By Protopresbyter Peter Heers
Today, December 7th, we celebrate the memory of our Father Among the Saints Ambrose of Milan. The Life of the Saint, written by his close disciple Paulinus, relays important information on the state of the Church at the time and the way in which the Saint was elected bishop which is quite relevant to our contemporary situation and very instructive for us vis-a-vis how the Fathers of the Church dealt with heresy.
I will state them plainly and then comment again on them below, in the midst of excerpts from the Life of the Saint:
1. 50 years AFTER the First Oecumenical Council, which condemned Arianism, it is clear that there were Arians and Orthodox within the same Church communion. Continue reading
Many believers write to me or ask me when I visit parishes or speak somewhere, what am I able to do, as a lay person, when my priest or bishop diverts from the Faith of the Church or teaches or guides believers in a manner contrary to the received Tradition and teaching of the Holy Fathers. The following excerpt from the homilies of the great Elder and Teacher of the Church, Athanasius Mytilinaios of Greece provides a good answer.
There exists the pan-heresy of ecumenism, which has taken hold of Patriarchs and Archbishops by the back of the neck the world over. Patriarchs and Archbishops throughout the world. You know, when someone comes and grabs you by the back of the neck, you are immobilized. If you grab a cat by its neck and you lift it up, he cannot bite you. He is unable to do anything and is immobilized. Continue reading
By Protopresbyter Peter Heers,
Professor of Old and New Testament, Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary,
Lecture delivered at the Clergy Retreat
For a full written and photo report of the retreat, go to the Eastern American Diocese of ROCOR.
Audio and video versions of this lecture will be forthcoming; please check back to orthodoxethos.com for these.
Howell, New Jersey
Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
Your Eminence, Metropolitan HILARION
Your Eminence, Metropolitan JONAH
Your Grace, Bishop NICHOLAS,
Your Grace, Bishop IRENEI,
Venerable fathers and brothers in Christ,
Christ is in Our Midst!
I consider it an honor to stand before you today, to speak to the Shepherds and Pastors of Christ’s rational flock, and in particular to the successors of the great work begun in the Russian Diaspora by such holy ones as St. John the Wonderworker and Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasi, Philaret, and Vitaly, Archbishop Averky and Metropolitan Laurus and many others, who are revered fathers not only of the Russian Church Abroad, but indeed of the Church Catholic.
The witness given by the Fathers of the Russian Church Outside of Russia with regard to the Holy Tradition, the monastic and ascetic ideal and in particular the ecclesiology of the Church, continues to inspire and guide Orthodox throughout the world.Today, as the Ark of the Church sways in the wake of the passing of the self-styled ‘Great and Holy Council» of Crete, we have great need of their exactitude in life and faith – or, better, we have great need to follow and imitate them in these. Continue reading
The crosses of ordeals
• I have always on me the small cross you gave me, O Elder, and it helps me to overcome difficulties.
Elder Ephraim at the grave of his mother Continue reading
My child, with the weapon of prayer in your hands, fight for the divine battlements. Whoever struggles is crowned, not with olive branches, but with the unfading crown of eternal glory in the heavenly Jerusalem! Continue reading
Whoever puts into practice everything his spiritual father advises has his blessing; whoever does not do what he is advised does not have the blessing of his Elder here or in the other world. Whoever disregards whatever he is commanded, whoever does not regard as law the things which he is advised and does not strive to apply them out of disdain, must realize that damnation will befall him! Continue reading
Are you able to enumerate the mercies of God? The sins of the worst person, before the compassion of God, are like a handful of sand in the ocean. There is no sin which overcomes the compassion of God. God may be portrayed as our mother: is it possible for the sin of a child to overcome his mother’s love? If a mother loves her child so much, how infinitely does God love us, Who clearly proved this by being crucified on the Cross? Continue reading
Everything will pass and will end as if had never existed, whereas works done in God will remain with the soul that worked them so that the worker may reap eternal life from them. Blessed are the spiritual philosophers of God, who give away transient things and store up eternal things, so that when they depart, they will find their treasures in God’s treasury with accrued interest. Continue reading