Monday, August 26, 2013

The several types of Bows in Church

Orthodox worship is characterized by a complete utilization of the senses sight, smell, hearing, speech and touch. We see the candles, Icons, frescoes, etc., we hear the sounds of singing and reading, at times lifting up our own voices, and we smell the characteristic odor of the incense. The whole of the human person is involved in worship, and important among the senses is the actual deportment of the human body. The attitude of the Orthodox Believer to worship is reverential, and certain types of bodily movements are utilized to reinforce this sense of reverential piety we stand during the services, we make bows and prostrations, and with great frequency, we make the Sign of the Cross. Accordingly, there are several types of Bows, depending on the solemnity of the moment.

Prostration (Great Metanoia Great Poklon).

Here the worshipper prostrates the whole body, throwing the weight forwards onto the hands and touching the ground with the forehead.

Bow (Small Metanoia Poklon).

The worshipper bows from the waist, touching the ground with the fingers of the right hand. Both Prostrations and Bows are preceded by the Sign of the Cross.


At certain times the worshipper merely bows the head; sometimes this is accompanied by the Sign of the Cross.

Sign of the Cross.

The Sign of the Cross is made with the thumb and the first two fingers of the right hand joined at the tips (the third and fourth fingers being closed on the palm). By joining the thumb and the first two fingers, we express our belief in the Most-Holy Trinity. The two fingers closed on the palm represent the two natures of Christ divine and human. With the thumb and first two fingers joined, we touch first the brow, then the breast, the right shoulder and then the left, making on ourselves the Sign of the Cross and signifying by the four points that the Holy Trinity has sanctified our thoughts (mind), feelings (heart), desires (soul) and acts (strength) to service of God. By making the Sign of the Cross on ourselves we also signify that Christ has saved us by His sufferings on the Cross.

Bishops and Priests, in bestowing a blessing, make the Sign of the Cross from left to right (appearing to us from right to left), while holding the fingers in such a manner as to represent the Greek letters IC and XC the first and last letter of the name Jesus Christ.

Life and personality of Abbess Taisia ( Elder Joseph of Vatopedi )

Our Church, with its rich patristic tradition, is not devoid of examples and stories on spiritual matters in order to coach its people. Both our Fathers and the martyrs have left abundant material of remarkable splendor which refers to their life stories. Their sweet smelling sayings and their teachings have drawn the luminous trail for the salvation of those who would like to take the narrow and sorrowful path which leads to the Kingdom of God.

However, the enormousness of our Lord Jesus Christ’s godlike might, which is the same “yesterday and today and to all Eternity” continues, not just those days but also today and until the end of times, to promote the spiritual stature of the heroes of our faith. This is something which is very consoling and encouraging for our generation.

To the dismay of humanism and of those attitudes which deny everything, which are the invention of our enemy, our living, fructified Church, endlessly promotes the splendid achievements of its children, even nowadays, not just in our tiny country but in all Orthodoxy.

The present story is a living testimony in the tradition of the sister Russian Church, which is fighting the good struggle of faith in accordance with the exact line of our holy tradition.

Abbess Taisia’s biography seems to be a bright and worthy of imitation example of vividness and rhythm to those who would like to copy her cross-carrying model. Of course it does not refer to anything new, simply because there is nothing new. But it seals our holy tradition with confidence and evaluates the merits and the contributions that our Holy Monasteries make to history.

Her special personality with the cohabiting Divine Grace even from an early age is the main element which has contributed to her success in spiritual life. The presence of spiritual Elders in her life has also become the strong weapon and means with which she used to accomplish her significant mission.

Assisted by her personality, which was dstable and decisive, she managed to correctly evaluate the power of faith. Thus everything was becoming possible and achievable, even at the times when all conspired to the contrary. If however the saying that “everything is possible to those who believe” is true, then it was not possible for this blessed soul, which was dressed in the garment of faith, to be disappointed.

Indeed! How much can faith achieve if it is connected to prayer! It is true that faith and prayer, like wings, can raise the struggler beyond the laws of nature. This blessed sister has handed over herself to the realm of submission and obedience with true self- denial. The resulting deadening of her former self, granted her perseverance and patience in the face of various tribulations, since according to our Lord “it is impossible for calamities not to occur”.

The blessed deadening and suppression of her passions and especially of the monstrous selfishness, by persevering in the various temptations, have provoked quietude of thoughts and the blessed hope. Thus, divine love, through its double energy towards God and towards our fellow humans, granted this blessed Abbess the virtue to constantly sacrifice herself for the sake of others.

The brilliant achievements of this blessed soul are so timely and instructive, that I believe that ,with her blessing, she will be able to console well into the future all faithful souls and especially the most pious ones, who have discerned the futility of this world.

Elder Joseph monk.

Vatopedi monastery 11 October 1991. Source: Preface to the Greek edition of the book : Abbess Taisia Leouseni- A spiritual daughter of Saint John of Kronstadt

Γερόντισσα Γαβριηλία - Gerontissa Gabriela

Thou hast made me known to friendsWhom I knew not.Thou hast given me seats in homes not my own. Thou hast brought the distant near
And made a brother of the stranger.
I am uneasy at heart
When I have to leave my accustomed shelter, I forget that there abides the old in the new, and that there also, Τhou abidest.
Through birth and death,
in this world or in others,
wherever Τhou leadest me,
it isΤhou the same,
the One Companion of my endless life, who ever linkest my heart
with bonds of joy to the Unfamiliar.
When one knows Τhee, then alien there is none, then no door is shut.
Oh! Grant me my prayer
That I may never lose the bliss
Of the touch of the One
In the play of the many.
Συ με γνώρισες στον άγνωστο κι έγινε φίλος.Ζεστή μου χάρισες γωνιάΣε σπιτικά που δε με ξέραν. Με σε, το πέρα είναι εδώ
Και αδελφός μου ο κάθε ξένος.
Κι αν φοβηθώ ποτέ ν’ αφήνω το χθεσινό μου το απάγγιο, είναι που θα ξεχνώ πως στο καινούριο το παλιό θα βρίσκω πάλι,
Αφού Εσύ κι εκεί υπάρχεις.
Με την γέννηση, με τον θάνατο,σ’ αυτόν τον κόσμο ή τον άλλον, όπου κι αν με πας θα ‘σαι Εσύ, πάντα Εσύ, ο ίδιος και ο μόνος συνοδοιπόρος και σύντροφος της ατελεύτητης ζωής μου.
Σύ που ξέρεις, που μπορείς, με χαρμόσυνα δεσμά την καρδιά μου με το Άγνωστο να δένεις.
Για κέινον που σε γνώρισε. Άγνωστος δεν είναι κανείς, πορτά καμμιά κλειστή δεν μένει.
Εισάκουσε την προσευχή μου,
Να μη χάσω ποτέ τον όλβο αυτόν
Της άρρηκτης συνδέσεως με τον Ένα,
Μες στων πολλών ανθρώπων την βοή.

Does Satan Know All the Thoughts & Plans of Man? ( St. Macarius the Great )

If one man is with another person and knows things concerning him, and if you, twenty years old, know things concerning your neighbour, can Satan, who has been with you from birth, not know your thoughts? For he is already many years old. Still we do not say that before he tempts he knows what man will intend to do. For the tempter tempts, but he does not know whether a person will obey him or not until one gives up his will as a slave. Neither again do we maintain that the devil knows all the thoughts of a person’s heart and its desires. Like a tree, it has many branches and limbs. So the soul has certain branches of thoughts and plans and Satan grasps some of them. There are other thoughts and intentions that are not grasped by Satan.

For in one matter the side of evil takes an upper hand in thoughts that arise. In another matter, again, the thought of man is superior as he receives help and deliverance from God and he resists the evil. In one thing he is overcome and in another he has his will. For sometimes he comes to God with fervor and Satan knows this and sees that man is repelling him and that he is incapable of restraining him. Why is this? Because a person has the desire to cry out to God. He has the natural fruits of loving God, of believing him, of seeking him and coming to him.

Excerpt taken from the book:

Pseudo-Macarius, The Fifty Spiritual Homilies & the Great Letter

St. Macarius the Great

How did the Apostles die....

1 Matthew

Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia , killed by a sword wound.
2  Mark

Died in Alexandria , Egypt , after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.

3 Luke

Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.

4 John

Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was
miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos, Greece. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos . The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.
5  Peter

He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

6  James the Just

The leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple
when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club.
* This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.

7 James the Great

Son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem . The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

8 Bartholomew

Also known as Nathaniel, was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

9 Andrew

Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras , Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: ‘I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.’ He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.

10 Thomas

Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.

11 Jude

Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

12 Matthias

The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

13 Paul

Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which
allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Perhaps this is a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles/disciples during their times for the sake of the Faith. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:

But he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Matthew 10:22

Ο Χριστός δεν μαλώνει

…Να γονατίσεις μπροστά στον Χριστό και να πεις:

”Κύριέ μου, εγώ κρύβομαι από τους ανθρώπους. Αλλά θέλω εσύ να με δεις όπως είμαι! Αυτός που είμαι! Να μ’ αγαπάς όπως είμαι. Να μη με μαλώσεις, γιατί δεν αντέχω να με μαλώνεις, γιατί απογοητεύομαι εύκολα αν με τσακίζεις…”. Και θα πει ο Χριστός:
”Πού είσαι παιδί μου; Σε περίμενα! Όχι! Εγώ καλάμι συντετριμμένο δεν θα το τσακίσω! Ούτε φλόγα που τρεμοσβήνει θα τη σβήσω,όχι!”
Όταν δει ο Χριστός ότι το κεράκι της ψυχής σου είναι σα να το φυσάνε οι άνεμοι, θα βάλει το χέρι Του μπροστά και τη φλόγα αυτή θα τη μεγαλώσει! Δεν θα σε τρομάξει! Δεν θα σε μαλώσει! Αλλά να γονατίσεις! Να ταπεινωθείς!

The 3D scan of a disabled baby’s smile that convinced his mother not to abort him

The 3D scan of a disabled baby’s smile that convinced his mother not to abort him – and why she is grateful she was able to cuddle him with joy for a few precious hours
Katyia Rowe was told her baby would never be able to walk or talk
But real-time moving scan showed him blowing bubbles and waving arms
She decided to go through with the birth but he died nine hours later


A mother was unable to abort her severely disabled son despite doctors’ warnings after seeing her baby’s smile in a 3D scan picture.

Katyia Rowe was told her baby’s brain had not formed properly and that he would never walk or talk and would need 24-hour care.

But after seeing real-time moving scans of him smiling, blowing bubbles, kicking and waving his arms she made the heartbreaking decision to go through with the birth.

Tragically Lucian, as she named him, died nine hours after he was born.

Mother Katyia Rowe gave birth to her severely disabled son Lucian, despite doctors advising her to have an abortion, after seeing a 3D scan of him smiling, pictured

Despite the ordeal, Ms Rowe said she had no regrets going through with the birth as she was able to cuddle her baby son.

Katyia, 26, a training administrator, said: ‘We were devastated to be told our son’s brain abnormalities were so severe they were life limiting we should consider a termination.

‘Further scans were arranged to asses the extent of his disabilities but when I saw him smiling and playing inside me I knew I couldn’t end his life.

‘If he could smile and play and feel then despite his disabilities he deserved to enjoy whatever life he had left, no matter how short. Just because his life would be shorter or different, didn’t mean he didn’t deserve to experience it.

‘As long as he was pain free I vowed to let him enjoy his life both while inside me and outside, no matter how long that be.’

Miss Rowe, from Telford, Shropshire was thrilled to discover she was expecting a baby with partner of four years security officer Shane Johnson, 26, in March last year.

She added: ‘It was a shock but we were thrilled. Shane and I were so excited and looking forward to the birth. We had so many plans for the future and could not wait to meet our baby.

Katyia Rowe and her partner Shane decided to have the baby despite the complications, saying the child deserved to live

‘Our first scan at three months was wonderful. When we saw our baby on screen for the first time we fell in love straight away. As far as we were concerned everything was perfect.’

The couple decided to wed when their son was old enough to walk down the aisle with them.

Only the 20-week scan highlighted complications.

Following further tests, doctors told Miss Rowe and her partner of four years that their baby’s brain had no formed properly and he would be severely disabled.

They were then told the tragic news by experts at Birmingham Children’s Hospital that their child would never walk or talk and would need 24-hour care.

The couple were offered the chance to terminate the baby at 24-weeks.

But despite his poor prognosis, being able to watch her son in real time 3D scans during the screening tests, Miss Rowe said she was astonished to see him smiling, blowing bubbles, kicking and waving his arms.

She said: ‘Despite all the awful things I was being told, while he was inside me his quality of life looked to be wonderful and no different to any other baby’s, he was a joy to watch.

‘I was told he would never walk or talk yet the scans showed him constantly wriggling and moving.

‘As I watched I knew that while I was carrying him he still had a quality of life and it was my duty as a mother to protect that no matter how long he had left, he deserved to live.’

The couple pictured together in the room that was decorated for their baby boy Lucian. Tragically he died nine hours after his birth

Katyia was told if her son survived birth he would require 24 -hour care for the duration of his life expected to be anything up to five years.

She added: ‘It didn’t phase me at all. It was ironic because I had never considered myself particularly maternal but now I wanted nothing more than to care for my son and give him the best quality of life possible. I was more than happy to dedicate my life fully to his care.

‘I researched all his disabilities to prepare myself fully for his needs. I never had a moment of doubt. I only had to look at the scan pictures of him enjoying life in the womb to know I was doing the right thing by giving him a chance.

‘Not knowing how long he would live meant we were determined to enjoy him for as long as we could. We learned he loved the shower and would kick when I sprayed the water on my tummy.

‘As he grew bigger I could see his little feet and hands prodding through my bump when he wriggled. He may not have been born but he was already our son and I took each movement as a sign we had done the right thing.

‘I would talk to him and play him music because I wanted him to experience as much as possible.’

Because of her son’s disabilities he couldn’t swallow the amniotic fluid surrounding him meaning Kaytia had to undergo painful draining procedures for the last nine weeks of her pregnancy.

She said: ‘It was agony and I knew some people questioned if it was worth putting myself through all this for a severely disabled baby that may not live for long.

‘But I never ever thought like that. As a mother you will do anything for your child and for me I became a mother as soon as I fell pregnant, that job had started already.’

And for Katyia the rewards for her pregnancy were she says the most joyful and fulfilling nine hours of her life – the time she spent with her son.

‘It was without doubt the happiest moment of my life. Lucian could have died at anytime in my womb but he held on long enough for us to meet properly.’

- Mother Katyia Rowe

Katyia Rowe who went through the birth of her baby, pictured in a frame, and said she didn’t regret her decision

He was delivered after being induced when her waters went on October 23rd last year at the Royal Shrewsbury hospital and as expected was rushed straight to special baby care for his condition to be assessed.

She says: ‘I was prepared not to be taking our baby straight home like all the other new parents, but beyond that I didn’t know what the future held.’

But shortly after the birth midwives burst into the delivery suite and warned Katyia her son had just minutes to live.

She says: ‘I was shocked but we had already decided that after his birth we would let Lucian lead the way. I didn’t want him given any unnecessary treatment if ultimately it wouldn’t help him.

‘He had already given me the greatest honour of being his mummy for the last nine months. It was up to him now if he was ready to go.’

Katyia rushed to his side and finally the son she had nurtured for nine months was placed in her arms.

She said: ‘It was without doubt the happiest moment of my life. Lucian could have died at anytime in my womb but he held on long enough for us to meet properly.

‘My son looked utterly perfect.

‘The love and joy I felt the moment they put Lucian in my arms told me it had all been worth it.’

She added: ‘I thought I didn’t want to be a mother but Lucian taught me it is the most wonderful job in the world and I will always be grateful for that.’

Before his death he was held in his mother’s arms and he even met his grandparents.

Γέροντας Σωφρόνιος: Ποιος κάνει “κουμάντο” μέσα στην οικογένεια;

Αν η γυναίκα εργάζεται εξίσου με τον άνδρα, τότε πάλι καταργείται η δικαιοσύνη, επειδή η γυναίκα στην οικογένεια, παράλληλα με την εργασία, βαστάζει και άλλα βάρη, επιπρόσθετα καθήκοντα, επειδή ακριβώς αυτή είναι η μητέρα των παιδιών. Θα νόμιζε κάποιος ότι, επειδή η γυναίκα βαρύνεται από μεγαλύτερες ευθύνες και ασκεί πολυπλοκότερο ρόλο, σε αυτήν πρέπει να ανήκει το προνόμιο να «κατευθύνει» την οικογένεια. Ασφαλώς κάποιος πρέπει να κατευθύνει την οικογένεια, όπως και κάθε άλλο ανθρώπινο καθίδρυμα. Έτσι, σε πολλές οικογένειες ανακύπτει η πάλη για εξουσία, που πολύ συχνά γίνεται καταστροφική για την οικογένεια. Συνεπώς, όπου και αν στρέψουμε τήν προσοχή μας, παντού βλέπουμε υπερβολικά πολύπλοκα προβλήματα, και δεν πλησιάσαμε ακόμη στην επίλυσή τους.

Έκανα τις λίγες αυτές παρατηρήσεις, για να δω τα πράγματα έτσι όπως τα βλέπει η πλειονότητα των ανθρώπων. Νομίζω όμως ότι εμείς ως χριστιανοί βλέπουμε ακόμη και εκείνα που οι άλλοι δεν προσέχουν. Θεωρούμε ότι το σπουδαιότερο θέμα γενικά για κάθε άνθρωπο είναι το ερώτημα: Τί είναι ο άνθρωπος; Ποιός είναι ο προορισμός του; Γιατί και για ποιό λόγο εμφανίστηκε στον κόσμο; Ποιός σκοπός υπάρχει μπροστά του; Ποιό είναι το νόημα της υπάρξεώς του; Αν δεν απαντήσουμε στα ερωτήματα αυτά, δεν θα μπορέσουμε ποτέ να λύσουμε τα προβλήματα που αντιμετωπίζουμε ούτε σε ένα επίπεδο. Είναι αδύνατον για παράδειγμα να επιτύχουμε αληθινά δίκαια δομή της κοινωνίας χωρίς τη γνώση αυτή. Δεν μπορούμε να λύσουμε το πρόβλημα της κρατικής οργανώσεως, αν δεν έχουμε απάντηση στο κύριο αυτό ερώτημα. Όλη η ιστορία της ανθρωπότητας γράφεται με άσκοπη περιδίνηση, παράλογους πολέμους, άδικη καταπίεση του ισχυρού επάνω στον ασθενή, όπως βλέπουμε στο ζωικό κόσμο. Συνεπώς, τί είναι ο άνθρωπος; Τήν απάντηση στο ερώτημα αυτό την παίρνουμε από την Άγια Γραφή: «Και εποίησεν ο Θεός τον άνθρωπον, κατ’ εικόνα Θεού… άρσεν και θήλυ εποίησεν αυτούς» (Γέν. 1,27). Και λίγο πιο κάτω διαβάζουμε: «Έπλασεν ο Θεός τον άνθρωπον, χουν από της γης, και ενεφύσησεν εις το πρόσωπον αυτού πνοήν ζωής, και εγένετο ο άνθρωπος εις ψυχήν ζώσαν» (Γέν. 2,7).

Αν λοιπόν ο Θεός δημιούργησε τον άνδρα και την γυναίκα ως ενιαία ανθρωπότητα, τότε είναι φυσικό ότι το θέμα της σχέσεως μεταξύ ανδρός και γυναικός ήταν και θα είναι πάντοτε ένα από τα σπουδαιότερα ζωτικά θέματα. Αν στρέψουμε την προσοχή μας στα φυσικά χαρίσματα της γυναίκας και τα συγκρίνουμε με τα αντίστοιχα τους στον άνδρα, θα δούμε από την μακρόχρονη πείρα ότι τα χαρίσματα αυτά είναι ποικίλα· κάποτε συμπίπτουν, ενώ κάποτε γίνονται συμπληρωματικά το ένα του άλλου. Γνωρίζουμε επίσης από την ιστορία και από την Αγία Γραφή ότι στην Ανατολή, όπου γεννήθηκαν όλες οι μεγάλες θρησκείες, η κυριότητα του άνδρα επάνω στη γυναίκα ήταν υπερβολικά ισχυρή. Η γυναίκα στη συνείδηση της Ανατολής ήταν κατά κάποιο τρόπο κατώτερο ον. Ακόμη και στο Ευαγγέλιο βλέπουμε παρόμοια χωρία, όπως για παράδειγμα: «ΟΙ δε εσθίοντες ήσαν άνδρες ωσεί πεντακισχίλιοι χωρίς γυναικών και παιδίων» (Ματθ. 14,21). Ελάμβαναν οπ’ όψιν μόνο τους άνδρες, ενώ τις γυναίκες ούτε καν τις μετρούσαν. Αλλά αυτό δεν το βλέπουμε μόνο στην Ανατολή.

Έτυχε να διαβάσω, όταν ήμουν νέος, κάποιες στατιστικές που έκαναν μερικοί Γερμανοί μορφωμένοι άνθρωποι για τον ρόλο του άνδρα και τον ρόλο της γυναίκας στην ιστορία του πολιτισμού. Οι πολυμαθείς αυτοί Γερμανοί παρουσίαζαν τα κατορθώματα του άνδρα ως άκρως σημαντικά (παρομοιάζοντας τα ως όρη υψηλά), ενώ από τα κατορθώματα της γυναίκας σημείωναν μόνο μερικά που ούτως ή άλλως γράφτηκαν στην ιστορία του πολιτισμού.

Μου φαίνεται ότι η παρεξήγηση αυτή εμφανίστηκε ως συνέπεια της απώλειας της συνειδήσεως εκείνης, που περιέχεται στη Γραφή: «Και εποίησεν ο Θεός τον άνθρωπον κατ’ εικόνα Θεού… άρσεν και θήλυ εποίησεν αυτούς» (Γεν. 1,27).

Αυτό το ξεχνούν όχι μόνο οι άνδρες, αλλά και οι ίδιες οι γυναίκες. Για να διορθώσουμε λοιπόν τη ζωή μας σε όλα τα επίπεδά της, αρχίζοντας από την οικογένεια, οφείλουν οι γυναίκες να ανυψωθούν με το πνεύμα και να φανερώσουν στον κόσμο την αυθεντική αξία τους, τον υψηλό ρόλο τους. Για την χριστιανική Εκκλησία το θέμα του ρόλου της γυναίκας γίνεται κάθε χρόνο διαρκώς οξύτερο.

Βλέπουμε ότι στις χώρες όπου ο άθεος κομμουνισμός διεξάγει ανοικτή πάλη εναντίον της Εκκλησίας με την εφαρμογή κάθε είδους εκβιασμών, διασώζει την Εκκλησία η ανδρεία των γυναικών, η αυτοθυσία τους, η ετοιμότητά τους για κάθε είδους παθήματα. Παντού παρατηρούμε ότι οι γυναίκες στις Εκκλησίες αποτελούν το μεγαλύτερο ποσοστό. Μπορούμε να πούμε ότι στις Εκκλησίες κατά τις ακολουθίες οι γυναίκες συνιστούν την πλειονότητα, κάποτε τα τρία τέταρτα, κάποτε όμως και περισσότερο. Αν τώρα όλες οι γυναίκες αποχωρούσαν από την Εκκλησία, τότε αυτή δεν θα μπορούσε να υπάρχει, γιατί οι άνδρες που εκπληρώνουν υψηλή ποιμαντική διακονία, κατέχοντας υψηλές ιεραρχικές θέσεις, θα έμεναν ολιγάριθμοι και, με απλά λόγια, θα ήταν γι’ αυτούς από υλικής πλευράς αδύνατον να διατηρήσουν την Εκκλησία.

Συνεπώς ο ρόλος της γυναίκας στην Εκκλησία είναι μεγάλος, και όλοι μας πρέπει να σκεφτούμε το φαινόμενο αυτό. Στη χριστιανική μας διδασκαλία για τον άνθρωπο, μιλώντας θεολογικά, η γυναίκα παρουσιάζεται στο ίδιο ακριβώς μέτρο ως άνθρωπος, όπως και ο άνδρας. Οι δυνατότητες της διακονίας της μέσα στην ιστορία είναι απεριόριστες. Το γεγονός ότι ο Θεός Λόγος σαρκώθηκε από γυναίκα καταδεικνύει ότι η γυναίκα δεν είναι καθόλου μειωμένη ενώπιον του Θεού.

αποσπάσματα από: Αρχιμ. Σωφρονίου, Το Μυστήριο της χριστιανικής ζωής, Ι.Μ. Τιμίου Προδρόμου, Έσσεξ, 2010


Η ενότητα των μελών της Εκκλησίας
Ως μελών του ενός σώματος του Χριστού
Καθορίζει το χαρακτήρα που πρέπει να έχουν
Οι σχέσεις μεταξύ των Χριστιανών.

Η αγάπη και η αλληλοϋποστήριξη
Η μέριμνα για τους αδελφούς είναι ιδίωμα του Χριστιανού.
Οφείλομεν δε ημείς οι δυνατοί
Τα ασθενήματα των αδυνάτων βαστάζειν
Και μη εαυτοίς αρέσκειν.
Αυτός είναι ο αληθινά χριστιανικός δρόμος...
Να βοηθά ο ισχυρός τον αδύνατο
Και ο ένας τον άλλο στην αρετή.
Να μην κρίνουμε κατά το προσωπικό συμφέρον, αλλά να αποδεχόμαστε τον άλλον
Όπως μας υπέδειξε με τον δικό του τρόπο ο Κύριός μας Ιησούς Χριστός.
Όλοι να εκφράζουν έμπρακτη αγάπη προς όλους και όλοι να κάνουν ότι το καλύτερο για τους άλλους.
Για να επιτευχθούν βέβαια τα καλώς πιο πάνω εκφραζόμενα
Πρέπει να αποκτήσουμε υπομονή, και κυρίως αυτοκριτική.
Μεγάλη αρετή η υπομονή, την οποία μας υπέδειξε ο ίδιος Κύριος μέσα από τη ζωή.
Η αυτοκριτική εξίσου, βοηθά τον πιστό να αντιλαμβάνεται τα δικά του πάθη και αδυναμίες

Βοηθώντας τον έτσι να κατανοεί και να υπομένει τα λάθη των άλλων.
Θα βοηθηθούμε ακόμη περισσότερο αν κατανοήσουμε καλά τα λόγια του Παύλου:
"Έκαστος ημών τω πλησίον αρεσκέτω εις το αγαθόν προς οικοδομήν".
Να βλέπουμε τα λάθη των άλλων προσώπων με αγάπη και λύπη
Βάζοντας τον εαυτό μας στη δική τους θέση.

Διότι έτσι θα σταματήσουμε να κατακρίνουμε το πλησίον μας
Και συνάμα θα κάνουμε υπομονή στα τυχόν παραπτώματα τους.
Καθήκον λοιπόν κάθε Χριστιανού είναι να προωθεί το καλό, την αγάπη την ειρήνη
Που ο ίδιος ο Κύριος μας υπόδειξε με την Ενσάρκωση και στη συνέχεια με τη Σταύρωση του.
Σωστό είναι, όπως και εμείς με τη σειρά μας ακολουθήσουμε τη θυσιαστική πορεία του Κυρίου
Ο οποίος "ουχ εαυτώ ήρεσεν".

Καλείται λοιπόν ο καθένας από εμάς με τις προσωπικές του πράξεις
Να προσφέρει για το καλό του σώματος της Εκκλησίας. 
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