Saturday, December 29, 2007

Orthodoxy & Literal Interpretation

Of Our Father Amongst The Saints

Maxim Martyr


Biblical Text.

Genesis 3:17 ¶And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

What is the ground that’s cursed by God for the sake of Adam’s deeds, and what does it mean for man to eat of it in sorrows? What does it mean, then, for it to bring forth to man thorns and thistles, and for man to eat the herb of the field? What does it mean for man to eat bread in the sweat of his face? For at no time has anyone seen a man to eat either earth, or grass, or brambles; nor do they who eat bread consume it together with the sweat of their faces, as that story tells us.

The ground that’s cursed for the sake of Adam’s deeds is his body, that’s endlessly being cursed by his actions, that is, by the passions of his earth-bound mind, and by the unfruitfulness of his virtues, which are the works of God. Of his own body is man then being fed with the pains and many sorrows which it brings forth, rejoicing only in the little pleasure that it has to offer. From his own body spring forth to man then, aside from its rotten pleasures, the worries and thoughts as thorns, and the great temptations, dangers and perils as brambles and thistles. And these then, in their turn, sting him from all sides, -through reason, desire, and anger-, so that he may barely be able to procure for, and eat of the bread that is for the maintenance of his health and welfare of his body, which becomes like unto a grass that fades away and withers. But even this is done through a lengthy repeating of pains “in the sweat of his face”, that is, through the tiredness and enslavement of the senses, which are then being compelled to eagerly explore the sensible things. And the toil to sustain his life here, either by a certain skill, or by any other such clever method, is to man then as bread.

The 14,000 Innocent Infants Slain By King Herod

The 14,000 Innocent Infants Slain By King Herod.

Troparion - Tone 1

We beseech You, O Lord of mankind, to accept in supplication the suffering which Your saints endured for Your sake, O Lord, and heal all our infirmities.

Kontakion - Tone 8

When the King was born in Bethlehem, the Magi came from the East. Having been led by a star from on High, they brought Him gifts. But in exceeding wrath, Herod harvested the infants as sorrowing wheat; the rule of his kingdom has come to an end.

King Herod was actually pro-choice, and all that he really wanted to do was merely to set these poor women finally free from the oppression of the patriarchal society in which they lived, and to whose men-made rules they were unwillingly subjected to: `t'was a men's world back then, Ladies and Gentlemen!

The Fifth Day After Christmas.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Holy Arch-Deacon And Proto-Martyr Stephen

The Holy Arch-Deacon And Proto-Martyr Stephen.

Troparion - Tone 4

O Protomartyr and mighty warrior of Christ our God, You are victorious in battle and crowned with glory, O holy Stephen! You confounded the council of your persecutors, beholding your Savior enthroned at the right hand of the Father. Never cease to intercede for the salvation of our souls!

Kontakion - Tone 3

Yesterday the Master assumed our flesh and became our guest; today His servant is stoned to death and departs in the flesh, the glorious Protomartyr Stephen.

The Third Day Of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Synaxis Of The Holy Mother Of God

The Synaxis Of The Holy Mother Of God
And Ever-Virgin Marry.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Second Tone

He, who was begotten of the Father before the morning star, without a mother, becomes incarnate of you today, without a father. Wherefore, a star announces the good news to the Magi. Angels with shepherds praise your immaculate birth-giving, O Full of Grace.

The Second Day Of Christmas.

Psalms 84:3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

The Birth Of Our Lord, God, And Saviour
Jesus Christ.

Troparion - Tone 4

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, has shone to the world the Light of wisdom! For by it, those who worshipped the stars, were taught by a Star to adore You, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know You, the Orient from on High. O Lord, glory to You!

Kontakion - Tone 3

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One! Angels with shepherds glorify Him! The wise men journey with a star! Since for our sake the Eternal God was born as a Little Child!

Stefan Hrusca - Your Birth.
(The Christmas Troparion)

Second Vespereal Reading

Numbers 24:2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. 3 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: 5 How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! 6 As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters. 7 He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. 8 God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. 9 He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee. 17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. 18 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.

Third Vespereal Reading

Micah 4:6 In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; 7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. 3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. 4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.

Fourth Vespereal Reading

Isaiah 11:1 ¶And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 10 ¶And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Fifth Vespereal Reading

Baruch 3:35 This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of him 36 He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob his servant, and to Israel his beloved. 37 Afterward did he shew himself upon earth, and conversed with men. 4:1 This is the book of the commandments of God, and the law that endureth for ever: all they that keep it shall come to life; but such as leave it shall die. 2 Turn thee, O Jacob, and take hold of it: walk in the presence of the light thereof, that thou mayest be illuminated. 3 Give not thine honour to another, nor the things that are profitable unto thee to a strange nation. 4 O Israel, happy are we: for things that are pleasing to God are made known unto us.

Sixth Vespereal Reading

Daniel 2:31 ¶Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

Seventh Vespereal Reading

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Angel of Great Advice, Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Eighth Vespereal Reading

Isaiah 7:10 ¶Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. 13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. 8:1 ¶Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz. 2 And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. 3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. 4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria. 9 ¶Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. 10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Holy Nun-Martyr Eugenia Of Rome

The Holy Nun-Martyr Eugenia Of Rome.

Your lamb Eugenia, O Jesus, calls out to You in a loud voice: I love You, O my bridegroom, and in seeking You, I endure suffering. In Baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You, and died so that I might live with You. Accept me as a pure sacrifice, for I have offered myself in love. By her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.
You left the passing glory of the world to follow Christ, keeping spotless the brilliance of your soul, O inspired Martyr Eugenia, worthy of all praise!

Apolytikion in the Third Tone

Being mystically moved by the Spirit, thou didst sing God's praise, thereby receiving the clear light of divine knowledge in thy heart; and shining bright as the sun with a righteous life, thou overcamest the devil in martyrdom. O Eugenia, thou most glorious Martyr of the Lord, entreat Christ God to grant great mercy unto us.

Stefan Hrusca - White Flowers

Stefan Hrusca - White Flowers.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Stefan Hrusca - The Deer's Carol

Stefan Hrusca - The Deer's Carol.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

275 Pretty Darn Good Reasons On Why Any Sane Person Should NOT Be(come) Orthodox ... Ever!

And here they are, Ladies and Gentlemen [pun intended], in all their nakedness [pun intended]:

According to the divinely-inspired words of our Holy Prophet and God-Seer Moses, as recorded in his Second Book, that of Exodus, -in the fifteenth verse of the nineteenth chapter-, as well as following the saintly advice of the Glorious and divinely-appointed Apostle Paul, as written in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, -in the fifth verse of the seventh chapter-, the Holy Fathers unanimously decree that husband and wife should abstain from the rightful pleasures that are, by the very nature of things, normally tied to married life, for the entire duration of such holy time-periods as those dedicated to feasting and fasting ... Until now, nothing of spectacular: I mean, it sounds reasonable enough, ... right?

Well, then: let's just take a closer look at what that actually means ... shall we?

During Spring-time, we have a contiguous two month long time interval, comprising Meat-Fare Week, the six weeks of Great Lent, Great and Holy Week, and -last, but not least- Bright Week, in which the performance of weddings [and other such wedding-related things, which this author will leave to the imagination of the reader] is, by Canon Law, strictly forbidden.

In the summer time, when the weather is fine, for a contiguous time period of approximatively a month (more or less), ranging from the next Sunday following Pentecost, and all the way up to the 29th of June, when we end our month-long fast by celebrating the Feast of the Holy, Most-Glorious Chief-Apostles Peter and Paul, the same things are required of us, as have been described above.

The exact same goes then for the two contiguous weeks of the Fast of the Falling-Asleep of the Holy Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, celebrated in the Fall, prior to the 15th of August, ... as well as for the contiguous two month long time span, consisting of the Christmas-Fast, which is celebrated in Winter, and the two weeks between the Lord's Birth and His Baptism, which immediately follow the Feast.

... Which would amount, according to my calculations, to about five months of marital abstinence each year: BUT, WAIT! THERE'S MORE! WE'RE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET!

The remaining time, amounting to about seven months, is, obviously, comprised of such insignificant little time-units we call weeks ... which weeks consist, obviously, of seven days, out of which two are Fast-Days: Wednesdays and Fridays; and two are Feast-Days: Saturdays and Sundays ... which leads to more than half of this remaining time-frame being forbidden to the two spouses for fulfilling each their respective duties towards each-other.

So, in conclusion, a little math: 12-5 = 7; 3/7 * 7 = 3; 3*30 = 90; 365-90 = 275. Hence, also, the name of this article.

Now, I beg of ye, please do not misunderstand me, my dear Gentlemen and my fair Ladies: but isn't this cross a bit too hard to bear, ... even for normal, every-day people, who maybe do not wish, or feel the desire, to often or frequently express their passionate feelings for one another ?

Why do some Orthodox even want to become monks anyway? ...

We Shall Die, And We'll Be Free!

Valeriu Sterian - The Revolution Anthem.

Oh Lord, Come, Oh Lord,
To See What's Left Of People!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Second Snowfall

Salvatore Adamo - Tombe La Neige.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Orthodoxy & Textual Criticism

Of Our Father Amongst The Saints

Maxim Martyr

Questions, Bewilderments, And Answers.

Question Seventy-First.
In some manuscripts of the Apostle it stands written “We shall all sleep, but we shall not all be changed”; yet in others “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed”. (1 Corinthians 15:51) Please, I beg thee, show me which version should be received and what the things written therein mean?
I think that if one were to honestly and in all piety receive both versions, he will by no means derail from the Apostle’s teaching, for even the most ancient of manuscripts contain them both.

The first one, “We shall all sleep, but we shall not all be changed”, must be understood in the sense that we shall all one day have to suffer the falling-asleep through death, but not all of us shall be changed by the receiving of the glory and courage. That this is so is shown by the same Apostle more clearly in another place, by saying: “If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked” (2 Corinthians 5:3).

And the second one: “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” must be understood in the sense that not all of us shall fall-asleep with the falling-asleep for a certain time, so that we might be needing a grave and share of the falling-apart through corruption or decomposition, but rather that those living at that time will suffer only a short death, having no need for the falling-asleep for a certain time, for only shortly thereafter will the resurrection take place. Yet all will be changed, that is, they will be clothed in incorruption.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Holy Hierarch Nicholas, Archbishop Of Myra In Lycia

The Holy Hierarch Nicholas,
Archbishop Of Myra In Lycia.
In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence; your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you. Hierarch Father Nicholas, entreat Christ our God that our souls may be saved.
You revealed yourself, O saint, in Myra as a priest, for you fulfilled the Gospel of Christ by giving up your soul for your people, and saving the innocent from death. Therefore you are blessed as one become wise in the grace of God.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Proto-Romanian Saints: The Scythian Monks

Dionysius Exiguus,
The Father Of The
Anno Domini Era,
And The First Known Medieval Latin Writer
To Use A Precursor Of The Number

Nicetas Of Remesiana,
The Author Of The
Te Deum Laudamus.

John Cassian,
Friend And Disciple Of Saint
John Chrysostom,
Founder Of
Saint Victor's Abbey In Marseille,
Had A Great Influence On St.
Benedict Of Nursia,
The Founder Of Western Monasticism;
Condemned The Teachings Of
Augustine Of Hippo.

Having cleansed yourself through fasting, You attained the understanding of wisdom, and from the desert fathers You learned the restraint of the passions. To this end through your prayers grant our flesh obedience to the spirit. For you are the teacher, O venerable John Cassian, of all who in Christ praise your memory.

Kontakion - Tone 4

As a venerable monk, You consecrated your life to God, and radiant with virtue, O John Cassian, You shine like the sun with the splendor of your divine teachings, Illumining ever the hearts of all who honor you. Entreat Christ earnestly in behalf of those who praise you with fervent love.

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Father. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy John Cassian, your soul rejoices with the angels.

Kontakion in the First Tone

Thy words breathe forth the sweetness of heavenly cassia, dispelling the foul odour of passion and pleasures; but with the sweet fragrance of thy discretion and temperance, they make known the spiritual ascents in the Spirit, leading men on high, O righteous Father John Cassian, divinely-sent guide of monks.

The Icon Called Extreme Humiliation,
The King Of Glory,
Illustrating The
Theopaschite Formula
Of The Scythian Monks:
One Of The Trinity For Us Has Suffered.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Romania's National Holiday

The Romanian National Anthem,
Flag And Coat Of Arms.

Stefan Hrusca - Colindul Ardealului.

Romania's Regional Map.

Romania's Administrative Map.

Romania's Physical Map.

Peles Castle, Sinaia.


I. The National Assembly of all Romanians in Transylvania, Banat and the Hungarian Country, gathered by its rightful representatives at Alba-Iulia on the 18th of November/1st of December, decrees the unification of those Romanians and of all the territories inhabited by them with Romania. The National Assembly proclaims above all the inalienable right of the Romanian nation to the whole Banat bordered by the Mures and Tisa rivers and the Danube.

II. The National Assembly grants to the territories mentioned above provisional autonomy until the meeting of the Constituency chosen by suffrage universal.

III. Regarding this matter, the National Assembly proclaims the following fundamental principles for the foundation of the new Romanian State:

1. Full national freedom for all the co-inhabiting peoples. Each people will study, manage and judge in its own language by individual of its own stock and each people will get the right to be represented in the law bodies and to govern the country in accordance with the number of its people.

2. Equal rights and full autonomous religious freedom for all the religions in the State.

3. Full democratic system in all the realms of public life. Suffrage universal, direct, equal, secret, in each commune, proportionally, for both sexes, 21 years old at the representation in communes, counties or parliament.

4. Full freedom of the press, association and meeting, free propaganda of all human thoughts.

5. Radical agrarian reform. All the assets, above all the big ones, will be inscribed. The wills by which the heir consigns the land to a third party will be abolished; meanwhile, on the basis of the right to cut down estates freely, the peasant will be able to his own property (ploughing land, pasture, forest), at least one for him and his family to labour on. The guiding principle of this agrarian policy is promoting social evening, on the one hand, and giving force to production, on the other.

6. The industrial workers will be granted the same rights and privileges that are in force in the most advanced western industrial states.

IV. The National Assembly would like the peace congress to accomplish the community of free nations so that justice and freedom be ensured for all big and small nations alike and in future war is abolished as a means of controlling international relations.

V. The Romanian gathered in this National Assembly greets their brothers in Bukovina who broke away from the Austro-Hungarian Empire yoke and united in their fatherland, Romania.

VI. The National Assembly greets with love and enthusiasm the liberation of the nations subjugated until now in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, namely the nations: Czechoslovak, Austro-German, Yugoslav, Polish and Carpatho-Russian and decides that this greeting should be conveyed to all the other nations.

VII. The National Assembly meekly evokes the memory of those brave Romanians, whose blood was shed in this war for our dream to come true, as they died for the freedom and unity of the Romanian nation.

VIII. The National Assembly expresses their gratefulness and admiration towards all the Allied Powers, which by their brilliant battles waged stubbornly against an enemy trained for many decades for war released civilisation from under the terror of barbarity.

IX. To continue to manage the affairs of the Romanian nation in Transylvania, Banat and The Hungarian Country, the National Assembly decides to found a Great National Romanian Convention, that will have all the rights to represent the Romanian nation any time and everywhere in the relations with all the nations of the world and to make all the necessary decisions in the interest of the nation.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The First Snow

Stefan Hrusca - It's Snowing Peacefully Outside.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Holy Apostle Andrew, The First-Called

Saint Andrew, The First-Called,
Apostle To The Romanians.

Troparion - Tone 4

Andrew, first-called of the Apostles and brother of the foremost disciple, entreat the Master of all to grant peace to the world and to our souls great mercy.

Kontakion - Tone 2

Let us praise Andrew, the herald of God, the namesake of courage, the first-called of the Savior's disciples and the brother of Peter. As he once called to his brother, he now cries out to us: "Come, for we have found the One whom the world desires!"



By George Alexandrou


George Alexandrou: The question was if, by setting the various traditions side-by-side, I could trace St. Andrew’s travels with any probability. Our strongest evidence, and what we always hoped for, was early written commentary about the apostle’s visit to an area along with a separate, verified oral tradition from the same place that has been passed down until now. As I went on, I discovered that in time and geography the Kazakhstani tradition fit the Sogdiana tradition (modern Uzbekistan), the Sogdiana tradition fit into the Parthian tradition (Persia) and the Parthian tradition fit the Syriac tradition. It was like a train, one car after another, until I had only twenty years missing from St. Andrew’s return to the Black Sea from Valaamo until he went to Sinope – and from there to Patras in Achaia, to his martyrdom.

Reporter: Were you able to resolve those twenty years?

George Alexandrou: Yes, I found a local Romanian tradition that St. Andrew lived twenty years in a cave in Romania, in Dervent, and during this time he traveled through what is now Romania, Bulgaria and Moldavia. But the most incredible thing was that, according to the early Romanian traditions, the years he was there was the exact period I was missing from the other traditions. The most important thing is that these puzzle pieces – the separate local traditions of Bulgaria, Romania, Ethiopia, of the Aramaic people, the Syrians, the Copts, even the Greek and Roman church traditions all fit together, but you have to follow them step by step to recreate his life.


To the North

George Alexandrou: It was on his return south that he settled in Romania for twenty years. During that time he traveled in Moldavia and Bulgaria, on the Danube and along the coast of the Black Sea, but mostly he was in and around his cave in Dervent, Dobrogea, in southern Romania. St. Andrew’s Romanian cave is still kept as a holy place and Romanian Orthodox have gone there on pilgrimage for almost two thousand years. We also know the locations of other caves he lived in: in Pontus near the Black Sea (now Turkey), in Georgia, in Russia, in Romania, and in Loutraki near Corinth. It is all him, the same man.

Reporter: Why did he stay in Romania for so long?

George Alexandrou: I didn’t understand this myself at first, but it appears that he felt very close to the Romanians because they were monotheists. According to Flavius Josephus, their clerics were like Essenes. They were virgins, strict vegetarians who didn’t even eat fleshy vegetables, but only seeds and nuts like ascetics in the desert. Dacian society was very free, the women had a good, equal position there, not like Greco-Roman society, and the Dacians didn’t keep slaves. In fact, they were unique in the world at that time because they didn’t have slaves. According to Romanian traditions and archeological findings, the Dacians became Christian under St. Andrew himself in the first century. It is natural that he would have felt at home with the Dacian clergy and that they would have readily accepted him and converted. The Ethiopic tradition also describes St. Andrew as a very strict vegetarian. This is possible because, although most of the other apostles were married, both he and John the Evangelist were virgins. They had been disciples of St. John the Baptist and followed his hesychast tradition. They were the first monks and ascetics of the Christian world. Even in our Orthodox hymnography we remember St Andrew as being closely associated with St. John the Baptist. In Orthodoxy we have choices: we have vegetarian hermits, sometimes very strict, living only on bread and water all their lives, and we also have saintly kings who ate pork and beef. He was in Romania for twenty years and I think he loved this land more than anything after being with Christ. I believe that God allowed it as a consolation because he had been on such difficult missionary journeys. We have descriptions of places where he wasn’t welcome, where he was forced to leave and his despair over this. Things were often very difficult, particularly when he was in the Slavic lands where human sacrifice was still practiced. You can imagine, he was tired of living with this, and when he came to the Dacians, who had no slaves, where men and women were equal, where Jews and Greeks were accepted in the same manner, and where there were ascetic hermit-priests, you can understand how easily he fit in. He was able to teach, he was happy there. In fact, they thought that the religion he brought was not only better than theirs, but was a continuation of their old religion. They saw their native religion as a foreshadowing of Christianity. Twenty years is a long time, and you can understand why the Romanians remember more of him than any other tradition. From Romania there are traditions that he went to Cherson in the Crimea and from there to Sinope, to Macedonia, and preached a bit in Epirus (northern Greece and southern Albania). Although we have references from early texts that he preached in Epirus, we don’t have any local traditions there. The rest of the sites I’ve quoted are supported by both written texts and oral tradition.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mihai Eminescu - To The Star

Mihai Eminescu (1850 - 1889).

To The Star ...

Towards the star that rose on high
There lies such a great distance,
That millennia have gone by
Before its light could reach us.

Perhaps long time ago it has
Gone out, dieing on its way,
On the blue sky, far away,
Our sight just now delighted by its ray.

The icon of the star now-gone
Slowly climbs up heaven’s vault:
`T’was there before laid eyes upon;
Though we now see it, it’s long gone...

Likewise when our longing hearts
Perished in night most darkened,
The light of our stilled amour
Still follows us unfrightened.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Entry Of The Holy God-Bearer Into The Temple

The Entry Of The Holy Mother Of God
And Ever-Virgin Mary Into The Temple.

Today is the prelude of God's pleasure and the proclamation of man's salvation. The Virgin is clearly made manifest in the temple of God and foretells Christ to all. Let us also cry out to her with mighty voice, "Hail, fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation."
The most pure Temple of the Savior; the precious Chamber and Virgin; the sacred Treasure of the glory of God, is presented today to the house of the Lord. She brings with her the grace of the Spirit, therefore, the angels of God praise her: "Truly this woman is the abode of heaven."

Agni Parthene.

First Vespereal Reading

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "On the first day of the first month you shall set up the Tabernacle of the Testimony, and you shall put in it the Ark and cover it with the veil. You shall bring in the table and the lampstand; and you shall set there a golden altar to burn incense before the Ark of the Testimony. And you shall put a covering on the door of the tabernacle of the Testimony. "Then you shall take the oil of anointing and anoint the Tabernacle and all that is in it, and consecrate it and all its vessels; and it shall be holy. And you shall consecrate the Altar for Burnt Offerings; it shall be most holy". And Moses did all that the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel had commanded him. And a cloud covered the Tabernacle of the Testimony and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the Tabernacle of the Testimony, because the cloud overshadowed it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.

Second Vespereal Reading

And it came to pass when Solomon had finished building the House of the Lord, he assembled all the elders of Israel in Zion, to bring the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord out of the City of David, which is Zion. And the priests took up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, the Tabernacle of the Testimony, and all the holy vessels that were in the Tabernacle of the Testimony. And the King and all Israel went before the Ark. And the priests brought the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to its place, into the Oracle of the Temple, into the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the Ark so that the cherubim made a covering above the Ark and its holy things above. There was nothing in the Ark except the two tablets of the Covenant which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord had made a Covenant. And when the priests came out from the holy place, a cloud filled the house. And the priests were unable to stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord God Almighty filled the house.

On the 21st day of the Ninth month (November), we celebrate the Entrance of the Holy Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary into the Temple. The choosing of the date is completely random. Any similarities with any other celebration, of this or any other religion, are completely coincidental ...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Psalm 50

Psalm 50.

Enigma - Start To End.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Big, Bad, Barbaric Brute

After being kicked out of an Analogical-Digital Circuits laboratory-class earlier this month for rebelling against the use of Thevenin's Theorem for solving a banal circuit, I also managed to enrage the living soul out of this little servant of God over here, finding myself banned for my earnest, honest, heart-felt convictions -which I've very much proven to be truthful- very much like the guy that I wrote of also earlier this same month ... Gee ... I'm wondering ... might this have anything to do with it? :

It is something that I've observed in You (and that I found to be quite unpleasant and disturbing) : that You do not retract Your assertions that were proven false, neither do You defend them. Yet, You still go on saying the same things shamelessly. This, I find to be beyond reproof. :-(

E.g., Your mockery of the words of the Saints [Basil, for instance] by using them in ways by-no-means intended by them so-to-be-used, and Your persistence in such gross and enormous deformities of their words are shameful and disgusting things. WHY do You do them? WHY? You deformed the clear meaning of their words. You are a Deformer; NOT a Reformer -- at least as far as understanding Patristic thought goes ...

At first, You were just an innocent little Protestant -- now, however, You're not. You know our arguments, and -unable as You've proven Yourself to refute them- You cannot be found unguilty. Now, Your own conscience condemns You.

Even babies are guilty, after all ["They are conceived in sin, and come forth out of the womb, speaking lies." -- were these not Your very words, or am I mistaking?]; not to mention a grown up man like You ... or me.

And don't worry about anyone sending You any Apocrypha written in my name: I'm not an Apostle, not even from among the 70, not even by a long shot. :p

What's the matter, friend of mine and fiend of the Saints (who are the friends of God) ? :-( Who is now the one who "makes a fallacious tug on the emotions in order to bypass reason."? Or the one that decides to buy the emotional argument of TurretinFan, over the exegetical argument of Orthodox theology? :-(

And when Your mourning is over, please write an article over the Reformed understanding of original sin over and against that of Anselm. (And while You're at it, also please tell us if -let's say- Billy Graham's preachings and teachings are in conformity with it; and if not, then compare them with Anselm's, so that we might better understand the similarities as well as differences between these two-or-three views).


Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Great And Holy Martyr Menas

The Great And Holy Martyr Menas.
Your holy martyrs, O Lord, through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God. For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. Through their intercessions, save our souls!
Today the church honors those who fought the good fight and died for their faith: the victorious Menas, the noble Victor and the ascetic Vincent. The church glorifies their divine struggle and cries out with love: Glory to You, O Christ, the lover of mankind.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Holy Archangels Michael And Gabriel

The Seven Holy Archangels:
Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel,
Selaphiel, Jehudiel, Barachiel, and Jeremiel.

Commanders of the heavenly hosts, we who are unworthy beseech you, by your prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your immaterial glory, and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you: "Deliver us from all harm, for you are the commanders of the powers on high!"
Commanders of God's armies and ministers of the divine glory, princes of the bodiless angels and guides of mankind, ask for what is good for us, and for great mercy, supreme commanders of the Bodiless Hosts.

The ninth month of the year, as well as the "ninth" day of the week, are devoted to the honor of the nine heavenly hosts. While there were initially ten angelic choirs -this number being regarded as mystical and holy in the Holy Writ, reminding us of the Ten Plagues and the Ten Commandments, as well as the numerical value of the initial letter of the Tetragram-, the first and foremost of these aforesaid heavenly hosts unfortunately fell from the heavens, under the misguided leadership of the former Archangel Lucifer, who refused to give the deserved glory and rightful praise to the uncreated Angel of the Lord, Great Counselor and Angel of Great Advice -of Whom the Divinely inspired Scriptures repeatedly make mention, and of whom Isaiah the Prophet praisefully speaks-, by mistaking him for one of the created ones. The irony of faith in all this consists in the fact that, if he would've meekly humbled himself before This One, today the Church would've celebrated his and his host's Feast Day as well, together with all of those who continued to remain faithful servants of God under the leadership of the second-in-command, the Great and Holy Archangel Michael, who's being thusly named for rebuking the former's prideful thoughts, when seeing that that one wanted to rise his throne higher than the Throne of Glory, by crying out loud unto him: "Who is like unto God !?"; after which he exhorted all the Angels that were under him with the advice with which the Priest still calls upon the faithful present at the Holy Liturgy every Sunday and Feast Day, namely: "Let's stand well, let's stand with fear ... ". The number of this fallen tenth celestial army is to be fulfilled, according to the Divine Revelation of Saint John the Theologian, with those that lived heavenly lives here on this earth, resembling those of the bodiless Angels with their bloody martyrdom or unbloody asceticism, though being themselves but bodily men. As the Akathist dedicated to Saint Anthony the Great of Egypt so beautifully puts it: "Rejoice, oh heavenly man and earthly Angel !". For their worthiness, they're being remembered on the "tenth" day of the week.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thevenin's Theorem: Thevenin = Cretin

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Martin Luther


Aus Liebe zur Wahrheit und in dem Bestreben, diese zu ergründen, soll in Wittenberg unter dem Vorsitz des ehrwürdigen Vaters Martin Luther, Magisters der freien Künste und der heiligen Theologie sowie deren ordentlicher Professor daselbst, über die folgenden Sätze disputiert werden. Deshalb bittet er die, die nicht anwesend sein und mündlich mit uns debattieren können, dieses in Abwesenheit schriftlich zu tun.

Im Namen unseres Herrn Jesu Christi, Amen.

A unßer Meißter und HERR Jheßus Chrißtus ßpricht, Thut bußße etc. will er das das gantze leben ßeiner Gleubigen auff Erden, ein ßtete und unauffhoerliche bußße ßol ßein.

2. Und kan noch mag ßolch wort nicht vom Sacrament der bußße, das ißt, von der Beicht und Gnugthuung, ßo durch der Prießter ampt geuebet wird, verßtanden werden.
3. Jedoch wil er nicht allein verßtanden haben, die innerliche Bußße, ja die innerliche Bußße ißt nichtig, und keine Bußße, wo ßie nicht eußßerlich allerley toedtungen des fleißches wircket.
4. Wehret derhalben rew und leid, das ißt, ware Bußße, ßo lang einer misfallen an jm ßelber hat, nemlich, bis zum eingang aus dießem in das ewige Leben.
5. Der Bapßt wil noch kan nicht einige andere pein erlaßßen, außßerhalb derer, die er ßeins gefallens, oder laut der Canonum, das ißt, Bepßtlicher ßatzungen, auffgeleget hat.
6. Der Bapßt kan kein ßchuld vergeben, denn allein ßo fern, das er erklere und beßtetige, was von Gott vergeben ßey, Oder aber, das ers thu in den fellen, die er jm vorbehalten hat, welche felle, ßo ßie verachtet wuerden, bliebe die ßchuld gantz und gar unauffgehaben oder verlaßßen.
7. Gott vergibt keinem die ßchuld, den er nicht zu gleich durchaus wol gedemuetiget, dem Prießter, ßeinem Stathalter, unterwerffe.
8. Canones poenitentiales, das ißt, die Satzungen, wie man beichten und bueßßen ßol, ßind allein den Lebendigen auffgelegt, und ßollen nach laut derßelbigen ßatzungen, den jtzt Sterbenden nicht auffgelegt werden.
9. Daher thut uns der heilige Geißt wol am Bapßt, das der Bapßt alle wege in ßeinem Decreten oder Rechten, ausnimet den Artikel des todes, und die eußßerßte not.
10. Die Prießter handeln unverßtendig und ubel, die den ßterbenden Menßchen poenitentias Canonicas, das ißt, aufferlegte Bußße, ins Fegfewer, daßelbs denßelben gnug zu thun, ßparen und behalten.
11. Dießes Unkraut, das man die Bußße oder Gnugthuung, ßo durch die Canones oder Satzugen auffgelegt ißt, des Fegfewers bußße oder pein ßolte verwandeln, ißt geßeet worden, da die Bißchoue geßchlaffen haben.
12. Vorzeiten worden Canonicae poenae, das ißt, Bußße oder gnugthuung fur begangene ßuende, nicht nach, ßondern vor der Abßolution auffgelegt, dabey zu pruefen, ob die rew und leid rechtßchaffen were.
13. Die Sterbenden thun fur alles gnug durch jren tod oder abßterben, und ßind dem recht der Canonum oder Satzungen abgeßtorben, und alßo billich von derßelben aufflage entbunden.
14. Unuolkomene froemigkeit, oder unuolkomene liebe, des, der jtzt ßterben ßol, bringet notwendig großße furcht mit ßich,ja, wie viel die Liebe geringer ißt, ßo viel ißt die furcht deßte groeßßer.
15. Dieße furcht und ßchrecken ißt an jr ßelbs und allein, das ich andere ding ßchweige, dazu gnug, das ßie des Fegfewers pein und qual anrichte, dieweil ßie der angßt der verzweiuelung gantz nahe ißt.
16. Helle, Fegfewer und Himel ßcheinen gleicher mas unterßcheiden ßein, wie die rechte verzweiuelung, unuolkomene oder nahe verzweiuelung, und ßicherheit, von einander unterßchieden ßind.
17. Es ßcheinet, als mueßße im Fegfewer, gleich wie die angßt und ßchrecken an den Seelen abnimpt, Alßo auch die liebe an jnen wachßen und zunemen.
18. Es ßcheinet auch unbeweißet ßein, weder durch gute Urßachen, noch durch Schrifft, das die Seelen im Fegfewer außßer dem ßtand des verdienßts, oder des zunemens an der Lieb ßeien.
19. Es ßcheinet auch dis unerweißet ßein, Das die Seelen im Fegfewer, zum wenigßten alle, jrer ßeligkeit gewis und unbekoemmert ßeien, ob wir ßchon des gantz gewis ßind.
20. Derhalben meinet noch verßtehet der Bapßt nicht, durch dieße wort (Volkomene vergebung aller pein) das in gemein allerley pein vergeben werde, Sondern meinet die pein allein, die er ßelbs hat auffgelegt.
21. Derhalben jrren die Ablasprediger, die da ßagen, Das durch des Bapßts ablas der Menßch von aller pein los und ßelig werde.
22. Ja, der Bapßt erleßßet kein pein den Seelen im Fegfewer, die ßie hetten in dießem leben, laut der Canonum, ßollen bueßßen und bezalen.
23. Ja, ßo jrgend ein vergebung aller pein jemand kan gegeben werden, ißts gewis, das die allein den volkomeneßten,das ißt, den gar wenigen, gegeben werde.
24. Darumb mus der groeßßer teil unter den Leuten betrogen werden, durch die prechtige Verheißßung on alle unterßcheide, dem gemeinen Man eingebildet von bezalter pein.
25. Gleichen gewalt, wie der Bapßt hat uber das Fegfewer, durch aus und in gemein, So haben auch ein jeder Bißchoff und Seelßorger in ßeinem Bißthum und Pfarr, in ßonderheit, oder bey den ßeinen.
26. Der Bapßt thut ßehr wol dran, das er nicht aus gewalt des Schlueßßels (den er nicht hat) ßondern durch huelffe, oder furbitweiße, den Seelen vergebung ßchencket.
27. Die predigen Menßchentand, die da furgeben, das, ßo bald der großßchen in den kaßten geworffen, klinget, von ßtund an die Seele aus dem Fegfewer fare.
28. Das ißt gewis, als bald der Großßchen im kaßten klinget, das gewinßt und Geitz kome, zunemen und groeßßer werden, Die huelffe aber, oder die furbitt der Kirchen ßtehet allein in Gottes willen und wolgefallen.
29. Wer weis, ob auch alle Seelen im Fegfewer wollen erloeßet ßein wie man ßagt, das es mit S.Seuerino und Paßchalio ßey zugangen.
30. Niemand ißt des gewis,das er ware rew und leid gnug habe, viel weniger kan er gewis ßein, ob er volkomene vergebung der ßuenden bekomen habe.
31. Wie ßelten einer ißt, der warhafftige rew und leid hab, So ßelten ißt auch der, der warhafftig Ablas loeßet, das ißt, es ißt gar ßelten einer zu finden.
32. Die werden ßampt jren Meißtern zum Teufel faren die vermeinen durch Ablaßbrieue jrer ßeligkeit gewis zu ßein.
33. Fur denen ßol man ßich ßehr wol hueten und furßehen, die da ßagen, des Bapßts ablas ßey die höchßte und werdeßte Gottes gnade oder geßchenck, dadurch der Menßch mit Gott verßuenet wird.
34. Denn die Ablas gnade ßihet allein auff die pein der Gnugthuung welche von Menßchen auffgeßetzt ißt worden.
35. Die leren unchrißtlich, die furgeben, das die, ßo da Seelen aus dem Fegfewr, oder Beichtbrieue wollen loeßen, ßeiner rew noch leides beduerffen.
36. Ein jeder Chrißt, ßo ware rew und leid hat uber ßeinen ßuenden der hat vollige vergebung von pein und ßchuld, die jm auch ohne Ablasbrieue gehoeret.
37. Ein jeder warhafftiger Chrißt, er ßey lebendig oder tod, ißt teilhafftig aller gueter Chrißti und Kirchen, aus Gottes geßchenck, auch ohne Ablasbrieue.
38. Doch ißt des Bapßts vergebung und austeilung mit nichten zu verachten, denn, wie ich geßagt habe, ißt ßeine vergebung ein erklerung goettlicher vergebung.
39. Es ißt aus der maßßen ßchweer, auch den aller gelerteßten Theologen, zugleich den großßen reichthum des Ablas, und dagegen die ware rew und leid fur dem Volk zu rhuemen.
40. Ware rew und leid ßucht und liebet die ßtraffe, Aber die mildigkeit des Ablas entbindet von der ßtraffe, und das man jr gram wird, zum wenigßten, wenn dazu gelegenheit furfelt.
41. Furßichtiglich ßol man von dem Bepßtlichen Ablas predigen, das der gemeine Man nicht felßchlich dafur halte, das er den andern wercken der Lieb werde furgezogen oder beßßer geachtet.
42. Man ßol die Chrißten leren, das es des Bapßts gemuet und meinung nicht ßey, das Ablas loeßen jrgend einem werck der barmhertzigkeit mit jchtes ßolte zu vergleichen ßein.
43. Man ßolte die Chrißten leren, das, der dem Armen gibt, oder leihet dem Duerfftigen, beßßer thut, denn das er Ablas loeßete.
44. Denn durch das werck der Liebe wechßßt die liebe, und der Menßch wird froemer, Durch das Ablas aber wird er nicht beßßer, ßondern allein ßicherer und freier von der pein oder ßtraffe.
45. Man ßol die Chrißten leren das der, ßo ßeinen Neheßten ßihet darben, und des ungeachtet, Ablas loeßet, der loeßet nicht des Bapßts ablas, ßondern ladet auff ßich Gottes ungnade.
46. Man ßol die Chrißten leren, das ßie, wo ßie nicht ubrig reich ßind, ßchueldig ßind, was zur notdurfft gehoeret, fur jr Haus zu behalten, und mit nichten fur Ablas zu verßchwenden.
47. Man ßol die Chrißten leren, das das Ablas loeßen ein frey ding ßey, und nicht geboten.
48. Man ßol die Chrißten leren, das der Bapßt, wie mehr er eines andechtigen Gebets bedarff, Alßo deßßelben mehr begere, denn des gelts, wenn er Ablas austeilet.
49. Man ßol die Chrißten leren, Das des Bapßts ablas gut ßey, ßo fern man ßein vertrawen nicht drauff ßetzet, Dagegen aber nichts ßchedlichers, denn ßo man dadurch Gottes furcht verleuret.
50. Man ßol die Chrißten leren, Das der Bapßts, ßo er wueßte der Ablasprediger ßchinderey, lieber wolte, das S.Peters Muenßter zu puluer verbrand wuerde, denn das es ßolt mit haut, fleißch und bein ßeiner Schaffe erbawet werden.
51. Man ßol die Chrißten leren, das der Bapßt, wie er ßchueldig ißt, alßo auch ßeines eigen gelds, wenn auch ßchon S.Peters Muenßter dazu ßolte verkaufft werden, den Leuten austeilen wuerde, welche doch etliche Ablasprediger jtzund ßelbs umbs geld bringen.
52. Durch Ablasbrieue vertrawen ßelig zu werden, ißt nichtig und erlogen ding, ob gleich der Commißßarius (oder Ablas vogt) ja der Bapßt ßelbs, ßeine Seele dafur zu pfand wolt ßetzen.
53. Das ßind feinde Chrißti und des Bapßts, die von wegen der Ablaspredigt, das wort Gottes in andern Kirchen zupredigen ganz und gar verbieten.
54. Es geßchiet dem wort Gottes unrecht, wenn man in einer Predigt gleich ßo viel oder mehr zeit auffwendet das Ablas zu verkuendigen als auff das wort Gottes.
55. Des Bapßts meinung kan nicht anders ßein, denn ßo man das Ablas (das das geringßte ißt) mit einer glocken, einem gepreng und ceremonien begehet, das man dagegen und viel mehr das Euangelium (welchs das groeßßt ißt) mit hundert Glocken, hundert gepreng, und Ceremonien ehren und preißen ßolle.
56. Die ßchetze der Kirchen, dauon der Bapßt das Ablas austeilet, ßind weder gnugßam genand noch bekand, bey der gemein Chrißti.
57. Denn das es nicht leibliche zeitliche Gueter ßind, ißt daher offenbar das viel Prediger dießelben nicht ßo leichtlich hingeben, ßondern allein auff ßamlen.
58. Es ßind auch nicht die verdienßt Chrißti und der Heiligen, Denn dieße wircken alle zeit, on zuthun des Bapßts, gnad des innerlichen Menßchen, und das Creutz, Tod und Helle, des eußßerlichen Menßchen.
59. S.Laurentius hat die Armen, ßo der Kirchen glieder ßind genant die Schetze der Kirchen, Aber er hat das woertlin genomen, wie es zu ßeiner zeit im brauch war.
60. Wir fragen aus gutem grund, on freuel oder leichtfertigkeit, das dießer ßchatz ßeien die Schlueßßel der Kirchen, durch das verdienßt Chrißti der Kirchen geßchencket.
61. Denn es ißt klar, das zu vergebung der pein, und vorbehaltener Felle, allein des Bapßts gewalt gnug ißt.
62. Der rechte ware ßchatz der Kirchen ißt das heilige Euangelium der herrligkeit und gnaden Gottes.
63. Dießer Schatz ißt billich der allerfeindßeligßte und verhaßßeßte, Denn er macht, das die erßten die letzten werden.
64. Aber der Ablas ßchatz ißt billich der aller angemeßte, Denn er macht aus den letzten die erßten.
65. Derhalben ßind die ßchetze des Euangelij, netze, da man vor zeiten die Reichen wolhabende Leute mit gefißchet hat.
66. Die ßchetze aber des Ablas ßind netze, damit man jtziger zeit die reichthum der Menßchen fißchet.
67. Das Ablas, das die Prediger fur die groeßßeßte gnad ausruffen, ißt freilich fur großße gnad zu halten, denn es großßen gewinßt und genies treget.
68. Und ißt doch ßolch Ablas warhafftig die allergeringßte gnade, wenn mans gegen der gnaden Gottes, und des Creutzes gottßeligkeit helt oder vergleichet.
69. Es ßind die Bißchoue und Seelßorger ßchueldig, des Apoßtolißchen Ablas Commißßarien mit aller ehrerbietung zu zulaßßen.
70. Aber viel mehr ßind die ßchueldig mit augen und ohren auff zu ßehen, das dießelben Commißßarien nicht an ßtat Bepßtliches befehls, jre eigen trewme predigen.
71. Wer wider die warheit des Bepßtlißchen Ablas redet, der ßey ein Fluch und vermaledeiet.
72. Wer aber wider des Ablas predigers mutwillige und freche wort ßorge tragt, oder ßich bekuemmert, der ßey gebenedeiet.
73. Wie der Bapßt die jenigen billich mit ungnad und dem Bann ßchlegt die zu nachteil dem Ablas jrgend auff einigem weg handlen.
74. So viel mehr trachtet er auff die Leute ungnad und Bann zu ßchuetten, die unter dem ßchein des Ablas, zu nachteil der heiligen Lieb und Warheit handeln.
75. Des Bapßts Ablas ßo großß halten, das er einen abßoluiren oder von ßuenden los machen koenne, wenn er gleich (unmueglicher weiße zu reden) die mutter Gottes geßchwechet hette, ißt raßend und unßinnig ßein.
76. Dagegen ßagen wir, das des Bapßts Ablas nicht die allergering ßte tegliche ßuende koenne hinweg nemen, ßo viel die ßchuld derßelben belanget.
77. Das man ßaget, S.Peter, wenn er jtzt Bapßt were, vermoechte nicht groeßßern Ablas zu geben, ißt ein leßterung wider S.Peter und den Bapßt.
78. Dawider ßagen wir, Das auch dießer und ein jeder Bapßt groeßßern Ablas hat, nemlich, das Euangelium, Kreffte, gaben geßund zu machen etc. 1. Corinth. 12.
79. Sagen, das das Creutz mit des Bapßts wapen herrlich auffgericht, vermoege ßo viel als das Creutz Chrißti, ißt eine Gottesleßterung.
80. Die Bißchoue, Seelßorger und Theologen, die da geßtatten, das man ßolche wort fur dem gemeinen Man reden darff, werden rechenßchafft dafur mueßßen geben.
81. Solche freche und unuerßchempte Predigt und rhum vom Ablas, macht, das es auch den Gelerten ßchweer wird, des Bapßts ehre und wirde zu verteidigen, fur derßelben verleumbdung, oder ja fur den ßcharffen lißtigen des gemeinen Mans fragen.
82. Als nemlich, Warumb entlediget der Bapßt nicht alle Seelen zu gleich aus dem Fegfewr umb der allerheiligßten Liebe willen, und von wegen der hoechßten not der Seelen, als der allerbillichßten urßachen, So er doch umb das allervergenglichßten gelts willen, zu baw S.Peters Muenßter, unzelich viel ßeelen erloeßet, als von wegen der loeßeßten urßachen?
83. Item, Warumb bleiben die begengnis und jarzeit der Verßtorbenen ßtehen, und warumb gibt er nicht wider, oder vergoennet wider zu nemen die Beneficia oder Pfruenden, die den Todten zu gut geßtifftet ßind, So es nu mehr unrecht ißt, fur die Erloeßeten zu beten ?
84. Item, Was ißt das fur eine newe heiligkeit Gottes und des Bapßts, das ßie den Gottloßen und dem Fremde, umb gelds willen verguennen ein Gottfuerchtige und von Gott geliebte Seele zu erloeßen, und wollen doch nicht viel mehr umb der großßen not derßelben Gottfuerchtigen und geliebten Seelen willen, ßie aus lieb umb ßonßt erloeßen ?
85. Item, Warumb die Canones poenitentiales, das ißt, die ßatzunge von der Bußße, nu langeßt in jnen ßelbs mit der that, ob ßie ßchon noch im gebrauch ßind, abgethan und tod, noch mit geld geloeßet werden, durch gunßt des Ablas, als weren ßie noch gantz krefftig und lebendig ?
86. Item, Warumb bawet jtzt der Bapßt nicht lieber S.Peters Muenßter, von ßeinem eigenem gelde, denn von der armen Chrißten geld, weil doch ßein vermoegen ßich hoeher erßtreckt, denn keines reichen Craßßi gueter ?
87. Item, Was erloeßet oder teilet der Bapßt ßein Ablas denen mit, die ßchon durch volkomene rew einer volkomenen vergebung und Ablas berechtigt ßind ?
88. Item, Was kuend der Kirchen mehr guts widerfaren denn wenn der Bapßt, wie ers nur ein mal thut, alßo hundert mal im tage jedem Gleubigen dieße vergebung und Ablas ßchencket ?
89. Weil auch der Bapßt der Seelen ßeligkeit mehr durch Ablas denn durchs Gelt ßuchet, Warumb hebt er denn auff, und macht zu nicht die brieue und Ablas die er vormals gegeben hat ßo ßie doch gleich krefftig ßind ?
90. Dieße der Leyen ßehr ßpitzige Argument, allein mit gewalt wollen dempffen, und nicht durch angezeigten Grund und Urßach auffloeßen, heißßt die Kirche und Bapßt denn Feinden zu verlachen darßtellen, und die Chrißten unßelig machen.
91. Derhalben, ßo das Ablas nach des Bapßts geißt und meinung gepredigt wuerde, weren dieße Einreden leichtlich zu verantworten ja ßie weren nie nicht furgefallen.
92. Muegen derhalben alle die Prediger hinfaren, die da ßagen zu der gemeine Chrißti, Fried, Friede und ißt kein fried.
93. Denen Predigern aber müßße es allein wol gehen, die da ßagen zur gemein Chrißti, Creutz, Creutz, und ißt kein Creutz.
94. Man ßoll die Chrißten vermanen, das ßie jrem Heubt, Chrißto, durch Creutz, tod und Helle nach zu folgen ßich bevleißßigen.
95. Und alßo mehr durch viel truebßal ins Himmelreich zu gehen, Denn das ßie durch vertroeßtung des friedes ßicher werden.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Great And Holy Martyr Demetrius

The Great And Holy Martyr Demetrius,
The Myrrh-Streamer.

The world has found you to be a great defense against tribulation and a vanquisher of heathens, O Passion-bearer. As you bolstered the courage of Nestor, who then humbled the arrogance of Lyaios in battle, Holy Demetrius, entreat Christ God to grant us great mercy.
God, who has given you invincible might, has tinged the Church with streams of your blood, Demetrius! He preserves your city from harm, for you are its foundation!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Liviu Rebreanu - The Forest Of The Hanged

Liviu Rebreanu (1885 - 1944).

Under the grey, autumn sky, resembling a giant bell of steamy glass, the new, defying scaffold, stuck in the ground at the edge of the village, stretched forth her rope-bearing arm towards the dark field, stung here and there by brassy trees. Overseen by a short, sooty corporal and helped by a ruddy, hairy-faced peasant, two old soldiers dug the hole, often spitting in their palms, gasping and panting from exhaustion after each pick-blow. From the earth’s wound, the diggers threw out yellow, sticky clay.


Then, Apostle was surrounded by a wave of love that sprung as if from the bowels of the Earth. He lifted up his eyes towards the heaven that was nailed and fastened by delayed stars. The mountain-ridges were drawn on the sky as a huge saw with blunt teeth. Straight forward shone the morning-star mysteriously, announcing the sunrise. Apostle fitted his rope all by himself, his eyes thirsting for the light of dawn. The earth was bereft from underneath his feet. He felt his body hanging like a burden. But his sight took off, eagerly, flying towards the heavenly brightness, while the priest’s voice was quenching in his ears:
- Receive, Oh Lord, the soul of Thy servant Apostle... Apostle... Apostle...