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αυτής της σελίδας στα ελληνικά
From St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 5:22-26; 6:1-2
Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy
of one another. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.
Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
|The Chapel of Panagia Soumela, Paracletos Monastery
Matthew 8:5-10 (New King James Version)
The Faith of a Centurion5 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum,
a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is
lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”
7 And Jesus said to him,
“I will come and heal him.”
8 The centurion answered and said,
“Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one,
‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’
and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and
said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
1 Peter 2:20 - 25
20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently?
But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow
22 “ Who committed
Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;
23 who, when He was reviled, did
not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins,
might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you
were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
|photo: Reuters/Eliana Aponte
1 Peter 5:2-3
New King James Version (NKJV)
2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers,
not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted
to you, but being examples to the flock;
John 15:18-21 (New King James Version)
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the
world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the
world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted
Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you
for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come
after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever
desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed
when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Today's Western culture has become more materialistic and less communitarian. A culture
of self-love, self-expansion, self-promotion and self-pleasure, so what will we do?
pick up our cross or will we look to the secular institutions and Hollywood for our morality. The pull between the secular
and spiritual worlds is real.
In a sense today, Christ is speaking to us from the
Cross, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
The Prince of the Earth wants us to turn
our backs on The Shepherd of the shepherds, but the Shepherd will/have not left HIS flock. Our Lord is up all hours watching
The secular humanists think man can save man. Adam will not save adam. With a world of
conflicts, evil towards people and a moral decline in many parts of the world, of course only The Shepherd will save HIS sheep
- but we must be cheerful members of HIS flock.
Lord have mercy on us!
James 2:14-26 New King James Version (NKJV)
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16
and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which
are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have
faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons
believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith
without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac
his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works,
and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says,
“Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified
by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also
justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
An Orthodox Christian boy holds a crucifix during an Epiphany rite at the
Jordan River, near the West Bank city of Jericho, January 19, 2007. (Reuters/Yonathan Weitzman)
New King James Version (NKJV)
Greatness Is Serving
20 Then the mother
of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.
21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?”
She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right
hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”
22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with
the baptism that I am baptized with?”
They said to Him, “We are able.”
23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with
the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for
whom it is prepared by My Father.”
24 And when the ten heard it, they
were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority
over them.26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let
him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
For those in the arena:
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or
where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is
marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no
effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy
cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least
he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor
President Theodore Roosevelt
the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will
wipe away every tear from their eyes.
New King James Version (NKJV)
A Prayer of Repentance
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet
went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
51 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,[a]
blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me
with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me
from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.
The sign of the Cross brings down upon us
divine grace, if we use it to reverse an old situation making it new. The sign of the cross is a blow against our old man
and breath to the new man and his resurrection as a new man in Christ. The sign of the Cross brings about a true change in us, realized by the divine grace which we invoke
when we make this victorious sign.
Holy Tradition is the very Church; without the Sacred Tradition the Church does not exist. Those who deny the Sacred
Tradition deny the Church and the preaching of the Apostles.
Before the writing of the Holy Scriptures, that is, of the sacred texts of the Gospels,
the Acts and the Epistles of the Apostles, and before they were spread to the churches of the world, the Church was based
on Sacred Tradition. The holy texts are in relation to Sacred Tradition
what the part is to the whole. The Church Fathers regard Sacred Tradition as the safe guide in the interpretation of Holy
Scripture and absolutely necessary for understanding the truths contained in the Holy Scripture. The Church received many
traditions from the Apostles: The constitution of the church services, especially of the Divine Liturgy, the holy Mysteries
themselves and the manner of performing them, certain prayers and other institutions of the Church go back to the Sacred Tradition
of the Apostles.
In their conferences, the Holy Synods draw not only
from Holy Scriptures, but also from Sacred Tradition as from a pure fount. Thus, the Seventh Ecumenical Synod says in the
8th Decree: "If one violates any part of the Church Tradition, either written or unwritten, let him be anathema."
Nectarios Of Aegina
"Orthodoxy is life; one cannot talk about it, one must live it."
Elder Nektary of Optina
The Life of the Cross
“Christians obtain their inheritance from Christ when they meet certain conditions. They must seek the
Kingdom of God, according to Christ’s statement: ‘Seek the Kingdom of God and all these things will be yours as
well’ (Luke 12:31). They are obligated to love Christ and keep His commandments (John 14:23), pick up their Cross and
follow Him (Matthew 10:38), do unto others as they would want to be done to them (Matthew 7:12), love their neighbors as themselves,
and follow many other conditions that are written in God’s Covenant with the Church.”
Identity Established through Images according to Saint John Chrysostom, Patristic Theological Library 2, Orthodox Research
Institute, Rollinsford, New Hampshire, 2006; pg. 163.]
A Bulgarian boy kisses a cross during a festival marking the traditional holiday of Todorov Den, also known as Horse Easter,
in the village of Gorna Banja, near Sofia March 15, 2008. Orthodox Bulgarians organise horse races on Todorov Den as it is
believed to keep their farm animals in good health. REUTERS/Oleg Popov (BULGARIA)
A cross is seen as Orthodox Christian pilgrims pray during Orthodox Christmas services at the Church of
Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, early Monday, Jan.
7, 2008. Christmas falls on Jan. 7 for Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land, Russia and other Orthodox churches that use the
old Julian calendar instead of the 16th-century Gregorian calendar adopted by Catholics and Protestants and commonly used
in secular life around the world. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
Church is not a museum for saints... it's a hospital for sinners.
King James Bible
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not
grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.
|St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Greenville, SC
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