beloved brothers and sisters!
What is it that
we see in the very center of the church these days? A Cross and
next to it - an Icon of Annunciation. This combination is quite
extraordinary. Our father Alexis
says he cannot remember this has ever happened. This is significant.
The Holy Virgin
is either warning us, or maybe is promising to help us bear our
crosses. Alas! We can hardly guess, for our spiritual understanding
is so weak.
We have witnessed
quite a number of miracles that have been revealed in the Orthodox
Church in recent years. Just look at a whole throng of new
martyrs who had accepted death in the name of Christ
- 1500 of them have been glorified! Just look at the numerous churches
and monasteries that have been reopened! There was a time when there
was not a single Orthodox church around for a thousand miles. And
now almost everyone can go to church and attend services. But how
many people do?
how many wonderworking icons have been glorified these days! Myrh-streaming
icons, traces left on the glass of icon framework? Those who fell
down onto their knees to worship them, they were many, but do they
constitute a large part of those baptized in Orthodoxy? We greeted
a bleeding icon of the Savior . The Holy
Face was covered with a crust of blood. Same can be said about the
New Testament commandment: "… love
one another ". And this words are covered with Divine blood…
Look at all the
ominous prophecies coming true. Look at the tragic events happening
these days in the Holy Land! Fathers from our church have visited
these places, that are sacred for each and every Christian. And
now blood is spilled there. By God's Grace, we were fortunate to
serve the Divine Lithurgy next to the Silver Star that marks the
place where Jesus Christ was born.
Those people who
had prayed with us, the priests and simple believers, have been
locked up and labeled as terrorists, and there is no way we can
help them. For part of the Arab people are Muslims, and another
part are Orthodox Christians.
said he'd found no guilt with Jesus, and yet he was more afraid
of people than of God, and he gave Jesus Christ in the hands of
those people who would crucify Him. When most western leaders were
sworn in, they were resting their hand on the Bible. Now they are
also totally helpless in the face of God Killers' children.
The only hope left
is our hope for the Holy Church, the Corpus Christi, the Christ's
Body. How many bodies does He have? - Just one. The only hope is
our repentance, the repentance of Orthodox Christians. And look
at us quarrelling, envying each other… It is all so easy to seed
dissension among us, for all our sinfulness.
Everything is already
prepared to erect a temple where the antichrist shall be crowned.
The crown itself is prepared, as well as the cow whose blood shall
be sprinkled over this temple. If only we could come to our senses
and started to live according to the Lord's Commandments! Then He
might postpone His judgement!
But we don't want
to become any better! SO WHAT IS THERE TO COME?
17.04.02 FIRE BREAKS OUT IN BESIEGED BASILICA
BETHLEHEM, (Zenit.org).- A blaze triggered by
Israeli-Palestinian gunfire broke out late Tuesday in the monastery of the
Greek-Orthodox community at the besieged Basilica of the Nativity.
The more than 30 Franciscans confined in the basilica explained in a
message sent by their superiors to ZENIT that the fire is one more proof of
the instability caused by the invasion of armed Palestinians and the
Israeli military siege.
"One or two rooms of our convent went up in flames in last night's fire, a
serious gesture that affects the Nativity Church, a holy site," said
Archbishop Aristarchos, secretary-general of the Greek-Orthodox patriarch
of Jerusalem, told the Misna missionary agency.
He added: "Israelis, Palestinians and all Christians must concentrate all
necessary efforts to find a peaceful solution; we must promptly unblock
this situation of extreme uncertainty."
17.04.02 Israel Tries to Storm Church of Nativity
BETHLEHEM: The gunfire stopped after half an hour. Neither side
reported casualties. Smoke and flares were visible in the night
sky over the church compound, as several rooms within the church
caught on fire.
A Palestinian civilian trapped in the church told Reuters news agency that Israeli troops tried to storm a section of the compound. The Associated Press quotes the Israeli army as saying its forces were not entering.
Palestinian officials sent an urgent appeal to the international community to interfere to prevent a complete destruction of the church.
08.04.02 Israeli soldiers opened fire from arms and two tanks targeting
the Nativity Church in Bethlehem
TEL AVIV. Israeli soldiers opened fire from arms and two tanks
targeting the Nativity Church in Bethlehem where 200 Palestinians
had taken shelter. A Palestinian policeman was killed in the fire,
and there was no information about other victims. An office building
belonging to a monastery was set on fire, according to the telephone
report from the Mayor of Bethlehem Mohammed al-Madani. He said
the israeli soldiers turned away fire crews who had arrived to
extinguish the fire.