Voices from Russia

Monday, 28 May 2018

28 May 2018. A Point to Ponder From Bishop Lazar Puhalo

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Morality is a condition of the heart, not conformity with the law. To become moral, one must undergo a transformation of the inner person into the realisation of Christ’s moral imperatives. Moralism is to demand obedience to laws which may themselves be arbitrary and ideological, often without comprehension or knowledge of reality. Moralism is often subversive and practised with feigned compassion, but with an underlying absolutism which can’t yield when proved wrong or contrary to reality.

You can’t share the faith politically, but only through living examples of compassion and love, and even a willingness to endure persecution and to suffer with no desire for vengeance or earthly recompense. We need to seek to live the faith, not to coerce others to obey its doctrines.

24 May 2018

Vladika Lazar Puhalo

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Sunday, 18 February 2018

18 February 2018. It’s Forgiveness Sunday… Lent Starts Tomorrow

Forgiveness Sunday

Sebastyan Likan

undated

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Forgive Me!

God Forgives!

Today is Forgiveness Sunday… all Orthodox Christians ask forgiveness of those about them for their offences of the past year.  For us, Lent begins on Clean Monday… then, we’re on the Lenten road to Easter. Lent isn’t an end in itself… it’s a preparation for the Easter Feast of the Resurrection… the central moment of the Church Year, as we Orthodox Christians see it. This year, Easter is on 8 April, my birthday. It’s a double feast for me! To all my friends, “Forgive Me!” for all that I’ve done and not done… may the Good Lord give you a most profitable Lent, leading to a most glorious and joyous Radiant Easter!

BMD

Forgiveness Sunday

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It’s no surprise, Orthodox Christians are keen on the Rite of Forgiveness and the service that surrounds it… here’s a little more about this observance. It’s the last Sunday before the start of Lent, so the Rite of Forgiveness occurs during Vespers before the cross and the icons of the Saviour and the Most-Holy Birthgiver. By the way, the rite is very evocative. Firstly, the priest asks for forgiveness. He makes a reverence before the holy things and kisses them; then, he asks forgiveness from the clergy and believers. After that, all present ask forgiveness from one another. On this day, we can bring to those near us our sincere repentance for all our voluntary and involuntary sins so that we can remove the heavy stone of guilt from ourselves. Of course, we heartily forgive everybody else. Because of this, God forgives us and this puts us right with Him. The clergy are in dark vestments to remind us that the Great Lent is beginning… the Holy 40 Days of the Fast. Brothers and sisters, may God help you to carry out this podvig*, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the sake of love to our family, and for the sake of the Holy Image which is hidden in us, but which can shine a light to illuminate the souls of others!

  • Podvig: Should NEVER be “Englished”… one of the most powerful words in the Russian language. There are literally no English equivalents strong enough. Podvig has overtones of “epic”, “heroic”, “bravery”, “self-sacrifice”, “victory”, “effort”, and “triumph”. It’s best to leave it as is, and admit that English lacks the necessary material to give meaning to this word.

Marfa-Mariinskoe House of Mercy

18 February 2018

Youth Department of the Diocese of the City of Moscow

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Thursday, 15 February 2018

15 February 2018. A Thought from Vladyki Lazar

“Everyone needs to carry their cross”… this reminds me of puffed-up clergy such as Trenham, Paffhausen, Damick, and Reardon… they turn more people away from Christ and His Church than they attract to it… those that they do attract are nutters we’re better off without.

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It isn’t that atheists in the West don’t believe in God; rather, many of them believe in Him, but hate Him. This is because they see the Western God as being “out to get them”. He’s preached as vain and vindictive, looking for an excuse to punish you, while claiming to love you.

Photios Kontoglou

Indeed, God is preached, not only in the West, but by some Orthodox clergy, as being the supreme child-abusing father who pretends to forgive, but actually punishes his own Son in the most hideous manner on behalf of mankind for his own satisfaction. However, punishment and forgiveness are mutually exclusive. You can have one or the other, but not both. Who actually would want to spend eternity in the house of an abusive father?

13 February 2018

Bishop Lazar Puhalo

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