What are the Aerial Toll-Houses?

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

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?”

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Why is it hard to believe that Mary (Mother of Jesus) gave birth in a way contrary to the law of natural birth and remained a virgin?

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HOLY VIRGIN MARY MOTHER OF GOD

Why is it hard to believe that Mary (Mother of Jesus) gave birth in a way contrary to the law of natural birth and remained a virgin?

Saint Ambrose of Milan (+397):

“Why is it hard to believe that Mary (Mother of Jesus) gave birth in a way contrary to the law of natural birth and remained a virgin, when contrary to the law of nature the sea looked at Him and fled, and the waters of the Jordan returned to their source (Ps. 113:3). Is it past belief that a virgin gave birth when we read that a rock issued water (Ex. 17:6), and the waves of the sea were made solid as a wall (Ex. 14:22)? Is it past belief that a Man came from a virgin when a rock bubbled forth a flowing stream (Ex. 20:11), iron floated on water (4 Kings 6:6), a Man walked upon the waters (Mt. 14:26)? If the waters bore a Man, could not a virgin give birth to a man? What Man? Him of Whom we read: ‘…the Lord shall be known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day; and they shall offer sacrifices, and shall vow vows to the Lord, and pay them’ (Is. 19:20).

In the Old Testament a Hebrew virgin (Miriam) led an army through the sea (Ex. 15:21); in the New testament a king’s daughter (the Virgin Mary) was chosen to be the heavenly entrance to salvation.”

+ St. Ambrose, Synodal Letter 44, Letters, 1-91 (Fathers of the Church Patristic Series)

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

What does the daily invocation of the saints signify? – Saint John of Kronstadt, Russia (+1908)

What does the daily invocation of the saints signify?

Saint John of Kronstadt, Russia (+1908)

What does the daily invocation of the saints signify — of different ones each day, during the whole year, and during our whole life? It signifies that God’s saints — as our brethren, but perfect — live, and are near us, ever ready to help us, by the grace of God. We live together with them in the house of our Heavenly Father, only in different parts of it. We live in the earthly, they in the heavenly half; but we can converse with them, and they with us. God’s saints are near to the believing heart, and are ready in a moment to help those who call upon them with faith and love.”

From the Book: St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2014/05/01/st-john-of-kronstadt-what-does-the-daily-invocation-of-the-saints-signify/

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us?

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HOLY VIRGIN MARY MOTHER OF GOD

What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us?

Saint John of Kronstadt, Russia (+1908)

What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us? Let us explain in more detail the Church hymn which explains the meaning of this feast’s joy. Through the birth of the Ever-Virgin, through Her only-begotten Son and God, cursed and outcast mankind makes peace with God Who is immeasurably offended by man’s sins, for Christ became the mediator of this peace (cf. Rom. 5:10-11). Man is freed from the curse and eternal death, made worthy of the blessing of the Heavenly Father; he is united and co-mingled with the Divine nature; he is raised to his first inheritance by this co-mingling, according to the Church hymn. Mankind, once an outcast, has been made worthy of sonship to the Heavenly Father, received the promise of the glorious resurrection and eternal life in the heavens together with the angels.

This has all been and is being wrought by the Son of God incarnate from the Most Pure Virgin from the Holy Spirit, and by the intercession of His Most Pure Mother. How honored and magnified is mankind through the Holy Virgin Mother of God, for it has been made worthy of renewal and sonship by God; She Herself was made worthy by Her immeasurable humility and exceedingly great purity and holiness to be the Mother of the God-man!

+ St. John of Kronstadt, Sorrow and Joy: A Homily on the Day of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2015/09/18/st-john-of-kronstadt-what-joy-does-the-nativity-of-the-mother-of-god-bring-us/

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

What is a Saint who called Fool-for-Christ?

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FOOL FOR CHRIST – FULL OF CHRIST

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What is a Saint who called Fool-for-Christ?

A saint who has the title Fool-for-Christ is one who is known for his apparent, yet holy, insanity.

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. (1 Corinthians 3:18-19)

One form of the ascetic Christian life is called foolishness for the sake of Christ. The fool-for-Christ set for himself the task of battling within himself the root of all sin, pride. In order to accomplish this he took on an unusual style of life, appearing as someone bereft of his mental faculties, thus bringing upon himself the ridicule of others. In addition he exposed the evil in the world through metaphorical and symbolic words and actions. He took this ascetic endeavor upon himself in order to humble himself and to also more effectively influence others, since most people respond to the usual ordinary sermon with indifference. The spiritual feat of foolishness for Christ was especially widespread in Russia. –(Excerpted from The Law of God, Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY: 1993)

Source:

Orthodox Wiki

What do you mean, “Pray to the Saints”? – Video

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FREDERICA MATHEWES-GREEN

USA OF MY HEART

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What Do You Mean, “Pray to the Saints”?

Frederica Mathewes-Green, Maryland, USA

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Welcome to the Orthodox Church! Join Frederica Mathewes-Green, in this video series, on a journey into the Eastern Orthodox Church. Learn about Orthodox teachings and dogma, Orthodox architecture and terminology, and what it means to live an Orthodox life.

In this video, “What Do You Mean ‘Pray to the Saints?’,” Frederica explains that the English word “pray” in this sentence is a little misleading. So, what does it mean to pray to the Saints and what does the Orthodox Church practice? Watch to find out!