What are the Aerial Toll-Houses?



Saint Theodora’s journey

through the Aerial Toll-Houses

According to the teachings of the Church, the particular judgment of souls by God is preceded by their torments, or rather a series of tests; these take place in the regions of the air, where the evil spirits have their domain (Eph. 6. 12). They detain the souls and declare and make manifest all the sins which these souls perpetrated during their lives. We know about these torments in great detail because they were revealed to Gregory, the disciple of the holy monk St. Basil the New, who lived in the first half of the Tenth century. Gregory in his vision learned about the hour of death and the passing through torments of a woman known as the Blessed Theodora.

When Gregory asked her to tell him about her passing away and about the circumstances that attended her death and followed it, she told him in great detail the following. “My child Gregory,” she said, “you have asked me about a terrible thing, which it is frightening even to recollect.

“When the hour of my death came, I saw faces such as I had never seen before, and heard words such as I had never heard. What shall I say? Cruel and hard to endure evils, of which I formerly had no idea, encountered me then because of my evil deeds. However, through the prayers and the assistance of our common spiritual father Basil I was saved from these hardships. But how shall I tell you about that physical pain, that stress and close feeling which the dying experience? Like a man who, entirely naked, falls into a great fire, burns, melts, and Continue reading “What are the Aerial Toll-Houses?”


What is the Holy Confession?



South Africa Erosion by John & Tina Reid.jpg

Holy Confession

One of the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) of the Orthodox Church

Holy Confession (or Repentance) is one of the holy mysteries (or sacraments) in the Orthodox Church, as well as many other Christian traditions. Through it, the penitent receives the divine forgiveness of Christ for any sins that are confessed. Confession is typically given to a Spiritual Father (usually a parish priest or monastic). Confession can be individual or general. The frequency of required confession (as well as whether or not general confession is permissible) can vary from parish to parish, and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The better is once a month or twice a month.

Confession In the Bible

Old Testament

“He shall confess his sin that he has committed. And he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong.” (Num. 5:7)

“Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners, and they stood and confessed their sins and the guilt of their fathers. While they stood in their places, they read from the book of the law of the LORD their God for a fourth of the day and spent another fourth of the day in confession and worship of the LORD their God.” (Nehemiah 9:2-3)

“And read out publicly this scroll which we send you, in the house of the LORD, on the feast day and during the days of assembly: ‘Justice is with the LORD, our God; and we today are flushed with shame, we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem, that we, with our kings and rulers and priests and prophets, and with our fathers, have sinned in the LORD’S sight and disobeyed him. We have Continue reading “What is the Holy Confession?”

Τι πρέπει να κάνει ένας ομοφυλόφιλος για την σωτηρία της ψυχής του; Ένας ομοφυλόφιλος είναι αποδεκτός από την Εκκλησία;



Τι πρέπει να κάνει ένας ομοφυλόφιλος για την σωτηρία της ψυχής του;

Ένας ομοφυλόφιλος είναι αποδεκτός από την Εκκλησία;

Ένας που είναι ομοφυλόφιλος πρέπει νά αρχίσει την Θεία Εξομολόγηση σε έναν καλό Ορθόδοξο Ιερέα, Πνευματικό Πατέρα και πρέπει με την βοήθεια του Θεού να κάνει αγώνα ώστε να μην κάνει πράξη την ομοφιλοφιλία. Αυτό θα το καταφέρει με την συχνή Θεία Εξομολόγηση.

Μας λέει ο Θεώδορος Ρηγινιώτης, Θεολόγος:

Ο ομοφυλόφιλος άνθρωπος είναι απόλυτα αποδεκτός από την Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία, όσο και κάθε άλλος άνθρωπος. Δεν υπάρχει άνθρωπος, που κάποια ιδιότητά του ή προτίμηση ή πράξη του να κάνει την Εκκλησία να τον απορρίψει· υπάρχουν μόνο άνθρωποι που οι ίδιοι έχουν απορρίψει την Εκκλησία και πορεύονται προς το Θεό απ’ το δρόμο που νομίζουν αυτοί, ο οποίος όμως συνήθως είναι λάθος δρόμος.

Αν ένας δολοφόνος είναι αποδεκτός από την Εκκλησία, γιατί δεν είναι ένας ομοφυλόφιλος; Αν εγώ, με τη χλιαρή και συχνά υποκριτική πίστη και αγάπη, είμαι αποδεκτός από την Εκκλησία, γιατί δεν είναι ένας ομοφυλόφιλος; Εκείνος μάλιστα μπορεί να έχει πολύ πιο θερμή πίστη και αγάπη από τη δική μου. Καμιά ρατσιστική διάθεση δεν υπάρχει στην Εκκλησία απέναντι σε κανένα άνθρωπο ή ομάδα ανθρώπων. Ρατσιστές γίνονται οι άνθρωποι που δεν έχουν καταλάβει καθόλου τι είναι ο ορθόδοξος χριστιανισμός ή που δε μπορούν να κάνουν έστω ένα βήμα για ν’ απομακρυνθούν από τις φοβίες και τα πάθη τους.

Κι αυτούς ακόμη τους ανθρώπους, η Εκκλησία τους αποδέχεται, γιατί η Εκκλησία υπάρχει για να θεραπεύει τον κόσμο από τα πάθη και τις φοβίες (με τη βοήθεια του Ιατρού Ιησού Χριστού φυσικά), όχι για να κρίνει τους ανθρώπους. (Πηγή: http://o-nekros.blogspot.gr/2011/07/gay-agenda.html – ΝΕΚΡΟΣ ΓΙΑ ΤΟΝ ΚΟΣΜΟ)


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How is Υoga connected with Hinduism?



How is Yoga connected with Hinduism?

By Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani, USA





To be clear, Hinduism does not refer to a specific religion. It is a term the British gave to the various cults, philosophies and shamanistic religions of India. If you ask one Hindu if he believes in God, he may tell you that you are God. But ask another, and he will point to a rock, or statue, or a flame of fire. This is Hindu polarity: either you are God, or everything else is a god.

Yoga is beneath this umbrella of Hinduism, and in many ways is the pole of the umbrella. It acts as a missionary arm for Hinduism and the New Age outside of India.[9] Hinduism is like an extraordinary Russian nesting doll: you open one philosophy and within it are ten thousand more.

And the unopened ones are risks. You may swim easily and carelessly in waters you do not know. But unaware of the tides and nuances of the area, you may be in danger. You may be swept away by the undertow. You may cut yourself against unseen rocks and contract imperceptible infection and poison.

This happens in the spiritual life.

When we dive in the ocean, we may be attracted to the brightest, most colorful and intriguing fish but the most colorful and exotic are often the most poisonous and deadly.

The first time I visited India, I took off my shoes and socks and walked through the water, coconuts, discarded candy and shimmering fire of Kalkaji Temple. It Continue reading “How is Υoga connected with Hinduism?”

What is true love? – Video




What is Love?:

An Orthodox Christian Understanding of the Divine Love of God

An Eastern Orthodox Lesson on what true love is, and how to acquire this true and Divine love of God.

Speaker / Translator – Mr Zalalas: Translator of Archimandrite / Spiritual Father Fr. Athanasios Mitilinaios, Greece


What is the Orthodox Church? – Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson & San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940)



What is the Orthodox Church?

Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson & San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940):

WHAT is the Orthodox Church? The Orthodox Church is a body or community of people, who, 1—correctly believe in divine revelation; and 2—who obey a lawful hierarchy instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ himself, through the holy apostles. In order to belong to the Orthodox Church two principal conditions are required: First—to accurately accept, rightly understand and truthfully confess the divine teaching of faith; and secondly— to acknowledge the lawful hierarchy or priesthood, to receive from it the holy mysteries or sacraments, and generally to follow its precepts in matters concerning salvation.

+ St. Sebastian Dabovich, Preaching in the Orthodox Church: Lectures and Sermons by a Priest of the Holy Orthodox Church






Who started the Orthodox Church?



Who started the Orthodox Church? 

The Orthodox Church was founded by our Lord Jesus Christ, when after His Ascension, He sent down upon His Apostles the Holy Spirit who proceeds from God the Father as is written in the New Testament. The Orthodox Church of today can trace its history back to the New Testament Church in unbroken continuity. The Apostles, as per our Lord’s command, preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and founded churches in Europe, Asia and Africa. Under the direction of the Apostles and their successors, whom they appointed to carry on their mission, the Orthodox Church began to thrive. At each city and town that the Apostles traveled they would appoint a bishop to continue to minister to the faithful, before leaving on their missionary journeys. As the Church grew, the bishops in turn had to appoint priests and deacons to help them with their flock.





Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? – G. V. Martini, Washington, USA



Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons?

G. V. Martini, Washington, USA

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 1 of 5)

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 2 of 5)

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 3 of 5)

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 4 of 5)

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 5 of 5)

About G. V. Martini
G. V. Martini works as a senior product manager for a software company and is a subdeacon in the Orthodox Church. He and his family attends St. Innocent Antiochian Orthodox Church in Everson, Washington.





Why did [the Prodigal Son] not set off at once instead of a few days after?



Why did [the Prodigal Son] not set off at once instead of a few days after?

Saint Gregory Palamas (+1359)

“And not many days after,” it says, “the younger son gather all together, and took his journey into a far country” (Luke 15:13). Why did [the Prodigal Son] not set off at once instead of a few days after? The evil prompter, the devil, does not simultaneously suggest to us that we should do what we like and that we should sin. Instead he cunningly beguiles us little by little, whispering, “Even if you live independently without going to God’s Church or listening to the Church teacher, you will still be able to see for yourself what your duty is and not depart from what is good.” When he separates someone from the divine services and obedience to the holy teachers, he also distances him from God’s vigilance and surrenders him to evil deeds. God is everywhere present. Only one thing is far away from His goodness: evil. Being in the power of evil through sin we set off on a journey far away from God. As David says to God, “The evil shall not stand in thy sight” (Ps. 5:5).

+ St. Gregory Palamas, The Parables of Jesus, Sermons by St. Gregory Palamas





Link: Questions & Answers – Orthodoxy


Questions & Answers – Orthodoxy