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Selected quotes and teachings of the Holy Fathers

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Learn about the lives of the saints of the Orthodox Church

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Joyous Feast of the Pumpkin (Halloween)

It is that time of the year when the secular society in which we live is preparing for the festival of Halloween. Many do not know its spiritual roots and history, and why it contradicts the teachings of the Church. The feast of Halloween began in pre-Christian times among the Celtic peoples of Great Britain, Ireland and northern France. These pagan people believed that life was born from death. Therefore they celebrated the beginning of the "new year" in the fall (on the eve of October 31 and into the day of November 1) when, as they believed, the season of cold, darkness, decay and death began. A certain deity whom they called Samhain was believed by the Celts to be the Prince of Death and it was he whom they honored at their New Year's festival.

The Religion of the Future

(Part 16)
by Fr. Seraphim Rose

IT IS DEEPLY INDICATIVE of the spiritual state of contemporary mankind that the "charismatic" and "meditation" experiences are taking root among "Christians." An Eastern religious influence is undeniably at work in such "Christians," but it is only as a result of something much more fundamental: the loss of the very feeling and savor of Christianity, due to which something so alien to Christianity as Eastern "meditation" can take hold of "Christian" souls.

"Little Children, it is the Last Hour" (1 John 2:18)

(Part 15)
by Fr. Seraphim Rose

Outside of genuine Orthodoxy the darkness... grows. Judging from the latest "religious" news, the "charismatic revival" may well be only the faint beginning of a whole "age of miracles." Many Protestants who have discerned the fraud of the "charismatic revival" now accept as "the real thing" the spectacular "revival" in Indonesia where, we are told, there are really occurring "the self same things that one finds reported in the Acts of the Apostles." In the space of three years 200,000 pagans have been converted to Protestantism under constantly miraculous conditions: No one does anything except in absolute obedience to "voices" and "angels" who are constantly appearing, usually quoting Scripture by number and verse; water is turned into wine every time the Protestant communion service comes around; detached hands appear from nowhere to distribute miraculous food to the hungry; a whole band of demons is seen to abandon a pagan village because a "more powerful" one ("Jesus") has come to take their place; "Christians" have a "countdown" for an unrepentant sinner, and when they come to "zero" he dies; children are taught new Protestant hymns by voices that come from nowhere (and repeat the song twenty times so the children will remember); "God's tape-recorder" records the song of a children¹s choir and plays it back in the air for the astonished children; fire comes down from the sky to consume Catholic religious images ("the Lord" in Indonesia is very anti-Catholic); 30,000 have been healed; "Christ" appears in the sky and "falls" on people in order to heal them; people are miraculously transported from place to place and walk on water; lights accompany evangelists and guide them at night, and clouds follow them and give them shelter during the day: the dead are raised [19].

Must Orthodoxy Join the Apostasy?

(Part 14)
by Fr. Seraphim Rose

IT IS TRUE ENOUGH, to be sure, that an Orthodox awakening would be much to be desired in our days, when many Orthodox Christians have lost the salt of true Christianity, and the true and fervent Orthodox Christian life is indeed rarely to be seen. Modern life has become too comfortable; worldly life has become too attractive; for too many, Orthodoxy has become simply a matter of membership in a church organization or the "correct" fulfillment of external rites and practices. There would be need enough for a true Orthodox spiritual awakening, but this is not what we see in the Orthodox "charismatics." Just like the "charismatic" activists among Protestants and Roman Catholics, they are fully in harmony with the spirit of the times; they are not in living contact with the sources of the Orthodox spiritual tradition, preferring the currently fashionable Protestant techniques of revivalism. They are one with the leading current of today's apostate "Christianity": the ecumenical movement.

"Jesus is Coming Soon"

(Part 13)
by Fr. Seraphim Rose

JUST IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, significantly, the figure of "Jesus" has been thrust into strange prominence in America. On stage and in films long-standing prohibitions against portraying the person of Christ have been abrogated. Sensationally popular musicals present blasphemous parodies of His life. The "Jesus Movement," which was largely "charismatic" in orientation, spread spectacularly among teenagers and young people. The crudest form of American popular music is "Christianized" at mass "Jesus-Rock Festivals," and "Christian" tunes for the first time in the century become the most popular in the land. And underlying this whole strange conglomeration of sacrilege and absolutely unenlightened worldliness is the constantly reiterated expression of seemingly everyone's expectation and hope: Jesus is coming soon.

The "New Christianity"

(Part 12)
by Fr. Seraphim Rose

THERE MAY BE THOSE who will doubt that the "charismatic revival" is a form of mediumism; that is only a secondary question of the means or technique by which the "spirit" of the "charismatic revival" is communicated. But that this "spirit" has nothing to do with Orthodox Christianity is abundantly clear. And in fact this "spirit" follows almost to the letter the "prophecies" of Nicholas Berdyaev concerning a "New Christianity." It completely leaves behind the "monastic ascetic spirit of historical Orthodoxy," which most effectively exposes its falsity. It is not satisfied with the "conservative Christianity which directs the spiritual forces of man only towards contrition and salvation," but rather, apparently believing like Berdyaev that such a Christianity is still "incomplete," adds a second level of "spiritual" phenomena, not one of which is specifically Christian in character (although one is free to interpret them as "Christian"), which are open to people of every denomination with or without repentance, and which are completely unrelated to salvation. It looks to "a new era in Christianity, a new and deep spirituality, which means a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit" - in complete contradiction of Orthodox tradition and prophecy.