ΛΥΧΝΟΣ A GREEK ORTHODOX PERIODICAL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. Volume 28, Issue 4 JUNE 2013 JULY The Foremost Apostles Peter and Paul

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1 ΛΥΧΝΟΣ «Λύχνος τοῖς ποσί μου ὁ νόμος σου καὶ φῶς ταῖς τρίβοις μου» Ψαλμ 118, 105 A GREEK ORTHODOX PERIODICAL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE Volume 28, Issue 4 JUNE 2013 JULY 2013 The Foremost Apostles Peter and Paul to embrace is because both O n the 29th of June, we celebrate the memory of men were martyred in Rome. St Peter, the Leader of the 12 Without a doubt this icon Apostles and of St Paul, the reveals the complementary Apostle to the Gentiles. St nature of their ministry. Gregory Palamas says: If we Although they were very commemorate each of the different and came to know saints with hymns and our Lord Jesus Christ in very appropriate songs of praise, different ways, they were of how much more should we one mind and one heart, as St celebrate the memory of Paul writes to the Ephesians: Peter and Paul, the supreme endeavouring to keep the Leaders of the pre-eminent unity of the Spirit in the company of the Apostles? bonds of peace. There is one (Homily 28). body and one Spirit, just as These two men represent two you were called in one hope very different biblical of your calling; one Lord, one personalities. St Peter is a faith, one baptism; one God simple uneducated Jewish and Father of all, who is fisherman from Galilee. A above all, and through all, and defining event in his life is the in you all (Eph. 4:3-6). confession, You are the St Gregory Palamas says: Christ, the Son of the living Peter was a man who could God (Matt. 16:16). Peter is be described in a few words. distinguished by his humility, As for Paul, what tongue can courage and zeal. St Paul is a depict even to a limited extent Jew of the tribe of Benjamin. his endurance unto death for He is an educated Roman citizen and Pharisee and at Christ s sake? The only one to equal him in this was first, a zealous persecutor of Christians. In 2 Cor. 11: 21- Peter, but hear how humble he is when he says of 12:9, Paul defends his apostleship, recounting his! "# " $% "&'()*+*,- himself, For I am the least of the apostles, who am not sufferings, visions, and weaknesses. worthy to be called an apostle (1 Cor. 15:9). Given that The classic icon for this blessed feast shows the two Holy Paul made the same confession of faith as Peter, and had Apostles embracing each other. For some, this embrace the same zeal, humility and love, surely they received the suggests R % % S %>"%TD)&U $ 1 %%! "N0%MMM /" 0 $ 1/ "%2&,(34)&5678 the reconciliation of the two apostles after their same rewards from Him who measures everything with disagreement N J: ;<=>&2&iA&4(&jkkl4, / " FG >H %I1< JK 1 tuvwf^caxfy^\az\xf /" 0 % F "# " L% MMM 9: ;<=> V/" 0!1 N% 0 XYZ[\]^_`abcdefab_gha`c 9G" 1% F! "N0% /" 0!1 N% 0 &)W4& : G" 1% F! "N0%65O&()P YZ[\]^_`abcdefab_gha`c LQ LL in Antioch. Another reason they are shown Vm>% n>% { >$ " # " >$ " # " 64-5 /" 0 }% 10%,2BB)&o G%% "n% p % o+qc4d(6b(rrr sm>% n>%646(&o(( completely just scales. L E. /" 0 % F "# ",7o /" 0 }% 10% Inside Inside

2 Page 2 Youth and Society 9. Modern Times, New Morality here are many ideas circulating in the World, T which are aimed at the young people. They insist, if the Church wants to have with it the youth, it must change its anachronistic morality! Such ideas, more than likely cause wonder, and at times bewilderment. And your wonderment increases as you see the Church to pay no attention to such demands, and to continue its own way. Such ideas can only be called irresponsible and destructive for the morality of the world societies. The Church is not a worldly institution, but an eternal spiritual body, established by the Lord Jesus, who is both her Head and her Leader. Members of the Church are all those who have been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, so we also belong to the Church, together with the famous persons and include the Apostles, the Saints, the Martyrs and all the devout people who graced its ranks in piety through the centuries. The laws of the Church have been given to us by the Lord himself, and so they are eternal and immutable. They apply to all people, in every age, including the generation of youth in our times. If that is the situation, the Church cannot possibly change its morality. The situation is best explained by St.Paul, who says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13' 8). History affirms the value of Christian morality, as it is beyond doubt that European Civilization has developed and flourished on Christian values. Furthermore, if the Church were to change its values, it would then abandon its mission in this world, which is to liberate man from sin and make him new, as God wants him. So new in fact, that when he leaves this world, he would be so cleansed from evil, that he would be suitable to live eternally in the Kingdom of God. As for those who want to impose a new morality on the Church, this will never be. Instead the Church calls to them in love and with all its strength to join its ranks, so they can avoid their own moral suicide. Apostle Peter Commemorated on June 29 th ΛΥΧΝΟΣ From the Saints of our Church he Holy Apostle Peter was a married fisherman T originally from the town of Bethsaida. Along with his brother Andrew he remained at the side of Jesus throughout His ministry. Peter is mentioned many times in the Gospels and the Acts. He is the courageous Apostle, full of life, spontaneity and dynamism. Peter rejects our Lord three times during His trial, cries bitterly for this and repents. He is the first disciple to confess Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God. Peter s humility causes him to proclaim earnestly when the Lord miraculously fills his nets with fish: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord! (Lk 5:8). On the day of Pentecost, Peter is filled with the Holy Spirit and speaks to the many Jews present. More than 3000 people repent and are baptised. The number of the faithful continues to grow with his preaching. Later, Peter journeys to Samaria, Lydda, Joppa (where he raises Tabitha from the dead) and Caesarea (where he speaks about Jesus to the Roman centurion Cornelius). He preaches throughout Palestine and Asia Minor, in Italy and Illyria, performing many miracles, healing of the sick and raising the dead; even his shadow cures ills. In Rome, around 64AD, Peter is one of the many Christians arrested and is condemned to death by Emperor Nero. He is sentenced to death by crucifixion. He ordains Clement to succeed Linus as the Bishop of Rome and exhorts the Church there before he goes to his death with joy. When he sees the cross before him, he asks the executioner to crucify him upside-down, because he feels himself unworthy to die in the same way as did his Lord.

3 ΛΥΧΝΟΣ Ο Αγώνας των Μαρτύρων Page 3 Η εορτή των Αγίων Πάντων που είναι η πρώτη Κυριακή μετά την Πεντηκοστή, καλεί τους Ορθοδόξους Χριστιανούς σε αγώνα πνευματικό. Προβάλλοντας τα ένδοξα αναστήματα των μαρτύρων και των ομολογητών της πίστης μας, η Εκκλησία στρέφεται σε μας τους σημερινούς Χριστιανούς, και με τα λόγια του Απ. Παύλου μας προτρέπει: «Λοιπόν και μεις αφού μας τριγυρίζει τόσο μεγάλο και πυκνό σύννεφο ανθρώπων, που μαρτύρησαν για την αλήθεια της πίστης μας, ας πετάξομε από πάνω μας κάθε βάρος που μας δημιουργούν οι φροντίδες της ζωής τούτης και πιο πολύ την αμαρτία που τόσο εύκολα μας παρασύρει και ας τρέχωμε με υπομονή τον αγώνα που προβάλλει μπροστά μας» (Εβρ. Ιβ 1, ερμ. κ. Τρεμπέλα). Αληθινά γενναίες ψυχές οι άγιοι μάρτυρες. Το πνεύμα του κόσμου τους πολεμούσε. Αλλ αυτοί είχαν δει μιά άλλη διαφορετική πραγματικότητα απ ότι έβλεπαν οι άνθρωποι του κόσμου. Μέσα τους είχε μιλήσει ο Θεός. Είχαν θρέψει την αγνή τους καρδιά με τη χάρη και τη πίστη στο Θεό. Το θέλημα του Θεού γινόταν δικό τους θέλημα. Ο κόσμος δεν μπορούσε να τους αιχμαλωτίσει με τα θέλγητρά του. Όχι πώς δεν αγαπούσαν το κόσμο και τους ανθρώπους, αλλά γιατί είχαν γνωρίσει μέσα τους μιά αγάπη μεγαλύτερη και τελειότερη από όλες τις αγάπες του κόσμου και των ανθρώπων την Αγάπη του Θεού. Και γι αυτή την αγάπη ήταν έτοιμοι να απαρνηθούν τα πάντα. Το ν αγαπήσει κανείς το Θεό και ν αποφασίσει να αγωνιστεί και να μαρτυρήσει είναι υπόθεση της ελεύθερης βούλησης του. Κανένα δεν βιάζει ο Θεός. Ο Χριστός ζητεί την ελεύθερη συγκατάθεσή μας. Αλλά εκείνοι που αποφασίζουν, έχουν την αγάπη Του, τη Χάρη Του και τη βοήθειά Του και σαν αισθανθούν μέσα τους αυτή την αγάπη και την παρουσία του Κυρίου, τότε εμπιστεύονται τα πάντα σ Αυτόν. Ο πνευματικός αγώνας του μάρτυρα ήταν για κάθε εποχή δύσκολος. Σήμερα όμως στη τόσο υλόφρονη και ηθικά βλάσφημη εποχή μας έγινε ακόμα πιο δύσκολος. Γιατί οι πειρασμοί είναι πιο ποικίλοι και πιο ισχυροί..είχαν γνωρίσει μέσα τους μιά αγάπη μεγαλύτερη και τελειότερη από όλες τις αγάπες του κόσμου. Στην εποχή μας ανθεί και θριαμβεύει μιά απέραντη βιομηχανία πειρασμών. Οι άνθρωποι κινηγούν τη προσωπική τους ευχαρίστηση και καλοπέραση και αδιαφορούν για τα ηθικά τους καθήκοντα. Η ζωή ερμηνεύεται με το «τι φάγωμεν, τι πίωμεν» και ο πνευματικός αγώνας δεν ελκύει πολλές ψυχές. Παρά ταύτα, όπως πάντα, έτσι και σήμερα ο Θεός έχει τους δικούς Του. Είναι οι άνθρωποι της αγάπης, της καλοσύνης, της θυσίας για το συνάνθρωπο. Είναι αυτοί που ο αγώνας τους έγινε ολοκαύτωμα για τη δόξα του Θεού και την αγάπη των αδελφών τους. Σ αυτούς αναπαύεται ο Θεός. Αυτοί είναι το αλάτι της κοινωνίας και το φως του κόσμου όπως τους όρισε ο Χριστός στην επί του όρους ομιλία Του. Αν το θελήσουμε μπορούμε και μεις να μπούμε στη συντροφιά τους. Τώρα ιδιαίτερα που γιορτάζουμε την μνήμη τους, ας τους παρακαλέσουμε «Ἅγιοι Μάρτυρες, οἱ ο καλῶς ἀθλήσαντες καὶ στεφανωθέντες, προσβεύσατε πρὸς ς Κύριον, ἐλεηθ λεηθῆναι τὰς ς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν».

4 Page 4 ΛΥΧΝΟΣ On the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit ne day a young man asks St. Seraphim of Sarov O What is the aim of the Christian life? St. Seraphim replies It is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit. Prayer, fasting, almsgiving, keeping vigil, doing good in Christ s name and all Christian works and virtues however good they may be in themselves can only serve as a means (indispensible means) to achieving that specific end and are not the purpose of life he says. He makes it clear to the young man that the Christian life is in vain if man does not seek to acquire the Holy Spirit. St. Seraphim reads everything as directly related to the Holy Spirit. The acquisition of the Grace of the Holy Spirit is at the heart of every lesson in spirituality and explanation of the human condition. Adam is understood through these means as having reached godlike dignity through the Holy Spirit which was breathed into him. A soul would have been useless to Adam, explains St. Seraphim, had he not been breathed upon. The young man asks How can I know that I am in the presence of the Holy Spirit? St. Seraphim begins to shine in the light of the Holy Spirit. The young man cannot look at him. Through the prayers of the Saint, the young man also begins to shine. How do you feel now? Father Seraphim asks the young man. I feel such calmness and peace in my soul that no words can express it. An extraordinary sweetness and joy in my heart the young man replies. St. Seraphim teaches that the grace of God is a real thing; tangible to human senses and that just as Jacob and Abraham saw God through the grace of His Holy Spirit, so too can every man and woman experience that lifegiving energy. Gospel Reading July 21 st (Matthew 8: 5-13) Fourth Sunday of Matthew his passage tells T the story of the Roman centurion who asks Jesus to heal his sick servant. Jesus tells the centurion that he will come to the centurion s house to heal the servant. The centurion then responds to Jesus with these immortal words: Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed (verse 8). Jesus marvels at the centurion s response. Twice in the gospels it is said of Jesus that He marvels: At the unbelief of the people in His hometown of Nazareth (Mark 6:6) and at the belief of this centurion. The great praise which Jesus gives to the centurion encourages all of us to examine ourselves to see how we too might imitate the centurion s faith. Firstly, the manner in which the centurion, a Roman army officer, refers to Jesus, a Jew, as Lord emphasises the great confidence that the centurion has in Jesus s ability and power to heal the centurion s servant. So great is the centurion s confidence, that he believes a word from Jesus is enough for the miracle of healing to occur. Secondly, the deep humility expressed by the centurion, a person in position of authority and power, is striking. Expressions of humility do not usually emanate from those who exercise authority and power as the office which they hold often encourages them to think highly of themselves. Not this centurion. He readily acknowledges that he is unworthy to receive Jesus as a guest in his home. His humility stems from a clear understanding of his own spiritual condition. It is such genuine self-knowledge which is the foundation of true repentance and humility and which opens the door to God s miraculous intervention in our lives. As Orthodox Christians, we remember the centurion s words each time we pray the Service of Preparation for Holy Communion. When reading the prayer of St John Chrysostom we begin with the confession: I know, O Lord my God, that I am neither worthy nor sufficient that You should come under the roof of the house of my soul.

5 ΛΥΧΝΟΣ Page 5 I s Marriage old fashioned? I guess what is implied by this question is that marriage is outdated and somehow undesirable for modern youth. Some people feel that relationships are desirable but there is no need to get such a relationship blessed by the Church. There is also an implication in the question that sex before marriage is permissible. Let s face it, this is the current trend. Firstly, I would like to point out that the life experience of millions of Christians throughout the centuries is that going against God s commandments sooner or later leads to unhappiness. Giving in to passions hinders God s Grace, which means we cannot progress spiritually, experience true prayer and God s Grace and peace. Many young people will respond by saying that staying pure before marriage is just not possible in today s day and age. The Church would respond that God never puts burdens on us that we cannot bear, and that it is possible to stay pure. Of course, if one gives in to so called lesser temptations - pornography, going to night clubs, keeping company with those that are not close to God, etc, then it can become virtually impossible to stay pure. Looking at inappropriate images on the internet etc causes certain physical changes in hormones, and one thing leads to another, we enter a slippery slope. Diligence with such so called lesser temptations can help enormously. Even more powerful is having a rich spiritual life. If you truly love God, genuinely participate in the Liturgy, go to Confession regularly and prepare well for Holy Communion, if you have truly tasted the sweetness of prayer, if you belong to a Sunday School, an Οµάδα, or some Church Fellowship, have friends who genuinely love God, if you regularly read Orthodox Christian books and the Bible, then you can become so overwhelmed that you just do not feel like indulging in acts of selfgratification and appearing cool to your peers. Genuine closeness to the Church gives us peace and the strength to live according to God s word. Marriage may be old fashioned, but it is very holy and beautiful. A man and a woman who love each other, respect each other, enjoy each other s company, communicate well and enjoy communicating with each other, decide they want to spend the rest of their lives together. So they ask the Church to marry them. This is a highly positive aspect of their love. Marriage for some is like a legal contract and nothing more. Marriage reaches a higher level if there is love and respect. Marriage reaches an even higher level if it also has a spiritual dimension. Marriage is one of the Sacraments of our Church. All Sacraments, such as Baptism, Confession, Holy Communion, bring us closer to God. It is the same with Marriage. There is more to it than the couple coming to Church for the marriage service. By participating in the Sacrament, their marriage becomes a journey towards the Kingdom. They help each other spiritually. They strive to forgive and be patient with each other, to be tolerant, to not have grudges. Someone who has been cultivated in the Church and influenced by Orthodox Fathers of the Church will enter marriage wanting to give, to serve, to love, and expects nothing in return. Jesus said that those that want to follow Him need to deny themselves and take up their cross. Someone who has asked the Church to marry them will try and put this into practice in their marriage. Marriage could be seen as old-fashioned. Good Orthodox Christian marriage can be very beautiful. It will have its ups and downs, but the beautiful bits out-weigh the hard bits. Indeed, patience through the hardships of marriage brings its own beauty and Grace. Above all, a good Christian marriage becomes a journey towards Heaven, which is the most important and the most beautiful journey of all. Fr D. K.

6 Page 6 ΛΥΧΝΟΣ any people M often wonder if saints exist in our times, and if so, where, and how do they live? These questions also troubled young Frangiskos, born on the island of Paros in At 17, he moved to Athens where he worked honourably and did not forget the poor. In one case, when he met a Gerontissa, he asked if she knew of anyone who was sick. When she took him to a nun suffering from tuberculosis, he neither regarded the disease which was contagious nor his poverty, but comforted the sick nun and handed her two gold coins, his life savings. The young Frangiskos had been faithful with the little he was given and the Lord saw it fit to multiply his talents. Having stumbled upon a book of the lives of saints, he was moved so much that he decided to imitate their prayer and fasting. Eventually, the grace of God led him to Mt Athos in 1921, where his search for ascetics and holy elders would take him to new heights of holiness. Initially, he was allowed to suffer a multitude of temptations, but courageously enduring them, he was granted unceasing prayer of the heart. After four years, he was tonsured a monk and given the name Joseph, in the cave of St Athanasios. Gradually, he was initiated into the mystical life of Hesychasm: the life of stillness and concentration of the nous within the heart. He practiced this noetic prayer with tears every night in his cave for six hours, and spent the day doing prostrations and uprooting the passions. He became known as Elder Joseph the Hesychast and Cave-dweller. He reached a state of holiness where he was granted to see visions and signs. With holiness so rare in our times, we need to remember that we are all called to be holy, for God is holy (1 Peter 1:16). This is necessary if we are to become citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. Elder Joseph struggled for this citizenship, sacrificing the temporal and corruptible things for the sake of holiness, which is eternal. The Orthodox Church: 455 Questions and Answers by Stanley S. Harakas Published by Light and Life, ISBN: , 354 pages. I had heard about this book through other book reviews done by the girls at our Omatha. It sounded like a very good book to read because it gave answers to questions about our Orthodox Church and its beliefs. This book is designed for easy use. The key is the "Index of topics" which is in alphabetical order. Each topic in the index has one or more numbers following it. The numbers which are in bold print direct you to the questions which deal directly with the topic. The other numbers which are in a lighter type style are cross references and may add some information. I really liked this book because it gave very clear, concise and straightforward answers to interesting topics. It was very easy to read and understand. My favourite part was the topic about death, as most of us are scared of death and question it. We are unsure about what happens to our souls after we die. Our common experience is that every human being will physically die, regardless of spiritual condition. However it is precisely how people who are devoted to God face death that is of crucial difference. For an unbeliever, death means the end. Therefore it is often viewed with terror and fear. On the contrary, Christians see that Christ's Resurrection has overcome death. In baptism, we share in Christ's death and Resurrection. So many holy men and women faced their death with peace of soul and heart and even with a spirit of victory. I believe that everyone should read this book. It is very good and worthwhile, with easily explained content and information. It is very straight to the point and has answers and explanations of spiritual topics that are easy to understand. 1 1 Editors Note: Answers to some questions given by the author of this book are general, and although well-meaning, occasionally reflect personal viewpoints which may not be in full accord with the views of the wider Church. When in doubt, it is always best to consult your spiritual Father or priest. A wider range of Orthodox Christian books for people of all ages in both Greek and English is available from the Orthodox Bookstore, 217 Bexley Rd, Kingsgrove. For further enquiries. Ph: (02) Internet:

7 ΛΥΧΝΟΣ Page 7 n November 2012, with the I blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos and His Eminence Metropolitan Konstantinos of Singapore, eight men from the Greek Orthodox Christian Society travelled to Medan, Indonesia, at the request of Fr Chrysostomos, an Orthodox priest of Indonesian background. This is the first of a series of articles in English outlining aspects of this missionary work. During our 10 day trip, we had the blessing to share three services with our Indonesian hosts: vespers on Saturday evening, Sunday Divine Liturgy and a Paraklisi. Prior to these services, we had no idea what to expect. How would language and culture influence our experience of these Orthodox services? We found that the shared spirit of Orthodoxy transcended these human differences. The Divine Liturgy was held in the church of St Demetrios, on the grounds of St Paul s Theological College. The Indonesian congregation had already taken their seats and were patiently waiting for the Liturgy to start at 7.30 am. The church was comfortably full and silent. There was a feeling of respectful solemnity that remained throughout the Liturgy. Once the Liturgy started, we shared the chanting with the Indonesian congregation. We chanted our response in Greek. The entire Indonesian congregation, led by Presbytera Elizabeth, chanted in Bahasa. Fr Chrysostomos chanted in both Greek and Bahasa. Despite the obvious differences in languages, the spirit was the same. We entered a different world, away from the day to day concerns, characterised by stillness and peace. At the moment of Holy Communion, all the Orthodox, Indonesian and Greek, took part of the same Holy Cup. After the Liturgy, our Indonesian hosts delighted in coming up and talking to us. They offered us a traditional Missionary Visit to Indonesia Part 1: Liturgical Services The Small Entrance during the Divine Liturgy at St Demetrios, Medan. The church is full of Indonesian Orthodox who chanted responses as one body in Bahasa. The Orthodox faithful approach for Holy Communion during the Divine Liturgy. During the Divine Liturgy, one of the faithful reads the Epistle in Bahasa. Paraklisi at the Church of Evangelismos, at St Sophia College. Many of the students were not familiar with the service of Paraklisi but followed the service using printed notes. All could not fit inside the church and some are seen outside. sweet, lapet a pyriamid of rice flour containing sugar and coconut, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed. The vespers on Saturday evening at St Demetrios and Paraklisi on Wednesday at St Sophia Collage took place after busy clinic days. The opportunity to pray with the people we worked with, and some of those we treated, resulted in an intimate atmosphere. This was made more intense by the services we shared. The Paraklisi was attended by many of the students and they were not familiar with the service. They patiently and respectfully followed as Presbytera Elizabeth chanted in Bahasa, alternating responses with our group. Dr John Psarommatis gave a short sermon (translated by Fr Chrysostomos) on Panagia and her importance in our life. After the service, our hosts offered us refreshments: an unusual tropical fruit, durian.

8 Page 8 ΛΥΧΝΟΣ The Edict of Milan, 313 AD onstantine the Great and his co-emperor Licinius, C 1700 years ago, issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed tolerance of all religions throughout the Roman Empire. For the three centuries before the Edict, Christians were persecuted or lived with the threat of persecutions. In 64 A.D, Emperor Nero accused Christians of burning Rome. The Christians were convicted in vast numbers, covered with wild beasts skins and torn to death by dogs fastened on crosses, and burned to serve as lamps by night.. (Tacitus, Annals XV). In the second and third century, many Christians were interrogated, tortured and killed. We know many of their names and their heroic feats. However, more Christians died in the last Great Persecution under Emperor Diocletian (which lasted from 303 to 313) than in the first two centuries. The Christians suffered burning of sacred books, destruction of churches, confiscation of property, banishment to the mines, sentences of torture and death. Some Christians were unable to withstand the tortures, others went into hiding but many thousands more accepted torture and death for Christ. So we can imagine how Christians felt when the new Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great issued the Edict of Milan, bringing the persecution of Christians to an end. Constantine restored all confiscated goods, set captives free, recalled exiles, financed the building of churches and had a search made for the relics of martyrs who died in the Great Persecution. Now for the first time, Christians were able to come under the protection of the emperor. Christians at the time must have wondered how this was possible and maybe in their hearts they whispered, Great are you O Lord and great are your works. An Overview of the Psalter f we pay close attention to the services of the Orthodox I Church, we would notice that the Psalms (collectively called the Psalter ) are everywhere in our prayer and worship. Attend any service and you will hear the Psalms, either entire Psalms or individual verses instructing us in worship. Pick up any Orthodox prayer book and you will find them. What does St John Chrysostom have to say about the Psalms? If we keep vigil in church, David (St John refers to the Psalms by David, the Prophet and King) comes first, last and central. If early in the morning we want songs and hymns, first, last and central is David again. If we are occupied with the funeral solemnities of those who have fallen asleep, or if virgins sit at home and spin, David is first, last and central. O amazing wonder! Many who have made little progress in literature know the Psalter by heart. Nor is it only in cities and churches that David is famous; in the village market, in the desert, and in uninhabitable land, he excites the praise of God. Why should I pray the Psalms? The Psalms are prayers inspired by God initially for the Jews but also for us Christians. They are not poems or songs written without purpose. If we study the Psalms, we will realise that they are very personal and come from the heart. They draw out our inner thoughts, our human problems, our fears and hopes. They put into words our sorrow for our sins. They are also about how following God may lead to loneliness and alienation in the world. The Psalms also glorify God through His beautiful creation. There is also questioning of God, lamenting before God and thanking God at all times of the day and night. So the Psalms touch every aspect of human life. Let us pray the Psalms with all this in mind.

9 ΛΥΧΝΟΣ Page 9 Sunday Dismissal Hymn ήμερον σωτηρία τῷ κόσμῳ γέγονεν, ᾄσωμεν τῷ Σ ἀναστάντι ἐκ τάφου καὶ ἀρχηγῷ τῆς ζωῆς ἡμῶν καθελὼν γὰρ τῷ θανάτῳ τὸν θάνατον, τὸ νῖκος ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν καὶ τὸ μέγα ἔλεος. oday Salvation has come to the world! Let us T sing to Him who rose from the dead, the author of our life. Having destroyed DEATH by death, He has given us the victory and great mercy. And Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house (Luke 19:9). his hymn is triumphantly sung at the end of the T Matins service most Sundays just before the beginning of the Holy Liturgy. The message it imparts is intimately tied to the weekly celebration of Sunday as the day of Our Lord s Resurrection. One of the boldest breaks the first Christians made with the preceding worship of the Jewish Temple was to install Sunday as the preeminent Day of God. Up till this time the Sabbath Day was the primary day of worship. So strongly did the first Christians feel the Presence of the Risen Lord on the first day after Sabbath («µία σαββάτων», as the day of Resurrection is called in the Gospel Accounts) that even before the end of the first century AD, Christians had named this day ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ i.e. the Lord's Day. The Apostolic Church felt that The Lord s Day should be the first day of the week. However, our Church also esteems our Lord's Day as the Eighth day. St Gregory Palamas explains: Not only was Christ's resurrection accomplished on the eighth day, but it was both the eighth day in relation to the day before, and also the first day in relation to the hoped-for resurrection, the rising again, of all human beings in Christ In the same way, Sunday is not just the day eighth in order after the preceding days, but the first of the days that come after. So it becomes in its turn the New Day, the first of all days, which we call the Lord's Day, and which Moses referred to not as the first day but as one day (Gen. 1:5), being exalted above the others and the prelude of the one day without evening of the age to come. This is why our Church triumphantly chants TODAY! seeing that every Sunday we have the Risen Lord present before us offering His Salvation to those who are ready to receive him truthfully. A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy By Nicholas Cabasilas Published by St Vladimir s Seminary Press, 1997 ISBN-13: , 120 pages s Orthodox Christians, we A have the great privilege of a rich history of the Holy Spirit working through the Church and Holy Fathers for over 2,000 years. Many people hesitate to read the original works of the Church Fathers fearing they will be inaccessible due to difficult language and poor translation. In his book A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy, St Nicholas Cabasilas explains many of the treasures of the Divine Liturgy. This book, written about 700 years ago, is helpful for those desiring to deepen their experience of the Divine Liturgy. The English is simple and well written. The Introduction by RM French consists of a 21 page description of the Liturgy (including diagrams): Prothesis, Liturgy of the Catechumens and Liturgy of the Faithful. The reader can easily refer back to this description as they read the commentary that follows. St Nicholas Cabasilas commentary is written in short topic paragraphs, following the sequence of the Divine Liturgy. Cabasilas states that the aim of the Divine Liturgy is the transformation of the elements (bread and wine) into the Divine Body and Blood; its aim is the sanctification of the faithful, who through these mysteries receive the remission of their sins and the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. Cabasilas explains much of the symbolism during the Divine Liturgy: transferring the bread and wine to the Altar, ceremonies performed with the bread, the reason why the bread and wine are covered. Cabasilas explains that the Theotokos and saints are commemorated frequently as the Church is grateful for their example of holiness. In this book, Cabasilas records the vitality of worship and not just its form. Cabasilas regards the Divine Liturgy as part of man s salvation. We are called to participate in body, mind and spirit as Orthodox faithful have done for over 2,000 years. A wide range of Orthodox Christian books in Greek and English is available from the Orthodox Bookstore, 217 Bexley Rd, Kingsgrove. For further enquiries. Ph: (02) Internet:

10 Page 10 ΛΥΧΝΟΣ St Haralambos and the Miracle of Filiatra The Story of Ruth uring the Second World War, a miracle occurred D in a small Greek town in the south-western corner of the Peloponnese called Filiatra. In revenge for the sabotage of a German installation near the town, Kondau, the local German commander, was ordered to execute the men of that town and burn it to the ground. The people of Filiatra prayed fervently to St Haralambos for deliverance. That night, St Haralambos appeared to Kondau in his sleep as an elderly man with a long white beard dressed in priestly vestments and asked him to spare the town. Kondau awoke in turmoil and resolved to speak to his superior. He was astonished to learn he too had seen St Haralambos during the night.the order to destroy Filiatra was revoked! Later that day, Kondau visited every church in the town. He was looking for something or someone. Upon entering the church dedicated to The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, he saw an icon of St Haralambos and exclaimed in wonder to those who were with him: This Saint saved your town from destruction and me from committing a terrible sin! At the end of the war, Kondau returned home to his family in Germany. However he could not forget the momentous events of those fateful days and his own spiritual awakening, so two years later he resolved to visit Filiatra with his family. He arrived in Filiatra on the 11 th of February, a day after the feast day of St Haralambos, and was received with joy and with emotion by the inhabitants of Filiatra who celebrated the feast day of their protector St Haralambos for a second day, in his honour. Source: «Ζεί Κύριος» by Fr. Vasileios Akrivopoulos, Freely available online at vivlia/vivlia.htm he Bible is full of people who are great examples for T us. One such person is a Moabite woman called Ruth, who we find in the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Because of a famine, Naomi, her husband and their two sons left the land of Israel and moved to the nearby land of Moab, a country of idol-worshippers. Soon, Naomi was left without any of her family, all alone, as her husband and two sons died after they married Ruth and Orpah. Naomi then decided to return alone to Israel without Ruth and Orpah when the famine was over. But Ruth pleaded with Naomi to allow her to also go to Israel so they could remain together forever: "Where you go I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God" (Ruth 1:16). This was how much Ruth loved Naomi and wanted to take care of her. Ruth and Naomi both returned to Israel and became like mother and daughter. Ruth, in order to get food for both her and Naomi, went to work in the wheat-fields. She worked extremely hard throughout the day. Boaz, the owner of the wheat field, was very impressed with her hard work, her loyalty and love towards Naomi. Boaz was a relative of Naomi and as was the custom, when asked by Naomi, he decided to marry Ruth. Boaz and Ruth had a son who they named Obed, who became the father of Jesse. Jesse became the father of King David, a forefather of our Lord Jesus Christ. We see in Ruth a person who truly loved and cared for Naomi and for this love and loyalty left her own country. God rewarded her by making her the grandmother of King David and a great example for all of us.

11 ΛΥΧΝΟΣ Page 11 Ο νομάζεται Πεντηκοστή γιατί είναι πενήντα ημέρες μετά το Πάσχα. Ο Ευαγγελιστής Λουκάς περιγραφή ωραία στις Πράξεις των Αποστόλων το ιστορικό γεγονός που συνέβη στα Ιεροσόλυμα. Όλοι οι πιστοί με μια καρδιά ήταν μαζεμένοι και περίμεναν στο υπερώο. Και ξαφνικά δίχως κανείς να το περιμένει ήλθε βοή από τον ουρανό σαν ήχος σφοδρού άνεμου και εγεμισε όλο το σπίτι που κάθονταν οι απόστολοι. Και παρουσιάστηκαν γλώσσες σαν φλόγες φωτιάς να διαμοιράζονται σ'αυτους και να κάθεται μια στον καθένα και όλοι γέμισαν από το Πνεύμα Άγιον. Ο θαυμαστός, και πάνω από κάθε ανθρώπινη λογική υπερφυσικός ερχομός του, σημείωσε την αφετηρία της ιστορικής διαδρομής της Εκκλησιάς μας. Η ημέρα της Πεντηκοστής επαναλαμβάνεται και σήμερα στα βάθη της ψυχής όσων επιθυμούν να αισθανθούν τον άνεμο της νέας βιαιας πνοής του Παρακλήτου στη ζωή τους, και να βαπτισθουν στα νάματα της προσωπικής τους Πεντηκοστής. Ο Κύριος πάντα μιλούσε στους μαθητές του για τα Άγιο Πνεύμα, που θα έστελνε από τον Ουράνιο Πατέρα του για να μείνει στην Εκκλησιά για πάντα. Και πριν από την Ανάληψη του ο Κύριος μιλούσε στους μαθητές για Άγιο Πνεύμα, όταν τους έλεγε «Καθίστε στην Ιερουσαλήμ μέχρι που να οπλιστείτε με δύναμη από τον ουρανό» (Λουκ. κδ' 49). Σε άλλη περίσταση τους έλεγε αυτά, που περιλαμβάνει το σημερινό Ευαγγέλιο της εορτής. Ο Χριστός την τελευταία ημέρα της εορτής της Σκηνοπηγίας έκανε την αποκάλυψη πως ο Ίδιος είναι η πηγή της ζωής. [Στη γιορτή της Σκηνοπηγίας, οι Ισραηλίτες έριχναν συμβολικά νερό στο θυσιαστήριο, που προσέφεραν τις θυσίες των ολοκαυτωμάτων όταν έκαιγαν ολόκληρο το θυσιαζόμενο ζώο]. Ο Ιησούς Χριστός παίρνει αφορμή από αυτό και λέγει στον κόσμο «όποιος διψάει,ας έρχεται σε μένα και ας πίνει». Αυτο το νερό είναι το Άγιο πνεύμα, που θα έλθει στον κόσμο για να μας φώτιση ολους να καταλάβουμε τις αιώνιες αλήθειες που ο Κύριος μας δίδαξε. Το Άγιο Πνεύμα ίδρυσε, όπως ξέρουμε, την ημέρα της Πεντηκοστής την Αγία Εκκλησία μας, που είναι Σώμα του Χριστού. Κεφαλή του Σώματος είναι ο Χριστός. Μέλη του Σώματος είμαστε εμείς, όλοι οι άνθρωποι. Μέσα στην Εκκλησία, γινόμαστε όλοι οι άνθρωποι παιδιά του Θεού και έτσι ζούμε την αιώνια ζωή «τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υιοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος». Το Άγιο Πνεύμα είναι το τρίτο Πρόσωπο της Αγίας Τριάδος. Στο Σύμβολο της Πίστεως μας ομολογούμε «Καὶ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, τὸ Κύριον, τὸ Ζωοποιόν, τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον, τὸ σὺν Πατρὶ καὶ Υἱῷ συμπροσκυνούμενον καὶ συνδοξαζόμενον, τὸ λαλῆσαν διὰ τῶν Προφητῶν». Ο Κύριος ονομάζει το Άγιο Πνεύμα «Παράκλητο» [Παράκλητος σημαίνει παραμυθία, παρηγοριά]. Γι αυτό, όταν προσευχόμαστε στην Εκκλησία, λέμε «Βασιλεῦ Οὐράνιε, Παράκλητε, τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὁ πανταχοῦ παρὼν καὶ τὰ πάντα πληρῶν [= εσύ που γεμίζεις με την παρουσία σου τα πάντα]». Στη Θεία Λειτουργία και τα Μυστήρια της Εκκλησίας μας ο ιερέας με τις ευχές και τις διάφορες εκφωνήσεις τονίζει τη δύναμη του Αγίου Πνεύματος. Στο ιερότερο σημείο της θείας Λειτουργίας ο ιερέας λέγει «Τὰ Σὰ ἐκ τῶν Σῶν...» παρακαλούμε το Θεό «Κατάπεμψον [=στείλε] τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον ἐφ ἡμᾶς καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ προκείμενα ῶρα ταῦτα». Καταβαινει το Άγιον Πνεύμα και με μυστηριακό τρόπο μεταβάλει τον Άρτον και τον Οίνον σε Τίμιο Σώμα και Άχραντο Αίμα του Κυρίου ημών Ιησού Χριστού. Ο καθένας μας από μικρός ακόμη πρέπει να ετοιμάζει τον εαυτό του, ώστε να δεχτεί μέσα του το Άγιο Πνεύμα. Να καθαρίσει τον εαυτό του από κάθε αμαρτία και να ζητεί στην προσευχή του τον ερχομό του Αγίου Πνεύματος. Οι Πατέρες της Εκκλησίας μας λέγουν, πως ο σκοπός της ζωής κάθε ανθρώπου, είναι να λάβει μέσα του το Άγιον Πνεύμα. Τότε ο άνθρωπος, όπως μάθαμε και από την Κατήχησή μας, πραγματοποιεί τον θείο προορισμό του, που είναι ένωση και η κοινωνία του στην αιώνιο ζωή του Θεού.

12 Page 12 ΛΥΧΝΟΣ NEWS and VIEWS Sunday School Picnic On Monday 10 th June in the Queen s birthday longweekend, the Sunday Schools of our Archdiocese held their annual picnic at Centennial Park in Sydney. The children and parents were blessed to have His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos and His Grace Bishop Iakovos in attendance, along with many other clergy and laity of our Archdiocese. His Eminence and His Grace fondly spoke to the children and His Grace in particular, on seeing the children sitting before him, recalled how he was sitting where the children were thirty years ago as a Sunday School student himself! Sunday School offers our children the opportunity to learn more about their Orthodox Faith and how to live as conscientious Orthodox Christians throughout their life. Classes are held on Sunday mornings in most parishes of Sydney for children of infants, primary, and high school ages. For more information, contact your local parish priest. His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, along with His Grace Bishop Iakovos, blesses the food. His Eminence addressing the children. Children of infants Sunday School during their athletic race. The children participating in organized games at the picnic. His Eminence enjoying the children s athletic events with Dr John Psarommatis, president of the Greek Orthodox Christian Society. His Grace Bishop Iakovos handing out icons to the children. Ακούτε το ραδιοφωνικό πρόγραµµα «Η ΦΩΝΗ ΤΗΣ ΟΡΘΟ ΟΞΙΑΣ» κάθε Κυριακή: 10:45 π.µ. στο 2MM-ΑΜ :00 π.µ. στο 2ΕRΑ-FΜ (scanner) 5:30 µ.µ. στο Galaxia FM (scanner) κάθε Πέµπτη: 3:30 µ.µ. στο Radio Club AM 1683 «ΛΥΧΝΟΣ» is a bimonthly publication of the Greek Orthodox Christian Society, under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. Phone: (02) Internet:

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