Monday, August 31, 2015

The Prophecy Engraved on the Cover of St. Constantine's Tomb

This fragment of royal purple colored stone is all that is left of the tomb of St. Constantine the Great, located in the archaeological museum of Istanbul.

By John Sanidopoulos

St. Constantine the Great died in 337 AD and was laid to rest in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.

The Church of the Holy Apostles was also known as the Imperial Polyándreion (imperial cemetery). The first structure dates to the 4th century, though future emperors would add to and improve on the space. It was second in size and importance only to Hagia Sophia among the great churches of the capital. When Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453, the Holy Apostles briefly became the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church. Three years later the edifice, which was in a dilapidated state, was abandoned by the Patriarch, and in 1461 it was demolished by the Ottomans to make way for the Fatih Mosque.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Elder Daniel Katounakiotis: Stories of Apocalyptic and Demonic Delusions

Endowed with uncommon intelligence and thirsting for learning, Elder Daniel (+1929) had devoured the patristic books and plundered the treasures of the Spirit. Many monks who had fallen into various delusions through ignorance or a spirit of pride were saved by the intervention of Elder Daniel. Like his namesake, the Prophet Daniel, he in truth possessed "an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting dreams ... and dissolving doubts" (Daniel 5:12).

Deluded Demos, For Whom Demons Danced

A good Christian of simple faith named Demos, a builder by profession, lived in Stika of Northern Epirus. One night he dreamt that in a certain place there was a church buried in the earth. Rousing his compatriots, therefore, they brought shovels and pickaxes and began the excavation. The church was brought to light. Full of satisfaction, Demos took pride in his success and pleasure in everyone's wonder; and when the cunning thought whispered to him, "Now, Demos, you are an important man, you have been chosen by God...," he accepted it without disputation.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Rapture – Indisputable Christian Heresy

By Fr. Anthony M. Coniaris

As I was driving one day I encountered a bumper sticker admonishing me:

“WARNING! In the event of Rapture, this car will be driverless.”

The strange belief in the Rapture teaches that some day (sooner rather than later), without warning, born-again Christians will begin to float up from the freeway, abandoned vehicles careening wildly. There will be airliners in the sky suddenly with no one at the controls! Presumably, God is removing these favored ones from earth to spare them the tribulation of the Anti-Christ which the rest of us will have to endure.

Unfortunately the Rapture has been promoted widely by the Left Behind series of books that have sold over 70 million copies.

The Rapture represents a radical misinterpretation of Scripture. I remember watching “Sixty Minutes” a year ago and was appalled to hear the announcer say that “the Rapture is an unmistakenly Christian doctrine”. It is not!

It is a serious distortion of Scripture.

It is astonishing that a belief so contrary to Scripture and the tradition of the Church could be propagated by so-called “Christians”.

Friday, August 14, 2015

On the Eternal Reign of the Saints

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"But the saints of the Most High shall take the Kingdom and possess the Kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever" (Daniel 7:18).

Abased and oppressed in the kingdoms of the world, the saints will reign eternally in the Kingdom of Heaven.

The last on earth, they will rejoice as the first in heaven.

Hungry, thirsty, barefoot and naked in the transitory kingdoms, they will be like king's sons, satisfied and clothed in royal raiment in the enduring Kingdom.

Strangers in the kingdoms of decay, they will be lords in their Kingdom, the Kingdom of Incorruption.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

In What Sense Is God the Judge of Men? (Christos Yannaras)

By Christos Yannaras

God is not the "judge" of men in the sense of a magistrate who passes sentence and imposes a punishment, testifying to the transgression. He is judge because of what He is: the possibility of life and true existence. When man voluntarily cuts himself off from this possibility of existence, he is automatically "judged". It is not God's sentence but His existence that judges him. God is nothing but an ontological fact of love and an outpouring of love: a fullness of good, an ecstasy of loving goodness ... Man is judged according to the measure of the life and existence from which he excludes himself. Sin is a self-inflicted condemnation and punishment which man freely chooses when he refuses to be as a personal hypostasis of communion with God and prefers to "alter" and disorder his existence, fragmenting his nature into individual entities - when he prefers corruption and death ...For the Church, sin is not a legal but an existential fact. It is not simply a transgression, but an active refusal on man's part to be what he truly is: the image and "glory", or manifestation, of God.

From The Freedom of Morality, pp. 36 and 46.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Seven Youths of Ephesus, Guarantors of the Resurrection

By Father George Dormparakis

The biography of the Holy Seven Youths of Ephesus is considered one of the strangest and most amazing that has ever been written, which is why the story of these Saints inspired the pen of the renowned and famous writer John Michael Panagiotopoulos, transmitting it in a fictional way ("Τα εφτά κοιμισμένα παιδιά", 1956). The strangeness of the story lies not only in the fact that they were resurrected from the dead - something which challenges human logic, but is to be understood in the context in the resurrection of Christ, Who is the source of life and abolished death - but that they resurrected well after over a century elapsed from the time of their "death", and this event became known to everyone, while subsequently they handed their sanctified souls back to their Lord in peace.