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, 18 November 2017

From the Speech of Professor A I Osipov at the Yekaterinskaya Zale in the Moscow Kremlin at His Investiture with the Order of Friendship on 15 November 2017

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We live at a time when we face many problems. True, this isn’t new for Rus; it always seems to be in such a state. You can point up many reasons why it arises in different spheres of life. However, I’d like to speak about the most important things, about roots. One can see the basis for such turmoil in the spiritual and moral state of our society. As F I Tyutchyov put it 150 years ago:

In our day, our flesh isn’t corrupted, but our spirit is, so people are in great distress.

For this reason, a terrible and hellish revolution took place; we just marked its 100th anniversary. Is there any solution to this problem? You hear much talk about it. For my part, I’d like to say that I V Kireyevsky, that remarkable thinker of the 19th-century, pointed up the main line of reasoning very well:

Every moral victory in the soul of one person is a great triumph for all of mankind.

The ancient Romans said:

Vive ut vivas… “Live to live [well]”.

However, is life possible without a soul and without God? Vladimir Vladimirovich, your attention to the spiritual and moral side of our society’s life inspires both optimism and hope. Thank you very much!

A I Osipov

Honoured Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy

17 November 2017

Official Site of A I Osipov

http://alexey-osipov.ru/video/intervju/vystuplenie-v-ekaterininskom-zale-kremlya-15-noyabrya-2017-goda/

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