Father Athanasios Mitilinaios: Introduction of Apocalypse

By the grace of our Triune God, we have made it once again to the month of October, the month when most of us get busy. We prepare for winter and our farmers prepare the fields to plant. As our farmers go out to their fields to plant their wheat, in the same manner it is necessary for the word of God to come forth and be planted. According to the Gospel of St. Luke: A sower went out to sow his seed. (Mat.13:3) The word of God comes forth not to till or cultivate, but only to sow. The preparation of the field is the responsibility of man. Now if we come to hear the word of God, how we hear it and perceive it, and how it affects out personal life, is something totally dependent on us. However, the Sower comes and sows constantly. This is the exodus of God, which is an exodus of God’s love towards His creation. God wanted to walk with His people. He did so through His incarnation, and He continues to come to sow the word of His Divine Truth. However, as I told you, how we hear the word of God depends on us. During this series of homilies we will come to hear the word of God. We have an entire year in front of us, and we will come to hear the word of God.

«Ἀπόστα ἀφ᾽ ἡμῶν ὁδούς σου εἰδέναι οὐ βουλόμεθα»

Δυστυχῶς, ὁ νέος Ἰσραὴλ τῆς χάριτος καὶ τῆς εὐλογίας ἀφοῦ «ἔφαγεν καὶ ἐνεπλήσθη, ἀπελάκτισεν ὁ ἠγαπημένος λαὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, διότι ἐλιπάνθη, ἐπαχύνθη, ἐπλατύνθη» 
(Δευτ. 32, 15).
Καὶ ἀπέστη ἐκ τοῦ Σωτῆρος αὐτοῦ Θεοῦ λέγων: «Ἀπόστα ἀφ᾽ ἡμῶν ὁδούς σου εἰδέναι οὐ βουλόμεθα» (Ἰώβ 21, 14). Οὕτω περιῆλθεν εἰς ἠθικὴν ἐξαχρείωσιν καὶ χαλάρωσιν,
ἐφ᾽ ὅσον οἱ ἄρχοντες ἡμῶν ἐψήφισαν νόμους βδελυροὺς ἐνώπιον τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ὡς τὸν πολιτικὸν γάμον, τὴν νομιμοποίησιν τῶν ἀμβλώσεων, τὴν ἐλευθέραν συμβίωσιν τοῦ αὐτοῦ φύλου, τὸν «γάμον» τῶν ὁμοφυλοφίλων, τὴν ὑποβάθμισιν καὶ περιφρόνησιν τῆς πατροπαραδότου ἀρχαίας γλώσσης, τὴν προαιρετικότητα τοῦ μαθήματος τῶν Θρησκευτικῶν, τὴν ἀνέγερσιν μουσουλμανικοῦ τεμένους (παραθεωροῦντες τὸ τάμα τοῦ Ἔθνους), τὴν κατασκευὴν ἀποτεφροτικῶν κλιβάνων κ.ἄ.

Άγιος Ιουστίνος (Πόποβιτς) : Καθολική και κοινή ζωή εν τη αληθεία.

Ο πιστεύων εις τον Κύριον Ιησούν αυξάνει συνεχώς δια της Αληθείας Του προς το θείον άπειρόν της: αυξάνει με όλο το είναι του, με τον νουν, την καρδίαν και την ψυχήν του. Ταυτοχρόνως αυτός και ζη συνεχώς δια της Αληθείας του Χριστού, ώστε αυτή να αποτελή την ιδίαν την εν Χριστώ ζωήν. Εν Χριστώ ζώμεν «αληθεύοντες» (Εφ. 4,15), διότι το εν Χριστώ ζην σημαίνει αληθεύειν, δηληδή την ακατάπαυστον διαμονήν όλου του είναι εις την Αλήθειαν του Χριστού την αιώνιον. Αυτό το αληθεύειν του χριστιανού γεννάται εκ της αγάπης του προς τον Κύριον. Ο χριστιανός αυξάνει μέσα εις αυτήν, συνεχώς αναπτύσσεται, και μένει αιωνίως, χωρίς να παύση αυτή να υπάρχη, διότι «η αγάπη ουδέποτε εκπίπτει» (Β΄ Κορ. 13,8). Η αγάπη προς τον Κύριον Ιησούν παρακινεί τον άνθρωπον εις την ζωήν εν τη Αληθεία Αυτού, και τον κρατά συνεχώς μέσα της. Εις αυτήν οφείλεται η συνεχής αύξησις του χριστιανού εν Χριστώ, αύξησις εις όλον «το πλάτος και μήκος και βάθος και ύψος» Του (πρβλ. Εφ. 3, 17-19). Ο χριστιανός, όμως, ποτέ δεν αυξάνει μόνος του, αλλά πάντοτε «συν πάσι τοις αγίοις», πάντοτε δηλαδή εν τη Εκκλησία και με την Εκκλησίαν, διότι αυτός είναι ο μοναδικός τρόπος αυξήσεως εις Εκείνον ο Οποίος είναι «η Κεφαλή» του σώματος της Εκκλησίας (Εφ. 4,15). Και όταν λοιπόν αληθεύωμεν, πάντοτε αληθεύομεν εν κοινωνία «συν πάσι τοις αγίοις», 

How Can Saints Help Us?

There is no question that only Christ is able to save us from sin. So, how can saints aid us? When we honor saints and ask them to pray for us we are not putting them in the place of Christ. They are close to God, so when they pray for us they seek our salvation from Christ.

Elder Cleopa puts it this way,

When the saints pray for us, it is precisely our salvation that they seek from Christ. They interceded with Him for our salvation. From Christ they entreat our salvation. This is what we mean when we say they intercede for us. By their prayers the saints petition for our salvation -- not, however, as if they themselves have the power to save, for the only one who saves is Christ. Thus we do not venerate saints and angels as we do God. (That which we render the saints and angels is solely a veneration of honor and reverence, while God we adore and worship with perfect adoration which is thus properly called worship)