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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Prayer of the Heart ( St Theophan the Recluse )




“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me.”

“If you haven’t heard this, then listen now.
If you have never done this, begin now.”
 

St Theophan the Recluse

Adulterous Passion Is Death ( St. Nikolai Velimirovich )


 
Not one passion is conquered without a great struggle. The Holy Fathers have referred to adulterous passion as death. When the adulterer is saved from an adulterous passion it is as though he resurrected from the dead. For those who live in the world the passion of adultery is inflamed principally by seeing and for those who live a life of asceticism in the wilderness that passion is inflamed by thoughts and by imagination.

Saint Sarah, a great female ascetic, was tortured by the insane passion of adultery for thirty years. She always defeated it by prayer and drove it away from her. At one time, the foul insanity of adultery came to her in bodily form and said to her: "Sarah, you have defeated me!" Sarah humbly answered: "I have not defeated you but the Lord Christ has defeated you." From that time on, the thought of adultery left her forever.

When Saint Pimen was asked how can a man struggle against the adulterous insanity, he replied: "If man surpresses his stomach and tongue then he will be able to rule over himself."

St. Anthony said that there exists three kinds of movements in the body: "First, the natural movement, second, unrestrained in food, and third, from the demons."

Again, others have said that the vice of adultery is strengthened by anger and pride. However, all agree that along with man's sobriety and effort the help of God is necessary in order that this repulsive passion be uprooted completely. And that it is possible for man to preserve himself in purity, witness, among many others, St. Moses of Urgin, who lived fifty years in the world and ten years in the monastery, altogether a total of sixty years in completely virginal purity.

St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Ο Δίκαιος γέροντας Νικόδημος ο Κύπριος



Βρισκόμαστε στη Σκήτη της Αγίας Άννας, τη μεγαλύτερη Σκήτη τού Αγίου Όρους. Τα βήματα μας, μας έφεραν στην καλύβα «Είσόδια της Θεοτόκου». Γέροντας εδώ είναι ό πατήρ Άνθιμος, ό Πνευματικός. Γέρων στην ηλικία, είχε ζήσει την εποχή πού ό μοναχός Νικόδημος ό Κύπριος ασκήτευε κι αυτός στη Σκήτη της Αγίας Άννας. Πολλά θα γνώριζε να μας πει για το συμπατριώτη και μοναχό, γι' αυτό τον πλησιάζομαι και τον παρακαλούμε να ξαναφέρει στη μνήμη του εκείνες τις ευλογημένες μέρες πού έζησε, εν όσο χρόνο βρισκόταν στην επίγειο ζωή ό μακαριστός γέροντας Νικόδημος. Ό πατήρ Άνθιμος με πολλή καλοσύνη κι ευγένεια μας δέχθηκε και προθυμότατα υπάκουσε στις παρακλήσεις μας (να μας διηγηθεί ότι θυμάται από τη ζωή τού Κυπρίου μοναχού). Ή γλώσσα του απλή, σε ύφος αγιορείτικο και σε καθαρεύουσα γλώσσα προς αρχαιοπρεπή πού την αφήνουμε αυτούσια, για να μη χάσει από το χαριτωμένο της διηγήσεως.

«Ό γέρο - Νικόδημος», άρχισε να διηγείται, «καταγόταν από την Κύπρο. Εκεί στην πατρίδα του ήταν μάγειρος στον Άγγλο αρμοστή της Κύπρου. Ήταν πολύ καλός. Τον συμπαθούσε πολύ ό αρμοστής και ήταν επιθυμία τού γέρο-Νικόδημου να έλθει στο Αγιον Όρος. Τον εφοδίασε με διαβατήριο και συστατικά από τον Τούρκο διοικητή (καϊμακάμη). ' Αφού ήλθε στο Αγιον Όρος, περίπου στα 1895, περιήλθε το Αγιον Όρος, τα διάφορα μοναστήρια, σκήτες κλπ, και τού άρεσε πιο πολύ ή Σκήτη της ' Αγίας Αννης. Εκεί κοινοβίασε στην Καλύβι της θείας Αναλήψεως, κάτωθεν τού Κυριακού εις τον γέροντα Ιωάννη. Εις αυτήν την καλύβι είχε ασκηθεί και προετοιμαστεί για το μαρτύριο ό Άγιος όσιομάρτυς Νικόδημος, καταγόμενος από το Έλβασάν της Αλβανίας εις το όποιον και μαρτύρησε κατά το 1720. Ή μνήμη αυτού είναι εις τας 10 Ιουλίου όπως βλέπετε εις το συναξάρια. Γι' αυτό και προς μνήμην τού μάρτυρος ό Γέροντας του τον ονόμασε Νικόδημο.

Ήταν φύσις άκρως αγαθή, Φιλάδελφος, ελεήμων εις όλους όσους διέβαιναν διά της οδού πού διέρχεται διά της καλύβης του. Ασκητικός το έπακρον, τακτικός εις τας ιεράς ακολουθίας, κανόνας, νηστείας, αγρυπνίας, προσευχάς, όπως χαρακτηρίζεται ό αληθής, φιλόθεος μοναχός, υπήκοος εις τον γέροντα του στο έπακρον. Διά τούτο και ο θεός τον είχε χαριτώσει με πολλή χάριν, ώστε κι ή απλή ομιλία του να παρήγορη τον άκούοντα και να βοηθή τον κάθε ζητούντα λίγη παρηγοριά. Μιλούσε με τόση βεβαιότητα με την δύναμιν της πίστεως, ώστε οποίος τον άκουε, απορούσε για το σταθερό της γνώμης του. Επί παραδείγματι: Εις την Γερμανική κατοχή , όπου υπέφερε όλος ό Ελληνισμός και ιδιαιτέρως το Άγιο Όρος, επειδή δεν είχε παραγωγή, έλεγε: «Ολίγην υπομονή και ό Θεός θα βοηθήσει και θα μας φέρουν όλα τα αγαθά, ως και ζεστό ψωμί», τα όποια και ήξιώθη και τα είδε και τα απόλαυσε, «οι δέ Γερμανοί θα καταστραφούν», έλεγε.

Ή φιλοξενία προς τούς αδελφούς του ξεπέρασε και αυτήν τού Πατριάρχη Αβραάμ. Δεν υπήρχε διαβάτης πού να κτύπησε την πόρτα του και να μην ευεργετήθηκε, πεινασμένος πού να μη χόρτασε. Ήταν ό καλύτερος μάγειρος της Σκήτης και μοναδικός όλων των πανηγύρεων τού ' Αγίου Όρους. Ένα περιστατικό έκ παραδόσεως αναφέρει τα εξής: Άνωθεν της Αγίας Αννης προς την Κερασιάν, υπάρχει κελίον με την επωνυμία «Άγιος Αρτέμιος». Γενομένης αγρυπνίας εις τον Άγιο 'Αρτέμιο, ό γέρο - Νικόδημος ήτανε ό μάγειρας στην αγρυπνία και από την υπερβολική κόπωση, ενώ μαγείρευε, τον πήρε ό ύπνος. Μόλις ξύπνησε, νομίζοντας πώς είχε καεί το φαγητό, ξαφνιασμένος καθώς ήταν, κοιτάζει και βλέπει ένα στρατιώτη ντυμένο, ν' ανακατεύει το φαγητό και_ τού λέει: «Γέρο, μη στενοχωριέσαι, εγώ είμαι εδώ», και αμέσως έγινε άφαντος. Ήτανε ό ίδιος ό Άγιος Αρτέμιος, πού διά της παρουσίας του ευλογούσε την αγρυπνία.
Μια φράση πού έλεγε συχνά καθώς φιλοξενούσε κάποιον αδελφό ήτανε: «Έλα, ψυχή μου!».

Έκαμε μοναχούς και εκοιμήθη εις βαθύ γήρας, περίπου εκατονταετής. Ή καλύβι συνεχίζει την πορεία της και είναι εκεί τώρα άλλος γέροντας, Ματθαίος λεγόμενος, και δεύτερος Νικόδημος, φέρων την επωνυμία τού μακαριστού γέροντος Νικόδημου.
Ό, τι καλόν φαντασθεί κανείς και αγαθόν έργον εποίησε. Θερμός στην πίστη. Ευλαβής και επιμελής εις όλα τα αγαθά έργα και τώρα ευρίσκεται εις τούς ουρανούς, στην θριαμβεύουσαν Εκκλησία κακείθεν να πρεσβεύει προς τον Θεόν, να εύλογη την Σκήτη και να ελευθέρωση την γενέτειρα του μεγαλόνησο Κύπρο από των κατεχόντων αυτήν δεινών και να βοηθήσει τούς υποφέροντας αδελφούς Ελληνορθόδοξους Χριστιανούς.
Ας επικαλεσθούμε τας εύχάς του, να διέλθωμεν τον δόλιχον της ζωής και να καταντήσωμεν εις την αιώνιον μακαριότητα. Αμήν».


ΠΑΝΑΓΙΩΤΗΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΔΟΥΔΟΥ ΒΙΒΛΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ ΠΕΡΙΟΔΙΚΟ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΗ ΜΑΡΤΥΡΙΑ. ΤΕΥΧΟΣ 100.


http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2013/07/blog-post_2578.html

Monday, June 29, 2015

How did the Apostles die....



1 Matthew

Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia , killed by a sword wound.
 

2 Mark

Died in Alexandria , Egypt , after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.

3 Luke

Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.

4 John

Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos, Greece. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos . The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.
 

5 Peter

He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.


6 James the Just

The leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club.
* This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.


7 James the Great


Son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem . The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.


8 Bartholomew

Also known as Nathaniel, was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

9 Andrew

Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras , Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: ‘I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.’ He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.


10 Thomas


Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.


11 Jude

Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.


12 Matthias

The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.


13 Paul

Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Perhaps this is a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles/disciples during their times for the sake of the Faith. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:

But he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Matthew 10:22


http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2013/08/how-did-apostles-die.html

How did Christ chose his 12 Apostles ( St. Cyril of Alexandria )




"And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve, whom He also named apostles." (Lk 6: 13)


Choosing the Twelve Apostles


Our Lord Jesus Christ spent the night in prayer, conversing with His Father and God in heaven in a way indescribable and beyond our powers of understanding, a way which is solely known to Himself. He thus makes Himself an example to us of that which is necessary for salvation, for He taught us in what way we too may rightly and blamelessly offer our prayers. He then came down from the mountain, and appointed those who were to be the world’s teachers, according to the words He spoke, "You are the light of the world." (Matt. 5: 14) Of this appointment of the holy Apostles, the blessed David also makes mention addressing himself, as it were to Christ, "You shall make them princes in all the earth; I will make Your name to be remembered in every generation." (Ps. 45:16) For truly, while they were in the body, they make mention of the glory of Christ, telling His mystery both in cities and villages. Now that they have been called to the mansions that are above, they still converse with us about Him, by the most wise history which they have written concerning Him.


Gifts given to the Apostles


Indeed, those who were appointed priests according to the law of Moses, even Aaron and his company, were made beautiful to the senses by vestments suitable to their priestly dignity. But the divine disciples, being adorned with spiritual gifts, had entrusted to them the ministry of the Gospel oracles. For it was said to them, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons." (Matt. 10:8) Being thus invested with Christ’s power, they filled the whole world with astonishment. But notice the extreme moderation of the Evangelist. He does not simply say that the holy Apostles were appointed, but rather, by introducing the record of these chief ones each by name, takes care that no one should venture to enroll himself in the company of those that were chosen. For as Paul said, "No man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God." (Heb. 5: 4) Though the holy Apostles were called by name to this great and splendid dignity, yet from time to time, some men have gone to such a pitch of madness and audacity, as even to name themselves Apostles of Christ, and to seize an honor not granted unto them. Of these the divine disciples made mention, for they said, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder; for Satan even transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness." (2 Cor. 11: 13-14) However, we neither acknowledge nor will receive any one, except those only so named in the Evangelic writings, and also the one who was appointed after them, the most wise Paul. The Savior Himself bore witness to him saying, "He is a vessel of Mine, to bear My name before all the gentiles." (Acts 9: 15)


Symbols of the Holy Apostles


The law pointed them out before in type, and the prophets also proclaimed them. As for instance, it is written in the Mosaic record, "And you shall take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes with it; and you shall set them in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the Lord. And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial." (Lev. 24: 5-6) Who else can be the bread that came down form heaven and gives life to the world, except Christ, the Savior of the universe? In a similar manner the blessed disciples also are named loaves. Having been made partakers of Him, Who nourishes us unto life eternal, they also nourish by their own writings those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. As the Savior is the true light, He also called His disciples, "You are the light of the world."(Matt. 5: 14) Also being Himself the bread of life, He has bestowed upon His disciples to be ranked as loaves. Please, observe the marvelous art of the law: for you shall put, it says, upon the loaves of frankincense and salt. Now the frankincense is the symbol of a sweet odor; and the salt that of understanding and good sense. Both of them existed in the highest degree in the holy Apostles. Their life was one of a sweet savor, as they also said, "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ." (2 Cor. 2: 15) More over, they were also full of understanding, so that the prophet David sang of them in the Psalms, "There is Benjamin, their leader, the princes of Judah and their company, the princes of Zebulun and the princes of Naphtali." (Ps.68: 27) The blessed disciples were chosen out of almost every tribe of Israel, and were the bearers of light to the world, holding up the word of life. Indeed, the wonder is that the sages of the Greeks possessed eloquent speech, and an admirable beauty of language, but the disciples of our Savior were mere artificers (skilled craftsmen), boatmen, and fishermen, having no boast of words and no fluency of picked phrases. In expression they were indeed simple men, but rich in knowledge. The literature of the Greeks, with it eloquent phrases, is silent, while the power of the Evangelic preaching has possession of the world. God also make mention of them by the voice of Jeremiah, say of the enemy of all, Satan, "Woe to him who increases. What is not his-how long? And to him who loads himself with many pledges? Will not you creditors rise up suddenly? Will they not awaken who oppress you? And you will become their booty." (Hab. 2: 6-7) Satan gathered unto him all the inhabitants of the earth, though they were not his, and had caused them to be his worshippers, making his collar heavy. But those who were to plunder his goods woke up; for the net of the apostolic teaching caught all those that were in error, and brought back unto God the whole world.


St. Cyril of Alexandria 


http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/search/label/Apostles

Akathist Hymn to Saint Matrona the Blind


Kontakion 1

Glory to God, for in these latter times He has adorned the Holy Church with the deeds of His patient handmaid: Saint Matrona the Blind of Moscow. Let the troubled and the suffering gather from near and far, and let the demons retreat into darkness, so that the Blessed Matrona may hear our supplications and attend to our needs. With faith in the Father Almighty Who rewards those who do His heavenly will on earth, we cry out to His splendid saint:

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Ikos 1

Saint Matrona, you were the offspring of the Godly-minded peasants, Dimitri and Natalia, who already had three children. Because of their poverty, your mother thought you would do better in the orphanage built by Prince Golitsin. How could such poor peasants manage another child? However, before you were born, Natalia dreamed of you as a white bird with closed eyes, resting on her arm. She therefore kept and raised you, and now we unceasingly chant these praises to you:

Help us, for your piety was foretold in your mother’s prophetic dream before your birth.

Help us, for your mother cherished you while you were yet unborn.

Help us, white bird of purity, foreseen by your mother and chosen of God.

Help us, heavenly bird, born blind to sinfulness and blessed with virtue.

Help us, holy child, nurtured by your God-loving parents in a devout home.

Help us, little daughter, bearing a birthmark in the shape of a cross on your chest.

Help us, youngest sister, disadvantaged from infancy for you were unable to see.

Help us, sanctified girl, more fortunate than your older siblings for you had divine gifts.

Help us, blind one who sees everything spiritually.

Help us, tiny one who already carries her cross.

Help us, underprivileged one who possesses true riches.

Help us, quiet one who brings peace and comfort.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Kontakion 2

Your physical blindness, Saint Matrona, made you an easy victim of the local children who taunted you and treated you cruelly. They even forced you into a ditch, finding it amusing as you sensed your way out with your little hands and feet. Because of this and other cruel behavior, your mother allowed you to stay home and you remained unschooled all your life. Yet, you thrived in the pious atmosphere of your Godly home, and Dimitri and Natalia therefore said: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

Your real companions, Blessed Matrona, were your family’s icons of the holy saints. At night, in the safety of your home, you would put the icons on the table where you could play with them and talk to them. You also loved to go to church with your parents and sing with the choir. Your pure voice was heard by the compassionate God in Whom you found sanctuary. In like manner, we ask you to hear our heartfelt acclamations:

Help us who were abused in our childhood.

Help us who are still vulnerable to cruelty.

Help us and come to our rescue with your spiritual sight.

Help us and lift us from the desolation into which the malevolent have hurled us.

Help us, for the world is destructive, but your prayers bring deliverance.

Help us, for people can be spiteful, but your spirit is sympathetic.

Help us that we may perceive the holy icons, for we are spiritually blind.

Help us that God may be worshipped among us, for we have no sacred vision of life.

Help us, uneducated child who understands the ways of God.

Help us, unlearned girl who knows the prayers of the Church.

Help us, for you were rejected by the village children and accepted by the saints in Heaven.

Help us, for you imitated your devout parents who loved the Divine Liturgy.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Kontakion 3

It was not long before your divine gifts became apparent to everyone around you. The troubled and the suffering came to your home to be consoled and healed, and this, Saint Matrona, you regarded as your wedding feast. You prayed for each individual, foretold of dangers and uprisings, as more and more visitors arrived at your door day after day. You treated everyone with holy hospitality, and they cried out to God: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

Although you were still a child, you understood the nature of human sinfulness and desperation. The people were amazed at your spiritual abilities and, in gratitude, they brought food and gifts to Dimitri and Natalia. You, little blind Matrona, little white bird, then became the primary support for your parents and siblings. Since you are able to commiserate with the ills of mankind, we also come to you with our requests and we lovingly beseech you:

Help us who are without a job.

Help us who would eat leftover pieces of loaves and fish.

Help us who are without a place to live.

Help us who have been told: there is no room for you here.

Help us who are without supportive relations.

Help us who have no one to lift us into the Pool of Siloam.

Help us, for we are afflicted with bodily ailments beyond human cure.

Help us, for we are looked upon as useless.

Help us, for we are burdened with emotional trauma beyond human care.

Help us, for we are treated as contemptible.

Help us, for we are growing old and losing strength.

Help us, for we are slow and clumsy in our daily living.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Kontakion 4

We see that your parents and the people from round about recognized your holiness, Saint Matrona. Likewise, the demons were also aware of your dedication to God and Church, and they began tormenting you when you were just a young girl. You understood, Blessed Matrona, that evil exists in the very air and that Christians must always pray, always repent, and keep icons in the home. In thanksgiving for your protecting prayers and spiritual counsel, we say: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

Your purity of heart, Saint Matrona, was also recognized by someone else: Saint John of Kronstadt. On a journey to the holy churches of Russia, which you undertook with the aid of your pious friend Lydia, you visited a cathedral in the city of Kronstadt. Saint John saw you in the crowd and identified you as his successor who would serve the Russian people in the forthcoming persecutions. You were only fourteen years old, Blessed Matrona, and with admiration we praise your wondrous girlhood and sainthood:

Help us, faithful warrior for Christ.

Help us, for you wielded prayer as your holy weapon against evil.

Help us, intercessory saint in church and at home.

Help us, for you fortified everyone who came to you for a good purpose.

Help us, blind one who was attacked by demons in the light of day.

Help us, gifted one whose inner light conquered the dark boldness of Satan and his evil ones.

Help us, follower of Christ throughout the land of Russia.

Help us, heiress of Saint John of Kronstadt as a helper in the Holy Church.

Help us to pray under all circumstances.

Help us to encourage one another.

Help us for we are also persecuted in our homeland.

Help us for we take refuge in your open arms.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Kontakion 5


Saint Matrona, when you were seventeen years old, your legs were rendered crippled and you could no longer walk. This was due to the evil powers of a wicked woman. How could such a catastrophe befall God’s holy one? However, you overcame all obstacles through God. Blessed Matrona, you never complained about your predicament. Rather, your righteousness shone with even greater brightness and you continued to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

Our Lord Jesus Christ has said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own, but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Saint Matrona, chosen of God, you are our model of Christ-like love and faithful endurance until the end. It is therefore fitting that we sing these praises to you:

Help us, Saint Matrona most merciful.

Help us, for we thank God for your intercessions.

Help us, Saint Matrona most compassionate.

Help us, for we repent of our sins.

Help us, Saint Matrona most faithful.

Help us, for we venerate your holy icons.

Help us, Saint Matrona most patient.

Help us, for we submit to the will of God.

Help us, Saint Matrona most humble.

Help us, for we forgive those who offend us.

Help us, Saint Matrona most joyful.

Help us, for we carry our cross and die to sin.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Kontakion 6

Blind and paralyzed, you could only sit or lie down. Yet, you were entrusted by God to heal the infirmities of others, and your fame spread far beyond your peasant household. Saint Matrona, you were able to please God by interceding for mankind. Helping the people who came to you during the day, often to the point of fatigue, you continually prayed during the night and refreshed your spirit. Therein, everyone could truly say: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

Your beauty, Saint Matrona, was interior and cultivated by prayer at home, worship in church, and by your unselfish care of the troubled and the suffering. Not only did the common people marvel at your divine gifts, but the priests and monks were also amazed at your holiness and commitment to prayer. Let us, then, join with all the people from the countryside and the towns, from the shacks and the estates, from the byroads and the monasteries, and sing praises to you:

Help us, because we are grotesque in our sins.

Help us, for we behold the beauty of your soul.

Help us, because we are dull in our worldliness.

Help us, for we behold the light of your countenance.

Help us, because we are perishing in our transgressions.

Help us, for we behold the aliveness of your spirit.

Help us, because we are made poor by our excesses.

Help us, for we stand in awe of your divine gifts.

Help us, because we experience confusion in our purpose on earth.

Help us, for we stand in awe of your mysterious life of prayer.

Help us, because we are lacking in spiritual profit.

Help us, for we stand in awe of your fruitfulness.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Kontakion 7

From your childhood, Saint Matrona, you loved the holy icons. You possessed an inner depiction of the visual world, which God had granted you. One time, God gave you eyes and you were able to see His whole creation. You saw everything, because you saw truly with love, faith, humility, compassion, charity, loving-kindness, forgiveness and mercy. You saw everything through the grace of God, with purity of soul and vigilance in prayer, and you gratefully said: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

Your demeanor was that of a sighted and educated person, although you had no eyes and you were never schooled. You knew everything with clairvoyant insight. You possessed all knowledge, Blessed Matrona, because you were a living icon and your intellect and senses were heavenly. You knew everything, because you communed with God through prayer and you partook frequently of Holy Communion. We therefore rightfully bring praises to you:

Help us, for you imitated Christ in self-sacrifice.

Help us, for you dedicated your life to the troubled and the suffering.

Help us, for you never deserted your First Love: Jesus Christ.

Help us, for you walked the straight path: without eyes or legs.

Help us, for your guide was the heavenly Cross of Christ: beginning in your infancy.

Help us, for you bore a cross on your chest: over your heart.

Help us, for you answered the divine call to service: like the Theotokos.

Help us, for you search for the lost to this day: in every corner of the earth.

Help us, for you prayed unceasingly: like the desert ascetics.

Help us, for you intercede to God for us: in submission to His will.

Help us, for you loved God’s holy house: like Saint John of Kronstadt.

Help us, for you yourself have sanctified the land: beyond the borders of your native Russia.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Kontakion 8

One of your favorite icons was of the Theotokos, known as the “Searcher of the Lost.” You told your mother that the Virgin Mary wanted to visit the village church, and therefore such an icon should be commissioned. The villagers were eager to fulfill your holy request, for they would obtain blessings by helping God’s holy helper, and they all said: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

The village women collected money for the painting of the icon, “Searcher of the Lost,” and the work commenced after the artist repented of a secret sin. Later, after the Russian Revolution, you kept this icon with you and cherished it until the end of your life. Today, the icon resides in the women’s Monastery of the Protecting Veil, near your relics, and therefore the nuns and the pilgrims sing praises to Our Lady because of you:

Help us, Theotokos, for we are lost in a world of delusion.

Help us, for we are Christians who have lost our discernment.

Help us, for we have lost friends to popular falsehoods.

Help us, for we have lost family members to every passing fad.

Help us, Virgin Mary, for we have lost our purity of heart.

Help us, for we have lost our purpose under Heaven.

Help us, for we have lost our gratitude for the Gospel.

Help us, for we have lost our reverence for the icons.

Help us, Handmaid of the Lord, for we have lost our quest for service.

Help us, for we have lost our pursuit of the virtues.

Help us, for we are Christians who have lost our vitality.

Help us, for we are lost in the pace of society.

Help us, Queen of Heaven who helped Saint Matrona.

Kontakion 9

After the Russian Revolution, your two brothers joined up with the Communists. One of them became a political activist in the village, and so it was awkward for you to continue receiving visitors for the purpose of counsel and healing. Saint Matrona, you then moved to the city of Moscow where you stayed for the rest of your life. In this grand city of churches, which now fostered much confusion, you were still able to discern the will of God and to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

The holy Apostle Paul said, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Truly, Blessed Matrona, your life in Moscow exemplified the words of the Apostle Paul. Having lived without eyes or legs, you now lived not knowing how you would obtain basic necessities. Crucified to the world, you followed Christ into the city of Moscow and trusted in Him alone to provide loaves and fish. We therefore fall down before you, holy Mother Matrona, and we unworthily offer you these praises:

Help us, Saint Matrona ever-vigilant.

Help us and bless all Christians.

Help us, Saint Matrona ever-protecting.

Help us and bless our homes.

Help us, Saint Matrona ever-obedient.

Help us and bless our work.

Help us, Saint Matrona ever-grateful.

Help us and bless our food.

Help us, Saint Matrona ever-honorable.

Help us and bless our eyes.

Help us, Saint Matrona ever-wondrous.

Help us and bless our steps.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Kontakion 10

Saint Matrona, you began a new chapter of life in the crowded city of Moscow. You were an indigent and handicapped woman, staying with anyone who invited you into their household. You lived in various houses and apartments, and even a plywood shack. Sometimes you stayed with spiritual daughters who cherished you, and at other times with people who deprived you. One time, you stayed with a wicked woman, a relative, who was very domineering and who took for her own family the gifts which visitors brought to you. You accepted all circumstances, Blessed Matrona, as a measure of asceticism, always seeing the image of God in others and always saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

When your old friend, Zinaida, found you living in the shack, she was shocked to see you lying in bed with your hair frozen to the wall. She straightway took you home with her. Although Zinaida came from a wealthy family, the Communists had taken over her house and left her with only two rooms for herself and her mother. Nonetheless, you were able once again to receive visitors and to be among the icons which still covered the walls. Blessed Matrona, we know that all things are possible with God, and we sing praises to you for your enduring faith in the all-knowing God:

Help us, harmless child who was mistreated by cruel children.

Help us, holy mother who was wronged by wicked women.

Help us, courageous worshipper who was treated like a criminal.

Help us, gentle bird who never returned the hostility.

Help us, peaceable Christian who prayed unceasingly.

Help us, disciple of Christ who forgave unendingly.

Help us, preservation of faith, hope, and charity.

Help us, receptacle of truth and spiritual sobriety.

Help us, sweet fragrance of all the virtues.

Help us, consecrated fountain of rich blessings.

Help us, healer of those who repent.

Help us, victory of those who pray.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Kontakion 11

The Communists decried you as an enemy of the people — you, who had lived your entire life in service of the people. It was prohibited to give you support, Saint Matrona, and you often had to quickly leave a residence in order to escape the arrest of yourself and of those who housed you. Yet, you harbored no resentment toward anyone. You even clairvoyantly warned a policeman that his wife was in distress at home. He went and attended to his wife, and then he righteously disobeyed the order to arrest you, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

You continued to receive the troubled and the suffering, sometimes as many as forty people per day. Despite the dangers and hardships of Communism, the people persisted to seek counsel and healing. You never took credit for yourself, Blessed Matrona, but you gave all glory to God. We therefore gladly chant praises to you:

Help us, for you fought the ungodly Communists with your prayers and with your healings of the people.

Help us, for your holy presence was felt as a threat by the unbelievers throughout Moscow.

Help us, for you prayed, “Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered.”

Help us, for you arose above Communism just as you overcame the cruelty of the children many years ago.

Help us, for you impeded the powers of the pagan witches and fortune-tellers in Russia.

Help us, for you saved many who had fallen prey to these wicked women.

Help us, for you received the troubled and the suffering despite the risk of imprisonment and exile.

Help us, for you lived as though resurrected from the evils of this world.

Help us, divine counsel of the troubled.

Help us, heavenly aid of those making decisions.

Help us, clairvoyant advisor of those in harm’s way.

Help us, advocate before God for the infirm.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Kontakion 12

Saint Matrona, you understood that many people would stray from the Faith in these latter times. You were aware of the infiltration of demonic forces into the cities and people’s homes. This is why you repeatedly advised Christians to pray and repent, to attend Church services and receive Holy Communion, to use holy water, to wear a cross, and to keep icons in the home. In this way, Christians may always say: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

In the same manner, Blessed Matrona, you understood how essential it is for us Christians not to judge our neighbor. It is enough for each individual to discern and do the will of God, and thereby we all work out our own salvation. To do otherwise, is to waste much time and energy. Let us, then, please God today by offering these praises to you:

Help us, from your union with God.

Help us, for you see us throughout every land and place.

Help us, from your mansion in Heaven.

Help us, for you hear us throughout the day and night.

Help us, from the fullness of your joyful holiness.

Help us, for we are troubled and suffering on earth.

Help us, for you are eternally crowned.

Help us, for we live in a world of calamity.

Help us, for you never refuse anyone of good intentions.

Help us, for we honor your memory with heartfelt love.

Help us, glorious bird among the saints and angels.

Help us, wonderful child of God.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Kontakion 13

Your God-pleasing ways, Saint Matrona, marked even your last moments on earth. You invited all the troubled and the suffering to talk with you after your death, as one still living, and you promised to help us. Even more, Matronushka, you said, “Everyone who appeals to me for help, I will meet at their death. Everyone.” Then, with God’s mercy, we will see you and hear you as you see and hear us, and we will all glorify God forever and say: Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

Glory to God, for in these latter times He has adorned the Holy Church with the deeds of His patient handmaid: Saint Matrona the Blind of Moscow. Let the troubled and the suffering gather from near and far, and let the demons retreat into darkness, so that the Blessed Matrona may hear our supplications and attend to our needs. With faith in the Father Almighty Who rewards those who do His heavenly will on earth, we cry out to His splendid saint:

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

Saint Matrona, you were the offspring of the Godly-minded peasants, Dimitri and Natalia, who already had three children. Because of their poverty, your mother thought you would do better in the orphanage built by Prince Golitsin. How could such poor peasants manage another child? However, before you were born, Natalia dreamed of you as a white bird with closed eyes, resting on her arm. She therefore kept and raised you, and now we unceasingly chant these praises to you:

Help us, for your piety was foretold in your mother’s prophetic dream before your birth.

Help us, for your mother cherished you while you were yet unborn.

Help us, white bird of purity, foreseen by your mother and chosen of God.

Help us, heavenly bird, born blind to sinfulness and blessed with virtue.

Help us, holy child, nurtured by your God-loving parents in a devout home.

Help us, little daughter, bearing a birthmark in the shape of a cross on your chest.

Help us, youngest sister, disadvantaged from infancy for you were unable to see.

Help us, sanctified girl, more fortunate than your older siblings for you had divine gifts.

Help us, blind one who sees everything spiritually.

Help us, tiny one who already carries her cross.

Help us, underprivileged one who possesses true riches.

Help us, quiet one who brings peace and comfort.

Help us, Saint Matrona, holy God-pleaser and helper of the people.

A Prayer

We humbly approach you, Saint Matrona, for you are approachable by all those who repent and who request your counsel and healing. We are not worthy, but our unworthiness motivates us to seek your blessed intercession and to praise God for your healing of our spiritual, mental, and physical infirmities. We are suffering in numerous ways — due to our own conduct and our character defects, due to severe hardships and problems which we encounter in daily living, and due to the resentments of the unrepentant and the unbelievers. Saint Matrona, help us to overcome the world through Jesus Christ and through recourse to His holy Mother. When the moment arrives, may we depart this life with trust in your intercession, with hope in the Theotokos who is the “Searcher of the Lost,” and with faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Publisher. PHL. Dimitrios Hantzis.

Μια αληθινή ιστορία από τα χρόνια του μακαριστού ιεραποστόλου π.Κοσμά Γρηγοριάτη



Βρισκόμαστε σε κάποιο γραφικό χωριουδάκι του Ζαΐρ (σημερινό Κογκό). Η τροπική βλάστηση γύρω βρίσκεται σε έξαρση. Οι μπανανιές πιο κει, κατάμεστες από καρπούς, γέρνουν τα κλαδιά τους κι ο φοίνικας δίπλα στη χορταρένια καλύβα καμαρώνει περήφανος για τη λεβεντιά του!

Συλλογισμένος και πικραμένος ένας γέροντας Ζαϊρινός κάθεται έξω από το αρχοντικό του (καλύβα), μασουλώντας ζαχαροκάλαμο.

Μα, γιατί δεν με θέλει εμένα ο Χριστός; ψελλίζει με παράπονο. Τι κι αν έχω δύο γυναίκες και είκοσι παιδιά μαζί τους; Εγώ θέλω να γίνω Χριστιανός! Να βαπτιστώ Ορθόδοξος! «Όχι», είπε όμως ο ιεραπόστολος, ο πατήρ Κοσμάς. «Όχι! Ο Χριστός αυτό δεν το θέλει!».

Το βράδυ, γύρω απ’ τη φωτιά, κάλεσε σε οικογενειακό συμβούλιο τις δύο γυναίκες κι όλα του τα παιδιά. Τους μίλησε για τις σκέψεις του, τον ιερό πόθο του, την επιθυμία του να βαπτιστεί Χριστιανός Ορθόδοξος και το φοβερό κώλυμα, που τον εμπόδιζε να φτάσει στην πραγματοποίηση αυτού του σκοπού.

Οπωσδήποτε θέλει να ασπαστεί τον Χριστιανισμό, την Ορθοδοξία. Διακαής ο πόθος του. Τα δάκρυα κυλούν στο μελαψό, χαρακωμένο από ρυτίδες, πρόσωπό του.

Πάλη και αγώνας μεγάλος μέσα του. Φοβερό το δίλλημα! Ύστερα απ’ όσα είδε και άκουσε για τούτη την αληθινή θρησκεία. Από την άλλη μεριά, όμως, αγαπά και τις δύο γυναίκες του πολύ και του είναι αδύνατο ν' αποφασίσει ποια απ’ τις δύο ν' απαρνηθεί.

Έλεγε συγκρατώντας με κόπο τα δάκρυα του: «Ποια ν' απαρνηθώ; Μου είναι αδύνατο ν' αποφασίσω».

Άφωνα τα παιδιά μαζεύτηκαν στη γωνιά τους κι έγειραν τούτη τη νύχτα όχι μόνο νηστικά ως συνήθως, αλλά και πικραμένα, για να κοιμηθούν.

- Ποια τύχη θα είχε άραγε αυτή η ιστορία;

Ο γερό-Ζαϊρινός στριφογύριζε όλη τη νύχτα στα χορτάρινα στρωσίδια.

Ξαφνικά ξαλάφρωσε η καρδιά του, λες και του έπαψε η τρικυμία, άρχισε να κοπάζει κι ο ανεμοστρόβιλος!

Στο μυαλό του τριγυρίζει η κατηγορηματική άρνηση του Ιεραποστόλου, που αποτελεί και απαράβατο νόμο της Ορθοδοξίας μας. Και τώρα κλαίει με λυγμούς απαρηγόρητος. Τα χείλη του ασυναίσθητα ψιθύρισαν για πρώτη φορά μία προσευχή στον γλυκύ μας Ιησού, που, όπως έδειξαν τα πράγματα, έσκυψε πλάι του, αφουγκράστηκε τις επιθυμίες του και έσπευσε να τον βοηθήσει. Οι συντρόφισσές του ξαγρυπνούσαν έξω από την καλύβα, κάτω από το φως του φεγγαριού, χωρίς να παίρνουν την μεγάλη απόφαση, ποια από τις δύο θα φύγει. Η νεότερη, γερμένη κάτω από τον φοίνικα, απελπισμένη και δακρυσμένη, αποκοιμήθηκε ελαφρά και ανάμεσα σε όνειρο και οπτασία είδε την απαστράπτουσα μορφή του Εσταυρωμένου. Αυτού του Άγνωστου γι’ αυτήν μέχρι τότε Ιησού, που της είπε γλυκά και αποφασιστικά:

- Μάθε στη ζωή σου ότι αγάπη θα πει θυσία. Γι' αυτό βλέπεις και μένα πάνω στο Σταυρό. Ο Χριστιανός και η Ορθοδοξία μας ζητούν να σταυρώσουμε τα πάθη μας, τις λανθασμένες επιθυμίες μας. Το «εγώ» και το «θέλω» πρέπει να υποτάσσονται στο «πρέπει». Φύγε, εσύ, που τον αγαπάς πιο πολύ, φύγε! Εγώ θα είμαι κοντά σου! Θα ευλογήσω τα βήματα σου! Θα σε προστατέψω! Μέγιστη θα είναι η ανταμοιβή σου γι' αυτή τη θυσία, και ας μη με γνωρίζεις! Θα είσαι και εσύ κάποτε κοντά μου ... εν τω Παραδείσω...

Ξύπνησε αναστατωμένη η Ζερμέν. Πετάχτηκε πάνω αποφασισμένη. Είχε αρχίσει ν' αχνοφέγγει. Μπήκε μέσα στην καλύβα, σκούπισε βιαστικά τα δάκρυα της με τις μαύρες ροζιασμένες παλάμες της και σκούντησε απαλά τον μέχρι τότε σύντροφο της που μισοκοιμόταν.

- Φεύγω, του είπε, γιατί έτσι πρέπει. Δεν μπορώ να αντισταθώ σ' εκείνη τη φοβερή δύναμη, που εκπέμπει ο Χριστός που αγαπάς και θέλεις να γίνεις ακόλουθός Του ... Φεύγω οριστικά! Γενηθήτω το θέλημά Του, ψιθύρισε η αγνή, ολόλευκη ψυχή της.

Δάκρυα χαράς και λύπης συνόδευσαν τον αποχωρισμό. Πήρε τα παιδιά της και χάθηκε μέσα στα δάση• εξαφανίστηκε. Τί δύναμη απόφασης! Τί μεγαλείο! Τί πανάκριβο δώρο κατέθεσε στα πόδια του Χριστού μας εκείνη την ώρα, χωρίς να το καταλάβει αυτή η γυναίκα, που έσφιξε την καρδιά της και έφυγε στο άγνωστο, απαρνούμενη την ήσυχη οικογενειακή εστία!

Χαρούμενος ο γέροντας Ζαϊρινός, με αλαφρωμένη την καρδιά, έτρεξε στον Ιεραπόστολό μας και του ανακοίνωσε τα συμβάντα. Ύστερα από μετάνοια και εξομολόγηση, δέχτηκε το Άγιο Βάπτισμα και ύστερα μετέλαβε τα Άχραντα Μυστήρια. Η μεγάλη του επιθυμία είχε πραγματοποιηθεί. Αναγεννημένος πνευματικά, αποφάσισε να ζήσει με το Νόμο του Θεού.

Την επομένη της βάπτισης έγινε και ο Ορθόδοξος γάμος. Χαρές και ξεφαντώματα οι ιθαγενείς στο χωριουδάκι του Ζαΐρ!

'Όμως οι βουλές του Κυρίου είναι ανεξιχνίαστες! Τρεις ημέρες μετά τη βάπτισή του, ξαφνικά ο Χριστός μας τον κάλεσε κοντά Του στους ουρανούς. Κοιμήθηκε εν Κυρίω! «Μακάριοι οι εν Κνρίω αποθνήσκοντες ...».

Σαν βόμβα έσκασε σε όλο το αφρικανικό χωριό η είδηση. Έφυγε τόσο ξαφνικά ... εντελώς απροσδόκητα ... Απίστευτο! Εντύπωση έκανε σε όλους εκείνη η γλυκιά, ήρεμη, γελαστή μορφή του νεκρού νεοφώτιστου. Άγγελοι πήραν στα χέρια τους, προς καταισχύνη των δαιμόνων, εκείνη την ωραία ψυχούλα και την οδήγησαν στο θρόνο του Θεού, να ζήσει αιώνια στη Βασιλεία των Ουρανών.

Μαθαίνοντας το περιστατικό, επέστρεψε η δεύτερη σύζυγος με τα παιδιά της. Και έτσι, όλοι μαζί πια, βαπτίστηκαν Χριστιανοί και έζησαν ευτυχισμένοι, ακολουθώντας το δρόμο, που τους χάραξε ο Χριστός μας. Το Άγιο Φώς, που άναψε εκείνη τη μεγάλη νύχτα της απόφασης πάνω απ’ την καλύβα τους, δεν έσβησε ποτέ. Έγινε ο φάρος της ελπίδας και της σωτηρίας τους.

Περιοδικό «Ορθόδοξη Ιεραποστολική Πορεία Αγάπης»

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Fall



The Orthodox Church believes that man's fall was preceded by the fall of the spiritual world. The angels, being God's creatures, were good. They were not "immutable" towards evil however; i.e. their virtue was not the result of necessity but of free choice. After their free choice of the good, being sanctified by the Spirit, they would remain immovable towards evil, becoming divinized through their ascent towards the first Good. This is stressed by one of the hymns of our Church:

"Being sanctified by the Spirit, The multitude of the Angels Remain immovable towards evil, Being divinized through their Ascent to the prime Good."

This however was not the case with Lucifer and his angels, who moved towards evil, towards apostasy. According to the Christian faith, Lucifer is not a condi­tion or a negative element in God's creation, but a distinct person. That is to say, we believe in the exist­ence of Lucifer, who after his fall was transformed into the Devil or Satan.

According to the Orthodox faith which is supported by divine Revelation, two eternal principles do not exist. Everything, all that came into existence, was created by God "very good" (Gen. 1,31). Lucifer's fall and that of his angels therefore was not due to their nature. The source of their fall is to be found in their evil disposi­tion. Lucifer's choice aimed at his personal exaltation autonomously, i.e. cut off from God's love. The result was the exact opposite of the aim: " I shall ascend to heaven; above the stars of heaven shall I set my throne...I shall become similar to the Most High; Now, behold, you shall descend to Hades and to the founda­tions of the earth" (Is. 14,13-15).

The Devil, out of enmity for man, lured him to apostasy. He put into his mind the evil thought that he could achieve the purpose of his life, the likeness of God, autonomy. The Devil's aim was to detach man from his communion with God and in this way to set at nought God's plan for man. He certainly knew that man had been created according to God's image, i.e. free, and that God, out of love, would not violate man's freedom.

In order to help man make his conscientious choice, God instituted a prohibition: that of eating from the "tree of knowledge of good and evil", and forewarned man that if he transgressed this commandment, he would cut himself off from union with Him, i.e., he would die (Gen. 2,17).

The Devil appeared to man in disguise, and reversed God's word, maintaining that the transgressing of God's commandment would lead to theosis (Gen.3,5). Yet still man's fall would not have come about if he with his free will had not responded to the Devil's call. Man's act of eating of the forbidden fruit was an act of communion with the Devil, and not with God, Hence, it was an act that was aimed against man's very nature, since man was by nature a communion of love with God and with His works.

The consequences of the fall were fearful. The centre of man's life was moved from God to himself. He did not take into consideration the difference between created and uncreated, between creation and the Creator. He thought that he could, by himself, overcome the ontological chasm. The result was that he distanced himself from the only road that led to the fulfilment of his life's purpose, as it had been determined by the Creator Himself. This independence of man signified his being stripped of God's grace and being led to spiritual death. These fearful ramifications of the fall are outlined in the verses of the "Great Canon":

"I have lost the beauty with which I was created, and my propriety, And now I am naked and ashamed".

God, however, did not cease to love His creature. He allowed natural death as a consequence of the fall: not as a punishment but as a protection, so that man might not sin eternally and evil become immortal. Death then is a pedagogical measure from God with a purpose to restore the apostate to the communion of love and life with the eternal and immortal God.

This truth is especially underlined in the prayer of the Burial Service:

"O Lord our God, who in thine ineffable wisdom hast created man, fashioning him out of the dust, and adorning him with comeliness and goodness, as an honourable and heavenly acquisition, to the exaltation and magnificence of thy glory and kingdom, that thou mightest bring him into this image and likeness; but forasmuch as he sinned against the command of thy statute, having accepted the image but preserved it not, and because, also, evil, should not be eternal: Thou hast ordained remission unto the same, through thy love toward mankind; and that this destructible bond, which as the God of our fathers thou hadst sanctified by thy divine will, should be dissolved, and that his body should be dissolved from the elements of which it was fashioned, but that his soul should be translated to that place where it shall take up its abode until the final Resurrection....."

Death, however, remains for the mind of the faithful a fearful and unapproachable mystery. This is expressed in a unique way in the sacred texts of the Burial Service:

"I weep and I wail when I think upon death, and behold our beauty, fashioned after the image of God, lying in the tomb

disfigured, dishonoured, bereft of form. Ο marvel!

What is this mystery which doth befall us?.." "Indeed most fearful is the mystery of death: how the soul is violently separated from its harmony with the body, and how the most natural bond by which they grew together is severed by the divine will.."

For the believer, however, this is not a dead-end: "Brethren, we would not have you ignorant concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep...Therefore comfort one another with these words." (I Thessalonians 4, 13-18).

Another consequence of the breaking off of the love between God and man was the weakening of human nature itself. When Adam first saw his fellow—man, Eve, he said that she was not anything different from himself but bone from his bones and flesh from his flesh (Gen. 2,23). This attitude changed completely after the fall: Adam was not willing to share the blame for Eve's disobedience (Gen. 3,12). After the fall, man no longer saw himself in the face of his brother; he no longer understood the unity of human nature.

In the condition that came about after the fall, men lost the feeling that they constitute a communion of persons and acquired the self-awareness of particular individuals, which led to the severing of the one man­kind that God had created. Even language, that instru­ment of communication between men, when apostasy reached its height on the tower of Babel, was trans­formed into an instrument hindering communication.

Man's autonomy had fearful consequences upon God's creation. Enmity and disharmony were also transferred to man's relations with the rest of creation. Man is no longer able to hold his sovereign position within creation, and be the centre of unity and harmony of all that God created. He began making egoistical use of the world and to drag with him everything into servitude to corruption. All of creation was thus subdued unto "futility", we are told by St. Paul, not willingly but because of "him who subjected it", because of man.(Rom. 8, 20-21).

Holy Scripture says: "And to Adam he [God] said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree...cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life...in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, out of which you were taken..." (Gen. 3, 17-19).

This was a means of teaching man and aimed at his return, from within the state of corruption, to incorruption and to immortality for which God had predestined him: a new challenge for man's will.

Man, however, was not moved to repentance or nostalgia for God's paradise where he had freely sub­mitted his personal will to God's will. Hence, the march along the path of separation and fall continued. But God never ceased loving man; He never ceased challenging afresh his predisposition or preparing his final restora­tion.

Ο Χριστός είναι το παν ( Ἅγιος Πορφύριος )




Ο γέροντας Πορφύριος ένα βράδυ, στις 3 το πρωί, στο Ησυχαστήριο της Μεταμορφώσεως του Σωτήρος μιλάει σε λίγα πνευματικά του παιδιά για την αγάπη του Χριστού:

“Λοιπόν, ζωή χωρίς Χριστό δεν είναι ζωή. Πάει, τελείωσε. Αν δε βλέπεις το Χριστό σε όλα σου τα έργα και τις σκέψεις, είσαι χωρίς Χριστό. Πώς το κατάλαβες; Θυμάμαι κι ένα τραγούδι. «Σύν Χριστώ πανταχού, φόβος ουδαμού». Το ‘χετε ακούσει; Έ; Το λένε τα παιδιά, δε το θυμάμαι.

Λοιπόν, έτσι πράγματι πρέπει να βλέπομαι το Χριστό. Είναι φίλος μας, είναι αδελφός μας, είναι ό,τι καλό και ωραίο. Είναι το Παν. Αλλά είναι φίλος και το φωνάζει:

«Σας έχω φίλους, βρε, δεν το καταλαβαίνετε; Είμαστε αδέλφια. Βρε εγώ δεν είμαι … δεν βαστάω την κόλαση στο χέρι, δεν σας φοβερίζω, σας αγαπάω. Σας θέλω να χαίρεστε μαζί μου τη ζωή». Κατάλαβες;

Έτσι είναι ο Χριστός. Δεν έχει κατήφεια, ούτε μελαγχολία, ούτε ενδοστρέφεια, που ο άνθρωπος σκέπτεται ή βασανίζεται από διάφορους λογισμούς και διάφορες πιέσεις, που κατά καιρούς στη ζωή του τον τραυμάτισαν.

Ο Χριστός είναι νέα ζωή. Πώς το λέω; Ο Χριστός είναι το Παν. Είναι η χαρά, είναι η ζωή, είναι το φως, το φως το αληθινό, που κάνει τον άνθρωπο να χαίρεται, να πετάει, να βλέπει όλα, να βλέπει όλους, να πονάει για όλους, να θέλει όλους μαζί του, όλους κοντά στο Χριστό.

Όταν εμείς βρίσκουμε κάποιον θησαυρό ή ό,τι άλλο, δεν θέλομε να το λέμε πουθενά. Ο Χριστιανός όμως, όταν βρει το Χριστό, όταν γνωρίσει τον Χριστό, όταν ο Χριστός εγκύψει μέσα στην ψυχούλα του και τον αισθανθεί, θέλει να φωνάζει και να το λέει παντού, θέλει να λέει για το Χριστό, τι είναι ο Χριστός. Αγαπήσατε το Χριστόν και μηδέν προτιμήστε της αγάπης Αυτού. Ο Χριστός είναι το πάν, είναι η πηγή της ζωής, είναι το άκρον των εφετών, είναι το Πάν. Όλα στο Χριστό υπάρχουν τα ωραία.

Και μακράν του Χριστού η θλίψις, η μελαγχολία, τα νεύρα, η στεναχώρια, οι αναμνήσεις των τραυμάτων της ζωής, των πιέσεων, των αγωνιωδών, έτσι, ωρών. Όλα, ζούμε εκείνα εκεί της ζωής μας. Και πάμε εδώ και πάμε εκεί, και τίποτα, και πουθενά δεν στεκόμαστε. Όπου βρούμε το Χριστό, ας είναι μια σπηλιά, καθόμαστε εκεί και φοβούμαστε να φύγουμε, να μη χάσουμε το Χριστό. Διαβάστε να ιδείτε. Ασκηταί, που γνώρισαν το Χριστό, δεν ήθελαν να φύγουν από τη σπηλιά, ούτε έβγαιναν έξω να κάνουνε πιο πέρα θελαν να είναι εκεί που αισθανόντουσαν το Χριστό μαζί τους. Ο Χριστός είναι το Πάν.

Ο Χριστός είναι η πηγή της ζωής, της χαράς. Το Πάν”.

Ἅγιος Πορφύριος


http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2013/06/blog-post_29.html

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bearing the Shame of Confession




Question: In taking the steps which you have presented W to us, the most difficult thing, I think, is to overcome the rear of shame. This is what I try to do in my parish. People will not come to confession although their souls are burdened and things are driving them crazy, because they cannot overcome the shame to admit their sins. How do you lead people in this direction?

Answer: I think that the strength to bear shame is a gift from God. When I was a young and inexperienced spiritual father, Elder Sophrony told me to encourage the young people to confess precisely the things of which they are ashamed, for if they learn to do so, shame is transformed into strength against the passions, and they will overcome sin. This is precisely what occurred in the person of Zacchaeus. He bore shame voluntarily, and the Lord, Who was on His was to Jerusalem in order to suffer the Cross of shame, saw Zacchaeus bearing shame for His sake and recognized in him a kindred spirit. Zacchaeus had put himself prophetically in the way of the Christ, in the way of the Cross, and in a prophetic way the mystery of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ was activated in the heart of Zacchaeus. His heart was enlarged and he was able to enter into the power of faith. Christ has saved us through the Cross of shame, so when we suffer shame for His sake He considers this as gratitude, and in return He transmits to us His grace which regenerates our life.

This is exactly what happens in confession. Those who confess sincerely and take upon themselves the shame for their sins are regenerated. But those who shrug their shoulders and say, ‘Nothing special, the usual things…’ they do not bear any shame, their heart remains unmoved, and they hardly receive any benefit. But those who, with shame and a contrite heart, strip their souls naked before God and before another mortal, ‘of like passions’ (Acts 14:15) with them—that shame of theirs really finds the heart, humbles it and brings it to the surface. This then, opens the heart to receive the grace of regeneration, of consolation. We see this in the life of many that come to us: the greater the shame they bear with contrition, accusing themselves before God, the greater the grace they receive to amend their lives and make a new beginning.


From “Remember thy First Love” by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou  

http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2013/06/bearing-shame-of-confession.html

Η Προσευχή και ο Νους ( Αγιος Ιωάννης ο Χρυσόστομος )



Γιατί έρχονται πολλοί στην εκκλησία, επαναλαμβάνουν μηχανικά ψαλμούς και ευχές, και φεύγουν, δίχως να ξέρουν τι είπαν. Τα χείλη κινούνται, αλλά τ' αυτιά δεν ακούνε. Εσύ δεν ακούς την προσευχή σου, και θέλεις να σε εισακούσει ο Θεός; Γονάτισα, λες· αλλά ο νους σου πετούσε μακριά. Το σώμα σου ήταν μέσα στην εκκλησία και η ψυχή σου έξω. Το στόμα έλεγε την προσευχή και ο νους μετρούσε τόκους, συμβόλαια, συναλλαγές, χωράφια, κτήματα, συναναστροφές με φίλους. Κι όλα αυτά συμβαίνουν, γιατί ο διάβολος είναι πονηρός· ξέρει πως την ώρα της προσευχής κερδίζουμε πολλά, γι' αυτό τότε επιτίθεται με μεγαλύτερη σφοδρότητα. Άλλες φορές είμαστε ξαπλωμένοι στο κρεβάτι, και τίποτα δεν σκεφτόμαστε· ήρθαμε όμως στην εκκλησία να προσευχηθούμε, και ο διάβολος μας έβαλε ένα σωρό λογισμούς, ώστε καθόλου να μην ωφεληθούμε.

Αν, αλήθεια, ο Θεός σου ζητήσει λόγο για την αδιαφορία ή και την ασέβεια που δείχνεις στις λατρευτικές συνάξεις, τι θα κάνεις; Να, την ώρα που Αυτός σου μιλάει, εσύ, αντί να προσεύχεσαι, έχεις πιάσει κουβέντα με τον διπλανό σου για πράγματα ανώφελα. Και όλα τ' άλλα αμαρτήματά μας αν παραβλέψει ο Θεός, τούτο φτάνει για να στερηθούμε τη σωτηρία. Μην το θεωρείς μικρό παράπτωμα. Για να καταλάβεις, τη βαρύτητά του, σκέψου τι γίνεται στην ανάλογη περίπτωση των ανθρώπων. Ας υποθέσουμε ότι συζητάς μ' ένα επίσημο πρόσωπο ή μ' έναν εγκάρδιο φίλο σου. Και ενώ εκείνος σου μιλάει, εσύ γυρίζεις αδιάφορα το κεφάλι σου και αρχίζεις να κουβεντιάζεις με κάποιον άλλο. Δεν θα προσβληθεί ο συνομιλητής σου απ' αυτή την απρέπειά σου; Δεν θα θυμώσει; Δεν θα σου ζητήσει το λόγο;

Αλίμονο! Βρίσκεσαι στη θεία Λειτουργία, κι ενώ το βασιλικό τραπέζι είναι ετοιμασμένο, ενώ ο Αμνός του Θεού θυσιάζεται για χάρη σου, ενώ ο ιερέας αγωνίζεται για τη σωτηρία σου, εσύ αδιαφορείς. Την ώρα που τα εξαπτέρυγα Σεραφείμ σκεπάζουν τα πρόσωπά τους από δέος και όλες οι ουράνιες δυνάμεις μαζί με τον ιερέα παρακαλούν το Θεό για σένα, τη στιγμή που κατεβαίνει από τον ουρανό η φωτιά του Αγίου Πνεύματος και το αίμα του Χριστού χύνεται από την άχραντη πλευρά Του μέσα στο άγιο Ποτήριο, τη στιγμή αυτή η συνείδησή σου, άραγε, δεν σε ελέγχει για την απροσεξία σου; Σκέψου, άνθρωπε μου, μπροστά σε Ποιον στέκεσαι την ώρα της φρικτής μυσταγωγίας και μαζί με ποιους - με τα Χερουβείμ, με τα Σεραφείμ, με όλες τις ουράνιες δυνάμεις. Αναλογίσου μαζί με ποιους ψάλλεις και προσεύχεσαι. Είναι αρκετό για να συνέλθεις, όταν θυμηθείς ότι, ενώ έχεις υλικό σώμα, αξιώνεσαι να υμνείς τον Κύριο της κτίσεως μαζί με τους ασώματους αγγέλους.

Μη συμμετέχεις, λοιπόν, στην ιερή εκείνη υμνωδία με αδιαφορία. Μην έχεις στο νου σου βιοτικές σκέψεις. Διώξε κάθε γήινο λογισμό και ανέβα νοερά στον ουρανό, κοντά στο θρόνο του Θεού. Πέταξε εκεί μαζί με τα Σεραφείμ, φτερούγισε μαζί τους, ψάλε τον τρισάγιο ύμνο στην Παναγία Τριάδα.


Αγιος Ιωάννης ο Χρυσόστομος 


http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2013/06/blog-post_28.html

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ἡ ἀπιστία τῶν παιδιῶν ὀφείλεται στοὺς γονεῖς; ( Γέροντας Σωφρόνιος Σαχάρωφ )


- Τὰ παιδιὰ μας ἔγιναν ἀνίκανα γιὰ τὴν πίστη ἐξ αἰτίας τῶν γονέων

- Πῶς ἢ γιατί συμβαίνουν ὅλα αὐτά;

[...]Ἐπειδὴ οἱ γυναῖκες τῆς ἐποχῆς μας ἔχασαν τὴν ὑψηλὴ αὐτὴ συνείδηση, ἄρχισαν νὰ γεννοῦν προπαντὸς κατὰ σάρκα. Τὰ παιδιὰ μας ἔγιναν ἀνίκανα γιὰ τὴν πίστη. Συχνὰ ἀδυνατοῦν νὰ πιστέψουν ὅτι εἶναι εἰκόνα τοῦ Αἰωνίου Θεοῦ. Ἡ μεγαλύτερη ἁμαρτία στὶς ἡμέρες μας ἔγκειται στὸ ὅτι οἱ ἄνθρωποι βυθίστηκαν στὴν ἀπόγνωση καὶ δὲν πιστεύουν πιὰ στὴν Ἀνάσταση. Ὁ θάνατος τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκλαμβάνεται ἀπὸ αὐτοὺς ὡς τελειωτικὸς θάνατος, ὡς ἐκμηδένιση, ἐνῶ πρέπει νὰ θεωρεῖται ὡς στιγμὴ ἀλλαγῆς τῆς μορφῆς τῆς ὑπάρξεώς μας ὡς ἡμέρα γεννήσεώς μας στὴν ἀνώτερη ζωή, σὲ ὁλόκληρο πλέον τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς ζωῆς ποὺ ἀνήκει στὸ Θεό. Ἀλήθεια, τὸ Εὐαγγέλιο λέει: «Ὁ πιστεύων εἰς τὸν Υἱὸν ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον ὁ δὲ ἀπειθὼν τῷ Υἱῷ οὐκ ὄψεται ζωὴν» (Ἰωάν. 3,36). «Ἀμήν, ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι… ὁ πιστεύων τῷ πέμψαντί με ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον, καὶ εἰς κρίσιν οὐκ ἔρχεται, ἀλλὰ μεταβέβηκεν ἐκ τοῦ θανάτου εἰς τὴν ζωὴν» (Ἰωάν. 5,24). «Ἀμήν, ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐὰν τις τὸν λόγον τὸν ἐμὸν τηρήσῃ, θάνατον οὐ μὴ θεωρήσῃ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα» (Ἰωάν. 8,51). Παρόμοιες λοιπὸν ἐκφράσεις μποροῦμε νὰ ἀναφέρουμε πολλές.Συχνὰ ἀκούω ἀπὸ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους: Πῶς ἢ γιατί συμβαίνουν ὅλα αὐτά;

Γιατί ἡ πλειονότητα τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἔχασε τὴν ἱκανότητα νὰ πιστεύει; Δὲν εἶναι ἄραγε ἡ νέα ἀπιστία συνέπεια τῆς εὐρύτερης μορφώσεως, ὅταν αὐτὸ ποὺ λέει ἡ Γραφὴ γίνεται μύθος, ἀπραγματοποίητο ὄνειρο;

Ἡ πίστη, ἡ ἱκανότητα γιὰ τὴν πίστη, δὲν ἐξαρτᾶται πρωτίστως ἀπὸ τὸν βαθμὸ μορφώσεως τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. Πράγματι παρατηροῦμε ὅτι στὴν ἐποχή μας, κατὰ τὴν ὁποία διαδίδεται ἡ μόρφωση, ἡ πίστη ἐλαττώνεται, ἐνῶ θὰ ἔπρεπε οὐσιαστικὰ νὰ συμβαίνει τὸ ἀντίθετο ὅσο δηλαδὴ πλατύτερες γίνονται οἱ γνώσεις τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, τόσο περισσότερες ἀφορμὲς ἔχει γιὰ νὰ ἀναγνωρίζει τὴ μεγάλη σοφία τῆς δημιουργίας τοῦ κόσμου. Σὲ τί λοιπὸν συνίσταται ἡ ρίζα τῆς ἀπιστίας;

Πρὶν ἀπ’ ὅλα ὀφείλουμε νὰ ποῦμε ὅτι τὸ θέμα αὐτὸ εἶναι πρωτίστως ἔργο τῶν γονέων, τῶν πατέρων καὶ τῶν μητέρων. Ἂν οἱ γονεῖς φέρονται πρὸς τὴν πράξη τῆς γεννήσεως τοῦ νέου ἄνθρωπου μὲ σοβαρότητα, μὲ τὴ συνείδηση ὅτι τὸ γεννώμενο βρέφος μπορεῖ νὰ εἶναι ἀληθινὰ «υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου» κατ’ εἰκόνα τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ Ἀνθρώπου, δηλαδὴ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, τότε προετοιμάζονται γιὰ τὴν πράξη αὐτὴ ὄχι ὅπως συνήθως γίνεται αὐτό. Νὰ ἕνα ὑπέροχο παράδειγμα ὁ Ζαχαρίας καὶ ἡ Ἐλισάβετ προσεύχονταν γιὰ πολὺ καιρὸ νὰ τοὺς χαρισθεῖ τέκνο… Καὶ τί συνέβη λοιπόν; «Ὤφθη δὲ αὐτῷ (τῷ Ζαχαρίᾳ) ἄγγελος Κυρίου ἐστὼς ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου τοῦ θυμιάματος. Καὶ ἐταράχθη Ζαχαρίας ἰδών, καὶ φόβος ἐπέπεσεν ἐπ’ αὐτόν. Εἶπε δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ ἄγγελος μὴ φοβοῦ, Ζαχαρία διότι εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς σου, καὶ ἡ γυνή σου Ἐλισάβετ γεννήσει υἱὸν σοι, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰωάννην καὶ ἔσται χαρὰ σοι καὶ ἀγγαλίασις, καὶ πολλοὶ ἐπὶ τῇ γεννήσει αὐτοῦ χαρήσονται. Ἔσται γὰρ μέγας ἐνώπιόν τοῦ Κυρίου… καὶ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου πλησθήσεται ἔτι ἐκ κοιλίας μητρὸς αὐτοῦ, καὶ πολλοὺς τῶν υἱῶν Ἰσραὴλ ἐπιστρέψει ἐπὶ Κύριον τὸν Θεὸν αὐτῶν» (Λουκ. 1,11-16).

Βλέπουμε μάλιστα στὴ συνέχεια ὅτι ὁ Ἰωάννης, εὑρισκόμενος ἀκόμη στὴν κοιλιὰ τῆς μητέρας του, ἀναγνώρισε τὴν ἐπίσκεψη τῆς μητέρας τοῦ Χριστοῦ, σκίρτησε ἀπὸ χαρὰ καὶ ἡ χαρὰ του μεταδόθηκε στὴ μητέρα του. Τότε ἐκείνη γέμισε μὲ προφητικὸ πνεῦμα. Ἄλλο παράδειγμα εἶναι ἡ προφήτιδα Ἄννα.

Ἔτσι καὶ τώρα ἂν οἱ πατέρες καὶ οἱ μητέρες θὰ γεννοῦν παιδιὰ συναισθανόμενοι τὴν ἄκρα σπουδαιότητα τοῦ ἔργου αὐτοῦ, τότε τὰ παιδιά τους θὰ γεμίζουν ἀπὸ Πνεῦμα Ἅγιο, ἤδη ἀπὸ τὴν κοιλιὰ τῆς μητέρας καὶ ἡ πίστη στὸν Θεό, τὸν Δημιουργὸ τῶν ἁπάντων, ὡς πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα τους, θὰ γίνει γι’ αὐτὰ φυσική, καὶ καμία ἐπιστήμη δὲν θὰ μπορέσει νὰ κλονίσει τὴν πίστη αὐτή, γιατί «τὸ γεννώμενον ἐκ Πνεύματος πνεῦμα ἐστίν». Ἡ ὕπαρξη λοιπὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ ἡ ἐγγύτητά του σὲ μᾶς εἶναι γιὰ μία τέτοια ψυχὴ ὀφθαλμοφανὲς γεγονός. Καὶ ἡ ἀπιστία τῶν πολυμαθῶν ἢ τῶν ἀμαθῶν στὰ μάτια τῶν τέκνων αὐτῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ θὰ εἶναι ἁπλῶς ἀπόδειξη ὅτι οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἐκεῖνοι δὲν γεννήθηκαν ἀκόμη Ἄνωθεν, καὶ ἀκριβῶς ἐξαιτίας τοῦ γεγονότος αὐτοῦ δὲν πιστεύουν στὸν Θεό, διότι εἶναι ἐξολοκλήρου σάρκα, γεννημένοι ἀπὸ σάρκα.

Ἐκεῖνο ὅμως ποὺ ἀποτελεῖ πραγματικὸ πρόβλημα γιὰ τὴν Ἐκκλησία, τὸν προορισμό της, εἶναι τὸ πῶς νὰ πείσει τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ὅτι εἶναι ἀληθινὰ τέκνα καὶ θυγατέρες τοῦ αἰωνίου Πατρὸς πῶς νὰ δείξει στὸν κόσμο τὴ δυνατότητα μιᾶς ἄλλης ζωῆς, ὅμοιας πρὸς τὴ ζωὴ τοῦ ἰδίου τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἢ τὴ ζωὴ τῶν προφητῶν καὶ τῶν ἁγίων. Ἡ Ἐκκλησία ὀφείλει νὰ φέρει στὸν κόσμο ὄχι μόνο τὴν πίστη στὴν ἀνάσταση, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴ βεβαιότητα γι’ αὐτήν. Τότε περιττεύει ἡ ἀπαίτηση γιὰ ὁποιεσδήποτε ἄλλες ἠθικιστικὲς διδασκαλίες.



Γέροντας Σωφρόνιος Σαχάρωφ

Is there anything greater than the Jesus prayer?


The prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me (us) ” is worth a hundred drachmas, one Elder used to say but “Glory to God for everything” is worth a thousand.

One father once said that “sorrows and pains cleanse and polish a man’ soul; there is nothing greater than these, even the prayer of Jesus”.
Elder Tikhon used to tell us that the prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us” is worth a hundred drachmas, while “Glory to God” is worth a thousand (drachmas).
By this he meant that praising God is more valuable than anything, because many times people say the Jesus Prayer when they’re in need of something, but when someone (been) in distress glorifies God, he is a great ascetic.
 

(Archimandrite Ioannikios, in the Athonite Paterikon)

http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2013/06/is-there-anything-greater-than-jesus.html

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Eventhough we have good intentions, the results to lead a Holy life are not always a given



The first and foremost reason why our intention to correct ourselves and lead a holy life remains without result lies in the fact that our intention is often too vague and indefinite.
A certain sinner, for example, says to himself: “It’s high time for me to stop sinning, time to mend my ways! I repent! I’ll stop sinning!” The intention is quite indefinite. And because of this, although it might be sincere, it is unreliable and may not achieve the desired correction.
He who has a sincere desire to amend himself must first of all determine exactly what it is that must be corrected. He must determine what his greatest sin is and what means he must use against it, and what dangers he must avoid so as not to fall into it again, since it has become a habit, a part of his life. All this thought and self-examination must come first and only then should a resolve be made, and that resolve should be specific as, for example: “Enough is enough! With God’s help I am no longer going to fall into such-and-such a sin; I’m going to break this bad habit; I’m no longer going to associate with those particular people who encourage me in this habit; I’m going to break off that unhealthy relationship; I’m going to use such-and-such means against this sin; I’m going to arm myself and muster all my forces against it when it begins again to tempt me.”
The same thing must also be said about the resolution to lead a righteous life. By no means is it enough to content oneself simply by stating the following resolve: “From this time forth I’m going to lead a God-pleasing life.” Such a resolution is not definite enough, and although it may have come from the heart, it is doubtful whether it will have any effect.
He who desires to abandon a life of sin and live a righteous life must first of all examine which obligations he has most difficulty in fulfilling and does not like to fulfill; what exactly hinders their fulfillment; what he must do, what means he must employ to fulfill them more readily. Having done this, he must make a specific resolve, as for example: “Now, with God’s help I will try hard to fulfill this obligation which until now I have done so poorly; I will apply myself to using such-and-such means towards its fulfillment. For example, when someone offends me I will be more patient; I won’t start using insulting and shameful language, or better yet, I won’t answer back at all; in such-and such company I’ll be more careful in what I say; at such-and-such times I’ll try to pray fervently, something I have not done up to now.., and so on.”
In general, the more definite one’s intention to change one’s sinful life and live righteously, the more it will suit the particular circumstances, the state of one’s soul, one’s relationship with others, etc., and the more hope there is of its bringing it into reality. When something is so definite one can more easily direct one’s thoughts and one’s strength to one subject and thus, of course, more easily achieve the desired goal.
Another reason why our good intentions fail, is because we do not hold firmly enough to our resolve. Scarcely two or three days pass by after our having made our resolution and we, in our normal daily routine of life amidst our worldly cares and pursuits, have already forgotten our intention, although at the time it was made with proper firmness of purpose. For this reason, if we truly wish our good intention to be realized, then each of us, every morning after our morning prayers, must immediately bring to mind and renew our resolution, saying in our hearts: “I promised God to turn away from this particular sin; I really wanted to fulfill this obligation; I must keep my promise!” Having renewed in this way our good intention, we must diligently pray to God that He would grant us the necessary strength to carry it out.
Likewise, our intention must be renewed in this way throughout the course of the day. And when evening comes, we should never go to sleep without having first examined our hearts to see how we have spent the day: did we keep our promise to God? And if it happens that we went against our resolve, against our promise, then we must immediately ask God’s forgiveness, and once again renew our resolve and carefully watch over ourselves. This is the way in which those people act who are concerned for the salvation of their souls, and in this way they attain salvation!
The third reason we fail in our intention to lead a better life, is our excessive fear of the difficulties connected with such an undertaking. A holy life is not attained without work, without sufferings and difficulties; it often takes a prolonged and fierce battle. We must withdraw from occasions to sin, of which there are so many. We must sacrifice various enjoyments which are so pleasant, abandon many worldly pursuits which make life interesting, and endure many unpleasant things which because of our self-love are often so difficult to bear.
For example, let us suppose that we resolved to withdraw from our natural inclination to become angry. In order to turn away from anger we must quietly endure a lot of what is to us almost unbearable, and to which our usual response would have been a stream of crude words; sometimes we must not justify ourselves even when we are in the right; often we must be silent when we feel the urge to speak; often we must give in to others even when the occasion does not demand it; we must often bear the offenses of others and not reveal our irritation; often force ourselves to patiently endure when we are slandered or laughed at like fools and cowards. All this we must endure if we truly desire to realize our intention to withdraw from anger.
Amidst all the difficulties of keeping oneself from anger or any other sin which manifests itself as particularly great, our soul often falls into despondency and all our strength seems to evaporate. In such cases we must immediately bring to mind various sacred truths and experiences which are able to restore our former spirit, our former strength, and give us hope of abandoning the sin from which we decided to turn away. Thus we must remember that no matter how weak a man is, with God’s help he can do and endure all things if only he truly desires and uses it; this is accomplished through the strength that is granted by God.
We must remember the millions of righteous ones, who have gone before us and their self-denial, patience and endurance which they left as an example for us and for the whole world. We must remember that, above all, God desires our correction, and because of this, knowing our weakness and our needs, He will unfailingly come to our aid if only we turn to Him with fervent prayer and make use of the means and the power which He has given to us.
We must remember that the difficulties which invariably accompany any important undertaking are intimidating only to the lazy and faint-hearted; that only the first steps along the path of correction are unpleasant and difficult; that the farther one goes along such a path the easier and less painful it becomes; that any victory which we gain over our enemy makes us much stronger and better able to endure any further onslaughts. We must more often remind ourselves of the feeling of peace and satisfaction we shall experience when in the last days and hours of our life we look back at our past, at the difficulties we have heroically overcome, at the many sufferings borne with Christian patience, at the countless temptations conquered by our love for God, at all the noble deeds which we performed in secret before God’s eyes alone, at all the favors which we showed our fellow man, at the faithfulness with which we fulfilled our obligations, often forcing ourselves to the utmost to do this.
Finally, we must more often remind ourselves that for all this we will be rewarded by so much in the life of the age to come that all the difficulties which we overcome here in this life, all the sufferings which we endure in this age for the sake of a righteous life, will appear to us much smaller; in fact, they will appear insignificant, in comparison with the heavenly rewards.
O, Almighty God! Now we count each minute of trial and suffering and we rarely consider the blessed eternity which delights the souls of Thy righteous and faithful servants. Brother! In your striving towards a God-pleasing life, when you weigh your earthly difficulties and grief, place more often on the scale this eternity! It will outweigh all your trials, all the pleasures of worldly pursuits, pleasures and enjoyments.
The fourth reason that our resolution to lead a better life often fails, lies in the fact that we want immediately to become saints. Many people, when they once feel an aversion to their sinful behavior, make a firm resolve to change their ways and place a good beginning towards this reform; but because this doesn’t happen as quickly as they would like, and whether by habit or rashness they often fall into their old sins, they lose heart and come to the conclusion that it’s impossible for them to change their ways.
Brother! Sister! People don’t become saints overnight. Our old man does not easily yield to being transformed into the new man. A big tree is not felled by a single stroke of the ax. So it is with each evil passion which’ is so firmly rooted in us. The way to perfection or to spiritual maturity is almost always unnoticeable, just as are so many things in nature.
A spiritual man passes through various stages of growth, just like the physical man. Much time is spent in childhood before reaching the fullness and strength of manhood. There is a long period of weakness, and only then does one become stronger and stronger, until finally one becomes a man. Only at this age is one capable of doing what is proper to a man. Likewise, a ripened ear of corn is at first only a seed, then a small blade of grass, then a stalk, and finally an ear of corn; but even this ear is not ripe all at once, but grows, then flowers, then it tassels and only then does it become ripe. The same is true of a righteous, life! Even the best man in the world does not suddenly become a saint. His perfection for the most part develops slowly and only little by little. Good earth which accepts into itself a good seed brings forth fruit, says the Lord, in patience. (Lk 8:15).
To fall, of course, is not good, and it were better not to; but he who falls and then quickly gets up, becomes wiser and more careful, renews his good intention, fervently prays to God for new strength to attain a righteous life. Falls are not such a hindrance for such a man on the path to perfection. At the time of his fall, when he falleth, he shall find a stay, i.e., strength (Sir 3:31) and like the Apostle Paul, strikes ahead towards the mark of the prize of the high calling, forgetting those things which are behind. (Phil 3:13).
The above, then, are some of the reasons why our good intentions to turn away from sin and lead a better life are often unfulfilled. Let us avoid these pitfalls; let us try to make our resolution as definite as possible; let us remember more often and continually to renew our decision, and let us not become faint-hearted if we do not at once reach perfection, but let us courageously surmount the difficulties we meet along the way in firm hope of God’s help.


From “The Conversations of Metropolitan Gregory of Novgorod,” translated from the monthly periodical of St. Panteleimon’s Monastery on Mt. Athos, January 1899, pp. 15-19. 


http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2013/06/eventhough-we-have-good-intentions.html

Νέο θαύμα του Αγιου Παϊσιου στις Σέρρες


Το κείμενο που ακολουθεί είναι προδημοσιεύση άρθρου.Θα δημοσιευθεί στο ορθόδοξο αντιαιρετικό περιοδικό ΔΙΑΛΟΓΟΣ στο τεύχος Σεπτεμβρίου ( τον Αύγουστο δεν εκδίδεται ) αλλά λόγω της βαρύτητας του θαύματος,κρίθηκε σωστό να μαθευτεί νωρίτερα και από άλλα μέσα,για το καλό του ορθόδοξου ποιμνοίου στους δύσκολους καιρούς που περναέι η ευλογημένη πατρίδα μας.Υπάρχει και ενυπόγραφη δάδεια του εκδότη για όποιον τη θελήσει.
"Πριν μερικές εβδομάδες ακόμα ένα σύγχρονο θαύμα του γέροντος Παισιου έλαβε χώvρα σε ένα μικρό χωριό των Σερρών.Το περιέγραψε στον υποδιάκονο Αμφιλόχιο, του Ιερού Καθεδρικού Ναού των Ταξιαρχών Σερρών, ο βιώσας το θαύμα Παντελής Κ.

Ο Παντελής 18 ετών,νεος χρήστης ναρκωτικών ουσιών,είχε ένα τρομερό ατύχημα με το μηχανάκι του λίγο πιο έξω από το χωριο του με αποτέλεσμα να τραμαυτιστεί σοβαρά στο κεφάλι και να πάθει εγκεφαλική διάσειση. Πιθανότατα ήταν υπό την επίρροια ουσιών γιατί παρόλο που ήταν σε προγράμματα αποτοξίνωσης,το δαιμόνιο αυτό της ηρωίνης δεν έλεγε να βγει από μέσα του.


Μπήκε εσπευμένα στην μονάδα εντατικής θεραπείας του Γενικού Νοσοκομείου Σερρών με
κρανιοεγκεφαλικές κακώσεις.Οι γιατροί τον είχαν σε καταστολή και μετά και από ενδονοσοκομειακή μόλυνση ήταν σε κώμα με τελική γνωμάτευση ότι ήταν εγκεφαλικά νεκρός. Οι γιατροί μην έχοντας άλλα μέσα στη διάθεσή
τους,σήκωσαν τα χέρια ψηλά και είπαν στην χαροκαμένη μητέρα του ότι ειναι στα χέρια του θεού.

Η ημερομηνία της τελικής γνωμάτευσης για εγκεφαλικό θάνατο ήταν η 13η Ιουλίου.Σε 1 ημέρα ο γιος της θα έκλεινε τα 18 του χρόνια,και αντί να μπει στην ενήλικη ζωή,τον έβλεπε στο κρεβάτι να παλεύει,όχι για τον γνωστό αγώνα
κατά της μάστιγας των ναρκωτικών,αλλά τελείως άμεσα για την επιβίωσή του .


Η αξιαγάπητη Κυρία Αναστασία δε το έβαλε κάτω.Με την προτροπή του Άγιου πνευματικου της , παππούλη Αθανάσιου,πήρε το ΚΤΕΛ για Θεσσαλονίκη την επόμενη ημέρα και κατευθυνθηκε προς την ιερά μονή ΑΓ.ΙΩΑΝΝΗΣ ΘΕΟΛΟΓΟΣ ΣΟΥΡΩΤΗ. 

Γνώριζε για το μεγαλείο του γέροντα-Πα'ι'σίου , δε γνώριζε όμως οτι εκείνη την ημέρα 14 Ιουλίου συμπληρονώντουσαν 18 χρόνια απο την κοίμηση
του γέροντα.

Όταν έφτασε και είδε τη λαοσύναξηαπόρησε,

αλλά οταν της είπαν οτι ο γέρωντας πέθανε την ίδια μέρα που γέννησε τον μονάκριβο γιο της κόντεψε να λιποθυμήσει.Ενιωσε κατι που δεν μπορει ακόμα να περιγράψει.Μια ένωση με το
θείο,την αύρα του γέρωντα και γενικά ότι κάτι καλό θα βγει.

Παρόλη την κρισιμότητα της κατάστασης του γιού της , δε το χρησιμοποίησε σαν αιτία και περίμενε με ταπεινωση και γονατιστή πάνω από 4 ώρες μέχρι να έρθει η σειρά της να προσκυνήσει το μέρος όπου κοιμάται ο γέροντας-Πα'ι΄σιος.

Προσευχήθηκε για το σπλάχνο της και πήρε λίγο χώμα από το μνήμα, το οποίο χώμα το πήγε στον πνευματικότης, και ο οποίος αφού το διάβασε, έφτιαξε ένα αυτοσχεδιο φυλακτό. Η κυρία Αναστασία  ΄ετρεξε στο νοσοκομείο και το
εναπόθεσε κάτω από το μαξιλάρι του παιδιού της.

Το ίδιο κιόλας βράδυ είδε στον ύπνο της τον Γέροντα Παΐσιο να της λέει "Μη φοβάσαι, θα γίνει καλά ο Παντελής".

Το επόμενο πρωί ο Παντελής συνήλθε υγιέστατος κάτι που οι γιατροί αδυνατούσαν να εξηγήσουν. Μια έντονη ευωδία είχε κατακλύσει το δωμάτιο και αργότερα διαπίστωσαν ότι αυτή η μυρωδιά, προέρχονταν από το μαξιλάρι του Παντελή, στο οπoίου η μητέρα του είχε τοποθετήσει κρυφά το φυλαχτό με το χώμα από τον τάφο του Γέροντα . Το μόνο που θυμάται ο Παντελής από το λήθαργο του, είναι η φιγούρα ενός μαυροφορεμένου γέροντα να του λέει : ' άντε σήκω παλικάρι μου να πας στη μαμά σου.τα κόλυβα σου δε τα έχεισ στο ζωνάρι.θα αργησουμε να τα φαμε'.

Ο Παντελής από εκείνο το πρωινό έχει μια αποστροφή για τα ναρκωτικά και υγιέστατος διαβάζει και προσπαθεί να μπει στο πανεπιστήμιο. Εξομολογείται στον πνευματικό της μητέρας του και θέλησε να μοιραστει το θαύμα που βίωσε η
οικογένεια του , με τον υποδιάκονο Αμφιλόχιο.

"ο Θεός μερικές φορές, όταν κάποιος δεν καταλαβαίνη με το καλό, του δίνει μια δοκιμασία, για να συνέλθη. Αν δεν υπήρχε λίγος πόνος, αρρώστιες κ.λπ., θα γίνονταν θηρία οι άνθρωποι· δεν θα πλησίαζαν καθόλου στον Θεό."
 

Αγιος Παισιος

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Prayer to the Theotokos ( St. Seraphim of Sarov )



Ο my All-Merciful, Sovereign Lady! All-Holy Lady, Most Pure Virgin, Theotokos Mary, Mother of God, My undoubting and my only Hope: Disdain me not, reject me not, forsake me not, Help me, intercede, hear and behold me. Ο Lady, help me, forgive me, forgive me, Ο Pure One!

St. Seraphim of Sarov

Συμβουλές για τις μητέρες( Άγιος Πορφύριος )


Οι μητέρες ξέρουν πώς να εκφράσουν το άγχος, να παρέχουν συμβουλές και να μιλανε ασταμάτητα, αλλά δεν έχουν μάθει να προσεύχονται. Οι περισσότερες συμβουλές και επικρίσεις κάνουν μια μεγάλη βλάβη σε αυτά. Δεν χρειάζεται να πούμε πολλά για τα παιδιά.

Λέξεις κανουν ζημια στ' αυτιά, αλλά η προσευχή πηγαίνει στην καρδιά. Η προσευχή είναι απαραίτητη, με πίστη και χωρίς άγχος, μαζί με ένα καλό παράδειγμα.

Άγιος Πορφύριος

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lord, Thank you



I saw in my dream, that I visited Paradise and an angel assumed my hospitality. We walked beside each other in a great hall full of angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first work station and said. "Here is the receiving department. Here we receive all the requests that reach God in the form of prayers". I glanced around the place. It was busy with activity, with so many angels receiving and classifying huge stacks of notes from people around the world. We then proceeded through a long corridor till we reached the second station. My angel told me: "This is the packaging and delivery department. Here the graces and blessings that are requested are brought forward and delivered to those who requested them".

I noticed again how active it was here. Innumerable angels were going back and forth to earth. Finally in the end of a long corridor, we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise only one angel was sitting there, doing basically nothing. "This is the department of the thank you's" whispered my angel, feeling a bit ashamed. "How is it possible? Is there no work here?" I asked. "It is sad" sighed the angel. "After people receive their gifts, very few send their thank you's". "How can one thank God for the blessings received" I asked again. "Simply" he replied, "you only need to say, thank you my God". "And why exactly do we need to thank Him?"

"If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the Bank, in your wallet and some coins on a plate, you are one of the 8% of the people who prosper.

If you wake up in the morning feeling healthier than others with sickness, you are more blessed than those who will not survive this day.

If you have not lived to experience the fear of war, the loneliness of prison, the struggle of torture and the piercing pangs of famine, you are ahead of 700 million people of this world.

If you can pray in a temple without fear of attack, of arrest and execution, some 3 billion people of this world will envy you.

If your parents are still alive and are still married, you are unique.

If you can hold your head high and smile, you are not the rule but the exception, for all those who live with doubt and exasperation.

And if you can read now this text, you received a double blessing because it was given by someone who loves you and because you are luckier than two billion people who do not know and cannot even read".

"I understand. And now what should I do? How can I start?" "Say good morning" my angel smiled, "and count your blessings and pass this message to other people to remind them how blessed they are".

"And don't forget to send your thank you".

Magazine "Tolmi" by Archimandrite Daniel Sapika, Doctor. 


http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2013/06/lord-thank-you.html

ΠΑΡΑΚΛΗΤΙΚΟΣ ΚΑΝΩΝ ΕΙΣ ΤΟΥΣ ΔΩΔΕΚΑ ΑΓΙΟΥΣ ΑΝΑΡΓΥΡΟΥΣ




                       ΠΑΡΑΚΛΗΤΙΚΟΣ ΚΑΝΩΝ
           ΕΙΣ ΤΟΥΣ ΔΩΔΕΚΑ ΑΓΙΟΥΣ ΑΝΑΡΓΥΡΟΥΣ


Κοσμάν και Δαμιανόν, Κύρον και Ιωάννην, Παντελεήμονα και Ερμόλαον, Σαμψών και Διομήδη, Μώκιον και Ανίκητον, Θαλλέλαιον και Τρύφωνα.

Ευλογήσαντος του Ιερέως.

Ψαλμός ρμβ΄ (142)


Κύριε εισάκουσον της προσευχής μου, ενώτισαι την δέησιν μου εν τη αληθεία σου, εισάκουσον μου εν τη δικαιοσύνην σου. Και μη εισέλθεις εις κρίσιν μετά του δούλου σου, ότι ου δικαιωθήσεται ενώπιόν σου πας ζών. Ότι κατεδίωξεν ο εχθρός την ψυχήν μου, εταπείνωσεν εις γην την ζωήν μου. Εκάθισεν με εν σκοτεινοίς ως νεκρούς αιώνος, και ηκηδίασεν το πνεύμα μου, εν εμοί εταράχθη η καρδίαν μου. Εμνήσθην ημερών αρχαίων, εμελέτησα εν πάσι τοις έργοις σου, εν ποιήμασι των χειρών σου εμελέτησα. Διαπέτασα προς σε τας χείρας μου, η ψυχή μου ως γή άνυδρός σοι.

Ταχύ εισάκουσον μου, Κύριε, εξέλιπε το πνεύμα μου. Μη αποστρέψεις το πρόσωπόν σου απ΄εμού, και ομοιωθήσομαι τοις καταβαίνουσιν εις λάκον. Ακουστόν ποίησον μοι το πρωί το έλεός σου, ότι επί σοι ήλπισα. Γνωρισόν μοι κύριε, οδόν εν ή πορεύσομαι, ότι προς σε ήρα την ψυχήν μου. Εξελού με εκ των εχρών μου Κύριε, προς σε κατέφυγον, δίδαξόν με του ποιείν το θέλημά σου, ότι συ εί ο Θεός μου. Το Πνεύμα σου το αγαθόν οδηγήσει με εν γή ευθεία, ένεκεν του ονόματος σου, Κύριε, ζήσεις με. Εν τη δικαιοσύνην σου εξάξεις εκ θλίψεως την ψυχήν μου, και εν τω ελέει σου εξολοθρεύσεις τους εχθρούς μου. Και απολείς πάντας τους θλίβοντας την ψυχήν μου, ότι εγώ δούλος σου ειμί.



Είτα τα παρόντα Τροπάρια.



Θεός Κύριος και επέφανεν ημίν ΄ ευλογημένος ο ερχόμενος έν ονόματι Κυρίου.

(Τετράκις)



Ήχος δ’ ( ο υψωθείς εν τω Σταυρώ)



Τας χαμαιζήλους ηδονάς συμπατούντες, και αναργύρων τας νόσους ιώμενοι, Ανάργυροι πανεύφημοι και θείοι Ιατροί, προς Χριστού εστέφθητε, Ουρανίοις στεφάνοις, όθεν ικετεύομεν σκοτασμού αμαρτίας, και νοσημάτων ρύσασθαι ημάς, τον επί πάντων Θεόν ικετεύοντες.



Δόξα πατρί…. «Απολυτίκον»

Ήχος πλ δ’



Άγιοι Ανάργυροι και θαυματουργοί, επισκέψασθε τας ασθενίας ημών, δωρεάν ελάβετε, δωρεάν δότε ημίν.



Και νύν «Θεοτοκίον»



Τη Θεοτόκω μετά δέους εμφρόνως, πάντες προσδράμωμεν κραυγάζοντες πόθω, Υπεραγία Δέσποινα Πανύμνητε, ρύσαι τω ελέει σου, αδοκήτων κινδύνων, πάσης περιστάσεως και κολάσεως τάχος, και πάσης νόσων λυμής, Αγαθή , ευλογημένη Μαρία Θεόνυμφε.


Ψαλμός Ν΄ (50)



Ελέησον με, ο Θεός, κατά το μέγα Έλεός Σου, και κατά το πλήθος των οικτιρμών Σου, εξάλειψον το ανόμημά μου. Επί πλείον πλύνον με από της ανομίας μου και από της αμαρτίας μου καθάρισόν με. Ότι την ανομίαν μου εγώ γινώσκω, και η αμαρτία μου ενώπιόν μου έστι δια παντός. Σοι μόνω ήμαρτον και το πονηρόν ενώπιον Σου εποίησα, όπως αν δικαιωθείς εν τοις λόγοις Σου, και νικήσης εν τω κρίνεσθαί Σε.

Ιδοί γαρ εν ανομίαις συνελήφθην και εν αμαρτίαις εκίσσησέ με η μήτηρ μου. Ι δού γαρ αλήθειαν ηγάπησας, τα άδηλα κσι τα κρύφις της σοφίας Σου εδήλωσας μοι. Ραντιείς με υσσώπω και και καθαρισθήσομαι, πλυνείς με και υπέρ χιόνα λευκανθήσομαι. Ακουτιείς μοι αγαλλίασιν και ευφροσύνην, αγαλλιάσονται οστέα τεταπεινομένα. Απόστρεψον το πρόσωπόν Σου από των αμαρτιών μου και πάσας τας ανομίας μου εξάλειψον. Καρδίαν καθαράν κτίσον εν εμοί ο Θεός, και πνεύμα ευθές εγκαίνησον εν τοις εγκάτοις μου. Μη απορρίψης με από του προσώπου Σου, και το πνεύμα Σου το άγιον μη αντανέλης απ’ εμού. Απόδος μοι την αγαλλίασιν του σωτηρίου Σου, και πνεύματι ηγεμονικώ στηριξόν με . Διδάξω ανόμους τας οδούς Σου, και ασεβείς επί Σε επιστρέψουσι. Ρύσαι με εξ αιμάτων ο Θεός, ο Θεός της σωτηρίας μου, αγαλλιάσεται η γλώσσα μου την δικαιοσύνην Σου. Κύριε, τα χείλη μου ανοίξεις, και το στόμα μου αναγγελεί τηνα αινεσίν Σου. Ότι ει ηθέλησας θυσίαν, έδωκα αν, ολοκαυτώματα ούκ ευδοκήσεις. Θυσία τω Θεώ πνεύμα συντετριμμένον, καρδίαν συντετριμμένην και τεταπεινομένην ο Θεός ούκ εξουδενώσει. Αγάθυνον, Κύριε , εν τη ευδοκίαν Σου την Σιώ, και οικοδομηθήτω τα τείχη Ιερουσαλήμ. Τότε ευδοκήσεις θυσίαν δικαιοσύνης, αναφοράν και ολοκαυτώματα. Τότε ανοίσουσιν επί το θυσιαστήριόν Σου μόσχους.



Ωδή α’ (Ήχος πλ δ’ )

«Υγράν διοδεύσας….»



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Πολλοίς συνεχόμενος αλγεινοίς, προς υμάςς ενθέρμως καταφεύγων εκδυσοπώ, ταις προς τον Θεόν υμών πρεσβείαις, τούτων με τάχος, Ανάργυροι ρύσασθαι.



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Παθών καταφλέγει μου φλόξ δεινή, Ανάργυροι θείοι,την καρδίαν και την ψυχήν, ταχέως ούν ταύτην ιετεύων ταις υμετέραις δεήσεσι σβέσατε.



Δόξα Πατρί και Υιώ και αγίω Πνεύματι



Νοσών πλείστοις πάθεσι χαλεποίς, πολλών εκ πταισμάτων, τω φαρμάκω των δραστικών, υμών πρεσβειών προς τον Δεσπότην, εκλιπαρώ ιαθήναι, Ανάργυροι.



Και νυν και αει, και εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. Αμήν



Συνέτισον τον δούλον σου, Μαριάμ, άνοιξόν μοι πύλας μετανοίας, και εκ πυλών, της θανατηφόρου αμαρτίας, τη μεσιτεία σου ρύσαι με Δέσποινα.



Ωδή γ ’

«Ουρανίας αψίδος….»



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Προστασίαις ταις θείαις υμών, Ανάργυροι ρύσασθε, εμέ τον εν ζάλη και τρικυμίαις του βίου εγκυματούμενον, υμάς γαρ εύρηκα, μετά Θεόν κυβερνήτας, προς λιμέναν άσυλον και αχείμαστον.



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Ικετεύω εν πόθω την της ψυχής κάκωσιν, και τας σαρκικάς ασθενείας μου ιατρεύσατε, υμείς γαρ Πάνσεπτοι, τον των ψυχών και σωμάτων, ιατρόν τον Πάνσοφον εμιμήσασθε.



Δόξα Πατρί και Υιώ και αγίω Πνεύματι



Χαλεπαίς αρρωστίαις και τακτικοίς πάθεσιν, όλω καθ’ εκάστην, Ανάργυροι, τηκομένω μοι, ταις προς τον Κύριον, υμών ενθέρμους πρεσβείαις, φάρμακα δωρήσασθε αλεξίπονα.



Και νυν και αει, και εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. Αμήν



Επί κλίνης οδύνης οδυνηρώς κείμενος, σε επικαλούμαι Παρθένε, κλίνον το ούς σου εμοί, σπεύσον του σώσαι με και εξελέσθαι εν τάχει, πυρός υποσμύχοντος νυν την καρδίαν μου.


Ωδή δ’

«Εισακήκοα Κύριε….»



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Των παθών μου τον καύσωνα, και τον της αθλίας ψυχής μου τάραχον, ταις ευχαίς ημ΄΄ων Ανάργυροι, σβέσατε εν τάχει και κατευνάσατε.



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Απολαύοντες πάντοτε, των εκ της Εικόνας υμών, Ανάργυροι, χαρισμάτων αναμέλπομεν, τον υμάς δοξάσαντα υπεράγαθον.



Δόξα Πατρί και Υιώ και αγίω Πνεύματι



Επί κλίνης με κείμενον, και νόσον νοσούντα ψυχής και σώματος, ω Ανάργυροι εγείρατε, ταις προς τον Σωτήραν υμών δεήσεσι.



Και νυν και αει, και εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. Αμήν



Ρώσιν δίδου μοι, Πάναγνε, επικαμπτομένη οικτραίς δεήσεσι, πάσαν νόσον και επάχθειαν, επιούσαν άφνω αναστέλλουσα.



Ωδή ε’

«Φώτισον ημάς….»



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Έμπλησον ταχύ την ψυχήν μου θείας χάριτος, των Αναργύρων η σεπτή Δωδεκάς, του προσιόντος τη σκέπη και τη εικόνι σου.



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Λύτρωσαι με νύν σαις προς Κύριον εντεύξεσι, δεινής εκ νόσου και πάσης θλίψεως, ώ Δωδεκάς Ιατρών αξιάγαστε.



Δόξα Πατρί και Υιώ και αγίω Πνεύματι



ίασαι ψυχής τα πολλά πάθη και σώματος, ώ Δωδεκάς Ιατρών Παμμακάριστε, των μετά πόθου προσκυνούντων την Εικόνα σου.



Και νυν και αει, και εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. Αμήν



Άπαντα εχθρόν δυσμενώς επιτιθέμενος, ημίν τοις δούλοις σου, Πανάμωμε, θείω σου κράτει, συμπατούσα εξαφάνισον.



Ωδή στ’

«Την δέησιν, εκχεώ..»



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Θανάτου και συμφορών και θλίψεων, απαλλάξατε δεινών τε παντοίων, ώ Ιατροί άμισθοι των νοσούντων, τον ευλαβώς προς υμάς καταφεύγοντα, και πάσης νόσου χαλεπής, ταις υμών ικεσίαις, Πανάγιοι.



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Ως τείχος εν τοις κινδύνοις άρρηκτον, την υμών εγκεκτημένοι εικόνα, εκ των δεινών εκλυτρούμεθα πάντων, εσαεί λυτρωτάς επιγραφόμενοι, σωτήρας τε μετά Θεόν, ευκλεέστατοι θείοι Ανάργυροι.



Δόξα Πατρί και Υιώ και αγίω Πνεύματι



Εν κλίνη των ανιάτων παθών μου, κατακείμενος, Ανάργυροι θείοι, εκλιπαρώ της θερμής υμών σκέπης, και αντιλήψεως μη με στερήσητε, πρεσβεύοντες διηνεκώς, όπως εύρω υγείας αντίληψιν.



Και νυν και αει, και εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. Αμήν



Φιλεύσπλαχνε, του Θεού λοχεύτρια, ώ Παρθένε Θεοτόκε Μαρία, τη προς Θεόν εκτενεί σου πρεσβεία, των δυσχερών με απάλλαξον κραζοντα, δοξάζω σε μόνη Αγνή, Παναγία Θεόνυμφε Δέσποινα.



Επίβλεψον, ω Δωδεκάς Αναργύρων αγία, επί την εμήν ψυχής τε και σώματος κάκωσιν, και ίασιν δώρησαί μοι λιταίς σου.



Άχραντε, η δια λόγου τον Λόγον ανερμηνεύτως, επ’ εσχάτων των ημερών τεκούσα, δυσώπησον, ως έχουσα μητρικήν παρρησίαν.



«Κοντάκιον»



Προστάται θερμοί και φύλακες άγρυπνοι, των πίστει ημάς ανυμνούντων υπάρχοντες, εκ ψυχής βοώμεν υμίν, Ακέστορες πάνσεπτοι σπεύσατε, και εκ κινδύνων λυτρώσασθε ημάς, ως παρρησίαν προς Κύριον έχοντες.



«Προκείμενον»



Τοις Αγίοις τοις εν τη γή αυτού εθαυμάστωσεν ο Κύριος



«Στίχος» Ακούσατε ταύτα πάντα τα έθνη.»


«Ευαγγέλιον»



Έκ του κατά Ματθαίον


Τω καιρώ εκείνω, προσκαλεσάμενος ο Ιησούς τους δώδεκα μαθητάς αυτού, έδωκεν αυτοίς εξουσίαν κατά πνευμάτων ακαθάρτων, ώστε εκβάλλειν αυτά και θεραπεύειν πάσαν νόσον και πάσαν μαλακίαν. Τούτους απέστειλεν ο Ιησούς, παραγγείλας αυτοίς λέγων ‘ εις οδόν εθνών μη απέλθητε και εις πόλιν Σαμαρειτών μη εισέλθητε’ πορεύεσθε δε μάλλον προς τα πρόβατα τα απολωλότα οίκου Ισραήλ. Πορευομένοι δε, κηρύσσετε, λέγοντες ότι ήγγικεν η βασιλεία των Ουρανών. Ασθενούντας θεραπεύετε, λεπρούς καθαρίζετε, νεκρούς εγείρετε, δαιμόνια εκβάλλετε, δωρεάν ελάβετε, δωρεάν δότε.



Δόξα Πατρί και Υιώ και αγίω Πνεύματι



Ταις των Αναργύρων πρεσβείες Ελεήμον, εξάληψον τα πλήθη των εμών εγκλημάτων.



Και νυν και αει, και εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. Αμήν



Ταις της Θεοτόκου πρεσβείες Ελεήμον, εξάληψον τα πλήθη των εμών εγκλημάτων



«Προσόμοιον»



«Στίχος» Ελέησον με, ο Θεός, κατά το μέγα Έλεός Σου, και κατά το πλήθος των οικτιρμών Σου, εξάλειψον το ανόμημά μου



Μεταβολή θλίψεως πάσης, απαλλαγή παντοίας νόσου υπάρχουσα, Δωδεκάς η αγία Αναργύρων πανευκλεών, σώζε πάντας εκ της ολεθρίας, του εχθρού ορμής και επηρείας, θείαις σου προς Κύριον εντεύξεσι.



Ο Ιερεύς : Σώσον ο Θεός τον λαόν Σου….



Ωδή ζ’

«Οι εκ της Ιουδαίας»



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Την οξείαν μου νόσον, εις υγείαν, Άγιοι μεταποιήσατε νυν, ψυχήν ομού και σώμα, ιώμενοι τελείως, του βοώντος προς Κύριον, ό των Πατέρων ημών, Θεός ευλογητός εί.



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Θελητήν του ελέους, τον Χριστόν κηρύξαντες, θείοι Ανάργυροι, αυτόν εκδυσωπείτε, λυτρώσασθαι κινδύνων, τους εν πίστει κραυγάζοντας, ο εν Αγίοις θαυμαστώς, Θεός ευλογητός εί.


Δόξα Πατρί και Υιώ και αγίω Πνεύματι



Σωμάτων ιατήρας, και ψυχών σητήρας υμάς επιστάμενοι, δεόμεθα ιάσθαι, και σώζειν τους βοώντας, προς τον πάντων Σωτήρα Χριστόν, ο των Πατέρων ημών, Θεός ευλογητός εί.



Και νυν και αει, και εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. Αμήν



Εκ χειμώνος το έαρ, και εκ ζάλης γαλήνη, Αγνή προέρχεται, εκ ζόφου δε πταισμάτων, το φώς της απαθείας, μετανοία εισέρχεται, οι εμπαθείς τοιγαρούν θαρρώμεν μεταγνόντες.



Ωδή η’

«Τον Βασιλέα…»



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Τους βοηθείας της παρ’ υμών δεομένους, μη παρίδητε Ανάργυροι θείοι, αλλ’ εκ νόσου πάσης λυτρώσασθε και βλάβης.



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Των πειρασμών υμείς, προσβολάς τας ποικίλας, εκδιώκετε Ανάργυροι πάσας, ταις προς τον Δεσπότην θερμαίς υμών πρεσβείαις.



Δόξα Πατρί και Υιώ και αγίω Πνεύματι



Των νοσημάτων συ, Ιατρεία ετοίμη, η των θείων εδείχθης Αναργύρων, Δωδεκάς σοφή τε και όντως θαυμασία.


Και νυν και αει, και εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. Αμήν


Ίνα τιμών ανυμνώ μετά πόθου, το παμπόθητον, Μαρία, όνομά σου, νόσων και κινδύνων εκλύτρωσαί με τάχος.


Ωδή θ’

«Κυρίως Θεοτόκον…»

Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών

Ροήν μου των δακρύων, δέξασθε ασμένως, και ταις λιταίς υμών πάντα τον βόρβορον, των νοσημάτων μου πλύνατε, ώ Ανάργυροι.



Άγιοι του Θεού πρεσβεύσατε υπέρ ημών



Χαράς της αιωνίου, πάντες συν Αγγέλοις επαπολαύοντες, θείοι Ανάργυροι, χαράς αλήκτου πληρούτε και τας καρδίας ημών.



Δόξα Πατρί και Υιώ και αγίω Πνεύματι

Λιμήν και ιατρείον πέλει των νοσούντων, η των σοφών Ιατρών σεβασμία Εικών, η προσιόντες εν πίστει νόσων λυτρούμεθα.


Και νυν και αει, και εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. Αμήν



Μαρία Θεοτόκε, των Πιστών χορείας, εξ ορατών ρυομένη και αοράτων εχθρών, σώζε εκ πάσης φθοράς κινδύνων και θλίψεων.


Το «Άξιον εστίν»

και τα ακόλουθα Μεγαλυνάρια

Πάντων των νοσούντων τους Ιατρούς, πηγάς ιαμάτων, Αναργύρους τους ευκλεείς, δεύετ συνδραμόντες οι φιλέορτοι τούτους, χρεωστικώς εν ύμνοις δοξολογήσωμεν.



Ανάργυροι θείοι, θαυματουργοί, Ιατροί νοσούντων, ιατρεύσατε τους θερμώς, επικαλουμένους υμάς παθών ποικίλων, ταις υμών πρεσβείαις προς τον Φιλάνθρωπον.



Μη παύσητε, Ανάργυροι Ιατροί, ψυχών και σωμάτων, ικετεύειν υπέρ ημών, την σεπτήν Τριάδα, ρυσθήναι εκ κινδύνων, και πάσης ασθενείας, ημάς και θλίψεως.



Ιάσεων άπαντες τας πηγάς, οχετούς αφθόνους, δωρημάτων των του Θεού, φωτός του αύλου, τα πάμφωτα δοχεία, τους θείους Αναργύρους ανευφημήσωμεν.



Δεύτε οι εν νόσοις παντοδαπαίς, και οι εν κινδύνοις, κατακείμενοι χαλεπώς, σπεύσωμεν προθύμως, εν τούτω τω τεμένει των θείων Αναργύρων, και σωθησόμεθα.



Τρύφωνα, Κοσμάς και Δμιανός, άμα Θαλλελαίω, και τον Μώκιον τους σοφούς, Σαμψών, Διομήδην, συν Κύρω, Ιωάννη, και τον Ανίκητόν τε, ανευφημήσωμεν.


Τον Παντελεήμονα τον κλεινόν, συν τω διδασκάλω, Ερμολάω τω θαυμαστώ, Ιουλιανώ τε φωστήρας Εκκλησίας, και των πιστών σωτήρας, ύμνοις τιμήσωμεν.


Ρώσεως ουκ είδεν άλλον μισθόν, απαιτείν ή μόνον, την ευσέβειαν προς Θεόν, η αγιωτάτη εικάς των Αναργύρων, εν ύμνοις ους τιμώντες, ανευφημήσωμεν.


Πάσαι των Αγγέλων αι στρατιαί, Πρόδρομε Κυρίου, Αποστόλων η Δωδεκάς,

οι Άγιοι Πάντες, μετά της Θεοτόκου, ποιήσατε πρεσβείαν, εις τω σωθήναι ημάς.


«Τρισάγιον»


«Απολυτίκον»


Ήχος πλ δ’

Άγιοι Ανάργυροι και θαυματουργοί, επισκέψασθε τας ασθενίας ημών, δωρεάν ελάβετε, δωρεάν δότε ημίν.

«Απόλυσις και ψάλλομεν τα εξής»


Ήχος β’ (Ότε εκ του ξύλου)


Δεύτε ορθοδόξων η πληθύς, δεύτε των Πιστών αι χορείαι κατασπασώμεθα, εικόνα την πάνσεπτον, των Αναργύρων Χριστού, Ιατρών των παθών ημών, προς αυτούς βοώντες, ρύσασθε Ανάργυροι, εκ των κινδύνων ημάς, νόσων και παθών ανιάτων, ταις ευχαίς υμών προς τον Κτίστην, τους ημάς τιμώντας, Πανσεβάσμιοι.


Δέσποινα πρόσδεξαι, τας δεήσεις των δούλων σου, και λύτρωσαι ημάς, από πάσης ανάγκης και θλίψεως.


Την πάσαν ελπίδα μου, εις σε ανατίθημι, Μήτερ του Θεού, φύλαξον με υπό την σκέπην σου.


Δι’ ευχών των Αγίων Πατέρων ημών, Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ ο Θεός, ελέησον και σώσον ημάς. Αμήν.