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Today’s Holocaust: Abortion The Indescribable Calamity!

October 24, 2009 1 comment

abort

By Bishop Joseph of Arianzos of Australia

An iconographer, Mr. Kostas Vrousgos from Thessaloniki, has painted a remarkable icon shown above, known as “The Abortion Icon”, with the blessing of Bishop Joseph of Arianzos. It has been published in thousands of copies. His Grace wrote the following text about abortion and the Icon, printed on the reverse side of the Icon.

The All-Holy God is the fountain of life. Life belongs to him. His love provides life to all living organisms and especially to man, whom He created in His own image and likeness. We live and exist because of the overflowing love of God. As in this sacred overflowing love of God which is life, every person has a right which cannot be taken away. The Son and Word of God became human, was crucified and was resurrected so that all “may have life and abundantly they may have” (John 10:10). God’s gift of life is inviolable and murder is forbidden by the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Tradition of the Church (Holy Fathers, Synods and Canons). He who takes away life opposes the work of the Life-giving Lord and joins with the devil, who “was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44).

Human life begins from the moment of conception and fertilization. The Church believes this, and so does contemporary medicine (Panhellenic Medical Conference 1985). Furthermore the science of embryology, with the assistance of ultrasound and of other admirable technological means which are available, proved that the unborn baby is “certainly a new human being, a new member of human society, inseparable from each and every one of us in any way” (Dr Bernard Nathanson). Therefore, from the moment of conception, the violation of life at whatever stage is murder! As much as the killing of an adult or an adolescent is murder, so much so is the killing of a fetus by abortion at any stage of pregnancy. It is the cowardly murder of an innocent and completely unprotected human being, which has no possibility whatsoever to defend or protect itself.

Despite all these, the various human passions and especially sensuality, hard-heartedness, superficiality and indifference, very often lead to abortion as a “solution” of some “unwanted” or otherwise problematic pregnancy! Nevertheless, this is no solution. It is a manifestation of rage of the above-mentioned fathomless passions, which characterize the souls which are found outside the life of the Church and the fear of God.

I believe that this most beautiful Icon by the talented Iconographer Mr Costas Vrousgos, very clearly expresses all the Church wants to say to Her children about the dreadful subject, the indescribable calamity of abortion, the contemporary baby-killer Herod. The Iconographer’s ability to blend colours, being led by the Spirit of Truth, presents the causes of evil, the murderers of innocent babes, the sadness of the Life-giving Christ, the solution and need for repentance of the mother, the equally responsible and unloving father and perjurer murderer-doctor, and to anyone else associated with the crime. The testimonial cross of the unmarried mother who prefers the cost of social shame rather than the killing of her child. The blessing of the Christian family. The eternal prototype of the Mother of God, the all-honoured person of the breast-feeding Mother of the Blessed One. No other comment is needed”.


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Categories: Art and Architecture

God is just and He commits no injustice

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

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A certain Abba who practiced asceticism with candour to God, begged Him with tears to reveal to him the way He judges and decides in certain cases where people do not understand Him, but believe they concern strange things. God however, for a long time did not wish to reveal anything to him because man can never know and understand the mysteries of God. The ascetic never ceased asking, night and day, for that particular revelation.

One day therefore, God, wishing to inform him, set in his heart the thought to go and meet an elder ascetic, who was at another location that required a few days walk to reach him. When the ascetic started his walk, God sent him an angel in the form of a young monk, who greeted him by saying “Father bless”. The elder ascetic responded “God forgive you, my son”. The angel then asked the elder, “where are you going abba?” and the elder replied, “I am going to so and so ascetic to meet him”. And the angel then said, “I too am going there, so let us walk together”.

Having walked together the first day, they arrived in the evening at a village and were put up at the house of a pious and hospitable man, who looked after them. In fact he brought a silver platter in the dining room. When it was time for them to leave, the angel took the platter secretly, and tossed it up in the air and the platter disappeared. The elder when he saw this was saddened but said nothing.

The second day they reached another village, where they were looked after by a hospitable pious Christian. He had a single son and he brought him to be blessed and receive their blessing. The angel though, when he was about to leave with the ascetic, grabbed the child by the neck and choked him to death. Witnessing such a view, the elder suffered a great surprise and fear but again said nothing.

Having walked the third day, they reached another place, but because they could not find anybody to receive them, they sat in a courtyard that had an unstable wall that was close to collapsing. The angel stood up, rolled up his sleeves, brought down the wall and immediately rebuilt it from the foundations up.

Witnessing this last event, the elder could no more keep quiet, and said, “I invoke the name of God, the Most High, for you to tell me the truth. What were these things you did? Are you an angel or a demon? What you did are not human deeds”. When the angel asked “what did I do?” the elder replied, “yesterday and before yesterday when we were received by those Christian men and looked after us, you took from the former the silver platter and you tossed it in the air and it disappeared, while you choked to death the son of the latter. And here where we came, they did not offer us hospitality, yet you toiled in building and you were beneficial to them”. The angel then responded, “Listen abba, I’ll reveal to you the truth of the situations. The first one who received us was a God loving and just man, and deals with his subordinates according to God’s commandments. That silver platter though came from an unjust inheritance, so that he may not lose his reward for his good deeds, due to the platter, God ordered me to make it disappear, so that his hospitality be pure and free from injustice. The latter who gave us hospitality is a pious and virtuous man and if his son continued living he would have become the devil’s tool, and would have done many evils, rendering the good deeds of the father to be forgiven”. The elder then said, “OK you have done well, but what do you have to tell me about the last case?”. The angel then answered him, “learn father this too, that the owner of the courtyard is an evil and unjust man and wishes to hurt many but unable because of his poverty. His grand father when he was building the wall, hid in it a great sum of money and if I let it collapse, the evil owner needing to rebuild it, would have discovered the money in the ruins and would have used it to do the evil deeds he wished. That is why God ordered me to stabilize it, so that the evil man may not find the money he intended to use for his evil wishes to hurt people. And God knows when to reveal it to a worthy person who will use it for good deeds.

Have you seen therefore how God judges in certain cases you asked to learn? Go to your cell therefore and don’t let the things of this world bother you, asking why and how they are done. For the judgments of God are an immeasurable abyss as the prophet said and His energies are unfathomable and incomprehensible and man cannot know everything accurately. Believe therefore, father, God is just and He commits no injustice. Whatever is needed to be done, it is done justly. When the ascetic heard these things from the angel, he glorified God, retiring to his cell and never again questioned anything.

Categories: Spirituality

The three friends

September 20, 2009 2 comments

(a parable from a church Saint)


A certain man had three friends. Two of these friends he loved very much. He would sacrifice everything for their friendship. He would stay up all night just to please them. He literally worshiped them. For the first friend he worked day and night. He had such great love for him that many a time he did not even take time to eat. He was also crazy about his second friend. When he opened his wallet one could see the photographs of this friend. When he met this friend he was jumping for joy. He loved to spend time with him. Along with these two friends he also had a third one. This friend he did not love very much. Now and then he would remember to visit him. Very seldom would he do something nice for him. His company was-almost always-the first two friends.

One day he received some bad news. He panicked. This matter cost him sleep. He would lie awake night after night from the agony. What caused all this? One night while sleeping he was awakened by a loud knock on his door. He got up and found a constable at the door serving him a summons. What is this? The man asked in disbelief. This is a piece of paper,” said the nighttime visitor, inviting you to attend a court hearing. You are a suspect.” “Me a suspect? What did I do?” He asked, full of fear. I do not know. All I know is that you are being accused of a great crime. I have no more information. Just sign the summons, I can’t wait any longer. I must visit quite a few others like you to bring them to court. So long and take care.

So the constable left the summons and walked back into the night. The suspected man was left behind, petrified. He broke out into a cold sweat. What would happen to him? A suspect! He must find some character witnesses immediately to help him prove his innocence and avoid being sentenced. But how could he find these people? “I have two good friend” he thought. “I love them so much. If they don’t help me now that I’m in trouble, when would they help me, thus proving their friendship? I must go find them at one.” So, first thing in the morning he decided to visit his two great friends.

After a little while he was knocking at the door of his first friend. He will so happy to see me he thought, while knocking. “My friend” he says “you know how much I cared for you all these years. You know how Much I sacrificed for you. You know how many nights I labored for you. So now I beg of you, this is the first time that I am asking you for a favor. In the name of our friendship, please come to the courtroom to tell the judge that I’m not guilty. Tell him I’m innocent. Please help me. Don’t you feel sorry for me? While saying these things, he was crying bitterly. His tears got worse when he saw that his friend was totally indifferent. “Listen to me” the friend said. “I realize that you loved me and did everything for me, but at this time I can’t come to court. I must go away on business. But, since I see that your clothes are in bad shape and full of holes, take this suit of clothes so you will at least be well dressed when you appear before the judge. “ A suit of clothes my friend?” said the suspected man. “I don’t need clothes. I want you. I want you to come personally to be my witness. Can’t you come? Don’t you remember all the time we had together, our great friendship…” His friend was as cold as ice. He proceeded to show him that he was no longer welcomed at his house and that the conversation was officially over. So the poor man leaves, only to run and find the second friend. He just knew that his friend would help him, and stand by him in this difficult time. He comes to the house of his second friend and knocks on the door. “Who is it?” his friend asked in a heavy voice. “It is your good friend. Open quickly. I have to tell you something very serious.” His friend opens the door. He is surprised at the condition of his visitor, and asks him, What happened to you? Why are you troubled? Why are you pale and crying? “Oh my friend, I’m in deep trouble. They are accusing me. Tomorrow I must be in court. I’m accused of a crime and if found guilty they will surely sentence me to death.” “What did you say? You are kidding! You are such a good person and they are accusing you.“No, it is not truth, I’m in danger. So I came to ask you to come along with me. You know how much love I’ve had for you over the years, so please come with me to testify on my behalf and prove my innocence. My other friend has deserted me. Don’t send me away empty handed. Please come…” “When do you want me to come?” “Tomorrow. “Oh, that is too bad, tomorrow I can’t, I”m very busy. The only thing that I can do is walk along with you until we get to the door of the courthouse. After that I have to leave. I can’t stay. I’m so sorry to see you in this shape, and I will be sad if you are found guilty. But I don’t know what to tell you, I just can’t come.” “I’m not looking for company to walk me to the courthouse, “said the poor man. “I’m looking for witnesses to support my case.” “I understand,” said his second friend, “but I simply can’t.”

So he decides to go. He was rather nervous and kept talking to himself. “I wonder how he will receive me? “ When he reached the home of his third friend, he knocked on the door half-heartedly. “Who is it?” a rather pleasant voice inquired from inside. “It is I,” answered the unexpected visitor in a trembling voice. “Open the door for me please. I’m in big trouble..” With much joy and politeness his friend answered the door. Welcome! Please come in. How are you? How is everything? You seem upset. What’s happening to you? Maybe I can help.” “My friend,” said the visitor with much embarrassment, “I’m ashamed to look at you. I know that I didn’t love you as much as my other two friends.” He went on to explain his plight.” Can you help me! I know that I am not worthy of your love and I would understand if you would say no. But…” “Nonsense!” his friend interrupted him. “Don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid. We will face this thing together. I will not leave you, and I’m certain that I can convince them of your innocence. So don’t worry. Let’s go. You will see what I will say in court on your behalf…”

We can all imagine the feelings of the man in the parable. Where he least expected it he found understanding and love. His third friend come to his aid and was instrumental in proving his innocence. Even though this is not one of Jesus’ parables, nevertheless it is full of wisdom characteristic of the fullness of spirit possessed by our church saints.

So let us see what is the meaning behind the different people and details of this parable. The man of our story is everyman. You and I , all of us. We all have three friends. The one friend that people love and get tired for is money. They work hard to have a lot of money. Many times they don’t go to church on Sundays to make more money. They work overtime, even at night. They steal, lie, and cheat to make money fast. The second friend that people love a lot are relatives. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sister, uncles, and acquaintances. The third friend we will reveal a little later. Everyman will one day hear a knock at the door of his soul. An unearthly visitor will come knocking and calling to bring a notice. This visitor is death. None of us will be able to escape death. He will come calling one day, unexpectedly. Maybe when we are young, maybe when we get older. One thing is for certain. Sooner or later death will be calling us to appear in God’s court as defendants. Who will the first friend do? He was giving the man a suit of clothing. This friend, as we said earlier is wealth. No matter what you have, you only take you a suit of clothes to be buried in. The second friend? He walked the defendant to the court and then left. This friend is our relative. No matter how much our relatives love us and vice versa, they will only follow us to the cemetery. They will leave there and they will return to their everyday lives and soon forget us. Let’s look at the third friend. Who is he? The good deeds. The good deeds that we did while alive. They will travel with us to the other life and the will come to our rescue at the Judgment seat of God.

Let’s not let a day go by without giving the opportunity to the angel to record some good deed in our book of Life.

Source: here

Categories: Homilies