Thursday, October 23, 2014

Saint Makarios the Roman of Mesopotamia

Venerable Makarios (Macarius) the Roman of Mesopotamia (Feast Day - October 23)

The account below of the life of Saint Makarios the Roman contains the elements accepted by the Church to be read by the faithful, yet there is a longer life of Saint Makarios that contains many embellishments of strange and mythical elements, and according to Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite, "this should not be read to the Orthodox, being spurious".

Three holy men who lived in asceticism in the Monastery of Saint Asklepios in Mesopotamia decided to walk up and down the world in search of a sign from God for their salvation. As they approached a cave, deep in the wilderness, they became aware all at once of a marvelous scent and saw an old man coming towards them covered only by his hair and the beard that fell to his knees. He cast himself to the earth and remained there for a while, until he was sure the three strangers were not demons. Then he brought them into his cave, where he lived with two lions. They asked him to tell them his story, which he did.

90% of Orthodox Christians in Iraq Displaced, According to Orthodox Bishop

Instability and conflict raging in Iraq have led to the displacement of as many as 90% of Orthodox Christians, according to the new bishop for the country.

Ghassan Rifi
October 21, 2014

Greek Orthodox Bishop for Baghdad, Kuwait and their surroundings, Ghattas Hazim, realizes that the position assigned to him by the Holy Synod of Antioch, presided over by Patriarch John X Yazigi as patron of that diocese (the area under supervision of a bishop), is not easy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Sayings of Abba Lot

"If you will, you can become all flame." - Abba Joseph spoken to Abba Lot

Abba Lot was an early desert father who reposed in peace. He is commemorated by the Orthodox Church on October 22nd. The following sayings are attributed to him in the Paradise of the Fathers:

Lot was a simple Coptic monk, a disciple of Joseph of Panephysis and a friend of Arsenius. He lived as a solitary at Arsinoe near Abba Anthony. Like the majority of the Copts he was opposed to the teaching of Origen.

1. One of the old men came to Abba Lot's dwelling, near to the little marsh of Arsinoe and he asked for a cell, which Abba Lot gave him. Now the old man was ill and Abba Lot took care of him. When anyone came to see Abba Lot, he made him visit the sick old man also. But the sick man began to quote the words of Origen to the visitors. This made Abba Lot anxious and he said to himself, 'The Fathers must not think that we are like that too.' However, he was afraid to drive him away because of the commandment. So Abba Lot got up and went to Abba Arsenius and told him about the old man. Abba Arsenius said to him, 'Do not drive him away, but say to him: look, eat that which comes from God and drink as much as you like, only do not make such remarks any more. If he wants to, he will correct himself. If he does not want to change his ways, he will ask to leave this place of his own accord. Thus his departure will not come from you.' Abba Lot went away and did this. When the old man heard these word he did not want to change, but he began to ask him, 'For the Lord's sake, send me away from here, for I can no longer bear the desert.' So he got up and left, accompanied to the door with love.

The Sayings of Abba Rufus

Abba Rufus was an early desert father who reposed in peace. He is commemorated by the Orthodox Church on October 22nd. The following sayings are attributed to him in the Paradise of the Fathers:

1. A brother asked Abba Rufus, 'What is interior quietude, and what use is it?' The old man said, 'Interior quietude means to remain sitting in one's cell with fear and knowledge of God, holding far off the remembrance of wrongs suffered and pride of spirit. Such interior quietude brings forth all the virtues, preserves the monk from the burning darts of the enemy, and does not allow him to be wounded by them. Yes, brother, acquire it. Keep in mind your future death, remembering that you do not know at what hour the thief will come. Likewise be watchful over your soul.'

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How It Benefits A Christian To Face Death

By Archimandrite Demetrios Politakis

The Gospel passage that refers to the miraculous resurrection of the only begotten son of the widow by Jesus gives us the opportunity to stand before the sudden visitor called "death", and to see how Christians benefit from facing death and how we should stand against it as conscious members of the Church.

Man in every era feared and fears death, because it always caused him fear and disgust, and this is reasonable since death is foreign to the natural state of man, because man was fashioned for immortality, which is a gift of God for the living soul.

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