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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

The Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos

October 1, 2009 Leave a comment

” Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church, and with choirs of Saints she invisibly prays to God for us. Angels and Bishops venerate Her, Apostles and prophets rejoice together, Since for our sake she prays to the Eternal God!”



From time immemorial, the Church has celebrated the Most-holy Theotokos as the patroness and protectress of the Christian people, who, by her intercessory prayers, implores God’s mercy for us sinners.

The help of the Most-holy Mother of God has been clearly shown numerous times, to individuals and to nations, in peace and in war, in monastic deserts and in densely populated cities.

The event that the Church commemorates and celebrates today confirms the Theotokos’ consistent protection of Christian people. On October 1, 911, during the reign of Emperor Leo the Wise, there was an All-night Vigil in the Blachernae Church of the Mother of God in Constantinople. The church was full of people. St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ was standing in the rear of the church with his disciple Epiphanius. At four o’clock in the morning, the Most-holy Theotokos appeared above the people, holding her omophorion outstretched as a protective covering for the faithful.

She was clothed in gold-encrusted purple, and shone with an ineffable radiance, surrounded by apostles, saints, martyrs and virgins. St. Andrew said to Blessed Epiphanius: ``Do you see, brother, the Queen and Lady of all praying for the whole world?”

Epiphanius replied: ``I see, Father, and am struck with amazement!”

The Feast of the Protection was instituted to commemorate this event, and to remind us that we can prayerfully receive the unceasing protection of the Most-holy Theotokos in any time of difficulty.


On the Feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos we implore the defense and assistance of the Queen of Heaven,

“Remember us in your prayers, O Lady Virgin Mother of God, that we not perish by the increase of our sins. Protect us from every evil and from grievous woes, for in you do we hope, and venerating the Feast of your Protection, we magnify you.”


Categories: Orthodox Feasts

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