Many thanks to all those who sponsor and support the Mystagogy Resource Center; your positive feedback and generosity through financial gifts have been encouraging. Without this support, I would not be able to devote the time I need to produce all that you will see moving forward. Since I am now working by the hour and my time is more limited, I need to figure things out how to best use my time for your benefit, and will then give a progress report some time in the spring. Till then, I encourage all those who do not yet financially support this ministry - yet find some benefit from it - to likewise do so in order that it may continue to be helpful to you and countless others. See links at the bottom of this page to submit your contribution.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Breaking News: New Book in the Process of Being Translated Titled "The Spiritual Mirror"


Dear Readers:

I am embarking on the translation of a short book of great spiritual benefit, titled "The Spiritual Mirror". The subtitle is "The Heart of Man: Either a Temple of God or a Habitation of Satan". This book does not have Orthodox origins. What we have now is an English edition published in 1812 in Berlin by the "divine" and philanthropist Johannes Gossner (1773-1858), but he merely repurposed an older Catholic German text from the early 18th century. Gossner, a Protestant, became a controversial figure in Russia because of a book he wrote against the Orthodox Church, but this book, "The Spiritual Mirror", passed the censors and was given enough editing to make it beneficial for Orthdox Christians. Eventually it was translated into Greek and published in 1840, where it was especially popular among the monks of Mount Athos, and it was republished several times.

The purpose of this text is to awaken within us a Christian disposition through the cleansing of the heart, and it does this by reflecting on ten symbolic images. I don't want to reveal too much else about this book, but I will be using Gossner's translation, and include the edits made to make this a more Orthodox text. Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite is most well known for taking popular spiritual texts from the West, like "Unseen Warfare", and making them Orthodox, and something similar was done with "The Spiritual Mirror", except we don't know who wrote it, nor do we know who translated it and made it more Orthodox.

This translation will be progressively posted for the public through my website Salvation of Sinners, where many Orthodox texts will be translated and eventually published. You can read the first page at the link below:
Please continue to financially support the work of the Mystagogy Resource Center, where dozens of Orthodox texts like this will be produced and published in the future.

Thank you,

John Sanidopoulos



Venerable Martyr Maria of Gatchina (+ 1932)


By I. M. Andreyev

In the town of Gatchina, some thirty miles from Petrograd, there lived before the revolution the nun Maria, in the world Lydia Alexandrovna Lilyanova. From her youth, before the revolution of 1917, Matushka Maria had been ill with Parkinson's disease after suffering encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). This left her whole body as it were chained and immovable, her face anemic and like a mask. She could speak, but with a half-closed mouth, through her teeth, pronouncing the words slowly and in a monotone. She was a total invalid and in constant need of help and carefully looking after. The slightest touch caused her pain. Usually this disease proceeds with sharp psychological changes (irritability, a tiresome stubbornness in repeating stereotyped questions, an exaggerated egoism, manifestations of senility, etc.), as a result of which such patients often end up in psychiatric hospitals. But Mother Maria not only did not degenerate psychically, but revealed extraordinary features of personality and character not characteristic of such patients: she became extremely meek, humble, submissive, undemanding, concentrated in herself. She became engrossed in constant prayer, bearing her difficult condition without the least murmuring. As if as a reward for this humility and patience, the Lord sent her a gift: the consolation of the sorrowing. Completely strange and unknown people, finding themselves in sorrows, grief, despondency and depression, began to visit her and converse with her. And everyone who came to her left consoled, feeling an illumination of their grief, a pacifying of sorrow, a calming of fears, a taking away of depression and despondency. The news of this extraordinary nun gradually spread far beyond the boundaries of the city of Gatchina.

Saints Xenophon, Maria, John and Arcadius Resource Page

St. Xenophontos and his family (Feast Day - January 26)
 
Verses
 
Though the earth is absent of Xenophontos,
It delights in the graceful banquet of his words.
Xenophon and his wife and children died on the 26th.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Alphabet of Virtues (St. Gregory the Theologian)


By St. Gregory the Theologian
 
Always begin with God and always end with Him.

Beneficial to your life is this: end your day well.

Come to know all the good works of the righteous.

Dreadful it is for one to be hungry, but more terrible is illegal wealth.

Emulation of God is to be learned by a benefactor.

From God ask that you be compassionate, in as much as you also are compassionate.

Governed firmly and restrained must the human flesh be.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Homily on the Healing of the Blind Man of Jericho (St. Luke of Simferopol)


Homily on the Healing of the Blind Man of Jericho

(14th Sunday of Luke)

Luke 18:35-43

Delivered on January 27, 1952

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

In today's Gospel reading, you heard the story of the miraculous healing of a blind man in Jericho by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Did you pay attention to how persistently, how intensely he asked the Lord for healing? He asked, he cried out, he begged, and the apostles of Christ forbade him to shout so as not to disturb the Lord.

And the Lord called him and restored his sight.

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