monastery musings

Schema-Archimandrite John (Lewis, +2007)

      All his life, Schema-Archimandrite John was of tenuous health. From childhood he suffered with serious asthma. In his adult years, he developed COPD, diabetes, kidney cancer, fistula and many other afflictions. He attributed much of this to having been born on May 6/19, the feast of the Holy Prophet Job, and he patiently accepted it as God’s will. Every time he rose up out of a chair and pain shot through his body he said, “Glory to Thee O God, glory to Thee.” To his spiritual children, this was a motivation to continue in their own struggles, having this example of long-suffering and continued faithfulness to the Lord.

 

      During Holy Week of 2001, he was hospitalized with pneumonia. Whenever he was in the hospital, the caregivers became frustrated as he would not sleep but two hours in any 24-hour period. He would call …

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monastery musings

With the blessing of His Eminence, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, we are providing you with this prayer to print out, post somewhere in your home, and read daily. Normally, this is read by the priest as part of the “Molieben Sung in Time of Devastating Epidemic and Deathbearing Pestilence”. Metropolitan Hilarion has blessed all the laity to read this prayer while we are in the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19.  


You may find the entire service in The Great Book of Needs, Vol. IV, published by St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press, South Canaan, Pennsylvania, 1999. If your Church or priest do not have this 4- volume set, it is a wonderful gift item. There is also a smaller, pocket edition that is very much appreciated as a gift as they can take it to homes, hospitals, etc.





Prayer in Time

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monastery musings

 

The Theotokos: the Border of the Created upon the Uncreated


by

Fr. Constantine Desrosiers

 

Today I am faced with a truly daunting task. I propose to discuss in an intellectual and scholarly theological manner the All-Holy Theotokos, the Ever-Virgin Mary. Not even the greatest of the ascetics dared to do what I propose and I do ask forgiveness of the Mother of God for my presumption and beg Her to see the innocence of that motivates me.

 

At the heart of the veneration of the All-Holy Theotokos is the mystery of our salvation, the lynchpin of which is the very incarnation of the divine logos. This must also represent for any objective and candid seeker after Divine Truth the essential characteristic that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions in the world. We are faced today with many religions which fairly claim to be monotheistic, such as Islam and …

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monastery musings

A Contemporary Account of Saint Nicholas in China

Ο Άγιος Νικόλαος στην Κίνα

 

From Δεικτες Πορειας, a collection of sermons and writings by Meletios, Metropolitan of Nikopoleos (+2012), published by the Holy Monastery of Prophet Elias, 2019, Preveza, Greece. This passage he had translated from Russian into Greek.

Translated for the Queen of All Skete into English by Gerontissa Theonymphe, Παναγιοπουλα Μετοχι (Panagiopoula Μετochi), Corfu, Greece

 

There beside the Pasing River in China are the ruins of a church which was dedicated to Saint Nicholas. According to tradition the church was built by the Chinese, who also officiated there. Every year on the 6th of December, there is a large celebration continuing until today. How can this be when the Chinese are not Christians? Only a very few Chinese are Christians, yet they show such respect to Saint Nicholas.

 

Tradition has it that years …

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monastery musings

Recently, as I was praying about what inspirational words I could pass on to you, I called to mind +Hieromonk David (Pierce) of blessed memory.  When Father David was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor, his life changed instantly.  Following his first surgery, I visited Father David, and he venerated the holy relics that I had brought with me.  He had a strong faith, was unshaken, and his eyes were fixed on eternity.  We began talking about his prognosis, which led into a discussion about contemporary issues facing Orthodox Christians in an increasingly secular society where much is being done to remove “God” from its midst.  The result of that visit was an article we co-authored on how the mind of an Orthodox Christian person should react when facing difficult circumstances. 

 

Father David reposed in 2014, and we never published that article.  Because of the healing nature of the …

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monastery musings
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Foreword

 

        In 2009, I had the privilege of being a guest at the home of Ioannis and Katerina Kallianiotis. It is always a spiritually profitable experience when I am blessed to be in the home of pious, Orthodox Christian laity. The conversation was always edifying. Ioannis shared stories of his youth on a Greek island, far from the mainland. I recalled my time in Greece, where every Sunday after the Divine Liturgy the faithful gathered in parks or homes and where they had a tradition of ‶lay theologians″ who would speak on various topics. In Ioannis, I saw the sagacity of a lay theologian.

           
       Upon understanding his accomplishment of being published in every Mount Athos journal, I pleaded with him to write something for American Orthodox Christians. At that time the …

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