Posts on Orthodox subjects such as spirituality, practices, saints, services, and history


Forming Young Souls

This article expposts-pic-orthodox-child-lighting-candlelains the importance of good literature, art, music, and movies on the formation of a young child’s soul and has many wonderful suggestions throughout. Taken from Not of this World: The Life and Teaching of Fr. Seraphim Rose by Monk Damascene Christensen (ch. 97, p. 894-909).

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No source of instruction can be overlooked in the preparation for the great battle of lift, and there is a certain advantage to be derived from the right use of the heathen writers. The illustrious Moses is described as training his intellect in the science of the Egyptians, and so arriving at the contemplation of Him Who is. So in later days Daniel at Babylon was wise in the Chaldean philosophy, and ultimately (more…)

Forming the Soul – Spirit, Soul and Body

posts-pic-dostoyevskyFrom “Orthodox America” by Hieromonk Seraphim

The soul that comes to Orthodoxy today often finds itself in a disadvantaged or even crippled state. Often one hears from converts after some years of seemingly unfruitful struggles that “I didn’t know what I was getting into when I became Orthodox.” Some sense this when they are first exposed to the Orthodox Faith, and this can cause them to postpone their encounter with Orthodoxy or even run away from it entirely. A similar thing often happens to those baptized in childhood when they reach mature years and must choose whether or not to commit themselves to (more…)

Where is Heaven?

Jonathan Pageau reflects on cosmology and the modern world in the second article of a three-part series at Orthodox Arts Journal.

Where is Heaven?

by Jonathan Pageau

Icon of the Ladder of Divine Ascent(Having seen the many furious comments made by scientist types to my last article, I thought it might be necessary to slow things down a bit in order to make myself clearer, and so I will speak of sacred art more directly in the next instalment of this series.)

In 1922 Fr. Pavel Florensky wrote an article called “A Defense of Geocentrism” in which he attempted to use the general theory of relativity to show that considering the relativity of motion, one could develop a perfectly coherent mathematical model in which the Earth is the reference of motion. This model would in fact correspond to Ptolemy’s cosmological descriptions. This article was one of the reasons the Communist State . . .

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St. John of Kronstadt on the Divine Liturgy

posts-pic-divine-liturgyThe Divine Liturgy is truly a heavenly service upon earth, during which God Himself, in a particular, immediate, and most close manner, is present and dwells with men, being Himself the invisible Celebrant of the service, offering and being offered. There is nothing upon earth holier, higher, grander, more solemn, more life-giving than the Liturgy.

The temple, at this particular time, becomes an earthly heaven; those who officiate represent Christ Himself, the Angels, the Cherubim, Seraphim and Apostles. The Liturgy is the continually repeated solemnization of God’s love to mankind, and of His all-powerful mediation for the salvation of the whole world, and of every (more…)

Most of the Time the Earth is Flat

Jonathan Pageau reflects on cosmology and the modern world in the first article of a three-part series at Orthodox Arts Journal.

Most of The Time The Earth Is Flat

by Jonathan Pageau

Icon of Christ at the center of the Zodiac

Christ at the center of the Zodiac. Dekoulou Monastery, Greece

Science, modern science that is, has engulfed nearly our entire gaze. It has become the transparent self-effacing tableau on which we experience the world, the glasses we wear to judge the truth, the standard we hold against our experience. Self-obvious to most, the material, quantitative vision of the Universe that has developed since the so-called Enlightenment has become both the largest bludgeon wielded against religion whilst simultaneously . . .

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Monks Fighting in Battle

This cartoon is about the Battle of Kulikovo on the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos in 1380, which was the turning point in liberating the Russian people from the yoke of Tatars. Prince Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy visited St. Sergius of Radonezh and received his blessing to go to war. St. Sergius prophesied a victory despite his disadvantage in numbers and sent two schemamonks (Oslyabya and Peresvet) with the prince to participate in the battle.

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St. Hilarion of Optina on Sorrows

St. Hilarion of Optina

 

“When sorrow comes to us, we must await consolations, but after the consolation, we must again await sorrows.”

+ St. Hilarion of Optina, Quoted from Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina

St. Cyril of Jerusalem on Jonah and the Resurrection

“[L]et us consider whether is harder, for a man after having been buried to rise again from the earth, or for a man in the belly of a whale, having come into the great heat of a living creature, to escape corruption. For what man knows not, that the heat of the belly is so great, that even bones which have been swallowed moulder away? How then did Jonas, who was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, escape corruption? And, seeing that the nature of all men is such that we cannot live without breathing, as we do, in air, how did he live without a breath of this air for three days? But the Jews make answer and say, The power of God descended with Jonas when he was tossed about in hell. Does then the Lord grant life to His own servant, by sending His power with him, and can He not grant it to Himself as well? If that is credible, this is credible also; if this is incredible, that also is incredible. For to me both are alike worthy of credence. I believe that Jonas was preserved, for all things are possible with God [Matthew 19:26]; I believe that Christ also was raised from the dead; for I have many testimonies of this, both from the Divine Scriptures, and from the operative power even at this day of Him who arose—who descended into hell alone, but ascended thence with a great company; for He went down to death, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose [Matthew 27:52] through Him.”

+ St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 14.18