Contemporary theology

Saint Basil of Ostrog

Basil was born in Popovo Selo in Herzegovina, of simple and devout parents. From his youth he was filled with love for the Church of God, and when he grew up he went to the monastery of the Dormi-tion of the Mother of God at Trebinje, and became a monk. As such, he quickly became known for his serious and rare ascetic life, for he loaded himself with ascetic practices, each harder than the last. He was later chosen and consecrated as Bishop of Zahum and Skenderia, much against his will.

As a bishop, he first lived in the monastery at Tvrdo"s, whence, as a good pastor, he confirmed his flock in the Orthodox faith, keeping it from the cruelty of the Turks and the guile of the Latins. But when he was too pressed-upon by his enemies, and when Tvrdos* was destroyed by the Turks, Basil moved to Ostrog, where he lived in strict asceticism, protecting his flock by his unceasing and loving prayers. He went peacefully to the Lord in the 16th century, leaving his whole and healing body, uncor-rupt and wonderworking, to the present day.

On Euthanasia

By Very Rev. Fr. Very Rev. Fr. Milorad Loncar, Serbian Orthodox Priest of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Very Rev. Fr. Zoran Pajkanovic, Phd, Serbian Orthodox Priest of Banjaluka, Repubica Srpska, B and H

The perception of human life has always been the subject of interest within all layers of society and people of all beliefs. Basically, there is a religious, philosophical and scientific approach to understanding human life.(1) Depending on one’s conviction, their approach to life is also expressed. Christianity recognizes man’s goal of communion with God in his earthly and eternal life. A philosophical approach requires a rational approach that determines norms in the evaluation of life, and modern science excludes the existence of a spiritual, invisible world that cannot be subjected to experiment. The relationship with life is also conditioned by the relation to the question of euthanasia. So, the question of euthanasia touches the most subtle relationship to human life.

The Paschal Service Of The Eastern Orthodox Church

 Enjoy ye all the feast of faith; receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. (Sermon of St. John Chrysostom, read at Paschal Matins)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the center of the Christian faith. St. Paul says that if Christ is not raised from the dead, then our preaching and faith are in vain (I Cor. 15:14). Indeed, without the resurrection there would be no Christian preaching or faith. The disciples of Christ would have remained the broken and hopeless band which the Gospel of John describes as being in hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. They went nowhere and preached nothing until they met the risen Christ, the doors being shut (John 20: 19). Then they touched the wounds of the nails and the spear; they ate and drank with Him. The resurrection became the basis of everything they said and did (Acts 2-4): ". . . for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have" (Luke 24:39).

Sixth Sunday of Great Lent

PALM SUNDAY, THE ENTRANCE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST INTO JERUSALEM 

FIRST ANTIPHON

VERSE: I love the Lord because He has heard the voice of my supplication.

REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.

VERSE: Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.

REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.

VERSE: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.

Venerable Mary of Egypt

Saint Zosimas (April 4) was a monk at a certain Palestinian monastery on the outskirts of Caesarea. Having dwelt at the monastery since his childhood, he lived there in asceticism until he reached the age of fifty-three. Then he was disturbed by the thought that he had attained perfection, and needed no one to instruct him. “Is there a monk anywhere who can show me some form of asceticism that I have not attained? Is there anyone who has surpassed me in spiritual sobriety and deeds?”

Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Zosimas, you have struggled valiantly, as far as this is in the power of man. However, there is no one who is righteous (Rom 3:10). So that you may know how many other ways lead to salvation, leave your native land, like Abraham from the house of his father (Gen 12:1), and go to the monastery by the Jordan.”

The Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the earliest Christian feasts, and was already being celebrated in the fourth century.

There is a painting of the Annunciation in the catacomb of Priscilla in Rome dating from the second century. The Council of Toledo in 656 mentions the Feast, and the Council in Trullo in 692 says that the Annunciation was celebrated during Great Lent. The Greek and Slavonic names for the Feast may be translated as “good tidings.” This, of course, refers to the Incarnation of the Son of God and the salvation He brings. The background of the Annunciation is found in the Gospel of Saint Luke (1:26-38). The troparion describes this as the “beginning of our salvation, and the revelation of the eternal mystery,” for on this day the Son of God became the Son of Man.

St. Gregory Dialogus, the Pope of Rome

Saint Gregory Dialogus, Pope of Rome, was born in Rome around the year 540. His grandfather was Pope Felix, and his mother Sylvia (November 4) and aunts Tarsilla and Emiliana were also numbered among the saints by the Roman Church. Having received a most excellent secular education, he attained high government positions.

Leading a God-pleasing life, he yearned for monasticism with all his soul. After the death of his father, Saint Gregory used his inheritance to establish six monasteries. At Rome he founded a monastery dedicated to the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, where he received monastic tonsure. Later, on a commission of Pope Pelagius II, Saint Gregory lived for a while in Constantinople. There he wrote his Commentary on the Book of Job.