Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Progress is a never-ending line of cars
Stretching down a super highway.

Progress is an empty home-
Mom and Dad in separate cars
Seeking scattered kids,
Who will separate, every one,
When all are in the house.

Progress is a yard of grass and shrub
Which bear no fruit, while the fact’ry farm
Abounds in monstrous weeds and bugs.

Progress is the joy of being a drone
In the high-tech hive of soul-mangling corporations.

Progress is the magic skill of mass production-
The victory of boring uniformity.

Progress is the privilege of becoming
An unwitting sacrifice to satanic powers
Through the working of Western social theory,
And the money masters and amusement makers.

Progress is a megachurch
Filled with shoppers eager for the latest fare
From focus-group Christianity.

Progress is a gnawing worm feeding on our guts and souls.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day Mourning

On Memorial Day, do not fall on your face before the idol of Americanism.  Remember instead and pray for all those who have suffered and died because of the wars of conquest and/or ethnic slaughter waged by the secular Puritan American Empire and for those who are now threatened by it (and for the Yankees themselves):  Southerners (both white and black), Native Americans, Philipinos, Japanese, Serbians, Afghanis, and all the rest. 

In this vein Paul Craig Roberts writes,

On September 19, 2000, going on 16 years ago, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph reported:

“Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.

“The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen. William J. Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA.”

The documents show that the European Union was a creature of the CIA. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.html

As I have previously written, Washington believes that it is easier to control one government, the EU, than to control many separate European governments. As Washington has a long term investment in orchestrating the European Union, Washington is totally opposed to any country exiting the arrangement. That is why President Obama recently went to London to tell his lapdog, the British Prime Minister, that there could be no British exit.

Like other European nations, the British people were never allowed to vote on whether they were in favor of their country ceasing to exist and them becoming Europeans. British history would become the history of a bygone people like the Romans and Babylonians.

The oppressive nature of unaccountable EU laws and regulations and the EU requirement to accept massive numbers of third world immigrants have created a popular demand for a British vote on whether to remain a sovereign country or to dissolve and submit to Brussels and its dictatorial edicts. The vote is scheduled for June 23.

Washington’s position is that the British people must not be permitted to decide against the EU, because such a decision is not in Washington’s interest.

The prime minister’s job is to scare the British people with alleged dire consequences of “going it alone.” The claim is that “little England” cannot stand alone. The British people are being told that isolation will spell their end, and their country will become a backwater bypassed by progress. Everything great will happen elsewhere, and they will be left out.

If the fear campaign does not succeed and the British vote to exit the EU, the open question is whether Washington will permit the British government to accept the democratic outcome.

Alternatively, the British government will deceive the British people, as it routinely does, and declare that Britain has negotiated concessions from Brussels that dispose of the problems that concern the British people.

Washington’s position shows that Washington is a firm believer that only Washington’s interests are important. If other peoples wish to retain national sovereignty, they are simply being selfish. Moreover, they are out of compliance with Washington, which means they can be declared a “threat to American national security.” The British people are not to be permitted to make decisions that do not comply with Washington’s interest. My prediction is that the British people will either be deceived or overridden.

It is Washington’s self-centeredness, the self-absorption, the extraordinary hubris and arrogance, that explains the orchestrated “Russian threat.” Russia has not presented herself to the West as a military threat. Yet, Washington is confronting Russia with a US/NATO naval buildup in the Black Sea (http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/05/04/nato-form-allied-fleet-black-sea-plans-fraught-with-great-risks.html ), a naval, troop and tank buildup in the Baltics and Poland (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/feb/10/uk-to-contribute-five-extra-ships-to-baltic-as-nato-boosts-presence ), missile bases on Russia’s borders, and plans to incorporate the former Russian provinces of Georgia and Ukraine in US defense pacts against Russia.

When Washington, its generals and European vassals declare Russia to be a threat, they mean that Russia has an independent foreign policy and acts in her own interest rather than in Washington’s interest. Russia is a threat, because Russia demonstrated the capability of blocking Washington’s intended invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran. Russia blunted one purpose of Washington’s coup in the Ukraine by peacefully and democratically reuniting with Crimera, the site of Russia’s Black Sea naval base and a Russian province for several centuries.

Perhaps you have wondered how it was possible for small countries such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yeman, and Venezuela to be threats to the US superpower. On its face Washington’s claim is absurd. Do US presidents, Pentagon officials, national security advisors, and chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff really regard countries of so little capability as military threats to the United States and NATO countries?

No, they do not. The countries were declared threats, because they have, or had prior to their destruction, independent foreign and economic policies. Their policy independence means that they do not or did not accept US hegemony. They were attacked in order to bring them under US hegemony.

In Washington’s view, any country with an independent policy is outside Washington’s umbrella and, therefore, is a threat.

 . . .

Source:  ‘Somnolent Europe, Russia, and China’, http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/05/05/somnolent-europe-russia-and-china-paul-craig-roberts/, accessed 15 May 2016 (Thanks to Fr Andrew Phillips’s blog for this article:  http://events.orthodoxengland.org.uk/)

In honor of the Confederate dead:

‘The Southern Mother’

No more, I weep no more!
With flowers I crown this sod;
I gave him, elate,
To his native State,
And I give him now to God.
Weep, mothers! weep no more
For the souls of your gallant sons,
Who scorned to be slaves,
And sought their red graves
In the flash of the Yankee guns.

A glorious child was mine!—
A soul without blot or blur:
He was blazoned with light
Like a chivalrous knight,
Resplendent from plume to spur.
Weep, mothers! weep no more
For the souls of your gallant sons,
Who scorned to be slaves,
And sought their red graves
In the flash of the Yankee guns.

He sees not what I see,
Nor feels he what I feel.
My hero, thank God!
Lies under this sod—
Not under the tyrant's heel.
Weep, mothers! weep no more
For the souls of your gallant sons,
Who scorned to be slaves,
And sought their red graves
In the flash of the Yankee guns.

Source:  Dr William Holcombe, Southern Voices, pgs. 27-8, https://archive.org/details/southernvoicespo00holc (Thanks to the Abbeville Institute for telling everyone about Dr Holcombe’s poems:  http://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/review/southern-voices/)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Unfading Lights

Father Andrew Phillips wrote of France:

 . . .

Before the formation of Roman Catholicism in France in the Middle Ages, in the Year 1000 the main sites of pilgrimage in France were on the Loire, Tours and Fleury-sur-Loire, now better known as Saint Benoit-sur-Loire.

As regards Tours, in 371 it became the See of St Martin, the fourth-century Apostle of Gaul, the greatest saint of France, the untiring missionary and founder of churches. Still people wend their way to Candes-Saint-Martin, where the precise spot where the great Saint reposed is marked. When St Martin's relics were taken in November 397 from Liguge to the oldest monastery in France, St Martin's monastery (Marmoutiers) outside Tours, all the trees and flowers blossomed and the birds reappeared and began to sing. And so to this day French people call an Indian summer 'St Martin's summer'. The banks of the Loire still abound in churches, foundations of the fourth and fifth centuries. Many of these were indeed founded by St Martin himself or his disciples. Thus Tours became a great city, 'Martinopolis'.

It was here that in the fifth century the Frankish leader Clovis, conquered by his conquest and so baptised, was confirmed in his power by the Emperor Anastasius of Constantinople, and was made a Consul of the Empire. It was here that Clovis called the first General Council of the Church of Gaul, now Christian through the prayers of the remarkable St Clotilde and the bishops of Gaul. And with St Martin, Tours became the pilgrimage centre of all France. Even today over 2,000 villages in France are named after him and 4,000 churches are dedicated to him. And the surname 'Martin' has become the French equivalent of 'Smith'.

As regards Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire, here still lie the relics of St Benedict, brought here from Italy at the end of the seventh century. St Benedict, inspired by St Basil the Great, is called the 'Patriarch of Western Monks', for he is the foremost father of Western monasticism. All French monasticism and much of Western Europe's, especially that of England, was once inspired from here. When his relics were returned from safekeeping in Orleans after the Viking raids, they came upstream, with neither sail nor oar, breaking their way through the ice, and the gardens and the woods flowered, thus repeating the miracle of the relics of the great St Martin. By the Year 1000, 300 monks lived here and worked for their salvation and that of those around them. This was a divine umbilical cord not only of France, but of monasteries all over Western Europe. Here in the crypt of the church, still a monastery, lie not only the relics of St Benedict, but also of another forty-three saints of God, with a relic of the True Cross and a portion of the Veil of the Virgin Mary.

A few miles away is the wonderful church of Germigny-des-Pres, dedicated in the year 806, and still standing with part of its mosaics intact. It reminds us that the whole Loire was once a river of abbeys, convents, priories, a watered street of white-walled churches, belled and roof-crossed, standing high and picturesque on the green, wooded banks over the deep blue river and its sand-banks and islands. Those churches were built in the pre-Romanesque manner, the Orthodox style of the West, celebrating Romanity. The Loire was a canal of monasteries, as Venice was never to be. And as regards the vineyards we mentioned earlier, the main cargo of its Viking-style boats was eucharistic: wheat and wine, feeding the cortège of churches along its banks. Although the boatmen themselves particularly venerated St Nicholas, the list of towns and villages along the Loire, named after the saints their churches are dedicated to is a whole litany. From source to mouth, these sainted towns on the Loire include, some of them several times over, the following saints:

St Eulalie, St Etienne, St Vincent. St Reine, St Rambert, St Just, St Cyprien, St Jodard, St Laurent, St Paul, St Priest, St Maurice, St Andre, St Aubin, St Are, St Songy, St Ouen, St Leger, St Baudiere, St Thibault, St Satur, St Agnan, St Firmin, St Brisson, St Gondon, St Pere, St Benoit, St Mesmin, St Pryve, St Ay, St Liphard, St Die, St Denis, St Pierre, St Cyr, St Genoulph, St Michel, St Patrice, St Hilaire, St Lambert, St Martin, St Clement, St Maur, St Remy, St Mathurin, St Saturnin, St Sulpice, St Gemmes, St Jean, St Offange, St Georges, St Germain, St Florent, St Gereon, St Julien, St Luce, St Sebastien, St Herblain, St Brevin.

This is a holy river indeed. It deserves once more to become the spiritual centre of France . . . .

 . . .

The Loire is not Paris, with the philosophies and theorizing of its intellectual ideologues. It is not Paris with its partisan politics and sects. It is not centralized, Frankish Paris, the seat of palace mayors with their intrigues and corruption, with its false glory treating the other provinces of France as its colonies. Paris is all form and no content, because it has no content. It is artificial, hedonistic, Frankishly aggressive, Paris cannot spiritually regenerate.

The Loire, on the other hand, is the meeting-place of a France composed of different regions and provinces, of unity in diversity, it is the unifying birthplace of the French language and French way of life. More than once in French history, it has been the place of withdrawal, the place of resistance, where wellsprings of new strength and new life have been found in order to go out and combat once again the evils of the day. The Loire has not been ruined by modern industrial and urban 'culture'. It is the place of spiritual glory, a place for spiritual regeneration, a new renaissance for the peoples of France, a place of the real unity that comes only when unity is built around a spiritual principle. Paris may still be a high place of European 'culture', but the Loire with its heritage of the saints of the First Millennium, can once again become a high place of European spirituality - but only if the Faith of the Saints of old and the will to follow them is there.

Holy Martin and Benedict and all the Saints of the Loire, pray to God for all the French lands and their peoples!

Source:  http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/oefranc1.htm, accessed 6 May 2016

In France as in England and elsewhere in Western Europe, the Grace of God remains in the holy churches, shrines, relics, wells, and so on of the saints from their Orthodox past.  Like hot embers lying beneath the ashes of yesterday’s fire, ready to burst into flame if they touch the right material, so is the Grace of God in them:  ready to light the fire of God’s Love in the hearts of those who, drawing near with humility and repentance, trust these men and women beloved of God to help them.

While the South has no holy saints or holy places like those in Europe or in other Orthodox countries (perhaps one, in Archbishop Dimitri of Dallas, but the final word has yet to be spoken on his canonization), the Light of the True Faith, however so dimly and unrecognized, nevertheless has always shone forth in the South.  Shone forth from where?  From the names given to some of the towns and counties and churches and rivers and etc. in the Southern States in honor of Orthodox saints.  Though given by Roman Catholics and Protestants, the names have and always will be a witness to Orthodoxy in the South.  Here are just a few ensamples of the Orthodox saints honored in the South in town and county names:

St Paul in Virginia

St Florian in Alabama

Sts Gabriel, Philip, Anthony, Anna, and Sabbas in Texas

Sts George, Matthew, and Stephen in South Carolina

And now that many Orthodox churches have been built and consecrated all across the South, the bones of holy martyrs (which are always placed beneath the altar in Orthodox churches) are present to hallow our faltering land.

From all of these saints and others the South may draw life, if she is willing.

As St Justin Popovich said when writing about one of Serbia’s great saints, St Basil the Wonderworker of Ostrog (+1671):

 . . .

And Saint Basil hears their prayers. A saint is like a ray of sunshine, identical in its nature to the sun itself, which along with the countless other rays shines upon the earth. The soul of a saint, having become one with God as with a spiritual sun, illumines as part of this sun the whole universe seeing and knowing the hearts and minds of all people and hearing their needs and prayers.

O, holy father Basil, God-pleaser and Wonderworker of Ostrog, you who even during your earthly life took care of your spiritual flock and interceded for them before the Throne of the Most High! Look also upon us living in strange lands, far away from the land of our fathers, pray for us and guide us that we may never stray from the path of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, wherever we may be. Entreat Him to grant us forgiveness of our many sins and transgressions, to straighten our steps and to endow us with the gift of faith, hope and love, that we may one day find Life Eternal, along with the choirs of our holy forefathers of Heavenly Serbia. Holy hierarch Basil, Wonderworker of Ostrog, pray to God for us!

Source:  http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/93283.htm, Ana Smilnaic, trans., accessed 13 May 2016

Christianity, the journey of salvation, is not something we are to attempt alone.  We need one another in the Church, both those who are living and those who have forthfared (departed).  If the South would truly be a Christian land, we must honor the saints of our Orthodox forefathers from the Irish and British Islands, Africa, and the other countries that have given birth to the South (and those of any other lands who present themselves to us in a special way for veneration, like, perhaps, St Lazar and the Holy Martyrs of Kosovo, to whom Stonewall Jackson and all the fallen Confederates may be likened):  first and foremost St Ælfred the Great, sitting forever as a king over the England of Heaven, the South’s wonderful patron saint, from whose kingdom of Wessex much of Southern culture received its form; together with Sts Audrey, Hilda, Cuthbert, Patrick, Ninian, Moses, Anthony the Great, Gildas the Wise, Columba, Martin, Genevieve, and all that bright host (together with those spoken of above who were dear to our kinsmen).  Then, through their prayers, the lovingkindness of God, and our own acts of repentance and love, we may be able to see at times, however fleetingly, the precious sight of the Heavenly South here on the earth.

 . . . Heavenly Serbia, an expression which is commonly misused and misunderstood today, is a phrase coined by another great son of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the holy bishop Nikolai of Zicha and Ochrid. There is a poem written by our beloved Vladika Nikolai, which clearly illustrates the deeper meaning of the expression. Heavenly Serbia is not a physical place. Its existence is real, but only in Christ and through Christ. It exists in the blood of our martyrs, in the sacrifice of our fathers and brothers, in the love of our mothers and sisters, in the unwavering faith of our people, in the prayers and ascetic struggles of our monks and nuns, in the patient long-suffering of our people and in the Cross they bear, in our repentance. Heavenly Serbia exists, but it is not in this world and not of this world. One may catch a glimpse of it if one looks deep into the inner chambers of one’s heart, a thing which is possible only through prayer and repentance. Our holy father Basil, as one who has even during his lifetime achieved holiness and boldness before God, is one of the beacons of Heavenly Serbia which lights up the way for the faithful wherever they may be.

 . . .

Source:  Ibid.

O Holy Saints of the South, pray for us sinners at the South!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Recognizing Antichrist

Archbishop Averky Taushev of blessed memory (who fell asleep in the Lord in 1976) wrote a note-worthy essay on Antichrist.  We have posted a few word-sharings below, but we encourage all to read the whole work (the address to the web page is at the end).  It begins,

From the second chapter of St. Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians it is clear that the teaching about the Antichrist enters into the content of the earliest apostolic evangelization. After giving a description of the Antichrist in the third and fourth verses of that chapter, the holy Apostle writes further to the Thessalonians.

“Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I told you this?” (1 Thess. 5:5)

One cannot help considering it noteworthy that in the short period that he spent in Thessalonika that holy Apostle Paul not only did not pass over the teaching on the Antichrist in silence, as something of secondary nature and not very important, but rather considered it necessary to expound this teaching in complete detail. And in this, his second epistle, he merely repeats what he had earlier said about the Antichrist with his own mouth.

But why is it so important to know this teaching?

Because, as the Holy Fathers warn us beforehand, he who ignores this teaching, considering it unimportant and not essential in Christianity, will not recognize the Antichrist and will worship him.

This is what Bishop Ignatii (Brianchaninov), who collected into one place everything said about Antichrist by the ancient Holy Fathers, says about it: [quotes from Vol. IV, p. 297]

“Antichrist will call himself a preacher and restorer of true knowledge of God: those who do not understand Christianity will see in him a representative and champion of true religion and will join themselves to him. Antichrist will appear to be gentle, merciful, full of love and of all virtues: he will be recognized as such and obeyed on account of his most exalted virtues by those who recognize fallen human nature as the truth… Antichrist will offer to mankind the organization of the highest earthly well-being and prosperity, he will offer honors, wealth, majesty, and bodily comforts and pleasures: those who seek earthly things will accept the Antichrist and call him their master.

Antichrist will reveal before mankind a shameful display of striking miracles similar to the cunning presentation of the theater… he will instill fear by the terrors and wonders of his miracles, and by them satisfy vanity and human pride, he will satisfy carnal sophistry and superstition, and will confuse human learning: all men who are guided by the light of their fallen nature and who are foreign to guidance by the Light of God will be attracted to obey the deceiver.”

The Antichrist will be accepted with excitement by apostates from Christianity, but is deserving of deep attention and mourning, as the Holy Fathers note, that the chosen themselves will be uncertain about the person of the Antichrist, so skillfully will he be able to conceal from external observation the Satanic evil roots in him.

 . . .

Once again, particularly as the captive peoples of the [u]nited States are in the midst of a federal election campaign, it is worth stressing the kinship between forms of government (and the ideologies underpinning them) and Antichrist’s appearance:

 . . . “Since the Antichrist will have as his main task the drawing away of everyone from Christ,” says the other great spirit-filled preceptor of our time, Bishop Theophan the Recluse,

“he will not appear as long as royal authority remains in force. It will not allow him to develop, it will hinder his acting in his own spirit. This, then, is the “one who holds back” (II Thess. 2:7). But when royal authority falls, and the people everywhere institute self-government (republics, democracies), then there will be room for the Antichrist to act. It will not be hard for Satan to prepare voices in favor of renouncing Christ, as experience showed during the French revolution. There will be no one to pronounce an authoritative veto. And so when such regimes, suitable for disclosing the Antichrist’s aspirations are instituted everywhere, then the Antichrist will appear. [Commentary on II Thess. 2:6, page 504]

What Bishop Theophan predicted has happened: the Antichrist’s “forerunners” have done their job—the “spirit of Antichrist” is installed everywhere, having everywhere established “regimes suitable for disclosing the Antichrist’s aspirations”.  . . .

In closing:

 . . . It is distressing to see to whom the sheep of Christ have been entrusted, to whom their direction and salvation have been committed. But this has been permitted by God … God’s merciful patience delays and postpones the decisive disintegration for the small remnant of those being saved, while those who are decaying or have decayed attain the fullness of their corruption. Those who are being saved must understand this and make use of the time given them for salvation. May the merciful Lord shield the remnant of those who believe in Him! But, this remnant is meager and is becoming more and more so…

“Let him who is being saved save his soul,” [Vol. IV and the Patericon]

says the Spirit of God to remnant Christians.  . . .

Source:  ‘Is It Possible to Recognize the Antichrist?’, http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/92434.htm, accessed 16 April 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

French Renewal and Southern Renewal

Perhaps unknown to some, the South actually has quite a strong connection to France.  French Cajuns in Louisiana, French Huguenots in South Carolina and elsewhere, the (unfortunate) Southern admiration of French Norman battle prowess (they were quite brutal) - such things have created a bond between the two.  Now that French nationalism, as Dr Farrell pointed out in his ‘News and Views’ update that was posted here last Friday, is rising against the domination of the world by secular Puritan/American corporate interests, it is hoped that Dixie’s desire for cultural self-determination will rise as well.  But if the uprising in either country is to be successful in the long run, it will need to be rooted in the pure and uncorrupted soil of the First Europe, Orthodox Europe, which has been kept fragrant and life-giving by the blood and flesh and bones of the holy martyrs, confessors, and other saints of the Orthodox Church that still populate so much of her landscape.  For the soil of the Second Europe (Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Enlightenment) has been defiled by one evil after another:  bloody Roman Catholic Crusades against Muslims, Orthodox Christians, and Protestants, the revenge slayings of Roman Catholics by Protestants, Papal Infallibility and Sola Scriptura, soul competency, capitalism and communism, scientific rationalism, the rights of man and political revolution, and all the rest.  In this regard, St John Maximovitch (+1966), the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, who served as a bishop in France for a time, spoke some words both ought to take to heart:

Paris, 8 May 1960

Christ is Risen!

Christ sent the Apostles to preach in every land. The Church of Christ was not founded for just one people, for just one land, but for the whole world. Everybody, every people, every land is called to faith in the true God. The Apostles carried out in full the commandment of Christ by going to all nations: Simon the Zealot went to Britain; James the son of Zebedee went to Spain; Thomas went to India and according to tradition went on as far as China; the Apostle Andrew preached in Russia and in Greece. According to tradition, Lazarus who rose from the dead after four days, fled from the Jews who wanted to kill him and came to France. Together with his sisters, Mary and Martha, he settled in Marseilles and preached in Provence. Trophimus and others of the seventy Apostles travelled the length and breadth of France.

Thus, since Apostolic times, the Orthodox Faith of Christ was preached in Gaul, in what is now France. It is to the Orthodox Church that St Martin of Tours belonged, the same is true for the great St John Cassian - founder of the monastery near Marseilles where for many years he set an example of the ascetic life, and also for St Germanus of Paris and St Genevieve, together with a great many others. This is why the Orthodox Faith is not a foreign Faith for French people. It is their own Faith, confessed here in France, by their forebears, since ancient times: it is the Faith of their fathers.

It is our sincere and ardent wish to see the Orthodox Faith, in a form proper to the French spirit, re-established on the soil of France, to see it become the native Faith of all Her people once more, as it has remained for the Russians, the Serbs, the Greeks, according to the particular character of each of those peoples.

Today, according to the Pentecostarion of the Eastern calendar, as in the Western, we glorify the holy Archangel Michael, who appeared both in the East and in the West in order to quicken in people the spiritual strength to perform heroic deeds, as once he inspired Joan of Arc in the struggle for the freedom of France.

Today also, according to the old calendar, the Orthodox Church glorifies the holy Apostle Mark, one of the four Evangelists who, before leaving for Alexandria, came to Western Europe where he wrote his Gospel - in Rome - and according to some in Latin.

At the present time it is our conviction that the political and patriotic rebirth of France is taking place: may it be joined to Her spiritual rebirth! May Orthodox France be reborn and may the blessing of God be upon Her!

Source:  ‘Towards an Orthodox France: A Sermon of St John the Wonderworker’, http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/oefranc2.htm, accessed 1 May 2016; re-posted with the permission of Fr Andrew Phillips (whom we also thank for the phrase ‘Anti-St John the Baptist’ that we used in the post of Friday last)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Who Is the Anti-St John the Baptist?

At the moment, it is mainly the super class of the American Empire, making straight the way for Antichrist, as one may deduce from this video news update of Dr Farrell’s from 5 May 2016.  For even parts of the European Union are having second thoughts about the rush to corporate-run global government.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Communal South

The idea of the ongoing community of the living with the dead is strong in the South.  One may see it throughout her history.  A few ensamples:

From 1854, George Fitzhugh writing on marriage:

The Roman dwelling was a holy and sacred place; a temple of the gods, over which Manes, and Lares, and Penates watched and hovered. Each hearthstone was an altar on which daily sacrifice was offered. The family was hedged all round with divinities, with departed ancestry purified and apotheosised, who with kindly interest guarded and guided the household (Sociology for the South, electronic edition, 1998, http://docsouth.unc.edu/southlit/fitzhughsoc/fitzhugh.html, accessed 9 May 2016, p. 194, © This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

From Wendell Berry in 1982 (‘The Wheel’, The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, Berkeley, Cal.: Counterpoint, 1998, p. 141):

At the first strokes of the fiddle bow
the dancers rise from their seats.
 . . .
In this rapture the dead return.
 . . . They step
into the steps of the living
and turn with them in the dance
in the sweet enclosure
of the song, and timeless
is the wheel that brings it round.

And from Randall Ivey in 2014:

In a time when the dead are forgotten
As quickly as yesterday’s news,
My father attends funerals
In coat, tie, and mirror-bright shoes.

 . . .

No matter the person’s station,
Whether or not he is kin,
Co-worker, employee, neighbor,
Man of renown or childhood friend,

My father never fails to show at church door,
Risking loquacious preacher and frisky bladder
To lift up prayer for those now gone
Because to him, unlike others, some things still matter:

(‘My Father Attends Funerals’, http://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/my-father-attends-funerals/, accessed 11 April 2016)

In this too the South will find the full expression of this good instinct of hers in the practices and beliefs of the Orthodox Church.

Prayers to and for the departed abound in the Church.  Here is one ensample, for departed loved ones:

O God of spirits and of all flesh, Who hast trampled down death and overthrown the Devil, and given life to Thy world, do Thou, the same Lord, give rest to the souls of Thy departed servants in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose, where all sickness, sighing, and sorrow have fled away. Pardon every transgression which they have committed, whether by word or deed or thought. For Thou art a good God and lovest mankind; because there is no man who lives yet does not sin, for Thou only art without sin, Thy righteousness is to all eternity, and Thy word is truth.

For Thou are the Resurrection, the Life, and the Repose of Thy servants who have fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever unto ages of ages. Amen.

Source:  https://oca.org/orthodoxy/prayers/for-the-departed , accessed 10 May 2016

Nearly every day on the Church’s calendar is dedicated to one or more saints

and each day of the week is likewise dedicated to some holy person or event (Monday-Holy Archangels, Tuesday-St John the Baptist, etc.).

This day in particular, the second Tuesday after Easter Sunday (the first after Thomas Sunday), is the Day of Brightness (or Radonitsa as it is called in the Slavic part of the world), during which the Orthodox visit the graves of their kin and offer prayers to God for them and share the joy of the Resurrection with them.

Some articles on the Day of Brightness:

May all Southerners show their love and thankfulness to their departed kith and kin by their frequent prayers for them.

The death of people who are close and dear to us is one of the most difficult trials sent to us by the Lord God during this temporary life. There are no tears more bitter than the tears of a mother for the beloved child of her heart who goes to the grave before his time. What sorrow can we compare to the sorrow of widows and orphans? Nonetheless, our Lord and Saviour turns to these people, the most unfortunate ones in the eyes of the world, saying respectfully, "Do not weep!" The Apostle Paul commands these sorrowing ones, saying, "Do not sorrow!"

What does all this mean? Of course, it does not mean that we should forget those dear loved ones of ours who have departed, that we should cast them out of our hearts. No. We should love them after their death just as we loved them in life. However, we should not sorrow over their death. Death does not separate us who are Christians from communion in love with those who are dear to us. The Lord Himself has given us the very grace-filled means needed to have communion with them. The first among these means is prayer. Prayer is the best means for spiritual communion among people who are still alive. The Apostle Paul beseeched the believers to pray continually for him in order that the Lord would grant him strength and power to preach. Likewise, St. Paul prayed for others that the Lord would confirm them in the Faith and in a Christian life. There is no doubt that the prayers of believers strengthened the Apostle and that his prayers strengthened them.

We find an amazing example of the power and action of mutual prayer in the Acts of the Apostles. While St. Peter was in prison sleeping between two guards, prayer was made without ceasing of the Church unto God for him (Acts 12:5). What was the result of this prayer? During that very night, the Angel of the Lord appeared in the prison, awoke the sleeping Apostle, and led him out of prison.

The power and action of prayer for the souls of the departed is even greater than prayer for the living. There is no greater comfort than prayer and no greater joy than joy in the Lord for those who are separated from their bodies. It is unjust, as some think, to assume that the needs of our departed brethren are unknown to us. However, this is not true. The spiritual needs of the dead are the same as the spiritual needs of the living. The dead need the mercy and goodness of the Heavenly Father, forgiveness and remission of sins, grace-filled help from God in the fulfillment of all good desires, and the peace and ease of the heart and conscience. These things are most important both for the living and the dead. Give rest, O Lord, to the souls of Thy departed servants is the continual prayer and best intention of our Mother Church for the souls of Her departed. We should also beseech the Lord with this intention for the departed souls of our own loved ones.

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Source:  http://orthodoxinfo.com/death/pray_reposed.aspx, accessed 10 May 2016