This blog is a supplement to www.stgregorioshosur.com - the website for St.Gregorios Syrian Orthodox Church and Mission Centre, Hosur, India - and brings you latest updates along with articles on Christian living and news.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XVI


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XVI

Jesus' Passion, Death, Burial, and Resurrection

The curtain is pulled over the sanctuary to remind us of the time of His Passion, death, burial, and resurrection and that the earth was engulfed in darkness (Luke 23:44, 24:1; Mat 28:1; John 20:1)

The Fracture and Commixture of bread and wine is performed by the priest while the sanctuary is hidden from the congregation.

The breaking of the bread signifies the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus. The priest breaks the bread and anoints it with wine, signifying that the body and blood of Jesus, which were separated in death, were reunited at the time of resurrection.

Then the host is lifted signifying the resurrection of our Lord. The Hymn 'Anpudayonae' is sung by the congregation.

The curtain is now opened to symbolize the appearance of our Lord to His disciples after his resurrection, several times before Pentecost.

Monday, April 29, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XV


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XV
Diptychs (Thubden) or The prayers of Intercessions for:-

1. For the living spiritual Fathers who tend the Church
2. For the living faithful brethren
3. For the living faithful rulers
4. Intercession of the Mother of God and Saints

St. Mary, The Most revered saint of the church

John the Baptist, The forerunner of Christ (Feast on 7th of January)

St. Stephen, Known as the head of deacons was the first martyr of the Church who was stoned to death.At the time of his death, he saw the heavens openened and the Son of God standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56). The church commemorated his memory through the feast held on the 8th of January.

St. Peter, Was called to tend the Church by Lord Jesus Christ and is thus known as the chief of the Apostles. He is the foundation of the One Apostolic and Catholic (Universal) Church and was the first Patriarch of the Church of Antioch (Mathew 16:17). He was publicly crucified by the Emperor of Rome. He 
was nailed to the cross with his head downward, at his own request, symbolically kissing the feet of His Lord (Pollock, 1985).

St. Paul, The greatest evangelist of the church was Originally a persecutor of the Church, he was transformed into a most eloquent leader of the early church. He was born at Tarsus and was known as Saul before his transformation. He was condemned to death by the Roman Senate and was beheaded on the same day that St. Peter was crucified. His memory is commemorated by the Church on the 29th of June along with that of St. Peter.

St. Thomas,is believed that He arrived in Malankara (Kerala) during A.D. 52. He is believed to have performed several miracles and installed seven crosses in different parts of Kerala. He was martyred at Mylapore, near Madras, India in A.D. 72. His mortal remains were later transferred to Uraha (Edessa) in A.D. 394. The feast of St. Thomas is celebrated on July 3rd.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

28 April 2013


This weekend  www.stgregorioshosur.com  brings you
SUNDAY SERMON
This  is  the fourth Sunday after Easter The Gospel reading for this Sunday is Luke 24: 13-35  (28/4/2013) Jesus Restores Peter based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church.

Sermon for the fourth Sunday after Easter :- On the road to Emmaus by Rev. Fr. John Thomas Alummoottil


Brings you - Quotes that inspire 

Interesting  Short Stories and articles this week include
  • DEAR RUTH
  • MAKING PANCAKES
  • "NASA AND THE BIBLE"
  • ONE DAY I WOKE UP
Ben Hur - A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace is on Chapter III of Book V

The Power of Positive Thinking  by Norman Vincent Peale  is a continuation of 16th. Chapter.

Plus other features such as Just for Laughs and Did you Know ?

Thoughts for the Week which is an ever increasing collection Quotes and Inspiring Articles to Inspire you, Encourage you and Make you Think. This week, we bring you  Christianity is a love relationship.

This edition of Malankara World Journal will cover the Journey to Emmaus - Jesus walking with two disciples to Emmaus. Jesus used this occasion to reinforce what happened - how the prophesies were fulfilled about Messiah with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. He also opened their "eyes" through the Eucharist.

VISIT
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to find some Inspiring & interesting collection of
Articles, Pictures and Quotes.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XIV


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XIV
Invocation of the Holy Spirit

The consecration of the bread and wine is followed by invocation of the Holy Spirit. Here the Holy Spirit is called upon to descend upon the gifts. 

The mystery of the Holy sacrifice is considered to be perfected and completed by the action of the Holy Spirit. The priest waves his hands over the bread and wine, signifying the descent of the Holy Spirit. The deacon warns the congregation to stand in awe as the Holy spirit is descending and hovering over the mysteries. The Holy Spirit here is represented by the dove, flying and hovering over (Mark 1:10). The hands signify the wings of the dove.

The priest then repeats the following prayer three times. 'Answer me, O Lord' to which the congregation responds by saying, 'Kurie-elaison' meaning 'Lord have mercy' three times. 

This is to reminds us of the repeated prayer of Elijah on Mount Carmel to send down fire from heaven upon the sacrifice - 'Hear me, Lord, hear me' (1 Kings 18:36-39). 

The descending of the Holy Spirit upon the offering transforms the offerings into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XIII


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XIII
Celebration of the Holy Qurbana

The priest blesses the bread and wine by narrating that which the Lord did, and making the sign of the cross. 

They then become the Body and Blood of our Lord. 

By allowing Him to bless us,our ordinary lives, are also transformed into the vehicle of God's grace (Jn 2:9) just as the ordinary bread is changed to His Body.

By giving His blood, our Lord has given us everything He has. When He blesses us, He makes our whole being His.

Anamnesis or the Sacrificial Memorial

The priest and the entire congregation recalls the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus which is present in its entire saving power, This mystery prepares them to look forward to the second coming of Christ. 

The priest lifts the spoon and cushion over his head with his right hand and quickly places them on the left side of the Altar.

This signifies the second coming of the Lord on the last day, which will be like a flash of lightning.(Matthew 24:27).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XII


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XII

The Eucharistic Prayer

The following prayer by the priest and people which follows, is one of the most ancient of all liturgies. The congregation is asked to give thanks and lift their hearts and minds to the seat of Jesus which is near the right hand of God the Father.

The congregation then worships with the song of the angels 'Holy, holy, holy'' (Isaiah 6: 3) and 'Blessed is He that cometh'' (Psalms 118: 26) reminding us that the angels are present and joins the church on earth with their praise at this solemn moment.

The congregation is directed to lift their heart to heaven, in order to see heaven, the heavenly altar, the heavenly priest the heavenly Body and Blood, the heavenly worshipping host and not anything earthly.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XI


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XI

Benediction given by the priest

The priest turns to the right side after making the sign of cross on him-self and then on the congregation.

The priest blesses the people three times during the Qurbana.

He blesses by using the words of St. Paul: 'The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all' (2 Cor. 13:14)

Monday, April 22, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- X


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- X
The covering and Lifting of the Anaphora

The veil covering the paten and chalice is lifted and waved solemnly over the offering.

The priest says a prayer comparing the veil to the stone which covered the tomb of  Jesus, that was rolled away and also to the rock in the desert which gave water to the people of Isreal, as a sign or indication of the water of life which Christ gives to his people during the Holy Qurbana (2 Cor. 10:4).

Saturday, April 20, 2013

21 April 2013


This weekend  www.stgregorioshosur.com  brings you
SUNDAY SERMON
This  is  the Second Sunday after Easter The Gospel reading for this Sunday is John 21: 15-19  (21/4/2013) Jesus Restores Peter based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church.

Sermon for the Second Sunday after Easter :- Restoring Simon Peter by Rev. Fr. George T, Ireland


Brings you - Quotes that inspire 

Interesting  Short Stories and articles this week include
  • IT'S THE STRUGGLE IN LIFE THAT MAKES US STRONG
  • AN "AUSSIE" STORY
  • A TEXAS ANGEL
  • ANGEL AT PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL
Ben Hur - A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace is a continuation of Chapter II of Book V

The Power of Positive Thinking  by Norman Vincent Peale  is a continuation of 16th. Chapter.

Plus other features such as Just for Laughs and Did you Know ?

Thoughts for the Week which is an ever increasing collection Quotes and Inspiring Articles to Inspire you, Encourage you and Make you Think. This week, we bring you  Why go to Church ?

The theme of the Malankara World Journal for this Sunday is how...... The Lord's words apply to us also: Do we love him "more than these"? Do we love him more than we love other persons, than we love our profession and lifestyle? Do we in any way distinguish ourselves from other people by our love for Christ?..

VISIT
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to find some Inspiring & interesting collection of
Articles, Pictures and Quotes.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- IX


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- IX

Bowing of Head


We bow our heads before the Lord to express our humility after the kiss of peace, and get ready to receive Gods blessings. 

According to Bar Sleebi, we bow before Jesus Christ who knows all our secrets and cleanses us and makes us complete as each one deserves.

Friday, April 19, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-VIII


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-VIII
The Kiss of Peace

The kiss of peace is of apostolic origin (Rom 16:16, 1 Cor. 16:20) and signifies the 'fellowship of the Spirit'in the liturgy  of which the Eucharist is the outward sign.

It reminds us about the love and harmony that should exist among the followers (disciples) of Christ, and thereby fulfill the word of the Lord which says, 'If thou offer thine offering and remembers that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave thine offering, and go, be reconciled with thy brother' (Mathew 5:23)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-VII

Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-VII

The Anaphora of the Faithful

The word 'Ana' means 'Up' and 'Phora' means 'to carry'. 

The Anaphora is the solemn prayer of thanksgiving which our Lord uttered at the Last Supper and the works and actions which He used when he instituted the Eucharist. 

The original Anaphora of the rite of Antioch is that of St. James, but there are a many others, eighty-eight in all, which were introduced at a later period.


Out Of this, the authors of only sixty-four have been identified. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-VI


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-VI
The Nicene Creed

By reciting the Nicene creed We assert that we believe:

In the one True God, the Father Almighty

In the one Lord Jesus Christ who took birth for the salvation of humanity

In the one living Holy Spirit

In the One Holy, Catholic (universal) and Apostolic Church

We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins

In the Resurrection of the dead and In the new life in the world to come

St. Mary is described as the Mother of God.

While the creed is being said, the priest turns to the other clergy present and congregation seeking forgiveness and requesting them to pray for the Lord to accept his oblations.

He then kneels down before the altar and entreat the Lord for remission of sins and acceptance of his offering.He prays and makes the sign of the cross on the altar with his right thumb mentioning the names,including departed souls, for whom prayers have been requested.

The deacon with the censer goes about the whole nave and returns to the altar, Signifying that God the Word came down from heaven and offered himself for us all

This is also a sign for the un-baptized to leave

Monday, April 15, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-V


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-V

Blessing of the Censer


The blessing of the censer is a proclamations of the faith in Holy Trinity.
   
The chains on the censer represents the Holy Trinity.

The first chain represents God the Father. The second and third chains represent the human and Godly nature of the Son. The fourth chain represents the Holy Spirit.

The priest adds incense to the censer and grasps the first chain and makes sign of cross over it and says: 'Holy is the Holy Father'. Grasping two more chains he proclaims: 'Holy is the Holy Son' and finally he grasps the last chain and says 'Holy is the Holy Spirit'.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

14 April 2013


This weekend  www.stgregorioshosur.com  brings you
SUNDAY SERMON


This  is  the Second Sunday after Easter The Gospel reading for this Sunday is John 21: 1-14  (14/4/2013) The Apostles are Commissioned based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church.

Sermon for the Second Sunday after Easter :- "The Miraculous Catch of Fish" by Rev. Dr. V. Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil


Brings you - Quotes that inspire 

Interesting  Short Stories and articles this week include
  • A SLICE OF LIFE
  • JESUS CUT A DEAL WITH SATAN
  • THE MUSTANG DREAM
  • JESUS AND THE MUD PUDDLE

Ben Hur - A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace has entered Chapter II of Book V

The Power of Positive Thinking  by Norman Vincent Peale  has entered the 16th. Chapter.

Plus other features such as Just for Laughs and Did you Know ?

Thoughts for the Week which is an ever increasing collection Quotes and Inspiring Articles to Inspire you, Encourage you and Make you Think. This week, we bring you  IT COULDN'T BE DONE

The forward of the Malankara World Journal for this Sunday is Thomas .............It is interesting that the story that gives Thomas his infamous nickname, is the same story that has Thomas making an earth shattering confession of faith. Look at his confession, "My Lord, and my God." Not teacher. Not Lord. Not Messiah. But God! It is the only place where Jesus is called God without qualification of any kind. It is uttered with conviction.


VISIT
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Articles, Pictures and Quotes.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-IV


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-IV
Promeon and Sedro

The proemion and Sedro are solemn prayers unique to the Syriac Orthodox church.

While offering praise and thanksgiving for blessing God has bestowed on us, through the sacrifice of his Son. A petition is then made for God's grace be given to his people.

Thre are seven different proemions and sedros that may be used for the Qurbana.

Friday, April 12, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-III


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-III

Readings of the Scripture

There are three readings in the Syrian Orthodox Church,one each from the Acts of the, Apostles,from Epistles of St. Paul and from the Gospel.Each reading is preceded by a chant.

The first reading by a deacon standing on the steps from the northern side of the chancel, It represents preaching of the gospel to the Jews.

The second reading  form the southern side, represents the preaching of the gospel to the gentiles.

The reading from the Gospel the priest standing in the center of the sanctuary, is done with great solemnity, with the decons carrying lights and incense.

The two lighted candles on both sides of the Gospel reading table point out that the word of God is light. The occasion is made more solemn by the ringing bells ,the and sound of the Maruvahsa.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-II


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-II

Trisagion

'Holy art thou, O God!
Holy art thou, Almighty,
Hoy art thou, Immortal,
Crucified for us,
Have mercy on us.'

According to Bar Sleebi three groups of angels came down at the time of burial of Christ.

While the first group sang 'Holy art thou god', the other two groups sang 'Holy are Thou mighty', and'Holy art Thou immortal' and Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemose (Mark 15:43) inspired by the Holy Spirit burst forth 'Thou that was crucified for us have mercy on us'.

God being trinity, the number three has special significance. After the Trisagion, the priest and the congregation chant kurielaison (Lord have mercy upon us) thrice.

The church adopted this Trisagion to be said as a prayer at the beginning of each prayer.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-I


Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana-I

The Public Service

The curtain covering the sanctuary is drawn aside,signifying the arrival of the promised Messiah.It also signifies the opening of heaven.

This special occasion proclaims the Birth of the Christ, and the altar at this time represents the manger of Bethlehem.

Presence of heavenly beings are represented by the sounds made by  "Maruvahsa".(A special fan like instrument mounted on a pole.)

The entire congregation joins in a song of praise while the priest offering incense and the deacons holding candles goes around the altar in a procession, waving the "Maruvahsa".

(The two Saints Mary and John are remembered and their prayers requested for as they were the ones who were intimately connected with the incarnation of the Lord, Mary who brought Him forth and John who prepared His way.)

The priest represents Christ who is the High Priest. The deacon who leads the procession represents John the Baptist, and the other deacons represent the Apostles and Disciples of Christ.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Orthodox Spirituality - XIX

by Fr. Dr. M. John Panicker

Conclusion

Orthodox spirituality is not an ecstatic movement like some contemporary so-called spiritual movements.

It gives us a lesson for the perpetual and continuing bliss that one can really experience in the Eucharistic worship of the Church. Flight from division, ascetic silence and hospitality are highly extolled in Orthodox spirituality.

For the Church Fathers, ‘to flee from the world’ means to flee from every thing that divides. Also, the spirituality must ultimately be understood in terms of paschal mystery.

It is an affirmation of the Cross-as the path of resurrection.

The ability to bear the cross comes from the joy of being saved. Joy in our Lord is our strength.

The aim of the exercise that at times is found painful is a purified love of God, of neighbors, and of the whole creation. But that also means an increase of joy.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Orthodox Spirituality - XVIII

by Fr. Dr. M. John Panicker

Orthodox spirituality in our life

Orthodox spirituality gives enough and equal space for family life and monastic life.

That means it gives equal value to those who follow family life and monastic life and no clear marked distinction is given to their goal although their style of life is different.

The practice of virtues is highly extolled in both ways of life in the manner that is befitting to each of them.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

7 April 2013


This weekend  www.stgregorioshosur.com  brings you
This  is  NEW SUNDAY, the first Sunday after Easter The Gospel reading for this Sunday is John 15: 19-31  (7/4/2013) The Apostles are Commissioned based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church.

Sermon for the First Sunday after Easter :- Devotional Thoughts Fleeing or Engaging the world ? by The Rev.Bishop Mark hanson

Brings you - Quotes that inspire 

Interesting  Short Stories and articles this week include
  • OATMEAL KISSES
  • I HOPE YOU DANCE
  • YOU HAVE MY PLACE
  • JUST PUSH

Ben Hur - A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace is a continuation of Chapter I of Book V

The Power of Positive Thinking  by Norman Vincent Peale  has entered the 16th. Chapter.

Plus other features such as Just for Laughs and Did you Know ?

Thoughts for the Week which is an ever increasing collection Quotes and Inspiring Articles to Inspire you, Encourage you and Make you Think. This week, we bring you  EIGHT SPECIAL GIFTS

The Theme of the Malankara World Journal this Sunday is Meditation He is Risen

VISIT
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Orthodox Spirituality - XVII

by Fr. Dr. M. John Panicker

Presuppositions - 3

The spiritual life is also evangelical.

At each step upon the path, we turn for guidance to the voice of God
speaking to us through the Bible.

After being inspired by what is written in the Bible, we lead ourselves to be the real witnesses of our Lord to our neighbors.

We are asked to preach the Gospel and witness our Lord by practicing the virtues of prayer, fasting and alms giving.

Prayer unites us to God; fasting sanctifies us and alms giving (Charity) is really an extension of the divine Grace in us to our fellow beings and the rest of the creation.

These presuppositions obviously show the Trinitarian Christological, Pneumatological, Sacramental and ecclesiastical character of Orthodox spirituality.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Orthodox Spirituality - XVI

by Fr. Dr. M. John Panicker
Presuppositions - 2

Spiritual life is not only a life in the Church but also life in the sacraments.

It is the sacraments that constitute our life in Christ.

Our path is the path of corporate worship, centered around the sacraments and especially the sacrament of Eucharist.

That is to say that it is in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ that the Christian life is based and moved towards perfection.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Orthodox Spirituality - XV

by Fr. Dr. M. John Panicker
Presuppositions - 1

The Orthodox tradition is intensely conscious of the ecclesial character Christianity.

It is of course true that there are many who reject Christ and His Church, or who have never heard of him;

Whether they will be saved or not cannot be answered properly by us and let God will do as His will.

But, as Church members, we believe that even a solitary in the solitary in the desert is as much a churchmen as the artisan in the city.

The ascetic and mystical path is at the same time social and communal.

The Christian is the one who has brothers and sisters. He/she belongs to a family and that family is the Church.




Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Orthodox Spirituality - XIV

by Fr. Dr. M. John Panicker

The Soul of Orthodox spirituality - 3

The first stage is called ‘active life’ while the second and third jointly designated the ‘contemplative life’.

It is to be noted that not only the social worker or family member or the missionary who is following the active life, the hermit or the recluse is likewise doing so, in as much as he/she is still struggling to overcome the passions and to grow in virtue.

In the same way the contemplative life is not restricted to the desert or the solitude, but a miner, a clerk, a typist or a house wife may also possess inward silence and prayer of the heart, a may therefore be in the true sense a ‘contemplative’.




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Orthodox Spirituality - XIII


by Fr. Dr. M. John Panicker

The Soul of Orthodox spirituality - 2

Practice of virtues begins with repentance. 

The baptized Christian struggles with God’s help to escape from enslavement to passionate impulses.

By fulfilling the commandments, gradually he/she attains purity of heart and it is this that constitutes the ultimate aim of the first stage.

At the second stage, the contemplation of nature, the Christians sharpens his/her perception of the being of the created things, and discovers the Creator present in everything and thus it leads him/her to respect and give honor to fellow creations.

This leads him/her to the third stage, the direct vision of God, who is not only in everything but above and beyond everything.

The full vision of the divine glory is reserved for the age to come, yet even in the present life, the saints enjoy
sure pledge and first fruits of the coming harvest.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Orthodox Spirituality - XII

by Fr. Dr. M. John Panicker

The Soul of Orthodox spirituality - 1

The soul of Orthodox spirituality consists in the practice of virtues and especially in the gift of prayer.

There is no spiritual life without prayer and there is no labor greater than praying to God.

The Church has got canonical prayer of hours (seven times a day) and the unceasing prayers that can be recited privately even in the time of doing some jobs.

Through prayer a faithful will be illumined and prayer is the measuring rode of a person’s spiritual life.

St. Dionysious the Areopagite divides the spiritual life into three stages: Purification, illumination and deification (union).

We may compare these stages with the stages of the practice of virtues, the contemplation of nature and the contemplation of God Himself.