Trip to Serbia - April 2017

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                                            KRUSEDOL MONASTERY - SERBIA

Passion Week lessons: To not turn one's life into a fake

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I see Passion Week as a whole undivided period of time, as a path that one should follow together with Christ and His disciples from God’s Entrance to Jerusalem to the Holy Resurrection of Christ and which goes through treachery, trial and Golgotha.
At the same time one cannot overlook nor ignore that all of these truly Great Days were filled with tragic misunderstanding of Christ, which was shown by both the authorities and ordinary residents of Jerusalem.
They welcomed the Savior at the entrance to the city expecting from Him not the great deed of love, but new miracles and healings, the end to the Roman occupation, the restoration of the Jewish government’s power, and various earthly benefits: anything that people usually expect from an earthly king.
The Son of God entered Jerusalem in order to fulfill His Father’s will, but people did not care about what was God’s and wanted their own wishes to come true and preferably faster. After only a few days therefore, the mood of many residents of Jerusalem, who did not get what they had longed for, changed drastically so that they would ask for the crucifixion of the One Who did not satisfy not even their hopes, but their lusts.

St. John Climacus: The forgotten Saint.

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Whenever I think of Great Lent, I make it a point to remember a meaningful conversation I had just a few years ago. I was on a pilgrimage in Greece, visiting a centuries-old church, when an old priest sat down next to me and struck up a conversation. At one point he observed that the Christians in America make Christianity look easy.
I sat in silence for a moment because I was surprised by his bold statement. “Why do you say that?” I asked.
“Because you have forgotten about John,” he replied as he let out a grin.
“John who?” I responded, knowing full well that Orthodoxy has a lot of special people named John. “Are you talking about St. John the Baptist or St. John Chrysostom?” I asked.
“Neither,” the old priest replied. “I’m speaking of Saint John, the one with the ladder.”
St. John Climacus is one of the great saints of our Church. He so special that the Church remembers St. John, not once, as we do with most saints, but twice a year. His feast day is always celebrated on March 30th, but the Church also devotes the fourth Sunday of Great Lent to this majestic church father.

"Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

Mathew 28:19