Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Patristic Explanation of the Symbolic Imagery of the Coming Judgement

By His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos
of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

The Second Coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead are closely connected with the coming judgement, the so-called future tribunal. All men will stand before the dread judgement seat of Christ.

In the Creed we confess that Christ will come with glory “to judge the living and the dead.”

This conviction constitutes the central teaching of the Church, as we shall verify in what follows. In all the assemblies for worship and in the Divine Liturgy there are words about our presence before the throne of God. The priest prays:

“For a Christian end of our life, painless, peaceful and unashamed, and for a good answer before the dread judgement seat of Christ, let us pray.”

In what follows we shall have an opportunity to emphasize the fact that although we use images of a tribunal, the judgement will have more the character of a revelation and manifestation of the spiritual state of the person. Moreover, all the images used have a symbolic character. Christ and the saints, as we shall see, use such images to make people understand pictorially that dreadful day when they will see the reality. Consequently, unless we do away with the images, we must enter into their essence and inner content.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Elder Daniel of Katounakia on 666 and the Antichrist

On 5 September 1925 the late Elder Daniel of Katounakia (1846-1929) sent a letter to S. Bergonin, who had prepared a treatise that dealt with the number 666 and the Antichrist. After nearly 90 years this letter continues to be timely and instructive, as can be read below.

Letter of Elder Daniel of Katounakia (9/5/1925)

With much joy I just received these past days from Father Hilarion, spiritual child of the late Hieromonk Savvas, your letter on May 25th.

I read it with great attention and commend, as it should be, your divine zeal and that as a good Christian you cared to investigate Holy Scripture and to write a study that deals with the number 666, which implies the Antichrist.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Reception of Elijah and Enoch in the End Times and False Prophets

Someone asked St. Paisios the Athonite (+ 1994):

- Elder, when the Prophets Elijah and Enoch come back in order to preach repentance, will people understand what is happening, and come back to their senses?

- Those who have a good predisposition will understand. Those who aren’t positively predisposed will not understand and will be misled. Our Lord had warned us that we must be very careful, because “false christs and false prophets shall arise, and they shall give signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Mk. 13:22).

Thursday, July 16, 2015

On Contemplating About the End of the World

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Some misguided men think more about the end of the world than the end of their lives, even though it is obvious that for him to whom the end of his life comes the end of the world has come.

A brother standing before St. Seraphim of Sarov continually kept in his mind how he was going to ask the Saint about the end of the world. St. Seraphim discerned his thought and said to him: "My joy! You think highly of the wretched Seraphim. How could I know when the end of the world will be, and when that great day when the Lord will judge the living and the dead and render to each one according to his deeds will be? No, no, this is impossible for me to know!"

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Caution Regarding the "Prophecies" of Elder Paisios

By Theo

I met Fr. Paisios in 1975. Ever since I met him 30-40 times, almost every time by myself. I never heard him say "prophecies", such as when there will be wars, when we will take Constantinople, who will be commander-in-chief, etc. After his death I saw many "prophecies" distributed in magazines and books or disseminated by the media. I thought he might have actually said such things, but not to me. Until about a month ago when I heard from a friend of mine that the day before he visited the Holy Mountain and Fr. Isaiah, who was a novice of the Elder and now lives in his cell, told him that the Elder never uttered such "prophecies", and never referred to when there will be war, etc.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Antichrist and 666 Was Not the Primary Message of Elder Paisios

By Elder Makarios of Maroudas

(Holy Skete of the Nativity of the Theotokos "Maroudas", Mount Athos)

...Others come to Mount Athos running around to find prophets and futurists. The unfortunate ones see these things on television and the internet and they come to confirm it first hand, and they are victims of the exploitation of the terror they receive. They exploit even the words and writings of the late Elder Paisios. The Elder, as we came to know him, was a man full of peace, love and goodness. You went near to him, and your soul was calmed; he gave you hope and joy for life. Today there are distributed hundreds of photocopies of a manuscript of his about the Antichrist and 666, as if this was the primary message of the Elder.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Bride of Christ

By Monk Christodoulos Gregoriates

"After, a great sign appeared in the sky. I saw a woman who had the sun for a garment and the moon was under her feet and on her head was a crown with twelve stars. ... and the woman fled into the desert, where she has a place made ready for her by God, so that they may feed her there for one thousand two hundred and sixty days" (Rev. 12:1-17).

It is commonly accepted by the interpreters of the Apocalypse that this woman symbolizes the Church of Christ. She is the Bride of the Bridegroom who is invited to the royal wedding (Rev. 22:17, Matt.22:1-4, Lk. 14:15-24). She is one and unique! She wears a crown of twelve stars which symbolize the twelve apostles of Christ.

The Bridegroom Christ comes in nuptial communion with her at the Mystery of Holy Communion. It is a Paschal Wedding. That is, it is a wedding of going and returning to Paradise (Pascha means "Passover" or "passing").

Paradise is one and the Bride is one, the Church. The Church of Christ is the ark of salvation, the one who saves her faithful from the floods of sin.

Noah's Ark is a type of the Church of Christ. It is the Church of the saved from the waters of cataclysm which symbolizes sin that leads to death.

This enviable title of the Church - Bride - is claimed by many "churches" and each one of them is self-projected to be the true Bride of Christ. But only one of all these "brides" can be the Bride of Christ.