Saint Moses the Ethiopian, Monk & Priest-Martyr in Egypt (+405) – August 28

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AFRICA OF MY HEART

Ethiopia

St Moses of Ethiopia (+405)

Saint Moses the Ethiopian,

Monk & Priest-Martyr in Egypt (+405)

August 28

Saint Moses the Ethiopian (330–405), (also known as Abba Moses the Robber, the Black, the Abyssinian, the Ethiopian and the Strong) was an ascetic monk and priest in Egypt in the fourth century AD, and a notable Desert Father.

Moses was a servant of a government official in Egypt who dismissed him for theft and suspected murder. A large, imposing figure, he became the leader of a gang of bandits who roamed the Nile Valley spreading terror and violence.

On one occasion, a barking dog prevented Moses from carrying out a robbery, so he swore vengeance on the owner. Weapons in his mouth, Moses swam the river toward the owner’s hut. The owner, again alerted, hid, and the frustrated Moses took some of his sheep to slaughter. Attempting to go In front of local authorities, he took shelter with some monks in a colony in the desert of Wadi El Natrun, then called Sketes, near Alexandria. The dedication of their lives, as well as their peace and contentment, influenced Moses deeply. He soon gave up his old way of life, became a Christian, was baptized and joined the monastic community at Scetes.

Moses had a rather difficult time adjusting to regular monastic discipline. His flair for adventure remained with him. Attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell, Moses fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer. He told the brothers that he did not think it Christian to hurt the robbers and asked what he should do with them. Moses was zealous in all he did, but became discouraged when he concluded he was not perfect enough. Early one morning, Saint Isidore, abbot of the monastery, took Moses to the roof and together they watched the first rays of dawn come over the horizon. Isidore told Moses, “Only slowly do the rays of the sun drive away the night and usher in a new day, and thus, only slowly does one become a perfect contemplative.”

Moses proved to be effective as a prophetic spiritual leader. The abbot ordered the brothers to fast during a particular week. Some brothers came to Moses, and he prepared a meal for them. Neighboring monks reported to the abbot that Moses was breaking the fast. When they came to confront Moses, they changed their minds, saying “You did not keep a human commandment, but it was so that you might keep the divine commandment of hospitality.” Some see in this account one of the earliest allusions to the Paschal fast, which developed at this time.

When a brother committed a fault and Moses was invited to a meeting to discuss an appropriate penance, Moses refused to attend. When he was again called to the meeting, Moses took a leaking jug filled with water and carried it on his shoulder. Another version of the story has him carrying a basket filled with sand. When he arrived at the meeting place, the others asked why he was carrying the jug. He replied, “My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.” On hearing this, the assembled brothers forgave the erring monk.

Moses became the spiritual leader of a colony of hermits in the Western Desert. Later, he was ordained a priest

At about age 75, about the year 405 AD, a group of Berbers planned to attack the monastery. The brothers wanted to defend themselves, but Moses forbade it. He told them to retreat, rather than take up weapons. He and seven others remained behind and were martyred by the bandits.

His feast day is on August 28.

Source:

Wikipedia

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Անմահ ջուրը – Սբ. Աթանաս Աթոսացու (+1000) – St Athanasius the Athonite ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Armenian

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ARMENIA OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX HEART

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Սբ. Աթանաս Աթոսացու (+1000)

(St Athanasius the Athonite)

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Անմահ ջուրը

Աղբյուր:

http://www.orthodoxkyanq.org

http://www.orthodoxkyanq.org/ծերերի-խրատներ/anmah-dzur/

ՈՒՂՂԱՓԱՌ ԿՅԱՆՔ

Մեծ Լավրացի մի տարեց ծեր հիվանդ էր ու մահճակալին գամված: Երկար ժամանակ տևեց նրա հիվանդությունը և սպասում էին, որ կննջի:

Մի օր իր հնազանդ վանականին պատվիրում է իրեն Սբ. Աթանաս Աթոսացու այազմայից` օրհնված աղբյուրից ջուր բերել: Վանականը վերցնում է ջրի տարան, սակայն ծուլանում է գնալ մինչև այազմա և մի մոտակա աղբյուրից է ջուր լցնում: Սպասում է ժամանակ անցնի, որպեսզի ծերը չհասկանա, թե չի գնացել այազմա: Եվ այսպիսով, ջուրն իր հիվանդ ծերին է տանում: Ծերն այն ընդունում է հավատքով՝ որպես այազմա. խաչակնքվում է, խմում և տարօրինակ կերպով առողջանում: Այդ պահին վանականի խիղճն իրեն տանջում է ու իր մեղքը խոստովանում: Այդ պահից այդ աղբյուրի ջուրն «անմահ» են կոչում:

Հունարենից թարգմանությունը՝ հայր Հերոնիմոս Մայիլյանի:

Աղբյուր. Από την ασκητική και ησυχαστική αγιορείτηκη παραδοση, εκδ. Ιερόν Ησυχαστήριον <Άγιος Ιωάννης Πρόδρομος>, Άγιον Όρος 2011.

Saint Indract, St Dominica & their Companions, Martyrs in Shapwick, England, from Ireland (+718) – February 5

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GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART

IRELAND OF MY HEART

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Ireland

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Glanstobury Abbey, 7th century

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Holy Icon of Virgin Mary of Glastonbury

with Saints Indract & Dominica

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Saint Indract, St Dominica & their Companions,

Martyrs in Shapwick, England, from Ireland (+718)

February 5

The Irish Saints at Glastonbury c.700

On this day in the Old English Calendar commemorated SS Indractus, Dominica and their Companions. We have to rely on William of Malmsbury for information about these Martyrs, who were venerated at Glastonbury Abbey. Indractus was an Irish chieftain, who had been to Rome on pilgrimage with his wife, Dominica, and nine others, and on their return journey they decided to visit the “Second Rome”, as Glastonbury was called, because of its holy associations.

There is a tradition that both S. Patrick and S. Bridget spent some time at Glastonbury, and there is a district called Beckery, where Bridget is supposed to have founded a Convent at the foot of Weary-all Hill. It was at Mass in the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene there, according to the History of John of Glastonbury, that King Arthur had the vision of the Cross and Our Lady with the Holy Child, which is commemorated in the Arms of the Abbey. Another Irish Saint claimed as a visitor to Glastonbury is Benignus, locally known as S. Bennings, who was servant and successor to S. Patrick. He settled at Meare three miles to the west, where he died, and his body was translated to the Abbey in 901, some four hundred years later.

These Irish connections may well have been an added attraction to Indractus and his fellow pilgrims, who settled in the district of Shapwick. The local people were heathen and thought the party were wealthy merchants, whereas their scrips only contained parsley and other seeds to be taken back to Ireland, and their pilgrim staves were tipped with brass and not gold. When they had killed them, the natives threw their bodies into a deep pit, but a column of light appeared by night revealing the grave of the Christian martyrs. Their bodies were taken up and buried in the Abbey in the eighth century during the restoration under King Ina.

Source:

http://celticsaints.org

http://celticsaints.org/2016/0205a.html

CELTIC SAINTS

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Glastonbury Abbey, England

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Άγιος Ίντρακτ (St Indract), Αγία Ντομινίκα (St Dominica) & οι 9 συμμάρτυρές τους, Μάρτυρες στο Shapwick της Αγγλίας, από Ιρλανδία (+718) – 5 Φεβρουαρίου

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http://greatbritaiofmyheart.wordpress.com

GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART

IRELAND OF MY HEART

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Ιρλανδία

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Ερείπια της αρχαίας Ορθόδοξης

Κελτικής Μονής του Glanstobury της Αγγλίας

η οποία ιδρύθηκε τον 7ο αιώνα & όπου βρέθηκε

ο τάφος του Βασιλιά Αρθρούρου

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Εικόνα της Παναγίας του Glastonbury

όπου εικονίζονται & οι Άγιοι Ίντρακτ & Ντομινίκα

(St Indract & Dominica)

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Άγιος Ίντρακτ (St Indract), Αγία Ντομινίκα (St Dominica) & οι 9 συμμάρτυρές τους,

Μάρτυρες στο Shapwick της Αγγλίας, από Ιρλανδία (+718)

5 Φεβρουαρίου

Αυτή την ημέρα (5 Φεβρουαρίου) στο Παλαιό Αγγλικό Ημερολόγιο αναφέρεται η μνήμη των Αγίων Indractus, Dominica και των συντρόφων τους. Πρέπει να βασιστούμε στον William του Malmsbury για πληροφορίες σχετικά με αυτούς τους Μάρτυρες, οι οποίοι τιμώνταν στο Μοναστήρι του Glastonbury. Ο Άγιος Indractus, ήταν ένας Ιρλανδός γαιοκτήμονας ο οποίος πήγε στη Ρώμη για προσκύνημα μαζί με την Αγία Dominica και εννιά άλλους και στο ταξίδι της επιστροφής τους αποφάσισαν να επισκεφτούν την Δεύτερη Ρώμη, όπως αποκαλούσαν το Glastonbury λόγο των αγίων που σχετίζονταν με αυτό.

Υπάρχει μία παράδοση που λέει πως ο Άγιος Πατρίκιος και η Αγία Bridget πέρασαν λίγο καιρό στο Glastonbury, και υπάρχει μία περιοχή που ονομάζεται Beckery, όπου λέγεται ότι η Bridget ίδρυσε ένα γυναικείο Μοναστήρι στη βάση του λόφου Weary-all Hill. Ήταν κατά τη διάρκεια της πρωινής Λειτουργίας μέσα στο εκκλησάκι της Αγίας Μαρίας της Μαγδαλινής εκεί, όπου σύμφωνα με την Ιστορία του Ιωάννη του Glastonbury, ο βασιλιάς Αρθούρος είδε το όραμα του Σταυρού και την Παναγία μαζί με το Άγιο Βρέφος. Ένας άλλος Ιρλανδός Άγιος σχετίζεται με το Glastonbury και λέγεται Άγιος Benignus, τοπικά γνωστός σαν Άγιος Bennings, ο οποίος ήταν υποτακτικός και διάδοχος του Αγίου Πατρικίου. Εγκαταστάθηκε στην περιοχή Mear τρία μίλια προς τη δύση, όπου κοιμήθηκε και το σώμα του μεταφέρθηκε στο Μοναστήρι του Glastonbury το 901 περίπου τετρακόσια χρόνια μετά.

Όλα αυτά ίσως να έλκυσαν τον Άγιο Indractus και τους άλλους προσκυνητές που ήταν μαζί του, οι οποίοι εγκαταστάθηκαν στην περιοχή Shapwick. Οι ντόπιοι άνθρωποι ήταν παγανιστές και πίστεψαν πως η συντροφιά αποτελούταν από πλούσιους εμπόρους, παρότι τα σακίδια τους περιείχαν μόνο μαϊντανό και άλλους σπόρους που σκόπευαν να μεταφέρουν στην Ιρλανδία κατά την επιστροφή τους και οι οδοιπορικές τους ράβδοι ήταν μπρούτζινες και όχι χρυσές. Αφού τους σκότωσαν, οι ντόπιοι πέταξαν τα κορμιά τους σε έναν βαθύ λάκκο, όμως μια στήλη φωτός εμφανίστηκε τη νύχτα αποκαλύπτοντας τον τάφο των Χριστιανών Μαρτύρων. Τα σώματα τους ανασύρθηκαν και θάφτηκαν στο Μοναστήρι του Glastonbury τον 8ο αιώνα κατά τη διάρκεια της ανοικοδόμησης υπό τον βασιλιά Ina.

Πηγή:

http://orthodoxy-rainbow.blogspot.com

http://orthodoxy-rainbow.blogspot.com/2016/04/indract-dominica-glastonbury.html

Ορθόδοξη Κελτική & Αγγλοσαξονική Εκκλησία

Orthodoxy – Rainbow

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Μονή του Glastonbury, Αγγλία

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Σταυρός, το δικό μας Holywood (=Ιερό Ξύλο) – Αρχιμ. Ιωάννης Κωστώφ

http://californiaofmyheart.wordpress.com

CALIFORNIA OF MY HEART

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Σταυρός, το δικό μας Holywood (=Ιερό Ξύλο)

Αρχιμ. Ιωάννης Κωστώφ

«… Ὁ Ἐσταυρωμένος κάποια στιγμή τελείωσε καί πολύ προσεκτικά καρφώθηκε στό Σταυρό.

Δέν ἦταν μεγάλος ὁ Σταυρός οὔτε μικρός. Ἕνας μέτριος, στητός στή βάσι του, ἀλλά χαριτωμένος βυζαντινός.

“Ποιό παρεκκλήσι νά στολίση”, σκέφθηκε, “καί ποιά Ἁγία Τράπεζα…”.

Ἀμερική! Σέ κάποια σημαντική ἀκαδημαϊκή πόλι!

30 Ἰανουαρίου 19….! Ἑορτή τῶν Τριῶν Ἱεραρχῶν…

Κάποια ἐπισκέπτρια στήν πόλι καί στήν Ἐκκλησία … τό ἔκανε τάμα, νά φέρη γιά τό Ὀρθόδοξο παρεκκλῆσι τόν Ἐσταυρωμένο ἀπ᾽ τήν Ἑλλάδα, ἀπ᾽ τό ἐργαστήρι τοῦ οἰκογενειακοῦ φίλου μέ τόν καταπληκτικό ἁγιογράφο. Ἔτσι ἔγινε.

—Ἄραγε εἶναι εὔκολο ἕνα ταξείδι Ἑλλάδα-Ἀμερική μέσα σέ ἀεροπλάνα καί σέ ἀεροδρόμια μ᾽ ἕναν Ἐσταυρωμένο στήν ἀγκάλη;

Καθόλου. Ἀπορίες, ἐρωτήσεις, μειδιάματα εἰρωνικά, κοροϊδευτικά λόγια, γέλια ἀπ᾽ τούς ἐλεγκτές διαβατηρίων καί τίς ἀεροσυνοδούς… καί τό ἀποκορύφωμα…!:

—Ιs this a boomerang? (εἶναι ἕνα μπούμερανγκ;).

—Νo, this is not a boomerang. Ιts only a Cross (Ὄχι, δέν εἶναι ἕνα μπούμερανγκ. Εἶναι μόνο ἕνας Σταυρός), ἡ ἀπάντησι στήν ἐρώτησι τοῦ ὑπαλλήλου τοῦ immigration (στόν ἔλεγχο διαβατηρίων) στήν Ἀμερική.

Ιs this a boomerang?

Ὁ Σταυρός τοῦ Χριστοῦ a boomerang; Ἀντήχησαν στ᾽ αὐτιά της ὑβριστικά καί σκληρά αὐτά τά λόγια. Δάκρυα τῆς ἀνέβηκαν στά μάτια καί μονολόγησε: a boomerang?

—Ναί, εἶναι ἕνα boomerang, γιατί ὄχι;

Ὁ Σταυρός τοῦ Κυρίου μέ τόν Ἐσταυρωμένο ἐπάνω εἶναι ἕνα boomerang. Ἕνα boomerang, ὅμως, ἀγάπης γιά τόν ἄπιστο, τόν αἱρετικό, τόν ἑτερόδοξο καί γιά τόν ἀνόητα σοφό, πού στηρίζει τή σοφία του μόνο στήν ἀνθρώπινη γνῶσι καί γιά τόν κακοπροαίρετο χριστιανό καί γιά τόν ψεύτη τό διπλοπρόσωπο, τό συκοφάντη, γιά τόν ἄσπλαχνο καί φυλάργυρο πλούσιο, τό δολοφόνο, γιά τό φθονερό καί τό μνησίκακο, γιά τόν ἀμετανόητο ἁμαρτωλό.

Ἕνα boomerang ἀγάπης πού πληγώνει ὅσους δέν Τόν ἀγαποῦν, δέν Τόν θέλουν, Τόν ὑβρίζουν, Τόν χλευάζουν, Τόν ἐξευτελίζουν μέ τά λόγια τους, τήν πέννα τους, τά συστήματά τους, τούς νόμους τους, τίς φαρισαϊκές τους πεποιθήσεις καί τεχνικές, τίς πονηρές σκέψεις καί τίς ἁμαρτωλές σαρκικές τους ἐπιθυμίες, ἀλλά κι ἕνα boomerang πού προφυλάσσει, ἀσφαλίζει, θωρακίζει, νικᾶ, γαληνεύει, ἰσορροπεῖ καί προειδοποιεῖ».

Πηγή:

Ἀρχιμ. Ἰωάννου Κωστώφ

ΣΤΑΥΡΟΣ, ΔΑΙΜΟΝΩΝ ΤΟ ΤΡΑΥΜΑ

Τό δικό μας Holywood

ἐκδ. Ἁγ. Ἰωάννης ὁ Δαμασκηνός

ΑΘΗΝΑ 2011

http://www.truthtarget.gr (Ώρες Εξομολόγησης)

TRUTH TARGET

(2108220542 – 6978461846)

Die Sondag van die Ortodoksie ╰⊰¸¸. •¨* Afrikaans

http://orthodox-heart.blogspot.com

http://africaofmyheart.wordpress.com

AFRICA OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX HEART

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Die Sondag van die Ortodoksie

https://afrikaansortodoks.wordpress.com

https://afrikaansortodoks.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/die-sondag-van-die-ortodoksie/

BEDEHUIS BETHANIË

Verlede Sondag het ons die Sondag van die Sege van die Ortodoksie gevier. Hier is ‘n uittreksel uit ons bisdomlike blad oor dié fees.

Vandag, op die eerste Sondag van die Groot Vastyd, gedenk ons die oorwinning van die Ortodoksie oor die kettery van die ikonoklasme. In die agste eeu is die Kerk uitmekaar geskeur deur hulle wat beswaar gemaak het teen die verering van die ikone, en in 787 het die Tweede Konsilie van Nicea daarop gereageer deur die rol van ikone in die Kerk te bevestig en te verklaar dat “Wanneer hierdie voorstellings beskou word, dit hulle wat daarna kyk hulle prototipe sal laat gedenk en liefhê .” Die Konsilie het onderskei tussen aanbidding, wat God alleen toekom, en die verering wat ons aan ikone gee, en verklaar dat wanneer ons ‘n ikoon vereer, ons eintlik die werklikheid vereer wat dit verteenwoordig.

Selfs na die Konsilie het die ikonoklasme voortgeduur totdat die keisering Theodora in 844 die Ortodoksie opnuut gevestig het met ‘n plegtige prosessie en verering van die ikone op die eerste Sondag van die Vastyd. Dit was die begin van vandag se fees en vier die sege van die ware leer oor kettery.

Die sege van die Ortodoksie wat ons vandag vier, staan in volledige samehang met die vroeëre stryd vir die Ortodokse geloof, want wat op die spel was, was nie bloot die geldigheid van die verering van die ikone nie, maar juis die werklikheid van die Vleeswording van Christus, wat die Kerk in vroeëre eeue geworstel het om te bely. Omdat God in Christus volledig mens geword het, is die stoflike self geheillig en het dit ‘n geskikte medium geword om Sy beeltenis weer te gee. Soos Sint Johannes van Damaskus geskryf het: “As ‘n mens eers verstaan dat die Onliggaamlike vir jou mens geword het, is dit vanselfsprekend dat jy Sy menslike beeld kan weergee.”

Onomskryfbare Meester, in u goddelike natuur, en in die laaste tye vlees geword, het dit U behaag om omskryfbaar te word; want deur vlees aan te neem, het U ook al die eienskappe daarvan aangeneem. Wanneer ons daarom die vorm van u gelykenis weergee, gee ons dit ‘n relatiewe verering en word ons verhef tot liefde vir U, en in die navolging van die tradisies van die apostels, verkry ons daaruit die genade van heling.

Uit die Vespers vir die Sondag van die Ortodoksie

Uittreksel uit Evangelion. ‘n Bulletin van die Ortodoks-Christelike Geloof, 4 Maart 2012.

Finding the Faith of St Joseph of Arimathea: An Interview with Fr. Jonathan Hemmings, England ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* The tradition of faith in Great Britain goes back to the Apostolic era!

http://orthodox-heart.blogspot.com

http://greatbritaiofmyheart.wordpress.com

GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX HEART

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England

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Finding the Faith of St Joseph of Arimathea:

An Interview with Fr. Jonathan Hemmings, England

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

The tradition of faith in Great Britain goes back to the Apostolic era!

by Tudor Petcu

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2016/10/finding-the-faith-of-joseph-of-arimathea/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

A Romanian writer, Tudor is a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest, Romania. He has published a number of articles related to philosophy and theology in different cultural and academic journals. His work focuses on the evolution of Orthodox spirituality in Western societies as well and he is going to publish a book of interviews with Westerners converted to Orthodoxy. In this article, he interviews Fr. Jonathan Hemmings, Orthodox theologian, who is the priest of the Holy Life-Giving Cross Orthodox Church in Lancaster, UK, talks about faith and love in Christ.

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

1.) Before discussing your conversion to Orthodoxy, I would appreciate it a lot if you could talk about your main spiritual experiences and journies untill you have discovered the Orthodox Church.

First of all, we need to be sure of what we mean when we use the term convert or “conversion.” We all need to be converted – both those who come from different traditions and confessions and those from traditionally Orthodox countries who are referred to as “cradle Orthodox”. Christianity is not a Philosophy, it is a relationship with the All Holy Trinity. We are converted to Christ and we are received into the (Orthodox) Church through Baptism and/or Chrismation. Sometimes this happens in the other order of events. Those who are Baptised Orthodox as babies need to employ the gift of the Holy Spirit given to them; those who are called to the Orthodox Christian faith are prompted by the same All Holy Spirit. As Metropolitan Kallistos said

“We Orthodox know where the Holy Spirit is but we cannot say where He is not.”

As scripture says

“the Holy Spirit moves where He wills.”

One has to experience the Orthodox Church either through her Liturgy or through the “living signposts of the faith” whom God sets before us if we are open to the Truth. By “ living signposts” I mean men and women who possess grace and in whom we see the light of Christ. Christianity in the west tends to be analytical and logical, Eastern Christianity is synthetic and mystical and engages the whole of our being.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your mind with all your strength, with all your heart and with all your soul.

The fact that we do metanoias (reverences or bows) shows that even prayer is a physical as well as a mental process. I have always believed in God, from a little child. I cannot remember a time when I did not believe in God. I had the right Christ, I just needed the right Church. Of course all this was a preparation for me to discover or rather recover the Orthodox faith.

2.) How would you characterise your own spiritual road to Orthodoxy? According to this question, would it be correct to say that Orthodoxy is able to heal the wounded souls?

I am like the Prodigal son in the parable who returns to his father. The Orthodox faith according to tradition was brought to Britain by St Joseph of Arimathea. An early Archbishop of Canterbury was Greek- St Theodore of Tarsus. St Constantine the Great was made Augustus Emperor here in York when he was in charge of the sixth Legion. So did not choose to find something “foreign” I returned to the Church which was established here in Britain.

The Orthodox Church is Universal as we proclaim on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. The Church is the hospital for souls. As Blessed Augustine said

“Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God”

Restlessness of the spirit is a characteristic of this age. So I have not discovered something new, I have recovered something authentic and original.

3.) Considering all what you have experienced over the years from the spiritual point of view, why is Orthodoxy so precious and meaningful to you?

Well, I believe Orthodoxy is not only original, unchanged and authentic but it is the teaching and preaching of Christ’s Apostles (Kerygma and Paradosi). Tradition is not simply historical, it is vital and dynamic. The Orthodox way fulfils the needs of the whole person and makes the broken person whole. It is precious because it is the

“pearl of great price.”

Once you find it, then you must share this treasure with others and not keep it to yourself.

4.) Do you think that Orthodoxy could be considered a burning bush?

I have a stone from Mount Sinai which contains the image of the bush which Moses saw burning and yet which was not consumed. If you want to forge metal, you must first heat it and out it into the fire and then you can shape it to the tool you require. When we are put into the fire of God, the same happens. It is so God can shape us into the person that He has called us to be. When we are alive in God then we become all flame. We are standing on holy ground, so when we approach God we must do so with awe before the majestic power of God.

5.) Now, I would like you to tell me what does the Orthodox monasticism mean for you and what impressed you most in your monastic pilgrimage, if I can call it like that?

Orthodox Monasteries are “LightHouses” for souls. They are often remote and inaccessible because the quietness for the soul requires asceticism . They are full of angels because the angelic life is lived there. When we say in the Lord’s Prayer

“Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”

then this is what monks are doing. The very walls of the Churches are filled with prayer and so one can feel tangibly the peace of God. It is this peace which passes all understanding that one experiences. Again I say that Orthodoxy is Life in the sense that we experience it, we live it. I have been to many Orthodox Monasteries in Romania. The most memorable moments are when I met Pr Ioanichie Balan in Sihastria Monastery and when I served the Holy Liturgy with Pr. Teofil Paraian( the blind Staretz) at Sambata de Sus. These were moments when the veil between heaven and earth was very thin.

6.) What would be the difference between you as a heterodox and you as an Orthodox?

I am complete. When Our Lord died on the Cross he said in St Johns Gospel

“It is finished”

but this also means

“It is completed”

that is, the work of salvation. In this sense “conversion” is an extension of what I once was. As C. S. Lewis ( much respected by Orthodox) once put it

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

As I have said before, I have always loved God but the depths of Orthodoxy provide me with the resources that nourish my soul.

7.) I remember some words which impressed me much while I was discussing with a Swiss writer converted to Orthodoxy. He was saying that he was born to hate but through Orthodoxy reborn to love. How would you characterise these words as a convert to Orthodoxy?

We were all born to love. Christ summarised the Commandments as Loving God and Loving your neighbour. Orthodox Christianity can be summarised in these words. But love is a verb… we must put into action those things which we believe. I am sure the prisons in Romania are full of criminals who would call themselves Orthodox and who have been baptised as such, but sin found a place in their hearts. Glory to God he is merciful and loves mankind! And so we must live out our life in peace and repentance. Being Romanian does not make you Orthodox anymore than being Greek, Russian, Serb or British. There was no ethnic identity in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve’s transgressions. May the love of God embrace us all.

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This interview is one of many that will be published in the book “The rediscovery of Orthodox heritage of the West” by Tudor Petcu, containing interviews with different Westerners converted to Orthodoxy. It will be published in two volumes and the first one will appear by the end of this year.