Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Prophecy of Abba Ischyrion

This is one of the sayings of the Desert Fathers found in the Paradise of the Holy Fathers, which is often cited as being a prophecy of the End Times, however it is clearly an example of the belief that the End Times were imminent, in fact, within about two or three generations from their time.

The holy Fathers were prophesying about the last generation. They said, ‘What have we ourselves done?’ One of them, the great Abba Ischyrion replied, ‘We ourselves have fulfilled the commandments of God.’ The others replied, 'And those who come after us, what will they do?’ He said, ‘They will struggle to achieve half our works.’ They said, 'And to those who come after them, what will happen?’ He said, ‘The men of that generation will not accomplish any works at all and temptation will come upon them; and those who will be approved in that day will be greater than either us or our Fathers.'

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Last Things First: The Eschatological Community of the Parish

By Fr. Stelyios Muksuris

A danger all of us face as priests of God is to approach our liturgical ministry in our parishes with a lukewarm and disinterested disposition. Working long hours and late nights in the service of God’s people, accompanied by the stresses these situations typically bring, may often incapacitate us spiritually, even physically at times. This may lead to a mechanical, unconscious execution of the Divine Liturgy and our ecclesiastical services, the likes of which is not merely perceived by our flocks in attendance but, sadly, is also emulated by them and labeled as the norm for Orthodox liturgical life. We often urge our parishioners to participate meaningfully in the Holy Liturgy; however, the underlying question is: do we do as much?