Saint Augustine of Hippo (354–430) wrote:
In the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep (Jn 21:15–19), down to the present episcopate.
And so, lastly, does the very name of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.
Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should ... With you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me... No one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion... For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.
Each prayer is only one click or touch away!
In an engaging combination of dialogues, reflections, conversations, history, and travel information, Kyriacos C. Markides continues the exploration of a spiritual tradition and practice he began in Riding with the Lion. His earlier book took readers to the isolated peninsula of Mount Athos in northern Greece and into a group of ancient monasteries. There, in what might be called a “Christian Tibet,” two thousand monks and hermits practice the spiritual arts to attain oneness with God. In his new book, Markides follows Father Maximos, one of Mount Athos’s monks, to the troubled island of Cyprus. As Father Maximos establishes churches, convents, and monasteries in this deeply divided land, Markides is awakened anew to the magnificent spirituality of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Images of the land and the people of Cyprus and details of its tragic history enrich The Mountain of Silence. Like the writings of the great mystics, the book brilliantly evokes the confluence of an inner and outer journey. The depth and richness of its spiritual message echo the thoughts and writings of Saint Francis of Assisi and other great saints of the Western Church as well. The result is a remarkable work–a moving, profoundly human examination of the role and the power of spirituality in a complex and confusing world.
With this modest and simple statement, one of the world's great classics of spirituality begins. An anonymous Russian peasant of the nineteenth century sets out to seek the truth, attempting to follow St. Paul's command to "pray without ceasing." By chanting the Jesus Prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me"), he attains a greater intimacy with God. Generations of readers, including Christians of all persuasions, have benefited by reading of the pilgrim's attempts to discipline his mind toward a constant awareness of God's presence as manifested through Christ's mercy.
In addition to its profound theological and philosophical observations, The Way of a Pilgrim offers an authentic portrait of Russia's social conditions during the final years of serfdom. Readers who appreciate the works of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy will delight in the author's encounters with a vast range of humanity, from monks, intellectuals, and hermits to peasants, convicts, and exiles.
"It is constantly assumed, especially in our Tolstoian tendencies, that when the lion lies down with the lamb the lion becomes lamb-like... That is simply the lamb absorbing the lion instead of the lion eating the lamb. The real problem is - can the lion lie down with the lamb and still retain his royal ferocity? That is the problem the Church attempted; that is the miracle she achieved." - from Orthodoxy.
In the new Russia, the former KGB who run the country--Vladimir Putin among them--proclaim the cross, not the hammer and sickle. Meanwhile, a majority of Russians now embrace the Orthodox faith with unprecedented fervor. The Garrards trace how Aleksy orchestrated this transformation, positioning his church to inherit power once held by the Communist Party and to become the dominant ethos of the military and government. They show how the revived church under Aleksy prevented mass violence during the post-Soviet turmoil, and how Aleksy astutely linked the church with the army and melded Russian patriotism and faith.
Russian Orthodoxy Resurgent argues that the West must come to grips with this complex and contradictory resurgence of the Orthodox faith, because it is the hidden force behind Russia's domestic and foreign policies today.
In Inner River, Kyriacos Markides—scholar, researcher, author, and pilgrim—takes us on a thrilling quest into the heart of Christian spirituality and mankind’s desire for a transcendent experience of God. From Maine’s rugged shores to a Cypriot monastery to Greece’s remote Mt. Athos and, ultimately, to an Egyptian desert, Markides encounters a diverse cast of characters that allows him to explore the worlds of the natural and the supernatural, of religion and spirit, and of the seen and the unseen.
Inner River will appeal to a wide range of readers, from Christians seeking insights into their religion and its various expressions to scholars interested in learning more about the mystical way of life and wisdom that have been preserved in the heart of Orthodox spirituality. Perhaps most important, however, is the bridge it offers contemporary readers to a Christian life that is balanced between the worldly and the spiritual.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Written with personal warmth and great erudition, Encountering the Mystery illuminates the rich culture and soul of Orthodox Christianity. Bartholomew traces the roots of Orthodox Christianity to its founding two thousand years ago, explores its spirituality and doctrine, and explains its liturgy and art. More especially, in a unique and unprecedented way, he relates Orthodox Christianity to contemporary issues, such as freedom and human rights, social justice and globalization, as well as nationalism and war.
With a recent rebirth of Orthodox Christian churches (particularly in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe), there has been great interest in understanding this important branch of Christianity with its close ties to the traditions of the early Church. As USA Today recently reported, Orthodox Christian churches throughout the country are drawing converts attracted by the beauty of its liturgy and inspired by its enduring theology. But for the general seeker, whatever their background, Encountering the Mystery is a rich spiritual source that draws upon the wisdom of millennia.
into the Orthodox Church
Veiled in the smoke of incense, the Eastern Orthodox Church has long been an enigma to the Western world. Yet, as Frederica Mathewes-Green discovered, it is a vital, living faith, rich in ritual beauty and steadfast in integrity. Utilizing the framework of the Orthodox calendar, Mathewes-Green chronicles a year in the life of her small Orthodox mission church, eloquently illustrating the joys and blessings an ancient faith can bring to the worshipers of today.
Readers will also find compelling art works reflecting events and people from the Bible, from the Nativity, to the wedding at Cana, Christ's exploits with the twelve disciples, and so much more. It also highlights several religious lessons about entering the Kingdom of Heaven and achieving spiritual purity. With its compelling narrative and presentation, this release promises to make it easy for readers, especially children, to understand and learn the Word of God deeply. A collection of the Holy Scriptures accompanied with vivid iconographic watercolor illustrations tell the story of Jesus and show that the Prophesy of the Old Testament is fulfilled.
Furthermore, this book emphasizes how relevant and essential the Messiah's teachings remain to this day. This release is a must-have for devout Christians and people seeking direction in their lives.
This book introduces general Church etiquette. It provides basic information that will make your Church experience a pleasant one.
It is part of four works by John dealing with the so-called Dark Night of the Soul, when the individual Soul undergoes earthly and spiritual privations in search of union with God. Along with the other three, The Dark Night Of the Soul, The Living Flame of God and the Spiritual Canticle, it is regarded as one of the greatest works of mysticism in Christianity and in the Spanish language.
Norris Chumley presents a lavishly illustrated companion to the PBS documentary Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer. Readers can follow Chumley on a pilgrimage through the holiest sites of the early Christian world as he searches for modern-day practitioners of the ancient Eastern mystical tradition and its most sacred prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." This beautifully illustrated volume includes black-and-white and full-color images of the author's travels through Eastern Europe, including rare pictures from visits to holy sites where photographers are only rarely granted access.
This epic biography of Hieromonk Seraphim Rose tells the unique story of a man who, having grown up in a typical American home in southern California, became one of the greatest teachers of Orthodox Christianity in our times, loved and revered throughout Russia and Eastern Europe.
Quoting at length from his letters, journals, manuscripts, recorded lectures and published writings, this book traces Fr. Seraphim’s intense search for truth and his philosophical development, setting forth his message and offering a glimpse into the soul of a man who lived, even while on this earth, in the otherworldly Kingdom of God.
“We who are given the fullness of true Christianity are obliged to be working on ourselves, to be watching the signs of the times, and to be extremely joyful, as St. Paul is constantly saying: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say: Rejoice!’ (Phil. 4:4). We rejoice because we have something which all the death and corruption of this world cannot take away, that is, the eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ.”
—Fr. Seraphim Rose, 1979, from the new book
A greatly revised version of Not of This World, this new Life of Fr. Seraphim incorporates years of new research and includes much additional material. Because it deals closely with events in the recent history of Orthodoxy in America, the book has been reviewed prior to publication by clergy, monastics and laypeople from most of the Orthodox jurisdictions represented in this country.
• New, previously unpublished material by Fr. Seraphim.
• New reminiscences by those who knew Fr. Seraphim.
In his previous book The Mountain of Silence, Markides introduced us to the essential spiritual nature of Eastern Orthodoxy in a series of lively conversations with Father Maximos, the widely revered charismatic Orthodox bishop and former abbot of the isolated monastery on Mount Athos. In Gifts of the Desert, Markides continues his examination of Easter Orthodox mystical teachings and practices and captures its living expression through visits to monasteries and hermitages in Greece and America and interviews with contemporary charismatic elders, both male and female.
Markides’s pursuit of a deeper understanding of Orthodoxy takes him to the deserts of Arizona and a stay at a new monastery in Sedona; to the island of Cyprus and a reunion with Father Maximos; on a pilgrimage to holy shrines aboard a cruise ship in the Aegean Sea; and finally to the legendary Mount Athos, home to more than two thousand Orthodox monks. Markides relates his journey and reflections in a captivating style while providing important background material and information on historical events to give readers a highly accessible, in-depth portrait of a tradition little known in the West.
Gifts of the Desert will appeal to a wide range of people, from Christians seeking insights into their religion and its various expressions to scholars interested in learning more about the mystical way of life and wisdom that have been preserved on Mount Athos since the fall of the Byzantine Empire and the Great Schism that separated the Eastern and Western Churches. Perhaps most important, however, is the bridge it offers contemporary readers to a Christian life that is balanced between the worldly and the spiritual.
This revised edition includes a new preface, a new chapter, and an updated bibliography. In addition to updated demographic information, Clendenin examines at length a particular aspect of Orthodoxy's intersection with Protestantism-its growing exchange with evangelicalism.
"Here I want -- at least in part -- to entertain. This is not to say that the pieces gathered here are not serious in their arguments; quite the contrary. . . . I mean only that, in these articles, I have given my natural inclinations towards satire and towards wantonly profligate turns of phrase far freer rein than academic writing permits. . . . I have, at any rate, attempted to include only pieces that strike me as having some intrinsic interest, both in form and in content."
-- from the introduction
Taking advantage of new access to previously closed archives, historian Tatiana Chumachenko has documented the political, social, and human dramas of church-state relations during these decades. The rich material covered here appears in no previously published church history. It also has contemporary relevance, providing essential background to the post-Soviet Russian government's controversial relationship to the Russian Orthodox Church today.
Adamant devotees of Fr. Cherubim (Jones) demand immediate canonization and full recognition as "Equal to the Heirophants". They have stepped beside their usual tactics of demanding canonization whether or not Fr. Cherubim should be canonized, and demanding that any problems be swept under the carpet, to insist that he be called, "Equal to the Heirophants."
Much of the work in his wake was consolidated in the book, Christ the Eternal Doubt. Our devotee explained, "Blessed Cherubim Jones saw more than anything the spiritual toxicity of postmodernism. And he sensed, perhaps even more than he realized, that the proper rebuttal to postmodernism is to reconstruct modernism: indeed, there are powerful modernist currents in his thought even when he seems to condemn all Western trends. The great grandfather of modernism was René DesCartes, and Blessed Cherubim Jones uncovered layer after layer of this philosopher whose very name means 'Born Again' and whose Meditations put doubt on a pedestal and said, in essence, 'Doubt what you can; what remains after doubt is unshakable.' And Λογος or Logos is interchangeable, one might almost say homoousios, with logic and with doubt." And to quench the ills of the postmodern world, Blessed Cherubim Jones mined a vein that would come together in the classic Christ the Eternal Doubt.
Fr. Cherubim has left a considerable wake; the tip of the iceberg is in his contribution to a wave of commited Evangelicals deciding that being Orthodox is an indispensible aid to pursuing their cottage industry of reconstructing the ancient Church. The sycophant excitedly commented, "Yes; there was an article on this phenomenon in The Onion Dome. It was a bit like that article in The Onion, um, what was it... there was a woman, a strong woman, who overcame years of childhood abuse to become a successful porn star. And this is nothing next to what happened when he was the only fashionable Orthodoxy the communist East could listen to."
Fr. Cherubim was indeed very concerned that his version of the Fathers be adhered to. He pointed out that many Church Fathers, in giving the theology of the created world, absolutely denied that matter was made from atoms and molecules, but insisted that science properly interpreted proves that matter was made from the four elements: "earth, air, fire, and water." And he drew a line in the sand here, and most of his Cherubinian devotees are extraordinarily suspicious about whether you can be Orthodox and believe anything like modern atheistic chemistry.
There is some slight controversy surrounding Fr. Cherubim's teaching on the phantom tollbooth. His position, as carried forth by others, is that practically every major element of The Phantom Tollbooth is already in the Fathers and is attested in quite ancient liturgy. Consequently, many argue, the book The Phantom Tollbooth is no mere imaginative children's tale, but an entirely literal factual account describing life beyond the mundane.
But as much as Fr. Cherubim tried to break free of Western tendencies, the concensus among non-Cherubinians that part of his spiritual ambiance and a legacy among Cherubinians is, in the words of one striking television commercial, "wacky wild, Kool-Aid style!"
-- Sergius Bulgakov (from preface) This distinctive book contains spiritual orations and edifying discourses rooted in the Orthodox tradition. In Churchly Joy Sergius Bulgakov takes readers through the joyous mysteries of the church year as reflected in the Orthodox Church's major feasts, including celebrations of the Annunciation, the Birth of Christ, the Epiphany, the Transfiguration, the Triumphal Entry, Easter, and more. Churchly Joy reflects Bulgakov's transcendent vision for the church and will provide spiritual growth and edification for all Christians.
This classic work, The City of God, was translated into several languages and played an important role in the spreading of the ideals of Eastern and Western Christianity.
In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic and Native American traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders.
The texts are first-rate, and the introductions are informative and reliable. The books will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of every literate religious persons". -- The Christian Century
During the 1500 years of its existence, it has become the leading guide in Western Christianity for monastic living in community.
While it cannot answer all these questions thoroughly, this concise booklet can help interested laity, theological students, and ministers come to understand and respect Eastern Catholicism for its many contributions to the universal Catholic Church.
Alexei Nesteruk reveals how the Orthodox tradition, deeply rooted in Greek Patristic thought, can contribute importantly in a way that the usual Western sources do not. Orthodox thought, he holds, profoundly and helpfully relates the experience of God to our knowledge of the world. His masterful historical introduction to the Orthodox traditions not only surveys key features of its theology but highlights its ontology of participation and communion. From this Nesteruk derives Orthodoxy's unique approach to theological and scientific attribution. Theology identifies the underlying principles (logoi) in scientific affirmations.
Nesteruk then applies this methodology to key issues in cosmology: the presence of the divine in creation, the theological meaning of models of creation, the problem of time, and the validity of the anthropic principle, especially as it relates to the emergence of humans and the Incarnation.
Nesteruk's unique synthesis is not a valorization of Eastern Orthodox thought so much as an influx of startlingly fresh ideas about the character of science itself and an affirmation of the ultimate religious and theological value of the whole scientific enterprise.
The purpose of publishing the papers presented at the Twentieth Annual Meeting of Orthodox Christian Laity is to improve “lay and clergy literacy” on the conference topic of “The Need for a Great and Holy Council.” The papers are presented with the hope that the information will motivate the faithful to participate in the conciliar decision-making process that moves the Church forward on the issue of developing the council or another appropriate meeting. The forces, factors, and history that inhibit calling a council are presented in these papers. The hope of what can be accomplished when brothers work in synergy with each other and the Holy Spirit is also evident.
The renewal of Orthodox Christianity and the renewal of its witness in the contemporary world of global religious pluralism depend on such a meeting. The calling of a council free of worldly, political, power, turf, ego and ethnic considerations will renew the “Living Tradition” of Orthodoxy, which is its Apostolic calling. The world is looking for this “Living Tradition,” which cannot be well-expressed by a fragmented Orthodox Church. A council is a step toward renewing the Church and making it whole in order to teach this “Living Tradition.”
It is interesting to note—as this collection of papers points out—that the children of Orthodox Christians living in America have come together as Americans, in order to remain Orthodox, through campus ministry programs that they are developing. The young adults are leading the way to Orthodox unity. Is it not time for the Church elders, the hierarchs, the clergy, and the faithful to look at the example of unity that the youth are providing and move ahead to do what is necessary to renew the Church through this conciliar council?
ABOUT THE EDITOR
George E. Matsoukas, Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Laity since 2000, recently published “A Church in Captivity, The Greek Orthodox Church of America.” He co-authored and edited “Project for Orthodox Renewal” and continues to publish articles in various journals, newspapers and local history publications. He is an active member of his church and community.
Mission of OCL
Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) is a national, voluntary movement dedicated to syndiaconia (co-ministry) of clergy and laity who are concerned with the spiritual renewal, accountability, and transparency in Church governance. OCL encourages the laity to exercise its legitimate responsibilities as part of the conciliar governance process. OCL advocates the establishment of an administratively and canonically UNIFIED SELF - GOVERNING Orthodox Church in North America, which is in keeping with the theology and tradition in fulfilling its Apostolic mission.