Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Tomorrow, Christmas Lent Begins

Silent Night

Viggo Johansen



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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



Thursday, 1 March 2012

1 March 2012. “Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy”… I Think NOT… A Priest Sues Another Priest DURING THE PENITENTIAL SEASON OF THE GREAT LENT… What’s WRONG with that Picture?


I sent this to a friend:

However, this is DIRT-DUMB. I’ve never seen the like. The OCA can’t afford another scandal. As a friend of mine wrote to me, “What’s going to be the Lenten scandal this year?” Well, it’s a priest suing another priest. I’ve truly NEVER seen the like. I’ve seen priests sue believers… I’ve seen believers sue priests… I’ve seen priests have public spats… I’ve seen bishops and priests have public disagreements. I’ve NEVER seen a priest sue another priest. It’s the “Thin Black Line”… it’s just “not done”. That’s what’s going to do the OCA in. To do this at the beginning of Lent… ain’t it grand?

You asked me, “What’s going to be the Lenten scandal this year?” Here it is. How much more will it take before someone takes out the humane killer to put this unthrifty beast down? A priest suing another priest… where will it end if we don’t stop this individual? If this isn’t just cause for the Centre to rip up the Tomos, I don’t know what is… after all, Ray was part of the central apparat, a respected member of the ruling circle at Syosset/SVS. The world’s never boring, but must it be SO “interesting?” Cross yourself and pass the Bushmills. The best is yet to come…

For a priest to sue another priest at the beginning of the Great Lent is “unconscionable”, as an unnamed well-connected cleric said to a friend of mine. This illustrates that Paffhausen’s an incompetent and bumbling fool, in sorry need of replacement. You can’t wait for the end of Lent. To be frank, this intra-clerical scandal’s already desecrated and blasphemed this penitential season. A priest suing another priest… you DO see the oddest things in life, but this? Again, I’ve NEVER seen or heard of a priest suing another priest. Of top of that, the summons went out during the FIRST WEEK OF THE GREAT LENT… the holiest part of the season, save for Holy Week. See how they love one another… please, excuse me, I HAVE to hurl…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 1 March 2012

Albany NY

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