Just discovered this report from http://directionstoorthodoxy.org/ on a recent meeting of Bishops Sabezy (Geneva) on the subject of what is known as the ‘Orthodox Diaspora’ (in Greek, διασπορά – “a scattering [of seeds]“) refers to the movement of any population sharing common ethnic identity (Antiochian, Greek, Romanian, Russian, etc.) who were either forced to leave or voluntarily left their settled territory, and became residents in areas often far remote from the former.) of which Australia is a part.
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Christians have been flocking to the dusty Israeli town of Ramla to see what locals are calling a miracle: streaks of what looks like oil mysteriously dripping down an icon of St. George at a Greek Orthodox church named for the legendary third century dragon slayer. Let’s learn more about this miraculous icon.
This year we have an important double anniversary of Charles Darwin: the 200th anniversary of his birth, and the 150th anniversary of his classic work, The Origin of the Species. Already plenty of celebrations and commemorative events are under way. With February 12 being his birthday, even more attention will be drawn to the man. So what is one to make of Darwin? In truth, there is a real mix of opinion in regards to Darwin and his thought. Many applaud his life and work while others find much which is problematic.
While “Original Sin” and “Once Saved, Always Saved” are mainstays of Western Christian doctrine, the Orthodox have quite a different view on our relationship with God. Discover the truth taught by Orthodox Christianity.
Many Orthodox prayer masters talk about three powers of the soul — mind, will and heart. St. Theophan the Recluse describes how to educate each power of the soul. The Christian life of virtue depends on educating and training each power. Educating the Mind We educate the mind (the intellectual power) through study of the faith - scripture, ancient church writers, and helpful books.
A Golden Bell and a Pomegranate Back when I was attending seminary - this was an Episcopal seminary, in Virginia-every time I went to chapel I'd see this Scripture painted on the back wall around the window: "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel." I had plenty of time to study those words (especially when the sermon was boring). As I read and reread that saying of Jesus, I thought about what it takes to spread the Gospel. What tools do you need?
Why would God sing? The question may sound strange and yet it is said in Zephaniah 3:17 that “He will rejoice over thee with singing.” I first noticed this verse when I was a very young Christian and have puzzled about it for nearly forty years. Equally puzzling to our modern way of thought is the question, “Why does anybody sing?” I have been to plenty of operas and have to admit that even the ones in English need subtitles — singing does not necessarily make something more easily understood. And yet we sing.
Many Christians today question belief in angels, and especially guardian angels. The Orthodox their inherited belief in guardian angels from the Hebrews. We have scriptural passages detailing interactions with guardian angels, and some people who have seen guardian angels in visions. Let’s learn some more about guardian angels.
Even the very best choices in life come with temptations. Temptations to take things to excess, or to approach things with the wrong motives. Visiting a monastery is no exception. While monasteries are holy places and visiting them can prove a great blessing, it can come with temptations.
From the very early years of the Church, Mary was called not only Virgin, but Ever-Virgin. But the Bible mentions Jesus’ brothers, so how can this be? The gate is shut The Church Fathers often cite Ezekiel 44:1-2 as the prophecy of the Ever-Virginity of Mary: And the Lord said to me, ‘This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.’