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Τετάρτη, 17 Δεκεμβρίου 2014


St Laurence Monastery, a Western Rite Orthodox Monastery Mother Cassiana

Well, there’s a first time for everything – last week, I visited St Laurence Monastery, a Western Rite Orthodox Monastery about two hours away from Protection Monastery. The drive was absolutely stunning! The Rockies are so shamelessly beautiful, especially at sun-set: typical teenagers (which is precisely what they are, compared to Scotland’s Hebridean Heights, some of the world’s oldest mountains), boasting with pride and beauty. I’ve seen herds of elk, hundreds and hundreds of deer, even wild turkeys (I confess I didn’t spend much time near them, as Mother Cassiana told me that mountain lions follow the turkey; I don’t know if that’s true, but I’d rather not find out!).

The Monastery itself is in a wonderful location, right in the centre of a small canyon and surrounded by mountains. They have a splendid wooden cabin (I absolutely loved it), and a large (newer) building for the church and additional accommodation. The fathers were very hospitable, we had a good dinner and a nice walk along the creek. Before we left, we went in the church for Vespers and a tour of the building.

Vespers felt very familiar to me, despite being celebrated according to the Western rite. It reminded me of the beautiful four months I spent last year at the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield, England, while serving as the parish priest for the Romanian Orthodox Church in Leeds.

I attach some photos, although they really don’t do justice to the wild beauty of the place.



Ομιλία του Σεβασμιωτάτου Μητροπολίτου Μεσογαίας και Λαυρεωτικής κ.Νικολάου στην Κάλυμνο με θέμα τα Χριστούγεννα.

Θαυμαστό γεγονός! Μυροροούσα εικόνα του Αγίου Γαβριήλ στην Γεωργία (ΒΙΝΤΕΟ)- წმინდა გაბრიელ აღმსარებლისა და სალოსის მირონმდინარე ხატი-

Στη Γεωργία, στο σπίτι μιας οικογένειας από το τέλος του Ιουλίου η εικόνα του Αγίου Γαβριήλ στάζει μύρο. Πρόκειται για μια οικογένεια με δύο μικρά παιδιά και περιγράφονται από όλους ως πολύ καλοί άνθρωποι. 

Η ιδιοκτήτητρια του σπιτιού όπου βρίσκεται το εικονίδιο λέει: "Αυτό είναι το εικονίδιο που αγόρασα το Πάσχα. Το τοποθέτησα στην θέση που του αρμόζει στην ιερή γωνία. Περίπου πριν από τρεις μήνες, άρχισε να στάζει μύρο. Σκούπισα το εικονίδιο και παρατήρησα ότι το ύφασμα, πότισε. Ξεκίνησε πολύ μεγαλή ροή. μύρου σε ολόκληρη την επιφάνεια της εικόνας. Πριν από μία εβδομάδα, παρατήρησα και το ραγισμένο γυαλί. Το πρωί, την αυγή στις 4 το πρωί ακούστηκε ένα τρίξιμο. Μπορείτε να δείτε πώς στάζει το μύρο ... "

Πρόσφατα, τα μέλη της οικογένειας έδειξαν την εικόνα στον Πατριάρχη Ηλία Β. ο οποίος δήλωσε πολύ χαρούμενος.

«Μιλήσαμε με τον Πατριάρχη, - λέει η γυναίκα - Μας ευλόγησε. Είπε ότι ήταν ένα μεγάλο θαύμα. Είμαστε πολύ περίεργοι για το τι σημαίνει το ραγισμένο γυαλί. Ο Πατριάρχης είπε ότι προφανώς μας περιμένει μια μεγάλη δοκιμασία. "

Το μύρο συλλέγεται σε ένα δοχείο, διότι ρέει άφθονο. Κληρικοί έρχονται να το πάρουν για να ευλογήσουν ενορίτες, σύμφωνα με το την τηλεόραση του Πατριαρχείου Γεωργίας

The Genealogy of Christ: Where We Come from, Who We are, and Where We’re Going

The Genealogy of Christ: Where We Come from, Who We are, and Where We’re Going
Source: St. Lawrence Orthodox Church
Among the ancestors of Christ are the righteous and heroic, the obedient and preserving, yet there are clear eras and events of sin in His family tree.
Priest Thaddaeus Hardenbrook | 17 December 2014
The Genealogy of Christ: Where We Come from, Who We are, and Where We’re Going
Two Comforting Lessons before the Nativity of Christ
Four Women on the Threshold of the Gospel

The Sunday before Nativity is dedicated to the genealogy of Christ for two very important reasons. First of all, to declare His fulfillment of the prophecy that He would be both of the seed of Abraham and of the seed of David. For 1500 years, the People of God had been
 promised that from among the descendants of Abraham and David a Savior and King would be born. And at the birth of the Christ-child, this ancient promise if fulfilled.

The second, equally important, reason the genealogy is presented to us on this day is to confirm and remind us that the prophesied Savior comes to save all people, of every race, saint and sinners. He is a compassionate King who acknowledges imperfect yet well-inteded efforts, overlooks error accompanied by sincere repentance, and accepts being brought forth into human existence by way of lineage that is holy and yet at times sinful.

Among the ancestors of Christ are the righteous and heroic, the obedient and preserving, yet there are clear eras and events of sin in His family tree. The names of Judah & Tamar, Rahab, David & Bathsheba bring to mind struggles with deception, seduction, adultery, and murder. We are reminded that “David the King begat Solomon by her who was the wife of Uriah.” And yet we do not consider these events as skeletons in the closet that hopefully no one will notice. These people and events are irrefutable proof that from a state of sin, by the love and power of this Savior, we can proceed towards holiness and ultimately be united with that which is truly Divine.

In the very early Church, it was most important that the divinity of Christ was emphasized. For, if He is not truly God, the salvation and commandments He delivered may be helpful teachings but are not divine revelation. And yet in the years that followed, the humanity of Christ began to be overlooked, and heretical ideas arose that reduced Christ to an impersonal Savior more divine than human, more omnipotent than compassionate. As a result, the Church separated the feast of Nativity from Theophany in order to emphasize dogmatically the fully human nature of Christ that was incomprehensibly and unconfusedly united to the fullness of His divinity.

Ours is the Christ “who, for us and our salvation, became man” (Creed). He who teaches, listens, heals the sick, touches the unclean, and associates with sinners. He who became man, born as a child both of Abraham and of David, that we too might “become as little children . . . and enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3).
Believe and trust, be awestruck and filled with rejoicing that Christ comes not for an impersonal human collective, but for each of us particularly. He is personal and relational, being known and enabling us to be known. He begins this personal salvation with Mary, His mother, not stopping until He has touched everyone. The fruit of that touch is determined by each of us.
Anticipating the awe and joy!

Source: http://www.pravmir.com/genealogy-christ-come-re-going/#ixzz3MAfCaIB5

Την ημέρα της εορτής του Αγίου Θωμά το 2014 στη Ιερά Μονή της Βιτόβνιτσας γιόρτασαν τα εκατό χρόνια από τη γέννηση του Αγίου Θαδδαίου της Βιτόβνιτσας. Манастир Витовница, Томиндан, 19. октобар 2014