Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Site moved

December 7, 2010

Hey all. If you’re still interested in reading Voice of the Fathers, I’ve moved it to this address: http://closeofautumn.blogspot.com/

Thanks to all who have been reading it.

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Walk Softly

May 30, 2010

Do not spill the grace of God. – Bishop Nektary Kontzevich

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St. Spyridon

May 21, 2010

According to the witness of Church historians, St Spyridon participated in the sessions of the First Ecumenical Council in the year 325. At the Council, the saint entered into a dispute with a Greek philosopher who was defending the Arian heresy. The power of St Spyridon’s plain, direct speech showed everyone the importance of human wisdom before God’s Wisdom: “Listen, philosopher, to what I tell you. There is one God Who created man from dust. He has ordered all things, both visible and invisible, by His Word and His Spirit. The Word is the Son of God, Who came down upon the earth on account of our sins. He was born of a Virgin, He lived among men, and suffered and died for our salvation, and then He arose from the dead, and He has resurrected the human race with Him. We believe that He is one in essence (consubstantial) with the Father, and equal to Him in authority and honor. We believe this without any sly rationalizations, for it is impossible to grasp this mystery by human reason.”

As a result of their discussion, the opponent of Christianity became the saint’s zealous defender and later received holy Baptism. After his conversation with St Spyridon, the philosopher turned to his companions and said, “Listen! Until now my rivals have presented their arguments, and I was able to refute their proofs with other proofs. But instead of proofs from reason, the words of this Elder are filled with some sort of special power, and no one can refute them, since it is impossible for man to oppose God. If any of you thinks as I do now, let him believe in Christ and join me in following this man, for God Himself speaks through his lips.”

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Daily Prayer of Hieroschemamonk Parthenios

May 7, 2010

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, do not permit vanity, self-love, sensuality, carelessness, anger to rule over me and steal me from Thy love, O my Lord and Creator, all my hope! Do not leave me without a portion of the blessed eternity. Grant also that I may follow Thy Holy example, that I may submit to the authorities placed over me. Grant me the clean soul, the simplicity of heart, which makes us worthy of Thy love.

To Thee, my God, I lift up my soul and heart; do not allow Thy creation to perish, but free me from the single and greatest enemy: sin. Grant, Lord, that I may endure anxiety and sorrows of the soul with the same patience as the joy with which I receive satisfaction of heart. If Thou desirest, Lord, Thou canst cleanse me and sanctify me. Here I commit myself to Thy mercy, begging Thee to destroy within me all that is offensive to Thee, and to unite me to the assembly of Thy chosen.

Lord, take from me: idleness of spirit, which destroys time; vanity of thoughts, which hinders Thy presence and distracts my attention to prayer. If, while in prayer, I turn away from Thee in my thoughts, help me; so that this distraction may not be willful, and that—averting my mind—I may not avert my heart from Thee. I confess to Thee, my Lord God, all the sins of my wickedness committed before Thee, now and in the past. Forgive me for them, for the sake of Thy Holy Name, and save my soul, which thou has redeemed with Thy precious Blood. I entrust myself to Thy mercy. I submit to Thy will. Do with me according to Thy mercy and not according to my evil and wickedness.

Teach me Lord, to dispose my deeds so that they will serve in glorifying Thy Holy Name. Take pity, O Lord, on all Christians. Hear the desires of all who cry out to Thee, and deliver them from evil. Save Thy servants [insert names]. Send them comfort, consolation in sorrows, and Thy holy mercy. Lord, I especially pray for those who have in anyway insulted, abused and grieved me. Do not punish them for the sake of me, a sinner; but pour Thy mercy upon them. Lord, I pray to thee especially for all those whom I, a sinner, have insulted or tempted in word, deed, thought, knowingly and unknowingly. Lord God, forgive us our sins and mutual offenses. Dispel from our hearts, O Lord, all indignation, suspicion, anger, remembrance of evil, quarrels, and all that might hinder and lessen brotherly love.

Be merciful Lord, to those who have entrusted me, an unworthy sinner, to pray for them. Be merciful Lord, to all who ask Thy help. Lord, make this day a day of Thy mercy; give to each according to their petition. Be the Shepherd of the lost, the Guide of Light of unbelievers, the Teacher of the unwise, the Father of orphans, the Helper of the oppressed, the Healer of the sick, the Comforter of the dying, and lead us all to the desired end: to Thee, our refuge and blessed repose. Amen.

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Psalmody & Noetic Prayer

April 9, 2010

Psalmody is not suited (it is proper for beginners and the passionate) for constantly praying for one’s sins or against evil thoughts and the passions, because of the multitude of words employed, some to glorify God, others beholding His creatures or God’s dispensation and providence or His threats and promises or that He is pre-eternal and incomprehensible, and such things as these which the passionate and ailing mind cannot behold. In psalmody one’s thoughts fall into fantasy and only passively observe. A person thus only keeps to an external quantity and when he gets used to keeping it, he falls into a kind of complacent self-satisfaction and boasting of the heart of which St. John Climacus, who was experienced in such things, has said:

“Do not begin with being overly wordy, lest the mind be distracted by searching for words. A single word of the publican evoked the mercy of God and a single utterance saved the thief. A multitude of words has frequently distracted the mind and robbed it, while a few words gather it together well.”

What the New Theologian wrote is correct. After the withering of the passions chanting comes naturally for the tongue. For how can one sing or chant the hymn of the Lord in a foreign land [Psalm 136:4]—that is, in a passionate heart? – Elder Basil of Poiana Marului

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From “The Shell of Death”

April 7, 2010

How beautifully our people in the Balkans decorate eggs. The more beautifully to decorate Easter. To increase the joy of Pascha. To make their guests more happy. Sometimes the colored eggs are truly art. If the colored eggs are let to stand too long, they become rotten inside, and give off an unbearable odor, or at the end completely dry up.

That is when the colored shell holds within itself death. 

More dreadful is Jesus’ picture of the hypocrites who are like “whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanliness”… 

All their outward, fixed-up appearance, is only a colored shell of death, a whitewashed tomb. When it comes to them, that which we call death, alas, all that really comes to them is the confirmation and seal of their already long past, dead soul.  

But you, do not be like the hypocrites, Christ taught the people. Do not be like the hypocrites when you give charity, “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” (Matthew 6:2,3) 

Do not be hypocrites when you pray to God. “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:5-13) 

Do not be like the hypocrites when you fast. “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:16-18)  “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.” (Mark 4:22) 

God will reveal to you great secrets at a time when you do not expect it. The prophets and righteous knew this, but the scribes and Pharisees did not, and still don’t. – St. Nikolai Velimirovich

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Spirit & Truth

March 31, 2010

Half-belief, which is afraid of falling into unbelief, fearfully clings to the forms of religious life. Not capable of seeing in them the crystallized realities of Spirit and Truth, it evaluates them as juridical norms of law. It has an external attitude towards them, and values them not as windows to the light of Christ, but as the conditional requirements of external authority. The Christian consciousness, however, knows that the established ways of the Church are not accidental, and are offered by her as favorable conditions for salvation. – St. Paul Florensky