Category Archives: Wisdom of the Holy Fathers

A New Year Sermon by St Luke of Simferopol

Доживяхме, по Божията милост, до 1950-та година. Тя бе омрачена от загубата на обичания от всички нас отец архимандрит Тихон. Такава била Божията воля! А как ще посрещнем новата 1951-ва? Разбира се, не така, както я посрещат светските люде: не с шампанско, наздравици и пиршества. Ще се поздравим ли един друг с „Честита Нова година”? Не, няма да го сторим, защото не знаем какво ни очаква през тази година – тя може да се окаже и опасна, и тежка, понеже международните отношения както никога досега са напрегнати и страшни. Напълно открито страни – врагове на нашата държава, подготвят против нас, както и против останалите демократични страни, най-страшната, най-ужасната от всички войни, водени някога в света. По чудовищните злодеяния, извършвани в нещастната Корейска земя, можем да съдим колко ужасна, как чудовищна ще бъде тази война, ако допусне Господ, ако не намали яростта на враговете ни. А ние? Как да постъпим, как да посрещнем тази 1951 година? В молитва, в дълбока мирна молитва Господ да не допусне този неизказан ужас да връхлети цялата земя, да не допусне това небивало кръвопролитие и масово унищожение на хора. Защото знаете от Св. Писание, че Господ изпраща тежки масови беди, когато народът падне в нечестие, когато

St John of Damascus – Concerning the Holy Trinity

We believe, then, in One God, one beginning1487, having no beginning, uncreate, unbegotten, imperishable and immortal, everlasting, infinite, uncircumscribed, boundless, of infinite power, simple, uncompound, incorporeal, without flux, passionless, unchangeable, unalterable, unseen, the fountain of goodness and justice, the light of the mind, inaccessible; a power known by no measure, measurable only by His own will alone (for all things that He wills He can1488), creator of all created things, seen or unseen, of all the maintainer and preserver, for all the provider, master and lord and king over all, with an endless and immortal kingdom: having no contrary, filling all, by nothing encompassed, but rather Himself the encompasser and maintainer and original possessor of the universe, occupying1489 all essences intact1490 and extending beyond all things, and being separate from all essence as being super-essential1491 and above all things and absolute God, absolute goodness, and absolute fulness1492: determining all sovereignties and ranks, being placed above all sovereignty and rank, above essence and life and word and thought: being Himself very light and goodness and life and essence, inasmuch as He does not derive His being from another, that is to say, of those things that exist: but being Himself the

Paschal Homily of St John Chrysostom

If any be a devout lover of God, let him partake with gladness from this fair and radiant feast. If any be a faithful servant, let him enter rejoicing into the joy of his Lord. If any have wearied himself with fasting, let him now enjoy his reward. If any have laboured from the first hour, let him receive today his rightful due. If any have come after the third, let him celebrate the feast with thankfulness. If any have come after the sixth hour, let him not be in doubt, for he will suffer no loss. If any have delayed until the ninth, let him not hestitate but draw near. If any have arrived only at the eleventh, let him not be afraid because he comes so late. For the Master is generous and accepts last even as the first. He gives rest to him who comes at the eleventh hour in the same as him who has laboured from the first. He accepts the deed, and commends the intention. Enter then, all of you, into the joy of our Lord. First and last, receive alike your reward. Rich and poor, dance together. You who fasted and you who have

Presbyter Cosmas – Sermon against the Bogomil Heresy

…Now it so happened in the Bulgarian land that in the time of the Orthodox Tsar Peter there was a priest by the name of “Bogomil” /beloved of God/. But to tell the truth he was “not beloved of God.” He was the first to teach heresy in the Bulgarian land, which error I shall describe further on…. Externally these heretics are like sheep: meek, humble and quiet; they appear pale from their hypocritical fasting. They don’t utter excessive words, they don’t laugh loudly and are not inquisitive; they avoid the glance /of others/, and on the outside they do everything so as not to be distinguished from orthodox Christians. But internally they are wolves and predators, as the Lord said. When people see such humility, thinking that they are Orthodox and capable of showing the way to salvation, they approach them and question them regarding salvation of the soul. And they, like the wolf that wants to seize the sheep, pretend to sigh at first and answer humbly, and when they preach they act as if they were in heaven. And when they see a person who is simple and ignorant, it’s there they sow the weeds of their

St Clement of Ohrid – Instruction on the Third Sunday of Great Lent (Veneration of the Cross)

Братя, Като преполовихме сега тези святи постни дни, нека се възрадваме духовно, покланяйки се на честния Кръст, и, като се насладихме на него, нека се подвизаваме и през останалите дни до Христовите страдания, очиствайки телата си и просветлявайки душите си с усърдни молитви, за да достигнем чисти до Възкресение Господне. Ето, нашият Господ Бог ни призовава към светла радост, запазвайки небесни венци за тези, които са гладували и жадували заради Него, и за пребиваващите в бодърствуване и в духовен подвиг. Не трябва да се лишаваме през вереме на този свят пост от неизказаната радост и от нетленните венци поради сластолюбие и леност. Това, с което ние наслаждаваме гърлото си за кратко време, после се оказва по-горчиво от жлъчка. За да ни предпази от това, апостол Павел казва: „Да не ви съблазнява дяволът с ядене и пиене до пресищане“ (По Рм 13:13. 1Тм 8:9; срв. Лк 21:34). Той е казал още: „Не се опивайте с вино, понеже в него няма спасение“. (По Еф 5:18). И Сам Господ ни забранява това с думите: „Внимавайте над себе си, да не би сърцата ви да бъдат отегчавани с преяждане, пиянство и житейски грижи“. (Лк 21:34) И светите отци ни предпазват от това, казвайки: „Ако

St Clement of Ohrid – Laudation of the Holy Fourty Martyrs

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On Earthly Cares

By Saint Theophan the Recluse I will continue to address your complaints about the incoming thoughts, engineered by worldly affairs. How can we live without working? We would live a sinful emptiness. One should engage in certain labors, and the housekeeping should not be neglected. This is your duty. We shouldn’t put a stop to our external relationships either. They must be maintained and maintained properly, as is due. This is an obligation to community. But all affairs of this sort can and should be done in such a manner, so as not to distract our thoughts from God. But how? We hold a certain (even universal) false belief that if you engage with something in your house or outside your house, you are drifting away from those works of God which are pleasing to Him. For this reason when we have a desire to live a god-pleasing life, or when it comes up during conversation, usually it is accompanied by the thought that if this is truly so, then run away from society, run away from your home to the desert or to the forest. Both of these convictions are improper. The matters pertaining to our life and to society, upon which

St Maximos the Confessor, Letter to John of Kyzikos

Prologue (Letter to John of Kyzikos) Greetings in the Lord from Maximos to John, the Archbishop of Kyzikos. Those who more ardently desire to apprehend beautiful things, and who exercise themselves with greater diligence in the science that pertains to them, are praised by all—and rightly so, it seems to me—when, on account of their love of  learning, they seek out the best teachers of the greatest truths. For by asking questions they acquire (without incurring any shame) the knowledge and science of what had previously eluded them, and, by bringing an end to their ignorance, they clear themselves of the stigma occasioned by their former deficiencies in theory and practice. But as for you, what speech could worthily praise you? Or who among men could encompass, even with his mind, the magnitude of your virtue? For being a seasoned shepherd of rational sheep, you lead and restore them to the heavenly sheepfold by the sounds of your spiritual pipe. And you are able to do this because you have acquired what most men fail to obtain, namely, a state of mind receptive to the mystical knowledge of God. Because of this, your hand has been placed on the rudder

Saint Theophan the Recluse, Awakening from the Life of Sin and Recognizing Sin

С право осъзнаването на собствените грехове бива сравнявано с пробуждане от греховен сън. В какво се състои тази първа крачка в движението на душата от греха към Бога – по-точно дори не крачка, а само начало на тръгването, отправна точка? “Грехът потапя душата в съня на самозабравата, безчувствеността и безгрижието. И грешникът дълбоко спи! Но както е необходимо да събудим заспалия, за да стане и да тръгне, така и грешният човек трябва да бъде пробуден от греховния сън, за да види опасността на своето положение и да реши да стане и да отиде при Господа. За тази именно цел ние чуваме подбуждащи гласове навсякъде около нас. И съвестта, и словото Божие, и словото на отците, и богослужебният чин на св. Църква, и цялото творение, и щастливите, и нещастните обстоятелства в живота – всичко буди, всичко говори на заспалия грешник: Стани ти, който спиш, стани и ще те осветли Христос (срв. Еф. 5:18)! И какво ще ни говорят постът, великопостното четене и пеене и дори самият канбанен звън, ако не същите думи: Стани ти, който спиш и възкръсни от мъртвите? Подбужда ни всъщност Божият Дух, който прониква до човешкия дух. Но трябва и ние сами себе си да безпокоим и да се самопринуждаваме;