Wednesday, October 24, 2012

asking, seeking, and praying

Today's Gospel Reading: Wednesday of the 6th Week

The Gospel of Luke 11:9-13:

"The Lord said to his disciples, "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Commentary from the Orthodox Study Bible: 11:9-13- In Greek, the verbs rendered ask, seek, and knock imply a continuing action and are better translated, "keep asking, "keep seeking," and "keep knocking." God responds when we persistently ask for things that are good. Bread, fish, and an egg are all images of life and symbolize the gift of the Holy Spirit. (See Jn. 14:13,14; James 4:3- " You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.")

John 14:13, 14: "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."

Commentary: 14:13,14-To pray in Christ's name does not simply mean to attach the phrase "in Jesus' name we pray" to the end of prayers. Rather, to pray in His name means to pray according to His will. Just as an emissary of a king can only be said to be speaking in the king's name if he says what the king would want him to say, so also we can only be said to be praying in the name of Christ when we pray according to what He wants. The purpose here is not to get God to do our will, but for us to learn to pray properly, according to God's will (Mt. 6: 10-"Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.")

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

tour an Orthodox Church

this is a very neat tool for those who don't have a Orthodox Church near by or are just curious as to what the inside looks like and the meaning of icons and etc. http://www.acrod.org/prayercorner/church-tour

Monday, October 15, 2012

No question of the Belief of the Early CHurch

Justin Martyr was around 151AD. this was before the Bible was completed and what he says here is very clear that the Early Church has always believed that the Bread and Wine is the Body and Blood of Christ!.

Justin Martyr:

We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these, but since Jesus Christ our Savior

 was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus

(First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Belief of the Early Church

St. Justin Martyr
"We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Sa

vior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus"

Justin Martyr was around 150AD and by him saying this shows that is how the early church believed and taught from the very beginning of the Church. The Catholics didn't invent this because they didn't split from the Orthodox Church until 1054.

Vespers Service

"About the Vesper Service...
In the Orthodox Church, the liturgical day begins in the evening with the setting of the sun. This practice follows the Biblical account of creation: "And there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Gen. 1:5). The Vespers service always begins with the reading of the evening psalm..."the sun knows its time for setting, Thou makest darkness and it is night..." (Ps. 103:19,20). This psalm, which glorifies God's creation of the world, is mankind's very first act of worship, for the human race first of all meets God as Creator. Following the psalm, the Great Litany, the opening petition of all liturgical services of the Church is intoned. In it we pray to the Lord, interceding for everyone and everything. Following this litany several psalms are read, a different group each evening. Psalm 140 is always sung at Vespers. It recalls Adam's lament as he stood outside the closed gates of Paradise. During this psalm the
 evening incense is offered. Toward the end of the psalmody, special hymns are sung for the particular day. If is is a Church feast, songs in honor of the celebration are sung. ON Saturday evenings, the eve of the Lord's Day, these hymns always praise Christ's resurrection from the dead. The special hymns normally end with a song called a "Theotokion" which honors Mary, the Mother of God. Following this, the ancient vesperal hymn, "Gladsome Light," is sung. If it is a special feast day or the eve of Sunday, the celebrant will come to the center or the church building with lighted candles and incense. This hymn belongs to every Vespers service. Christ is praised as the Light Who illumines mankind's darkness, the Light of the world, and of the Kingdom of God which shall have no evening. The prokeimenon, a verse from the Psalms, follows-a different one for each day, announcing the day's spiritual theme. If is is a special day, three readings from the Old Testament are included. Then more evening prayers and petitions follow, with additional hymns for the particular day, all of which end with the chanting of the Song of St. Simeon. After proclaiming our own vision of Christ, the Light and Salvation of the world, we say the prayers of the Thrice-Holy (Trisagion), ending with the "Our Father." We sing the main theme song of the day, called the "Apolytikion," and we are dismissed with the usual blessing. The service of the Vespers leads us through creation, sin, and salvation-the restoration of our true humanity in Christ. It leads us to meditate upon God's Word and to glorify His love for mankind. It instructs us and allows us to praise God for the particular events or persons being commemorated and made present to us in the Church on that day. It prepares us for the sleep of the night and the dawn of the new day to come."-Fr. Sava Leida, priest of Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church.