The Cross

Mom's grave

This symbol (of the Cross) has two closely interconnected meanings.
On the one hand, it is the cross of Christ, this decisive organ with which the earthly life and ministry of Christ was completed.
It is the story of a terrible and terrifying hatred of Him that all of His teaching focused on the command of love, and that His whole preaching was a call to self-sacrifice in the name of love.
So the cross of Christ poses an eternal problem,
which aims at the depth of consciousness:
why did kindness stir not only opposition but also hatred?
Why is goodness always crucified in this world?
Nun Agathangela

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Spiritual Counsels

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True humility is the inability to see evil in other people. Such a virtue leads to the discovery in man of an angelic vision rather than demonism, as in the world, where we only observe evil. A humble man sees himself in accordance to the vision in which everything was created by God, and through grace finds great glory according to the Gospel.

Whoever lives in love lives in Eternity: “Anyone who lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11: 26). Choose the most important thing in life – Love, and everything else is like dust.

Love is the life of the soul, but not every soul can love, since love is always extremely painful.

The silence of your heart is the voice of God, and the humility of your heart is the voice of peace.

The fruit of sin is falsity, its taste is atrocious, its vision is blindness, and its state is the absolute despair of the soul. If you eat the poisonous fruits of sin you can not see the beauty of heaven and earth, you do not hear the clear voice of the forest and the fields, you do not feel the fresh fragrance of flowers. The charm of the vast expanse of the sea is missing, and even more so, and this is the most tragic – the mysterious vastness of the human soul, the living God, is not available. Because we do not know grace and we do not have the power to change spiritually, based on the experience of life and the good morals that it is impossible to have without Christ.

Without patience, all our efforts are transformed into nothing: physical difficulties seem unbearable and spiritual oppression seems insurmountable.

Do not change the world, change only a small part of this world – yourself, and the whole world will change after you.

Monk Symeon of Athos

ΜΟΛΙΣ ΣΗΜΕΡΑ

ΜΟΛΙΣ ΣΗΜΕΡΑ βρήκα το θάρρος και ξεσκέπασα το κηπάκι σαν φέρετρο.

Με πήραν κατάμουτρα οι μυρωδιές, λεμόνι, γαρίφαλο.

Ύστερα παραμέρισα τα χρόνια, τα φρέσκα πέταλα και να: η μητέρα μου, μ’ ένα μεγάλο άσπρο καπέλο και το παλιό χρυσό ρολόι της κρεμασμένο στο στήθος.

Θλιμμένη και προσεκτική. Πρόσεχε κάτι ακριβώς πίσω από μένα.

Δεν πρόφτασα να γυρίσω να δω γιατί λιποθύμησα.

ΜΕΡΑ ΤΡΕΜΑΜΕΝΗ όμορφη σαν νεκροταφείο

με κατεβασιές ψυχρού ουρανού

Γονατιστή Παναγία κι αραχνιασμένη

Τα χωμάτινα πόδια μου άλλοτε

(Πολύ νέος ή και ανόητα όμορφος θα πρέπει

να ήμουν)

Οι και δύο και τρεις ψυχές που δύανε

Γέμιζαν τα τζάμια ηλιοβασίλεμα.

Οδυσσέα Ελύτη ”Ημερολόγιο ενός αθέατου Απριλίου”

Saladin and the Holy Light (1192 AD)

From Richard’s Chronicle

Richard’s Chronicle (Itenerarium Peregrinorum Ricardi) consists of six books and survives in nine manuscripts.  German Professor Hans Mayer has expressed the view that the initial period of Richard had been written by an unknown English military priest who participated in the Third Crusade.  Richard asserts that he participated in the crusade and that many of the events he describes he has experienced himself. About the Holy Saturday ceremony of 1192, the English chronicler reports the following:

“On Easter eve, Saladin, accompanied by his entourage, travelled to the venerable Tomb of the Lord in Jerusalem in order to discover the truth about the Holy Fire which persistently descends every year through Divine Power and lights the votive candle within the Tomb.  For some time Saladin and other Turks observed the reverence of their Christian prisoners, tied in chains and praying for God’s mercy with tears.  Suddenly, before their eyes, the Holy Fire descended and lighted the votive candle.  Immediately it began to burn and shimmer.  When they saw this, they  were very moved.

The Christians rejoiced and praised the greatness of God with loud voices, while the Muslims, surprised by such an obvious miracle, denied that they had ever seen it and they claimed that the fire was a crafty scam invented to outsmart them.  Wanting to satisfy himself about the issue, Saladin ordered that the votive candle be extinguished which had been lighted by Divine Power.  However, the candle was immediately relit by Divine Power.  The infidel ordered that it be extinguished a second time and it again re-ignited.  They extinguished it a third time and it was lit on its own a third time.

How great the power of God!  Who can resist it?  Nothing can go against the Lord. No one can resist His will.  The Sultan was amazed and painfully touched by the sight of this miracle and by the faith and devotion of the Christians.  Inspired by a prophetic spirit, he said forcefully:  “Without a doubt, I will soon lose my life, or will I lose the ownership of the city”.  He was not deceived by this omen, because during the next Great Lent, he died.

Hieromonk Hilarion Troitsky

This man was indeed remarkable, the very name testifies to his nature: translated from Greek ‘Hilarion’ means ‘quiet, gentle, cheerful’. 

Tall, clean-limbed, with stunning blue eyes, a resonant voice, always buoyant and inspired, he produced the impression of a Russian epic hero possessing remarkable strength and intellect. His noble looks mirrored his noble, pure soul – and there lay the source of his powerful personal charm. He was a great popular favorite. Among the clergy, too, he commanded respect and authority; for his brilliant mind and staunch faith they called him “great”. 

from here http://www.pravmir.com/article_821.html