Saint Sophia Cathedral
Online Resources for our Religious Edification
Topic of the Week – We Christians are Not of This World and Should Not Adapt To It
“We have one duty, to be Orthodox Christians, every day, not only on Saturday and Sunday. Every single hour. We must confess our faith everywhere throughout the length of our lives….”
“Q:—Different periods of time are distinct from each other. What is characteristic of our day? In your opinion, what are the most serious challenges facing Christians today?A:—First of all I would say problems with rearing young people. Today a great deal of un-Orthodox things invade our lives, an anti-Christian spirit, with which every child already comes into contact in his first years of life. The Church and parents of course must protect their children from this. Not only protect them, which is insufficient, they must be given something positive instead. From the very earliest of years, children must participate in the Mysteries of the church, so that they would recognize their specialness.
We Christians are not of this world. We must not adapt to it. Yes we live in this world, but we have one duty, to be Orthodox Christians. We live according to our customs, our rules. Our children are faced with resisting this world even as school children, especially in the West, where there may be only one Orthodox Christian child in school. Naturally he must defend his positions. But for this he must understand his exceptional quality, is uniqueness. He must know that a Christian cannot behave like everyone else, think like everyone else, act like everyone else he knows in school. He must understand the value of his faith, he must know that he has something special that others do not. For participating in the Mysteries raises him above the common man.Even the schedule of his daily life, beginning with morning prayers and ending with evening prayers, is different than that of his friends. When a child recognizes this, he can live peacefully.If he does not understand this, then he will be constantly under pressure, or he will be absorbed into the general mass of humanity. To do what everyone does, to go with the flow with other children, in any country, not only in the West. For an Orthodox Christian to submit to this is very dangerous, because it is easy to lose your identity. And only then will you understand what riches you possess, the Orthodox faith, the Orthodox Church tradition, and you will live your own life.
… life sets challenges to the young generation. It is important for him to know the correct answers….”Read the entire article We Christians Are Not of This World and Should Not Adapt to It
“…Many fear tearing themselves away from work, they think they will be distracted, and will lose their train of thought. In fact it’s the opposite. After prayer, you think more clearly, new ideas come to mind.I used this method even while studying in college. Every half hour I took a break and I rose to prayer, and then my work went more smoothly than before. Of course for this you need inner discipline….”
Middle/High School:“…When I would return from Mount Athos, after a two or three month visit, I would find a pile of newspapers on my desk, I would look at the last one and the first one, and they all contain the same thing. And none of this is necessary in my life. Every person must understand this clearly. I already spoke of how people are dependent upon the news today. I know people who watch the news four or five times a day. What is the use?If one goes to pray, for example reading one song, or 20 Jesus prayers, there is something useful. Read the prayers. Read the Psalter. If you are an adult, read the interpretations of the Psalms. Of course the Psalms is a very difficult book, but it infuses all of our divine services. It is useful to know every Psalm, learn it, see what the Holy Fathers wrote about them, and live by them.This is the real world, not what is happening today in America or Africa, what business is it of ours? This only irritates us and fills us with useless information. All such useless information then takes on a life of its own in the human heart. It burdens it so that prayer becomes impossible. People come to a priest in tears and say “father, I can’t pray!” The reason for this as a rule, is that his heart is overburdened and has no place for prayer. If you enter too much information into a computer, it will crash, it will cease to work. And the human heart, alas, does not crash, but when it is overburdened it simply cannot take it anymore, and this is harmful.I often tell people take just five minutes to do one thing and one thing alone. Then move on to something else. The rest of the time, just pray. This is a systematic approach to time management. Time is a talent, a gift we are given. We must work, as the parable of the talents says, we must exploit the talent. When we sit there and fill our hearts with news that is not needed, then we bury this talent.”
A Message from Maria Spanos
I am passionate about our Orthodox Christian faith and seek to help others learn as much as they can about it. My purpose here is to share online resources that help strengthen our relationship with Christ and bind us closer to His Church. I believe they are invaluable in learning about our precious Orthodox Tradition, and are a great aid for teaching family members, friends and others about Orthodoxy. ~Maria
Two of my favorite quotes:
“A true Christian behaves in this life so that it may be a preparation for the future one and not only a life here below. In his actions, he does not think what will be said of him here but of what will be said there in heaven; he represents to himself that he is always in the presence of God, of the angels and all the saints, and remembers that someday they will bear witness of his thoughts, words, and deeds.” — Saint John of Kronstadt
“Of all the holy works, the education of children is the most holy.”
— St. Theophan the Recluse