Category Archives: Patience

St John of the Ladder and the Virus

Some are talking about the virus to the exclusion of everything else – and of far more important things. There is an obsession of depression and anxiety. If this is the case, turn off the so-called ‘news’. Let this not become a drug! The internet abounds with theories, no doubt because States have often lied to people throughout history with their ‘fake news’. Distrust is the normal attitude among many. Hence, social media are awash with conspiracy theories: that the origin of the virus was with the USA, China, Russia, the Rothschilds, Rockefeller, Gates, Soros, is a move to world government of oligarchs, or is some government conspiracy to kill off all elderly people because governments want to save money. Each theory grows more absurd and more paranoid than the next. In fact it is a waste of time speculating on its origin. That a Chinese man ate bat soup and the bat was infected, may be the best one. However, let us turn to facts.

There are at least 30,000 abortions throughout the world every day. This means every a million every month, twelve million every year, 120 million every decade….. The media do not even mention this. The virus is nothing like as bad as this.

Eight days ago we were one of only seven churches open in the whole of the UK. Now, with the ban on assemblies of people, the clergy and a singer celebrate the Divine Liturgy once a week behind closed doors and prepare the Holy Gifts, so that we can give communion and prepare communion for all those who wish to partake individually, whether in the church or at home.

Let us think of St John of the Ladder. In the Gospel we read for his feast yesterday, we read the story of how ‘this kind (of demon) can only be cast out by fasting and prayer’. Now no-one has forbidden us to fast and to pray. Why do some complain?!

St John wrote his book ‘The Ladder’ and explained that we can climb up to God step by step. And so it is. We do not enter Heaven suddenly within a few weeks or months, as some neophytes assert. All takes time and patience is the mother of virtues. And this virus will disappear, just as it appeared, step by step.

All Orthodox Christians can take communion by contacting our priests for confession and communion. And so individually we can proclaim Christ’s Resurrection, as St Basil the Great says in his canon at the Liturgy.

If Christ returns tomorrow, will we be ready for Him? Here is the real question, what we should be talking about. Let us battle to free ourselves from the virus of sin. Here is the one thing needful.

 

Apostasy in Istanbul

For nearly one hundred years faithful Orthodox patiently continued to concelebrate with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, awaiting its repentance. This was despite the fact that nearly 100 years ago its leaders broke Church unity in the Diaspora, that they accepted a bribe of £100,000 from the Church of England (an agent of the imperialist British State) to abandon the Orthodox calendar for the fixed feasts, that they supported atheist-sponsored modernist sects in persecuted Russia and worldwide against the Church, and that they took part in ecumenist compromises, besmirching itself in anti-canonical activities. Since in 1948 the US State took over the worldwide meddling carried on for a century before by the British State, the once glorious Patriarchate of Constantinople is becoming an inglorious minor sub-department of the US State Department and the Vatican. And still we wait patiently for their repentance, but now our patience is coming to an end.

The meddling of racist individuals in Turkey among Ukrainian immigrants after World War II, in Estonia since 1996, in the Autocephalous Czechoslovak Orthodox Church in 1998, their recent uncanonical acts against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by sponsoring a nationalist ‘Church’ there, their threats to the Church of Serbia and their sponsoring of fanatical xenophobes in Montenegro and Macedonia, countered by two heroically faithful Orthodox hierarchs, Metropolitan Amfilochie and Metropolitan Onufry, and now new threats of blackmail against the Czechoslovak Church, are too much. They are a disgrace to the word ‘Christian’. We have tolerated them  for a  long time. We are distressed for the fate of its faithful clergy and people. But they would be welcome to join us in our battle against the common enemy of our salvation, militant atheism, and so abandon their US-appointed leaders to their apostasy. Salvation through repentance is still possible.

The isolation of the hundred or so bishops of the US-run Patriarchate of Constantinople, its two agents in Athens and Alexandria and a handful of abbots on Mt Athos, who obey only the local US and Greek ambassadors in preference to the Gospel of Christ, have shocked the Orthodox world with their treachery. They proclaim that Washington, with its pagan temple White House, is the Third Rome. We disagree. It is now up to the rest of the Church to join together against the common secularist enemy apparently supported by this little band of apostates. This is in faithfulness to the Orthodoxy of the Gospel, of the Fathers and of Canon Law, in faithfulness to the Tradition, to the sum total of the inspirations of the Holy Spirit over 2,000 years. Recent events are a wake-up call to repentance to all Orthodox, to shed themselves of petty nationalism, be it Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Georgian. Macedonian, Montenegrin or Arab. Whatever its language, petty nationalism is the same evil attachment to the prince of this world and his minions. Seven and a half billion human-beings are waiting to hear the call of the Gospel of Christ to His Church from the representatives of His Church.

The Triumph of Orthodoxy 2020