The Lord’s Patience

jevticvl

From a talk given by Bishop Atanasije (Jevtic), “The Heart is Deep: St. Gregory Palamas and the Essence of Hesychasm”:

“There was a Greek, Photios Kontoglou, a good writer from Asia Minor who became a refugee in Greece and a fine iconographer, who wrote an article in which he said: ‘Why did the Pope choose the Apostle Peter as the patron for his infallibility? If he had spoken of some Apostle who might not have sinned, then this might still have made some sense. But Peter made 300 mistakes’. Of course, the Lord chose Peter as His foremost disciple, but always as equal to the others, since Peter was a human being, understood human weaknesses, and indulgent to others. If He had chosen and angel, St. John Chrysostom says, the angel would not have understood someone who sinned, twice, three times, seven times, seventy-seven times. The angel would have had enough!

It is recorded that the following marvelous event took place on the Holy Mountain of Athos in the sixteenth century. There was a sinful man, a poor thing, who had a weakness of the body; he renounced it many times, beseeching God that he would not sin. He went to church, wept, made promises to the Savior, and then left – and once again sinned, and once again returned. This went on for a long time. Once many years later, he came and wept before the Lord, repenting: ‘O Lord, help me; I will stop!’ Suddenly the devil could stand it no longer, and said to Christ from the porch of the church; ‘That’s how you are; You don’t understand a thing! This one swears and weeps to You while he’s here, but as soon as he leaves he’s mine and will do whatever I want. Why do you put up with him?’ Then the Lord answered from the icon: ‘Why do you come to him when he is Mine? I do not bother you when he is yours. I accept a man in the condition in which I find him.’ And at that very moment this man died.

This is how the Lord took him. Such is the Lord’s patience!”

Happiness Seeking Sickness

 Joy, not happiness. Happiness is a delusion of this world, a sickness of man’s soul. To anticipate happiness in the next life is to expect to be in the condition we call “hell,” not heaven. The Church as a spiritual hospital has first and foremost to heal us of the happiness seeking sickness of mankind which holds us in bondage to a delusion and prevents us from coming to a knowledge of Truth.
 
—Protopresbyter John Romanides

An unexploded bomb in center of town

H/T: The Telegraph (here)

World War II bomb discovered beneath streets of Belgrade

Construction workers in central Belgrade in Serbia were in for a shock on Saturday when they uncovered an unexploded bomb from World War II

A bomb dropped during World War II has been recovered from a construction site in Belgrade city centre.

Workers found the unexploded shell at a depth of 20ft during an excavation in Budimska Street on Saturday. The site was promptly evacuated as well as an adjacent building.

Specialist teams removed the bomb shortly before 11pm. Ivica Dacic, Serbia’s prime minister, said it was a World War II German plane bomb weighing over one ton.

The bomb has been transported to a military training ground in Nikinci, northern Serbia, where it will be destroyed, Mr Dacic said.

Father, Mother, Child – Symbol of the Trinity

328186_vladika-milutin--spc--rs_f“….A child belongs to God – not to you, dear parents. But a child is a gift from God, a gift to you. God’s greatest gift. Why did He give you a child? To give them everything – that’s how you will kill it! You gave birth to the child, mother, and you, father, because you witness thereby , through the Holy Mystery of Matrimony, that you are God’s helpers in creation and continuation of this world. That’s what you are. That’s why the father, mother and children are a symbol of the Holy Trinity. You, father, and you, mother, when you enter into marriage and bear children, you continue the act of God. What a sanctity marriage is! But you bear children, to mold them, as an artist, a sculptor forms a face. So that you might model them that they resemble God. That’s the goal of bearing children…. ”

Bishop Milutin
on the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos, 2007