The Church, by tradition, blesses Christian warriors and their weapons prior to their going to war. At present, the USA thunders aggression… therefore, HH visits the forces and blesses them for possible conflict. I, for one, wish that no war ensues… however, that’s completely in the hands of the USA, for Russia doesn’t want war. The likes of Clinton, Trump, and Johnson give me no cause for optimism (the support given by clueless rightwing ROCOR sorts to Trump is ignorant self-hatred of the highest order)… Stein is the only peace candidate.
I pray for peace… but the juvenile fecklessness of toddler Anglo America gives me little hope… their greed, vacuity, and hubris knows no bounds…
Comments Off on 27 August 2016. A Photo Essay… HH Visited Severomorsk to Bless the Fleet
St Gregory of Nyssa said that we judge ourselves… God is simply all-present and inescapable. That is, God condemns no one. He pours out His Love out over all of us. How we receive that Love is up to us. That is, Edwards’ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (and its like) is a disgusting fairy tale for the credulous. No… the fate of evil-doers is far worse… wanting to escape God’s Presence… but being utterly unable to. After all, didn’t Christ “trample down death by death?” Imagine trying to escape something… but being unable to. The Love of God is the Hound of Heaven for the evil… they can’t escape it or deny it. The Love of God is a Refreshing Spring for believers… it never runs dry or putrid. Heaven and Hell are the same place… we’d just experience it differently. Heaven and Hell are two ways of experiencing God’s objective presence. There is no need of “the fires of hell”… Metropolitan Antony Khrapovitsky thought the tollhouses a peasant fable… such is also true of the “fires of hell”. The reality is stark enough… if you don’t want God in your life, you won’t be able to escape Him… in a word, Hell.
Comments Off on 26 August 2016. My “Take” on Heaven and Hell… the “Short Version”
I want to express my faith in today’s young people. I have said before, and repeat again, that I believe that this generation, the Millennials, is better than my generation. Moreover, I don’t think that they are less spiritual, if anything, they are more spiritually inclined than my generation. It’s true that some previous generations were more externally religious, but they lacked many of the better qualities of humanity such as openness and acceptance of others. The millennials are less prejudiced, more compassionate, and more desirous to know the truth of matters before judging and condemning. When they do seek something spiritual, they aren’t looking for religious tribalism, but spiritual meaning… a more genuine faith, and not a religious tribe that regards other religious tribes with suspicion. I take comfort in the under-30s and teens of this era, they do give me hope for better things to come. The Orthodox Church has much to offer them, and ultimate answers; many of our clergy, however, have little indeed to offer to them except more tribalism, more prejudice, and (sometimes) more hate. One might hope that over the next decade that we might correct this, as we see young men entering the priesthood, that they’d be better educated about humanity itself, and less given to mediaeval superstitions. We should be far more involved in speaking to the aspirations of our present generation and not being critical of their better qualities, rather than striving to inculcate them with our own fears, angst, prejudices, and cynicism.
Archbishop Lazar Puhalo
Comments Off on 20 August 2016. A Point to Ponder…
On Thursday, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias visited the flagship of the Northern Fleet, the nuclear-powered battlecruiser TARKR 099 Pyotr Veliki, the world’s largest non-aviation warship. On 28 July 2012, a decree of the President of the Russian Federation awarded the Order of Nakhimov to the cruiser “for the courage, dedication, and professionalism shown by the ship company in performing its command assignments”. During his pastoral visit, he told sailors:
The readiness of the Northern Fleet, which keeps the peace in Russia and abroad, depends largely on the spiritual strength and faith of its sailors; spiritual support of our forces is one of the key tasks of the Church. Those who take the military oath especially need spiritual help; we all believe that the sailors of the Northern Fleet will show full combat readiness if they have strong faith and strong spirit.
Addressing the staff of the Northern Fleet after his arrival in Severomorsk, Vladyki Kirill emphasised:
As we’re a nuclear power, spiritual healthiness in our personnel is key to maintaining the peace, both domestically and globally; it guarantees that they can carry out their duties, with all that such brings to the life of the Motherland. Maybe, one day, there may come a time that the outcome of a battle or a successful endeavour will depend precisely on the spiritual state of our soldiers.
In turn, Vice-Admiral N A Yevmenov, Commander of the Northern Fleet, told the patriarch:
For all Orthodox, a word from our pastor and the Word of God mean a lot. Let’s take some examples… Admirals Ushakov and Nakhimov are holy names for every one of the Orthodox warriors under the flag of St Andrew the Apostle. Our grandfathers fought under this flag… under this flag, we go out to sea and carry out our service. The words, “All those who go to sea pray to God”… these aren’t empty words for us.
18 August 2016
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