Friday, April 21, 2017

Message for the 4th Year on the Abduction of Boulos Yazigi and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim | Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch

Message for the 4th Year on the Abduction of Boulos Yazigi and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim | Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch 

We are being crucified in this East, suffering this great ordeal. The
world looks at the cross of our agony, and is satisfied merely by
expressing grief over us. Nevertheless, the power of this world will not
drive us out of our land, because we are the sons of the cross and the
resurrection. We have been displaced throughout history, and we are
still being displaced up to this day, but each of us is called to
remember that the land of Christ will not be emptied of his beloved ones
and of those who were named after him two thousand years ago. And if
the act of kidnapping the two archbishops and priests aims at defying
our Eastern Christian presence, and uprooting it from this land, our
answer is clear. Even though it has been four years since the two
archbishops were kidnapped and this crisis has lasted six years, we are
staying here next to the tombs of our fathers, and their hallowed
ground. We are deeply rooted in the womb of this East. We are determined
not to leave our land, furthermore we will defend it with our own blood
and lives.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou. On the Resurrection of Christ, Part 1 / OrthoChristian.Com

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou. On the Resurrection of Christ, Part 1 / OrthoChristian.Com: So the professor asked the question: “Would you still be a Christian if the bones of Jesus were discovered?” I was stunned to hear virtually every other person in the class say such things as, “I would still be a Christian, my faith would not be shaken. My faith is strong enough to withstand such a thing”. Others said, “Jesus was a great teacher, it wouldn’t really affect my faith very much”. My jaw literally dropped as person after person expressed these kinds of sentiments, and I thought to myself, “If we don’t agree on the importance of the Resurrection, what do we have in common anymore?” This was my first introduction to the fact that many essentially Christian beliefs are simply not held in common.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Meaning of the Great and Holy Friday - The Catalog of Good Deeds

The Meaning of the Great and Holy Friday - The Catalog of Good Deeds

 On Great and Holy Friday, the Orthodox Church
commemorates the sufferings of Christ: The mockery, the crown of thorns, the
scourging, the nails, the thirst, the vinegar and gall, the cry of desolation,
and all the Savior endured on the Cross. “Today He Who hung the earth on the
waters is hung on the tree.”

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Journey to the Ancient Church: Evangelicals Discovering Orthodox Chris...



Denver church destroyed after fire | 9news.com

Denver church destroyed after fire | 9news.com: A Denver church was destroyed after a fire tore through the building on Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to Saint Mary's Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church on West Walsh Place around 2:30 p.m.

The church's pastor was taken to the hospital for from small burns and smoke inhalation, but has since been released,

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sinners in the Church

Sinners in the Church: And how reminiscent of God is His Orthodox Church ! By following His example, we do not send away anyone! WE ARE NOT INTERESTED in claiming we are the "church of the pure". After all, we already know that the Church of the Lord also has "tares" inside Her. Instead of concerning ourselves with preserving a good name, we prefer to pick up our sinned brother, show him the method of therapy, and if he so desires, be purified and whiten his robe once again, so that the betrothal of the Holy Spirit may begin to act within him.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Statement following the Terrorist Attacks near St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo – Egypt | Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch

Statement following the Terrorist Attacks near St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo – Egypt | Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch: Patriarch Aphrem II condemns the terrorist attack near St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo

Orthodoxy as a Community, Part III – Evolution of the Early Church

Orthodoxy as a Community, Part III – Evolution of the Early Church: Imagine being a part of a community where daily you meet with other Christians to depend on each others’ talents and resources, forming a particular type of sub-community within a very hostile, secular community. Imagine living within this community where you are able and willing to practice your God-given talents even to the point of death to protect and grow this community. This is the way the pre-Nicene, early Church, lived. Within the ancient writings of St Paul and other saints such as Clement, we know that the Church lived a communal life in every way that they possibly could, building a new kind of spiritual and philanthropic community that would eventually evolve into a Christian empire.

Orthodoxy as a Community, Part V – Foundations of Community

Orthodoxy as a Community, Part V – Foundations of Community: The primary function of the Church revolves not around temple service but around something much larger, something that the worship within the temple actually points us to: the call of philanthropy and community. We have seen that even Christ himself says that when we pass to eternity, at the Last Judgement, we will be judged based on this philanthropic calling (Matthew 25).

Almsgiving

AlmsgivingBut in the tradition of the Church, asceticism isn’t simply prayer and
fasting. Almsgiving and manual labor are (or should be) essential
ascetical disciplines.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Iraqi Orthodox Bishop: The West Cares More About Frogs Than Us | ncregister.com

Iraqi Orthodox Bishop: The West Cares More About Frogs Than Us | ncregister.com: Security and the rule of law are what Christians most need in Iraq, but it seems no one wishes to offer them, says Metropolitan Nicodemus Dauod Matti Sharaf, the Orthodox Syriac Archbishop of Mosul.

Speaking to the Register last month in Erbil, Metropolitan Nicodemus, who was the last bishop to leave Mosul when ISIS invaded the city in 2014, had strong words for the West: he said, citing an example, that the developed world places the welfare of frogs ahead of Christians, that the West needs to wake up to the threat of Islamism, and blamed past U.S. leaders and their allies for ruining his country. He likes President Trump, saying: “Let’s try the crazy one because we tried the normal one, and he destroyed our lives.”

Friday, April 7, 2017

Punks and Monks Part 2 (Monks)

Punks and Monks Part 1 (Punks)

Subhumanity – The Philosophy of the Absurd – Death To The World

Subhumanity – The Philosophy of the Absurd – Death To The World: The present age is, in a profound sense, an age of absurdity. Poets and dramatists, painters and sculptors proclaim and depict the world as a disjointed chaos, and man as a dehumanized fragment of that chaos. Politics, whether of the right, the left, or the center, can no longer be viewed as anything but an expedient whereby universal disorder is given, for the moment, a faint semblance of order; pacifists and militant crusaders are united in an absurd faith in the feeble powers of man to remedy an intolerable situation by means which can only make it worse. Philosophers and other supposedly responsible men in governmental, academic, and ecclesiastical circles, when they do not retreat behind the impersonal and irresponsible facade of specialization or bureaucracy,usually do no more than rationalize the incoherent state of contemporary man and his world, and counsel a futile “commitment” to a discredited humanist optimism, to a hopeless stoicism, to blind experimentation and irrationalism, or to “commitment” itself, a suicidal faith in “faith”.

Protopresbyter Peter Alban Heers, D. Theol., Secularism and Asceticism in Church and Family Life (Video)

Protopresbyter Peter Alban Heers, D. Theol., Secularism and Asceticism in Church and Family Life (Video): Fr. Peter Alban Heers' talk on "secularism and asceticism in Church and family life".

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Great Lenten Prayers

Orthodox Church slams Islamic extremism / OrthoChristian.Com

Orthodox Church slams Islamic extremism / OrthoChristian.Com: Delivering his Christmas homily at St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, Namungoona in Kampala on Christmas, Lwanga said that many Christians in Uganda and elsewhere in the world, had not fully grasped the Christian message of peace, love and justice, which evils like corruption, child-sacrifice and prostitution were still rampant in the country.

“In the name of absolute peace, morals have intentionally degenerates among the people. The economists, politicians, capitalists and academicians have also continued to monopolize the environment.

Russian Church Official Believes Orthodox Lifestyle is the Main Response to Pseudo-Islamic Extremism / OrthoChristian.Com

Russian Church Official Believes Orthodox Lifestyle is the Main Response to Pseudo-Islamic Extremism / OrthoChristian.Com: Christian countries can oppose pseudo-Islamic extremism only based on traditional religious values, head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin believes.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Jesus, Superheroes, and the Presidency | Incommunion

Jesus, Superheroes, and the Presidency | Incommunion: Recently I’ve been reading an alternate universe Avengers comic in which Captain America is elected president of the US. It’s a very powerful fantasy that I find captivating. President Cap is the American to the bone, bleeding red white and blue. He’s the apple pie and baseball, blond hair and blue eyed super-soldier. He is America’s very own ubermensch, the ‘blond beast’ of Nietzche’s dreams and of Nazi propaganda. And it’s pretty cool. He flies around in his jet, jumps into crises with battle armor, and punches terrorists in the face.

Cover Story IC70: From Herod to ISIS through Christ | Incommunion

Cover Story IC70: From Herod to ISIS through Christ | Incommunion: The essay asks rhetorically “is violence—individual or large-scale––a possible Orthodox response?” To shape his answer, Fr. John looks at the examples of martyrs beginning with the first of the New Testament, St. John the Baptist, and the first of the new Church, St. Stephen. With each saint listed, Fr. John points to the historical record and it’s stunning silent testimony that “there was no record of retribution.”

Personal Stories: Making Christ the center of our life. - The Catalog of Good Deeds

Personal Stories: Making Christ the center of our life. - The Catalog of Good Deeds



My first
act of madness was made in 1993. I had a salary of about 459 rubles. I had a
family, children but I quit my job and went to work in church for 25 Rubles. Of
course looking back, I understand that it was pure madness, but madness with
good intentions. The Apostles were fools for Christ in the same way. They were not
rich folk and all they had to their name was their fishing boat and nets.
However, as Christ passes by and says: “Leave everything and follow me”, and
they leave their current life behind and follow him.

Faith and humility are the ‘being’ of the Church

Faith and humility are the ‘being’ of the Church: Faith and humility are the ‘being’ of the Church

How I Came to the Syriac Orthodox Church

Significance of Symbolism in the Syrian Orthodox Churches

Fr. James Guirguis. Divided by Politics or United in Christ? / OrthoChristian.Com

Fr. James Guirguis. Divided by Politics or United in Christ? / OrthoChristian.Com: Let me be clear so that no one misunderstands the point here. We as a Church pray for our elected officials. We even pray for our leaders regardless of how they came to power. Let me also be clear that we as a community and God’s family will not spend time reflecting the idolatry and misguided zeal of the world around us.

Fr. Stephen Freeman. Democratic Madness / OrthoChristian.Com

Fr. Stephen Freeman. Democratic Madness / OrthoChristian.Com: Much of what today passes for Protestantism is nothing of the sort. Rather, it is a thinly veiled cloak for the democratic spirit at “prayer.” “Salvation by grace through faith” is a slogan for individualism, a Christianity “by right.” There are no works, no requirements, only a “grace-filled” entitlement. For the ultimate form of democracy is the person who needs no one else: no Church, no priest, no sacrament, only the God of my understanding who saves me by grace and guarantees that I can do it alone.

Our outward forms of Christianity are morphing as quickly as the market can imagine them. Even the “New Atheist” Sunday meetings differ little from many Christian gatherings. God Himself may not be necessary to the spirituality of our democracy. Where does God fit in a world of equals?

Abba Dorotheos. The Fifteenth Instruction. On the holy forty days of Lent / OrthoChristian.Com

Abba Dorotheos. The Fifteenth Instruction. On the holy forty days of Lent / OrthoChristian.Com: In the Law it is written that God commanded the sons of Israel to give a tenth part of all they had acquired during each year, and thereby bring a blessing upon all their deeds. With this in mind, the Holy Apostles established and committed to us as a help and benefaction for our souls something yet greater and more exalted--that we should set apart a tenth portion of the very days of our lives and devote them to God. Thereby might we also receive a blessing for all our deeds, and yearly cleanse the sins we have committed over the course of the whole year.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Our core values



What we do must be guided by: Respect for human dignity – exhibited by a reverence for and commitment to promoting and protecting the dignity of all persons; Compassion – characterized by an empathetic consciousness toward others expressed in caring service ; Solidarity with the Poor – ensuring that the needs of the poor and vulnerable are met through advocacy and action; Justice and Peace – forging right relationships, recreating a sustainable environment, promoting the common good—all in the pursuit of peace.  


We are called to help the poor



We are a Monastic Community  and intentional Christian community who live according to the Gospel. We strive for a balance of communal and private prayer, work, and leisure in our lives. Through our diverse ministries we are committed to helping create a more just and compassionate world. Christ tells us “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, so you do unto me.” If we listen, we hear the call to be open to one another, to give what we have and to welcome all guests as we would welcome Christ.


Is it my obligation?



Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Do not tell me, as a good man did today, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my  poor?”  But contrary to Emerson’s sentiments, even if I am not to blame for the poor being poor, Scripture tells me I am still responsible to help them. 


Met. Georges Khodr. The Path of Giving / OrthoChristian.Com

Met. Georges Khodr. The Path of Giving / OrthoChristian.Com: A rich young man asks Jesus, "What should I do to inherit eternal life?" The Lord responds, "In order to enter the kingdom of heaven, you must keep the commandments," and He listed some of them. The young man said, "I have fulfilled these since my childhood," as though he was searching for something else in order to enter the kingdom of his Lord, which this new Teacher came to proclaim in Galilee and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Then Jesus replied, "You lack one thing: that you sell everything you have and give it to the poor. Then, come and follow Me."

Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis. A Personal Encounter with Christ / OrthoChristian.Com

Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis. A Personal Encounter with Christ / OrthoChristian.Com: We’ve discussed many times why we receive Holy Communion. In today’s reflection we will discuss how to receive Communion, both from a practical and spiritual perspective. First, the decision to receive Communion should be made well in advance of the call to receive given by the priest. Second, the decision to receive Communion is just that, a decision, that one makes with careful consideration. We are not supposed to hear the words of invitation to Communion and just “go” because they are said. We know that the invitation is coming, so we should prepare to receive Communion well in advance of the Divine Liturgy.

Fr. Sergius Nezhbort. "The Church is not a Social Club" / OrthoChristian.Com

Fr. Sergius Nezhbort. "The Church is not a Social Club" / OrthoChristian.Com: The Church is not just a social club, where you can go if you want, where you can listen to choirs, have a rest for your soul, console yourself and then leave it go on your way. It a place where we meet God. And this meeting changes a person significantly.

Fr. Alexey Young. Man’s Spiritual Nature. Orthodox Spirituality, Part 2 / OrthoChristian.Com

Fr. Alexey Young. Man’s Spiritual Nature. Orthodox Spirituality, Part 2 / OrthoChristian.Com: In the spiritual and theological Tradition of the Orthodox Church we can distinguish various degrees of knowledge or ways of knowing. In St. Isaac of Syria we find a schema of three levels of knowledg

Fr. Alexey Young. What is Holiness? Orthodox Spirituality, Part 1 / OrthoChristian.Com

Fr. Alexey Young. What is Holiness? Orthodox Spirituality, Part 1 / OrthoChristian.Com: In order to talk about holiness, we need to talk about the saints, who are our best examples of holiness. For this purpose we must say that a saint doesn’t exist outside of Orthodoxy. Of course there are outstanding people—Mother Theresa for example, but in the precise Orthodox understanding sainthood is limited to the Orthodox Church.

5 Ways Eastern Orthodox Differs From Other Christian Denominations / OrthoChristian.Com

5 Ways Eastern Orthodox Differs From Other Christian Denominations / OrthoChristian.Com: Eastern Orthodox Christianity predates Protestantism by about 500 years. Their core beliefs are similar to those of Catholicism.

In fact, the creeds of the two denominations are nearly identical. However, there are key differences between Orthodox Christianity and other Christian denominations.

Here are five ways Eastern Orthodox differs from other Christian denominations

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Protection of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary - Orthodox Church in America

The Protection of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary - Orthodox Church in America: On Sunday, October 1, during the All Night Vigil, when the church was overflowing with those at prayer, the Fool-for-Christ Saint Andrew (October 2), at the fourth hour, lifted up his eyes towards the heavens and beheld our most Holy Lady Theotokos coming through the air, resplendent with heavenly light and surrounded by an assembly of the Saints. Saint John the Baptist and the holy Apostle John the Theologian accompanied the Queen of Heaven. On bended knees the Most Holy Virgin tearfully prayed for Christians for a long time. Then, coming near the Bishop’s Throne, she continued her prayer.

Blessed Andrew the Fool-For-Christ at Constantinople - Orthodox Church in America

Blessed Andrew the Fool-For-Christ at Constantinople - Orthodox Church in America: Blessed Andrew, Fool-for-Christ, was a Slav and lived in the tenth century at Constantinople. From his early years, he loved God’s Church and the Holy Scriptures. Once during a dream, the saint beheld a vision of two armies. In the one were men in radiant garb, in the other, black and fiercesome devils. An angel of God, who held wondrous crowns, said to Andrew, that these crowns were not adornments from the earthly world, but rather a celestial treasure, with which the Lord rewards His warriors, victorious over the dark hordes. “Proceed with this good deed,” the angel said to Andrew. “Be a fool for My sake and you will receive much in the day of My Kingdom.”

Monastery of the Holy Martyrs - Orthodox Monastery, Syriac Orthodox

 Have you stopped the monastery's new web site?  Come on by and visit, either on line or in person.  I love meeting new folks and make n...