To Die and To Rise From The Dead
Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok
Someone might say, «Oh, the Lent has been so difficult, I've had to work so hard!» Another person might argue, «Oh, it has been so easy: I did not want to eat anything at all, and I have felt so powerful!» Whose experience is more valuable? The experience of the first person was more precious because he invested a lot into it. It appears to us that praying, fasting, and humbling ourselves down is so painful. What else would you expect? Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life (cf. Matthew 7:14).
Cinema Perpetuum Mobile Film Festival: Another Triumph For Our Cartoon
Our cartoon entitled "The Big Bug and the Little Pipsqueak" was one of the best movies at the annual Cinema Perpetuum Mobile International Short Film Festival. The animation film by Dmitry Shestopalov received the First Prize in Children's Animation competition, together with Ni-ko-Mu, a cartoon created by Elizaveta Sharikova from Russia.
God Sets Us Free From The Past
Archpriest Demetrius Basalygo
Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeev) had an argument with one of his theology students with regard to the issue of whether all sins are forgiven during a confession. The student believed that only those sins that one named during the confession were forgiven. Metropolitan Hilarion claimed that all sins, named and unnamed alike, were forgiven during the confession. The student set forth to look for the proof of his opinion in the writings of the Holy Fathers...
Every Christian Is a Warrior
Priest Valery Zakharov: Sometimes we are disturbed that our petitions related to earthly needs are not fulfilled, and it seems to us that the Lord doesn't hear us. We want to get everything: we would like to live a long and healthy life, with pleasant people, having abundance and peace with our family and children — in short, we want everything to be excellent in this life. God is interested in more than that. He wants us to inherit the Heavenly Kingdom. More often than not, earthly possessions become an obstacle to this.
There Is No Greater Power
Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok: The earthly life of a Christian is a road to Christ who hangs on the Cross. This is a journey when someone takes up his own cross and defies human reasoning and all earthly cares. One has to walk down this path in just a couple of decades that we have at hand to be able to decide for ourselves, to consciously choose this road, to demonstrate our resolution. It isn't as simple as it sounds. On the one hand, the world coaxes us into standing up for our own rights and not letting others insult us.
Brace Up For The Fight
The Rev Valery Zakharov
God's mercy outweighs all our sins but this does not mean that we may go on sinning as long as we want to. It means that we should not be depressed when sins throw us down into the mud. We must rise up, purify ourselves, and keep going. This is, perhaps, what St Tikhon of Zadonsk called 'a Christian's way' — going from a downfall to a downfall, and rising up again every time. We should not lie down for a long time; we should not be depressed; we should struggle with our sins to the best of our abilities.
Every Christian Is An Icon Painter
The Rev Sergius Nezhbort
The Christian civilisation focuses on the God-man. Unfortunately, the contemporary world brings a sinful, damaged, and distorted human being back to the spotlight again. In this sense, the struggle against the icon is going on even today. Every person, every Christian is also an icon painter in a certain sense. One needn’t be a professional icon painter but if you live with God, an icon is being painted in your soul. Other people also need to be able to see it.
Let's Continue Our Journey to Christ…
Priest Sergius Nezhbort: May the Lord help us to use the lengthy lenten services not as a exhausting ascetic practice but as a way to mortify our flesh. For example, long services exist on Mt. Athos in order to illuminate people's minds. With us, it's vice versa: we are not illuminated, we are blemished. I wish we had less darkness and more light. When we come to a service, we should prepare for hearing something important.
A Dome with a Cross Mounted on St John of Shanghai Church
The domes on the Church in honour of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco were consecrated and mounted during the Third Week of the Great Lent (the Week of Veneration of the Cross), on April 5. This is another important milestone in the construction of this church on the territory of the National Applied Research Centre of Mental Health in Novinki.
«I Can't Fast», They Say
Priest Valery Zakharov: Unfortunately, it often happens that we return to the sin that had seemingly been defeated long before, or at least we thought it was. The reason why we get trapped by the same snares again must be because we are affected by pride. We cannot protect ourselves, other than with struggle and attention to our souls. Remaining a winner once and forever is impossible. The struggle is going on, and it will continue until our last breath…
Easter Is Coming No Matter What
Priest Sergius Faley: The beginning of a sin lies in a sinful thought, i.e., those babies that we are to dash against the stone. Christ is that Stone. So what we have here is an instruction to fight every sinful thought using Jesus prayer. Thus, if we take care of our minds, if we guard the boundaries of our thoughts, sins won't develop any further. Due to the fact that we are still in the beginning of our ascetic practice, and our prayer is still weak and imperfect, this «spiritual sieve» has big holes.
The Church of God Is Not of This World
Priest Valery Zakharov: As soon as self-righteousness creeps in, we do not only take a step back — in fact, we go all the way back to where we started. Seeing how ugly we really are, we come to realise that we have missed the point and took a mirage for a real thing again: we claimed for ourselves the light of Christ that used to make us holy, and it disappeared, while we and our relationships with God became distorted again.
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