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REAL PEACE (Part IV)

I mentioned that contemporary people do not believe in the reality of demons, which according to Fr. Maximos is the greatest achievement of the devil today, that he has convinced most of the world that he does not exist. As a rule, academics would dismiss such stories as taking place in people’s imaginations, without any basis in objective reality. But the experiences of the saints throughout history are filled with demonic possession and exorcisms. In

Becoming a Missionary without Speaking

Becoming a Missionary without Speaking “My dear man I am envious of you, I envy you. You can become the greatest missionary in the Monastery without speaking at all. You will pray for everyone in silence. You will pray for the whole Church, for the clergy, and for the Monks. Our Church is undergoing a crisis today. “Above all pray for your spiritual family.” “Leave your heart completely open to Christ, filled with love, and

O Paradox of Paradoxes! A Reflection on the Feast Day of the Holy Cross

By Father Stelyios S. Muksuris Perhaps I am preaching to the choir when I say that the older I become, the more I come to see that our world is full of paradoxes. Contradictions of all sorts abound in our lives — between individuals and their behavior, among ideologies and political systems, and so forth. I need not rattle off specific examples to prove my point. With age, we want to believe, comes wisdom and

Voices of Wisdom (II)

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope that I

Forgive and You Will Be Forgiven

FORGIVENESS SUNDAY Let us all make haste to humble the flesh by abstinence, as we set out upon the God-given course of the holy Fast; and with prayer and tears let us seek our Lord and Savior. Laying aside all memories of evil, let us cry aloud, “We have sinned against You, Christ our King; save us Like the people of Nineveh in days of old, and in Your compassion make us sharers in Your

Seeing with Saint Seraphim’s Eyes

By Nicholas Papas “My friend, both of us at this moment are in the Spirit, you and I.” These pinnacle words from the historic conversation between Nikolay Motovilov and Saint Seraphim of Sarov express a concept awash in my mind as I tend to the care of my granddaughter. Reactions are numerous, animated, heartfelt and frequent when people see my granddaughter. If I am alone, the reaction is not the same. I am, largely, the

ON HUMILITY AND WATCHFULNESS (Part II)

Do not direct your gaze towards the enemy. Never get into a controversy with him whom you cannot possibly resist. With his millennia of experience he knows the very trick that can render you helpless at once. No, stand in the middle of your heart’s field and keep your gaze upward; then the heart is protected from all sides at once: the Lord Himself sends His angels to guard it both from right and left

The Lord’s Prayer (Part VI)

It is a very common thought in the writings of the early Christian ascetics that man must go through these three stages – slave, hireling and son. The slave is one who obeys for fear, the hireling is one who obeys for reward and the son is one who acts for love. We can see in Exodus how gradually the people of God had become more than slaves and hirelings and the law stands at

The Lord’s Prayer (Part III)

There is one thing that stands as a line of demarcation between Egypt and the desert, between slavery and freedom; it is a moment when we act decisively and become new people, establishing ourselves in an absolutely new moral situation. In terms of geography it was the Red Sea, in terms of the Lord’s Prayer it is ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive’. This ‘as we forgive’ is the moment when we take our

The Essence of Prayer (IV)

On many occasions throughout history people witnessed persecution and were not afraid, but shared in the suffering and did not protest; for instance, Sophia, the mother who stood by each of her daughters, Faith, Hope and Charity, encouraging them to die, or many other martyrs who helped one another but never turned against the tormentors. The spirit of martyrdom can be brought out by several examples. The first expresses the spirit of martyrdom in itself,