Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Ten Conditions of the Spiritual Life According to St. Diadochos of Photiki

In his "100 Gnostic Chapters", Saint Diadochos in the prologue to the book sets out "ten conditions" (or definitions, terms), which are the main points of the book and thus could be said to be the ten conditions of the spiritual life. They are as follows:

Condition 1: Faith. Dispassionate thoughts of God.

Condition 2: Hope. Departure of the mind in love towards the things hoped for.

Condition 3: Patience. To persevere unceasingly, seeing with the eyes of the intellect the invisible as visible.

Condition 4: Freedom from avarice. To want not to have just as someone wants to have.

Saint Diadochos of Photiki as a Model for our Lives

St. Diadochos of Photiki (Feast Day - March 29)

By Protopresbyter Fr. George Papavarnavas

The life of the venerable Diadochos of Photiki is, unfortunately, largely unknown. What we know is that he was born in the first decades of the fifth century and that he became a Bishop, in the period between the years 451-458 in the District of Epirus in Photiki. The Diocese of Photiki, which is located in today's Paramythia, was important for many centuries.

He was a great Theologian of the fifth century, and the fact that he is not mentioned by his contemporaries, except only slightly, "can easily be explained," according to the late Fr. Theoklitos Dionysiatis, "if one considers the remoteness of Photiki at that time, not to mention that the education of Saint Diadochos remains unknown, in accordance with his desire as expressed out of humility, in the 13th chapter of the "100 Gnostic Chapters".

The Holy Harlot and the Miracle of Repentance

By Monk Moses the Athonite

1400 years ago there was a girl, who had just turned twelve years old, somewhere in Alexandria of Egypt, and who became tangled in the nets of obscene love. She gave herself body and soul to the fall, sin and corruption.

Flesh worship, wild pleasure and insatiable lust dominate from a young age. For seventeen years she avidly lived this life without inhibitions, shame, doubts, guilt and remorse. She considered herself free, independent, uncontrolled and irresistible. She admired her beauty, her riches, her conquests and her provocations.

A wonderful event happened in Jerusalem where she was unable to enter the church and this brought her to her knees, to tears, to the remembrance of the innocence of her childhood. She began to cry. She began to turnaround. The lover of the flesh suddenly became a lover of God. She is being transformed, she is being unmasked, she is beginning to love that which is beautiful, and she is being resurrected. In her heart, after this unexpected existential change, divine eros prevails. Her life receives deep meaning. She is a hero, a martyr and venerable.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Theotokos as Fabric

By His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Kastoria

Saint Theophanes the Branded, Bishop of Nicaea, praising the person of the Most Holy Theotokos, especially her ministry in the mystery "beyond reason and thought" of the incarnation of the Only Begotten Son of God, says the following:

"By your virgin blood was woven a fabric of heavenly clouds clothing you, Daughter, with a garment of incorruption clothe us who have been stripped naked by deceit."1

Saint Hesychios of Jerusalem

St. Hesychios of Jerusalem (March 28)

Our holy father was born in Jerusalem during the fourth century. As a young man, he was the pupil of Saint Gregory the Theologian. After the death of the august Gregory, Hesychios spent his life as a monastic in one of the hermitages in Palestine. Continuing his scholarly pursuits, he studied Christianity from manuscripts, in conversations with other spiritual men and from his own experience and insight.

In 412, the Archbishop of Jerusalem ordained him to the rank of the priesthood. As a profound theologian, Hesychios was also an enlightened preacher, proving to be one of the Church's most famous teachers. His extensive writings, mainly commentaries on Scripture, are extant, but in fragmentary condition. However, they are deserving of fuller research.

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