Let us stop searching all over the place
Holy St. Nectarios pray for us
“Christians, have we understood the great responsibility that we have taken on before God through baptism? Have we come to know that we must conduct ourselves as children of God, that we must align our will with the will of God, that we must remain free from sin, that we must love God with all our hearts and always patiently await union with Him? Have we thought about the fact that our heart should be so filled with love that it should overflow to our neighbor? Do we have the feeling that we must become holy and perfect, children of God and heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven? We must struggle for this, so that we may not be shown unworthy and rejected. Let none of us lose our boldness, nor neglect our duties, nor be afraid of the difficulties of spiritual struggle. For we have God as a helper, who strengthens us in the difficult path of virtue.” St. Nectarios on the path to happiness
About St. Nectarios
Greek: Άγιος Νεκτάριος Αιγίνης, Metropolitan of Pentapolis and Wonderworker of Aegina, was officially recognized as a Saint by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1961. His Feast Day is celebrated every year on 9 November.
St. Nectarios was born on 1 October 1846 in Selymbria in Thrace to a poor family. His parents, Dimos and Maria Kephalas, were pious Christians but not wealthy. His given name was Anastasios Kephalas.
At the age of 14, he moved to Constantinople (Istanbul) to work and further his education. In 1866, at age 20, he moved to the island of Chios to take a teaching post. On November 7, 1876, he became a monk, at age 30, in the Monastery of Nea Moni, for he had long wished to embrace the ascetic life.
Three years after becoming a monk he was ordained a Deacon, taking the name Nectarios. He graduated from the University of Athens in 1885. During his years as a student of the University of Athens he wrote many books, pamphlets, and Bible commentaries.
Following his graduation he went to Alexandria, Egypt, where he was ordained a Priest and served the Church of Saint Nicholas in Cairo with great distinction. In recognition of his piety and brilliance as a preacher, as well as his administrative ability, he was consecrated Metropolitan bishop of Pentapolis (an ancient diocese in Cyrenaica, in what is now Libya) by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Sophronios in 1889.
He served as a Bishop in Cairo for one year, and was removed from his post by clerics who disliked his popularity with the people. Lies were made up against him by the jealous clergy. Patriarch Sophronios refused to listen to St. Nectarios. He was sent away from Egypt without trial or explanation, and was never given an opportunity to defend himself.
After his dismissal, he returned to Greece in 1891, and spent several years as a preacher (1891–1894). He was then appointed director of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School for the education of priests in Athens, where his service was exemplary for fifteen years. He developed many courses of study, and wrote numerous books, all while preaching widely throughout Athens.
In 1904 at the request of several nuns, he established a monastery for them on the island of Aegina. The Monastery was named Holy Trinity Monastery… read more source: orthodox path
Here is a video of Elder Thaddues of Vitovnica, on prayer. His book Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives from St. Herman’s Press is a recommended read. This book has been helpful for people in our parish, concerning dealing with dark thoughts.
Quotes from Elder Symeon Kraigiopoulos’s book Spiritual Wisdom
Let us, Christians, stop searching all over the place, as if we lacked something, or, as if we deserved back something owed to us. We have been given everything and everything has been bestowed upon us with Baptism, when we received the grace of the Holy Spirit, in mystery. All we need is get it together and discover this treasure. How can it be done? By living in the worship of the Church.
If God sees our true repentance, our true confession, and gives us His forgiveness, the grace of Baptism will be rekindled in us by the Lord. Just like the fire in a fireplace which is about to die out and you bring it back to life. You find some spark, or little flame there, you put paper, tinder and wood and stir it up until it becomes big.
This is how the fire of the Holy Spirit will be set ablaze in us, will burn bright and turn us into true Christians.
The Theotokos was born
The Theotokos was born after a lot of prayer, against all odds. Still, she had to stay in the Holy of Holies to be prepared for twelve concise years.
Adam, though sinless in paradise, also had to be put through the test. He had to undergo some kind of preparation, in order to show that he was attracted by God’s love and that he wanted to be with Him eternally. God expected Adam to show he was enthralled by walking with Him in the Garden in perfect communion. God expected Adam to show that his life was filled with this communion. Adam proved unprepared. He didn’t take advantage of the fact that he was sinless. He proved careless, indulgent and self possessed.
Similarly, regardless of how many skills or potential he may have, regardless of how fervently he may be listening to the word of God, every man needs to be watchful at the crucial time, at the time of testing, in order to prove worthy of God.
It’s impossible for someone in repentance, not to love, not to be humble, not to help others, not to make peace with others or be angered. It’s impossible.
With sin, man has left God, has turned to himself and does as he pleases. Returning to God is what repentance is exactly about. And as man realizes that egoism, self-love, and all sorts of mean things thrive in him, he feels an urge for constant repentance.
Repentance is for everybody and forever. It’s endless; it is infinite. That’s why the saints used to say until the last moment of their death, “I still haven’t started to repent”.
“My God, make me feel that I’m nothing and that you expect nothing from me”.
A Worldly Spirit
The worldly spirit is not about how we dress up. It has everything to do with the fact that Christianity nowadays is affected by the spirit of our times, which can be put in this phrase: “all is fine in this world. We can’t wait to settle down with comfort and lead our own little lives”. Likewise, the sermons made and the books written are imbued with the same spirit: the spirit of how to indulge ourselves in the present life. We ask, in other words, for God to come down from heaven to accommodate us in this life. Regardless of how long we are going to live, we aren’t seized and overwhelmed by the reality of the Kingdom of God, of the coming of God’s Kingdom. What can be the value of this?
Those who suffer from an inferiority complex, as a rule, aren’t inferior to others. They also have their abilities, their talents, but were wounded by various causes, and this abnormal state was created within their souls.