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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Προσευχὴ γιὰ τὸ Πρόσφορον


ΥΛΙΚΑ

(μπορεῖτε νὰ χρησιμοποιήσετε ἀλεύρι γιὰ ὅλες τὶς χρήσεις)

1. 3 φλυτζάνια τσαγιοῦ ἀλεύρι σκληρό

2. 2 φλυτζάνια τσαγιοῦ ἀλεύρι μαλακό

3. 2 φλυτζάνια τσαγιοῦ χλιαρὸ νερό

4. 1 κουταλάκι τοῦ γλυκοῦ ἁλάτι

5. Νωπὴ μαγιὰ στὸ μέγεθος ἐνὸς ἀμυγδάλου


ΠΡΟΣΕΥΧΗ

(Μπορεῖ νὰ λέγεται τὴν ὥρα τῆς προετοιμασίας διὰ τὴν ζύμωσιν τῆς προσφορᾶς)

1. Ἀρχίζουμε μὲ «Εἰς τὸ Ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος. Ἀμήν.

2. Στὴ συνέχεια τὸ Τρισάγιον « Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός... Δόξα... Καὶ νῦν... Παναγία Τριάς... Κύριε ἐλέησον (γ ́).

Δόξα... Καὶ νῦν... Πάτερ Ἡμῶν...»

3. Κύριε Σὲ εὐχαριστῶ γι ̓ αὐτὴν τὴν ἅγια ὥρα, ποὺ μὲ τὰ ἁμαρτωλά μου χέρια μὲ ἀξιώνεις νὰ ζυμώνω τὰ Πανάχραντα Δῶρα τῆς ἀγάπης Σου. Σὲ παρακαλῶ κατάπεμψε τὸ Πανάγιό Σου Πνεῦμα ποὺ εὐλογεῖ ὅλα τὰ Μυστήρια τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, νὰ εὐλογήσει καὶ τοῦτα τὰ Δῶρα γιὰ νὰ γίνουν καλὰ καὶ εὐπρόσδεκτα στὸ Ἅγιό Σου θυσιαστήριο. Καὶ σὲ παρακαλῶ νὰ τὰ δεχθῆς ὅπως ἐδέχθης τὴ θυσία τοῦ Ἄβελ, τὴ δοξολογία τῶν Ποιμένων, τὰ δῶρα τῶν Μάγων, τὰ δάκρυα τοῦ Πέτρου, καὶ τοῦ Ληστοῦ τὴν μετάνοιαν. Καὶ ἂς μὲ ἀξιώνεις νὰ σοῦ τὰ προσφέρω πάντοτε εὐσυνείδητα. Ἀμήν.

4. Δι ̓εὐχῶν τῶν ἁγίων πατέρων ἡμῶν, Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον καὶ σῶσον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

Παράρτημα: Τρισάγιον

Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος Ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος Ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς (ἐκ γ ́).

Δόξα. Καὶ νῦν.

Παναγία Τριάς, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Κύριε, ἱλάσθητι ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ἡμῶν. Δέσποτα, συγχώρησον τὰς ἀνομίας

ἡμῖν. Ἅγιε, ἐπίσκεψαι καὶ ἴασαι τὰς ἀσθενείας ἡμῶν, ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόματός σου.

Κύριε, ἐλέησον. Κύριε, ἐλέησον. Κύριε, ἐλέησον.

Δόξα. Καὶ νῦν.

Πάτερ ἡμῶν, ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου· ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου· γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς. Τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον· καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν, ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφίεμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν· καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.

Ὅτι Σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία, καὶ ἡ δύναμις, καὶ ἡ δόξα, τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος, νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.

Ἀμήν.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Αφιέρωμα στη Μονή του Αγίου Εφραίμ στη Νέα Μάκρη










O Εφραίμ λέγεται ότι έζησε μεταξύ 1384 και 1426. Είναι ένας από τους "νεοφανείς αγίους" για τον οποίο δεν υπάρχουν ιστορικά γραπτά ή άλλα ευρήματα που να τεκμηριώνουν είτε την ύπαρξη του ως ιστορικό πρόσωπο είτε την προσέγγιση ή όχι όσων διηγείται η πρόσφατη εκκλησιαστική παράδοση με πραγματικά ιστορικά συμβάντα.
Τα λεπτομερή βιογραφικά στοιχεία του αποκαλύφθηκαν στη μοναχή Μακαρία Δεσύπρη σε μια σειρά από οράματα (sic) που είχε το 1950. Σύμφωνα με αυτά, το κοσμικό όνομα του Αγίου Εφραίμ ήταν Κωνσταντίνος Μόρφης. Γεννήθηκε στις 14 Σεπτεμβρίου του 1384 στα Τρίκαλα. Ήταν γιος πολυμελούς οικογένειας, η οποία για να τον γλυτώσει από το παιδομάζωμα τον έστειλε στη Μονή Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου σε ηλικία μόλις 14 ετών. Εκεί έμεινε εως την ηλικία των 18 ετών σαν δόκιμος μοναχός. Τότε χρίστηκε μοναχός και σε λίγα χρόνια Ιερέας.
Από το 1416 που κατελήφθη η Αθήνα από τους Οθωμανούς η Ιερά Μονή γνώρισε δυο καταστροφές. Κατά την πρώτη ο άγιος έτυχε να προσεύχεται σε μια σπηλιά στο βουνό αλλά στη δεύτερη στις 14 Σεπτεμβρίου του 1425 επέστρεψαν και τον βασάνισαν με ιδιαίτερη αγριότητα για οκτώμισι μήνες. Μαρτύρησε στις 5 Μαΐου 1426 σε ηλικία 42 ετών.
Η μνήμη του εορτάζεται από την Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία στις 3 Ιανουαρίου (ανακομιδή λειψάνων) και 5 Μαΐου (ανάμνηση μαρτυρίου).


Πηγη : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4wbYYozguU

Monday, June 20, 2016

Humility: Divine Protection from Spiritual Deception ( Elder Daniel of Katounakia )


        
“A sinner can easily repent, but it is difficult for one in delusion…” (Elder Daniel of Katounakia, Contemporary Elders, p. 258).

“All of us are subject to spiritual deception. Awareness of this fact is the greatest protection against it. Likewise, the greatest spiritual deception of all is to consider oneself free from it. We are all deceived, all deluded; we all find ourselves in a condition of falsehood; we all need to be liberated by the Truth. The Truth is our Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 8:32-14:6)… With tears let us cry out to the Lord Jesus to bring us out of prison, to draw us forth from the depths of the earth, and to wrest us from the jaws of death! ‘For this cause did our Lord Jesus Christ descend to us,’ says the venerable Symeon the New Theologian, ‘because he wanted to rescue us from captivity and from most wicked spiritual deception.’” (St. Ignatius, On Spiritual Deception).

The following is a story about Elder Daniel of Katounakia’s spiritual insight into delusion, from the book Contemporary Elders written by Elder Cherubim and published by St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood (pp. 259-260). May God protect us from similar delusions and spiritual deceptions by granting us the virtues of humility and obedience!


When Elder Daniel Katounakiotis (+1929) was in the Russian Monastery, he observed that a certain monk living in asceticism in a kathisma outside the Monastery played a role of a great ascetic. He fasted severely, wore the most wretched clothes, walked around barefoot even in winter, etc. Among other things, while the rule called for 300 prostrations a day, he made 3000. For this reason the other monks marveled at him.

Elder Daniel, even though he was younger at the time, displayed no enthusiasm. His clear-sighted eyes discerned a situation that was not pleasing to God. He noticed that the door of his kathisma contained an opening which allowed the passers-by to look in and praise his great asceticism.

His love moved him to report the situation to the abbot, and thus save the brother from delusion. The abbot set out for the kathisma of the “super-ascetic”.

“How are you doing here, father?”

“By your prayers, Elder, well. I struggle and weep over my sins.”

“Only you never come to tell me your thoughts.”

“What could I tell you, Elder? You know them all. I am a sinner who struggles.”

“How do you struggle? Tell me, do you make prostrations?”

“Yes, Elder, I make a few.”

“How many?”

“By your prayers, 3000 a day.”

“What! Why 3000? Who gave you a blessing to do so many? No, don’t ever do 3000 again. What are you trying to portray – a ‘super-ascetic’? From now on do only fifty, so you won’t get proud.”

With that the abbot left. The incision had been made, and the abscess soon revealed its foul contents. For the former “great ascetic” made a 180-degree turn. He was unable to make even fifty prostrations. Instead of ragged clothes he now wore whatever was most expensive, and had the choicest foods brought to his poor table. Naturally, the other fathers were astonished, and they understood that his excessive ascetic practices had been fed by the spirit of pride. This explained this surprising change, for the spirit of delusion runs after extremes. According to Patristic wisdom, the extreme, the superfluous, and the excessive are “of the demons”.

matushka constantina


https://lessonsfromamonastery.wordpress.com/

Thursday, June 16, 2016

St. Ephraim of Nea Makri and the Atheist


A friend of mine came over one day and gave me an icon of a saint named Ephraim. I accepted it graciously but secretly thought of how to get rid of it quickly, because I didn't believe in God. For the time being I placed it on the dining room table.

A few days later, at midnight, I saw a pale red light in front of the saint's icon. I was frightened at first but soon felt a kind of inner joy. I could see the red light burning all night like a candle. The following day I told my neighbors about the miracle. They were all surprised because they knew I didn't believe in God.

A few more days went by but I didn't see the light again. I didn't want to touch the icon as I had become very frightened. I decided to give the icon away because I didn't want to see the red flame again. When I went to sleep that night I had a dream of St. Ephraim. He was tall and looked austere. He wore a long tunic that reached to his feet and had a knotted rope around his waist - I particularly remember his Byzantine sandals. I felt sinful and couldn't look him in the face. He said in an imposing voice, "You will not see the light again because you said you wished it so, but be aware - you may remove my icon, but I shall always be here."

Thanks to Saint Ephraim, I now believe in God.

From the book Evlogeite! A Pilgrim's Guide To Greece, by Mother Nectaria Mclees, pp. 625-26.

Όταν λέμε: «δώσ’ μου, Θεέ μου, ταπείνωση», ο Θεός δεν θα πάρει την σέσουλα και θ’ αρχίσει: «πάρε ένα κιλό ταπείνωση εσύ», «μισό κιλό ταπείνωση εσύ»...( Αγιος Παϊσιος )



Τι θα βοηθούσε, Γέροντα, πρακτικά να αποκτήσω ταπείνωση;

- Πώς αποκτά ταπείνωση κανείς; Όταν του λένε μια κουβέντα, εκείνος να λέει δυο; Να μη σηκώνει μύγα στο σπαθί του; Ευλογημένη, όταν σου δίνεται ευκαιρία για ταπείνωση, να δέχεσαι την ταπείνωση.

Έτσι αποκτιέται η ταπείνωση. Το φάρμακο το δικό σου είναι να κινείσαι απλά, ταπεινά, να δέχεσαι όπως η γη και την βροχή και το χαλάζι και τα σκουπίδια και τα φτυσίματα, εάν θέλεις να ελευθερωθείς από τα πάθη σου. Οι εξωτερικές ταπεινώσεις βοηθούν τον άνθρωπο να ελευθερωθεί πολύ γρήγορα από τον παλιό εαυτό του, όταν τις δέχεται.

- Εγώ, Γέροντα, έχω ανάγκη από πολλή ταπείνωση.


- Να πας να αγοράσεις. Υπάρχουν πολλοί άνθρωποι που πουλούν την ταπείνωση και μάλιστα δωρεάν, αρκεί να την θέλεις…

- Ποιοι είναι αυτοί, Γέροντα; - Είναι οι άνθρωποι που, όταν δεν έχουν καλή πνευματική κατάσταση, φέρονται αδιάκριτα και με την συμπεριφορά τους μας ταπεινώνουν. Η ταπείνωση δεν αγοράζεται από τον μπακάλη όπως τα ψώνια. Όταν λέμε: «δώσ’ μου, Θεέ μου, ταπείνωση», ο Θεός δεν θα πάρει την σέσουλα και θ’ αρχίσει: «πάρε ένα κιλό ταπείνωση εσύ», «μισό κιλό ταπείνωση εσύ», «μισό κιλό εσύ», αλλά θα επιτρέψει να έρθει λ.χ. κάποιος άνθρωπος αδιάκριτος να μας φερθεί σκληρά ή θα πάρει από άλλον την Χάρη Του και θα έρθει να μας βρίσει. Έτσι θα δοκιμασθούμε και θα εργασθούμε, εάν θέλουμε να αποκτήσουμε την ταπείνωση. Αλλά εμείς δεν σκεφτόμαστε ότι ο Θεός επιτρέπει να γίνη ο αδερφός μας κακός, για να βοηθηθούμε εμείς, και θυμώνουμε με τον αδελφό. Και, ενώ ζητάμε από τον Θεό ταπείνωση, δεν δεχόμαστε τις ευκαιρίες που μας στέλνει, για να ταπεινωθούμε, αλλά δυσανασχετούμε.Κανονικά θα έπρεπε να χρωστάμε ευγνωμοσύνη σ’ αυτόν που μας ταπεινώνει, γιατί αυτός είναι ο μεγαλύτερος ευεργέτης μας. Όποιος ζητάει στην προσευχή του ταπείνωση από τον Θεό, αλλά δεν δέχεται τον άνθρωπο που του στέλνει ο Θεός, για να τον ταπεινώση, δεν ξέρει τι ζητάει.

Όταν ήμουν στην μονή Στομίου, ήταν κάτω στην Κόνιτσα ένας παπάς που με αγαπούσε από λαϊκό ακόμη. Μια Κυριακή είχα κατεβεί να λειτουργηθώ στην Κόνιτσα. Η εκκλησία ήταν γεμάτη κόσμο. Την στιγμή που έμπαινα, όπως συνήθιζα, στο Ιερό, είπα μέσα μου: «Θεέ μου, βάλε όλους αυτούς τους πιστούς στον Παράδεισο κι εμένα, αν θέλεις, βάλε με σε μια ακρούλα». Όταν πλησίασε η ώρα της Θείας Κοινωνίας ενώ αυτός ο παπάς πάντα με κοινωνούσε μέσα στο Ιερό, γύρισε προς το μέρος μου και φώναξε δυνατά: «Βγες από το Ιερό να κοινωνήσεις απ’ έξω τελευταίος, γιατί είσαι ανάξιος». Βγήκα έξω, χωρίς να πω τίποτε. Πήγα στο αναλόγιο και άρχισα να διαβάζω την ακολουθία της Θείας Μεταλήψεως. Ύστερα, καθώς πήγαινα τελευταίος να κοινωνήσω, είπα μέσα μου: «Ο παπάς φωτίσθηκε από τον Θεό και μου αποκάλυψε ποιος είμαι. Κύριε, Ιησού Χριστέ, ελέησέ με, το κτήνος». Μόλις κοινώνησα, αισθάνθηκα μέσα μου μεγάλη γλυκύτητα. Όταν τελείωσε η θεία Λειτουργία, με πλησιάζει ο παπάς συντετριμμένος: «Συγχώρεσέ με! μου λέει. Πώς το έκανα αυτό! Εγώ μπροστά σου δεν έβαζα ούτε τα παιδιά μου ούτε την παπαδιά, ούτε τον εαυτό μου. Τι ήταν αυτό που έπαθα!». Έπεφτε κάτω, μου έβαζε μετάνοια. Μου ζητούσε συγνώμη, προσπαθούσε να μου φιλήσει τα χέρια. «Παπά μου, του λέω, μη στενοχωριέσαι. Δεν φταις εσύ, εγώ φταίω. Σε χρησιμοποίησε ο Θεός εκείνη την στιγμή, για να δοκιμάση εμένα». Ο παπάς δεν μπορούσε να καταλάβει τι του έλεγα και τελικά, νομίζω, δεν τον έπεισα. Όλα αυτά έγιναν εξαιτίας της προσευχής που είχα κάνει.

Κι εσείς, όταν βλέπετε μία αδελφή να παραφέρεται και να σας μιλάει άσχημα, να ξέρετε ότι τις περισσότερες φορές η αιτία είναι η προσευχή που κάνετε. Επειδή δηλαδή ζητάτε από τον Θεό να σας δώση ταπείνωση, αγάπη, κ.λπ., παίρνει ο Θεός για λίγο την Χάρη Του από την αδερφή και σας ταπεινώνει και σας στενοχωρεί. Έτσι σας δίνεται η ευκαιρία να δώσετε εξετάσεις στην ταπείνωση, στην αγάπη. Αν ταπεινωθείτε, θα ωφεληθείτε. Όσο για την αδερφή, θα λάβει διπλή την Χάρη του Θεού˙ και γιατί της πήρε ο Θεός την Χάρη, για να δοκιμάσει εσάς, και γιατί ταπεινώθηκε με το σφάλμα της και ζήτησε συγχώρεση από τον Θεό. Οπότε και εσείς εργάζεσθε στην ταπείνωση και εκείνη γίνεται καλύτερη.

Από το βιβλίο: «ΓΕΡΟΝΤΟΣ ΠΑΪΣΙΟΥ ΑΓΙΟΡΕΙΤΟΥ ΛΟΓΟΙ Ε΄ ΠΆΘΗ ΚΑΙ ΑΡΕΤΕΣ»


http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2015/01/blog-post_12.html

Monday, June 13, 2016

Η Συμβουλη της Γερόντισσας Γαβριηλίας

Χρειαζόμαστε υπομονή στα βέλη του πονηρού, επιμονή στο σπάσιμο του εγώ και υποταγή στο Άγιο θέλημα του Θεού. Μόνο μ'αυτά μπορούμε να προχωρήσουμε! Τα νεύρα είναι εγωισμός, γι'αυτό μόνο οι κομπλεξικοί θέλουν να επιβάλλονται... Όταν μιλάμε και μας διακόπτουνε να μην συνεχίζουμε. Θα πει ότι δεν έπρεπε να ακουστεί αυτό που θα λέγαμε. Το κάνουν οι Άγγελοι... Ένα πράγμα που δεν είναι ωραίο ούτε να το ξανασκεφτείς ούτε να το πεις σε κανένα... Να αγαπήσεις τον άλλον χωρίς να τον κρίνεις, όπως σου τον παρουσιάζει και όπως τον αγαπά Εκείνος. Τότε θα σε βοηθήσει ο Θεός και θα παραβλέψει τα δικά σου ελαττώματα...

Friday, June 10, 2016

St. Luke the Surgeon and St. Ephraim in the Operating Room


St. Luke the Surgeon and St. Ephraim of Nea Makri 


"My name is X. P., I am 46 years old, and I live in Northern Greece. In 2004, I was operated on for a brain tumor. After three and a half years, it appeared again. I visited plenty of doctors, but none would agree to operate on me. I was very depressed and disappointed. Ultimately, I found a doctor who agreed to dare to try this difficult intervention. My relatives told me to go venerate St. Luke, who was a physician, and that he would help me, like he helped the others. I made the decision and went to venerate and to pray in the city G. where there is a church of St. Luke. There, I met a pious and humble priest, Fr. K. He gave me strength and courage, and served the Paraklesis for me. I confessed, communed, and left for surgery. One night, I saw in my dream St. Ephraim, and he told me not to worry, and that everything would go well.

On March 13th 2007 I entered the operating room. Even though I was sedated, I could see the doctors that were operating on me, together with St. Luke and St. Ephraim. St. Luke was operating, wearing small circular glasses, and holding an old scalpel. St. Ephraim, however, was holding my hand, telling me not to be afraid, and with his left hand bombarded my head with light. When the surgery finished, I went to the ICU, and again St. Luke appeared before me, telling me: “I was there with you in the operating room.”


I replied: “I know.”


Exiting the operating room, I heard my surgeon tell me: “This is the first time I had such and easy surgery.”

I want to note that I knew nothing about these two saints [before they appeared]. From then on, they became my guardian angels."


http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2014/12/st-luke-surgeon-and-st-ephraim-in.html

Science and Religion ( St. Luke the Surgeon )


"When we examine contemporary science as developed by scientists such as Lamark and Darwin, we see the antithesis and I would say the complete disagreement that exists between science and religion, on topics that concern the more basic problems of existence and knowledge. For this, an enlightened mind cannot accept at the same time both one and the other and must choose between religion and science."

A well known German Zoologist, Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), who was a good follower of Darwin, wrote these words some 65 years ago, in his book, “The Riddle of the Universe” that was very successful and as it seemed, had proved that faith is absurd. So says Haeckel that every enlightened man must choose between science and religion and should follow either one or the other. He considered it necessary that such men should deny religion because a logical man cannot deny science.

Truly, is this necessary? No, not at all, for we know that many and great scientists were at the same time great believers. For example, such was the Polish astronomer Copernicus who laid the foundation of all contemporary astronomy. Copernicus was not only a believer but was also a cleric. Another great scientist, Newton, whenever he mentioned the word God, he removed his hat. He was a great believer. A great bacteriologist of our time and almost a contemporary, Pasteur, who laid the basis of contemporary bacteriology, he would start every scientific work with a prayer to God. Some ten years ago a great scientist passed away, who was our countryman, physiologist Pavlov, who was the creator of the new physiology of the brain. He too was a great believer. Would Haeckel therefore dare say that these men did not have enlightened minds because they believed in God?

So what happens now? Why even today there are some scientists, professors at Universities whom I personally know and are great believers. Why don’t all the scientists deny religion but only those who think the same as Haeckel? Because these people believe only in the material and deny the spiritual world, they do not believe in life after death, they do not accept the immortality of the soul and of course they do not accept the resurrection of the dead. They say that science is capable of everything, that there is no secret in nature that science cannot discover. What can we answer to these?

We shall respond to them this way. You are totally right. We cannot limit the human mind that searches nature. We know that today, science knows only a part of the things we have of nature. We also understand that the possibilities of science are great. In this they are right and we don’t doubt it. What then do we doubt? Why don’t we deny religion like them and consider it contrary to scientific knowledge?

Because we believe wholeheartedly that there is a spiritual world. We are certain that apart from the material world there is an infinite and incomparably superior spiritual world. We believe in the existence of spiritual beings that have higher intellects than us humans. We believe wholeheartedly that above this spiritual and material world there is the Great and Almighty God.

What we doubt is the right of science to research with its methods the spiritual world. Because the spiritual world cannot be researched with the methods used to research the material world. Such methods are totally inappropriate to research the spiritual world.

How do we know that there is a spiritual world? Who told us that it exists? If we are asked by people who do not believe in Divine Revelation, we shall answer them thus: “Our heart tells us." For there are two ways for one to know something, the first being that which is spoken by Haeckel, which is used by science to learn of the material world. There is however another way that is unknown to science, and does not wish to know it. It is the knowledge through the heart. Our heart is not only the central organ of the circulation system, it is an organ with which we know the other world and receive the highest knowledge. It is the organ that gives us the capability to communicate with God and the world above. Only in this we disagree with science.

Praising the great successes and achievements of science, we do not doubt at all its great importance and we do not confine scientific knowledge. We only tell the scientists: “You do not have the capability with your methods to research the spiritual world, we however can with our heart."

There are many unexplainable phenomena which concern the spiritual world that are real (as are some type of material phenomena). There are therefore phenomena that science will never be able to explain because it does not use the appropriate methods.

Let science explain how the prophecies appeared on the coming of the Messiah, which were all fulfilled. Could science tell us how the great prophet Isaiah, some 700 years before the birth of Christ, foretold the most important events in His life and for which he was named the evangelist of the Old Testament? Could it explain the prophetic grace possessed by the saints and tell us with which physical methods the saints inherited this grace and how they could understand the heart and read the thoughts of a person they had just met for the first time? They would see a person for the first time and they will call him by his name. Without waiting for the visitor to ask, they would answer in regards to what troubled him.

If they can, let them explain it to us. Let them explain with what method the saints foretold the great historical events which were accurately fulfilled as they were prophesied. Let them explain the visitation from the other world and the appearance of the dead to the living.

They shall never explain it to us because they are too far from the basis of religion - from faith. If you read the books of the scientists who try to reconstruct religion, you will see how superficially they look at things. They do not understand the essence of religion, yet they criticize it. Their criticism does not touch the essence of faith, since they are unable to understand the types and the expressions of religious feeling. The essence of religion they do not understand. Why not? Because the Lord Jesus Christ says: "No one can come to me unless My Father who sent Me draws him to Me" (John 6:44).

So it is necessary that we be drawn by the Heavenly Father, and it is necessary that the grace of the Holy Spirit enlighten our heart and our mind. To dwell in our heart and mind through this enlightenment, the Holy Spirit and the ones who were found worthy to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, those in whose heart lives Christ and His Father, know the essence of faith. The others, those outside the faith, cannot understand anything.

Let us hear the criticism against Haeckel from a French philosopher Emile Boutroux (1845-1921). So says Boutroux: “The criticisms of Haeckel concern much more the ways, than the essence, which he observes with such a materialistic and narrow view, that they cannot be accepted by religious people. Thus the criticism of religion by Haeckel is not referred to, not even in one of the principles that constitutes religion."

This is therefore our opinion regarding Haeckel’s book “The Riddle of the Universe” which up to day is considered the “Bible” for all those who criticize religion, which they deny and find it contrary to science. Do you see how poor and tasteless arguments they use? Don’t become scandalized when you hear what they say about religion, since they themselves cannot understand its essence. You people, who may not have much of a relationship with science and do not know much about philosophy, remember always the most basic beginning, which was well known by the early Christians. They considered poor the person who knew all the sciences yet he knew not God. On the other hand, they considered blessed the person who knew God, even if he knew absolutely nothing about worldly things.

Guard this truth like the best treasure of the heart, walk straight without looking right or left. Let us not bother with what we hear against religion, losing our bearings. Let us hold on to our faith which is the eternal indisputable truth. Amen.


St. Luke the Surgeon, Archbishop of Simferopol (1877-1961) 


http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2013/06/science-and-religion.html

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

St. Paisios on those who suffer for the world


An icon depicting St. Paisios receiving pilgrims, taking up their burdens and preaching to them the Word of God. His scroll reads: "We must struggle with philotimo, that we may be saved, and so that we not sadden Christ..."
Those who suffer deeply for the salvation of the whole world and help in their own way (as strugglers) and humbly entrust themselves to the hands of God, feel the greatest joy in the world. Their life is a constant doxology, for they flutter about internally like angels, glorifying God day and night. Those, however, who neglect the salvation of their souls and try to find joy and rest in this vain life, are continually tortured and entangled in endless worldly machinery and live in hell in this life...Those who have philotimo, because they move within the heavenly sphere of doxology, joyfully accept their trials as well as their blessings, and glorify God for them. Thus, they are continuously receiving God’s blessing from everything and are melting internally out of gratitude towards God, which they express in every spiritual way possible, like children of God.

St. Paisios of Mount Athos


http://agapienxristou.blogspot.ca/2015/06/st-paisios-on-those-who-suffer-for-world.html

Friday, June 3, 2016

Prophesies of St. Seraphim of Vyrytsa


"God is strong enough to restore those who labor, if we ask Him. Let us keep praying and begging — and God will recover even from stones his chosen ones." "At least once in our life we need to light a candle for those we have offended, or deceived, from whom we stole, or to whom we did not pay debts."

The Elder said that the time would come when 40 people would cling to every believer for he would save them. "God would wait for a thousand years that at least one man might be saved to replenish the number of fallen angels."

The Elder said that God gave us a soul, but our body is inherited from our parents and grand parents, that is why together with our body we receive part of their sins. They are waiting for our prayers and feel great joy when we pray for them, and those who are in the Heavenly Kingdom help us.

The Holy Elder could see not only the future lives of people, but also the future of our church and the country. The witness to it is his poetry written in 1939: The storm will pass over the land of Russia God will forgive the sins of Russian men. The Holy Cross in its majestic splendor will shine above the churches' domes again. The bells will ring awakening from horror from sins to salvation The holy houses of the Lord will open their doors ,and faith in God will bring us all together.

The Elder said that the time would come when the beginning of the verse will read as "The storm has passed over the land of Russia."

One time to answer his spiritual son's question about the future of Russia, the Elder suggested to him to look out the window. The man saw through the window the Gulf of Finland and many ships under different flags in it. "What does this mean?" — He asked the Father. The Elder answered: "The time will come when spiritual life in Russia will blossom." Many churches and monasteries will be opened, even people of other religions will come here to be baptized in Orthodoxy. Although this will not last long — maybe fifteen years, after which Antichrist will come."

He would say that after the East becomes strong, the world would become unstable. "They are bigger in number, and not only that — their workers are honest and sober people, and here — so much alcoholism..."

As those witnesses remember, the blessed Elder said: " the East will be baptized in Russia. The Heavenly Kingdom and those on earth who understand pray for the enlightening of the East."

"The time will come when Russia will be torn into pieces. The entire country will be partitioned first and then despoiled. The West will welcome the decay of Russia and till a certain time will agree that China takes the eastern part of Russia. Japanese will lay their hands on the Far East of Russia and the Chinese — on Siberia; they will move to Siberia, marry Russians, and in the long run by means of treachery and deceit, will occupy the territory of Siberia all way to Ural. When they are ready to go further, the West will resist it."

"Many countries will assail Russia, but she will hold out, although she will loose a major part of its territory. The war mentioned by the prophets and the Holy Gospel, will cause the unification of mankind. People in the world will understand that they are moving to a dead end, destruction of everything live, and will eventually elect a Common Government — this will be a precursor of the enthronement of Antichrist. Then, the persecution of Christians will start all over, people will flee to Russia in huge numbers, and one will need to go with the first, for many who stay will perish."

The Elder loved young people with all his heart. At that time young people went to church very rarely, if ever; so he was especially happy when they visited him. Father Seraphim spoke about the tremendous role of young people in the future rebirth of the Church. He said that "the time would come (and is already coming) when immorality and corruption will reach the lowest depths. There will be scarcely any purity left in young people. They will see no showstoppers in satisfying their whims, for they will be sure in their impunity. They will get together into groups and gangs to commit robberies, and live dissolute lives. At a certain time there will be a call from God and it will no longer be possible for them to live that kind of life, and they will turn to God, everyone by his own road, many will feel a craving for asceticism. Those who were sinners will be in the churches, fallen people will feel a strong need for a spiritual life, and many will become monks and nuns. The monasteries will be reopened, the churches will be full of people the majority of which will be young. The young will be going on pilgrimages to holy places — what a wonderful time this will be! The more they sin now — the more fervent their repentance will be. As a candle sparkles bright before it goes out, the same with the life of the Church. This time is near."

"God blessed Russia so generously with richness and beauty: forests, lakes, rivers, and mineral resources. Sadly, people live without God, but the earth is the mother, she gives bread and life. The enemies — the God battling authorities will not let people get back to the earth for a long time. The earth can feed everybody and everything can be set, but this not what the enemy wants, not a newly born Russia. Nonetheless, Russia will live from her earth."

"Jerusalem will become the capital of Israel and in time must be the capital of the world. For it is the center of the earth, the Savior of the world was crucified there and raised from death."

Father Seraphim knew about his future glorification and said: "Do not haste to dig my body out. Rely on God... I do not want my body to be subject to trade."

His spiritual children preserved one more verse of the Elder written in 1946: "Glory to the marvelous God our Lord! Sing and rejoice, oh my soul I am in craving for a holy abode Where Jesus is the sweetest of joys You alone are the hope of my life In sorrows and sickness, my strength Be my joy, my cover and hope I give my whole life to you Glory to the marvelous God our Lord! Sing and rejoice oh my soul I am in craving for a holy abode where Jesus is the sweetest of joys."

Πῶς οἱ ἅγιοι ἀκοῦνε τίς προσευχές μας ( ΟΣΙΟΥ ΘΕΟΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΤΟΥ ΕΓΚΛΕΙΣΤΟΥ )


Πολύ χαίρομαι που σου άρεσαν όσα σου έγραψα για τον αιθέρα. Δέξου πως υπάρχει και κράτα τον αδιάλειπτα στο νου σου. Θα δεις πόσο θα σε βοηθήσει αυτό. Εξηγεί τόσα πράγματα, δίνει τόση παρηγοριά!

Ίσως έχεις ακούσει κάποιους να ρωτάνε: “Πώς ακούνε οι άγιοι τις προσευχές μας;”. Ίσως κι εσύ να έχεις αναρωτηθεί για το ίδιο πράγμα. Απαντήσεις και απαντήσεις έχουν δοθεί, μα το ερώτημα παραμένει ακόμη αναπάντητο.

Κατά τη γνώμη μου, αν δεχθούμε την ύπαρξη ενός στοιχείου, όπως ο αιθέρας, τότε δεν είναι δυνατό να μην ακούνε οι άγιοι τις προσευχές μας.

Ξέρεις πώς λειτουργεί ο ηλεκτρικός τηλέγραφος; Στην Πετρούπολη, για παράδειγμα, ενεργοποιούν έναν ειδικό μηχανισμό. Την ίδια στιγμή η ενέργεια αυτή αντανακλάται σ’ έναν όμοιο μηχανισμό, που βρίσκεται, ας πούμε, στη Μόσχα. Τότε και ο δεύτερος μηχανισμός ενεργοποιείται όπως ο πρώτος. Γιατί; Επειδή οι δύο μηχανισμοί, πρώτον, είναι του ίδιου τύπου και, δεύτερον, συνδέονται με σύρμα.

Η επικοινωνία μας με τους αγίους γίνεται με όμοιο τρόπο. Εμείς και οι άγιοι είμαστε σαν τις τηλεγραφικές συσκευές, σαν δύο μηχανισμοί του ιδίου τύπου, και ο αιθέρας, το στοιχείο δηλαδή μέσα στο οποίο κινούνται οι άγιοι και το οποίο συνάμα περιβάλλει την ψυχή μας, είναι … το σύρμα!

Όταν μέσα στην ψυχή μας ενεργεί προσευχή αληθινή, προσευχή ειλικρινής και καθαρή, η προσευχή αυτή, διαμέσου του στοιχείου που περιβάλλει την ψυχή, πετάει σαν ακτίνα φωτός προς τους αγίους και τους μεταφέρει τα αιτήματά μας. Δεν μεσολαβεί κανένα χρονικό διάστημα ανάμεσα στη στιγμή που κάνουμε στην προσευχή μας και στη στιγμή που αυτή ακούγεται από τους αγίους. Αμέσως μας ακούνε οι άγιοι, φτάνει μόνο να προσευχόμαστε εγκάρδια. Η εγκάρδια προσευχή είναι η τηλεγραφική γραμμή μας με τους ουρανούς.

Η ίδια ακριβώς προσευχή, όταν δεν βγαίνει από την καρδιά μας αλλά μόνο από τον εγκέφαλο και το στόμα μας, δεν φτάνει στον ουρανό και δεν ακούγεται από τους αγίους. Αυτή, βλέπεις, δεν είναι καν προσευχή, είναι μόνο κάτι σαν προσευχή.

Νομίζω πως είχες ήδη κάποιαν εμπειρία αληθινής προσευχής, μολονότι όλα τούτα δεν τα γνώριζες. Περιγράφεις το πώς, ύστερ’ από θερμή προσευχή, γαλήνεψες, παίρνοντας την εσωτερική πληροφορία ότι θα λυτρωνόσουν από το πρόβλημα που σε βασάνιζε, όπως και πραγματικά έγινε.

Φαίνεται, λοιπόν, πως είναι σωστή η παρομοίωση της εγκάρδιας προσευχής, που ανεβαίνει αόρατα προς τα ουράνια μέσω του αιθέρα, με τον τηλέγραφο. Από την καρδιά σου βγήκε μία αστραπή, μια ακτίνα, και πήγε στον ουρανό. Από κει, πάλι, ήρθε μια άλλη ακτίνα σ’ εσένα. Ήταν η ανταπόκριση στο αίτημά σου. Αυτό συμβαίνει μόνο με την προσευχή που βγαίνει από την καρδιά. Τέτοια προσευχή δεν γίνεται πάντα μέσα σε μια στιγμή, εισακούεται όμως πάντα μέσα σε μια στιγμή .

Μη φουσκώσεις από κενοδοξία γι’ αυτή την επιτυχία σου. Μακάρι, με την χάρη του Κυρίου, να προσεύχεσαι με τον ίδιο τρόπο πιο συχνά. Θυμήσου πώς προσευχήθηκες τότε και προσπάθησε να προσεύχεσαι πάντα έτσι, εγκάρδια, όχι μόνο με τη γλώσσα και το νου.

Αν το κάνεις, θα πάρεις μίαν ικανοποιητική απάντηση στο ερώτημα: Πώς μπορεί να χει κανείς πνευματικά; Γιατί η εγκάρδια προσευχή είναι η αναπνοή και η ζωή του πνεύματος. Με την εγκάρδια προσευχή το πνεύμα μένει «εν τω Θεώ», ενώνεται μαζί Του. Και με την ένωση αυτή αποκτά την πλήρη ζωτικότητά του. Μάθε, λοιπόν, πως η ψυχή ζει μόνο όταν προσεύχεται με τον τρόπο που ήδη γνώρισες. Αλλιώς, βρίσκεται ανάμεσα στη ζωή και το θάνατο, αν δεν έχει ολότελα νεκρωθεί.

Δεν θα σου κρύψω πως, αν και μπόρεσες να προσευχηθείς εγκάρδια μια φορά, πολύ δύσκολα θα μπορέσεις να το ξανακάνεις. Ο Θεός είναι που χαρίζει την αληθινή προσευχή και ο φύλακας άγγελος που την ενισχύει. Έρχεται και φεύγει.

Εμείς, όμως, δεν επιτρέπεται να παραιτούμαστε από τον προσευχητικό αγώνα. Η προσευχή επισκέπτεται πάντα τον άνθρωπο που αγωνίζεται για την απόκτησή της, ποτέ τον οκνηρό και ράθυμο. Οι άγιοι πατέρες κοπίασαν πολύ στην προσευχή και μ’ αυτούς ακριβώς τους κόπους άναψαν μέσα τους ένα προσευχητικό πνεύμα, που την εικόνα του μας άφησαν στα συγγράμματά τους. Όσα σχετικά έγραψαν, συνιστούν, μιαν ολόκληρη επιστήμη, την επιστήμη της προσευχής, που είναι η επιστήμη των επιστημών…

… Μου γράφεις ότι έχεις στο νου ταπεινούς λογισμούς και στην καρδιά ταπεινά συναισθήματα για τον εαυτό σου. Αυτά είναι, θα έλεγα, αγγελικά. Πόσο τέλειοι και φωτεινοί είναι οι άγγελοι!

Και όμως είναι συνάμα τόσο ταπεινοί, περισσότερο κι από τον πιο ταπεινό άνθρωπο. Μια ταπεινή ψυχή είναι πάντα φωτεινή. Σκοτεινή γίνεται όταν υψηλοφρονεί, γιατί η έπαρση προέρχεται από τα σκοτεινά πνεύματα. Ο Θεός να δώσει, ώστε, ποτέ να μη χάσεις αυτά τα ταπεινά συναισθήματα, κι έτσι να είσαι πάντα λουσμένος στο φως…

«Από το βιβλίο: «ΟΣΙΟΥ ΘΕΟΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΤΟΥ ΕΓΚΛΕΙΣΤΟΥ

Ο ΔΡΟΜΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΖΩΗΣ
γράμματα σε μια ψυχή»
ΕΚΔΟΣΗ ΤΕΤΑΡΤΗ
ΙΕΡΑ ΜΟΝΗ ΠΑΡΑΚΛΗΤΟΥ
ΩΡΩΠΟΣ ΑΤΙΙΚΗΣ


http://panagia-ierosolymitissa.blogspot.ca/2016/05/blog-post_769.html