My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,



The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Lighthouse as "a structure with a powerful light for guiding sailors." A Lighthouse can be a circular stone structure erected upon the highest point of land or even a small island that is close to the seashore or surrounded by the sea and its potential threat. It warns the sea-farers or sailors that land is near and caution must be taken by them to avoid rocks, and reefs. The Lighthouse is also the assurance that a safe harbor is near.

The Lighthouse stands alone and fearless no matter the threatening weather conditions. Day and night it is a welcoming sight to all. Its beacon light slices through the darkest night or ferocious storm. I happen to be close to one during a storm and one could see how the enormous waves were pounding on it with great fury and yet it stood strong and resilient.

Our Holy Orthodox Church is very much a Φάρος (Lighthouse) that has stood strong throughout two thousand years of her existence during all kinds of persecutions, heresies, conflict, wars, communism, fascism, civil strife, enslavement by infidels, and lately by apostasy and secularism. No matter what kind of a storm in raging the Orthodox Christian Church is untouched and unharmed. It remains a powerful beacon of Truth and Light. It is there to remind us constantly that the Light of the Church is our Savior Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. He is the one and only guiding Light leading all those who are lost in the tempest and sea to the safe harbor.

Life, in general, can be treacherous and dangerous. Life is unpredictable and so are miseries that seem to always accompany it. We are constantly challenged and our life journey can be turbulent and painful. Life is uncertain just like the sea, it starts out calm, and by midway, through our journey, we are holding on for dear life. I have had the opportunity to speak with sailors who were on board a huge ship and who were caught in a great storm in the Atlantic Ocean that threatened to break the ship in half.

Spiritually the storms can symbolically be interpreted as demonic attacks upon us. Demons threaten our very salvation. Storms that appear out of nowhere at times can be extremely serious illnesses that shock us and are devasting. Where do we turn for guidance and direction? Everything seems bleak and dark to us at the time and the human reaction is to panic and be overtaken by fear. This is the time that we need a guiding light and of hope. Just like a ship we are in danger of breaking up on the rocks. As Christians we gratefully turn, even at the darkest hour, to see the Lighthouse with its bright beacon assuring us that a safe harbor is near to us and to trust its Light to lead the way to safety.

You see now why it is important to stay under the protection and guidance of our Holy Church. The world is full of evil threats and storms. We need faith and God’s help to confront them and triumph over them. The power of the Lighthouse reminds us that regardless of how turbulent the sea of life is we need only focus on the Eternal Light, Christ God, He, after all, is the Pilot of the ship that we are a passenger on.

This is the consistent message of the Holy Church, the Φάρος, and it will never change. Unlike the material Lighthouse and its noble purpose, there is another Lighthouse that we can find within our hearts. God the Holy Trinity dwells within us and it is our God that never abandons us, we are never without His Light and He will never allow us to face any of life’s storms no matter how threatening to be faced by us alone. The Lighthouse Keeper is only One Who never sleeps and keeps watch over all His creation and He is the only One that shines His Light upon a troubled world, and/or a troubled soul, and illumines it, and dispurses the darkness within it, bringing everlasting hope. The Lighthouse symbolizes the Church who is impregnable because its structure has no weakness in it, it cannot be conquered, it cannot be compromised, it cannot be penetrated, it cannot be held by any force, its form is round to indicate that it is eternal.


Witnessing how turbulent our world is today due to the effort of extremists to undermine and compromise all traditional insitutions people world-wide are shocked, frightened, and scandalized. It is a human crisis of enormous proportions. There is so much manipulation, disception, intimidation, and constant threats that people do not know how to react or what to do to protect themselves and their families. As Orthodox Christians of course we turn to our Church which has dealt with persecution over the centuries from her enemies for support, for guidance, for encouragement, for fellowship, for spiritual comfort and assurance. The Church hierarchy has been entrusted with this responsibility and we all look to them to take the lead as shepherds, and lead the flock to safety. In the meantime all Orthodox Christians must stand together in solidarity and support one another and pray together.

The principle message of Holy and Great Lent is:



"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George


My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,



Let us pray to the Lord. Kyrie eleison.

+ In the Name of the Father and of the Son and

of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Psalm 50 [51]

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy, and
according to the abundance of Your compassion, blot out my transgression.
Wash me thoroughly from my lawlessness, and my sin is always before me.
Against You only have I sinned and done evil in Your sight; that You may be
justified in Your words, and overcome when You are judged. For behold, I
was conceived in transgressions, and in sins, my mother bore me. Behold,
You love truth; You showed me the unknown and secret things of Your wisdom.
You shall sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be cleansed; You shall wash me,
and I will be made whiter than snow. You shall make me hear joy and gladness;
my bones that were humbled shall greatly rejoice. Turn Your face from my sins,
and blot out all my transgressions. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew
a right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not
take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and
uphold me with Your guiding Spirit. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and
the ungodly shall turn back to You. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall greatly rejoice in Your righteousness.
O Lord, You shall open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. For if You
desired sacrifice, I would give it; You will not be pleased with whole burnt offerings
HEART WILL NOT DESPISE. Do good, O Lord, in Your good pleasure to Zion, and
let the walls of Jerusalem be built; then You will be pleased WITH A SACRIFICE OF
RIGHTEOUSNESS, with offerings and whole burnt offerings; then shall they offer young bulls on Your altar.


O Christ our God, who at all times and at every hour, both in heaven and on earth, are
worshipped and glorified, long-suffering and plenteous in mercy and compassion; who
love the just and show mercy to the sinners; who call all men to salvation through the
promise of the blessings to come: Do You, the same Lord, receive also our supplications
at this present time, and direct our lives according to Your commandments. Sanctify our
souls; purify our bodies; set our minds right; clear up our thoughts, and deliver us from
every sorrow, evil, and distress. Surround us with Your holy Angels so that being guarded
and guided by their presence, we may arrive at the unity of the faith and the knowledge of
Your ineffable glory; for blessed are You unto the ages of ages. Amen.


O Lord and Master of my life, do not permit
the spirit of laziness and meddling, the lust for
power and idle talk to come into me.

Instead, grant me, Your servant, THE SPIRIT OF

Yes, Lord and King, give me the power TO SEE
You are Blessed unto the ages of ages. Amen.


The Father is my hope, the Son is my refuge,
the Holy Spirit is my shelter, Holy Trinity, glory to

O Mother of God, I have committed my every hope wholly unto you. Keep me under your
shelter. Amen.

The only way to travel to our divine destination is to be on board the Ark of Salvation, our Holy Orthodox Church. We all know that to be a passenger on this holy Ark there is spiritual preparation that we must all undergo before we board it. Holy and Great Lent and all other holy seasons throughout the ecclesiastical year provide us with the opportunities to do just that. Very prudently our Mother Church guides and encourages us to take advantage of these opportunities and prepare for the long and one-way journey to eternal life. This is why we must take seriously Holy and Great Lent. We should not treat this spiritual preparation lightly or sentimentally. Holy and Great Lent is not just a Greek custom that we follow out of habit or because it is expected of us by family members or our fellow Orthodox friends. To do so is a waste of time and effort. It is imperative that we have a profound understanding of its purpose and how spiritually important it is to us.

Everything that we do out of faith provides us with the opportunity to have a personal encounter with our God. The Almighty is in control of everything: our life, our past, our present, and our future. Our Lord Jesus Christ says clearly: "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit; FOR WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING" (St. John 15:5). According to Saint Theophylactos, "Jesus uses the example of the branch to illustrate the Life-Giving power He imparts to those who please Him. "A branch bears fruit only if it is joined to the vine and receives from it synergetic power to produce new life. So it is with you. If you "ABIDE" in Me by keeping My commandments, you will bear more fruit. If NOT, YOU WILL WITHER."

Take advantage of the opportunity to grow closer to our Creator and Savior. By following the Holy Tradition of our Church and acquiring the right knowledge of it, Holy Lent can be of great benefit to you: by fasting, you will improve your health bodily and spiritually, by praying more often you will find inner peace, by repenting and reconciling with your enemies through the sacrament of Repentance/Confession you free yourself from anger and hatred, by becoming more philanthropic and touching the lives of those that have no hope you strengthen your love for your fellow man, by forgiving others you free yourself from anxiety, by believing in the Resurrection of Christ and ours, you relieve yourself of the fear of death, and by worshipping together and being a member of your Christian community you eliminate loneliness. The benefits are great for one who truly is committed to the Faith.

Holy Lent works also like a giant spiritual furnace. We, as humans, place a great value on gold. Throughout the centuries, man has been fascinated by it and sought to find it and to use it for various purposes. Even today we use modern technology and go miles deep down in the earth to find it and to retrieve it. But when it is mined it is raw ore filled with impurities and mixed with other metals. The process is to expose the ore to high heat in order to remove all the other impurities and to see the pure gold. Holy Lent does, to some extent, the same thing spiritually. Through fasting, prayer, repentance, we free and purge our souls from all infirmities and impurities and rediscover the holy "image" of God within us. Our immortal souls once again will be brilliant as pure gold.

Let us not minimize the spiritual significance of Holy and Great Lent. There are those who attempt to marginalize the spiritual impact that it has on those who are willing to fast, pray, repent, reconcile, and attend the divine services with an open heart. There are others that mock and redicule the holy tradition of our Church and see absolutely no value to it. Instead, they refuse to adhere to it in any way or form. Still, there are others who use pseudo-piety to distract and deviate from the authentic and genuine purpose of Holy Lent.

The blessing of the Lord and His mercy may come upon you,
through His Divine Grace and philanthropy, now and forever
and from all ages to all ages. Amen.


"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George


My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,



"When I ponder in my wretchedness on the
many terrible things that I have done, I tremble for
that fearful day, the Day of Judgment. But trusting
in the mercy of Your compassion, like David I cry
to You, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to
Your great mercy." (Idiomelon, Mode pl. 2)

wish to compete, enter therein, girded for the GOOD
CONTEST OF LENT, for those who compete according
to the rules shall receive their laurels rightfully.
Taking up the full armor of the Cross, let us do battle
against the Enemy. As an impregnable wall, we have
ACTS OF MERCY AS OUR HELMET. Instead of sword,
THER IS FASTING, which cuts every evil from the heart.
He who does this shall attain A TRUE CROWN FROM
Christ, the King of All, on Judgment Day."
(Idiomelon. Mode pl. 1.)

As we set out on the spiritual journey of Holy and Great Lent, we are reminded that we do not travel alone but as members of a Christian family supported by the prayers of many invisible helpers. "Lent is a time when we weep with Adam and Eve before the closed gate of Eden, repenting with them for the sins that have deprived us of our free communion with God." But "Lent is also a time when we are preparing to celebrate the saving event of Christ’s death and Resurrection, which HAS REOPENED PARADISE TO US ONCE MORE" (St. Luke 23:43).

"The time has come – the start of our spiritual
contests, the victory over demons, the full armor
of self-control, the Angel’s dignity, the confidence
before God. Thereby did Moses become conversant
with the Creator, and heard the invisible voice. Lord,
through fasting, make us worthy to worship Your
Passion and Holy Resurrection, as You love humanity."
(Glory. From the Triodion. Mode pl. 2)


O Lord keep us this evening without sin.
Blessed are You, O Lord, God of our fathers,
and praised and glorified is Your Name to the ages.
Amen. O Lord, let Your mercy be upon us for we
have set our hope in You. O Lord, teach me Your
Commandments. Blessed are You, Master, grant
me understanding of Your Commandments.
Blessed are You, Holy One, enlighten me with Your
Commandments. Lord, Your mercy is forever. Do
not despise the works of Your hands. To You is
due praise, to You is due song, to You is due glory,
to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now
and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The objective of our Lenten journey is that "we come uncondemned to worship at the Holy Resurrection. Throughout the forty days, we are reminded that we are traveling on a path that leads straight to Golgotha and the Empty Tomb.

"The forty days’ journey of Holy Lent recalls, in particular, THE FORTY YEARS in which the Chosen People journeyed through the wilderness. For us, as for the children of Israel, Lent is a time of pilgrimage. It is a time for our liberation from the bondage of Egypt, from DOMINATION OF SINFUL PASSIONS; A TIME FOR PROGRESS B FAITH THROUGH A BARREN AND WATERLESS DESERT; A TIME FOR UNEXPECTED REASSURANCE, WHEN IN HUNGER WE ARE FED WITH MANNA FROM HEAVEN; A TIME WHEN GOD SPEAKS TO US OUT OF THE DARKNESS OF Sinai; A TIME IN WHICH WE DRAW NEAR TO THE Promised Land, to OUR TRUE HOME IN Paradise whose door THE CRUCIFIED AND RISEN Christ HAS REOPENED FOR US."

"The Fast is here, the Mother of chastity, the
accuser of sins, the advocate of repentance,
the life of Angels and the salvation of men,
faithful, let us cry: O God, have mercy on us."
(Aposticha, From the Triodion. Idiomelon. Mode pl. 1)

"Yet it would be misleading to speak only of this element of weariness and hunger. Abstinence leads, not merely to this, but also to a sense OF LIGHTNESS, WAKEFULNESS, FREEDOM, AND JOY. Even if the fast proves debilitating at first, afterward we find that it enables us to sleep less, to think more clearly, and to work more decisively. As many doctors acknowledge, periodical fasts contribute to bodily hygiene. While involving genuine SELF-DENIAL, FASTING DOES NOT SEEK TO DO VIOLENCE TO OUR BODY BUT RATHER TO RESTORE IT TO HEALTH AND EQUILIBRIUM. Most us in the Western world habitually eat more than we need, so much more than half of the American population is obese and suffering because of that fact of all kinds of illnesses. FASTING LIBERATES OUR BODY FROM THE BURDEN OF EXCESSIVE WEIGHT and makes it a willing partner in the task OF PRAYER, ALERT AND RESPONSIVE TO THE VOICE OF THE Holy Spirit."

"True fasting IS TO BE CONVERTED IN HEART AND WILL; IT IS TO RETURN TO GOD, TO COME HOME LIKE THE PRODIGAL SON TO OUR FATHER’S HOME. In the words of Saint John Chrysostom, it means "ABSTINENCE NOT ONLY FROM FOOD BUT FROM SINS." "THE FAST", HE INSISTS, "SHOULD BE KEPT NOT ONLY BY MOUTH ALONE BUT ALSO BY THE EYE, THE EAR, THE FEET, THE HANDS AND ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE BODY": The eye must abstain from impure sights, the ear from malicious gossip, the hands from acts of injustice. It IS USELESS to fast from food, protests Saint Basil the Great, and yet to indulge IN CRUEL CRITICISM AND SLANDER: "YOU DO NOT EAT MEAT, BUT YOU DEVOUR YOUR BROTHER." (Source: The Lenten Triodion)

Our Holy Orthodox Christian Church provides the faithful with wise and loving guidance so that we may benefit greatly from the sacred season. If we follow it according to her instruction we will profit much more spiritually and strengthen our communion with our Lord Christ. We will be comforted, we will find inner peace, we will become more confident, we will become more compassionate, we will become more prepared to face our mortality, we will become more sensitive to the needs of others, we will become more humble, we will strengthen our self-control, we will become instruments of peace, and for certain we will grow in Christ our Savior.

I urge all to attend all the Lenten divine services and participate in the Mysteria (sacraments) of Repentance/Confession, of Holy Oil (Unction), and of course, Holy Communion.

"Let us observe a fast acceptable and pleasing to the Lord.
True fasting is to put away all evil,
To control the tongue, to forbear from anger,
To abstain from lust, slander, falsehood and perjury.
If we RENOUNCE these things, then is our fasting
true and acceptable to God.


"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

‘LET US MAKE MAN AS OUR IMAGE” ( “Κατ’ EIKONA”) Genesis 1:26

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.

"Let Us make man in Our image" (Kat’ Eikona")

The purpose of hagiography ( or iconography) in the Orthodox churches was, from the very beginning, one: service to the Church. Iconography appeared as art not for its own sake, but for the Faith. Thus, its content was determined directly by the needs and the profound purposes of the Church. These purposes, of course, were not material but spiritual, purposes which our Holy Church had to proclaim by every possible means. "The foundation of faith in the spiritual reality, in the immortality of the soul and in the blessedness that is in God was always primary. The pursuit of blessedness in the present temporal and in the future Eternal Life was to be achieved by participation in the Mysteries and by the life the faithful would go through in observing all that Holy Scripture and its official interpreter, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church commanded."

The Orthodox Christian believer had to be taught in every way possible that in his journey toward perfection in Christ, he would have to struggle against the powers of darkness, against his passions, the manifold evil, and even to reach martyrdom, as did our Savior Jesus Christ, the holy Apostles, Confessors, and the countless Martyrs of the Faith.

Our Holy Orthodox Church sought the assistance of painting. Thus, the contest of the iconography was interwoven with "life, the evolution", and "the whole tradition" of the Church. "Orthodox Christian art, the beautiful, is not determined from the natural formation of the objects, but from its "sublime content." That is, from the power of serving the truths of the Faith."

Orthodox Byzantine iconography is not simply a religious art as the Latin West, but is also theological. Its themes are not simply related to religious history, but are organized according to the Theology of the Holy Orthodox Church. Orthodox theologians believed that holy icons, with their symbolic content, were to illustrate the Divine Liturgy and, being in agreement with the texts of Holy Scripture, add details to them and make the Gospels more comprehensible. While working on an image (eikona) theologians and iconographers used all available sources; the Gospels, hagiographies, verbal hymns, prayers, words of prophets, and commentaries of eminent Holy Father of the Church.

Painting or ‘writing’ an icon was a great spiritual ascesis. Hagiographers go through a vigorous spiritual preparation: prayer and fasting. "The hagiographer had to be a virtuous person, humble, pious, and strong believer. A person not given to idle talking, and laughing, nor quarrelsome; not envious, not a drunkard, not a thief, but someone who kept his chastity of spirit and body." From my own experience with an iconographer who, as he painted the icon of a specific Saint, would invoke or ask the aid of the Saint so that his image would be true to his likeness.

As Orthodox Christians, we believe that all the people on earth are the children of the same God and Creator. Therefore, every one of them, approximately seven billion or so, possess the image of God the Holy Trinity. All were created in His image. We know of course that all believe in the same God and many do not even believe at all. This does not change the reality of the existence of God. Since man has no power to change his own reality, how then can he contemplate changing anything pertaining to the Almighty, Who is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and end of everything?

When we investigate deeper the fact that we were created by the same God, the Holy Trinity, in His Divine image, we must admit and aknowledge that we are all related to each other spiritually. That we all have the same Father and therefore belong to the same brotherhood and human family. We need to see finally the image (eikona) of God in one another and be inspired and revere one another. By acknowledging this very fact and loving one another, we would eliminate instantly any bias and antagonism. There would exist mutual respect, mutual faith in God, mutual purpose and a mutual path. Wars between peoples and nations would cease and there would be unity among us. Ethnicity, skin color, language, culture, wealth, power, and government would be of no importance.

God’s Divine image in all of us would unite us with our Creator and with one another. His image in us is more than an image, it is His presence in us and in our hearts. God is the One Who is the same creative force that unites us forever. Everything from God leads to unity and to eternal Life. The problem is mankind, which is too blind to see God’s Divine plan for us. God is AGAPE (LOVE) and His Divine grace is the power that, with man’s synergy, His will be fulfilled and manifested for all to see.

We must not obscure or attempt to hide the Living Image of God within us. There can be nothing more glorious, spectacular, magnificent, most beautiful, than this Holy Image (eikona) within us. When we truly look at each other, we ought to see and acknowledge that sacred beauty. No person would ever be considered ugly physically or otherwise. Ugliness would not exist any longer. We would only see God’s great beauty in ourselves.

As imperfect people and people who possess free will, the decision to adhere to the commandments of the Lord is ours. However, a life of disobedience to God’s will, a life of vice, of unrestraint and wicked passions, of absence of faith, of hostility, of hatred, of pride, of deception, of corruption, of arrogance, of greed, of the absence of love for God and our fellow man, will obscure, blur, darkened, and even distort our perceptions. God forbid! The image of God within us must be protected at all cost and presevere. The way to make sure that it stays as bright and beautiful, is to abide by the Lord’s Commandments, to be obedient, to be loving, to be forgiving, to love our enemies, to live a virtuous life, to see each other as brothers and sisters and not as opponents or competitors.

Another ancient art form is mosaics. Mosaics have been a popular art form in several cultures around the world. The earliest know mosaics date back to the 3rd millennium B.C. in Mesopotamia. They are made up of ivory, seashells, stones, and tessera (small pieces of glass or other nature-based materials). When made out of glass, these pieces are typically cut into squares or shaped using special tools. Byzantine mosaics were produced from the 4th to 15th centuries.

What if all humanity was represented by the most beaituful and colorful mosaic icon (image) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? This sacred icon of the Lord is made out of pieces of colored glass. Each piece of glass represents a human soul. Every piece of glass, whether it’s gold, brown, green, blue, white, yellow, purple etc., is necessary, indispensable, to the holy icon. If any one of the pieces is missing, the icon would be incomplete and so would be the figure of the Savior. Therefore, every piece of glass, every human soul, is needed to complete the image of Christ. Every soul is priceless in God’s Divine plan and desires all souls to be saved and to enter His Heavenly Kingdom. Amen

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the Love of God and Father, and
the Communion of the Holy Spirit be
with you all. Amen



"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"


My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.


" Moreover, BRETHREN, I declare to you, the gospel which I
preached to you, which also you received and in which you
stand, by which also ARE SAVED, if you hold fast that word
which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain…"
(1 Corinthians 15:1-2).

When as Christians we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we
begin, "OUR Father…"

Our Creator created man and woman and was
not only the Creator of the Universe but also their Loving and Heavenly Father and God.

By the grace of the Holy Spirit, our God, we are "brethren" indeed. The "Bridegroom" is Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His "Bride" is the Church. The spiritual "womb" of His Beloved and pure "Bride" is the baptismal font through which all are baptized and are "reborn through water and the Spirit.." "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (St, John 3:3-6). Through Baptism at the same time, one is joined to the Church. Following the Baptism, we chant: "As many as having been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27). Furthermore, one becomes A CHILD OF GOD, A MEMBER OF THE Body of Christ or the Church, an inheritor of Eternal Life, it is therefore evident that Baptism IS INDISPENSABLE FOR ALL including infants, so that growing in body and Spirit they might grow in Christ. In the Apostolic Scripture, there is mention of the Baptism of WHOLE FAMILIES, the house (family) of Lydia, the house of the prison guard, the house of Stephanas, and NOWHERE IS IT MENTIONED THAT INFANTS WERE EXCLUDED FROM BAPTISM.

In 1 John 3:1, we are reminded "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us,

In the Mysterion (Sacrament) of the Holy Eucharist practiced from the beginning of Christianity, the Bloodless Sacrifice was offered for THE REMEMBRANCE OF BOTH THE LIVING AND THE DEAD AND FOR THE REMISSION OF THEIR SINS. The Holy Eucharist is a sacrifice which in the most intimate fashion UNITES ALL THE FAITHFUL IN ONE BODY IN Christ. It is also a sacrifice for the peace of the churches, for the good condition of the world, for authorities, of those in infirmities, and labors, for all who ask for help… "AND FOR ALL MEN AND WOMEN."

Having presented all the above evidence to you, I am attempting to convince you of the fact that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and that we are all one Christian family. A spiritual family who share the same Father, that are united in Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church, His faithful Bride whose spiritual "womb," the Baptismal Font, we are "reborn through water and the Spirit." Therefore, we have a common Father, a common Savior, a common spiritual Mother, the Holy Church, and that through the Holy Eucharist, the Bloodless Sacrifice, we become one with our Lord Jesus Christ and WITH ONE ANOTHER. We become the Body of Christ; He being the Founder and the ONLY HEAD.

Our Lord’s command is that we as a Christian family, as brothers and sisters, and as His followers and disciples, "love one another as I have loved you" (St. John 15:12). The Almighty God loves us UNCONDITIONALLY, SO WE ARE TO LOVE ANOTHER UNCONDITIONALLY in Christ’s Name. It is this Divine command that has been neglected among our people and in our parishes. We must avoid controversy, debates, power struggles, politics, competition, cliques, jealousy, anger, and animosity. The church is sacred, it is God’s house, it belongs to Him and Him alone, it is a place of prayer and worship, it is a spiritual Hospital, and we come there because we are all injured by sin and evil influence and we need our health to be restored by the Divine Physician of our souls and bodies. We are there to be healed by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to strengthen our commitments to our Savior, and to be restored and forgiven by Him in the Mysterion of Repentance/Confession and reconciliation. We are there to charge our spiritual batteries, to leave the church refreshed and renewed spiritually, to be healed from our spiritual illnesses, and to be prepared spiritually to continue the spiritual warfare in the world. We must not attend the local parish with a different agenda that has nothing to do with our Savior and God Jesus Christ. We are in His presence and He knows what we think, what we feel, and how we act. I don’t believe that anyone wishes to offend Him deliberately and knowingly.

We are indeed brothers and sisters in Christ! Our Lord is our Master and we are His willing slaves (servants). We are there to please only the One, Him, and Him alone, and to serve one another. All that we offer and do must always be done with AGAPE (LOVE), EVERYTHING MUST BE DONE FOR HIS SAKE AND FOR HIS GLORY. Anything other than that will bring condemnation upon our souls. Our God is a mystery to us, but we are NOT a mystery to Him!

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always
give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the
Lord IS NOT IN VAIN" (1 Cor, 15:58)

Thanks be to God!


"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"


My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever and ever shall be.


+ In the Name of the Father and of the Son of
the Holy Spirit.

Let us pray to the Lord. Kyrie eleison.

Lord, have mercy on us,
For in You we have put our trust;
Be not exceedingly angry with us,

Nor remember our many iniquities;
But look up us now as the Compassionate,
and deliver us from our enemies;
For You are our God, and we Your people,
We are all the work of Your hands,
And upon Your Name, we have now called.
(Small Parklesis to the Theotokos)

"The Lord said to him, ‘IF YOU BELIEVE, ALL THINGS ARE

A miracle or wonder is a Divine and supernatural act whose origin is that of God and His infinite mercy. It is the product of God’s unconditional Love. It is a mystery that is beyond man’s understanding. It is extraordinary because what has occurred cannot be explained rationally or scientifically. Our Lord says clearly, "If you believe, all things are possible to him who believes" (St. Mark 9:23). Therefore, faith is essential for a miracle to take place.

God’s every Divine act can be described as a miracle (thavma). Every miracle has its origin, it’s beginning in God. It is a sign from God to man of His presence, of His love, of His compassion, of His grace, of His power, of His mercy, of the fact that He is The Physician of our souls and bodies. Whatever is impossible for man is possible with God. Everything rests in God’s will. "He is everywhere present and fills all things." "Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘WITH MEN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE" (St. Matthew 19:26).

We see God’s miracles through the Holy Scripture. God reveals His presence through His Divine miracles as mentioned in the Old Testament through the venerable and righteous prophets. It is shown clearly to the chosen people of God, To the holy people of God, the people of faith. And what is faith? "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). "For by it (faith), the elders obtained a good testimony. Some of God’s servants who acted by faith were: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Sampson, Jephthah, and David. Everyone of one of them witnessed God’s miracles.

With the Incarnation of the Logos/Word, "The unutterable, unknowable, invisible, unattainable God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, became man in the form of the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, and dwelt among men on earth." Is that not the greatest of all miracles? While on earth the Son of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ out of love and compassion, conducted countless miracles. Let us listen to the Lord Jesus Himself: "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: THE BLIND SEE AND THE LAME WALK; THE LEPERS ARE CLEANSED AND THE DEAF HEAR, THE DEAD ARE RAISED UP AND THE POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM" (St. Matthew 11: 4-5). The Holy Apostles were given the power of miracle-working i.e., Saint Peter who conducted many miracles. The miracle of Ananias who was bedridden for eight years and was paralyzed and was healed by the holy Apostle. The miracle of Dorcas (Tabitha) who became sick and died. The holy Apostle raised her from death. Miracles did not cease with the death of the Apostles but continued and will continue forever within our Holy Church.

Miracles are not unfamiliar to me as a Christian and an Orthodox priest. I was the recipient of a number of miracles as a child and as a boy. One of the miracles that I wish to share with all of you took place when I was a young boy and in elementary school in Athens, Greece. I was in class at the local school on a stormy day. It was raining all day and the area around the school was flooded. The street had become a raging torrent. School let out and all the students were heading home. Some of us had to cross over this torrent at the most narrow point by jumping over it to reach the other side. For the older children, it was not too difficult to do. For me, it was very frightening. The intimidating sound of this river of muddy water and I was reluctant to jump over it until my schoolmates assured me that I would make it over. With all courage that I could muster, I leaped to go to the other side, but instead, I fell in it and disappeared completely under the muddy water. My schoolmates were horrified and ran home to tell what happen to their parents and that George Konstantopoulos drowned. By the grace of God, I was saved. At some point, I came to my senses. I found myself standing full of mud. I had no idea where I was and what happened to me. There was no one around and the surroundings were not even familiar to me. It was as though I was on another planet, as I recall. Finally, I got my bearings and started running home. At the same time, the parents of schoolmates were approaching my house to offer their condolences to my mother who was the only one at home at the time. My mother happened to be outside in the front of the house when she saw me running towards her, muddy. Her immediate question was ‘my child what happened to you and why are you so muddy? My answer to her was ‘mom i drowned.’ Then she saw our neighbors and the story of what happened was told to her not by me but by my schoolmates and eyewitnesses. She made the sign of the Cross and thanked and praise God for this miracle.

As a Greek Orthodox priest of fifty-one years, I have witnessed personally numerous miracles at every parish that I have served over many years. At my last parish of Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox church in South Bend, Indiana, I witness a number of miracles. One of the miracles deals with a young man who fell from the second floor of his apartment on his head. He was taken to Saint Joseph’s Hospital Emergency room where the doctors attempted to revive him. He was placed in the Intensive Care Unit. His family called me to offer prayers and to bless him, which I did. Soon, after, however, while I was present, the doctors informed his parents that there was nothing more that they could do for their son. They advised them to decide if they would be willing to donate various organs to people than needed them. The Coroner of the Hospital had signed the death certificate. It was a very painful time and all grieved. The following morning before the nurses were about to take the body, the nurse walked into his room and saw him trying to remove the tube from his nose. She immediately dialed the appropriate code and they rushed the young man to perform brain surgery on him. The surgery went without any complications and the young man, over time, recovered completely. He used to serve in the Holy Altar and sometime after he returned to serve again. We all rejoiced with this wonderful miracle. Even the physicians and nurses at Saint Joseph’s marveled and they too referred to it as a true miracle.’

Personally, I feel that not enough is said about miracles, nor are the miracles that are witnessed every day preached about enough. Our faith is A LIVING FAITH AND OUR GOD IS A MERCIFUL AND COMPASSIONATE GOD AND WE SHOULD GLORIFY HIM UNCEASINGLY FOR HIS MIRACLES AND HIS LOVE. I know that once you experience a miracle in your life, you are never the same, you are a changed person, a more faithful person, a more loving and caring person. You are grateful for everything in your life and you are inseparable from our Savior Jesus Christ.

Let us not neglect to mention the countless miracles that are attributed to the Mother of God, our Theotokos, to the Saints of our Church, and including the miracles that have taken place by venerating the holy relics of our Saints, and holy miraculous icons of our Church.



"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George


My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.


What do we mean when we say Orthodoxia and Orthopraxia?

Today more than ever before we must be careful, precise, genuine, and authentic in the words we use and what they truly mean. Words have an enormous effect and impact on what we are attempting to convey to others. I don’t believe we want our words not to have any substance or significance when we are conversing with others or to raise doubt or questions of what we are trying to say.

Let us look at the word ORTHODOXIA. The word Orthodoxia (Orthodoxy) comes from the joining of two Greek words: ORTHE, meaning right or correct, and DOXA, meaning opinion or glory. Ancient Greek philosophers like Plato used these two words side by side or employed the verb ORTHODOXEO–to have a correct opinion. Therefore ORTHODOXY means CORRECT OR SOUND DOCTRINE.

In the post-biblical periods, one finds reference to HETERODOX teachers and doctrines as early as Saint Ignatios of Antioch. The word orthodoxy finally was used in the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea in 339 A.D. Julias Ist in 359; Athanasios in 373 A.D; and Basil in 379 A.D. and was also used by the Synod of Ephesus 431 A.D. as well as the Synod in Chalcedon in the year 451 A.D. It is extremely important to understand that gradually ORTHODOXY came to mean not simply RIGHT DOCTRINE but the traditional and universal doctrine of the Holy Church of Christ as defined IN OPPOSITION TO HETERODOX OR HERESY. In this context, it was seen AS THE PURE CHRISTIAN TRADITION, handed down through an UNBROKEN LINE from the AUTHENTIC Gospel of Jesus Christ and His holy Disciples. After the defeat of iconoclasm in the ninth century, a liturgical feast day of ORTHODOXY, THE SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY, was introduced in the Eastern Church to be celebrated each year on the First Sunday of Holy and Great Lent. From the fourth to the tenth centuries, Greek authors applied the adjective "ORTHODOX," to interpretations of Scripture, the faith of the Church, the Church’s liturgical worship, various decrees and opinions, writings, Churches, and individuals.


Orthopraxis (ortho: straight, right, correct; praxis: human action, conduct). It was and continues to be an attempt to reintegrate faith and action. To take seriously the New Testament AFFIRMATION THAT "NOT EVERYONE WHO SAYS TO ME, ‘LORD, LORD,’ SHALL ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN" (Saint Matthew 7:21). Orthodoxy and Orthopraxis represent distinct and yet complementary concerns, BOTH OF THEM INTEGRAL TO CHRISTIAN LIVING.

We, Orthodox Christians, must take good care that what we profess and what we practice is real and true. Nothing about our faith must become superficial, empty, and reduced to simply KENODOXIA or TYPOLATREIA so as some to question its authenticity or validity. No one should be able to accuse the Church of being ‘dead orthodoxy,’ nor a ‘superstitious religious relic.’ There are those in Greece today that refer to the Faith as a ‘myth.’

On the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the First Sunday of Holy and Great Lent we, the Orthodox Christians, throughout the world celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxia over heresy. If Orthodoxy triumphed in the era of the vicious and horrific iconoclast controversy, this was because so many of the true Christians were prepared to undergo exile, torture, and even death for the sake of the Truth (Ortho). The holy Feast of Orthodoxy is above all a celebration in honor of the holy Martyrs and Confessors who suffered for the faith.

It seems to me that it is no longer enough to just profess that one is an Orthodox Christian. All Orthodox faithful are to live and confess their faith, not in words alone, but by living the faith, Orthopraxia (correct living). Living the faith rightly according to the Divine Teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a life guided by God the Holy Spirit. We cannot live the True and Authentic Christian life without His inspiration and grace. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. Our Lord Jesus Christ promised His disciples to send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, Who would remain with them FOREVER, the Spirit of Truth Who would instruct them in everything and remind them of the future. After the Resurrection appeared to His disciples and He granted them the Grace-given power of the Holy Spirit with the divine words, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit: Whosesoever sin ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained" (Saint John 20:22-23). Ten days after His Ascension, the Lord, in accordance with His promise, sent down the Holy Spirit upon His disciples on the day of Pentecost in the form of fiery tongues.

In the Holy Spirit, God’s Divine power, is given us "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" ( 2 Peter 1:3). "These Grace-given gifts are in His Holy Church, which the Lord founded on earth." They comprise THE MEANS OF OUR SANCTIFICATION AND SALVATION. As Orthodox Christians, we confess openly and vigorously that we believe in the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church;" the ONLY Authentic Church of Christ.

Orthodox Christians of this century and era must be willing to die defending Our Holy Orthodox Christian Faith. There can be no compromise nor defection nor betrayal of the Church that God entrusted to us. His divine Bride, whom He loves and sacrificed His life on the Cross, "That He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that SHE SHOULD BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH" (Ephesians 527). We have witnessed over the years, especially the 20th and 21st century, the implosion within the heterodox community and its demise. There is such an unpresedented number of heresies that they cannot be identified any longer as being a Christian body of any kind. They have done more damage to the Christian Gospel than those who openly persecute the Church. What they promote and preach is heresy and distortion.

The Church IS CHRIST! It is not some artificial and symbolic ‘institution.’ An attack on the Church is an attack on our Lord Jesus Christ. A heresy against the Church is a heresy against God the Holy Spirit Who is the Spirit of Truth. To advocate that the heretical groups, the enemies of Christianity, have the truth is loudicrous and wrong. No Orthodox Christian leader should treat them with respect nor as equals. To do so is to betray Christ Himself.

We need to look around us and see the reality of what is taking place both within and without the Orthodox Church. There are definite signs that a silent war has been declared against Christianity. Christian leaders are giving in to the demands of the wicked and dark powers of the world to compromise severely the Faith. One way is to keep quiet on social issues that are condoned and promoted by secular and world governments, i.e. euthanasia, breakdown of the family, divorce, various and new sexual lifestyles, abortion and infantaside, injustices, poverty, loss of morals, indoctrination of the school age children from kindergarden to College age men and women, oposition to religion, especially Christianity, the lack of freedom of thought and speech, the absence of human rights and civil rights, restriction of freedom of religion, the lack of privacy, governmental corruption, the cancel culture, intrusion upon our lives, businesses, and home, identity crises, and the deliberate creation of confusion between the biological sexes, etc. Very few, if any Christian leades, voice any oposition. Because of this, the Christian faithful are lead to their slaughter. Allow me to bring to your attention what a good Shepherd does to protect his sheep. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ explains in John 10:10-15, "The thief does not come except to steal and to kill, and to destroy. I have that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. "I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD. THE GOOD SHEPHERD GIVES HIS LIFE FOR THE SHEEP. But a hireling, he who IS NOT THE SHEPHERD, one who does not own the sheep, SEES THE WOLF COMING AND LEAVES THE SHEEP AND FLEES, AND THE WOLF CATCHES THE SHEEP AND SCATTERS THEM. The HIRELING flees BECAUSE HE IS A HIRELING AND DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE SHEEP. I am the Good Shepherd and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. AS the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father, and I LAY DOWN MY LIFE FOR THE SHEEP. " Do I need to say anything more? No one in the Church can hide behind the so-called ‘tolerance." Tolerance is another way of saying "CONDONING." An example of tolerance is the crime of abortion which is not only tolerated, but legal in many places, even in so called ‘Christian’ countries, i.e., Western Europe, Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, Canada, North and South America, etc. because the majority of their citizens at one time were of the Chistian faith. In the Orthodox Church we commemorate the 14,000 infants murdered by Herod. This horrific and barbaric crime of humanity, this mass infanticide, is universally seen as repulsive and inhuman. However, just in the United States of America, with the approval of the Supreme Court, over 65 million children have been murdered thus far and there is hardly any outcry or protest by anyone, including the Christian Community. This is what tolerance does! We must, as all of the disciples of Christ, confront the "wolves" of today’s world together as the Church of Jesus Christ and by the grace of God protect His "sheep" from the butchers block. Otherwise, we believe and know too well, that one day soon we will all give an accounting of our actions or lack of, to the Good Shepherd, to the Supreme Judge in Heaven Who sees all and knows all. Genuine and authentic Christians throughout the centuries have always shown extraordinary courage and loyalty to the Lord Christ and went willingly to the arena to be tortured, eaten alive by wild beasts, sawn in two by the sword, torn asunder, burned alive, dismambered, beheaded, etc. for the glory of God. Our Orthodox Church History, our Synaxaristes, reveal the countless men, women and children who gave their lives for the sake of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our God.


"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"


My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.


"There is struggling and toil at first," teaches Mother Syncletike. Furthermore, Mother Syncletike says, "for all those advancing toward God, but afterward, my children, inexpressible joy. Indeed, just as those seeking to light a fire at first are engulfed in smoke and teary-eyed, thus they obtain what they seek. As I said, "Our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29). So we ought to kindle the Divine Fire in our hearts with tears and toil."

Saint Syncletike taught all her spiritual children to "constantly clean out the soul. Smoke out the poison and vermin of sinful thoughts with the divine incense of prayer." Even when a disciple came to the Mother very upset, asking: "What if you realize you yourself have done evil? Saint Syncletiki would say, "Remember, if any time you fall into sin, you say with humility, please forgive me, it will be forgiven you."

Amma (Mother) Theodora, another Desert Mother of our Church, offered a simple story:

Once there was a true seeker of God who came to Amma frustrated with daily temptation in life. Mother Theodora advised them to do the following, "Try this," she said, "Turn and face your temptations–just talk to them just as if they were demons." "Yes," the woman cried out, and she turned and said, "I can’t fast enough to get rid of you." And they answered her: "We do not eat or drink." And she said: "What if I stay up all night and pray the Vigil?" And they answered her: "We do not sleep." And she cried out: "What power than sends you away?" And her demons answered: "Nothing can overcome us, but only humility."

"God, beholding our toils, despite an often unwilling heart, bestows upon His struggler true prayer of the Spirit, true charity, meekness, kindness, and in short, the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The athlete of virtue must continually expect God’s mercy without any doubtful faith."

The spiritual warfare before the Lord Christ is twofold: inward and outward. The inward struggle takes place on the field of the heart, against the whispering and suggestions of the evil spirits. Saint Paul makes this abundantly clear when he says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).

Speaking on love, Saint Synclitike said: "My children, all of us know how to be saved, however, due to our negligence we lose our salvation. First, we must preserve what was revealed by the grace of God. Thou shall love the Lord thy God with All thy soul, and thy neighbor as thyself" (Saint Luke 10:27). These two commandments are the summit of the law and upon them rests all the fullness of grace. These words are few but great and beneficial to the soul which hangs on these two commandments. According to the testimony of Saint Paul, "the end of the commandment is love" (1 Timothy 1:5). Whatever useful words have been spoken, according to the grace of the Holy Spirit they commence with love and they conclude with love. Whereupon, salvation is this two-fold love. I must, however, add what each of us should know. We must always desire to possess love which is the greatest virtue of all."

On poverty and riches, Saint Synclitike states: "One of the nuns asked the righteous woman if poverty was the perfect good. She answered, "There are many things that are good for the strong and the brave. Those that endure poverty shall undergo bodily suffering, yet the soul is at leisure. Similarly, when beautiful and new dresses are trodden underfoot and rent, they may later be used to clean and brighten objects. In like manner, a stouthearted soul, when it is in straits and afflictions with voluntary poverty, will be rendered stronger and more steadfast.

On the other hand, for those that are weak-minded and easily disheartened, they only become more feeble and faltering. She who is discomfited by a slight privation will not bear the good that comes from penury (poverty). This may be compared to torn and old dresses which cannot withstand washing, for they will shred and perish. Now the end of the tattered garment and the durable garment is not the same, as the end is not the same for the vacillating soul and the faithful soul. The durable fabric may be used to clean and restore objects, but the tattered fabric will shred. Hence, poverty is a precious treasure for the courageous soul. Poverty may be used as a bit and bridle to curb one form of sinning. Those who wish to avoid sin must first exert themselves in fasting, in lying on the ground, and in other hardships of the body. After this, they can gain through practice, cast away their money, and come to regret this action. This is because riches are the components of a life of rest and ease. Thus, she who does not take the proper prerequisites will be like one who squanders her goods without careful deliberation, only to repent of her rashness.

Good, therefore, is poverty for them that labor in the life of austerity; they will easily take possession of these good things. These people cast off all that is superfluous and place their mind and all their hope solely on God, chanting the words of the Psalm, "The eyes of all look to Thee with hope, and Thou gavest them their food in due season" (Psalm 144:16).

When an Orthodox Christian, man or woman, is seeking guidance or inspiration you only have to turn to our Saints, to our Desert Dwellers, men and women, the righteous ones and holy ones of God. The best way to explain it is this way: imagine you inherited a chest but you have no idea what is in it. You are happy and even appreciative of inheriting this chest but you never open it to see what is in it for many years. It is simply put away in a closet or basement and almost forgotten. Until one day out of curiosity, you open it and what do you see but a great fortune. Fortune that you could have used for a better future. The Holy Tradition of our Church is our treasure chest and in it, there is everything that one needs to acquire grace and to inherit the Kingdom of God, in other words, salvation. The precious stones found inside this spiritual treasure chest are the virtuous works of the Holy Fathers, the Holy Mothers, their sacred works, their virtuous lives, and wisdom which are more valuable than rubies, diamonds, amethysts, gold, silver, etc. It is up to every Orthodox Christian individually to turn to our Holy Orthodox Tradition and take what he/she needs and use it and share it with others. However, we all have the serious responsibility of protecting this Sacred Treasure and not permitting anyone of stealing it, squandering it, or abusing it.

"A treasure is secure as long as it remains hidden. Yet, once it is discovered and laid open publicly, it is plundered. It is the same with virtue. It is secure as long as it is undisclosed but if rashly exposed, it often evaporates like smoke. As the wax melts before the fire, so PRAISE WEAKENS THE PITCH OF THE SOUL, WHEREAS, REPROACH, AND MALTREATMENT STRENGTHEN THE SOUL AND ENGENDER GREATER VIRTUE. Thus saith the Lord: "Rejoice and be glad when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My name’s sake" (St. Matthew 5:11-12).

Every human soul is priceless in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. Let us turn to our God and Savior Jesus Christ and listen to what He has to say about the human soul. "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (St. Matthew 16:25-26). Saint Theophylact interprets this verse in this way: "Let us suppose, He says, that you have gained the whole world: what profit is it if your body prospers while your soul suffers ill? That would be as if the lady of the house dressed in tattered rags, while her maidservants were gorgeously arrayed. For in the age to come a man can give nothing in exchange for his soul. Here one can give tears, sighs, and alms, but there, nothing. For it is a Judge Who takes no bribes that will receive us, and He judges each one according to his deeds. He is also awesome and dreadful and comes in His Glory with His Angels, not in lowly form."

It must be understood by all that our great Adversary the Devil pursues us to steal and possess our immortal soul. If he wins and takes our soul voluntarily or involuntarily, then we are spiritually doomed. The evil one is cunning and never tires and is never discouraged. If he cannot convince through trickery, then he will place all kinds of snares for us to be captured in, and if that fails he will use our own weaknesses and/or our passions to capture us. We must be constantly alert and vigilant and remain constant in our prayers. He has no power to force any one of us to do his bidding, however, he will use our pride, our weak faith, our greed, our passions, i.e., lust, avarice, vanity, greed, gluttony, envy, sloth, and anger. He is the arch-liar and arch-deceiver but when it comes to evil and cunning no human being is his match. We must protect our immortal soul with all our might for it is a matter of life and death, the death of our soul, and the loss of eternal salvation. The evil one reminds me of a mosquito. The mosquito, usually the female mosquito will bite and suck blood from its victim. It can and does transmits diseases like malaria and other illnesses. It is responsible for thousands upon thousands of human deaths every year throughout the world. This dangerous insect uses a cunning method to sting a person or animal. Its stinger contains a fluid that when it lands on its victim, first anesthetizes the area which it will penetrate, and then sucks the blood so that by the time the person or animal realizes what is happening it’s too late. The mosquito has what it wants and at the same time, it has infused its victim with the deadly virus. That is how the devil also works against us. Evil will use sin, (our own wicked passions) against us to gain access to our souls with the intent to infect with the deadly virus known as sin and corrupt them with evil. However, by the time we realize it’s all over and our souls have been compromised and destroyed. You must always know that. Whenever you feel tempted by evil or evil thoughts, you only need to make the sign of the Cross and say "get thee behind me Satan," and any evil spirits will retreat. There is great and divine power in the Sign of the Cross of Christ but it must be done with profound faith and conviction.


"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George


My beloved brothers and sister in Christ God,

Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.


When we speak or mention a desert, all kinds of images appear in our minds. Some of them are quite frightening. We realize immediately the many dangers we would face in the desert such as immense heat, sandstorms, mirages, scorpions, snakes, contaminated water, lack of food, no shade from the sun, no place to rest and/or sleep, sunburn, eye irritation, and overall climatic stress. We definitely know that we have neither the knowledge nor the ability and the skills to survive the desert, and that is why we are terrified to even thinking of that possibility.

In our Orthodox Christian tradition and history we have devout men and women who are known as Desert Dwellers, ascetics who became known as the Desert Fathers and Mothers of our Church and who founded Monasticism in the desert i.e., Saint John the Forerunner and Baptist, Saint Anthony the Great, Saint Pahomius, Saint Mary of Egypt, Amma (Mother) Syncletike, Amma Sarah, etc.

Through their faith, prayers and tears were able to transform the desert to a spiritual oasis, a place of repentane, of ascesis, of cleansing, of communion with God, of Wonders (miracles) and healing, and finding the way to our Savior Jesus Christ, the Living Water. Through Orthodox Monasticism the Holy Church was infused with genuine spirituality at times of crisis, protected from heretics and heresies, corruption, interference from secular power, interference in theological matters, and lack of spirituality, prayer, modesty, fasting, confession, and repentance. Our Ascetics provided a spiritual transfusion to the Church and many times revived her to continue her Divine Mission according to her Head and Founder Jesus Christ. Milions of Christian believers have been saved from evil and death because of the spiritual nourishment, guidance and prayers of our Holy Fathers and Holy Fathers of the Desert.

While the majority of these early Christian Desert Dwellers were men praying in solitude to God in the rough desert caves and terrain, there were woman as well who withdrew into the desert, seeking to truly live the command of our Lord Christ. Both the male and female ascetics have left us a treasure of spiritual wisdom in their writings or apopthegmata-short sayings. They taught by example and by a true and humble virtuous and pious life. The harsh environment, their admirable inner stillness, their constant and many temptatins from the devil, their real purity of soul and body, was and still is our most treasured inspiration and example.

We who live in the world, the city dwellers, live in a different kind of spiritual desert. This desert, believe it or not, poses similar threats and dangers not only to our bodies but specifically to our souls. Although they may not look the same, they are just as forecious and dangerous. These dangers are usually disguised and insidious, they are deceptive, posing as good and beneficial while they are exactly the opposite, full of poison just like a scorpion or snake. They are filled with anxiety and greed, manipulative and unpredictable, using sinister methods to achieve their adgenda, killing all inocence of children, and worshipping death and not life. There is no peace, unity, nor love for one another. There is no justice and respect of human life. They create an atheistic world and society. A spiritual wasteland, Godless and without love.

I wonder if we were to compare the deserts which of the two, you would think, is more hazardous? Undoubtedly the desert, of course, in which the people ceased to believe in God. Wondrously, however, the people of faith, the ascetics, were not only enlightened by the grace of the Holy Spirit but their communion with God was strengthened there. They spoke with God and became His messengers and teachers to His people. When God is present, there is no need for anything else, you possess everything.

The foolish man, who in his corrupt and sinful mind decided in his disbelief to dethrone God, is a lost soul. He believes, in his darkened soul, that he has the power to remove the Almighty God from His own creation and universe. This kind of a human heart is more desolate than the most remote and desolate place in all the universe! There can be no salvation for a heart that is so evil and dark. You see, God, no matter who we are or what we have done, will never abandon His Creation and especially not the human race. He is always PRESENT! He will NOT ever allow mankind to destroy what He Created. Instead, when mankind reaches a state beyond redemption and has totally surrendered to evil, then he will provoke His wrath and bring down his own destruction. Do you not remember what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah? Although Abraham interceded for the righteous of Sodom, the city was so morally depraved that Lot, his nephew, was the only righteous person in the entire city. Abraham’s intercession saved him. Abraham’s entreaty was, "Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous wthin it? … Then the Lord said, ‘If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes" (Genesis 18:23-26). But God could not even find ten righteous in the city. He said, ‘I would not destroy it for the sake of the ten." (v.32) Let us pray and hope that the Almighty God will find enough righteous among us to spare us from destruction.



"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George


My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.


"When the Son of Man comes in His Glory, and
then He will sit on the Throne of His Glory. ALL THE

The God of love is also a God of Righteousness, and when Jesus Christ comes again in glory, He will come AS "OUR JUDGE." "Behold the goodness and SEVERITY OF God" ( Romans 11:22). The Son of Man will come in His glory to judge the living and the dead. He shows the heavens opened and "all the Holy Angels" to witness His Final Judgment. In His First Coming the Son of Man came in HUMILITY, to "serve" and to die, the Second Coming will be in His "Glory" as a King TO JUDGE "ALL THE NATIONS" of the earth.

What is clear to Christian believers throughout the centuries is that indeed He is coming for the second time and that everyone on earth will be ACCOUNTABLE OF HIS/HER ACTIONS AND LIFE. There is accountability! In the book of Revelation 20:12, we read: "And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and BOOKS WERE OPENED. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead WERE JUDGED ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS, BY THE THINGS WHICH WERE WRITTEN in the books." The books of judgment (Daniel 7:10), contain A RECORD OF MEN’S OWN DEEDS; THEIR OWN WORKS WILL JUDGE THEM (Psalm 62:12; Jeremiah 17:10). God’s mercy is far greater than human works or bad. In our Divine Liturgy, we petition the Almighty God for "A GOOD ACCOUNT BEFORE THE DREAD JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST."

God, our Heavenly Judge, executes judgment from the "GREAT WHITE THRONE" (Daniel 7:9; Enoch 18:8). "I continue to watch until thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days ENTHRONED Himself. His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His Throne was a fiery flame, and its wheels a burning fire. A river of fire flowed from before Him. Thousands and thousands stood before Him. The COURT WAS IN SESSION, AND THE BOOKS WERE OPENED." (Daniel 7:9-11).

We must not be disbelieving or dismissive of the fact that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s Second Coming will happen but when no one knows. Christians, throughout the centuries, lived always in anticipation of His Coming, that is, as though He is coming this very minute, today. Not knowing when, and that they will be judged by Him, lived, as much as humanly possible, righteous and virtuous lives. They believed what is revealed by the Holy Church and Holy Scripture as true, unlike contemporary Christians who are oblivious to His Second Coming. Because of ignorance, there is no concern, no preparation, no repentance, no fear of God, not ready to give any accountability for sinful actions and the lack of works of mercy. In some heterodox Christian traditions that have removed and erased any trace of His Second Coming. Furthermore, arrogantly consider themselves as "saved." For them, there is no Second Coming and NO ACCOUNTABILITY TO GIVE TO THE ULTIMATE AND GREAT HEAVENLY JUDGE. They have "a free pass to the Kingdom."

In the current Christian community, one can live any kind and any contrary lifestyle to the Divine Teachings of Our Savior and without repentance can inherit the Kingdom of God. In other words, today’s Christian is delusional and totally unrealistic. Today’s Christian is uninformed and religiously illiterate. However, for the Christian, who truly and genuinely is interested to learn, the resources and tools are there, within our Holy Orthodox Christian Church to take advantage of. Just like the early Christians, we too must prepare ourselves spiritually as though our Lord and God, is Coming Today!

"Behold the goodness and SEVERITY OF GOD" (Romans 11:22). Such is the message of Holy Lent to each of us: TURN BACK WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME, REPENT BEFORE THE End comes. In the words of the Great Canon:

"The end draws near, my soul, the end draws near;
Yet thou dost not care or make ready.
The time grows short, rise up: the Judge is at the door.
The days of our life pass swiftly, as a dream, as a flower."

The Great Fast is a preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior for the Eternal Pascha in the Age to come. "Nor is the judgment merely in the future. Here and now, each day and each hour, in hardening our hearts towards others and in failing to respond to the opportunities we are given of helping them, WE ARE ALREADY PASSING JUDGMENT ON OURSELVES,"

"The Saints have become according to grace that which the Lord Christ is according to nature. That is, they havae become gods according to grace: pure and living habitations of God. For God says: ‘I will dwell in them, walk in them, and I will be their God’ (2 Corinthians 6:16). The Holy Scripture likewise says: ‘the souls of the righteous are in God’s hand, and death cannot lay hold o them’ (Wisdom of Solomon 3:1). For death is rather the sleep of Saints than their death. Further: ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints’ (Psalm 119:6).

According to Saint Justin Popovic, "The truth of the Gospel is that the sin of man is a foul odor before God and every sin pleases the devil. Through the Holy Mysteries and holy virtues, Christians become "A SWEET-SAVOUR OF CHRIST UNTO GOD."



"Glory Be To God
All Things!"