Sunday, April 26, 2015

You missed my call this morning .........

I was looking at you when you woke up this morning. I was expecting you to tell me one or two things, thanking me for everything that was happening to you, asking for my assistance for whatever you were about to do today.

I realized that you were very busy trying to find what to wear for work. I was hoping that you would find a few moments to tell me ‘good morning’!

But you were very busy. To help you see that I was near you, I had created the colorful sky and the songs of the birds. What a pity! You didn’t even notice my presence, not even then.

I was looking at you being in a hurry for work and was again waiting for you. I suspected that because you were busy you didn’t have time to say a few words to Me, even then.

When you returned from work, I saw how tired you were and how stressed and sent you some rain to relieve you from the day’s stress. I thought that by making this favor to you, you would remember Me.

Instead, being tired, you swore at Me. I so much wished that you would have wanted to talk to Me.

Still the day was not over yet. You switched on the TV and watched your favorite program. I was waiting. Then you had dinner with your loved ones and once again you didn’t remember Me.

Seeing you so exhausted, I understood your need for silence and turned off the sky’s brilliance so you could get some rest, but I didn’t turn the sky into a dark pitch. I turned on innumerable stars for you. They were so beautiful… it’s a pity you didn’t see them… never mind!

Do you really realize that I am here for you; I have more patience that you can ever imagine. I want to demonstrate this, so that you tell those around you.I love you so much that I am putting up with you.

Any moment now, you will wake up again. All I can do is to love you and hope that today at least you will give me some of your time…

Your loving Father

The Lord of Infinite Love.

Evolution - Eξέλιξη

Δεν άφησε το δαίμονα να κάψει την εκκλησία

π.Νεκταρίου Αντωνοπούλου «Ταχύς εις βοήθειαν…»

Στον Ιερό Ναό των Αγίων Αποστόλων Πέτρου και Παύλου στα Γιαννιτσά την Κυριακή της Ορθοδοξίας 2008 συνέβη και το εξής περιστατικό :

«Το παρεκκλήσι του Αγίου Λουκά βρίσκεται στη νότια πλευρά του Ναού κι επικοινωνεί με μία πόρτα.

Την ώρα της θείας Λειτουργίας κά­ποιος ενορίτης προσκύνησε τα ιερά λείψανα του Αγίου Λουκά που βρί­σκονται στο παρεκκλήσι, έκανε μία υπόκλιση και κοίταξε μέσα από το κουρτινάκι στο Ιερό Βήμα.

Βλέπει τότε έκπληκτος μπροστά στην αγία Τράπεζα έναν Αρχιερέα ντυμένο την αρχιερατική του στολή, σκυφτό, με τα χέρια του λίγο υψωμένα σε στάση δέησης. Του έκανε εντύπωση πώς δεν κοιτούσε μπροστά, άλλα κάπως λοξά στραμμένος προς τον κυρίως ναό. Δεν είδε τη φυσιογνωμία του, αλλά σκέφτηκε «τί να ζητά εδώ αυτός ό Αρχιερέας;», την ώρα που οι υπόλοιποι κληρικοί λειτουργούσαν στον κυρίως Ναό. Περίμενε ως το τέλος της θείας Λειτουργίας, για να βγει από το Ιερό, αλλά προς έκπληξη του δεν βγήκε κανείς. Δεν υπήρχε άλλη πόρ­τα και ό άγνωστος αρχιερέας είχε γίνει άφαντος.

Την ίδια μέρα το μεσημέρι, για άγνωστους ως σήμερα λόγους, στο Ναό εκδηλώθηκε πυρκαγιά στο δυτικό μέρος και σχεδόν το ένα τέταρτο του Ναού τυλίχτηκε στις φλόγες. Κάηκαν εικονοστάσια, παγκάρια, στα­σίδια, προσκυνητάρια, καρέκλες, κεριά, απόκερα κ.λπ. Στο ίδιο σημείο υπήρχε και προσκυνητάρι με εικόνα του Αγίου Λουκά, το όποιο κάηκε κι αυτό. Παραδόξως, μέσα από την όλη καταστροφή και μέσα στις στάχτες βρέθηκε άθικτη ή εικόνα του Αγίου Λουκά.

Λίγες μέρες αργότερα, σ’ ένα γειτονικό μοναστήρι, στον Άγιο Γεώρ­γιο Ανύδρου, 15 χιλιόμετρα βορείως των Γιαννιτσών, κάποιος κληρικός διάβαζε εξορκισμούς σε μια δαιμονισμένη. Δίπλα οι μοναχές της μονής προσεύχονταν σιωπηλά προς θεία βοήθεια της βασανισμένης αυτής ψυχής. Κάποια στιγμή το δαιμόνιο άρχισε να φωνάζει:

- Σταματήστε! Σταματήστε! Με καίτε, με καίτε! Σταματήστε! Αλλά… κι εγώ σας καίω. Εγώ έκαψα εκείνη την Εκκλησία του Πέτρου και Παύλου εκεί στα Γιαννιτσά. Κι αν δεν ήταν εκείνος ό… Λουκάς, θα την είχα κάψει ολόκληρη!»

Love of Christ is Love of the Church ( St. Porphyrios )

Christ created the Church on earth as His body with Him as the head. To love Christ is to love His Church. St. Porphyrios says the Church is “exactly the same as Paradise in heaven.” All souls are one in His Church.

 St. Porphyrios says

Love, worship of and craving for God, the union with Christ and with the Church is Paradise on earth. The services of the Church are the way we can express our love for Him and He His love for us.

He says,

The divine services of the Church are words in which we converse and speak to God with our worship and with our love. The hours spent closest to paradise are the hours spent in the church together with all our brethren when we celebrate the divine Liturgy, when we sin and when we receive Holy communion. How do we show our passion for Him? When we love Christ we enthusiastically observe the formal aspects of the church, the services, and are eager to participate in the sacraments especially the sacrament of Holy Communion. We enthusiastically come to church to express our love for our lover.

He says,

The divine services are a very great affair. The precondition is for everything to be done with eros, with interest and with a sincere disposition to worship Christ--not as a chore and not perfunctorily, but with eros and divine enthusiasm. Worship must spring from the whole soul and whole heart. What does this mean? Your only thought must be God… It is not something that is done under duress. You feel a spiritual delight and pleasure. It’s not like the homework a child does for school. It is like the passionate love between people, but higher and spiritual.

Above all, the sacrament of Holy Communion is an act of Divine Love. This is an act of joining in ecstatic union with Him.

Elder Ephriam of Arizona writes about the splendor of the Divine Liturgy.

The Divine Liturgy, what a splendor indeed! Man has been honored by God in such a way that He Himself comes down to earth with His Angelic Orders every time there is a Liturgy, in order to nurture man with His Most Holy Body and His Most Precious Blood! For He has given us everything. Is there anything physical or spiritual, perishable or everlasting, that has not been offered to us? None! Is there anything superior to His Most Holy Body and Blood, which is given to us on a daily basis? There is certainly not. God has enabled man, who is full of soil and dirt, to serve the Divine Liturgy. So priceless is the Divine Love that just a tiny drop exceeds any earthly, physical and secular love. The Orthodox faith is all about Love.

St. Porphyrios says,

Our religion is love, it is eros, it is enthusiasm, it is madness, it is longing for the divine. All these things are within us. Our soul demands that we attain them.

Reference: Wounded by Love, pp 90, 92, 165, 166