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!"


My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

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


"… We render thanks to Thee also for this liturgy which Thou
dost deign to receive from our hands, although there stand
beside Thee thousands of Archangels and myriads of Angels,
the Cherubim and the Seraphim, six-winged, many-eyed,
soaring aloft on wings." (St. John Chrysostom)

"Look down, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, from Thy Holy
dwelling-place, and from the Throne of Glory of Thy Kingdom,
and come to sanctify and ARE HERE PRESENT WITH US. And
do Thou deign by Thy Migthy hand to give to us of Thy
immaculate Body and of Thy Precious Blood, and through us
to all the people" (Divine Liturgy).

"Heaven is My throne,
and the earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for
Me? says the Lord,
Or what is the place of My rest?
Has My hand not made all
these things?" (Acts 7:49-50)

"…But he [ Protomartyr Stefanos] being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw
the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and
said, ‘Look I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing
at the right hand of God!’ (Acts 7:55-56).

"And He said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you
shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and
descending upon the Son of Man" (St. John 1:51).

"After these things I looked, and behold a door standing open i heaven.
And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me,
saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take
place after this.’
Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, A THRONE SET IN HEAVEN,
AND One sat on the Throne. And He Who sat was like a jasper and a sardius
stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the Throne, in
appearance like an emerald. Around the Throne were twenty-four thrones,
and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting in white robes;
and they had crownes of gold on their heads. And from the Throne
proceeded lightnings, thunderings and voices. Seven lamps of fire burning
before the Throne which are the seven Spirits of God.
Before the Throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst
of the Throne, and around the Throne, were four living creatures full of eyes
in front and in back. The first living creature was like a LION, the second living
creature like a CALF, the third living creature like a face of a MAN, and the
fourth living creature was like a FLYING EAGLE. The FOUR LIVING CREATURES,
each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest
day or night, saying"

‘Holy, Holy, Holy
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!" [Revelation 4:1-8)

      According to the teachings of Our Holy Orthodox Christian Church "with the end of this age and the transformation of the world into a new and better world, there is revealed the Eternal Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Glory."

   Death will have no power in the Kingdom of Glory, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death… Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (I Corinthians 15:26, 54).  "There shall be TIME NO LONGER" (Revelation 10:6).

   But the principle thing is that those who attain the future blessed life and become "PARTAKERS OF THE Divine Nature" (2 Peter 1:4) will be participants in that most perfect life, whose source is in God alone.  By the words "partakers of the Divine Nature, we are NOT of course to understand that we can become God by nature, but rather that we can partake of God's Nature through participation in His Grace [Energies].

Depicted symbolicly in the Book of Revelation: "they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the Throne shall feed them and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes" (Rev. 7:16-17). The Holy Apostle Paul writes: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for they that love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

However, this glory of God, according to the Holy Fathers of the Church, WILL HAVE ITS DEGREES, corresponding to the MORAL DIGNITY OF EACH ONE. The Holy Scripture reveals the following: "In My Father’s house are many mansions" (Saint John 14:2); "He shall REWARD EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS" (Saint Matthew 16:27); "every man shall receive his own reward ACCORDING TO HIS OWN LABOR" (1 Corinthians 3:8); "one star differs from another star in glory" (1 Corinthians 15:41).

Saint Ephraim the Syrian writes: "Just as everyone takes enjoyment of the rays of the sensual sun according to the purity of his power of seeing and of the impressions that are given, and just as in a single lamp which illumines a house, each ray has its place, while the light is not divided into many lamps; so also in the future age all the righteous will dwell inseparably in a single joy, but EACH IN HIS OWN DEGREE WILL BE ILLUMINATED BY A SINGLE MENTAL SUN, AND TO THE DEGREE OF HIS WORTH HE WILL DRAW IN JOY AND REJOICING AS IF IN A SINGLE ATMOSPHERE AND PLACE, AND NO ONE WILL SEE THE DEGREES THAT ARE HIGHER AND LOWER, lest looking on the surpassing Grace of another and upon his own depirvation, he will thereby have some cause in himself for sorrow and disturbance."

We all hope and implore the Almighty God and Creator to bestow His mercy upon us by His Divine compassion and permit us to enter into His Glorious and Everalsting Kingdom. One cannot merit nor be worthy of His Kingdom of Glory, but through His unconditional love for us sinners. Within us is a place of residence for God’s Spirit, somethng most unique in Creation. Therefore, man exists at the intersection of the spiritual and physical worlds between heaven and earth. Man is much more than merely a rational animal. He is a worshipping creature and the crown of God’s creation. We were created to be the sons and daughters of the Most High God to unceasingly pray, adore, worship and be forever in communion with Him.

We have somehow forgotten our divine purpose here on earth. Rather, we have wasted the time and we have lost the numerous opportunities to remain steadfast in our faith and to retain our loving relationship and communion with Him Who is always Ever-Present. What happen to us? Why have we failed Him so greatly? Is it because we have allowed pride to take charge of our mind and heart? Is it possible that we have grown indifferent and have replaced Him with our ego? Can we be so dreadfully ungrateful for all that He has done and continues to do for us? We have we lost sight of His Great Sacrifice on the Cross to save us? What greater proof of His love do we need to see? The sinful and evil results of our actions have created an atmosphere of violence, hatred, division, immorality, materialism, rebeliousness, apostasy and the loss of communion with our Heavenly Father, as well the loss of His grace.

The world that He entrusted to us had every chance under His Divine guidance to be an earthly heaven. It would be a holy place, a place where God would reign and everything would revolve around Him. The words in the Lord’s Prayer: "Thy will be done ON EARTH as it is in Heaven" would come to fruition and the earth, united with heaven, would truly give glory to God, the Author of Life. There would always be peace, justice, brotherly love, harmony and joy among all people. There would be no suffering, wars, killing, poverty, enmity, selfishness, ingratitude, spiritual illness, lack of compassion, neglect, exploitation, and corruption of our beautiful planet. There would never be any confusion of who we are and what were created to be.

Just as we make the necessary preparation before we embark for a long journey to a distant place, we must in the same manner prepare ourelves spiritually for this one-way trip to the next world. We must check everything and make sure that what is required of us has been done. How have we lived the life that God gave us? Have we invested the talent or talents that He entrusted to us so that He may receive the interest He is anticipating? This is what our Lord says, "For the Kingdom of God is like a man traveling to a far country, who CALLED HIS SERVANTS AND DELIVERED HIS GOODS TO THEM. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each one according to his ABILITY; and immediately went on to his journey." The first two servants invested the talents that their lord had given them, while the one that had one did not. Upon his return, their lord sought to settle accounts with his servants. He was very pleased with the first two servants, who he rewarded by inviting them to "enter into the joy of their Lord." To the third servant, who had not invested the talent but instead attempted to justify his wickedness and laziness, his Lord took away from him his talent and gave it to the one who had the ten talents, "And cast the UNPROFITABLE SERVANT INTO THE OUTER DARKNESS. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Let us not grieve and anger our Lord by our disobedience and laziness. He cannot make it any more clear what we need to do. He has given us a life-time to do it in. We have no excuse or justification. Aong with His guidance and instruction, there is a clear warning and a real threat which we must take seriously. We must not be so foolish as to toy with God and our salvation.



"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 shall ever be.


"Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according
to Our likeness…So God made man; in the image of God He made them;
Male and female He made them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them,
‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill all the earth and subdue it, and have
dominion…" (Genesis 1:26-28).

"Then God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed in his

God the Creator of the universe, formed Adam’s body "out of dust from the ground". We believe that the "breath of life" mentioned here is the grace of God the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life (Symbol of Faith). God, the Author of Life, breathed the BREATH OF LIFE into man’s body and he became a LIVING SOUL. It is clear that Adam, the first human being, was a living soul because he possessed a body, a soul, and the grace of God the Holy Spirit.

The following is a most solemn prayer dedicated to the Holy Spirit:

O Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit
of Truth, who art in all places and fillest all
things; Treasury of good things and Giver
of Life: Come and dwell in us and cleanse
us from every stain, and save our souls,
O Gracious Lord.

God is LIFE and the "life of all free beings." He is the salvation of all, of believers or unbelievers, of the just or the unjust, of the pious or the impious, of those freed from the passions or caught up in them, of monks or those living in the world, of educated or the illiterate, of the healthy or the sick, of the young or the very old. He is like the outpouring of light, the glimpse of the sun, or the changes of the weather, which are the same for everyone without exception. "For God is no respecter of persons" (Romans 2:11). In other words, there is no partiality with God. As impious man is a rational being, one that must die, who willingly runs away from life and refuses to believe in the existence of his own Everlasting Creator. A transgressor is someone who observes the Divine Law only in his own depraved fashion and holds on to a heretical belief in opposition to God. A Christian is AN IMITATOR OF CHRIST IN THOUGHT, WORD, AND DEED, as far as this is humanly possible, and he believes rightly and blamelessly in the Holy Trinity. A friend of God IS THE ONE WHO LIVES IN COMMUNION WITH ALL THAT IS NATURAL AND FREE FROM SIN AND WHO DOES NOT NEGLECT TO DO WHAT GOOD HE CAN." (Saint John Climacus)

On the other hand, pride IS A DENIAL OF GOD, an invention of the devil, contempt for men. It is the mother of condemnation, the offspring of praise, a sign of barrenness. It is a flight FROM GOD’S HELP, the harbinger of madness, the author of downfall. It is the cause of diabolical possession, the source of anger, the gateway of hypocrisy. It is the fortress of demons, the custodian of sins, the source of hardheartedness. It is the denial of compassion, a bitter pharisee, a cruel judge. IT IS THE FOE OF GOD. IT IS THE ROOT OF BLASPHEMY." (Saint John Climacus)

Saint John Climacus adds, "Pride takes up residence wherever we have LAPSED, for A LAPSE is in fact AN INDICATION OF PRIDE. And an admirable man said once to me, "Think of a dozen shameful passions. Love one of them, I mean pride, and it will take up the space of all the other eleven." "God RESISTS THE PROUD but GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore SUBMIT TO GOD. RESIST THE DEVIL AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU. DRAW NEAR TO GOD, AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU… HUMBLE YOURSELVES IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, AND HE WILL LIFT YOU UP" (Saint James 4:6-10). Saint Maximos the Confessor writes: "The rewards for the toils of virtue are DISPASSION AND SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE. For those are the MEDIATORS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, just as passions and ignorance are the mediators of ETERNAL PUNISHMENT." (The Philokalia, Vol. 2, p. 71).

Saint John Climacus, the author of ‘The ladder of Divine Ascent" writes that "obedience is a total RENUNCIATION OF OUR LIFE and it shows up clearly in the way we act. Obedience is the mortification of the members, while the mind remains alive." What we all witness in today’s world is disobedience to our Creator and Savior. Mankind prefers to rebel against God’s will and wisdom. Saint John says, "the sea is the source of the fountain, and HUMILITY IS THE SOURCE OF DISCERNMENT."

Furthermore, humanity has lost the ability to discern and to make prudent judgments. Discernment is necessary and useful virtue to possess. It takes discernment to distinguish between good and evil. "Discernment," says Saint John Climacus, "is and is recognized to be a solid understanding of the will of God in all times, in all places, in all things, and it is found only among those who are PURE IN HEART, IN BODY, AND IN SPEECH."

Is it possible that we are stupefied and we can no longer think for ourselves? Can we no longer decide what is right and what is wrong? Are we to believe the unbelievers that there is no such thing as good or evil, that there is no such as right or wrong, that there is no God or devil, that there is no such a thing as sin or virtue, that there is no such thing as heaven or hell, that there is no such thing as righteousness or evil thoughts and passions? What we must admit is that the secular society has embraced violence, unbelief, and corruption, which leads to destruction.

Humanity is spiritually ill. "Illness," according to Saint John, "Can occur sometimes to cleanse us from our sins and sometimes to humble our thinking. When our Ever-Gracious Master and Lord discovers people getting lazy in their religious lives, He may humble their bodies by illness, as if by a lighter form of asceticism. Illness too can sometimes purify the soul from evil thoughts and passions."

Contemporary Man is a proud man. "Pride IS A DENIAL OF GOD," writes Saint John Climacus. Pride "Is an invention of the devil and the contempt for men. It is the Mother of condemnation, the offspring of praise, a sign of barrenness. It is a flight from God’s help, the harbinger of madness, the author of downfall. It is the cause of diabolical possession, the source of anger, the gateway of hypocrisy. It is the fortress of demons, the custodian of sins, the source of hardheartedness. It is the denial of compassion, a bitter pharisee, a cruel judge. It is the foe of God. It is the root of blasphemy."

What we are witnessing today is the effort for the strong to dominate, control, and enslave the weak. This attitude is derived from arrogance and lack of respect for one’s fellow man. Imposing harsh and painful measures so as to terrorize one into submission. Our Almighty God did not create us to inflict suffering upon each other. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God, teaches us to "love one another." He says, "A new commandment I give to you, THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER. By this, all will know that you are My disciples if you love one another. (Saint John 13:34). What we must not allow anyone to replace LOVE with hatred, unity with division, compassion with cruelty, mercy with malice, life with death, good with evil, and what is right with what is wrong.

When there is an absence of love, God is no longer present. We must not drive Our All-Loving Redeemer and Savior from us. He sacrificed His life to save us from evil and death. Why would we, His creatures and disciples, desire to drive Him away? If we created a vacuum, an empty space where there is no love, then it will surely be filled with evil. Therefore, instead of our world be flooded and filled with Divine Light, it will be overcome by darkness and death.

There is no more urgent time than now that all should pray and entreat our Lord and God to forgive us and protect us from the evil one. "Thy will be done on earth as it in heaven," O Lord. "Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our transpasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us NOT into temptation, but deliver us FROM THE EVIL ONE."

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us, sinners.


"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.


"…There is sin LEADING TO DEATH..All un-
righteousness is sin…" (1 John 5:16-17).

Currently, people throughout the world are living in fear, but not just any fear, fear of death. Of course, this is not unexpected since mankind has apostatized from the Source of Life, the Almighty God, and Creator. Mankind has drifted and continues to drift further and further from the Life-Giving Savior Jesus Christ. This is what Saint John says to us, "And this is the testimony that God has given us Eternal Life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son HAS LIFE, he who DOES NOT HAVE THE SON OF GOD DOES NOT HAVE LIFE. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that YOU MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE and that YOU MAY CONTINUE TO BELIEVE IN THE NAME OF THE Son of God" (1 John 5:11-13).

By NOT believing in God, one does NOT believe in eternal life either (‘the life after’). For the unbeliever ‘there is no life after this life here on earth’. For the unbeliever, there is nothing to hope for him, there is ONLY DEATH. This is why death terrifies the unbeliever. For the Christian, the cross, the instrument of torment and death, is transformed by the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon it, the Son of God, the Life-Giving Tree, the instrument of the salvation for ALL OF mankind. "Sin leading to death," that which is beyond our prayer, is wilful, continual disbelief in the Grace of God, the Holy Spirit toward us.

As you know, spiritual death originated immediately following the act of disobedience of Adam and Eve. Saint Gregory Palamas, one of the Great Holy Fathers of the Church states: "The soul of Adam was separated from God and died." In another Homily, this same Holy Father says: "Sin is SPIRITUAL DEATH." We, as Orthodox Christians, believe that bodily death will be done away with when the future Kingdom of God comes, WHILE SPIRITUAL DEATH WILL BE IMPOSED UPON ALL THOSE WHO TRANSGRESSED THE LAW OF GOD HERE ON EARTH AND LEFT EARTH UNREPENTANT." (Saint Symeon the New Theologian) Therefore THE DEATH OF THE SOUL is essentially the presence of sin" (Saint Gregory Palamas). Saint Thalassios writes, " the soul’s disease is an evil disposition, while the death is sin put into actions." Since then, those who are at odds with God ARE SEPARATED FROM GOD. What the unbelievers and all those who have rejected and apostatized from God feel is the horror of death and the end of the present life. Through their apostasy, they rejected the Divine Gifts, and in addition, they are also deprived of all their benefits and are preoccupied with every kind of evil. Thus, spiritual death, or THE DEATH OF THE SOUL, is nothing other than the estrangement of man from God, Who IS LIFE ITSELF (Saint Gregory of Nyssa).

People, as prisoners of sin, resemble those who walk in darkness and "live in a land of deep darkness" Isaiah 9:2. As long as people are slaves to sin, they do NOT have the enlightened mind of the True knowledge of the Lord. They, instead, resemble the dead, even though biological death has not yet come upon them. Without God, the soul is tormented and lives in darkness and desolation. Those who ignore heavenly priority are spiritually DEAD.

This is the death which was denoted by our Savior Jesus Christ when someone who wanted to follow Him requested first permission to go and bury his father. With this request, the Lord Jesus answered: "Leave the dead to bury their own dead" (Saint Matthew 8:22). The "dead", who was to bury the dead, was certainly not dead bodily. Clearly, the dead were those who WERE SPIRITUALLY DEAD. According to Saint Gregory Palamas, the Lord classified as dead also those who were alive, but who "WERE DEAD IN THEIR SOUL."

On another occasion, Jesus said to the Jews: "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes Him Who sent Me, has ETERNAL LIFE; he does NOT come into judgment, but has passed from death to LIFE. Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead WILL HEAR THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD, AND THOSE WHO HEAR WILL LIVE" (St. John 5:24-25). In using the words "death" and "dead" here, our Savior Jesus Christ means the spiritual death of sin and the people who are spiritually dead.

The horrific condition of spiritual death applies to those who live after Christ and are slaves to sin. Saint Gregory the Theologian wrote: "There is only one life, seek afterlife. There is one death and it is sin, the destruction of the soul. As for the other matters that certain people take pride in, they resemble dreams that only mock reality and which are false fantasies of the soul." Saint Justin Popovic states: "the evangelical divine truth is this: holiness IS LIFE and SINFULNESS IS DEATH, piety IS LIFE and impiety IS DEATH; FAITH IS LIFE AND DISBELIEF IS DEATH; GOD IS LIFE and the DEVIL IS DEATH. DEATH IS SEPARATION FROM GOD AND LIFE IS RETURN TO GOD AND LIFE IN GOD."

Beyond the agonizing condition of spiritual death, there is still another condition even more painful. If the moral death of the soul is a great evil, which indeed it is for it separates and estranges the soul from God Who is Life, the worst evil of all IS ENDLESS OR ETERNAL DEATH. For everyone who has died spiritually but continues to live bodily, there is still the hope OF REPENTANCE, OF RESURRECTION, and OF SALVATION. One of the Great Holy Fathers of the Church, Saint John Chrysostomos says, "We are all under punishment. But forgiveness has not been excluded from us, nor are we beyond the possibility of repentance. For we are still standing in the arena of the daily struggle for our perfection in Christ, and are ready for the difficult struggles of repentance.." But when we DEPART FROM THIS WORLD "IN SIN" AND UNREPENTANT and fall into the arms of "undying death", then there is no further opportunity for efforts to repent, to be raised from the dead, and for the Light of Christ to shine upon us."

Very few Orthodox Christians contemplate the spiritual death or the death of the soul. The tendency for all people is to be preoccupied with the death of the body and not the soul. There are many people who do not even believe in the existence of the soul and therefore are not concerned about its salvation or eternal life. Orthodox Christians believe that we were given by our Creator a soul and it is this soul that gives life to the body. Biological death is the separation of the soul from the body. Just as we take care of our body throughout our earthly existence, we must also take care of our soul. Just as the body needs nourishment, cleanliness, exercise, protection, medical attention when ill, healing, and rest from labor, so does the soul need spiritual nourishment, Divine grace that is given by God the Holy Spirit, and sanctification that is derived through the Sacraments, specifically the Holy Eucharist which is given "for the remission of sins and life eternal." The Sacrament of reconciliation, cleanliness, and forgiveness is Confession; exercise, through prayer, worship, fasting is the Holy Scripture; protection is by remaining faithful and being a member of the Church of Christ; spiritual medical attention we receive from the "Physician of our souls and bodies," our God and Savior Who heals every bodily and spiritual infirmity. He (Jesus) is the One Who finally grants us everlasting rest and peace. We must also never forget how necessary charity is or ‘works of mercy’ to the salvation of our souls.

It would be a great mistake for any of us to neglect or ignore our sous. It is not the sin that condemns us, but the lack of repentance for sins committed by us. Take care of your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, and to your IMMORTAL SOUL which gives life to the body. Let the Creator of our souls and bodies bless them and sanctify them by the Grace of the Holy Spirit so that they may inherit Eternal Life in God’s Kingdom. 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

“…A THORN IN THE FLESH WAS GIVEN TO ME…” (2 Corinthians 12:7).

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

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

"And lest I should be exalted above measure by the
the abundance of the revelations, A THORN IN THE
FLESH WAS GIVEN TO ME, a messenger of Satan to
Concerning this thing I PLEADED WITH THE LORD
WEAKNESS.’ Therefore gladly I will rather boast
in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest
upon me.

WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG" (2 Cor. 12:-7-10).

When in pain or suffering we must not rush to judgment when we turn to our Lord and we are not immediately freed from it. There are different ways that man suffers or is in pain. It can be a physical ailment, it can be spiritual, it can be emotional, or it can even be psychological. As a human being, I know that no one is exempt from pain, agony, disappointment, failure, sorrow, sadness, illness, or even death. It is not pleasant for anyone to go through these experiences, but no one can escape them. Saint John Chrysostom reveals to us the proper attitude of how a believer should confront these negative emotions when he says, "Glory Be To GOD, For All Things!"

Saint Paul, one of the great Holy Apostles of Christ, suffered and "pleaded with the Lord THREE TIMES that it may depart from me and He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you…". By thorn in his flesh, Saint Paul was referring to the persecutions he had so often suffered from ruthless adversaries. The Holy Apostle Paul could hardly bear the plots that were going on behind his back and he sought three times to be freed from them, but Saint Paul’s affliction was "INTENDED FOR A HIGHER PURPOSE". By the grace of God, HIS HUMILITY OVERCAME HIS WEAKNESS. "By this, it became clear that God’s power IS MADE PERFECT IN PERSECUTIONS AND SUFFERINGS. When one suffers greatly from an illness or when one feels abandoned and alone, it is then that our power is made stronger and our faith is made more perfect. The more trials we face, "THE MORE GRACE WE ARE CAPABLE OF RECEIVING." Saint John Chrysostom asks, "Does this imply that the devil is good because he is useful? On the contrary, he is evil because he is the devil, but God Who is Good and Almighty draws many good things out of the devil’s spite."

The Holy Apostle is also testifying that God makes provisions for those who have done well, while at the same time He allows them to be thrown down by different kinds of challenges which they experience. This is both so that they shall not be deprived of the fruits of their work and that they may be ENRICHED by their trials or struggles so that they may have even greater eternal rewards. Therefore, my dear friends, when we are going through personal troubles or difficulties in life, it can be both our blessing and our destruction. "We don’t know how we should pray," because they are hard to endure and because the pain is unbearable and, as human beings, we seek relief and healing. But this need of devotion we owe to our Lord our God, that, if He does not remove them, we are NOT to think that He has deserted us, but rather, by lovingly bearing evil or suffering, we are to hope for the greater good. This is how power is made perfect in adversity, then our faith is crowned. This is the difference between us and the unbelievers who do not know God, that they complain and grumble when facing problems or troubles. Adversity does not turn us from the truth of virtue and faith, it empowers us in suffering.

Saint Augustine asks, "Who could love us more than God does?," Yet He continually teaches us sweetly as well as frightens us for our good. Often adding the most stringing medicine of trouble to the gentle remedies with which He comforts us, he tries the patriarchs, even good and devout ones, by famine; He chastises a stubborn people with heavier punishments; He does not take away from the Apostle the sting of the flesh, though asked three times, so AS TO PERFECT STRENGTH IN WEASKNESS."

Saint John Chrysostom states: "Accordingly, whether we have our requests granted or not, LET US PERSIST IN ASKING AND RENDER THANKS NOT ONLY WHEN WE GAIN WHAT WE ASK BUT ALSO WHEN WE FAIL TO. Failure to gain, when that is what God wants, is not worse than succeeding. We do not know what is to our advantage in the way that God does. The result is, then, THAT SUCCEEDING OR FAILING WE OUGHT TO GIVE THANKS. Why are you surprised that we don’t know what is to our advantage? Saint Paul, a man of such quality and stature, judged worthy of inefffable blessings, DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS ADVANTAGEOUS IN HIS REQUESTS: when he saw himself beset with trouble and diverse tribulations, he prayed to be rid of them, not once or twice but many times. "Three times I asked the Lord," he says…
"Three" MEANS HE ASKED FREQUENTLY WITHOUT SUCESS. So let us see how he was effected by it. Surely he didn’t take it badly? He didn’t turn fainthearted, did he? He didn’t become dispirited, did he? Not at all. On the contrary, God said, "My grace is sufficient for you. My power has its full effect in weakness." Not only did He did not free him of the troubles afflicting him, but he even allowed him to persevere in them. Therefore, we ought to yield to the Creator of our nature and with joy and great relish ACCEPT THOSE THINGS THAT He has decided and have an eye not to the appearance of events, but to the decisions of the Lord. After all, He knows better than we what is for our benefit and also knows what steps must be taken for our salvation" (Homily 30:16 on Genesis).

As Orthodox Christians we all know that there is not one Saint who has not walked the path of suffering until he was saved. Saint John Chrysostom again says: "Let us not consider this a sign that God has abandoned us and has despised us, when we are subjected to trials (sorrows), but let it be a sign to us that the Lord cares for us, because, BY ALLOWING THE TRIALS TO COME, He IS CLEANSING OUR SINS."


"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.


"And the Logos/Word became flesh
and dwelt among us, and we beheld
His glory, the glory as of the only-
begotten of the Father, full of grace
and truth" (St. John 1:14).

The above verse taken from John 1:14 speaks about the humanity or human nature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Logos/Word became man without ceasing to be fully God: the mystery of God Incarnate. By His Incarnation, matter has been magnified with Divine glory. "God has become flesh, has become human so that the ENTIRE MAN, THE ENTIRE BODY, MIGHT BE FILLED WITH God. and with His miracle-working forces and powers. In the God-Man, the Lord Christ, and His Body, all matter has been set on a path toward Christ – the path of theosis (deification), transfiguration, sanctification, resurrection, and ascent to an eternal glory surpassing that of the Cherubim…Through its Divine and human existence in the Church, the HUMAN BODY, AS MATTER, AS SUBSTANCE, IS SANCTIFIED by the Holy Spirit and in this way PARTICIPATES IN THE LIFE OF THE HOLY TRINITY. MATTER THUS ATTAINS ITS TRANSCENDENT, DIVINE MEANING AND GOAL, ITS ETERNAL BLESSEDNESS AND ITS IMMORTAL JOY IN THE God-Man." (Saint Justin Popovich)

According to Saint Justin, "The holiness of the Saints, both the holiness of their souls and of their bodies derives from their zealous grace-and virtue-bestowing lives in the Body of the Church of Christ, of the God-Man. In this sense, HOLINESS COMPLETELY ENVELOPES THE HUMAN BODY. THE HOLINESS OF THE SAINTS DOES NOT HOLD FORTH ONLY IN THEIR SOULS, BUT IT NECESSARILY EXTENDS TO THEIR BODIES; SO IT IS BOTH THE BODY AND THE SOUL OF A SAINT ARE SANCTIFIED. Thus we, in piously VENERATING THE Sins, also VENERATE THE ENTIRE PERSON, IN THIS MANNER NOT SEPARATING THE HOLY SOUL FROM THE HOLY BODY. Our pious veneration of the Saints’ holy relics is A NATURAL PART OF OUR PIOUS RESPECT FOR AND PRAYERFUL ENTREATY TO THE SAINTS."

"Clearly", writes Saint Justin, "during his life on earth, the Saint, by A CONTINUOUS AND SINGULAR GRACE-AND VIRTUE-BESTOWING SYNERGY OF SOUL AND BODY, ATTAINS TO THE SANCTIFICATION OF HIS PERSON, FILLING BOTH THE SOUL AND BODY WITH THE GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND SO TRANSFORMING THEM INTO VESSELS OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES AND HOLY VIRTUES… Establishing themselves in the Holy Spirit through grace-bestowing ascetic labors, the Saints PARTICIPATE IN THE LIFE OF THE HOLY TRINITY, BECOMING sons of the Holy Trinity, temples of the Living God (2 Corinthians 6:16); THEIR WHOLE LIVES THUS FLOW FROM THE Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit."

By piously venerating the holy relics of the Saints, the Church reveres them as temples of the Holy Spirit, temples of the Living God, in which God dwells by Grace even after the earthly death of the Saints. And by His most wise and good will, God creates miracles in and through these holy relics. Moreover, the miracles which derive from the holy relics, and there are numerous, WITNESS ALSO TO THE FACT THAT THEIR PIOUS VENERATION BY THE FAITHFUL IS PLEASING TO GOD.

The pious veneration of holy relics is nothing new or unprecedented but originated from Divine Revelation. We see in the Old Testament God ordained to celebrate with miracles the holy relics of righteous people who were pleasing to Him. Thus, by THE TOUCH of this Prophet Elisea, a dead man was resurrected. The tomb and bones of this Prophet, who had prophesied to Jeroboam the destruction of idolatrous altars, were greatly revered in Judea. The Patriarch Joseph also left a testament to the sons of Israel to preserve his bones in Egypt and, during their exodus, to carry them to the promised land (Genesis 50:25).

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came to deify and to make Christ-like the entire human being, both the soul and body, and this by the resurrection, insuring thereby victory over death and eternal life. The Resurrection hymn chanted at Pascha reinforces this, "Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling upon Death, and has BESTOWED Life to those in the tombs." And the holy Apostle Paul adds, "And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!… But he who is joined to the Lord IS ONE SPIRIT WITH Him… For you were BOUGHT AT A PRICE; THEREFORE GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY AND IN YOUR SPIRIT, WHICH ARE GOD’S" (1 Corinthians 6:14-20).

The holy Apostle of the Nations Paul emphatically reminds us all that "the body", our body, belongs to God not as people today contend that the body is their own and can use it anyway they determine to use it. "It’s my body," they say, and "I can use it as I desire." They even consider the baby inside of them as part of their body and can be aborted, kill it, at will. The Christian believer believes that the body belongs to God, the Creator of the body. The body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, is sacred, and CANNOT be used as an instrument of sin and abuse. Therefore, we are commanded to treat our body with reverence and to keep it holy and pure. This is one of the reasons why our Holy Orthodox Church teaches abstinence from "foods" is the first discipline of the Fast, which also includes prayer and almsgiving. Outside the Great Orthodox Cathedral of Agia Sophia, there was a fountain and the inscription on it for the faithful to see and read was, Nipson anomemata, me monon opsi. In other words "wash away your transgressions, not only your face," before they entered the holy church and participated in the Divine Eucharist.

We must never forget, as Saint Pauls says, that our bodies are "members of Christ" 12:20, "But now indeed there are many members, YET ONE BODY." And immediately following the Mysterion (Sacrament) of Holy Baptism we chant: "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ." Saint John Chrysostom adds: "We have many improper wishes, but we must repress them, for we can."

I concur with Saint Paul when he says to the Thessalonians: "Therefore, brethren, STAND FAST AND HOLD THE TRADITIONS WHICH YOU HAVE TAUGHT, WHETHER IN WORD OR OUR EPISTLE" (2 Thessalonians 2:15)..


"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.

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great
a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and
the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with
endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto
Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith who for the
the joy that was before Him endured the Cross, despising
the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the
Throne of God. For consider Him Who endured such
hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you
become weary and discouraged in your souls" (Hebrews 12:1-3)

"…Still, others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains
and imprisonment. They were STONED, THEY WERE SAWN IN TWO,
in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–OF
WHOM THE WORLD WAS NOT WORTHY. They wandered in deserts and
mountains, in dens and caves of the earth" (Hebrews11:36-38).

One distinguishing and certainly truly unique Orthodox Christian tradition is the VENERATION OF THE SAINTS. The Saints of our Holy Orthodox Church are the Christian heroes and heroines of our Faith. I am referring to the millions of men, women, and children who "fought the good fight," and won. Who gave their lives to the service and glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. "The lives and praises of the Saints are like the stars in brilliance. Because of their number, we do not know the names of all the Saints; still, they amaze us by their radiant majesty, as do the stars, which while fixed in their position in the heavens illumine all that is below, being seen by us, shining upon the land and guiding by their light those at sea. Similarly, the radiance of the Saints, though their holy relics be entombed in sepulchers, is not bounded by the ends of this earth here below. Therefore, we marvel at their lives and are amazed at how God has glorified them that please Him." (Saint Symeon Metraphrastes)

Among the holy people of God are the holy, and venerable Prophets, and righteous men and women of the Old Testament. The Greek word προφήτης (prophetes) derived from πρόφημι, means FORETELL, that is, TO TELL BEFOREHAND. In Hebrew, the word "prophet" (nabi) meant not necessarily one who foretold the future, but ONE COMMISSIONED BY GOD TO SPEAK TO MAN. What is rightly described as prophecy, not because it predicts future events, but BECAUSE IT UNCOVERS HIDDEN TRUTHS."

Christians were and are still referred to as "saints." They are the "holy people of God." Also, "the way,", the "disciples of Christ." The disciples were called Christians in Antioch for the first time. Of all the attributes man ascribes to God, that of HOLINESS expresses the innermost entity to which all others are related. "Holiness embodies the sense of the incomprehensible and an inarticulate feeling which is outside and beyond, but, at the same time, present and near to the everyday experience and heart of man…Therefore, it is the revelation of the PRESENCE OF HOLINESS that stimulates man’s innate tendency to worship…Wherefore God’s presence is felt, there man meets with the mystery and awesomeness of His holiness. The intimacy of God’s Holiness depends upon man’s faith, activities, and conduct. This holiness is granted TO ALL WHO ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT IT, for as "He Who calls you is Holy, be holy yourselves IN ALL YOUR CONDUCT" (1 Peter 1:15). This call to holiness is especially needed in our society today.

In Catechism one learns that in the Creation God created man in His "image" and after His "likeness," and although man fell into sin through ARROGANCE AND DISOBEDIENCE, God in His compassion now offers fallen man salvation and the chance to regain his state of sanctity. It is written as a covenant and promises that the state of holiness is offered to man, for "You shall be holy, for I (God) am Holy" (1 Peter 1:16). This Divine offer, however, depends upon man’s acceptance. It means that one will attain a state of holiness through the sincere change from arrogance and disobedience to HUMBLENESS AND OBEDIENCE.

The Orthodox Christian grows up hearing about the Saints of the Church. However, who are these Saints? and why are their lives so important to us? According to our Holy Tradition, "To those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints," is the call that the Almighty God makes to everyone today to enter the state of holiness and sainthood (1 Corinthians 1:2). This calling to sainthood applies to the faithful members of the Church who share the blessing of this divine testament as holy people of a Holy God. Christians are saints by virtue of being "in Christ Jesus," Philippians 1:1." The first people to be called saints were the holy Martyrs, who died for their strong faith and conviction and confession of Christian beliefs and practices.

The Holy Martyrs and Saints of the Church are honored in various ways. On the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Saint, the Orthodox Christians gather in the church where they offer the Divine Liturgy (Eucharist), and the local priest speaks about the life, deeds, and miracles attributed to the Saint. We, as Orthodox Christians, are inspired by their pious and virtuous lives and attempt to emulate them in our personal lives. We invite them to also intercede to God on our behalf, believing them to be much closer to Him. They gave up their lives out of faith and love and for the glory and honor of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When the Orthodox Christian is baptized, he or she, receives the name of one of the Saints of the Church who then becomes his/her protector and intercessor Saint. We are taught to honor our Saint by living according to his/her holy example and to attend the Divine Liturgy on his/her feast-day and receive Holy Communion on the feast-day.

The veneration of the Saints is one of the greatest Orthodox Christian traditions and it a holy tradition that must be continued. In today’s secular world, however, people are influenced by its many and worldly enticements. Today’s Orthodox Christians are at risk and in danger of losing their Orthodox Christian identity and spiritual roots if they do not stay connected with the Church. In the fifty-one years that I have served our Savior Jesus Christ, I have seen dramatic changes throughout the world and concerning changes among our Orthodox faithful. What is frightening is that there are to many of our Orthodox faithful know even the basic beliefs of our Faith. The Orthodox kat’ oikon ekklesia (the home church) is devasted and practically non-existent. In many instances the Orthodox Christian home is devoid of any spiritual life i.e., there is no prayer, there are hardly any holy icons in the house, there is no regular worship as a family, there is no religious discussion, no mention about the Lives of the Saints, especially about the personal Patron Saint of the child/ren, Christian morality and values is hardly touched upon, they have absolutely no knowledge or even participation of the sacraments, there is no discussion about self-respect, respect of others, and respect for life. It is a fact that children are thirsty and yearn to know more about the faith in which they weree baptized in as well as the Orthodox Christian Tradition. What does it mean to be an Orthodox Christian? They also are looking for role models to emulate and follow. The world and society produce it own role models, i.e., from the sports world, to actors in Hollywood, as well as enetertainment. Christian children should be guided by their parents to emulate our Christian Saints and personalities rather than people who may not even believe in God or have any values or ethics.

Sadly, my good friends, due to the lack of knowledge and implementation of the Orthodox Christian faith, it has been reported in recently by our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese that we are losing over %65 per cent of our young adults, either to other religions or to no religion at all. Another contributing factor may be the great increase in inter-Christian marriages where the spouses do not share a common Christian faith. It is true that when the husband and wife do not share a common Christian faith at home, that in order to avoid conflict within the marrige and family that Orthodoxy suffers. The reality is that the children of that family are caught between two opposing Christian traditions. I have witnessed it personally where children are totally confused and don’t know where they belong. The problem becomes more acute when they grow older and become young adults and independent of their parents and need to chose for themselves a place to worship and where to belong. What happens much of the time according to the Church authorities is to either join another religion or ignore religion all together. For some of our young adults it may not be that difficucult to convert to another religion since they don’t know much about Orthodoxy. the Faith in which they were baptized in. I personally consider this situation very frightning and alarming to say the least. This should be considered, in my humble opinion, a major emergency facing our Orthodox Church. However, my question is shouldn’t there be an outcry, concern, action, and an alarm? Thus far there is only silence, and the silence is deafening!

All of us are concerned of someone stealing our identity, and consider it a deplorable criminal act, and of course a violation of our person when it happens. But how do we feel when our religious identity is threatened or violated? How to react and what kind of measures do we take to protect it? Of course, we all know that it is not only about the identity that we are concerned with but also about our children’s salvation. The Orthodox Church is unquestionably the Authentic Church of Christ, and therefore, salvation is found within it. Our children are protected by us throughout their lives from all kinds of dangers and threats, should they not also be protected from questionable and dangerous religions and cults? Should they not be given the chance to discover our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be saved? Our children need to be in worship, at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning, and NOT on a soccer field or a baskeball court. Why are the Christian parents currently placing entertainment and sports above the Lord and the Holy Church? Listen to what the Holy Bible says, "When parents brought to Him (Jesus) that He might put His hands on them and pray, the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "LET THE LITTLE CHILDREN COME TO ME, AND DO NOT FORBID THEM FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. And He laid His hands on them" (St. Matthew 19:13-15).

"The disciples thought that bringing children to Jesus diminished His dignity as Teacher and Master. Christ therefore show that He especially accepts THE GUILELESSNESS OF A LITTLE CHILD, saying, "Let the little children come unto Me, for of such is the Kingdom of heaven." He does not say, "of these," but "of such," that is, the Kingdom of heaven belongs TO THOSE WHO HAVE SIMPLICITY, GUILESESSNESS AND INNOCENSE" (Saint Theophylactos).

Let us not betray Our Savior Jesus Christ and our Orthodox Christian Tradition, and Faith. Instead, let us make God real in our Orthodox Christian home. To truly feel His presence through prayer, through the veneration of the holy icons, by annually blessing of our home, by living daily a genuine Christian life. In addition, by emulating the holy and virtuous lives of our Saints, by receiving the Holy Eucharist freequently and participating in the Sacrament of Repentance/Confession as a family, by being obedient and adhering to the Divine Commandments of God, by acts of mercy, and living the new life in Christ.

Through the prayers of our holy Fathers and Mothers,
Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon us and
save us. 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,

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

"And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen
do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Therefore do not be like them. For your Father KNOWS THE

"Then they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden that afternoon, and Adam
and his wife hid themselves within the tree in the middle of the garden FROM THE PRESENCE
OF THE LORD GOD. So the Lord God called Adam and said to him, ‘Adam, WHERE ARE YOU?’
AFRAID SO I HID MYSELF.’ (Genesis 3:8-10).

Adam, the first human, was FORMED (created) by God "OUT OF DUST FROM THE GROUND, AND BREATHED IN HIS FACE THE BREATH OF LIFE; AND MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL" (Genesis 2:7). Lest man forgets Who the Creator is and who the creature is. God FORMED Adam’s body "OUT OF DUST FROM THE GROUND". The "BREATH OF LIFE" is the Grace of God the Holy Spirit, "The Giver of Life" (The Creed). The Lord God breathed THE BREATH OF LIFE into man’s body and he became "A LIVING SOUL." The first man, Adam, was a living soul because he possessed a body and a soul, and the Grace of God the Holy Spirit.

It is established by the biblical account above that there was indeed a true and real COMMUNION between God and man. There was never any question that Adam and Eve were in "PRESENCE OF THE LORD GOD." How glorious and fearful, at the same time, that must have been! God desired to have this unique relationship with His creatures for all eternity. However, as we all know through the disobedience of Adam to God’s command regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he fell from God’s grace and the path to perfection, separating himself from His Creator, the Source of Life. However, God the Creator NEVER ABANDONED HIS CREATURE and His unconditional love for him never diminished. Through His Beloved Son, His Death, and Resurrection conquered the devil and death, freeing mankind from the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15) and making possible a more complete communion between God and man. This communion allows people to become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter1:4), to transcend death and ultimately, all the consequences of the Fall.

While on earth and during His earthly Ministry, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ taught us to pray rightly , and not as "the heathen." We must all pray "in this manner,"

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into
But deliver us from the evil
For Thine is the Kingdom and
the power and they glory
forever. Amen.

We must not pray hypocritically. True prayer originates from the heart and reveals a profound, intimate, and a sincere personal love relationship with our Creator and God. What unites us with Him is none other than agape. After all, He is Our Father and not some stranger. This intimate relationship leads us to the vision of His glory (1 Corinthians 2:9, "But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those WHO LOVE Him." Let us never forget that God IS LOVE! It is very clear, and it should be common sense after all, that we can never understand God or His ways. Saint Paul emphasizes this point when he says, "NO ONE KNOWS THE THINGS OF God except the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:11).

There is not, or will ever be, a more beautiful and greater prayer than the Lord’s Prayer. It is extremely important that when we pray, that we pray with the right spirit and understanding. The Lord Himself says: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (St. Matthew 7:7-8), promises the availability of God’s help. We can never be discouraged by what we perceive as God’s delay in answering our prayer. Geronda [Elder] Ephraim, of blessed memory, would always encourage the faithful no matter what, to continue praying, to continue asking, to continue seeking and never, but never, to be discouraged and give up. We ask in prayer; seek by learning God’s truth; and knock by doing God’s will.

We ought to know, however, that no one can begin to pray to the Almighty God without a profound and sincere faith. The Lord Jesus Himself said, "…I say to you, IF YOU HAVE FAITH AS A MUSTARD SEED, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU" (St. Matthew 17:20). Faith, my good friends, IS A GIFT OF GOD. A special gift bestowed by Our Lord Jesus Christ which effects things beyone man’s power. But it is always based upon belief and trust. "And I was afraid," was Adam’s answer to God. Shoud we be afraid of God? Yes. Fear not terror. Fear that is born out of wonder, His Greatness, His awesome power, that God is a consuming fire, and understanding of Who God is and who we are. Fear knowing that God gives life and God can take life away.

In the Orthodox Christian Tradition there is a variety of different prayers that an Orthodox Christian can choose from for different occasions. We all know that our Church has Orthodox Prayer Books that are available for everyone’s personal use and edification. It is our practice when we pray to always include a brief petition i.e., ‘Kyrie eleison’ (‘Lord, have mercy’). For me, these two words are very significant and necessary. The words ‘Kyrie eleison’, although used as a petition to God, can be seen as a kind of prayer. When we say it with faith and conviction, it can be a most solemn and profound prayer. Just by saying these two words, we immediately acknowledge God as Lord and Master. That He rules over me, provides for me as an earthly lord provides and cares for his servant or slave. As Lord, I acknowledge, that He bought me for a high price, the Sacrifice on the Cross, and I belong to Him completely. I understand fully, that I am too be obedient to His every command and to serve Him obediently. In ancient times when someone bought a slave at the marketplace, his first act was to cut a lock of his hair to impress upon him or her that from that time on, he/she was his property and could do to him/her as he wished. What we are saying, and openly admitting, is that we belong entirely, and that we promise, to willingly be obedient to our Heavenly Lord and Savior. Furthermore, we acknowledge that everything depends and relies on the ‘eleos’ or ‘mercy’ of God. We humbly believe that we do not deserve or that we merit anything. A slave has ‘no rights’ and can never have any demands or expectations from his master; and neither can a Christian. Who do we think that we are to make any demands of God? We are only ‘dust’ and ‘soil’ from the earth. I sense, however, that some of us arrogantly and disrespectfully act as though we have the power to bring down God to our level, that we are equal, or even more blasphemous, that we are more superior to Him, and that we can judge Him and question His actions. Perhaps we think that we are so much greater than He and that we can even understand the Almighty; i.e., How He thinks, feels, and acts. Maybe we have the audacity (Gk. thrasos) to believe that we have authority over Him and can go as far as to dictate to Him what we want Him to do for us. Who? The Creator of the universe? How very foolish we are! Kyrie eleison!

Jesus used parables to communicate His Truth, however, one must have spiritual eyes to see and spiritual ears to hear, and even then are degrees of understnding of the parables. Parables challenge the hearer and call for faith to perceive the mysteries of God’s Kingdom and His Divine Gospel. He used the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican to explain the right way of praying. He said, "And the tax collector, standing far off, would NOT SO MUCH AS RAISE HIS EYES TO HEAVEN, BUT BEAT HIS BREAST, SAYING, ‘God, BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (St. Luke 18:13-14).



"Gloy 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.

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging
the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel–
rather let it be the HIDDEN PERSON OF THE HEART
THE SPIRIT OF GOD" (1 Peter 3:3-4).

As we all know there are different kinds of beauty, the inner, the spiritual beauty, and the outward beauty, the physical beauty when it pertains to humans. The holy Apostle explains further, "For this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands." The dignity and modesty of a woman–and her good conduct–have the power to call her husband to faith and devotion. Nor are husbands to take advantage of this superior conduct on the part of their wives, but are to reciprocate, indeed to give honor. Contrary to the inheritance customs of the time, husband and wife are "HEIRS TOGETHER OF THE GRACE OF LIFE" (v. 7). It is made clear by the holy Apostle that "Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being HEIRS TOGETHER OF THE GRACE OF LIFE, that your prayers may not be hindered." Failure to live "with understanding" with one’s spouse even affects ONE’S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

The model is "Christ and the Church" (Ephesians 5:32) which is applied to marriage. The holy Apostle makes it very clear to the husbands to love their wives: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her… So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he WHO LOVES HIS WIFE LOVES HIMSELF. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the Church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones…Nevertheless, let EACH ONE OF YOU IN PARTICULAR SO LOVE HIS OWN WIFE AS HIMSELF, AND LET THE WIFE SEE THAT SHE RESPECTS HER HUSBAND" (Ephesians 5:25-33).

The Almighty God and Creator of all things, "MADE EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IN ITS TIME, AND HE INDEED PUT ETERNITY IN THEIR HEARTS…" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The Eternal Logos/Word–the "beginning" and the "end" (v.11)-came into "time" and REDEEMED all things. He turned out weeping into joy, our mourning into dancing, our hatred into love, and our time into "eternity."

Our Lord and Savior when confronting the Pharisees He exposes their hypocrisy and fake beauty: "For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed APPEAR BEAUTIFUL OUTWARDLY, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness" (St. Matthew 23:27).

Indeed created beauty and gave it to man to enjoy it and as he matured spiritually to find it within himself. God created the first human, Adam beautiful, not only physically, but from within, his soul. Whether we gaze at the heavenly bodies, the stars, the moon, the planets and specifically our own planted earth, what we view is awesome beauty. God’s beauty is embedded in men’s heart, in his relationship with his Creator, in love, in his faith in God, in holiness, in purity, in obedience to His Redeemer Christ, in his kindness and compassion of his fellow man, in being just, in righteousness, in his willingness to forgive, in virtue, in the birth of his child, in the woman that he marries, and in his communion with the Almighty God.

God’s beauty all around us and prayerfully within each and every one of us. There is of course ugliness as well. The ugliness that is present, comes from the evil one and sadly also by man. What is ugly is one’s lack of faith, our hatred of God and of one another, our lack of respect for our planet, our lack of compassion for the suffering men, women, and children, our lack of appreciation of the Lord’s abundant blessings, the constant killing of one another through violence and wars, the abuse and exploitation of people, the cruelty of animals and sea creatures, and many and various sins committed against God and one another, human bondage and slavery, and finally the unwillingness to love our Master and God unconditionally.

By the grace of God, however, God’s beauty is much greater than Satan’s and man’s ugliness. Ugliness in time will be annihilated but God’s beauty will prevail. and eternal beauty will once again be restored fully. Take time to thank our Creator for His beautiful creation and to enjoy it. Joy comes out of beauty, laughter is generated from beauty, love is strengthened by beauty, and man’s soul is gratified by the beauty of God.

Stay beautiful both inside and out. Everyone has the potential and talent which our Lord has given him/her to create beauty. Be a creator of beauty instead of adding more ugliness in God’s beautiful world. Discover the Lord’s beauty in your soul and offer Him thanksgiving and praise. And "just as he chose us in Him that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love… to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:4-6).

As long as Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior and we, are one, we are and will continue to be BEAUTIFUL.


"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 a Canon is

A Canon, according to Zonoras (in his interpretation of the 39th letter of Saint Athanasius the Great), properly speaking and in the main sense of the word, is a piece of wood, commonly called A RULE, which artisans use to get the wood and stone they are working on STRAIGHT. For, when they place the rule (or straightedge) against their work, if this is CROOKED, INWARDS, OR OUTWARDS, THEY MAKE IT STRAIGHT AND RIGHT. From this, by METAPHORICAL extension, votes, and decisions are also CALLED CANONS, whether they are of the Holy Apostles of the Ecumenical and regional Synods (Councils) or of those of individual Holy Fathers of the Church.

Our Holy Orthodox Eastern Church of Christ resembles A LARGE SHIP. Just as a ship has its captain, and helm by which it IS DIRECTED and GUIDED SAFELY TO ITS DESTINATION, SO IN LIKE MANNER THE Holy Church of Christ has her Captain, crew, and helm by which she is guided to THE DESIRED SPIRITUAL HARBOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION. The Church can no more do without these than a ship at sea. She is likely TO MEET HER ETERNAL DESTRUCTION WITHOUT THEM, THE HOLY CANONS, IN THE SAME WAY, THAT A SHIP RUNS THE DANGER OF DISASTER WHEN DEPRIVED OF THEM.

Her Divine Captain is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and her Crew the Clergy and the Laity (Orthodox Christian believers); but what is her Helm or RUDDER? It is the Sacred Book, The Rudder, which embodies the Holy Tradition of the Church, namely the Sacred Canons of the Holy Glorious Apostles, of the Seven Holy Ecumenical and Local Synods (Councils), and of the God-bearing Fathers, as well as the invaluable interpretation and commentary of the most holy Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain. "This Book," he states, "COMES AFTER THE SACRED SCRIPTURES, THE Old and New Testaments. It is a book OF INSPIRED SAYINGS second to the first inspired sayings. It is the book of the eternal limits set by our Holy Fathers and of the laws existing unto eternity and above all laws,"



Jesus Christ FOUNDED ONE CHURCH through the Holy Apostles on the day of the Holy Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit DESCENDED in the form of fiery tongues upon His Disciples and Apostles (Acts 2:1) and this Spirit has REMAINED ITS Lord (2 Corinthians 3:17) even since then. Thus it came to be denominated "the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ." But because HERESIES AROSE in the second and third centuries, or before, and continued to make their appearance on down to the 8th century, the Church, led by the Holy Spirit, CONDEMNED HERESIES AND EXCOMMUNICATED HERETICS BY DECREES OF SEVEN ECUMENICAL SYNODS (General Councils), as had been written: "Wisdom hath buildeth herself a house (the Church), and hath propped it with seen pillars…" (Proverbs 9:1). [Note: Jesus Christ DEFEATED the Devil by His death on the Cross, but God left the Devil free to evade justice UNTIL THE Seed of Christ shall conquer the seed of the Devil.) [Genesis 3:14]. The Seven Synods DOGMATIZED THE DOGMAS TO BE BELIEVED, THEY MYSTERIES (SACRAMENTS) TO BE CELEBRATED, AND THE COMMANDMENTS TO BE KEPT. The Church was therefore further denominated "Orthodox," IN ORDER TO DISTINGUISH IT FROM THE HETERODOX HERETICAL bodies. Accordingly, IT WILL REMAIN THE SAME FOREVER, AS PREDICTED IN THE WORDS OF THE Lord, who said: "And the gates of hell (vis. the mouths of heretics shall NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT" (St. Matthew 16:18). Hence it is evident that Orthodoxy is the Apostolic Church which was FOUNDED BY JESUS CHRIST and which was PERFECTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH THE holy Apostles. Whatever if perceived from the Apostles and the Seven Ecumenical Synods IT HAS PRESERVED INTACT AND UNADULTERATED BY ANY HERESY OR DELUSION, AND IT WILL CONTINUE TO PRESERVE IT FOREVER. (Source: The Rudder)

I am bringing the above information on the Sacred Canons to your attention because there are questionable element within the Church which are deliberately and perhaps even in a stealthy way to render them useless and ‘anachronistic’. In other words to dismiss them altogether as unenforceable in today’s modern world. As a matter of fact, an important religious leader in our Church a few years ago made the statement to mix gathering of clergy and laity "that if we cannot enforce or implement all of them we should not implement any of them." I also learned in one of our Patriarchates in Europe an anonymous donor paid for the printing of the Rudder so as to give every priest in this Patriarchate a free copy of this most important book and sadly and tragically the Rudder was discarded.

Most Orthodox faithful have no knowledge of the Sacred Canons contained in the book "The Rudder" and its great importance, however, it should be known to the Clergy through their theological studies in Orthodox Seminaries throughout the world. Everyone should the grave consequences of the absence of the Sacred Canons and implementation from the Church. It means that we will be leaving the Orthodox Church without any protection against heretics and heresies which will devastate our Church and bring destruction from within. Perhaps will end up like the Protestants and have so many schisms and denominations within our Church that it will cease to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ. The Holy Church of Christ has had very enemies from within and from without throughout its life and history. Why would anyone desire to create chaos and devastation with it now? Is it because the Orthodox Church is the ONLY CHRISTIAN BODY that is standing firm and loyal to her Founder and Head Jesus Christ? Evil forces want to demolish it or level it from within AND CREATE DIVISION AND ANARCHY. The Orthodox Church is preventing the demonic forces to fulfill and succeed with their global agenda to annihilate Christianity altogether because it’s the only obstacle to their sinister plan of world domination.

It is therefore imperative that Clergy and Laity be educated on the Sacred Canons of our Holy Orthodox Church and by the grace of God to protect and preserve the Truth and keep the ‘ARK OF SALVATION" AFLOAT and on the way to HER DESTINATION, THE KINGDOM OF GOD.


"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"