Important dates have what is called a forefeast and an afterfeast; these are the days of preparation for the solemnities, and the days during we delight in the meaning of the passing feast. That is what we also do in speaking of the chief apostles three times—as if before the feast, on the feast, and after it has passed.
Author: Fr. Andrey TKACHEV
The history of the Christian world is the history of dramatic interrelationships between God and His new people. The Lord chose and raised up a hitherto unknown people who were sitting in historical darkness. The Lord gave them Himself, and it was good for them, as long as He was their main wealth.
The white man of the Old World will be further content to think that he has the right to live and sin as he wishes. But the malevolent paupers with the Koran in their hands will, like nomads taking over a desert oasis, occupy the living areas piece by piece, biting it off block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood.
After several centuries people can get used to any mistake, or come to love any distortion. But objectively speaking, the nature of this distortion does not change. It only grows into the consciousness of those who are used to it. However, the threat it carries has not gone anywhere.
God is an obvious reality, but man is a paradoxical being—God’s beloved creation, fallen away from real life and caught in some fiction, in a kingdom of crooked mirrors—and has lost himself in this kingdom, feeling his great torment and discomfort from his being in this false life.
You don’t necessarily have to be interested in the details of the lives of earthly kings, but no matter what, sooner or later, the decisions they make will affect you.
Millions of people have learned to read, but have not learned how to cull their choices of books. Tons of DVDs are available to millions of people, but the ability to cull a pearl from the manure is not.
Literary fiction, which evolved out of the texts found in the Gospel, turn the reader toward himself, toward his own conscience. And the more similarities between the lives of Dorian Gray and the reader (external celebrity purchased at the price of internal compromise), the more obvious and irrefutable the inner parallels.
These three are needed in any society that considers itself educated and intelligent; a society that is perhaps even somewhat bored with its feigned omniscience and, like Pilate, shrugs its shoulders and asks: “What is truth?”
If a person is locked up in hell, he is locked up there voluntarily, like someone committing suicide in a burning house, or like an elderly, alcoholic bachelor living amidst the bedlam of empty bottles, cobwebs, and cigarette butts.
If God is not needed and there is no prayer, if you are nothing more than a tourist when you enter a temple, then hell eagerly assumes its rights and makes its presence known, not with the smell of sulfur, but with a sense of depression and meaninglessness.