandmother loves houseplants. She spends money on these flowers and flowerpots, takes care of them, waters and even talks to them. And thanks to this she never feels loneliness when we are not near. My mother and I love cosmetics and different things for the interior. And these interests unite us more and more when we go shopping. And I don't think it's bad or sinful. If we have a material opportunity, we add such joy to our life and to lives of each other, and after that we go to the church together, request Thanksgiving Service, and thank God for everything.

M.O. [(4,75) 76]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Metropolitan Gregory is really right, talking about praise. Some people after making something good often set themselves as an example and want others to realize their heroism and significance. And I think, sometimes this is typical of all of us. But do we do good deeds for praise?
Feats must be done quietly, as we do them to help other people, but not to become famous or glorious. And it is important to distinguish between these things. I think that our aim in this case should be selfless. And we shouldn't do it once, we should do it more often, to make it an essential part of our everyday life. And when we get used to being praised and to experiencing this pleasant feeling, in other words, after falling into sins, it's not so easy to do something good again without looking for benefits and gain for ourselves.

M.O. [(5) 71,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk is absolutely right. And this is one of the major and widespread problems in our society. It is excessively difficult to restrain oneself and not to express your anger when you are angry or irritation when you are irritated, especially when there are so many reasons for this!
I even can't remember all the situations when I was resentful or indignant! So many trips and events were delayed, so many meetings never happened. But God works in His mysterious ways and you often come to this understanding too late, after you have already hurt somebody. And only after a while you realise that everything has meaning and it's better to wait, to keep silence, to endure and accept everything with gratitude, to trust God as your perseverance in prayers may lead to better things in your life.

M.O. [(4,5) 66,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Before writing this essay I reread the quote of Tito Colliander about seven times. And in one moment incomprehension turned to rapture. I realised that the answer of a monk is too short, but really laconic and informative and consists of two important verbs: "fall" and "get up". This is the true way of a Christian, who doesn't stop his spiritual way after falling. As St. Matthew wrote, "he who endures to the end will be saved" (Matt.10:22).
I thought of something else connected with the real spiritual Christian life, especially in monasteries. When I was in the Meteora Monasteries, we were told a story about those monks who lived there long ago and to get some water had to descend in a small barrel attached to a rope into a huge abyss. Every descent could be the last, but they trusted to God and were in unstoppable prayer. So, they did it without any doubt, again and again, risking their lives and trusting God completely. And during this literal, physical descent they were getting up spiritually. They felt their mission, needed to drink and to cook something for living and didn't stop their unceasing service to God. And even if they "fell", committing sins, feeling fear and being in despair, they tried to get up, praying and glorifying His Name.

M.O. [(4,5) 61,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

First of all, I should say, I agree with the statement of John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt. Personally I am a very impulsive and emotional person, and every time a make the tone of my voice higher during a conversation, I realize, that there is something suspicious and evil in it. You simply can't be angry in your words and kind in your heart at the same time, so, in such moments the Devil is really somewhere near. Sometimes I even can't control it, although I feel this strange vibration inside of me. I often repent of this loss of self-control and that I don't like when others don't agree with me because I think everything I say is absolute truth! Isn't it ridiculous?
I especially agree that this happens because of our self-love and, as I see it, spiritual deafness. And I repent of these things, not of my emotionality. I repent of infrequent prayer and forgetting of God, because, I believe, when a person is irritated, the best way to stop it is to pray mentally and to ask God for help and deliverance from bad feelings and thoughts. We should say silently: "God, give me patience and humility". Only after it you are able to realise that there is no reason for irritation and you don't want to hurt anyone. When you remember His Name, the Devil loses His power over you and love replaces irritation.

M.O. [(4,5) 57,25]

1) CONFESSION isn't easy at all, but then, after receiving THE ABSOLUTION by a priest, who asks God to PARDON your SINS and bring to you EVERLASTING LIFE, ALLEVIATION OF the SOUL comes.
3) When I entered the church THE CHOIR was INTONING the ANTIPHON.

M.O. [(5) 52,75]

1) Now I realize that I often say PRAYERS TO THE SAINTS and forget about saying PRAYERS FOR THE DEAD.
2) All the Christians can become partakers of THE DIVINE NATURE. This is called DEIFICATION.
3) God REVEALS Himself through his energies, but by nature He is unknowable.
4) During SEPTUAGESIMA Christians remember the PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON.
5) When THE MASS OF THE CATECHUMENS is performed, people who are preparing to RECEIVE HOLY BAPTISM or who have been suspended from receiving Holy Communion for GRIEVOUS SINS can be present.

M.O. [(5) 47,75]

1) A SPRINKLER is not a simple brush and when I see it in the hand of a priest, I understand the ASPERSION is going to happen.
2) As I understood it, a COPE is put on the shoulders and a CHASUBLE is without a cut and is put on over the head.
3) Today the wedding ceremony is separated from the NUPTIAL LITURGY.
4) I remember the day when there were a lot of Jews on the square near to a SYNAGOGUE in Jerusalem. Then I realized it was THE SABBATH DAY.

M.O. [(3,5) 42,75]

1) I feel RAPTURE when I see my SPIRITUAL FATHER at the meetings of our parish in Lipetsk. We usually discuss different things, for instance, the role of KEEPING THE FASTS, its AUSTERITY or propriety of making CONCESSIONS TO HUMAN WEAKNESS. He is a very wise man who can always DEFUSE the situation in cases of arguments and PLACATE someone who starts them. He often reminds us that we should be careful with our words, try not to LAPSE INTO HERESY, TO CONTINUE IN HIS KINDNESS and remember about FEAR AND TREMBLING which are of great importance for our salvation. He answers all the questions and his SPIRITUAL DIRECTION helps us to come to some confusions.
2) I can't imagine how some people spend years in SECLUSION and agree to be DETACHED FROM THE WORLD not to think in A WORLDLY WAY and not to become ABSORBED IN WORLDLY CONCERNS.
3) THE SIGN OF THE CROSS is a SYMBOLIC GESTURE when we SIGN OURSELVES FROM FOREHEAD TO BREAST which helps us to express our INNER BELIEF, but it's better not to overdo it not to loose the sense of it.
4) When I came into a church I saw the daughter of a PARISH PRIEST with REVERENT AWE in her eyes, praying in front of the CHANCEL SCREEN.
5) My friend often ORGANIZES CHARITABLE WORK, says that ALMSGIVING is very important and always tries to CARE FOR THE SICK AND POOR.
6) Recently, my friend, an ex-INFIDEL, CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY. When I asked him about this unexpected event of his life, he explained that he read a lot of books which stimulated such SPIRITUAL REVIVAL and REAWAKENING. Then, after a month, he COMMUNICATED for the first time.
7) I remember how CELEBRANTS during the Liturgy in Greece read THREE-FOLD "KYRIE ELEISON" and we all made PROFOUND BOWS. Then, a MINISTER OF INCENSE went around the church with his THURIBLE and we felt the scent of OLIBANUM.
8) We should PUT OUR TRUST IN GOD, but we still must make an effort, follow His COMMANDMENTS, WORSHIP and MAGNIFY His Name.
9) I remember how our PILGRIM group was reading PREPARATORY PRAYERS FOR HOLY COMMUNION in front of the doors of the church of the Holy SEPULCHRE in Jerusalem at night as we were blessed to partake in SOLEMN LITURGY.
10) I noticed that the question of PREDESTINATION somehow appears in our conversations with friends.

M.O. [(21) 39,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

First of all, I want to say that I fully agree with the opinion of St. Paisios of Mount Athos. The Lord said, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:24). I think the richer a man is, the colder his heart is. Most often, when a man needs nothing, he ceases to pay attention to the needs of other people. It is very interesting that Saint Paisios mentioned that people who buy a large number of goods have many problems. I think it's about spiritual problems, because these people live well, but their souls suffer. We cannot be selfish and think only of ourselves. We must remember that if we do not thank the Lord for what He gives us, we will be punished. And if we do not help our neighbours, the Lord will also turn away from us.

А.Т. [(5) 35]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

From my point of view, it is very difficult for a person to humble himself. There are so many temptations in life; so many times you want to scold another person for something. Very often we want people who have offended us to be punished. When we forgive people for evil acts towards us, we show love. But what is humility? I really liked the answer of St. Sisoes the Great to this question, "to learn to acknowledge every man as being better than himself."
Unfortunately, people prone to compare themselves with each other. This situation is especially noticeable in modern society, where people are constantly striving to surpass their competitors and achieve success in life. People do their best to be better than their neighbours. In this case, it is really very easy to forget about humility. It is one thing when you recognize your friend, colleague or competitor better than yourself, but it is quite another thing when you have to acknowledge every person better than yourself. Nevertheless, I think it's achievable. We have to pray and try to be kinder to other people, and respect them, and then God will help us.

А.Т. [(5) 30]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In fact, I don't quite understand what Protopresbyter Theodore means by “prevailing knowledge”. If he says that it is better to rely not on science trying to explain the truth of faith, but on the dogmas of the Church, in this case I fully agree with his opinion. I think that the human mind can not understand all these divine things, so it is pointless to explain them scientifically. The Holy Fathers in their writings clarified many incomprehensible questions regarding faith. We can use their writings to better understand doctrinal truths.

А.Т. [(4,5) 25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It is needless to say that we are constantly distracted from contemplation of our soul. We work, then we want to relax, then we have a lot of household chores to do and plenty of other cares. Archbishop Averky states that the devil is in charge of it.
To start with, it is the enemy of the human race's job to keep us busy with earthly concerns and draw us and our mind away from being mindful of God and of our salvation. However, we must resist its pressure and no matter what stay praying and devoting time to God.
Summing up, we must withstand devil's tricks to occupy our attention and stay firmly with God.

M.A. [(5) 122]

1. It is the ADVENT now, so we should be careful with the RIGOROUS OBSERVANCES as it is important not to make too much emphasis on THE EXTERNALS OF WORSHIP; your fast is useless without love, mercy and forgiveness.
2. It is really difficult for me to find necessary information for the choir in the ORDO, so it's great that we have RUBRICAL NOTES (THE RUBRICS).

M.A. [(3) 96,5]

1. PASCHALTIDE is one the most favourite period of the year for me, especially the first week of it: quick, light and joyful services.
2. I like how our deacon INTONES the exclamations.
3. It is a tradition in our church that the priest gives THE SUNDAY BLESSING WITH HOLY WATER during kissing of the Cross.
4. Joseph and Nilus belonged to the two confrontational groups: THE POSSESSORS AND THE NON-POSSESSORS; however, they didn't argue themselves, on the contrary, these holy men were friends.
5. Being surrounded by the Protestants might affect you and you will end up LAPSING INTO HERESY.

M.A. [(3) 93,5]

1. I was surprised when I came across a VOTIVE LITURGY for the first time because, as far as I know, it is not a common thing in our diocese.
2. The ADVENT is such a bright and light fast because Christmas is associated with the time of miracles.
3. In my humble opinion, PENITENTIAL DAYS are vital in our life because we cannot be with God without whole-hearted repentance of our sins.
4. SEPTUAGESIMA was set to remind us that the image of the prodigal son is an image of us and the Gospel reading triggers the realization that our God loves us so much that He is always ready to take us in his arms, we only need to admit our trespasses and believe in His love.

M.A. [(2) 90,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Our Lord teaches us to love our neighbour as ourselves (Gospel of St. Matthew, 22:39), in other words, we should treat others as we would like to be treated. And I fully agree with Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk who says that we should strive never to offend anyone and never grow angry. Of course, it is not always easy, but we should aspire to be good people. Anger destroys not only the soul, but also the body. Sometimes we can even feel a physical pain because we have offended a person. Perhaps the Lord wants to influence us in this way. We need to restrain ourselves, be tolerant of other people and not to condemn them, because we are all sinners before God. So, we should mutually forgive each other. Moreover, it is wrong to believe that we are better than others and to play a role of a “wise” teacher who tries to give some good advice. If we really want to help a person, it is better to pray to God to enlighten their mind and heart.

М.Ч. [(5) 34]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

As sad as it sounds but Saint Paisios of Mount Athos is right. The more material things or any other benefits a person has, the worse his soul becomes. Unfortunately, it is true because when a person lives in prosperity and can afford everything he wants, when he is happy and healthy, he does not pay the same attention to God, as when he needed something or felt physical or mental pain. A person enjoys such a life, he forgets about God and that all these benefits are sent by Him. He also becomes indifferent to the people living around him and does not take notice of the misfortunes suffered by them. It is really terrible that this is happening. And God often is forced through sufferings to put us on the right path because it is the only way we can wake up.

М.Ч. [(4,5) 29]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I think I agree with St. Sisoes the Great about the idea that if you want to attain humility you should learn to acknowledge that other people are better than you. Of course, it is very hard for us because we all are prone to pride and egoism, we often do not want to admit that we are worse but we want to succeed in something, stand out of the rest and be praised. Not all people aim for this but most of them. Some people pay a lot of attention to others’ sins. In this way they begin to think that they are better than these people. Concentrating on the sins of others they stop noticing their own ones. So if we pay attention to only our own sins, we will get rid of the sin of pride that makes it difficult to be humble. Therefore we should be honest with ourselves, we should be aware of our sinfulness and ask for repentance from God.

М.Ч. [(4) 24,5]

1. I haven’t been to the HERMITAGE OF OPTINO for quite a long time but I really want to go there because it is the place where I can find peace and rest for my soul.
2. CHARITABLE WORK plays an important role in the matter of our salvation as we are commanded to share what God gives to us with those who are in need.
3. We all seek SPIRITUAL DIRECTION and sometimes I have a feeling that it used to be easier to get because there were plenty of elders to whom people went for advice or healing.
4. On November 20 our Patriarch Cyril celebrated his birthday and HOLY SYNOD wished him a long life and strength to be a PROTECTOR of Orthodoxy in such a troubled time.

M.A. [(2) 88,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

When things do not happen the way we wish they did, we get upset and blame God for it. It is difficult to accept the Providence of God until the moment we see the eventual outcome. Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica says that we must be prepared to accept the will of God. It is an absolute truth. God loves us so much that we cannot even imagine. He wants us to be happy but true happiness is only possible with God. Jesus says that our heavenly Father knows what we need and he continues, «But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you». We must put ourselves in God’s hands because nothing on earth or in heaven ever happens without His will. God is love. Even when something distressing and unbearable takes place in our life, it means that our loving God tries to help us to prepare for the life of the age to come, for the Kingdom of Heaven. Elder Thaddeus says not to ask, «Why me?» as God has a Divine Plan for each person and wants everyone to be saved.
I can say it from my own experience. Let’s take even the smallest and trivial things. One day I was late for the bus to go to the all-night vigil and had to wait for the next one. There was an old man on the next bus who asked me if I was going to the church. I said yes. He was so glad and asked me to take him with me because he wanted to participate in the all-night vigil but he was not local and did not know where the church was. So I was late for the bus providentially.
To sum up, no matter how great some trouble in your life is, God leads you through these problems (sometimes intentionally and sometimes He has to do it because we leave no choice to God) to bring you to a never-ending joy of being with God.

M.A. [(4,5) 86,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

There is no doubt that theoretical knowledge about Orthodoxy and its dogmas and other issues is important for a person to know. However, theory alone can be dangerous or even misleading in a manner.
St. Mark the Ascetic refers to St. Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians: «But knowledge puffs up while love builds up» (1 Сor. 8:1). Blessed Theophylact the Bulgarian interprets these words in the following way: «this knowledge does not bring any benefit, but, moreover, harms, uplifting and puffing those who have it and thereby separating them from their neighbors if there is no love combined with it (knowledge), which, on the contrary, can be constructive. For knowledge destroys without love, but love restores and creates, and does everything in favor of a neighbor.» That’s why St. Mark the Ascetic encourages those who seek true knowledge to сommit themselves to the ascetic life in order to grow spiritually safely.
One can claim that the ascetic life is impossible if you live in a city, have to work and to have other cares. It is difficult but, nevertheless, possible: do not be lazy to say the morning and the evening prayers and say the prayers when you work to keep your mind mindful of God.

M.A. [(5) 82]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

First of all, I want to say that this is indeed a true statement. All men were created in the image and likeness of God. Initially human nature was not subject to sin. In consequence of original sin, human nature has fallen and is now prone to evil. However, we should not forget that if we really repent of our sins, the Lord will accept us, no matter how many sins we have.
In the lecture we were told that the Lord reveals Himself to all of us equally. And then a person has to decide whether he wants to go to meet God or not. The Father of light is always waiting for us. We should put aside all fears and doubts and turn our faces toward light.

А.Т. [(5) 20,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Frankly, this is a very unusual statement. In fact, it takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you hold dear in front of everyone. Especially in the matter of religion, it is very important to be honest with yourself. When your family is insulted, will you stand modestly aside and be silent? It is difficult to accept, but the Lord, the Church, the faith must be even more important than the family. Saint Paisios correctly says that to be silent in this case is demonic. When someone insults sacred things, and we are silent, we express cowardice and betrayal towards God. We should not be afraid to defend our faith, because it is the most important thing we have in life.

А.Т. [(5) 15,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

God's Providence is present in everyone's life. Everything is eventually interconnected. We should be grateful to God for everything that happens in our life, which is full of different events. We should always accept everything with a calm and pure heart, without judging or offending anyone, and learn self-mastery. Do not be angry with others and meet adversity with humility. Thus, if we resist temptations and exercise humility and restraint, we are closer to God.

Э.К. [(5) 31,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This is undoubtedly true. The more a person receives - the more he considers himself in need. People sometimes don't know the limit. Our world becomes so filled with the material, and therefore there is no space left for the spiritual. A person becomes short-sighted and sees only things for the welfare of the body, but not the soul. We should from time to time analyze our lives, throwing out of it "unnecessary stuff" to make space for the fulfillment of the will of God.

Э.К. [(5) 26,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

First of all, I want to say that I agree with the statement of the Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt. Interestingly, very often people do not read the Gospel and the writings of the Holy Fathers, saying that they do not have time for it. However, if you go deeper, you will find that every day we read a lot of worldly writings. Various news on social networks, some magazines, textbooks, books for work or just books that we like – we unconsciously read things like that.
Quite often it happens that people are waiting for a special moment to stop and read some spiritual literature. I think this is completely wrong. The pace of life at the present time does not always allow you to find the right moment to read the writings of the Holy Fathers. From my point of view, we should not wait for anything special, because in this case we can postpone this thing for months or even years.
Another point I want to cover is theology. If you read only the Holy Scripture without any spiritual writings there is a risk of falling into heresy. I mean, we are not always able to understand the very deep meaning of the Gospel by ourselves alone. But there are Holy Fathers who help us in interpreting Scripture and on whom we can rely.
Thus, it is very important to be able to find time to read not only books that are useful for self-development, but also works that benefit the soul.

А.Т. [(5) 10,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

We are only travelers in this world. We are born to live awaiting life of the age to come and then we «die that we may live», as St. Tikhon of Zadonsk says.
St. Tikhon of Zadonsk’s words make me think about the fleetingness of our earthly life. Sometimes we spend our precious time on laziness or quarrels or «beer and skittles» instead of preparing ourselves for that very moment when we leave this world and appear in front of our Merciful and Loving God.
Time flies. Years pass. But acquisition of everlasting life does not bother us. We postpone our repentance because we tend to think that we still have a lot of time to do it and to cry, «Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom!». However, it is not true. From my own experience, I can say that funerals wake me up from such a delusion that I will be a good girl but maybe a little bit later... Meantime, I waste my time gluttonizing or having idle talks or breaking fasts or being lazy to say prayers and so on.
To sum up, I would like to say that we do not even notice how quickly our life is approaching its termination. So we should always bear in mind that we are all born to die and, moreover, to enter the Heavenly Kingdom if we make an effort and follow Christ, fulfill God’s commandments and turn our minds to the coming eternal life instead of wasting our time enjoying pleasures of our flesh and thinking that someday the right moment will come and I will turn over a new leaf and follow the examples of holy people.

M.A. [(4) 77]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Nobody will deny that it is easy to be calm and contented when you are alone. But when, for example, you are surrounded by people who can be irritating and annoying, you immediately lose your temper.
I absolutely agree with Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt as I have experienced a lot what this statement is about.
Well, going through difficult spiritual or material situations with proper humility looks pretty easy to fulfill. However, it is not. As far as I’m concerned, I always realize that I must endure everything and fervently pray to God that He helps me «when the waters of malice and impatience reach the depths of our souls» too late, unfortunately. I always fail such tests of endurance by my own most grievous fault and then ask God to grant unto me pardon, absolution, and remission of my iniquities.
From my own experience, I strongly believe that troubles come if we become self-important. It’s a sort of a new fact to me that such irritation and other things listed above is about self-love. This is the key problem to work on.
All things considered, we must be firm and uncompromising towards coming irritation, wrath and, most of all, our inner self-love.

M.A. [(4,5) 73]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Everyone faces with such situations in life. As soon as we notice something good and worthy in ourselves, we want everyone to know about it. To show our value and significance. But does this mean that doing something worthwhile is so rare that we are immediately overwhelmed with emotions? If you want to shout about how good you are, it may mean that you don't do it often. If you have already embarked on this path of goodness, then keep it in yourself and develop it. Fill yourself with grace by doing good deeds, but don't shout about them. Thus it is easy to fall into delusion and no longer be able to do worthy deeds. Pride destroys a person and knocks you off the right track.

Э.К. [(4,5) 21,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Being meek is very good. It is the sign of a true Christian. But it has its limits. Faith without works is dead, and in certain situations, excessive meekness is a manifestation of ignorance. If you encourage low immoral acts, so you are their accomplices. We must be able to stand up for our faith, protect it. There are also many examples in history of standing up for faith with eagerness.

Э.К. [(5) 17]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

One can say that life in a religious house is absolutely different from the life of laity.
On the one hand, it is true. Monks have a special order of life. They vow to complete poverty. They keep the fasts in their full austerity and do not make concessions to human weakness. But their main activity is praying. As Tito Colliander says, monks "fall and get up, fall and get up, fall and get up again". When they happen to sin, they repent and pray, and beseech God for pardon, absolution and remission of their sins in their prayers.
On the other hand, we, the laity, must do the same thing: fall and get up, fall and get up again and again. We should sincerely repent every time we sin and do our best asking God for help to avoid doing bad things because they upset our loving God.
All things considered, our God is merciful, our God is Love. That's why we must weep, we must try to get up and always ask Him for help.

M.A. [(4,5) 68,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It’s quite hard to deal with this issue. I am not a nun. But I tend to think as Tito Colliander thinks. Monks, they are dissimilar with secular people, but they are people as well. They are like leaving this world. Each hour of their lives they devote to prayer, even at work. The main thing for them is God. However in this regard they are more tempted by Satan. But monks do not despair. They start thinking more of tolerance and attending more to mystical prayer. And then the sky gets closer again.

И.M. [(4) 83]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

One of our Holy Fathers said that we should be attentive and affectionate towards our neighbours and, by all means, try to keep them calm. As Archbishop Seraphim said, we should never offend or teach or get angry at anyone. I cannot agree with him more. To restrain yourself is an important skill not only in the spiritual life but in a family life, for example. You must cover up your partner's offences with love and explain patiently they are not right.
Be thankful is another and no less important quality which the archbishop mentions. We all should achieve it. I can say from my own experience that both things (restraining yourself and being thankful when everything goes the other way round of what you want) require a lot of hard work. But nothing is impossible for God. We should pray and be diligent and zealous on this path.

M.A. [(4) 64]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

As everyone knows we have no right to offend our neighbours. But the main problem is this is far removed from our contemporary sensibilities. We have been meaning not to grow angry, not to teach but keep practicing it over-zealously. Why? If you want my honest opinion after all it makes our lives wavering and empty. And we start feeling this estrangement from God.
Be that as it may, for my part I am especially moved by the beautiful words of Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk that express my own belief in the creative power of God, His providential care for us and the ultimate gift of resurrection and eternal life with God. He is our only Teacher we should listen to find the correct direction in life.

И.M. [(4) 68]

1. Sometimes it is dangerous to do SELF-STRIPPING because it can lead a person away from the joyous life with God.
2. I enjoyed very much the English Orthodox conference which topic was "THE FOOLS IN CHRIST". 3. Protestants do not KEEP the FASTS and, as I got it from the conversations with them, they do not even understand the purpose of them.
4. St. Seraphim spent a THOUSAND SUCCESSIVE NIGHTS IN CONTINUAL PRAYER and I cannot even stand and pray for 10 minutes in the evening sometimes.
5. We all need SPIRITUAL DIRECTION and we can find it in the works of our Holy Fathers.

M.A. [(3) 60]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Pride is one of the seven deadly sins. It is considered to be inside each of us but we have the opportunity to fight against it with the help of God, of course.
The words of Metropolitan Gregory of St. Petersburg are so true. Sometimes it is impossible to destroy the desire to spread about our character traits or actions that are worthy of praise. Such intentions can be dangerous for us because we would think too much of ourselves. And all good things that we've done, for example, would be in vain because we want to get praise from people and, so, we do not do them for the glory of God or just to sincerely help our neighbours.
But we can always ask God to help us. We can repent with tears of our proud intentions every day, every minute and do our best to just avoid conversations with anyone when we feel like boasting.
All in all, Jesus said in the Gospel, "What is impossible with man is possible with God". That's why we should rely on God and not let pride destroy our earthly life and then the life of the age to come.

M.A. [(4,5) 36]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To start with, today we have a rather comfortable life. We can just go to a shop and buy food, clothes and other vital things. We do not have to grow cereals and then make bread ourselves. Everything is done for us. That's why we just forget about the fact that God gives us all these things. We forget to thank him, to be thankful... When we have everything we need we forget about needs of others. We become deaf to cries of people in need.
I absolutely agree with the words of Saint Paisios. Comfort we have around us every single day is continuously corrupting us. We become spoilt and insatiable. We forget about the aim of our earthly life and do not rely on God. From my own experience I can say that to revive mercy in our hearts and the ability of being thankful, God takes something away.
All in all, a lot of problems we experience today come from our comfortable lives where we do not leave space for God and His creation, namely, the people who ask us to help them.

M.A. [(5) 31,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I fully agree with Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg. I always try to lead such a life. Boasting and searching for praise is destructive. The spirit of it is alive and well in the constant temptation we face to assimilate to the surrounding culture. They are never-ending drones, which pollute the atmosphere with the seductions of a Godless way of life, precisely because of how pleasingly they are presented. And Metropolitan Gregory is right we should manifest some restraint and discipline in order to strengthen our inner lives as we fast mentally from boasting to some extent.
Each of us has a unique life, mission and vocation from God, which no one else can fulfill. Working in faith to accomplish it, without fear and envying anyone else’s life is the way to joy, wisdom and peace. Also, we should always bear it in mind that sometimes a dear price may be paid for boasting.

И.M. [(4,5) 64]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I fully agree with St. Paisios of Mount Athos. We pray to God each time, sympathize with poor people when we are lacking in something, but when we are happy, we forget about praying and almsgiving. However, the man of God should be always complete, equipped for every good work. Originally man was made to be the created image of God, to live in union with God’s divine life. The fall of man means that man failed in his God-given vocation. In the Orthodox tradition the eating of the «tree of the knowledge of good and evil» is generally interpreted as man’s actual taste of evil, his literal experience of evil as such. Sometimes, this eating is also interpreted as man’s attempt to go beyond what was possible for him; his attempt to do that which was not yet within his power to realize. But we should always remember that what we have is through God’s intercession and help and never be presumptuous.

И.M. [(5) 34]

1. Sometimes such illness as cancer happens to priests and our parish is not an exception: all THE PARISH CLERGY AND THEIR FLOCKS are praying for the recovery of our beloved seriously ill priest now.
2. We live in really happy times when we can openly attend Liturgies and we are UNDERGOING no PERSECUTION.
3. It is impossible for me to live without PRAYERS TO THE SAINTS as Protestants do because when troubles happen, I read akathists and go to monasteries where the relics of saints are and it is a real relief.

M.A. [(2) 26,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To start with, nurturing of humility is one of the most difficult parts of my life as a Christian. Sometimes humility seems for me impossible to reach because of my proud inner «I». However, writings of the Holy Fathers where you can find some advice and exercises can help.
St. Sisoes the Great advises a monk to see everyone around him as better people than himself. I cannot agree more with such advice. This so-called self-humiliation will lead to obtaining humility in the end. Although it looks really simple, in fact, it is incredibly hard to implement. I can say it from my own experience. Once I started to follow this piece of advice and it did not last long. Sometimes I failed to consider myself worse that other people and eventually I just forgot about it because I did not have like recharge or daily reminder. I mean I was not diligent in reading the Gospel and praying in the morning and in the evening and some other important things for achieving success in becoming really and not hypocritically humble.
Moreover being humble means not to judge or criticize people and for me, it is also hard to avoid it even if not in my speech but, nevertheless, in my mind.
All in all, «God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble». We must be zealous to attain humility for Christ said, «I am gentle and humble in heart» and our salvation is in following Christ’s example. Reading the Gospel and works of our Holy Fathers teaches and helps us.

M.A. [(5) 24,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I absolutely agree with St. Sisoes the Great. We should not extol ourselves above others. What makes us think we are better than others? The spirit of bragging lives inside us. So we are in the constant temptation. It is not for nothing that we are encouraged by the Church to be humble. Thus we are being guided into a practice that is designed to strengthen our spiritual wellbeing. This is a part of an Orthodox Christian way of life that has been witnessed for centuries by the faithful of the Church. We could also say that such a practice belongs to the «laws of our Holy Fathers». By embracing such a practice, we continue in the traditions that have been handed down to us. To ignore being humble is to break with the Tradition. This can lead to an erosion of our self-identity as Orthodox Christians.

И.M. [(5) 29]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I partially agree with Protopresbyter Theodore Zissis. All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. It is the faith of the Orthodox Church that the Bible, as the divinely-inspired Word of God in the words of men, contains no formal errors or inner contradictions concerning the relationship between God and the world. The eternal spiritual and doctrinal message of God, presented in the Bible in many different ways, remains perfectly consistent, authentic, and true. Of course, faith is not an issue of great knowledge and learning, but we should yearn to possess particular knowledge not to fall into trap and bring ourselves under the rule of evil and death.

И.M. [(5) 24]

1. There are different opinions on the FREQUENT COMMUNION but Saint John of Kronstadt supported this idea and encouraged people to COMMUNICATE more than just a few times a year as people were accustomed to.
2. I enjoy the writings of SAINT NICODEMUS OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN. They help me to overcome difficult situations in my life.
3. We cannot fully imagine how important our PRAYERS FOR THE DEAD are. They are the only way we can help them but unfortunately, we often forget about them and pay more attention to the prayers for the living.
4. In fact, it is our duty as Christians to UNDERTAKE MISSIONARY WORK, however, we should preach by our way of life, our deeds and actions and not with the help of words. As Saint Seraphin of Sarov said that we should care about our own salvation first thing and thousands of people around us will gain SALVATION.

M.A. [(3) 19,5]

1. I’d never been to the VESTRY (SACRISTY) before a SUBDEACON showed me a picture of it the other day and I can tell that it is such a beautiful place with all those gorgeous vestments and other things.
2. When I hear something UNEDIFYING about the church itself or priesthood and so on and so forth, I really feel pity for those who say it because they are such unhappy people.
3. It is such an honour to be and to pray at the place where the LOCAL COUNCIL of 1917-1918 was held.
4. To be honest, I do not like carrying BANNERS during the processions and I am so happy that I can join the choir instead.
5. There is a sort of SPIRITUAL REVIVAL in the life of every person, though sometimes it can be just hard to notice. And it is such a personal thing that only you can fully understand it. I mean that if you tell somebody about it they probably just do not get it and, thus, will not be able to share your happiness.

M.A. [(3,5) 16,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The true light is God. We have a number of hymns, e.g. at vespers («O Gentle Light»), where God is called «light».
According to Saint Nikolai Velimirovich, we are the sons of Light and so, the sons of God. God, Our Father, always waits for us and «calls us with a fiery love» because He is not an intruder who comes into life by force. He wants us to be willing to welcome Him. That’s why Saint Nikolai Velimirovich writes «turn your face towards light». It is like «open your heart for loving God».
I cannot agree more with Saint Nikolai Velimirovich and I can say from my own experience that when you let God enter your life, the Light comes and illuminates both everything that is within you and everything that happens to you.

M.A. [(4,5) 13]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Well, when it comes to a sort of outrage of something sacred and holy, it is an outrageous occasion. Our Lord said that there are people who do not appreciate such things, «Do not give what is holy to dogs — they will only turn and attack you. Do not throw your pearls in front of pigs — they will only trample them underfoot» (Matthew, 7:6).
However, there were some moments when it was almost impossible to stop people from abusing holy things. But in this case, you can reveal yourself a real Christian and instead of being meek and silent, speak about the indecent things that people are doing. In the Soviet times, people suffered or even died for it and by this they reached the Heavens.
All in all, I absolutely agree with Saint Paisios of Mount Athos and yet sometimes I do not have enough courage when necessary (despite my inner righteous anger) and stay meek and silent.

M.A. [(4,5) 8,5]

1 When CONVERTS are baptised their sins are washed away.
2 We should read DIVINELY-INSPIRED writings, as by means of them we can enter into communion with God and know His will and our unique PREDESTINATION.

И.M. [(1) 19]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I absolutely agree with Saint Nikolai Velimirovich. It is the clear doctrine of Orthodoxy that man has failed in his original vocation. He disobeyed God’s command through pride, jealousy and the lack of humble gratitude to God by yielding to the temptation of Satan. Thus man sinned. He transgressed the Law of God. And so he ruined both himself and the creation which he was given to care for and to cultivate.
By their sins – people bring themselves and all creation under the rule of evil and death, so to be saved we should turn our faces toward light, toward the Father of light. For He gives the promise of salvation through repentance.

И.M. [(5) 18]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I absolutely agree with Saint Paisios of Mount Athos! If we convince ourselves that this is inconvenient, or undesirable to stop people abusing and reviling holy and sacred things, then we place ourselves outside of the very Tradition we claim to follow and respect. Moreover we should set an example for the other members of the Holy Church. We are responsible for our faith! This is the very way of life that has been practiced for centuries by Orthodox Christians, and which is just as meaningful today as in the past. As with the Seven Maccabee Children, we are forced to make a choice: either capitulate to the demands of the «tyrants» and renounce our spiritual heritage, or humbly place our faith in the God and put his laws above all thought of self.

И.M. [(4) 13]

1. THRICE-HOLY HYMN is a usual hymn of the Divine Liturgy in most of the Christian churches.
2. RANKS OF ANGELS are different levels of a hierarchy of angels which are mentioned in different religions.
3. We have a Divine Liturgy during which we glorify (the) Sunday of DREAD JUDGEMENT OF CHRIST.
4. Jesus Christ is CONSUBSTANTIAL WITH THE FATHER in his divinity and consubstantial with us in his humanity.
5. We receive Holy Communion in oder to be ready FOR THE AGE TO COME.
6. Ministry of OBLATION is a solemn offering or presentation to God.
7. Jerusalem's HALLOWED soil is always full of pilgrims.
8. A verb “TO SANCTIFY” means "to make holy" and also it can become a synonym for "trust and obey".
9. During Divine Liturgy we entreat God that we can dare to take Holy Communion WITH BOLDNESS AND WITHOUT CONDEMNATION.
10. According to the rules after Baptism every person can RECEIVE Holy Communion.
11. Every temple contains THE ALTAR of sacrifice.
12. THE HOLY CHALICE is the vessel that Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve wine.
13. After Confession a person gets abstract permission to PARTAKE OF THE MOST PURE MYSTERIES.
14. There is sin which is committed on account of a sickness whereby a person is attracted INVOLUNTARILY. Also there is sin which is committed VOLUNTARILY or exist out of the IGNORANCE.
15. A child is granted EVERLASTING LIFE after being baptized.
16. A COMMUNICANT makes a strong way from his preparations for the mystery till the thanksgiving prayers.
17. A SCRIBE possessed knowledge of the law and had the permission to make legal documents.
18. PHARISEES were following to the traditions according «to the traditions of the fathers».
19. It is very important to pay attention to the order of the events: firstly, Jesus forgave sins of the PARALYTIC and only then he healed him.
20. When Jesus preached scribes accused him of speaking BLASPHEMIES.
21. In the preachings the Saviour was also called BRIDEGROOM.
22. Saviour coming is not a time of much TOIL.
23. I can call the event with the PARALYTIC as symbol of deep faith.
24. Many PUBLICANS and sinners were eating with Jesus and his disciples.
25. Before Jesus many prophets and their disciples used to FAST strictly.
26. «Old GARMENTS» in the Gospel were compared with the Old Testament.
27. SABBATH day according to Jewish traditions was for being away from the work and toil. I suppose that Old Testament had very cruel traditions as the loaves of oblation.
28. In the eyes of the scribes Jesus looked like a DECEIVER as they did not believe in his glorified strength.
29. During the fast the FLESH is being RECONCILED with the spirit. So it’s a must.
30. We are being DELIVERED FROM the sins during this period.
31. But according to St. John of Kronstadt when the body is ABUNDANTLY and DAINTILY FED the spirit starts to fight against God.
32. This fact is stated by many GOD-BEARING FATHERS.
33. The FALLEN NATURE of man is involuntary against of the rules which are given by heaven.
34. But we have to understand that it does not refer to real HUMAN FRAILTY, when the person is sick or under difficult circumstances.
35. Compliance with PRACTICES AND OBSERVANCES of the Eastern Church made the people and prisoners to be much more close to each other.
36. TRIBULATION can be announced as one of the most serious sins.
37. HEAVENLY HOSTS with the St. Peter are guarding the entrance to the Heaven.
38. Eight blessings were expanded by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount which are called BEATITUDES.
39. Since childhood my favorite exclamation during Divine Liturgy is: WISDOM! UPRIGHT!
40. According to the words of my parents GIVING ALMS is a very important thing. But only if it comes from deep heart.

А.К. [(15) 16]

1 Traditionally we, Orthodox, understand everything in the church to be SACRAMENTAL.
2 We should pray that we do not find the doors OF THE BRIDAL CHAMBER locked for us.
3 Death is traumatic. To help the families cope and the departed find repose and not be parted from God, there are special DEFENDING PRAYERS FOR THE DEAD.
4 Righteous John, Wonderworker from Kronstadt was the first priest who established GENERAL CONFESSION, as I have read in a book. But some parishes do not acknowledge its use and priests prefer to HEAR each single CONFESSION.
5 When there is a RELIGIOUS PROCESSION at our parish, the clergy puts on FULL VESTMENTS and the deacons take BANNERS.

И.M. [(4) 9]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I partially agree with Righteous John, Wonderworker from Kronstadt. We do not abandon our faith reading worldly newspapers and deriving some profit from them. We do not place ourselves outside of the very Tradition we claim to follow and respect. Of course, the Bible is the written Word of God. God has revealed Himself as the true and living God to His People, and that as one aspect of His divine self-revelation. The Bible is not like any other book. The Bible leads to a true and genuine knowledge of Him and His will and purpose for man and the world. In and through the Bible human beings can enter into communion with God. Also God encouraged His People to produce divinely-inspired writings which constitute the true and genuine expressions of His Truth and His Will for His People and for the whole world. But as human words, the words of the writings contain all of the marks of the men who wrote them, and of the time and the culture in which they were written. We live in another new world and should also be interested in modern tendencies. In worldly magazines there are evil things, but we can simply avoid all the seductions of a Godless way of life. We are being asked to manifest some restraint and discipline in order to strengthen our inner lives. By the way, even evil things can be vehicles for spiritual growth and for our salvation. They are not stronger than God, and His tender care is over all.

И.M. [(5) 5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt, emphasizes the problem of reading worldly literature more than reading the Gospel. As I can see from the quote, it was a real problem at the time of the saint and nowadays it has become even more relevant.
Christians read different books (not religious) and posts on Instagram but they hardly read the Gospel of the day which is a really short passage.
From my own experience, I can say that I suffer from this disease, too. It is easier to spend time reading friends’ news than to read some instructions of the Holy Fathers or some passages from the Gospel. As Righteous John said, it is considered as a sinful action, even though it can be useful sometimes. Indeed, it is true. As our Lord Jesus Christ said, ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ (Matthew 6:21). We ourselves prioritize what we spend time on, and when we are lazy to devote time to soul-saving writings, we sin. It does not mean that we must stop reading worldly literature, absolutely not. However, we should spend more time reading soul-saving writings.
All in all, Christians must make themselves prefer enjoying the Word of God which we receive through the Gospel to having fun reading newspapers and so on.

M.A. [(4) 4]

А.Т. [5,5]

М.Ч. [20,5]

M.O. [17,25]

Э.К. [12]

М.К. [15,5]

В.Г. [16,5]

E.З. [1,5]

3rd year of study: Spring 2019

God works in mysterious ways

It is a miracle that in the country where the established church is the Church of England (or the Anglican Church) and the majority of people are Protestants, it is possible to find an island of Orthodoxy.
To start with, it is difficult for me to live without attending Liturgies and partaking of Communion for a long time because this is vital in the life of a Christian. That is why I was so glad to know that there is an Orthodox church of St. Aidan and St. Chad in Nottingham, which was our temporary home. I cannot clearly remember our first Liturgy there but right after it we were warmly welcomed and I immediately felt like I was in a big family. Then almost every Sunday we sang in the choir. Singing was our main contribution to the life of the parish, especially during Lent. On Wednesdays and Fridays Egor, Nastya and I (and sometimes some other members of the choir joined us) sang the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. How heartwarming these services were! In addition, we were the witnesses of a miracle. One of such Liturgies Father Gregory served himself without any altar-men. Just before the Communion there was a short circuit. Then the priest was so touched by something that he wept while saying the prayer before the Communion. Later Fr. Gregory told E. (and he told us) that at that very moment when the light had gone, there was Someone else in the Altar-space…
We had a wonderful and unforgettable Easter service and a meal afterwards. The parish is a lovely friendly big family. I also would like to say a few words about Fr. Gregory’s homilies. They are so touching and powerful! Nastya and I always wept. Indeed, he is a remarkable preacher! Summing up, I am so glad that I experienced all of this.
Apart from attending Orthodox services, Nastya and I visited different kinds of Protestant services and every Monday evening we spent at the “Globe Cafe” which is a part of Friends International campaign (it is a Christian charity that supports international students). This campaign is supported by the University – there is a room called “Chaplaincy” in the Portland Building. By the way, all religions are welcomed there. You can come and just have a rest there or talk to staff members (who are religious people) if you are experiencing problems or just want to talk, you will always find help and understanding there. But as for the “Globe Cafe”, it is a weekly event for international students. Each week we had different topics, e.g. rugby or ping-pong competition, or Easter evening, or dance evening, or Russian evening (which we were in charge of). When we arrived to the place, we had some time to talk to people and students, then we had fun activities relevant to the topic but final 30 minutes before going home we spent discussing important questions about God, His words that we were given through the Bible and about a life of a Christian. In total, they harmoniously combined fun and serious things and maybe it will help some students who are not Christians yet to become them (although they will be Protestants, it is, nevertheless, a big step towards God and the main goal of our earthly life, which is salvation).
All in all, it was a really great experience of attending and singing Liturgies in English, visiting Protestant services and talking to people with different religious background.

M.A. [(65) 65]

Our spiritual experience outside Russia

Now I would like to tell you a little bit about our spiritual experience in England. We spent there almost six months, during which we tried to attend services in the Orthodox Church regularly. Every Sunday we visited the parish of Saints Aidan and Chad in Nottingham. I would like to tell a little more about this parish.
Every Saturday and Sunday a remarkable priest father Gregory serves in this Church. To be honest, at first I treated him with some distrust because I was not sure that he really understood the Orthodox teaching. Seeing the attitude of many priests in Russia to parishioners, it was very difficult for me to open my heart to this priest. But then I completely changed my mind. I saw how this priest, far from being young, the only one in this city, really cares about his parish and parishioners. Father Gregory asked Yegor (one of the parishioners) to translate the sermons from English into Russian. It was an invaluable help for those people who do not speak English. Father Gregory's sermons are always very heartfelt and touching. He often spoke about Orthodox teaching, struggling against ignorance and lack of knowledge among the flock. He also talked about the feast and what was read in the Gospel. One day Masha and I were listening to a sermon and found that our tears were flowing...
I also would like to tell you about the choir in this Church. The director of this choir is an incredible woman Martha. Despite the fact that she is very sick, Martha tries to do the best for the choir. They learn new music, and Martha tries not only to give the right tone, but also to be a "real director" for the choir. I have not met many Russian people with such faith as this woman has; moreover, she used to be a Protestant almost all her life. The prayers are sung in both English and Slavonic. Masha and I tried to sing as many prayers as possible in Slavonic. Sometimes we sang only a Troparion in Slavonic, but afterwards we were thanked for it by Russian-speaking people. It's just an incredible feeling when you can help people get closer to the faith.
In the Eastern Orthodox rite English services do not differ much from Russian ones. But we did notice some differences. For example, on Palm Sunday father Gregory gives each parishioner a branch of palm and a small Cross. There is a tradition after the kissing of the Cross to take a piece of bread instead of a prosphora. And the number of prosphoras which you can take depends on how many notes you wrote for the living and the dead. By the way, I was struck by another thing. After that people have partaken of the most pure Mysteries, not only the communicants, but all the others stand and listen to the prayers after the dismissal. This is unusual for me, because most people in our Church do not listen to these prayers.
Meanwhile, a few words should be said not only about our Orthodox parish, but also about other temples. Masha and I travelled a lot. In addition, we tried to go to every temple that we met on our way. We attended Protestant services in churches in different cities. I can say that it was very strange to me. Services were very short; we constantly got up and sat down. The singing was beautiful, accompanied by an organ, but there was no warmth and spirituality that is present in Orthodox services. It was difficult and unusual for me to see women priests, but it was a good experience of acquaintance with a foreign culture. Moreover, I was absolutely unfamiliar with the custom and even scared to see that the floor of the Protestant churches was lined with gravestones. We were shown the inscription on the tombstone, which said that you should not worry about walking on these stones, because the body is dead, and the soul is already in heaven. This impressed me very much.
In general, I can say that outside Russia there is quite an interesting spiritual life. Protestants pay great attention to attracting young people to the faith. They have meetings all the time, they read the Scripture, and they sort out some difficult points in the Gospel; they sing songs and go out together. I know that in Russia we also host many events for Orthodox youth. But I would still be interested to understand why so many young people go to Protestants and what we Orthodox can do to attract the younger generation.

А.Т. [(50) 50]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I have never actually thought about why God created the world in six days. I just took this as a fact. But I think that Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt is right. It is obvious that our Lord Almighty could create the world at once but He did not do this. The Lord wanted to show people by His example that it is very important to do any business without hurry but gradually and with consideration. If a person is in a hurry, he does the work without diligence and love. He is not concentrated on the quality. From my view, the Lord teaches us to be hard-working people and not try to do many things at once but to pay attention to one thing doing it step by step.

М.Ч. [(5) 78]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In the eighth chapter of the Gospel of John we read the following words of Jesus Christ: “…Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin”. That is, if we are spiritually weak our sinful desires take power over us and do not let us be free making us their servants. All people more or less give in to temptations because our human nature is sinful. But we should always remember that when we commit a sin we turn away from God who really loves us, and become slaves of our paltry desires. So we should ask God in our prayers for help in the fight against our passions.

М.Ч. [(5) 50]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt is absolutely right: prayer without understanding and without feeling is not prayer at all but just mechanically spoken words. We should constantly strive to say prayers with our thoughts and heart. Prayer is our personal appeal coming from the depths of our soul and not mindless reading of the texts. We should always remember to whom we direct our appeal. Inattentive prayer separates us from God. If we do not listen ourselves during prayer, thinking about vain things, then, why do we expect that God will listen to us?

М.Ч. [(5) 45]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I share the idea of Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg. Our life is full of many challenges. And some people in such difficult moments become annoyed and dissatisfied and start to blame everyone around them for their troubles, including God himself. Such people are not happy about anything, they constantly complain about their supposedly terrible life. They stop appreciating what they have. They take everything they have for granted. They do not notice how God, often through the people around them, tries to help them. They are concentrated only on bad things, though they are not as unhappy as they think. Absolutely everyone has something to thank God for. So we should always be grateful for what we have. And then we will understand how much God takes care of us.

М.Ч. [(5) 40]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

On the one hand, God has created us with free will, that is, we all have the right to choose, as St. Antony the Great says: if we wish, we can be slaves of our passions, and if we wish, we can resist temptations and remain free. And our Lord Jesus Christ who became a man by His own example shows that a man has the power not to submit to temptations. But on the other hand, it is very hard to fulfill: for us, it is much easier to sin than constantly strive to piety. However, we have to be firm in our faith, continuing to live by God’s law, and God will help us to overcome any temptation.

М.Ч. [(4,25) 35]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

As it is written in the Gospel of St. Luke: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged…”. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev in his quote says about people who are proud of themselves in the service to God. Such people think that they are better than others because they keep all the fasts or go to church more regularly, and therefore they take the right to judge their “unrighteous” neighbours or to teach them how to live. But only the perfect God has the right to judge. And if you judge other people you depart from God.

М.Ч. [(5) 30,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I really like this quote and even want to write it on my wall to read every day. I really don't like to wait and want everything to be done at once. I can't stand sitting on my chair for hours or for weeks or to wait for an event. I'm too impatient. And now I realise that it not right. Even God who is almighty and can do everything, needed some time to create our world. So, how much time do I need to change myself and to do my work properly?
Yes, I think we can see in righteous John's words the thought not only about creating different things, but about changing some of our personality traits. I don't have patience, but the Lord does. And I believe, I have some days for deliverance from this sin.

M.O. [(4,5) 100]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To die for your neghbour means a great love for Christ. When you have a good will to give alms, but at the same time you have nothing and suffer because of impossibility to do it, it's better to give alms through the blood of the heart. The ability to give your life for your neighbor is a gift. This is the way to salvation. This is what every person should be ready for. If one is afraid of such an act, one will be doomed in the future to the pangs of conscience, because one did not fulfill his or her duty.

Э.К. [(4) 55]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

My mother always taught me: "If you are asked for help - help. You can't know for sure if someone really needs it. Your bussiness is to help him. His business is how he manages it." I try to stick to that instruction. We should not be grieved by giving someone in need something of our own. We must do it with reverence. Our soul receives grace through acts pleasing to God. If we have the opportunity to help someone, we are happy people.

Э.К. [(4,5) 46,5]

THE VISION OF DIVINE AND UNCREATED LIGHT it is beyond the reach of an ordinary person who has not dedicated his life to the Lord.
If somebody’s view denies the existence of universals and abstract objects, but affirms the existence of general or abstract terms, he belongs to THE NOMINALIST PHILOSOPHY.

The first biblical sentence of THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF MAN expresses a basic obscurity in the nature of man and his mind.
Despite humans’ BODILY FACULTIES, there is a SENSIBLE light in all of us, and this is the most important tool given to us by the Lord.

THE LAY THEOLOGIAN evaluates their beliefs and doesn’t simply hold them because they’re the beliefs of friends or tradition.
As history tells, in the 15th century Turks DISPASSIONATELY seized Constantinople and the most glorious church in Christendom under the yoke of their power turned into A MOSQUE.

The Reformation gave the world many changes, including THE HOLDING SERVICES in the country’s own language. It became a new chapter in the history of Christianity.
The New Testament records Paul taking three MISSIONARY JOURNEYS that spread the message of Christ to Asia Minor and Europe.

In preaching in Palestine, Jesus spoke in Aramaic, THE LITURGICAL LANGUAGE, a dialect of the ancient Hebrew tongue.
For any Christian from any country it is impossible to TAKE SERVICES without special attributes, including SERVICE BOOKS.

In the year 862 Cyril and Methodius were entrusted with high mission - teaching and preaching Christianity with their most primary VISION, in the Slavic language in Moravia.
THE PRINCIPALITIES are named like that because they have command over the lower angels, directing them to the fulfilment of divine orders.

THE DOCTRINAL CONTROVERSY about the single or double Procession of the Holy Spirit. This belongs to the doctrine of the Trinity and has not at all been settled between all the Churches.
In the history of Christianity the importance of nationality flashed repeatedly, which became THE BANE OF ORTHODOXY, for which it was necessary to bear responsibility.

An autonomous state, MOUNT ATHOS, where entrance is strictly controlled, is now the house of more than 20 monasteries.
THE SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF CHRISTIANITY influenced a huge number of spheres of human activity and undoubtedly made them better than ever.

The son of pagan parents, MARTIN OF TOURS, actively participated in the destruction of pagan shrines and temples during his monastic life.
Jesus Christ saves us by enduring the penalty to which we were exposed with SACRIFICIAL DEATH.

The dynasty of Rurik was transformed from a small settlement in the Rostov-Suzdal principality into THE PRINCIPALITY OF MOSCOW, the dominant political unit then in Russia.
A certain group of saints, THE WARRIOR SAINTS, were generally soldiers in life, martyrs to Christ in death, and then revealed as our heavenly protectors.

A spot in a shady bush might be the best PLACE OF RETREAT when a group of guards chases you and if you need to wait a little for further action.
As it is known, Iceland is only about 450 kilometres from the Faroes, which had been visited by Irish COLONIST MONKS in the 6th century, and settled by them around 650.

Historically, the term INFIDEL has been used by Christians to describe those outside their religious group or who have no religious beliefs at all.
The second Assyrian king to have sacked Babylon’s temples called SENNACHERIB was depicted in the poem “The Destruction of Sennacherib” by Lord Byron.

М.К. [(10,5) 52]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Many people believe, to be free means being able to afford buying a car or a house, to travel the world without any problems and to do everything we want. But here Dorotheos of Gaza says a very important thing I definitely agree with. The fullness of freedom is possible only if we don't have all these desires and understand that the real happiness is to know God and to live in piety and purity.
I recently read a book by a theologian, whose name is Alexey Osipov, who wrote that there are different kinds of freedom. One of them is physical. And that is what all these travellings are about. And it also gives us happiness, as we explore the world which was made by God and by people who were created in His image. Sometimes I even dream about not having any state borders for free sailing or walking as this freedom lets me somehow know the Lord more and better. But that it not the main thing for people. The second kind of freedom is spiritual and it is really of importance and has value. And we should work hard to attain it. In this way we can't let ourselves do what what we want if it is contrary to the commandments. We should abandon our passions, control ourselves and follow Christ and try to live according to His example.

M.O. [(3,5) 95,5]

1. Fasting during the Lent is much easier than giving up everything that is not PROFITABLE FOR MY SOUL.
2. Throughout my whole childhood I was really terrified with the thought about THE DREAD JUDGMENT OF CHRIST.
3. It is a pity that THE LITURGY IS NOT CELEBRATED every day during the Lent. Because on Sundays there are too many COMMUNICANTS and it is difficult to PARTAKE OF COMMUNION.
4. I think that the gap between CLERGY AND LAITY now is less than before the 20th century.
5. For two weeks I've been trying to find a heavy green textbook with THE CAPPADOCIANS depicted on it.
6. The line between KNOWABLE and UNKNOWABLE in religion isn`t obvious and may cause some problems for some people.
7. Some people fall into GROSS MATERIALISM, while others are too much into MYSTICAL THEOLOGY.

В.Г. [(5) 108]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I like this type of quotes, they give hope. Whatever we do we should remember that God is good, God is merciful, God is love.
God loves us and he is waiting for us when we come back to Him. So, when we feel guilty and ashamed because of committing sins again, we shouldn`t be afraid of asking for forgiveness once again. God is waiting for our repentance.
God came to us to save the sinner. The only thing we have to do is to want to be saved. Of course, we should understand that we are wrong and where we are wrong we should repent and ask God for forgiveness. And He will forgive, we must not doubt that.

В.Г. [(5) 65,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Although Righteous John lived just over a hundred years from our time, this quote is exceptionally relevant to our time. In our day and age, we are always in a hurry. There are always so many things to do and so little time for it. And we truly need this reminder, that the work that we are expected to do should really be done to the best of our ability.
Our Lord has a Divine plan for every single one of us, and when we do any kind of work, whether university homework, housework, or any work, we should remember that it was sent to us from God. And when we complete a task sent to us by God it is very important how we approach it. Do we just quickly scribble something at the last minute, just to have something to hand in, or do we take some of our life to consider what is the best way to do this? Righteous John helped us to understand the meaning behind creating the world gradually, that God is teaching us to do our work with great consideration, and it is a reminder that many of us do need in our time.

В.Г. [(4) 60,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Freedom is one of the most difficult questions. What is freedom? Freedom ends where the freedom of the other begins. But where are the limits? How do you know that these are the boundaries? Are we sure that we can control our freedom?
“If we desire to enjoy perfect freedom…” Is “perfect freedom” even possible? I`m not sure. I think only God alone has this perfect freedom. And as for us, I can see two ways. If a person is bad, he can use all his abilities and it will definitely lead to disaster. And if a person is good and kind, he will not do whatever he wants, because he will think about others.
So, we should definitely learn how to cut off our desires, how to live in peace with others, how to use our freedom. Otherwise it would be a catastrophe.

В.Г. [(5) 56,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Unfortunately, this quote can relate to many of us. Many of us struggle to keep our attention on prayer, and while physically remaining in the church, one’s mind can wander off away from connection with God. Coming across quotes like this can be very useful for our spiritual life. After reading this we can ask ourselves “And what about me? Do I actually pray, or do I just stand there merely bowing my head and making the sign of the cross?”.
Of course, we shouldn’t call a prayer the process of standing in front of the icons, because in that case we mislead ourselves, and believe that we have prayed when in truth we have not.
However, we should also remember that our God is merciful. He knows that we, as fallen people, cannot always concentrate our sinful mind on prayer. So, when He sees that we truly want to appeal to Him, not because we want to receive something, but because we want to live with God, He will give us His help. Almighty God, seeing our desire for prayer, will send us His Holy Spirit, that will stir away the earthly thoughts and guide us towards the true prayer. Righteous John of Kronstadt in his prayer book even had the prayer, which asks God to send the angel of prayer, because, “I want to pray, but I cannot”. Therefore, we must pay attention to our prayer, and notice when we are not actually praying, because then we can ask for God’s divine help.

В.Г. [(4,5) 51,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

For me it is a rather difficult and ambiguous topic. Let me explain.
On the one hand, we should be grateful to those who do something good for us (and in some cases – even to those who do evil things). But on the other hand, should we be grateful to those who try to help us without being asked? Or to those strange people who give some “good” advice after which I feel disgusting? Should I have been grateful to my grandmother when she threw away my favorite t-shirt, saying it was old? They usually say that they know better what I need. But I don`t want to be grateful for this.
As for God, He definitely knows what is better for us, but it`s still difficult to accept it. Sometimes later you understand that you should have been grateful for something, but you weren`t. And now you are. I think, it`s okay, we change.
I think we should be honest with God. Sometimes we can feel that we are offended by God; we should tell Him. Sometimes we are struggling to understand why something is happening to us; we should tell Him. Sometimes we can not be grateful to Him; we should tell Him.

В.Г. [(4) 47]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The idea of St. Antony the Great is really close to me. I believe that every person has this power. Man is more than just his body and his mind. Man has freedom and free will.
Man is not omnipotent, of course; he cannot, for example, save himself without God. But at the same time, as we believe, God saves man with man`s active cooperation. So, man`s will is highly regarded in Orthodoxy.
Unfortunately, in my point of view, people refer to their free will in a rather strange way. When a person doesn`t want to follow God`s commandments, they can say that they have their free will and will do what they want. And if a person tries to follow Christ`s example and has some difficulty, they can say “Well, I`m a simple man. I`m weak, how can I resist this sinful world?” So, people tend to manipulate this ability (=free will) trying to justify their laziness, sins, etc. (Of course, not all people.)
It`s a pity that people treat such power this way. It`s really a great power. We can change our lives, can repent and follow Christ (with God`s help).
Man is stronger than his sins. This is great, but it also means that man has no excuse. However, I believe, it shouldn`t scare us. It should give us strength.

В.Г. [(5) 43]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I absolutely agree with this quote. Songs in general give people strength to do something, I mean, it is easier to do something with songs.
In my family we used to have this habit of singing prayers during the housework. It was beautiful and nice. It really helped to work well and it also helped us to feel peaceful and calm.
I guess, my parents borrowed this custom from Diveevsky monastery. My mother would tell us how she with our father visited Diveevo and carried out some tasks. During those tasks all the people would sing the Jesus Prayer. My mother loved that custom very much and she brought it home.
As for me, I prefer to play the Prayers, Akathists, etc. in the internet and listen to them. It helps me not to think about bad or hard things in my life and concentrate on more important things.
I suppose that it also works with any music. Listening to music in general may have the same effect (otherwise people won't listen to it all day long). But of course music is nothing compared to prayers.

В.Г. [(5) 38]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I don't think that I can fully agree with this statement. In my experience it is a bit different. Let me explain my point of view.
Unfortunately, people really tend to teach without asking or just give advice without being asked (which is also incorrect). But, thanks to God, I've never met a person who believes that he is better than others because of reading the Scripture or praying more.
I know one person who thinks that he is more righteous because he prays about twenty times a day. However, he doesn't read the Bible and doesn't say the common prayers. So, as I see it, these are just superstitious beliefs (so, this example cannot confirm the quote).
Moreover, I suppose (and I hope) that if a person is seeking God and trying to follow Christ's example, God will meet him. He will help such a person not to fall into error.

В.Г. [(4,5) 33]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I don`t think I can agree with this quote. I am sure that there is a certain path for every person.
Indeed, it`s difficult to remember at least one saint who would not suffer. But it can be due to the fact that in this world it is just impossible not to suffer. There were some saints, martyrs, for example, who suffered only at the end of their life. But they were glorified exactly for it… Moreover, lots of saints voluntarily made their lives harder, so, it must make sense.
But if we think about it we will realize that there are so many people who are suffering way too much, but that doesn't bring them closer to God, unfortunately. On the contrary, they can blame God for their problems.
So, in my opinion, sufferings and troubles do not make us closer to God. But for us it is easier to humble ourselves and pray more when we suffer.

В.Г. [(4,25) 28,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I like St. Paisios of Mount Athos, I like the way he puts his thoughts, so simply and kindly.
This idea is so easy: we have everything to be good, and even our faults help us become better. Can we dispute that? I don`t think so. If we believe in God, we believe that He is good and that He has given us everything we need to gain perfection. We may seem weak and sinful, but we have strength within us and with God`s help we can overcome all weaknesses.
I like that he says that “everyone also has some faults” and that it is difficult for all people to overcome them. But it`s worth it. Even before we could get over our faults, they help us humble ourselves. Every cloud has a silver lining.
So, we should just live and pray and try to use our gifts for good.

В.Г. [(5) 24,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I find this quote really relevant. And I personally like it.
As for “a relationship in prayer”, I know that it is prohibited with people of other denominations and I don`t think it is possible to have it with non-believers. So, it will be better to speak about carrying on arguments.
Before entering the university, I had never had Orthodox friends. All my classmates were non-believers, all the people in my art classes were non-believers as well. And we never had any arguments about faith. We were smart enough to understand that it was a personal choice and that we shouldn't have disputed that.
As for my Protestant friends, we all just were happy to be friends with Christians at last, so we tried not to spoil our relationships with any disputes.
So, I didn't have arguments because I didn't want to. And now I have a better reason: “so that the name of God not be offended”.

В.Г. [(5) 19,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Healthy flesh tries to resist the will of God, a healthy body is more subject to temptations. That's why diseases are sent to us, in this way a person sins less. Those sick with a cold need just a pill to heal, a patient with cancer requires surgical intervention. Therefore the more complex the disease, the more action is taken to save the patient. So the crucifixion of the body, that is, its complete separation from the soul, is the closest "point" to God.

Э.К. [(4) 42]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This is pride, which is the root of all sins. All subsequent passions are formed from it. The antithesis of pride is humility, which Jesus Christ teaches us through the Holy Scriptures: "Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29). The Apostle James also says: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble" (James 4:6). Thus, the most important thing for the soul is peace, which is acquired through humility. And through pride, only suffering can be gained.

Э.К. [(2,5) 38]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Passion is a person's infatuation with something instead of God. From Church Slavonic this word is translated as "suffering". However, it has another meaning – the sinful disposition and habit of a person, leading him or her to violate the commandments of God, often even against the will and awareness of the sinfulness of the situation. The unnatural nature of passion lies in the fact that man renounces in it his natural connection with the Creator, who gives man the highest spiritual bliss. Instead of enjoying communion with the eternal God, man seeks pleasure in his temporal earthly existence. Such pleasures may include money, food, other forms of physical enjoyment, humiliation of others, asserting one's superiority over them, and excessive distress over material deficiency. If the soul connects with God it is not a subject to any passions.

Э.К. [(4,5) 35,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I fully agree with this statement. I want to add that everything must be according to the will of our God, the Father Almighty. But at the same time, we should not rely only on Him and neglect our actions. He gave us this power, the freedom of our own will and our choice. And if something bad has happened in our life, we should understand it was because we let it happen, being slaves of our passions. And if we don't want to live in a sin, we should struggle with all the iniquities, as we are given this opportunity.
There are people who say that we will never be ideal, without any shortcomings, as we are here on the Earth after the fall of Adam and Eve and continue atoning for their sins. But it's not right. Everyone has his or her own path either to the Kingdom of Heaven or to the Hell. And we can attain a kind of ideal state of mind. But only if we want it and live according to the commandments.

M.O. [(3,5) 92]

1. Recently we had a semester of Liturgical Studies where we have learnt a lot about the divine services, for instance, that final formal blessing on the faithful is called DISMISSAL.
2. I have found the words from Holy Bible which caused me to have CONTRITE HEART: that the Creator of the universe says that we have to love His Law, otherwise our prayers are an abomnination.
3. We EXALT the name of the commemorated saint of the current day in the ninth hour.
4. In the past the AMBO was a raised stand in the church which was used for reading the Gospel and Epistles.
5. During the week of the Easter the ROYAL DOORS are opened, as it symbolizes the entrance to the Paradise as altar is the heaven and the other part of the church is the earth.
6. Many Orthodox traditions are strange enough, as recently I tried to find the reason for the bells during the CENSING so I found out that it has the symbolic rules and means that those who are in the Holy of Holies are legitimately there by permission of the God of Heaven and Earth.
7. Taking part in Holy Communion means that the person has drank of THE FOUNTAIN OF IMMORTALITY and has become a servants and a HANDMAIDEN of the God.
8. Fervent performance of the commandments and finding of the noble aim of the life means that the person is working for the ACQUISITION of the Holy SPIRIT.
9. A communicant has to fulfil several rules before he would get the permission to be a participant of the this sacrament: going to confession, saying prayers and having a clean spirit. So the priest’s prayer before the Eucharist has the words as follows: WITH BOLDNESS AND WITHOUT CONDEMNATION, as the person has to be prepared for EVERLASING DAYS and has to clean his spirit before every such act.
10. On the altar in some Churches one can see the images of THE RANKS OF ANGELS.
11. The mystery of the anointing is one of the seven greatest sacraments of the Orthodox church which ABSOLVES ONE'S SINS VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY.
12. THRICE-HOLY HYMN is usually takes place at the beginning of the simple services.

А.К. [(4,5) 31]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

The words of Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt, are really home truths. I have my personal experience connected with this issue and it makes me feel ashamed. Of course, I know several prayers and say them by heart every day. But sometimes in the morning when I drink holy water I realise I don't remember if I prayed a second ago or not, although I stood before my icon corner with lots of icons. It's so terrible...
We discussed it with my friend recently. She had the same story. We asked each other a very shocking question: "How does it happen that thoughts of the vanity of the world become more important for us than words of a prayer?" We came to the conclusion that it's because of our spiritual weakness and egoism. We think about the weather, the clothes we are going to wear according to the forecast, but not about our way to salvation. We don't want to spend several minutes in full silence talking to God, but we spend it afterwards, when we get and have to solve more and more troubles with our work or health or if we start to say all the prayers again with seriousness and with all our heart. Otherwise, "without understanding and without feeling" we don't pray at all and just pronounce word for word looking at nothingness.

M.O. [(4) 88,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To be grateful... It's so easy to say "Thank you" when somebody helped you and supported you. But people so often forget about such things. They receive something they need, and think it's just an ordinary situation that doesn't need their own participation. And this is really vile. So, I fully agree with this statement of Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg. And I also think, God's help is manifested through the help of people who surround us. That's why me should thank Him for His care and love.
The best inner state I have is when I pronounce "thank you". At such moments I see, I'm not alone. Just today I said it to my mother when I realised I'm so happy to live in Moscow, to be a student and to work here. That would be impossible without her love and help. And talking about God, I believe it should become an essential part of our life to say this phrase to Him in our prayers and in our mind every time something happens or even when nothing happens, but we come to the understanding of our place in this life. Not to say it at all leads to such sinful states as arrogance and selfishness. These are things which kill love inside of our hearts. Sooner or later we can become callous and feel something like emptiness in our souls. That makes our life among other people harder and more unbearable, as we really need to share love with each other. Otherwise we are doomed to misery and suffering. So, I suppose, the absence of gratefulness is one of the worst things in our society. We should work at it better, to pray, to confess and to apologize for our spiritual blindness.

M.O. [(3,5) 84,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I really respect Saint Paisios of Mount Athos. Everything he wrote and spoke about during his earthly ministry to God is now maybe the most valuable for me. And this quote is so nice and perfect. I often think about this subject: to help or to ignore?
I live in a part of Moscow where a lot of disadvantaged and poor people live. There are so many homeless men and women and they stand every day near to our church asking for money. I always want to help everyone. But, of course, I can't. I'm a simple person who doesn't have an extra million in my pocket and who isn't almighty. But if I have a rouble, I give it to at least one of them. And I learn not to judge and think about these people's background. It's difficult. But then, I recall one situation from my past.
When I was a little girl, my family used to go to a one particular market every week. There was a little box for charity which belonged to one of the churches in our town. It was so wonderful to put some pennies in it. It was like my tradition, a special ritual, although I didn't understand it's aim. One day my granny explained it to me. She said, when I want to help but I'm not sure about what is behind the situation, it's better to follow my heart and to pronounce a short prayer in my mind: "Lord, accept the alms I offer". I've remembered it for my whole life. And I believe, this is important. God knows better how to help someone who asks for this help. It should be according to His will.
And one day a man came up to me in the street and asked me to buy him some food. I agreed. I imagined this feeling when you want to eat, but have nothing. A man was not so unpleasant. And, what's more, just an hour before I was complaining to my friend about a difficult financial situation I had. Well, I see some sense in what happened after that conversation. It was a lesson from God, I suppose. I saw that I didn't have any problems with money, at least, in comparison to that man. He was so happy. And I closed my eyes and pronounced: "Lord, accept the alms I offer and... thank You".

M.O. [(3,5) 81]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg is absolutely right! And you won't believe me, but during my reading this quote I was singing! I was tired after a hard day and tried to make myself more energetic and cheerful. And my mood definitely changed. And now I have inspiration for writing this essay.
Singing prayers instead of usual songs works much more better, as it lets you relax and concentrate on your work. I recently read another interesting quote where it was said that if we don't want to do our homework or housework, if we don't see the point in it, we should imagine it is all for God's sake. So, when I feel I can't make myself do anything, I realise this is the task I need to carry out, as God led me on this path. And when I'm singing prayers it helps me to focus on the work even more. I ask Him to help me spiritually by this edifying singing at a certain moment when I'm physically weak. So, it's not about my laziness. And it's not only about my homework or exams.
When I'm irritated or worry about an upcoming event, I always try to sing in my thoughts or listen to akathists using my headphones. For example, when I'm going to an important meeting in the rain without my umbrella, as it was blown away by the wind, and my shoes are wet and I forgot to put some documents in my bag, I turn akathist hymns to the blessed Virgin Mary on my phone on and the world is rapidly changing in my eyes! I feel her support, my soul becomes softer and calmer, because it is kept "in a holy and God-pleasing disposition". Eventually, I come to the meeting in a good mood and don't hurt anybody.

M.O. [(4) 77,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I think Abbot Nikon Vorobiev is definitely right. Sometimes a person doesn't think much about God, forgets about prayers, but then he decides to change something and thinks, it's easy. It's not so difficult to read the Bible every day, it's interesting and curious and, in the end, it's a very significant part of our religious life. But this often leads to various temptations. As my mother says, when we try to get closer to God, devils feel it and come closer to us.
I felt it myself. Some months ago during the Great Lent I decided to read the Gospel every day with especially serious attitude to every word. I was so excited as I found some new things, which I'd never noticed before. I was captivated by every episode and even copied out some phrases. Then I came home to my mother who was also reading the Gospel in those days. So we decided to read together. When we finished, I suddenly felt something strange inside. It was like I understood everything. Unconsciously I've thought I knew everything about the subject which was described in those sentences and asked my mom if she understood the meaning of them. I was ready to argue with her and to interpret the words for her. But she said something I even didn't think about. She found such deep meaning in it and explained it it to me immediately. At that moment I realised I was captivated not by the Gospel, but by my sin of arrogance. I was mislead by my own feelings. That made me keep silence. I feared a high opinion of myself and repented afterwards. But I learned, the ministry to God can't exist without unceasing labour, prudence and struggling against your desires.

M.O. [(3,5) 73,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I really appreciate these words of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos. I think it is so wise to create the world where we can feel when we do something bad and also what can be good for us and the people around. That makes us move on and change ourselves. And it's important to develop and to arrange everything in our souls and mind.
I often think that we, people, are so happy! We are able to love, to delight and to share our good mood and thoughts with our neighbours. And it's so sad that sometimes we don't want to struggle against some sinful desires and even infect each other with them.
Yesterday my friend told me she had an argument with her boyfriend and repeated the phrase she said to him: "I won't change my mind for you! I don't care if you think otherwise, I'm right anyway!" Well... She decided, she is much more clever and wise than him and he must humble himself to continue their relationship. Truth be told, I was shocked. There was a flash of egoism and selfishness inside her and she even didn't notice it. For me that means a person doesn't receive a gift from God. This gift is the ability to love. It sounds terrible. I was afraid for her, her health and well-being, as it was a serious sin. But after a day she called me and said she made a decision to apologize and promised her boyfriend and herself to try to work at her inner life. So, she started her struggle to overcome this fault and, I believe, God will bless them with wedding.

M.O. [(3,5) 70]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

To be honest, I fully agree with these words of St. Nektary of Optina and even had such experience. Firstly I should say that nowadays there is a very widespread opinion among Christians that sometimes a non-believer is much more better, kinder and more out-going person than a believer. Some people say, people who have a strong faith always insist on some "facts" of this life and try to change those who surround them. It's partly true, as we all know those old women in churches who like to teach you and... so did I some years ago, when I felt my friend didn't understand and support me in some cases. He started to misunderstand me more. And I was about to fall into heresy. So, it was a great mistake of mine. At that moment I was able to realise that the reason why we didn't continue our relationships was the absence of communion in prayer. He even couldn't realize what is it to pray and to glorify God. And I was too obstinate and stubborn and even didn't let him think and live in his own way.
Some months later, another friend of mine came to see me and started to ask provocative questions about my faith and texts of the Holy Scripture. He tried to disprove my words when I wanted to explain that everyone goes in his or her own way and I'm not a priest to preach. I said particularly word for word as St. Nektary: "I don't want to make the name of God be offended during our argument". I was unconfident in such things in those times. And after that I was really surprised. He answered: "Oh, you really respect and honour Him... You think about His name? It's so nice!" So, since that day he has decided not to bring this topic up as he had seen its importance for me. But we are still friends, despite the fact that he even wasn't baptized. It's risky for me in some sense, but he is good and just a curious boy.

M.O. [(3) 33,75]

1) During the reign of Elizabeth I all people had to recognize THE SUPREMACY of their queen. But there were PURITANS who hated her and ACCUSED her OF VANITY and IDOLATRY. And Catholics happened to keep their PRACTICES in PRIEST HOLES.
2) English Protestants believed that the bread during the Eucharist symbolically turned into the FLESH OF CHRIST.
3) We live in DEPRAVED TIME. We should learn how to CUT OFF OUR DESIRES to reduce the amount of our VICES.
4) INGRATITUDE and UNFORGIVENESS are two main things which can destroy the harmony between people.
5) PHARISEES couldn't realise how it's possible to heal something invisible like human soul.
7) R.B. was waiting for the millennial reign of Christ after THE SECOND COMING. And this is the idea of CHILIASM or MILLENARIANISM.
8) The term "GNOSTICISM" was offered by Henry More in the 17th c.

M.O. [(10) 30,75]

1) When my friend successfully took a test for knowledge of THE TYPICON, he REJOICED and was EXCEEDING GLAD!
2) My friend from Oxford loves reading works of some VOLUMINOUS WRITERS and the LEADING GREEK THEOLOGIANS like GEORGE SCHOLARIOS.

M.O. [(3) 20,75]

1) Evelyn Waugh was CONVERTED INTO CATHOLIC faith in 1930.
3) Practically nobody is able to REFUSE THE ALLUREMENTS AND PLEASURES of this World.
4) It's so pitiful that people don't see and even don't want to see GOD'S PROVIDENTIAL DISPENSATION.
5) In a series I'm watching now practically every main hero sooner or later does something illegal and UNDERGOES PERSECUTION.
6) My grandmother likes to call politicians "THE PRECURSORS OF ANTICHRIST".

M.O. [(3) 17,75]

1) It took a long time before THE DELEGATES FROM FOREIGN CHRISTIAN PARISHES met and PROCLAIMED THE UNION with each other in 2007.
2) Christians believe they will be able to be ABSOLVED even if they COMMIT A SERIOUS SIN and that is the thing that makes them different from those who live according to the ideas of NOVATIANISM.
3) If you REJECT GOD it means you will not be allowed to ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, but some people believe God is so GRACEFUL that anyway everyone has this chance, and this is a HERESY which is called APOCATASTASIS.
4) To my mind, all the conflicts and intrigues connected with RELIGIOUS ISSUES are UNEDIFYING.

M.O. [(5) 14,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Our desires are dangerous for us. The root of them is pride and vanity. We are unable to stop sometimes when it comes to our desires. We go crazy and commit sins in order to get what we want. We are not free when we are under such condition. People are shackled by bad desires, because their mind is focused on thinking how to get what they want. There is not so much space left for spiritual life. If we want to be set free, we should try to cut our desires off.
We better ask God to correct our desires and make clear which of them are bad for our spiritual life. Because most of the time they seem to be innocent. We have good intentions, but such intentions may result in bad consequences.

E.З. [(5) 54]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree with Righteous John of Kronstadt, because it’s a huge problem for me to stay focused on a prayer. I feel that I’m not present when I’m in church. I get easily distracted by my thoughts about my life. I hope, in time, I will be fully immersed in services.
I’ve started reading an akathist to Xenia of Saint Petersburg and I’ve noticed that my attention is always different. I’m more focused when I’m less tired. Sometimes I read with understanding and feeling, sometimes without. I guess it takes time and practice to start praying with full attention and heart put into a prayer.

E.З. [(5) 40,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

This matter is rather complicated. We are all afraid of death and there are not so many people who would die protecting others. It depends on the situation. Sometimes sacrifice is justified, sometimes it’s not. For instance, if a person who has kids to be raised saves an acquaintance and dies, it might be unreasonable.
A life is granted by such sacrifice though. It’s a chance for a saved person to change things in their life or help others. The fact that someone died for them might be awakening. Maybe those saved people do so many good deeds that sacrifices can be justified.
If one fails to make such a sacrifice they should reflect on the situation and try to make up for the deficiency. We cannot change the past, but we can change the future.

E.З. [(4) 35,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I agree that satiety is harmful in many aspects. It’s bad for our physical body, for our health in general. Overindulging in food and drinks may result in obesity and heart disease. When we are full, we want to rest and even sleep, because our digesting system needs some time to complete the process of digesting food.
It’s difficult to work or pray in such condition, because there is no energy left. A slight feeling of hunger has more benefits than fullness. The brain is not distracted; we have clear mind. But complete hunger is just as dangerous as satiety. For instance, people tend to buy more when they are hungry. Both of these conditions may result in committing sins. We better strike the balance when it comes to food and drinks.

E.З. [(4,5) 31,5]

1. Since the reign of the Ottomans in Turkey the CRESCENT moon and star is placed on the top roof of a mosque.
2. Thanks to its many believers Moscow is a “GOD-PROTECTED CITY”.
3. Healing of the soul cannot be VERIFIED as it’s invisible but the person can feel it.
4. God promised us that our souls will be UNBURDENED of earthly things with its hustle and bustle.
5. While Jesus was wandering with the aim of preaching the MULTITUDE was following him all the time.
6. Our prayers to God is the way to the house of comfort and CONSOLATION.
7. Servants of the God, especially clergy, are one of the types of the PHYSICIANS of the soul.
8. In the times of the monarchy people often allowed a SAD CONFUSION BETWEEN ORTHODOXY AND NATIONALISM, and nowadays mistakenly continue to blame the church for the secular problems.
9. During the Turkish invasions in Constantinople many of the clergy were SUFFERED VIOLENT DEATHS.
10. After Christ's ressurection disciples gathered FLOCKS in different parts of the world preaching Christ to them.
11. St. Nicholas, the last Emperor of Russia, had an involuntary ABDICATION after which his family was sent into exile.
12. Being under Ottoman suzerainty PATRIARCH of the Turkish capital lost all independence and BOWED EVENTUALLY TO THE INEVITABLE and obeyed the authority.

А.К. [(5) 21]

1) I can ignore political venal practices, but the corruption and SIMONY in Church is totally abominable.
2) My uncle HELD THE OFFICE at the education department for 10 years, but now he started to think about his resignation.
3) I can't imagine that those people whom we now call Saints and who HELD SERVICES, INITIATED MISSIONARY JOURNEYS and wrote SERVICE BOOKS and, in general, served to THE GRACIOUS GOD then SUFFERED VIOLENT DEATHS.
4) Everytime I visit my favourite church in Lipetsk I am happy to SECURE our priest's BLESSING and to feel like I am a part of his FLOCK.
5) I heard one woman who lived on an island said she was ready to live everywhere in the world, even in the WILDERNESS like Christ, but I'm sure it's not so easy as she thinks.

M.O. [(5) 9,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

What does it mean to imitate somebody’s life? Is it the right way of living? Why do you have such point of view? Why does the person think that he can bear such life?
Look around you. Look at your surroundings. What lifestyle do people lead? Can you afford yourself to be like the Fathers? Are you healthy enough to fast in a strict way? Your choice can harm your nearest and dearest. Are you sure that this diet wouldn’t give you dangerous signs of diseases instead of fruitful expectations of high spirit? So, modern society and current life is not ready to accept so spiritual a vision of life. Just because our existence in a megalopolis is already a test for survival! With its everyday comfortable but irritating conditions. So our task is to stay humane, to have pure spirit as a child and to have pure conscience.

А.К. [(3) 16]

1. Apostles were SUCCESSORS of the Jesus Christ.
2. People who are inherently bitchy are not capable of SELF-EMPTYING.
3. During his lifetime THE GRAND DUKE OF MOSCOW St. Daniel was notable for his piety, gentleness and peacefulness.
4. Jesus OVERLORDSHIPS into heaven is everlasting.
5. Jews are very picky about THE OBSERVANCE OF THEIR FAITH.
6. Latter-day Christianity has UNDERGONE cruel PERSECUTION.
7. CHAPLAIN conducts prayers before every mission.
8. Nowadays many people APOSTATIZE TO ISLAM too often.
9. According to the beliefs of Tertullian God released Eve from the demon by becoming incarnate through the Virgin Mary, which was the WITNESSING of her FAITH.
10. Life is like an invisible holy war against the INFIDELS.

А.К. [(4) 13]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I personally admire those who pray a lot, fast and try their best to be devoted and pious Christians. Such people are the great living example. Yet they are far from being perfect and sinless. They are equal to us, unlike priests, monks and elders. The clergy has authority and experience which they can share. This means devout people have no right to judge us. But they are more than welcome to give spiritual advice.

E.З. [(4) 27]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

As far as I'm concerned, leading spiritual life style must be kept in secret. This quote has caused negative emotions in my soul as I met too many people with such behavior. It's not my place to judge their deeds but such «interference» in a stranger's life is very popular among them. If you choose high lifestyle it's your own way and you can't bring another to do something that you consider to be right. But I can say that keeping tabs on the lives of others means dishonest leading of spiritual life.
So it is not your busines how other people behave and it's their choice how to make mistakes. I can't stand the behavior of fasting people. In my society it's widely spread when a person starts to claim his beliefs during the dinner with secular friends. Or a person rejects invitation of a good old mate to visit cinema with explanations like "I'm above the perishable world". So I find it rediculous.
However, if a person deeply believe's in his purpose in life he can do it because of good intentions.

А.К. [(3) 9]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

My opinion about this quote finds its foundation in the passages from the epistles of Apostle Pavel on the marriage. He believes that leading life style of a monk is much more suitable for him. But also he suggests that wedlock is more difficult than life in a monastery with its minimalism. Husband and wife have to make the space around them more comfortable. Except for spiritual practice between it can be expressed in material things like making their home more cozy and attractive. As they have to raise children in good conditions and to create the appropriate mood of surrounding. So I’m against this idea that being involved in the secular life with its values a person can’t give joy to other people.

А.К. [(2,5) 6]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

We don’t know exactly how much time it took God to create our universe. But everything was done gradually. It wasn’t made in six days, but in six steps.
The world was created in a logical sequence, step by step. It takes a lot of time and thorough preparation to launch a big project. Every detail should be thought through. If we want to become God-like we should take into account His very example.

E.З. [(4,5) 23]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Those sinners who acknowledge their sins and ask forgiveness enter the kingdom of Heaven. It’s in our nature to commit sins, but it’s also in our nature to resist the evil. When a child is born, it is sinless, pure and kind by default. But as a person grows up, they are given a choice to do good or bad. The ability to choose was granted to us by God and is the result of His love. Acknowledgement of sins is already winning half the battle. If one feels guilty and ashamed after committing some sins over and over again this means their soul is still pure and God-oriented.
At the same time, it’s important to reflect on these sins and do our best to stop committing them. There are a lot of Christians who confess same sins again and again without any improvement in their spiritual lives. In this case confession becomes kind of useless and is impaired.

E.З. [(4,5) 18,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

If doctors had read this quote of Metropolitan Gregory of St. Petersburg they would have said that he was completely right. So, it turns out that both our body and soul can benefit from singing. Voice is an effective tool to combat stress and to harmonize all the elements of the body. Also it’s always available.
People who sing on a regular basis are less prone to depression. They feel more protected, prosperous and more satisfied with their lives. The body produces endorphins during the process of singing, which results in a good mood. Singing improves the respiratory system by clearing it.
No wonder peasants would sing while working in the fields. Group singing works even better. So singing songs does cheer us up, just like Metropolitan Gregory of St. Petersburg stated in the quote.

E.З. [(4) 14]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

In this wonderful quote St. Antony the Great mentioned two of the most important characteristics of God’s love and love as a whole.
First of all, love requires freedom of choice. That is why God let the very first people to commit original sin. That was the result of His love. And even after that He didn’t refuse to love us, His creation. He believes in us and encourages us to be akin to Him. So we are born with a crystal clear soul and given the whole life span to become godlike. We are free to make our choices and whether we will rejoin with God or not depends on those choices.
Secondly, love makes us stronger. If not, then it’s not about love, it’s about passions. For passions make us weaker. When we love other people, we change for the better for the sake of them. Same with love for God. We try to justify His love by avoiding sins. And we can do it as we have such power. And this is wonderfully illustrated by saints.
I totally agree with this quote and can relate to this. For this is how I see the very nature of God’s love and love in general.

E.З. [(4,4) 10]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Each person often faces with such situations. My parents always taught me to give alms when a poor man asks me (if I have such an opportunity). Cause how can we know what really happened to a person, why he has to stand with an outstretched hand. Our business is to render assistance (if possible), and how to dispose of this assistance is the business of the requesting person. It happens that you run past the begging in a hurry, and then thoughts of him pursue you throughout the day. You should never refuse to help the poor. It is our duty to take care of them. We are all brothers and sisters and should help each other, this is called love for one's neighbor.

Э.К. [(4,25) 31]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I think Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt describes a person who is not particularly into the faith. Many people believe that they have fulfilled their duty when they went to the temple, stood there, bought candles, ordered the moleben and so on. They have completed these formalities and everything will be fine now. It's a delusion. The prayer of a true Christian comes from the depths of his or her soul. The real prayer is sincere, tearful, focused. Prayer is our communion with God. But how can you communicate with someone while being focused on completely different things? True prayer requires abandoning our worldly thoughts. Only in this way it makes sense.

Э.К. [(5) 26,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

We are very dependent on our passions and desires. They shackle us. People become narrow-minded; they are concentrated only on their desires. This can lead to a retardation of one's spiritual development. This is so if we are talking about our mundane desires. The main desire of a person should be his or her proximity to God, the desire to be better and more pure throughout our mortal life. When our thoughts are not immersed in sweet desires then our soul is pure and free.

Э.К. [(4,5) 21,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

‘ Let this always be the aim of your conduct: to be courteous and respectful to all.’ – I have chosen this quote because this topic worries me a lot. And I have never heard about a person who spent his life in the secular world and appreciated each human being he’d ever met.
I suppose that in the modern world being spiritually healthy is very difficult. So, deep in my heart I tried to make comprehensive analyses and came to the conclusion that every person must have a strict judge in their mind. And has to distinguish grain from feather. We need time to understand psychology of people around us. Good motives and Christian upbringing quite often destroyed people’s lives. For the world is not always supported by good Samaritans and we have to understand that our values differs from other people's. Our consciousness can’t admit inside every living creature with the same feelings. Sometimes it can be harmful for a person’s world and can have false influence. For me this statement brings in it one-sided idea which doesn’t have any direct application to ordinary life with it’s problems and circumstances.
And in our reality we have to face with the fact that if you want to follow the rule of this quote you have to be with people who has sober awareness of the reality or have a life style suitable for you. In this case you can respect a person as you like his image and his inner world. But this is unrealistc. So this statement can be supported by me, but in cases which are suitable for the situation.

А.К. [(2,5) 3,5]

1. THOMAS AQUINAS devoted much attention to the operation of nature believing that there’s no INCOMPREHENSIBILITY of God and through nature God can be known analogically through the created world.
2. DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE was a follower of platonism, the teaching about KNOWABLE God, Who is INFINITE as all people.
1. The distinction between CLERGY AND LAITY, as most understand after RELIGIOUS REVIVAL and today, is not biblical.
2. APOPHATIC THEOLOGY attempts to approach God, the Divine, by negation, and it can refer us to the MYSTICAL THEOLOGY of the east.
1. At the point of history, eventually THE CRUSADES led two different CONGREGATIONS from Rome and Jerusalem to be in condition of conflict.
2. The attack on Constantinople horrified the Greeks because of its WANTON SACRILEGE appeared, for example, setting prostitutes on the Patriarch’s throne.
1. THE PAPACY represented by the patriarch Sergius didn’t add Sergius IV in the list of patriarchs called THE DIPTYCHS.
2. According to tradition, THE UNLEAVENED BREAD is usually sanctified in THE ALTAR at the Liturgy.
1. Photius’s ENCYCLICAL LETTER contained some materials about those who had to be EXCOMMUNICATED because of the heretical usage of Filioque.
2. In 380 AD Theodosius DECLARED that Trinitarian Christianity was the only religion of Roman Empire.
1. An icon celebrating the veneration of icons, THE TRIUMPH OF Orthodoxy and ICONS is the festal icon for the first Sunday of Great Lent.
2. The Papacy has to treat the newly-elected patriarch with DEFERENCE due to his high rank in the Church.
1. Sometimes people use to think that God won’t give you more than you can handle, and as a Christian I should say, that it is THEOLOGICALLY UNTRUE.
2. TRINITARIAN THEOLOGY includes the teaching about existence of God as three persons or hypostases, but in one being with only one divine nature.
1. The term "pontiff" was applied to a bishop and more particularly to the Bishop o Rome, the Pope or "ROMAN PONTIFF".
2. You can only disprove any Christian dogma by doubting the INFALLIBILITY of the Scripture itself.
1. Being an AUTOCRAT is a big responsibility to all faithful and the Church as a whole.
2. One of the reasons of A SHARP DIVISION BETWEEN CLERGY AND LAITY is that in the beginning most of the work of the congregation was done by people who had no official position.

М.К. [(10) 22,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

All people are subject to sin. Throughout life we can repeatedly commit the same sin. We should try to avoid repeating this sin and pray for deliverance from this weakness. As many times have we sinned so many we must turn to God with repentance. We must show the sincerity of repentance by abandoning sins, by prayer and doing good to our neighbors and to all who ask us. For man who has received forgiveness from the Lord is saved.

Э.К. [(4,5) 17,25]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Physical satiety drowns out spiritual thirst. Attachment to drink, food, and clothing is a sign that a person focuses on the temporal and the earthly. How, then, to take care of the soul? The body is perishable, the soul is immortal. We must always remember this. Gluttony is a sin, and it contributes to the manifestation of many other sins: sloth, idleness, idle talk ... Fasting, prayer and repentance are the best food for the soul.

Э.К. [(5) 5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

It is a really big question. Probably, I would rather disagree than agree with Elder Paisios of Mount Athos. On the one hand, the Lord teaches us to give to those who ask us, in this way we express our love and compassion for our neighbour. For me, indifference is the scariest thing in the world. I believe if you have an opportunity to help someone who is in need, you should do this. But, on the other hand, today, unfortunately, I increasingly see people who are not needy but pretend to be. And it is a very difficult situation when a person asks you for help but they look very suspicious. What to do then in this case? First of all, we should not judge this person. After all, we will all be responsible for our actions before God. I think that alms should come from our heart and it is better not to force yourself, if you doubt a person’s honesty.

М.Ч. [(5) 25,75]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I think that Abbot Nikon Vorobiev is absolutely right. Even in the Gospel of St. Mark the Lord Himself says that He came to save not the righteous but the sinners because they really need someone who could cleanse their sinful souls. God loves the sinners, He has compassion for them. They are spiritually sick and therefore need Him to help them. And God is ready to save all the people. But the question is whether we ourselves want this. If we acknowledge our sins and repent, the Lord will forgive us. We are all sinful by nature. And it is better to realize that you are a sinner and always ask God for forgiveness than to think that you are sinless.

М.Ч. [(5) 9,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I completely agree with Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg that satiety is extremely harmful for our soul. But most of people do not think that overindulgence in food or drink is a terrible sin, though in actual fact it is really dangerous for our soul because it commonly leads to other sins such as laziness and idleness. People who are subject to this sin are also drawn into a great number of impure thoughts and desires, and eventually forget about God. They stop taking care of their spiritual life and become like animals. The body overcomes the soul under the influence of the sin because what gives pleasure to the body harms our soul and destroys it. Unfortunately, some people even do not notice how they become the slaves of a demon.

М.Ч. [(4,5) 4,5]

1 I believe I must share with others, because sharing with others is rooted in GRATITUDE for the BOUNTIES given to me by God who is love.
2 From time to time some bishops who are to shepherd must travel to a far- away village, to people unknown to them in order that HENCEFORTH they may become their beloved FLOCK.
3 Fasting and TITHING are good, but our GOOD WORKS should not function as a pedestal on which we stand to boast.
4 Maria Sergeevna Krasovitskaya told us that during the time of JOHN CHRYSOSTOM and of Maximus the Confessor while the catechumens were being prayed for and dismissed, and then as the PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION were offered, deacons exited the church through the north door to enter the little building adjacent to it where the SACRED VESSELS were kept.
5 Julia Vladimirovna Serebryakova told us that as «PASSION BEARERS» turning the other cheek to endure completely innocent suffering and laying down their lives so that others might live, saints Boris and Gleb were CANONIZED by the Russian Church in 1020 – just five years after their deaths.

И.M. [(5) 109]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

If you are a vile person, you are not spiritual. The spiritual person is the one who is grateful for everything and to everyone. He is the one who receives everything with thanksgiving, and who knows that he has nothing except what he has received from God. In the Old Testament thanksgiving was central in the life of God’s people. The temple worship offered sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise, and psalms sang continually of thanksgiving to God. In the New Testament, thanksgiving is the very essence of the Church’s life. The very word Eucharist means thanksgiving.
So the spiritual person has thanksgiving and gratitude in all circumstances, in everything and for everything. The spiritual teachers, especially Saint John Chrysostom, are very strict in such teaching. The spiritual man doesn’t thank God only for what he considers to be good. The thanksgiving is rooted in the firm conviction of God’s merciful providence and care in all things. So I absolutely agree with Metropolitan Gregory. When a person is grateful to the Lord, he is grateful to his neighbor!

И.M. [(5) 68]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I fully agree with righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt. God doesn’t like vanity. So to be obedient to God requires the virtue of patience. I believe, this quote also tells us that we should grow gradually in the grace of God through the daily effort to keep His commandments and to accomplish His will. And, of course, it is tiresome and long – we expect everything at once, with little striving and small effort. But patience is united with faith, hope, love and humility, which alone brings the strength to go on not hurriedly, but with consideration. If one wishes to be patient, one must be united with Christ and live by the power of the Spirit.

И.M. [(5) 63]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

I fully agree with Dorotheos of Gaza. Self-control is one of the main gifts to men as created in God’s image. According to the saints, self-control is one of the main elements of the divine image in man, coextensive with the gift of freedom which is often explained as the essential and basic element of man’s likeness to the Creator. When one is perfectly free by the grace of God, because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom; there is also perfect control over oneself. A man loses his self-control, thus his freedom when he sells himself to sin and becomes a slave to the corruption of his fleshly passions. The man without self-control is enslaved. He is the captive of sin, the willing instrument of carnal passions, the victim of all foolishness and evil. But, of course, we can’t cut off our desires of the body and soul such as need for sleep or the emotions such as zeal, joy – they are sinless passions, so they are not destroying.

И.M. [(5) 58]

1. Healing the PARALYTIC Jesus shows that He is Christ the MESSIAH, the FULFILLMENT of the prophets.
2. God has made us who we are. He has put us where we are, even when it is against our own self-will. How dare we to tell God that our failures in life are His fault?! It is simple BLASPHEMY.
3. At every Liturgy the priest invites the COMMUNICANTS to the holy CHALICE with the words: «HOLY THINGS UNTO THE HOLY»!
4. The LORD GOD says that he has no pleasure in the death of anyone and He wants us to turn and live. So we must CAST AWAY from all of our TRANSGRESSIONS whether VOLUNTARY or INVOLUNTARY which we have COMMITTED against Him.
5. We, Christians, should be a FOUNTAIN of faith and a sea of patience and HUMILITY.

И.M. [(6) 53]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Prayer is essential to Christian life. Jesus Christ himself prayed and taught men to pray. And one who does not pray to God cannot be a follower of Christ. We have these types of prayer: asking, thanking, praising and lamenting before God, questioning Him about the conditions of life and the meaning of our existence, particularly in times of tragedy and confusion. And we find all these types of prayer in the Bible. So we can’t call it a prayer when we pray without understanding and without feeling and when we are elsewhere but not with God. I fully agree with righteous John, Wonderworker from Kronstadt.
Sometimes prayer can be defined as a dialogue with God, but if only we remember that it is a dialogue of silence. The purpose of prayer is to have communion with God and to be made capable of fulfilling his will. It is even spiritually dangerous to pray to God without the intention of responding and moving along the path that prayer will take us.

И.M. [(5) 47]

1. We try to struggle against the sin within us and by prayer and fasting we strive to cleanse our souls of all DEFILEMENT with the help of the Holy Trinity.
2. In general the Holy OBLATION is Christ, the Son of God who has become the Son of Man in order to offer Himself to His Father for the life of the world.
3. The Lord’s Prayer begins with a PETITION to God as our Father, so we can dare with BOLDNESS and without CONDEMNATION to call upon the heavenly God with the name of Father. Isn’t that wonderful?
4. I have learnt that both in the Old and the New Testaments, INCENSE is the symbol of rising prayers, of SPIRITUAL SACRIFICE, and of sweet-smelling FRAGRANCE of the Kingdom of God.
5. The possession of God within the mind and heart is the true knowledge of God. It comes through faith and repentance in the life of the Church. It comes essentially through the grace-given PURIFICATION of all sinful passions.

И.M. [(4,5) 42]

1. Anyone can pray and God who hears the cry of every sparrow that falls also hears the cries of JEWS, MUSLIMS, PAGANS, and atheists. But I think Christian INTERCESSION is like no other.
2. During our classes with Maria Sergeevna Krasovitskaya we study SERVICE BOOKS and the details about how to TAKE different SERVICES.
3. We are going to study CHURCH SLAVONIC, the LITURGICAL LANGUAGE and it’s wonderful. We will be able to comprehend services better.
4. I look forward to going to church where SERVICES are HELD in Greek. It might be delightful.
5. I enjoy when all the parishioners together RECITE the CREED.

И.M. [(5) 37,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Sin, according to the Scriptures is «lawlessness» and «wrongdoing». To do wrong and to be unrighteous is to sin. Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness. Christ came to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. So no one who abides in Him sins. Thereby he who commits some sin first or commits some sin again is of the devil. Not to sin is the goal of human life. But in fact all people do sin. But we should acknowledge our sins and shouldn’t delay asking forgiveness once again. We have an opportunity to be freed from sin and overcome it. Sin is an unnatural state of man. A human being is to be righteous, pure, truthful and good. I fully agree with Abbot Nikon Vorobiev. Otherwise we will move in the wrong direction, in the direction of death, not the way of true life.

И.M. [(3) 32,5]

1. If we express concern only for EARTHLY CARES, turn our eyes downward, we will never see the BLESSED Star that guides us to the INCARNATE Christ.
2. I have recently read that «HALLOWED be Thy name» means that God’s name is holy and should be treated with respect and DEVOTION.
3. Rhipsime and Gaiana are VIRGINS who were canonized by the church as they were among the first martyrs of Armenia.
4. We Orthodox Christians MAGNIFY the Lord, we REJOICE in God the SAVIOUR and try to hear and keep THE WORD OF HIS TRUTH.
5. Father Artemy told us that the potential for a good marriage is given through the SACRAMENTAL GRACE that is made truly present by the ALL-HOLY, CONSUBSTANTIAL and LIFE-GIVING Trinity.

И.M. [(6,5) 29,5]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

Giving alms is the type of ministry that could fit into everyone’s busy personal schedules and family commitments, because this way it’s definitely easy to help. Surely, I agree with elder Paisios of Mount Athos that we shouldn’t examine the people who beg from us. Moreover this quote reminds me well-known verses from the Gospel.
I believe we shouldn’t condemn or compassionate in vain, it’s not very Christian. Our compassion should be in action! We have (!) opportunities to provide food, clothing, financial support, our physical labour, and what’s more precious is our time and attention which we can give to people in need. We shouldn’t focus entirely on the person, doubt and imagine that one pretends. After all, the person who is begging may be God Himself.

И.M. [(5) 23]

1. Christians live under and by the sign of the cross. We should treat the sign of the cross with respect and REVERENCE. It’s not an empty gesture or a vestige of a cultural tradition.
2. We must honour the Saviour who took on our flesh to SANCTIFY us. We are to embrace that SANCTIFICATION through our fasting, prayer and good deeds.
3. I have learned recently that in the HESYCHAST method of prayer the person sits alone in a bodily position with his head BOWED and his eyes directed toward his chest or his stomach. He continually repeats the prayer with each aspiration and breath, placing his mind in his heart.
4. Through typological EXEGESIS, the BURNING BUSH is a type of the Theotokos, who will hold within her womb the fiery Word of God, but not be consumed in the process. 5. The Lord will come like a thief in the night, but in the meantime the Christians must continue to do their work in quietness without panic and without LAZINESS or IDLENESS.

И.M. [(4,5) 18]

"Orthodox Quote of the Week"

As soon as I had read the quote of Metropolitan Gregory of St. Petersburg, immediately I remembered the Lenten prayer of Saint Ephraim the Syrian. It reads: «O Lord and Master of my life take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk…» It is fairly straightforward and easy to understand that all these sins are harmful for our souls. But avoiding these sins is difficult enough. They present no problem to the mind, only to the will. Moreover most questions usually arise regarding satiety and why it draws a person into those sins. To my mind we are more tempted by laziness, by the itch to control, and by the desire to talk when we should listen only when we have overindulged in food or drink, because we become incapable to do something profitable for the soul. But when we simply had something to eat, we get new strength so we are ready for labour and spiritual exercises.
After all satiety is the failure to restrain ourselves and it gives a go-ahead to other lusts. Against such a relentless onslaught we need God’s help. And even when we feast, we should feast moderately, that our joy may be full. Let us not stuff ourselves to satiety, nor indulge our passions to insensibility.

И.M. [(4,5) 13,5]

1. I know that the 15 Readings (Exodus) from the Old Testament that follow speak of God creating life «in the beginning». They include PROPHECIES that reveal God’s power and His desire to save people and BRING them INTO THE LIGHT. Also they include stories about ELIJAH and ELISHA who each brought a boy back to life.
2. Indeed, we have a great deal for which to be thankful – we, sinners, HEALED by Christ and made worthy to enter the Kingdom of God. The «LEPROSY» of our sin has been CLEANSED. Let’s KNEEL DOWN to God and give Him thanks just like that LEPER called NAAMAN.
3. We BESEECH Thee, o Lord, MOVE WITH COMPASSION and strengthen us in faith and in the truth Thy SERVANTS.
4. The Saints’ lives and struggles are their combined WITNESS and TESTIMONY from which we can learn a great deal.
5. Following the specific REMEMBRANCE of the bishop of the given church, and all MANKIND there are then even more prayers asking God to remember the country, the travellers, the SUFFERING, the CAPTIVES and the BENEFACTORS of the Church.

И.M. [(9) 9]

M.O. [4,75]

E.З. [5,6]

А.Г. [2]

В.Г. [14,25]

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