Emperor Nicephorus (Botaniates) of Constantinople reigned from 1078 until 1081. He had decided to build a cathedral that would be almost as grand as St. Sophia. When it was ready, the patriarch of Jerusalem, the patriarch of Alexandria as well as the patriarch of Constantinople were all invited to consecrate the beautiful new church built by the emperor. Announcements had been made about the consecration for several months in advance so that everyone would have time to travel to the great city of Constantinople; remember that during that time there were no cars, planes or trains. Continue reading
Category Archives: Stories of Faith
There was an ascetic elder and anchorite, who had been leading an ascetic life in a desert place for seventy years, in fasting, chastity and vigil. Although he laboured for God for so many years, he was never accounted worthy to receive a vision or revelation from God. Thinking about this and bearing this in mind he said, “Perhaps my ascesis is not pleasing to God for some reason I do not know, and my work is unacceptable; and on account of this I am not able to receive a revelation or behold any mystery.” Continue reading
6th Sunday of Matthew, Matthew 9: 1-8
I affirm in your presence this day that we’re witnesses of a beautiful miracle this morning: through the living word of the Gospel, we see a paralyzed man who cannot walk on his own, healed of his paralysis by God, He who had made his legs in the first place and given this man his first heart-beat in his mother’s womb. For, as the Psalmist David says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made…You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb” (Ps. 138). Christ God, as the Logos (Word) of God, through whom all things were made, knew this man and loved this man with a fatherly love even before he was presented to him. Continue reading
SUNDAY OF THE SAMARITAN WOMAN – John 4: 5-42
Christ is Risen!
It is strangely appealing to define ourselves by our failures, especially when others know that we have stumbled and treat us poorly as a result. As well, our own pride often causes us to lose perspective such that we obsess about how we do not measure up to whatever illusion of perfection we have accepted. People are often their own harshest critics in ways that are not healthy at all. Continue reading
I want to talk to you today about “Trusting God’s Timing.” It is interesting in the New Testament, before Christ would heal someone, often times He would first ask them how long had they been experiencing this difficulty? For example, He asked the crippled man at the pool of Bethsaida, “how long?” The man responded, “for 38 years.” Or the woman who was bent over, she responded, “for 18 years.” Or how about the young man who was blind, his parents responded, “from his birth.”
Why was God so interested in the length of time someone had been ill? Friends, it is because God wanted us to know that no matter what struggles we are facing today, no matter how long we have been in that situation, it is not PERMANENT. St. Paul writes, “for in our light affliction, which will only last a moment, joy is coming in the morning.” Notice, that our struggles will only last a moment and that joy is coming in our way. Why don’t you turn over everything to God. Don’t allow worry, stress, depression to take away the joy of the day. Trust in God knowing that He is constantly at work in your life.
Understand that trusting in God is not having it YOUR way, it is having GOD’s way, and that it is just a “matter of time” in which He will turn that TEST into a TESTIMONY.
Fr. Nicholas Louh
Humble, Merciful, and Ascetic
Let us have a humble spirit. May we be careful to never see the sins of others, only our own sins. We, however, want to fix other people, but don’t want to fix ourselves. Eh…does this happen, though? No, we don’t fix ourselves! Our brother is not to blame for whatever happens, our spiritual condition is to blame. It’s this condition of ours that upsets us, which makes us judgmental, which causes us to get angry. We mustn’t blame others for these things. The causes are within us. If we ever do or think something good, let us not regard it as our own achievement, but the achievement of God. And let us say, “You, my God, You gave it to me. It’s yours and You allowed it and gave me the strength to do it.” In this way, we chase thoughts of vainglory far from us. Continue reading
There is a story of a high school senior who upon graduating his father takes him to a car dealership to select a gift. They found a car and the father said that he would take care of the rest. Graduation came and the young man’s father said, ‘Congratulations for finishing with honors, I want you to have this.’ And he handed him a Bible. His son was furious! ‘How dare you go back on your word and not give me the car.’ The boy said, as he threw the Bible down and left. The boy went away to college and never had anything to do with his father for the rest of his life. Continue reading