If someone wants to be protected from tricks and remain healthy in the faith, he must confine his faith first to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, and secondly to the Tradition of the Church. But someone may ask, is not the canon of Scripture sufficient for everything, and why should we add thereto the authority of Tradition? This is because not everyone understands the Scriptures in the same way, but one explains them this way and another that way, so that it is possible to get there from as many thoughts as there are heads. Therefore it is necessary to be guided by the understanding of the Church. What is tradition? It is that which has been understood by everyone, everywhere and at all times…that which you have received, and not that which you have thought up…So then, our job is not to lead religion where we wish it to go, but to follow it where it leads, and not to give that which is our own to our heirs, but to guard that which has been given to us.
St Vincent of Lerina, Notes of a Pilgrim
“Our religion is perfectly and profoundly conceived. What is simple is also what is most precious. Accordingly, in your spiritual life engage in your daily contest simply, easily, and without force. The soul is sanctified and purified through the study of the Fathers, through the memorization of the psalms and of portions of Scripture, through the singing of hymns and through the repetition of the Jesus Prayer. Devote your efforts, therefore, to these spiritual things and ignore all the other things.”
Why do we pay for the dead? It is true that the dead are judged by how they lived. Generally, the Church teaches our future in eternity is based on our faith, life, deeds, virtues, love, compassion and goodness (or their absence) in this life, before our death. Yet, since we are never fully sure of the place of each soul before God, and because God Himself is merciful and loving, we pray for any help which might come to the soul of the deceased.
The Church teaches that our prayers help the deceased in some way. We do not know how or how much. There is an interesting passage in 2 Maccabees which addresses this question. Some soldiers of Judus Maccabees, the Jewish leader, fell in battle and were found to have idols on their persons, a grave sin. Their death was blamed on their sin (12:42), A collection was taken for funds to be sent to the temple “to provide for a sin offering” (12:43). The book comments on this by connecting this act with the resurrection. “For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore, he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin” (2 Maccabees 12:44-45). These words were written about 50 years before the birth of Christ.
The Orthodox Church: 455 Questions & Answers, S. Harakas
Homily for Sunday of the First Council, John 17: 1-13
It is so easy to diminish ourselves by serving the false gods of pleasure, power, and pride. It is so tempting to allow our pursuit of these passions to obscure the holy calling that we have as those created in the image and likeness of God. Our Lord’s Ascension into heaven, forty days after His resurrection, makes clear that we find true fulfilment as human beings by participating in His blessed, eternal life. Anything else falls well short.Continue reading →
On Thursday of this week we reach the 40th day from our Lord’s Resurrection, on which we commemorate His glorious Ascension into Heaven. It the Book of Acts, and in St Luke’s Gospel, we hear a description of how the Lord tells his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promised Holy Spirit to descend. Then, after telling them this, He is carried up into Heaven, as a cloud “receive[s] Him out of their sight.” Continue reading →
Seeing is believing. There are many things in life that we will not accept unless we see them with our own eyes. And there are some things that we have to learn how to see because they are not obvious to the untrained eye. It often takes experience to see something rightly, to understand its true significance. If that is true in everyday life, it is all the more the case in how we know God.
Homily for Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, John 4: 5-42
What do the words Perrier, Evian, Dasani, Aquafina, Poland Springs and Fiji bring to mind? They’re all bottled waters. When many of us were young, no one heard of bottled or filtered water. In the last two decades there has been a growing emphasis on purified water that supposedly improves and maintains physical health as opposed to soda, alcohol caffeinated coffees and drinks. In fact, purified and bottled waters have been around so long now they are starting to wear out their welcome as many people are beginning to question if they are indeed more healthy than regular tap water. Continue reading →
St Vasilios Church Brunswick is a parish of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. The purpose of this site is to keep you informed both of church services and events, and of the teachings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
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Fr Athanasios Triantafillou
Fr Ephraim Kourtoglou
are available at the Church
every Monday to Friday
between 4.00 - 6.00pm
for Holy Confession and any spiritual need.
Bring your children along to learn of their rich Orthodox faith and to come close to God and His Love.
Join us every Tuesday for the Orthodox Youth Group of Brunswick & Coburg.
WORDS OF WISDOM
God is greater!
Greater than your illness whatever it may be.
Greater than your deepest disappointment.
Greater than your greatest worry.
Greater than your worst enemy.
Greater than your most difficult problem.
Greater than life.
Greater than death.
God is greater!
Believe it! Live by it! Affirm it! Claim it by faith and use it as a pillow to rest your weary soul. God is greater!
If your God is not greater, then the God you believe in is too small. He is not the God the Church believes in.
~ St Isaac the Syrian