Friday, September 19, 2008

Why Won't God Heal Amputees?

Our Father Among The Saints,
Saint John Damascene.

A picture's worth more than a thousand words.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Monday, September 08, 2008

Rhology And Mariology

The Akathist Hymn.

O, Most-Holy God-Bearer, Virgin Lady, who are higher and above the Angels and Archangels, and more honored than all creation; great astonishment of Angels, foretelling of Prophets, precious adornment of Archangels, powerful strengthening of Martyrs, most-glorified praise of the Apostles, strong guidance of monks, firm forbearing of fasters, the cleanness and glory of virgins, peaceful joy of mothers, wisdom and teaching of children, guidance of the poor and widowed; clothing to the naked, health to the sick, release to the enslaved: silence to those at sea, safe haven to the stranded, untiring guidance to those astray, smooth walking to travelers, good rest to those tired, safe cover and escape to the oppressed; hope to the hopeless, helper to the needy; to the poor: unending richness, to those whom no-one loves: love and meekness; to the sinners: redemption towards God; to all Christians: strong fencing, unconquered and useful helper. Through you the Unseen One became seen, for which we bring you prayer: we, your servants, to you, our Lady. O, most-merciful Queen of the understanding-endowed and most-glorious Light, who gave birth to our King, Christ our God, Who gives life to all; who are praised by the Heavenly Hosts, angelic mind, all-shining star, and holier than all Saints; Queen of all kings, Lady of all creation, God-approved Virgin, unwedded Bride, Palace of the Most-Holy Spirit, fiery Throne of the Unseen King, heavenly Ark carrying the Word of God, fiery Chariot; rest of the living God, unspoken begetting of the Body of Christ, nest of the Heavenly Eagle, well-singing turtledove; most-kind, peaceful and most-pure dove; children-loving Mother, depth of mercies, drop that spills the wrath of God, unmeasured depth, unspoken mystery, unknown wonder, unspoken marvel; Church not made by human hands, of the very King of all Ages; well-smelling incense, honored garment, God-weaved purple garb, spiritual Paradise, fruit of the life-bearing tree; most-beautiful flower, that bloomed unto us the heavenly bliss; grape of our redemption; cup of the Heavenly King, in which the wine of the unending grace has been poured unto us by the Holy Spirit; messenger of the law, beginning of the true faith in Christ, unshaken tower and firm fortress, perdition of heretics, sword of God’s wrath against all unlawfulness; appalling of the devils, victory in wars, true guardian of all Christians, and entrusted redemption to the world. O, all-merciful Virgin Lady, God-Bearing Mistress, hear us who pray unto you, and show your mercy to the right-believing people; ask your Son to deliver us from all harm and evil. And guard this holy place and all towns and villages and Christian parts and all the right-believing people, which escape to you and call upon your holy name from all needs, and from every illness, sickness and disease, from all earth-shakes, floods, fires, and wars; from the coming of other nations upon us, and from the war from amongst us; from every pain, suffering and trouble. So that your servants may not be lessened by wounds, fear, death, or by the rightful wrath of God; but keep them and deliver them by your mercy, Lady, who pray for us and for good weather and times bearing all useful fruits, which you bestow upon us. Ease, lift, and deliver, most-merciful Mistress and most-praised God-Bearer, those who are in perils from all needs. Remember your servants and don’t overlook their tears and sighs; but renew us through your kindness, so that we may be thankfully comforted, by finding a helper in you. Have mercy on us, most-pure Lady, and help your right-believing people. Our hope, gather together those scattered: guide the lost on their way, those fallen away from the right belief turn them once again back to the faith, uphold the elderly, teach the young, feed the babes and glorify those who praise you; but foremost guard the Holy Church of your Son and keep her in the length of days. O, merciful and most-gracious Queen of Heaven and Earth, God-Bearer and Ever-Virgin, have mercy on us by your intercessions for all the right-believing Christian people. Keep it under the cover of your mercy; defend it with your precious covering, and pray to Christ, our God, Whom in a manner beyond nature you’ve embodied, to gird us with power from above, so that we may be able to defend ourselves against all of our seen and unseen enemies, who constantly wage war against us. Have mercy on, and help deliver through your prayers, Mother, our Most-Blessed Father (N), Patriarch of the (N) Orthodox Church, [our (Highly) Most-Hallowed (Metropolitan) (Arch-)Bishop (N)], and all Orthodox Hierarchs, Archimandrite fathers, Priests and Deacons, and all churchly clergy and all right-believing people, who revere your holy icon. Look upon all of us with your most-merciful usefulness; lift us up from the midst of our sins, and enlighten the eyes of our heart towards the search of redemption. Merciful be upon us here, and at the Last and Dreadful Judgment intercede to your Son on our behalf. Those who departed in right belief from this life unto the everlasting one together with the Angels, Archangels and all the Saints let them partake, so that they may sit at the right hand of your Son and God; and through your prayer make all Orthodox Christians worthy to live together with Christ, and to delight with joy in the angelic places. For you are, Lady, the glory of the Heavenly Hosts and the helper of earthlings; you are our hope and the usefulness of all who seek you and ask your holy help; you are the fervent prayer to your Son and our God, for the prayers of the Mother avail much for the softening of the Master. And with your intercession we take heart to draw near to the Holy Altar, near to the grace of the Most-Holy and Life-Giving Mysteries, though unworthy we may be. For that reason, we, the sinners, also rejoice when we see your all-honored image in the icon, holding the All-Keeper in your hands; and in all humbleness falling down before His face, with love and trembling we kiss Him, awaiting, Lady, that through your holy and God-received prayers, we may arrive at the heavenly gates of the everlasting life, and to stand unashamed on Judgment Day at the right side of your Son and our God, praising Him together with His beginning-less Father and with the Most-Holy, Kind and Quickening Spirit, both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.