A prophecy?

IMG_1912I heard Mihailo walk in the church this morning. It was Monday morning and I was in the altar putting things in order after Sunday’s service. I heard his soft, slow footsteps. Feet lazily dragging.  “I want to show you something,” he said in a slow mumble in the altar.

I stopped what I’m doing and looked at him. “What is it?”

“The Serbian people had prophets.”

A pause. I don’t know if it’s a question or statement. “Tarabic?” I asked.

He nodded.  The so-called  Kremna Prophecies from the village of Kremna, in Serbia have been ascribed to illiterate peasants Miloš Tarabić  and his nephew Mitar Tarabić. Their village Serbian Orthodox priest, Zaharije Zaharić (1836-1918) is said to have recorded their predictions.

“They prophesied of the great war that befall the Serbian people. And then when they were asked if  there is any hope, they replied: If you take an apple and cut it across, you will find the answer. And every time I cut into an apple I cut it this way and every time I see the same thing – a five pointed star, the petokraka.”

“But this morning,” he continued, reaching into his pocket and pulling out an apple, “I found this.” He opened the already slit apple and showed the image of a cross inside.

Then he walked away.

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The Light of God

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Just as the Lord suffered on the cross and was crucified, before Him, His Forerunner was beheaed through human injustices. The acts of darkness are those that want to kill the prophet of God and the Lord Himself. But the light that filled him and shown through him – is the eternal light in which he clothed himself from the mother’s womb.  She was victorious in the death of St. John the Forerunner and in the crucifixion of the Lord.

The light of God shines and continuously radiates this world and calls every being to be a carrier of the works of light, to be a receiver of that divine light through baptism. Our people have been baptized for centuries. But today there are more and more who rely on the works of darkness, human knowledge and power.

Like the yeast….

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From the moment of the expulsion of man from Paradise God has, in different ways, shown His care for man, that showing that He has not left him, but showed him His care through the prophets, saints, and when the time came through His Only Begotten Son. That is the great mystery of God’s humility, and again, that His Son did not come in glory but as a humble, lowly servant, being as one of us. Many did not recognize in Him divinity.

How then is it possible to destroy evil in this world and that evil be defeated when we are witnesses of there being more and more evil. Being witnesses that there is more evil how can that which is smaller be victorious over that which is greater? Christ gives us the answer to this when He tells us that the Heavenly Kingdom is like the yeast which which one makes bread, for, the yeast is incomparably smaller than the flour, but even so the yeast makes the dough change, that it become something better, that it become bread which feeds us.

Bishop Joanikije

 

Serbian Flag in DC

H/T: here

When Serbian flag flew above the White House

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On July 28th 1918, the 4th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, Serbian flag flew above the White House and all public buildings in American capital by the order of President Woodrow Wilson.

This unique event, a Serbian flag flying above the White House in Washington, took place over 9 decades ago but remained a memorable act of the US President Woodrow Wilson towards Serbia that submitted the ultimate sacrifice in “The Great War” – it lost 26% of its population and had a precedent in the war history when almost its entire population had to withdraw from their homeland.

Thanks to the great scientist Mihajlo Pupin, a friend of the American President, the work of the Serbian Mission in the States and Serbian representative in Washington, Ljubomir M. Mihailović, a series of manifestations took place in June and July, while the central event took place on July 28th, when the President Wilson gave the following message to the American people:

To the People of the United States:

On Sunday, 28th of this present month, will occur the fourth anniversary of the day when the gallant people of Serbia, rather than submit to the studied and ignoble exactions of a prearranged foe, were called upon by the war declaration of Austria-Hungary to defend their territory and their homes against an enemy bent on their destruction.

Nobly did they respond. So valiantly and courageously did they oppose the forces of a country ten times greater in population and resources that it was only after they had thrice driven the Austrians back and Germany and Bulgaria had come to the aid of Austria that they were compelled to retreat into Albania.

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken. Though overwhelmed by superior forces, their love of freedom remains unabated. Brutal force has left unaffected their firm determination to sacrifice everything for liberty and independence.

It is fitting that the people of the United States, dedicated to the self-evident truth that is the right of the people of all nations, small as well as great, to live their own lives and choose their own Government, and remembering that the principles for which Serbia has so nobly fought and suffered are those for which the United States is fighting, should on the occasion of this anniversary manifest in an appropriate manner their war sympathy with this oppressed people who have so heroically resisted the aims of the Germanic nations to master the world.

At the same time, we should not forget the kindred people of the Great Slavic race–the Poles, the Czechs and Yugo-Slavs, who, now dominated and oppressed by alien races yearn for independence and national unity.

Even though President Wilson wanted the US to stay neutral in the Great War, the declaration of war against Germany was passed by the American Congress on April 4th 1917, after dreadful events and “The Zimmermann Telegram”, a diplomatic proposal from the German Empire to Mexico to enter the War as its ally.

Although the US never directly took part in battles across the Balkans, it was well informed about the events taking place along this front. Therefore, when Serbian Prime Minister Nikola Pašić suggested an official mission to be sent to the US with the aim to inform its government and the public about Serbia’s war missions, Washington soon replied that “the US Government will be pleased to welcome Serbian representatives as their guests”.

source: Serbia.com

Christmas in July

IMG_1898It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….in July. Very hot today! (You might be able to spot someone familiar on the escalator).

Wikipedia gives us the low down on this summer phenomenon (here).  It was a French opera, Werther, where there was a scene of children were rehearsing a Christmas song in July, to which one responds: “When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season.”  This opera is based on Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther which featured Christmas, but not July.

This term was given national attention with the Hollywood movie Christmas in July in 1940, about a man who is fooled into believing he has won $25,000 in an advertising slogan contest.

In 1942, the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. celebrated Christmas in July with carols and the sermon “Christmas Presents in July”. They repeated it in 1943, with a Christmas tree covered with donations. The pastor explained that the special service was patterned after a program held each summer at his former church in Philadelphia, when the congregation would present Christmas gifts early to give ample time for their distribution to missions worldwide. It became an annual event, and in 1945, the service began to be broadcast over local radio.

The U.S. Post Office and U.S. Army and Navy officials, in conjunction with the American advertising and greeting card industries, threw a Christmas in July luncheon in New York in 1944 to promote an early Christmas mailing campaign for service men overseas during World War II. The luncheon was repeated in 1945.

American advertisers began using Christmas in July themes in print for summertime sales as early as 1950.  In the United States, it is more often used as a marketing tool than an actual holiday.  In fact, I know of one Serbian parish in the US that does an annual Christmas-in-July mailing.

While this is mainly an advertising ploy there is a little Christmas feel in light of tomorrow’s feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. It is, after all, exactly six months before Christmas as we commemorate the man who would play the role of forerunner, the one who gets us ready for Christmas.  It’s his image and feast in July that gets us ready and focuses our attention Christmas.