Церковные ВѢХИ

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church. For salvation is the revelation of the way for everyone who believes in Christ's name. This revelation is to be found only in the Church. In the Church, as in the Body of Christ, in its theanthropic organism, the mystery of incarnation, the mystery of the "two natures," indissolubly united, is continually accomplished. -Fr. Georges Florovsky


§ 20. For our faith, brethren, is not of men nor by man, but by revelation of Jesus Christ, which the divine Apostles preached, the holy Ecumenical Councils confirmed, the greatest and wisest teachers of the world handed down in succession, and the shed blood of the holy martyrs ratified. Let us hold fast to the confession which we have received unadulterated from such men, turning away from every novelty as a suggestion of the devil. He that accepts a novelty reproaches with deficiency the preached Orthodox Faith. But that Faith has long ago been sealed in completeness, not to admit of diminution or increase, or any change whatever; and he who dares to do, or advise, or think of such a thing has already denied the faith of Christ, has already of his own accord been struck with an eternal anathema, for blaspheming the Holy Ghost as not having spoken fully in the Scriptures and through the Ecumenical Councils. This fearful anathema, brethren and sons beloved in Christ, we do not pronounce today, but our Savior first pronounced it (Matt. xii. 32): Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. St. Paul pronounced the same anathema (Gal. i. 6): I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another Gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. This same anathema the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the whole choir of God-serving fathers pronounced. All, therefore, innovating, either by heresy or schism, have voluntarily clothed themselves, according to the Psalm (cix. 18), ("with a curse as with a garment,") whether they be Popes, or Patriarchs, or Clergy, or Laity; nay, if any one, though an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Thus our wise fathers, obedient to the soul-saving words of St. Paul, were established firm and steadfast in the faith handed down unbrokenly to them, and preserved it unchanged and uncontaminate in the midst of so many heresies, and have delivered it to us pure and undefiled, as it came pure from the mouth of the first servants of the Word. Let us, too, thus wise, transmit it, pure as we have received it, to coming generations, altering nothing, that they may be, as we are, full of confidence, and with nothing to be ashamed of when speaking of the faith of their forefathers. - Encyclical of the Holy Eastern Patriarchs of 1848

За ВѢру Царя И Отечество

За ВѢру Царя И Отечество
«Кто еси мимо грядый о нас невѣдущиiй, Елицы здѣ естесмо положены сущи, Понеже нам страсть и смерть повѣлѣ молчати, Сей камень возопiетъ о насъ ти вѣщати, И за правду и вѣрность къ Монарсѣ нашу Страданiя и смерти испiймо чашу, Злуданьем Мазепы, всевѣчно правы, Посѣченны зоставше топоромъ во главы; Почиваемъ въ семъ мѣстѣ Матери Владычнѣ, Подающiя всѣмъ своимъ рабомъ животь вѣчный. Року 1708, мѣсяца iюля 15 дня, посѣчены средь Обозу войсковаго, за Бѣлою Церковiю на Борщаговцѣ и Ковшевомъ, благородный Василiй Кочубей, судiя генеральный; Iоаннъ Искра, полковникъ полтавскiй. Привезены же тѣла ихъ iюля 17 въ Кiевъ и того жъ дня въ обители святой Печерской на семъ мѣстѣ погребены».

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Desert of Your Own

A Desert of Your Own
Written by the Very Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky

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"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights He was hungry. The tempter came to Him..." (Matthew 4:1)
The same Spirit will lead you into a desert that you must fashion by separating yourself from whatever prevents you from self-discovery. You need not go anywhere, but you have to put a distance from your routine way of life. WWJD-W? What Would Jesus Do - Without? If your Lenten desert includes batteries and electronics, how serious are you? This is an experiment in spiritual transformation. Either do it right or not at all.

You are imitating our Lord who was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert for a forty-day struggle with Satan. You begin with the intention to fast, pray and contemplate the meaning of salvation, "working out your own salvation with fear and trembling." You are set on following the prescription for the time until Pascha. Then you sense an urge for a more intense challenge. You intend to exceed the norms suggested by the Church. You will not just fast, but lose weight. Not only will you pray, but you set out on a program to read the whole Bible. It's all too much, so you give it up as hopeless. Or you may be influenced from below. Your body sends signals that you are punishing yourself senselessly. Suddenly you feel a headache coming on, your stomach sends out grumbling noises, and if you did not decide to avoid TV watching, you are influenced by advertisements where food is always being stuffed into open maws. Forget fasting, you decide. Surely there must be another way. Or you feel depressed, and you abandon the ideals you began with just a few days ago.

You may feel that Lent is a proper time to heal an unpleasant wound between an old friend or family member and yourself. You were the injured party, but you decide to make a Christ-like overture and patch it up. You phone or send a message, but the response just revives all the old animosity. You are made to feel that you were the cause from the beginning, and you are sorry that you even raised the issue again.

The sleepless genius of evil goes at you from another side. Like the verse in the song, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me," you make a gesture of outreach with a few words of kindness to a total stranger; and the attempt at friendship is taken the wrong way. You are made to feel foolish, like somebody with evil intentions in mind. You regret your charitable action and pull into yourself. Or worse, you feel a temptation rising that you thought you had under control a long time ago. Memories are conjured up from years past when you struggled with urges that only with prayer and intense effort you were finally able to sublimate.

The thought comes to mind: What is the purpose of all this effort? How can a person with all good will and intention "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling," as the beloved apostle Paul puts it, and what's the point of it all? So you give up the struggle and striving and accept yourself as you are. Or not. You may open yourself to the Spirit within you and take ownership of your soul. You will then not just accept the challenge of Lent but welcome it as you would a worthy opponent if you were playing in your favorite athletic contest, or just deciding to run a long stretch of miles, determined not to give in to your body, your mind, your memories, your temptations, and most of all to Satan.


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