Monday, October 31, 2011

Apostle Epimachus of Alexandria

Commemorated on October 31

The Holy Martyr Epimachus of Alexandria was a native of Egypt. For a long time he lived in seclusion on Mount Peleusium. During a persecution against Christians at Alexandria (about the year 250), St Epimachus in his fervent zeal came into the city, destroyed pagan idols, and fearlessly confessed Christ. For this the saint was put to torture. Among the people watching the torture was a woman who was blind in one eye. A drop of blood from the martyr healed her infirmity.

After fierce tortures, the saint was beheaded by the sword.

St Epimachus is also commemorated on March 11.


Your holy martyr Epimachus, O Lord, through his suffering has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God. For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries, and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. Through his intercessions, save our souls!


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hieromartyr Zenobius, Bishop of Aegea, and his sister, Martyr Zenobia

Commemorated on October 30

The Hieromartyr Zenobius, Bishop of Aegea, and his sister Zenobia suffered a martyr's death in the year 285 in Cilicia. From childhood they were raised in the holy Christian Faith by their parents, and they led pious and chaste lives. In their mature years, shunning the love of money, they distributed away their inherited wealth giving it to the poor. For his beneficence and holy life the Lord rewarded Zenobius with the gift of healing various maladies. He was also chosen bishop of a Christian community in Cilicia.

As bishop, St Zenobius zealously spread the Christian Faith among the pagans. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305) began a persecution against Christians, Bishop Zenobius was the first one arrested and brought to trial to the governor Licius. "I shall only speak briefly with you," said Licius to the saint, "for I propose to grant you life if you worship our gods, or death, if you do not." The saint answered, "This present life without Christ is death. It is better that I prepare to endure the present torment for my Creator, and then with Him live eternally, than to renounce Him for the sake of the present life, and then be tormented eternally in Hades."

By order of Licius, they nailed him to a cross and began the torture. The bishop's sister, seeing him suffering, wanted to stop it. She bravely confessed her own faith in Christ before the governor.  Therefore, she also was tortured.

By the power of the Lord they remained alive after being placed on a red-hot iron bed, and then in a boiling kettle. The saints were then beheaded. The priest Hermogenes secretly buried the bodies of the martyrs in a single grave.

St Zenobius is invoked by those suffering from breast cancer.


As brother and sister united in godliness together you struggled in contest, Zenóbius and Zenobía. You received incorruptible crowns and unending glory and shine forth with the grace of healing upon those in the world.

Let us honor with inspired hymns the two martyrs for truth: the preachers of true devotion, Zenóbius and Zenobía; as brother and sister they lived and suffered together and through martyrdom received their incorruptible crowns.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Martyrs Claudius, Asterius, Neones and Theonilla of Aegae in Cilicia

Commemorated on October 29

The Martyrs Claudius, Asterius, Neones and Theonilla of Aegae in Cilicia suffered for Christ in the year 285 during the reign of the emperor Diocletian (284-311). After their father's death, the stepmother, who did not want to give the children their inheritance, betrayed them to the persecutors of Christians. The governor of Cilicia, who was named Licius, urged the martyrs to renounce Christ and instead to worship idols, and he employed various means of torture. They crucified the unyielding brothers, and St Theonilla was thrown into the sea after torture.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Holy Protection of the Theotokos

October 28

The Feast of the Protection commemorates the appearance of the most holy Theotokos in the Church of Blachernae in Constantinople in the early sixth century, as recorded in the life of Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ's sake. While the multitudes of the faithful were gathered in church, Epiphanius, the friend of Saint Andrew, through the Saint's prayers, beheld the Virgin Mary above the faithful and spreading out her veil over them, signifying her unceasing protection of all Christians. Because of this we keep a yearly feast of gratitude, imploring our Lady never to cease sheltering us in her mighty prayers.
In the Greek tradition, this feast is celebrated on October 28, while in the Slavic tradition, this feast is celebrated on October 1.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
O Virgin, we extol the great grace of thy Protection, which thou didst spread out like a bright cloud beyond all understanding; for thou dost invisibly protect thy people from the foe's every assault. Since we have thee as our shelter and certain help, we cry to thee with our whole soul: Glory to thy great deeds, O most pure Maid. Glory to thy shelter most divine. Glory to thy care and providence for us, O spotless one.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Let us the faithful hasten to the Theotokos now and venerate her sacred veil, as we chant unto her, singing hymns to praise and honour her, as is fitting; for she shelt'reth with her shelter and all her faithful flock and preserveth them unharmed from all calamities, as they cry to her: Rejoice, Protection most radiant.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nestor the Martyr of Thessaloniki

October 27

As mentioned in the account concerning Saint Demetrius (October 26), this Saint contested during the reign of Maximian, in the year 290.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Well didst thou contest; hence, thou hast now inherited immortal renown, wise Nestor, and thou art become Christ the Master's excellent soldier by the holy and fervent prayers of the Martyr Demetrius. Thus, with him, cease not to pray for all of us.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Demetrios the Myrrhbearer & Great Martyr of Thessaloniki

October 26

Saint Dimitrios was a Thessalonian, a most pious son of pious and noble parents, and a teacher of the Faith of Christ. When Maximian first came to Thessalonica in 290, he raised the Saint to the rank of Duke of Thessaly. But when it was discovered that the Saint was a Christian, he was arrested and kept bound in a bath-house. While the games were under way in the city, Maximian was a spectator there. A certain friend of his, a barbarian who was a notable wrestler, Lyaeus by name, waxing haughty because of the height and strength of his body, boasted in the stadium and challenged the citizens to a contest with him. All that fought with him were defeated. Seeing this, a certain youth named Nestor, aquaintance of Dimitrios', came to the Saint in the bath-house and asked his blessing to fight Lyaeus single-handed. Receiving this blessing and sealing himself with the sign of the precious Cross, he presented himself in the stadium, and said, "O God of Dimitrios, help me!" and straightway he engaged Lyaeus in combat and smote him with a mortal blow to the heart, leaving the former boaster lifeless upon the earth. Maximian was sorely grieved over this, and when he learned who was the cause of this defeat, he commanded straightway and Dimitrios was pierced with lances while he was yet in the bath-house, As for Nestor, Maximian commanded that he be slain with his own sword.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
A Great champion hath the whole world found thee to be when in grave perils; for thou dost put to flight the heathen, O victorious one. As thou didst humble Lyaeus's arrogance and gaveth boldness to Nestor in the stadium, thus, O holy Great Martyr Demetrius, do thou entreat Christ God that we be granted great mercy.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
God, who gave you invincible power and with care kept your city invulnerable, royally clothed the Church in purple with the streams of your blood, for you are her strength, O Dimitrios.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Venerable Martyrius the Recluse of the Kiev Caves

Commemorated on October 25

Saint Martyrius the Recluse and Martyrius the Deacon, of the Kiev Caves, Far Caves.

His holy name is remembered in the Seventh Ode of the Canon to the Fathers of the Kiev Far Caves. Here his love of toil, justice and ardent purity, and even his gift of expelling demons and healing infirmities are praised. His memory is celebrated also on August 28 and on the second Sunday of Great Lent.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Venerable Arethas, Sisoes and Theophilus of the Kiev Near Caves

Commemorated on October 24

Saint Arethas (12th century), Sisoes (13th century), and Theophilus (12th-13th century) were hermits of the Near Caves in Kiev. They struggled at the Kiev Caves monastery and were buried in the Near Caves.

St Arethas was from Polotsk. While living at the monastery, he kept many possessions in his cell. One day robbers made off with it. Grieving over his lost riches, St Arethas began to murmur against God, for which he was stricken with a serious illness. Being at the very brink of death, he saw how both angels and devils had come for him and were arguing between them. The devils asserted that he ought to be given over to them because of his avarice and complaints against God. Then the angels said to him, "You hapless man, if you had given thanks to God for the pilfered riches, this would have been accounted as charity for you."

After this vision, the saint recovered. He spent his final days as a hermit, in distress and repentance over his sins, having renounced all earthly possessions. St Arethas died not later than 1190. In the Iconographic Manuals, the saint is described in this way: "In appearance stooped over, his beard the same length as Kozmina, dressed in monastic garb."

In the general service for the Fathers of the Kiev Caves, St Sisoes is called "radiant in fasting."

St Theophilus, in the general service to the Fathers of the Kiev Caves, is called "resplendant in miracles."
The general commemoration of all the Fathers of the Near Caves takes place on September 28 and on the second Sunday of Great Lent.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

James (Iakovos) the Apostle, brother of Our Lord

October 23

According to some, this Saint was a son of Joseph the Betrothed, born of the wife that the latter had before he was betrothed to the Ever-virgin. Hence he was the brother of the Lord, Who was also thought to be the son of Joseph (Matt. 13: 55). But some say that he was a nephew of Joseph, and the son of his brother Cleopas, who was also called Alphaeus and Mary his wife, who was the first cousin of the Theotokos. But even according to this genealogy, he was still called, according to the idiom of the Scriptures, the Lord's brother because of their kinship.

This Iakovos is called the Less (Mark 15:4) by the Evangelists to distinguish him from Iakovos, the son of Zebedee, who was called the Great. He became the first Bishop of Jerusalem, elevated to this episcopal rank by the Apostles, according to Eusebius (Eccl. Hist., Book II: 23), and was called Obliah, that is, the Just, because of his great holiness and righteousness. Having ascended the crest of the Temple on the day of the Passover at the prompting of all, he bore testimony from there concerning his belief in Jesus, and he proclaimed with a great voice that Jesus sits at the right hand of the great power of God and shall come again upon the clouds of heaven. On hearing this testimony, many of those present cried, "Hosanna to the Son of David." But the Scribes and Pharisees cried, "So, even the just one hath been led astray," and at the command of Ananias the high priest, the Apostle was cast down headlong from thence, then was stoned, and while he prayed for his slayers, his head was crushed by the wooden club wielded by a certain scribe. The first of the Catholic (General) Epistles written to the Jews in the Diaspora who believed in Christ was written by this Iakovos.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
As a disciple of the Lord, O righteous one, thou hast received the Gospel. As a Martyr thou art never turned away. As the brother of God thou hast boldness. As a hierarch thou canst intercede. Do thou intercede with Christ God that He save our souls.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
O wondrous Iakovos, God the Logos, only-begotten of the Father, who dwelt among us in latter days, declared you, the first shepherd and teacher of Jerusalem, and faithful steward of the spiritual mysteries. Wherefore, we all honor you, O Apostle.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Abercius, Equal-to-the-Apostles and Wonderworker of Hierapolis

October 22

Saint Abercius, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia in the times of Marcus Aurelius, was adorned with the grace of wonderworking and with apostolic zeal. During a festival in honour of Apollo, the chief deity of Hierapolis, the holy bishop was instructed in a revelation to destroy the idols. He went to the temple by night and overturned the statues of Apollo and the others. When this was discovered, the Saint boldly cried out that the gods, becoming drunk from the wine of the libations offered them, had struck one against another in their confusion. A multitude of furious pagans came to avenge the insult to their gods, but when the Saint cast the demons out of three afflicted young men, fear fell upon the idolaters and they with the whole city became Christian. After many labours, and afflictions, Saint Abercius reposed in peace about the year 167 (or, according to some, 186).

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
The truth of things hath revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, thou hast achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Abercius, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
The Church of all the faithful doth acclaim thee, O Abercius, as a great priest and a worthy companion of the twelve Apostles of the Lord. By thy prayers, O blest Hierarch, keep the Church safe from every vain-minded heresy, unconquered and unshaken for ever, O thou most wondrous one.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Martyrs Zoticus, Dasius, and Gaius of Nicomedia

Commemorated on October 21

The Martyrs Zoticus, Dasius, and Gaius of Nicomedia suffered martyrdom in the year 303, under the emperor Diocletian (284-305) because they destroyed a pagan temple. After enduring many tortures, stones were tied around their necks, and they were drowned in the sea.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Artemios the Great Martyr of Antioch

October 20

Saint Artemios lived during the years of Saint Constantine the Great, and was appointed by him to be Governor of Alexandria; later, he was honoured with the rank of patrician. During the reign of Julian the Apostate, in the year 361, Artemios appeared before the Emperor and censured him for his apostasy. For this, he endured many torments and was finally beheaded.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Let us now gather and worthily acclaim with hymns the pious and crowned Martyr Artemios, the greatest among Martyrs and richest bestower of miracles, who raised the trophies of victory over the enemy; for he intercedeth with the Lord for us all.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Venerable Prochorus of Pcinja

Commemorated on October 19


O dweller of the desert and angel in the body,
you were shown to be a wonderworker, our Godbearing Father Prochorus.
You received heavenly gifts through fasting, vigil, and prayer:
healing the sick and the souls of those drawn to you by faith.
Glory to Him who gave you strength!
Glory to Him who granted you a crown!
Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!


Boldly revealing a great victory and burning with heavenly love,
you disdained the corruptible king and rejected all earthly pleasures;
taking up your abode on Mount Kozjak,
you ascended from it to the King of kings in heaven.
O Prochorus, ceaselessly intercede for us all!


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Luke the Evangelist

October 18

This Apostle was an Antiochean, a physician by trade, and a disciple and companion of Paul. He wrote his Gospel in Greek after Matthew and Mark, after which he wrote the Acts of the Apostles, and dedicated both works to Theophilus, who, according to some, was Governor of Achaia. He lived some eighty-six years and died in Achaia, perhaps in Patras, the capital of this district. His emblem is the calf, the third symbolical beast mentioned by Ezekiel (1:10), which is a symbol of Christ's sacrificial and priestly office, as Saint Irenaeus says.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
As a disciple of the Word of God, with Paul you illuminated all the earth and dispelled the gloom in writing Christ's divine Gospel.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Martyrs and Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian and the Martyrs Leontius, Anthimus and Eutropius in Cilicia (Arabia)

Commemorated on October 17

The Martyrs and Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian in Cilicia (Arabia), and the Martyrs Leontius, Anthimus and Eutropius. The holy brothers Cosmas and Damian were physicians in Arabia, who believed in Christ. They traveled through the cities and the villages, preaching Christ and healing the sick. The saints would not take any sort of payment for the help they rendered. In Cilicia, pagans seized the holy physicians and led them before the governor, Lysias. Since they refused to renounce Christianity, the governor ordered the saints to be brutally beaten, and then cast into the sea.

An angel of God rescued them from the sea and brought them to shore. Then the pagans beheaded the saints and three other Christians: Leontius, Anthimus, and Eutropius. (The Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Arabia should not be confused with the Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Asia Minor (November 1), or the Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Rome (July 1).


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Icon of the Mother of God the "Multiplier of Wheat"

Commemorated on October 15

The Icon of the Mother of God, the "Multiplier of Wheat", was painted at the blessing of the Elder Ambrose (October 10) of the Visitation Optina wilderness monastery. St Ambrose, a great Russian ascetic of the nineteenth century, was ardent with a childlike faith towards the Mother of God. In particular, he revered all the Feastdays of the Mother of God, and on these days he redoubled his prayer. With the icon, "Multiplier of Wheat," St Ambrose blessed the Shamordino women's monastery established in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, which he had founded not far from the Optina monastery.

On this icon, the Mother of God is depicted sitting upon the clouds, and Her hands are extended in blessing. Beneath her is a compressed field, and on it amidst the grass and flowers stand and lay sheaves of rye. Elder Ambrose himself decreed the day of celebration, October 15, and called the icon "Multiplier of Wheat", indicating by this, that the Most Holy Theotokos "is a Helper for people in their labors for the acquiring of their daily bread."

Before his blessed repose, St Ambrose ordered many copies of this icon and sent them to his spiritual children. For the Akathist to this icon, the Elder composed a particular response, "Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with You! Grant unto us unworthy ones the dew of Your grace and the showing forth of Your mercy!"

St Ambrose's burial took place on October 15, the Feastday of the icon. The first miracle from the holy icon was witnessed in 1891, when throughout Russia there was a famine because of crop failure. In the Kaluga district and on the fields of the Shamordino monastery, however, grain was produced. In 1892, already after the death of St Ambrose, his attendant John Cherepanov sent a copy of the icon to the Pyatnitsa women's monastery in Voronezh district. In this locale there was a threat of drought and famine, but soon after a Molieben was celebrated before the icon "The Multiplier of Wheat", rain fell and ended the drought.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Holy Martyrs Nazarius, Gervasius, Protasius and Celsius of Milan

Commemorated on October 14

The Holy Martyrs Nazarius, Gervasius, Protasius and Celsius of Milan suffered during the reign of the emperor Nero (54-68). St Nazarius (son of the Christian Perpetua and the Jew Africanus) was born at Rome and was baptized by Bishop Linus. From his youth Nazarius decided to devote his life to preaching Christ and to aid wandering Christians. With this intent he left Rome and arrived in Mediolanum (Milan).

St Nazarius met Protasius and Gervasius when he was visiting Christians in the Mediolanum prison. He so loved the twins that he wanted to suffer and die with them. The ruler heard that he was visiting the prisoners, so he had St Nazarius beaten with rods, then driven from the city.

St Nazarius proceeded to Gaul (modern France), and there he successfully preached Christianity and converted many pagans. In the city of Kimel he baptized Celsius, the son of a Christian woman who entrusted her child to the saint. Nazarius raised the boy in piety, and acquired a faithful disciple and coworker in his missionary labors.

The pagans threw the saints to wild animals to be eaten, but the beasts would not touch them. Afterwards, they tried to drown the martyrs in the sea, but they walked upon the water as if on dry land. The soldiers who carried out the orders were so amazed that they themselves accepted Christianity and released the holy martyrs.

Sts Nazarius and Celsius went to Milan and visited Gervasius and Protasius in prison. For this, they were brought before Nero, who ordered that Sts Nazarius and Celsius be beheaded. Soon after this the holy brothers Gervasius and Protasius were also executed. The relics of all four martyrs were stolen by a Christian named Philip, and were buried in his house.

Many years later, during the reign of the holy Emperor Theodosius (408-450), St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (December 7), discovered the relics of Sts Gervasius and Protasius through a revelation from God.

In the reign of Arcadius and Honorius, St Ambrose also discovered the relics of Sts Nazarius and Celsius. The holy relics, glorified by many healings, were solemnly transferred to the Milan cathedral.


Let us praise the fourfold company of martyrs: Nazarius, Protase, Gervase and Celsus. For they preached the Trinity to all And by their contest dispelled the worship of idols. Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us all.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

St Jacob the Elder, and disciple of St Anthony, Metropolitan of Chkondidi

Commemorated on October 13

Saint Anthony of Chqondidi was born to the family of Otia Dadiani, the prince of Egrisi (now Samegrelo). Anthony’s mother, Gulkan, was the daughter of the prince Shoshita III of Racha. There were six children in the family: five boys and one girl. Anthony’s sister, Mariam, later married King Solomon the Great of Imereti.

The children received their primary education from their mother, who was raised in the Christian Faith and transmitted the Faith to her children. Her vibrant faith and valorous labors were an example for all who surrounded her. After his father’s death, young Anthony was raised by his older brother Katsia. His family was preparing Anthony for a diplomatic career, and therefore they devoted special attention to his study of philosophy, literature, the fundamentals of poetry and art, and foreign languages (particularly Turkish and Persian).

From the beginning of the 17th century, the rulers of Egrisi appointed only their own relatives to the Chqondidi diocese. Nicholas, one of Anthony’s older brothers, was prepared for the bishopric, but he was too attached to the world to commit to the heavy yoke of asceticism. The young Anthony, however, was zealous for the monastic life, and soon he was tonsured.

The new monk Anthony sensed the imperfection of his spiritual education and asked the monks of Martvili Monastery in Egrisi to help him make up for his insufficient knowledge. A group of French missionaries arrived to instruct him in the foundations of Scholastic philosophy, which was very fashionable in Europe at that time. Anthony, however, recognized that his foreign tutors had tainted Orthodox doctrine with the poison of heresy. Once, during a meal, Anthony turned to a certain Frenchman and asked, “Can you pour wine into this water-filled cup and keep it from mixing with the water?”

The Catholic priest answered that it was impossible, and Anthony replied, “As it is impossible to pour water and wine into a single vessel and keep them from mixing, so it is impossible to accommodate both Orthodox doctrine and heresy!” From that day Anthony parted with the French missionaries.

The thirst for learning would not give the young monk any rest. To deepen his knowledge, St. Anthony traveled to Tbilisi, to the court of King Erekle II. The king’s wife, Queen Darejan, was Anthony’s cousin—a child of his uncle, Katsia Dadiani.

In 1761 St. Anthony was consecrated bishop of Tsageri (in lower Svaneti). He soon became famous for his eloquent sermons, which inspired even the Catholicos of Georgia himself.

Grown weary from fasting, St. Anthony’s face began to resemble that of an angel. In accordance with his orders, a daily meal was prepared for the poor at the Chqondidi residence. Every subsequent bishop of Chqondidi has continued this practice.

In the 18th century many feudal lords in western Georgia (in Egrisi especially) began to trade slaves for profit. Bishop Anthony boldly opposed this immoral activity, and in the years 1792 to 1794 he convened a series of Church councils to publicly condemn the slave traders.

In 1788 Anthony approved vast land grants to the monasteries of Martvili, Nakharebou, and Sairme. He persuaded the Dadianis to exempt these lands from taxation.

In 1789 Anthony, now a metropolitan, left Chqondidi for Nakharebou Monastery, which he had built. He enriched the monastery with sacred objects, ancient icons and lands. There he spent the remainder of his days.

St. Anthony of Chqondidi reposed in 1815 at a very old age and was buried at Nakharebou Monastery.

St. Anthony’s spiritual son, devoted friend, and helper, Hieromonk Jacob, also dwelt as a saint in this world and was received into the Heavenly Kingdom.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Symeon the New Theologian

October 12

Saint Symeon became a monk of the Studite Monastery as a young man, under the guidance of the elder Symeon the Pious. Afterwards he struggled at the Monastery of Saint Mamas in Constantinople, of which he became abbot. After enduring many trials and afflictions in his life of piety, he reposed in 1022. Marvelling at the heights of prayer and holiness to which he attained, and the loftiness of the teachings of his life and writings, the church calls him "the New Theologian." Only to two others, John the Evangelist and Gregory, Patriarch of Constantinople, has the church given the name "Theologian." Saint Symeon reposed on March 12, but since this always falls in the Great Fast, his feast is kept today.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Since thou hadst received within thy pure soul God's enlightenment, O righteous Father, thou wast shown to the world as a blazing light which drave away its thick darkness and moved all men to seek the grace of the Spirit which they had lost. O all-holy Father Symeon, intercede with Him to grant great mercy unto us who honour thee.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
Shining with the Three-Sun Light, thou wast a true theologian of the Holy Trinity, the Lord divinely-transcendent; from on high, thou wast made rich with wisdom of discourse and didst pour forth the divine streams of godly wisdom; whereof having drunk, we cry out: Rejoice, thrice-blessed Symeon, taught from above.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Philip the Apostle of the 70, one of the 7 Deacons

October 11

Saint Philip, who had four daughters that prophesied, was from Caesarea of Palestine. He preached throughout Samaria; it was he also who met the eunuch of Candace, the Queen of the Ethiopians, as the eunuch was reading the Prophet Esaias, and he instructed and baptized him (Acts 8:26-39). He reposed in Tralles of Asia Minor while preaching the Gospel.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostle Philip, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offenses.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Since thou wast enlightened by the Holy Spirit, thou enlightenest the earth and all its fullness with the beams of thy wise teachings and miracles, Apostle Philip, thou sacred initiate.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Martyr Eulampia at Nicomedia

Commemorated on October 10

Saints Eulampia and Eulampius were brother and sister. They lived at the beginning of the fourth century in the city of Nicomedia. Eulampius became upset after reading the decree of the emperor Maximiam (284-305) sentencing all Christians to execution. Eulampius was horrified that the emperor was taking up arms against his own subjects rather than fighting the enemies of his country.

The youth was brought to trial and commanded to renounce the Christian Faith. When he refused, they subjected him to many tortures. His sister Eulampia also appeared before the judges and declared that she was a Christian. Eulampius told her, "Sister, do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul" (Mt.10:28).

The martyrs were tortured and thrown into a red-hot furnace, but the Lord protected them from the fire. Finally, they beheaded Eulampius, but Eulampia died from her torments before she could be beheaded.


Your holy martyrs Eulampius and Eulampia, O Lord, through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God. For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. Through their intercessions, save our souls!

Let us honor the noble martyrs, brother and sister in the flesh, wise Eulampius and Eulampia; for they put to shame the devices of tyrants through the power of the Crucified one. Therefore, they have been declared the glory and boast of martyrs.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

James the Apostle, son of Alphaeus

October 9

The holy Apostle James was one of the Twelve, and preached Christ to many nations, and finally suffered death by crucifixion.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostle James, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offenses.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
The wondrous fisherman that caught in the nations, James, the most ven'rable of Jesus' disciples, and the companion of the apostolic choir, doth dispense unto the world the great wealth of his healings, freeing from adversities them that rightly acclaim him. Wherefore, we cry to him with one accord: O blest Apostle, save all of us by thy prayers.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!):

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Venerable Thais of Egypt

Commemorated on October 8

Saint Thais of Egypt, raised by her mother in a spirit far removed from Christian piety, led a depraved and dissolute life. She was famed for her beauty, leading many on the path to perdition.

The account about the prodigal Thais spread throughout all Egypt and reached even St Paphnutius, a strict ascetic who had converted many to salvation. Paphnutius dressed himself in worldly attire and went to Thais, giving her money as though he wished to pay for her favors. He pretended to be afraid that someone would see them, so he asked her if there were a place they would not be discovered. Thais said that they could lock the door and enjoy complete privacy. "But if you fear God," she said, "there is no place where you can hide from Him." Seeing that she knew about God and the punishment of the wicked, the Elder asked why she led a sinful life and enticed others to ruin their souls. He told her about the eternal punishment she would have to face for her own sins, and for the people who had been corrupted and destroyed by her.

The words of St Paphnutius so affected the sinner that she gathered up all her riches acquired through her shameful life, then set them afire in the city square. Then St Paphnutius shut her up in a small cell, where for three years she dwelt in seclusion. Turning toward the East, Thais constantly repeated the short prayer, "My Creator, have mercy on me!"

"From the moment I entered into the cell," said Thais to the Elder before her death, "all my sins constantly were before my eyes, and I wept when I remembered them."

St Paphnutius replied "It is for your tears, and not for the austerity of your seclusion, that the Lord has granted you mercy."

St Thais was ill for three days, then fell asleep in the Lord. So this woman, who had been a harlot and a sinner, has entered the Kingdom of God before us (Mt. 21:31). St Paul the Simple (October 4) saw in a vision the place prepared for the penitent Thais in Paradise.


O God of our fathers, Do not take your mercy from us, But ever act towards us according to your kindness And by the prayers of your Holy Thais, Guide our lives in peace!


Let us praise the blessed Thais, The truly fruitful branch from a corrupt root, The sweet stream from a salty source, The image of repentance and rule of patience! Once a vessel of sin, she is now the chosen vessel of grace! Let us cry aloud to her: O Venerable Thais, entreat Christ God that our souls may be saved!


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!):

Friday, October 07, 2011

Sergius & Bacchus the Great Martyrs of Syria

October 7

These holy Martyrs were Romans of high rank in the service of the Emperor Maximian, to whom it was reported that they did not take part in the festivals of the idols. When he called them into his presence, they confessed their Faith in the one God. He had them arrayed in women's clothes and paraded through the streets in mockery. They were afterwards scourged, from which Saint Bacchus died. This was about the year 296. Saint Sergius was then taken to Resapha in Syria, where he was tortured and beheaded. His tomb in Resapha became a very famous shrine, to which pilgrims came from as far away as Western Europe; Resapha was later renamed Sergiopolis in his honour.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
As we gather, let us crown with sacred hymns of laudation those two brethren in the Faith, the great and valorous martyrs: Sergius was the Triune Godhead's most steadfast warrior; and with him, wise Bacchus manfully suffered torments; and they both confessed Christ Saviour as God, the Maker and sacred Trainer of all.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!):

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Refuting the Dogma of Reincarnation

From here.

Dr. of Theology - Dr. of Philosophy
Refuting the Dogma of Reincarnation

The Foundation of Reincarnation

If we want to determine the premise of reincarnation, we need to make reference to its dogma that every person, according to their innermost self, is eternal and subject to the eternal law of cause and effect, called karma. This law pushes the person into consecutive births after each death. A basic cause which makes up the 'fuel', so to speak, for the continuous movement of this wheel of deaths and births is a person's attachments and desires in connection with external reality. Each and every thought, word or deed returns to that person during his new incarnation. His new life composes a living movie, and he is now called to be like a perfect actor to reenact this 'drama' on the new screen.

According to this concept, a basic aim becomes the passage through all the hardship and experiences corresponding to the accumulated karma and the effort put into restricting these activities and attachments, so that new karma accumulation can be avoided. 

A final objective is one's 'liberation' not only from death but from life as well.  

In contrast, the 'western version' of reincarnation views this belief as potential for a better, future life on earth, as a course leading to continuous greater advances of development, reaching the level of a super-being. 

Both perceptions on reincarnation are based on the holistic theory of the world, forming an anti-Christian worldview. 

According to the Christian faith, man is not uncreated and eternal, but a creation: not a result of God's substance, but the fruit of divine will and love. In the Old Testament the distinction between the Maker and his creations is underlined, between the human and the rest of creation. Only the human being is made 'in God's image'. His position in God's world is a position of authority, which according to God's plan translates into a position of responsibility and love on man's part towards all of God's creation. 

There is no single 'evolutionary scale' between the human and the rest of beings. The human as 'according to the image' of the personal God, who is a communion of persons, meaning freedom and love, is not determined according to blind laws, but he himself participates in determining his course. Following God's plan and God's path in respect to human existence and the meaning of his life, he remains in communion with God and becomes a bearer of God's benefaction. 

Man was created as a psychosomatic entity from the beginning; his body is not evaluated negatively but is a blessing. This is why man's hope rests not in 'liberation' from the body, but the resurrection,  imperishability and immortality of the body. 

Interpretative Deadlocks
If we accept the view that life inside the body is a fall and a state of punishment, with the aim of instructing the soul, this creates for the faithful person, who accepts the Scriptures as divine revelation, interpretative deadlocks.  

The Holy Scriptures tell us that God made man as a psychosomatic entity and gave him His blessing and the commandment to be fruitful and multiply and 'fill' all the earth. If this life inside the body is a 'curse', God would not bless man. It would not be God's will for man to be fruitful and multiply and fill the world with 'cursed' beings. 

If again, we assume that Adam, in a state of pre-existence sinned, and that is why he was incarnated ― to be punished and instructed ― then why should the same thing happen to all the other souls, and how could the protoplasts 'multiply' as psychosomatic entities, actually taking this multiplication as a blessing? If Adam sinned, then only he should become incarnate and not all people. 

But the Scriptures mention that God placed man in paradise and not in a 'state of hell'. The place that God gave man as a residence was a place of 'delight' and not punishment. That is why man is called to serve God's paradise, preserve it and not eliminate his relation with it (Gen. 2:15). 

The Holy Scriptures underline that punishment for man is not life in the body, but exactly the contrary. God warned man that his biological life would end if he sinned but not so if he remained faithful. If this life was a result of 'karma' and a negative stance of man in the state of a spiritual being, then sinners should live and the righteous should die, since this life would be considered a curse and not being released from life. 

Denial of Salvation in Christ 

The dogma of karma and reincarnation nullifies the mystery of salvation in Christ. The incarnation of the Son and Word of God constitutes the foundation of the Church and is linked with the mystery of man's salvation (Math. 16:17-18, 1 Tim. 3:16). His 'taking on' the whole person, not only the soul but also the body, constitutes the manifestation of God's glory (John 1:14, Hebrews 1:1-3). It cannot be considered negative. But these grounds for salvation are canceled when we accept the beliefs of karma and reincarnation. 

Christ conquered death, not through the liberation from the body, but through the resurrection and incorruptibility of the body. This change in a person's life does not come through continuous births and deaths, but 'in a moment', during Christ's second coming. For the Christian, there are no repeated judgments, which define the 'quality' of a new life each time, but only one biological life and only one judgment, which will take place in front of Christ's judgment seat. In front of the eternal Judge man will stand not only as a soul but also as a body, to answer for his deeds, which occurred by way of this body. 

This state of 'new creation', of incorruptibility, is lived by the Christian already in this life during the Holy Eucharist. The teaching of reincarnation, which regards the body negatively, not only nullifies the Christian's hope in Christ but also the meaning of divine worship, the primary purpose of the Holy Eucharist. 

Pedagogy Requires the Feeling of Responsibility 

The dogma of karma and reincarnation interprets this life's negative situations with acts which took place in a supposed previous life. For those acts, man is called to punishment, so as to erase his 'karma' and his attachments, aiming at complete 'liberation'. 

But man is not conscious of this fact. He does not remember those deeds that supposedly 'drove' him to a new reincarnation and to those difficulties he is now going through. He does not remember committing those deeds, for which he is supposedly being punished. When we accept that man is punished for things he is unable to remember, the significance of 'pedagogy' is abolished. When there is no memory, then punishment does not have an educative end. It could be a result of a blind law, which nonetheless rejects the existence of a God, who directs the course of history, who is a communion of persons ― that is, freedom and love. 

'Gospel' of the Serpent 

According to the Christian faith, man is not autonomous. He is by nature 'according to the image of God', and therefore, communion and love defines the person's life and corresponds to his real nature. However, man was made autonomous, following the serpent's advice, that is, a 'different gospel'.  

The teachings of karma and reincarnation are another expression of that same 'gospel', not of the gospel of freedom and love in Christ. 

The changes that take place within a person and the 'evolutions', as they are perceived by the followers of this dogma, occur without contact with the absolute existence, without communion with a personal God, Who is love. Man becomes completely autonomous. He is not conscious of the existence of a God, which can intervene in his life. He does not seek a god outside of himself. When he is happy, he attributes this happiness to himself and is confined within himself. When he is unhappy, he is led into passiveness; he does not seek a way out. Nor does he seek help from anyone outside of himself. 

He who believes in karma and reincarnation sinks into his misery and does not hope. He does not seek a God, nor anyone from his surroundings. He is expected to passively accept his state without 'attachment'. He cannot experience faith and gratitude for God's presence in his life. Even if he refers to 'a law of grace', it is aimed at  mechanistic and automatic consequences of a blind law, and this is why he is called on to act without internal involvement, without 'attachment', as he claims. Nevertheless, man is by nature a communion of persons. This is why the complete loneliness in which the dogma of karma and reincarnation immerses its believer constitutes an 'unnatural' state. 

On the contrary, the Christian believer accepts with gratitude all states in life and seeks a solution that is external to himself. He seeks God's face and the communion of love with Him. This gives him a deeper meaning in life. He feels that God does not abandon him and resides close to him, even if he faces negative situations. For the believer, sorrows and pain hold a deeper meaning. There are no unchangeable situations for him in life, an unalterable 'destiny', which is determined through a blind law. A person's will and God's grace can alter the spiritual state and life of that person. A Christian does not face anything passively but responsibly and with awareness of God's presence in his life. The Christian has undoubtedly abandoned the path of being distant and autonomous and follows the path of the 'new creation' in Christ, that is, the path of gratitude, love and hope. 

The dogma of the pre-existence of the soul and of reincarnation has been condemned by the Church as foreign to the Christian faith. Still there are guruistic, neognostic, theosophic, occult groups which claim that the dogma of karma and reincarnation was an integral part of Christ's teachings and of the first Church. 

These views rely on occult sources and are a result of para-psychological and spiritual practices and 'experimentation'. This means that they are the fruit of religious convictions from a sphere outside Christianity. 

The occultists project examples of 'memory' and use 'recollection' techniques. But if they do not concern situations which can be interpreted in a different way or cases of conscious deceit, we still find ourselves in front of 'phenomena' and 'testimonies' that are of no scientific, but only religious value. In order for them to be accepted, one must abandon the spiritual sphere of Christian faith and move to the sphere of Asian spirituality. 

Even people within the sphere of orthodox Hinduism, who believe in reincarnation, when referring to the phenomena of so-called 'spontaneous memory', underline that they pertain to 'demonic seizures', meaning demonic states. 

There is no Continuation in the Life of Personality 

The followers of reincarnation claim that on the path to 'liberation' there exists an intermediate state in the 'cosmic spheres' of the spiritual world. In this state, the personality of the previous life is dissolved and disappears before the soul is reborn into a new body. However, if the soul completely rejects its previous earthly personality, then, when it returns to life in a new reincarnation, it does not involve the same being, but another. 

So with reincarnation there is no continuity between successive lives. The destruction and disintegration of personality of every human after death does not differ so much from the atheistic conviction regarding man's extinction. In reality, the only thing that gets reincarnated is karma that is broken away from the body. This conviction has as a consequence that the being, who receives a new body, does not have, and cannot have any memory of a former existence, so that it can then achieve correction of its life and perfection during the coming lives.  

Consequently, it is possible that 'momentarily' the reincarnation theory satisfies some, offering an explanation for injustice and inequality, but in essence, it does not solve the problem, since man's personality dissolves and the being that is reincarnated does not have the required memory of those crimes for which it is being asked to pay. M. Albrecht brings up as an example the case of Joseph Stalin. The reincarnation of this dictator could suffer for Stalin's terrible crimes, without retaining any memory that indicates to him that he is Joseph Stalin. Besides, there is no indication that it is possible to ensure the 'evolution' of Stalin's new reincarnation; he could just as well increase his 'bad karma', instead of living a life that would drive him into 'evolution' into a new reincarnation.

But since one's personality dissolves and there is no ontological connection between the two beings, the possibility of 'another chance' proves ungrounded.  

The 'Cosmic Game' 

According to the views of the Theosophical Society, faith in divine providence leads the Church into desertion. To regain lost ground, the Christian Church needs to replace this faith with the belief of karma and reincarnation, which completely satisfies the evolved intelligence of modern man, argues Cooper. 

But this belief constitutes a religious conviction which 'exceeds' any possibility of guarantee in the human intellect. This is accepted in the areas of guruistic – occult groups that preach reincarnation as a 'key solution' for man's and the world's existential problems. 

The teacher of the 'harmonious life', following guru Sai Baba's steps, referring to 'the creation of the world' and the soul's 'involvement' in karmic relations and 'tendencies', writes:   
“The question comes to mind as how this cosmic game got started. How and why was the first samskara (impression or tendency) developed.” “The origin of the universe has been a question which has enticed the human mind into reflection ever since we've existed on this planet.” (Robert Najemy, Universal Philosophy, p.142,90).  

Najemy makes reference to various religious groups, which each “offers their own creation stories”, but that are “beyond the capacity of our limited mind to understand” (Universal Philosophy, p. 90). The teacher of 'harmonious life' presents as his own answer the belief in reincarnation: 

“The idea is that the spirit, for some reason, has separated from its perfect eternal state of union with God and is experiencing life in the physical world. Although the Spirit, in reality, remains perfect in its union with God, its projection on the earth plane, that is, the soul in the incarnated body, loses its awareness of that divine state. The soul then begins to experience and experiment with the physical world by entering into physical vehicles. 

“At first the soul could manifest itself only through very simple vehicles such as one-celled organisms like amoebas. Eventually as the soul has more and more contact with the physical world, through repeated birth and death of these various simple forms of life, it gradually develops the ability to incarnate into more advanced physical vehicles, such as plants, fish, insects, animals, primates and finally human beings”. (Robert Najemy, The Mystical Circle of Life, p. 140-141).

How is it possible for the soul, which is a 'projection' and 'reflection' of the Absolute, to lose consciousness of its godly state and start wandering about in the material world, to obtain something that evidently it did not have, the experience of matter? How is it possible for the perfect Spirit to be 'trapped' in matter? How and why did it have to be firstly reincarnated into 'inferior entities', such as is the amoeba, before it begun the 'evolutionary course' upwards? Wouldn't it be more natural to pass through in a contrary stream towards the bottom, from a manifested spirit to be embodied into the entity of man and then to fall further down, to become humanoid, animal, fish, plant, amoeba, mineral, since it 'desired' to experience all levels of matter? 
We see that the belief in reincarnation does not at all satisfy the 'evolved mind of contemporary man'. In this Robert Najemy also agrees. He writes:
“Because our conceptual ability and language are limited by the concepts of time and space, there is no way we can understand the final truth about creation with words or the rational mind. The answer to this question lies within the higher mind which is able to transcend time and space and realize the answer through direct experience of the process of creation itself. That answer is, of course, incommunicable as our language does not offer the necessary terminology”. (Universal Philosophy, p. 90)
The 'mind' belongs to the 'world of dualism', says Najemy. So, to arrive at an 'experienced' answer to the problem of creation, we must 'overcome' the world of 'dualism'. “However, even if once you have experienced the answer, you cannot communicate it because it is beyond duality and beyond the comprehension of the mind. Accepting that it has started in some way...” (Universal Philosophy, p. 142-143).  
That which the 'harmonious life' offers as an answer to the problem of how the first 'impression or tendency' (karma) developed, and of how the soul lost 'consciousness of its godly state', constitutes a religious view, which belongs within the sphere of Asian perception, external to the Christian sphere. This is how this religious view is expressed:
“The stance of Universal Philosophy is that creation is not an event that took place millions of years ago but rather a process that is eternally happening every second.” ... “There is a void, an infinite non-physical, unchanging, unmanifest Reality from which creation is constantly being projected somewhat in the way that an image is projected onto a screen by a projector.” (Universal Philosophy, p. 90)
A similar religious approach is attempted by so-called 'Esoteric Christianity'. According to the 'Esoteric Orthodoxy' of Boris Mouravvief “Orthodox Tradition teaches that the Universe was created by a sacrifice of God...God's sacrifice is Self-limitation by manifestation.” “ in the Universe is nothing but a perpetual process of creation in every domain, on every plane, and at every step.” (Boris Mouravieff, Gnosis, Volume 1-Exoteric Cycle, p. 70,75)
D. Dorizas of 'Esoteric Christianity' expresses this referring to man's purpose in life: “You will be able to be diffused in the same way within forms and within the Formless and Non-manifested Essence, that exists and governs the Infinite Universes. A purpose and aim is to become Exhalation, and exhalation is the Word. And the Word is Flow, which is continuously recycled and perpetually transmits consecutively in a movement and vibrations so fast, that it seems not to palpitate or vibrate. When you become Exhalation, the Word, the Endless Flow of the Universe, you will be absorbed into the Formless, unifying with the Formless, but without losing the possibility to manifest yourself in Infinite ways...” (D. Dorizas, 2001, p. 84 [translated from Greek text]).       
These beliefs move externally to Christian faith, are anti-Christian teachings, which project absolute monism and the cyclical outlook of history, meaning a pointless 'cosmic game':
“Although this physical creation is in a constant rhythmic process of creation and destruction, this Ultimate Reality (as Spirit or Consciousness) cannot be created or destroyed. All of creation alternates between expansion, manifestation and contraction then back into the latent unmanifest state. Just as we have the rhythmic cycles of night and day, summer and winter, we have the cycles of creation and reabsorption of the universe back into the Unmanifest.” (Universal Philosophy, p. 91)    
This endless 'cosmic game' of continuous alternation between 'expansion towards manifestation' and 'contraction towards absence, into a latent unmanifest state', the continuous recycling of all, cannot possibly provide us with a satisfactory answer to the question for a deeper meaning of life. It's a religious view that does not offer solutions but leads to dead ends. It sinks a person into an endless loneliness.
Based on this perception, man is indeed doomed to loneliness. He is deserted to his 'destiny' helpless. Nobody can change his fate, not himself, nor another person, not even God. He has substituted Divine Love and Divine Providence with karmic plans, which define events in his life just like episodes of a movie, which are projected from a machine onto a screen. In the end, what is written in the movie will be screened, irrespectively of how philanthropic or horrific the scenes of the 'movie' are which are played in each life.   
According to the perception of the teachers of reincarnation, one must not even try to change the 'scenario' of his life. But even if he did try, it would be in vain, as the 'movie' will be played in any case. What one is called to do is to 'play his part' without 'identification [with things]' and without 'attachment'. It does not matter what the role is, if it is the role of a robber or of that being robbed, a criminal or a victim!  
The behavior of others towards him is also a result of 'karmic stipulations'. The same applies to relations formed with one's relatives, school, profession. The 'roles' change continuously from life to life. In one life one is a mother, in another one is a father, in the next a spouse, in another they afflict him, torture him, treat him unjustly, rob him, lead him into wretchedness and death. Under no circumstances is there the element of responsibility for one's fellow human or the concept of injustice. There is no God-lawgiver, who institutes ethical laws and calls on man to follow God's path, who will lead him into the fulfillment of the meaning of man's life, according to God's will. Man is only subject to karma's blind law and will not have to explain himself to anybody for his actions. He is submerged in complete loneliness.     
What is important is not what one does, but if he does it with 'attachment' or without identifying with what he does. It does not matter if his action is considered good or bad, but if he feels it is helping him in happiness and 'evolution'. “We want to see what’s useful for our evolution and not get caught up in concepts of sin, guilt” (Universal Philosophy, p. 207). For teachers of absolute monism, every action, regardless of whether it's considered good or bad, “is equally an expression of the one Universal Consciousness and thus, each deserves the same respect and love independent of what he or she does or does not do on the external levels.” (Universal Philosophy, p. 71)
If someone is strong, and considers it 'useful' to oppress someone weak, he may do it, 'without attachment'. If someone else is weak and is oppressed, he must also endure 'without attachment' or 'empathy'. Both deserve the same love and respect, regardless of whether they are oppressors or oppressed. Nobody wrongs anybody. The ones who perceive things differently are moving in the level of 'dualism' and are at a low evolutionary level. This is the theoretical foundation of ethics based on reincarnation.  
There is no injustice in reality. The ones who 'do us injustice' as we think, are only carriers of actions that, according to the 'scenario' of our life's movie, must take place, for our evolution's sake! If we endure without protesting, we will have learned our 'lesson' and in a future life we will advance in evolution! (self-evolution).   
It becomes obvious that the precept of karma and reincarnation does not lead to the development of man's personality, but to its destruction; it does not nurture relations of mutual responsibility and love between people, but the maggot of ego centrism. This faith does not know mercy and threatens the pillars of our whole society and civilization.  

The belief of karma and reincarnation means a reversal in the evaluation of our society. Any form of sociability is negatively evaluated, because the aim is not the development of society in all its expressions, but abstinence from every active and essential participation in social relations. Every such participation and relation is considered 'empathy' or 'attachment', which creates 'karma', and leads a person to be bound to the endless wheel of samsara, to the continuous 'torture' of successive births and deaths. This 'cosmic game', in which man also takes part, does not at all make sense.       
Nobody doubts that each person has the right to make his religious choice, to keep his faith in the resurrection and hope in Christ or to become a follower of reincarnation. But this choice must take place freely. That is why, one must realize that both of these are incompatible with each other. One cannot believe in reincarnation without denying the hope of resurrection. He cannot say, “I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come” (The Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed), and at the same time confess belief in karma and reincarnation.    
For these beliefs to be taught as Christian, using Christian terminology and using the Holy Scriptures, is a pitiable error ‒ if, of course, this does not occur on purpose ‒ otherwise it is dishonest. Either way, it causes confusion and prevents unsuspecting people from having a free choice.      
If someone wishes to choose to believe in reincarnation, they must beforehand know that apart from the fact that this path is anti-Christian, they are not led to a 'better life' or to the 'development of man's abilities'. Because the final aim, according to the principle of karma and reincarnation is not a better life, but the termination of life, the 'absorption' into an impersonal 'Universal Reality'.
On the contrary, the Christian faith, according to which God, out of love, created the world and created man 'according to His image and to His likeness', not as a result of His divine substance, but His divine will and freedom. It offers an answer to the question of creation and deeper meaning in man's life. This meaning does not end in an 'absorption' of a person into the 'Universal Reality', but into his participation in God's life 'in Jesus Christ', with the eternal communion of love with the Holy Trinity (for more information, please see our book The Orthodox Church: Faith-Worship-Life, Preveza 1991).   

Dr. Of Theology - Dr. Of Philosophy