Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

29 November 2017. Schema-Archimandrite Ilya Nozdrin in Very Poor Health

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A friend of mine at the Centre just informed me that Schema-Archimandrite Ilya Nozdrin (the confessor to Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev) is in very poor health. If you could add him to your prayer rule, that’d be a good thing (especially, as this is a Lenten period). Fr Ilya is one of the few genuine startsy in the Church today (we don’t have any here in the American diaspora… the loud konvertsy claims of such are loud and clanging rubbish).

Pray for Fr Ilya’s health… we’re Christians! That’s what we do…

BMD

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Tomorrow, Christmas Lent Begins

Silent Night

Viggo Johansen

1891

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We’ve said much about the Lenten periods, yet, once one begins, we hear the same question:

What are we not supposed to do?

The brief answer to that is:

Food is in last place. It isn’t an end-all and be-all; it’s only a means.

The Lenten effort requires five things.

LEARN TO PRAY

Try to add something extra to your routine. If you don’t normally pray, make a brief but regular prayer. If you have a morning and evening rule, read the Psalms, or the daily Gospel reading. If you go to services only on Sunday, try to make it for one of the weekday services.

LEARN TO FIGHT SIN

Look at your repetitive sins… choose the smallest and try to overcome it. For example, do you complain about everything you see or hear? Do you talk about others behind their back? Do you hold an old grudge against a relative (boss, teacher, neighbour, etc)? Overcome this through daily prayer.

LEARN TO REPENT

Choose your most secret sin… the one most hidden from the eyes of others and one for which you’re particularly ashamed. Go to confession and ask how to fight it. Choose an experienced priest to help you with what you need.

LEARN TO DO GOOD

For I was hungered, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came unto me.

Gospel according to St Matthew 25.35-36

At the end of each day, search your conscience and ask yourself, “What good deed did I do today? Who did I comfort, who did I help, and who did I devote time to?” If you didn’t do that, you wasted the day.

LEARN TO BE JOYFUL

Open up to the beauty of God’s world. Meditate on God’s gifts and on the talents that He endows us with. Show manifestations of love, compassion, and mercy, along with reflecting on logic, harmony, and truth. In short, focus on everything that brings us closer to God.

I wish you a salvific and joyful Christmas Lent, my friends!

24 November 2017

Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyansky

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Sunday, 26 November 2017

26 November 2017. My Thoughts on “Mere Orthodoxy”

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Of course, Orthodoxy is “cultural”… that’s far more natural than the made-up fantasies of American converts. “Orthodoxy” is generic, like “human”… but all humans are Russian, Chinese, Arabs, et al. If you don’t have both the generic and the specific, you can’t have substance and actuality (you’d be nothing but a golem… a lifeless and soulless artifice). Having said that, the Russian Local Church IS the largest Local Church; Moscow is the Centre of contemporary Orthodox life. Is it perfect? NO. Are we flawless? NO. However, the Russian Church is (by far) the largest cohort in the Church, so, unsurprisingly, we have the most influence. That isn’t being the “boss of the church”. If you want the best Orthodox graduate theological education, you come to Moscow… not because we’re Russian, but because Russia has the resources (human, intellectual, financial, and historical) to run a top-flight institution. Here in diaspora Orthodoxy, we lack a great deal… money, numbers, historical longevity, and institutional depth. That’s not “bossiness”… it’s merely reality. To sum up, one can, indeed, be Russian, Greek, Serbian, or Antiochian Orthodox, but to be “merely Orthodox” isn’t only impossible, but monstrous and appalling.

BMD   

Saturday, 25 November 2017

HH’s Condolences on the Recent Terrorist Attack on a Mosque in Egypt

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On 24 November 2017, terrorists attacked a Sufi mosque in Bir al-Abed (North Sinai Governorate) in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt during Friday prayers. The extremists arrived at the mosque in cars, detonated an explosive device inside the building, and then shot people running out onto the street from the mosque. After ambulances appeared on the scene, they began to shoot at the doctors. As of 25 November, at least 300 people are dead and more than 100 injured, including many children. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias sent his condolences to the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and to the Head Mufti of Egypt.

His Excellency Abdul-Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil al-Sisi

President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

My Right Honourable President!

Accept my condolences in connection with the tragedy that occurred in the mosque near El Arish that claimed many human lives. This mayhem towards believers during prayers testifies that these extremists (who call themselves “Muslims”) had no real faith in the Most High. This fact exposes as myth the idea that terrorists protect Islam and fight for its purity. They use the most insidious and cruel means to intimidate people, to force them to fulfil their vicious will, to destroy the principles of good-neighbourliness and tolerance, which are important in creating a dignified and prosperous life in our modern society. In such circumstances, as never before, it’s important for believers in traditional religions to show solidarity and cohesion to uphold the ideals of goodness and justice in the modern world. I hope that the perpetrators of this attack won’t escape justice. In these sorrowful days, I wish the wounded a speedy recovery and that the relatives and friends of the dead will bravely overcome the grief that has saddened them. I wish strength and resolution to those who are working today to overcome the consequences of this event and I hope that all of the people of Egypt would show solidarity and determination in the fight against extremism.

With sincere sympathy,

+ KIRILL

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

24 November 2017

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website      

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5068979.html

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Sheikh Shauki Ibrahim Abd al-Karim Alam

The Supreme Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt  

Honoured Mufti!

With deep sorrow, I received the news of the terrorist attack on the Sinai Peninsula that killed and injured hundreds of innocent people. Please, accept my sincere condolences. The terrorists committed this terrible crime during Friday prayers in a mosque to try to disrupt peaceful life in your country and to spread panic and fear amongst the people. Clearly, this in itself shows that for extremists there’s nothing sacred, and their beliefs have nothing in common with the values and norms of Islam. My conviction is that such actions won’t achieve their goals and that criminals won’t intimidate peaceful people who want to build the life of their society on the solid foundation of good-neighbourliness and mutual understanding with people confessing other traditional religions. I ask you to convey my words of consolation and support to the relatives and friends of the dead and injured. I wish to you, and to all the people of Egypt, courage and strength in confronting evil and violence.

With condolences,

+ KIRILL

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

25 November 2017

Patriarchia.ru      

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5069520.html

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