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Moscow, February 18, Interfax - The inaugural congress of the Russian Ten
Commandments Party took place in Moscow.
The total of 134 delegates from 45 Russian subjects, including Christians of
different confessions, Muslims, and Jews, participated in the inaugural congress
on February 17. The political council, the decision making body of the party,
was headed by Sergey Mezentsev, Ph.D.
"I hope that your activity will help to restore moral values, God's Ten
Commandments in the everyday political life, in the life of our society. I hope
that you will stay faithful to these God's Commandments, that you'll be able to
unite a considerable number of people," chairman of the Synodal Department for
Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said at the congress.
He said he was happy that the party was based on the Ten Commandments, which
were shared by different religions, and some of commandments were even shared by
non-believers. Moral standards are unchangeable, "they weren't invented by
people, they aren't a subject of public agreement, they were set once and for
all," he said.
"We need a real moral revolution, or counterrevolution. The moral values should
return to political, economic life, to interpersonal relations," the priest
Head of the Russian Muslim Department for Working with Public Organizations
Ahmad Makarov said that morals were being degraded, and the Pussy Riot
performance in the Christ the Savior Cathedral, which insulted not only Orthodox
believers, but "all of us", proves it.
"Unfortunately, a lot of our citizens consider civil state to be a display of
militant secularism, which is unavoidably related to the destruction of the
traditional cultures of our country's people. No religion will be able to
respond adequately to all these challenges on its own," Makarov said.
Head of the Congress of Jewish Religious Organizations and Communities in Russia
Rabbi Zinovy Kogan said that his organization would cooperate with the Ten
Commandments Party, which "should become a platform for religious dialogue so
that civil and god-fearing citizens felt confident."
The program of the Ten Commandments Party stipulates that the party regards the
commandments as a basis for its activities. The party members intend to put
religious social doctrines and humanistic ideals into practice, to facilitate
the appointment of honest people as government officials, to develop the
institutes of civil society, to form a social law-based state, to defend
national interests, to fight against corruption, and to establish a favorable
investment climate, the program said.
George C. Thomas
February 22, 2013
2nd Friday of Lent
St. Matthew 16: 21-28
Exodus 21: 20-27
Job 25: 1-6
Acts 11: 1-18
Romans 1: 16-25
St. Matthew 5: 38-48
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so
that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” - St. Matthew 5:44-45
There are people nowadays who feel as though they have the obligation to feel
and act a certain way towards others. A sense of revenge, payback, or justice
needs to be served to those who’ve wronged us. However, who are we to be the
judge of a world that isn’t truly ours? We were sent to this world to love God
and his creations. We must love everyone, even those who harmed us for God’s
wrath is so great that no matter what that person has done to us it is
microscopic compared to what God has in store for him or her. God has the right
to seek out justice on us for every sin we’ve committed against him; but He
doesn’t because it’s His love for us that allows us to be forgiven and free from
our wrongdoings. So is it so much that God only asks us to do the same for
others, knowing that He even gave up his only begotten Son for us? It was once
said by a respectable man that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. So
why are we making the whole world become blind?
Instead of seeking revenge upon others God asks us to “Be perfect, as your
heavenly Father is perfect”. Just like how Jesus prayed for those who persecuted
Him on the cross so should we pray for those who persecute us on our figurative
cross, that are the trials and tribulations in this world.
Our Heavenly Father, You have given us everything that we have. You have
protected us and loved us so much that You sent Your beloved Son to die for us.
We know that we are nothing without You and we don‘t want to be far away from
You. Please Lord, forgive us of our sins and help us to be better people so that
we can glorify You and be prepared for the last judgment day. We pray these
things in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Amen.
'2013 Lenten Devotionals', published by MGOCSM, Philadelphia
Please check the attached pdf file. We wll start this
charitable dialysis center at Puthupady, calicut in June 2013. Please pray and
Vicar St.George Orthodox Cathedral,
1 of 1 File(s)
Reported by :Jerry John KoshyMedia Secretary - Calcutta DioceseJJK
6 of 6 Photo(s)
Here are some updates from the MGOCSM of North America:
1. Weekly Devotionals
The MGOCSM of North America is sending weekly devotionals written by young
clergy and lay-leaders. These devotionals can serve as spiritual
encouragement during the week. If anyone is interested in receiving these
devotionals, please sign up here:
2. Alumni Network
The MGOCSM of North America has worked hard to minister to the young
growing up in America. Many of the young lay-leaders and young clergy are
a product of the MGOCSM. The MGOCSM is in the process of creating an
If you have benefited from the programs of the MGOCSM or are a former member
of the MGOCSM, please sign up here:
3. Missions Calendars
The MGOCSM of North America is selling Orthodox Calendars for 2013. These
calendars are filled with scripture readings for each Sunday, marked days
of fasting and feasts, and pictures/explanations of the famous churches in
India. The calendars are being sold for $10. Please see your local council
member for a calendar. Donations are also accepted as all proceeds go
towards MGOCSM Missions. To learn more:
Please continue to offer your valuable prayers and support, for the growing
ministry of the MGOCSM of North America.
Love & Prayers,
Dn. Daniel (Dennis) Mathai
General Secretary of the MGOCSM of North America
There is no principles, but only scruples, in the sheep-stealing business that
is done by appeasing, threatening and even by using all religious and atrocious
terrorism. Alwarese thirumeni's woes and fate should be an eye-opening and
monumental example against the wishful thinking of our people. There is nothing
holy in the sheep-abducting market. Even our own clerical hierarchies believe
that 'you are Peter, upon which I build my church', Mt.16, without understanding
the latent secrets associated with that mysteries. As I have discussed the real
meaning before in this site, it is proved that key to Heaven is the priestly
authority of the forgiveness of sins. Our members who are not conversant with
true biblical mysteries believe that St.Peter is the real rock, not moving
stone, upon which the church is built. They proved themselves as the fishers of
men of ignorance, not believers.
Whether we make an agreement with the Catholic and Jacobite churches for inter-
marriage because most of our Bramahvar diocese members are being swallowed by
Roman and Jacobite churches, as there are 4,ooo of our members are gradually
enticed to the Roman church; consequently our identity in the diocese may be
wiped out eventually. We have made such contracts and alliances right from
Portuégése, C.M.S. Malankara Reeth, Jacobite churches over the centuries, but
ultimately our sheep will be grabbed by entering through the back door and drag
our hierarchies in between the devil and deep sea. Have ecumenism and the
Indian National council of churches and W.C.C helped us in any way? Catholicose
is a misnomer to the Roman church, yet with strong objections Roman and
Jacobites have Catholicoses in their churches. What can we do when the imperial
churches try to gulp us by hook or by crook methods?
We must open our eyes and don't induct ourselves in a fool's paradise. We may
also realize that God shows mercy towards us because of the Holiness of God, for
His name sake we are not wiped out from the face of the earth, not by our
merits. A Bride must be on earth for Him to take us in His Bridal chamber. 'Fear
not you little flock.....'.
E.S. John, Australia
Dear All,It gives me immense pleasure to share the news that our Parish Member
Mr. Sibi Kadavil has been selected for the prestigious " Madyama Shri" award for
his outstanding contributions to the Malayalam News Reporting from Abu Dhabi.
Mr. Sibi Kadavil recently joined ASIANET TV MIDDLE EAST as Abu Dhabi & Al Ain
Congratulations Mr. Sibi once again and God Bless...
00&channelId=-1073869106&a mp;BV_ID=@@@&tabId=15 Thomas George, Abu Dhabi
Dear Mr. Georgy S. Thomas, I do understand your zeal for the Church. But, going
through your letter, i just don't know how educational institutions can help in
matrimonial issues. The educational institutions do help to create a educative,
financially rich community no doubt, and as you said retain people. But, how it
can provide Brides and Bridegrooms...? As much you regard your Mother Church,
so much do all of us here. In fact, what was posted was on ICON was the impulse
of all the priests of the Brahmavar Community (which include both konkani &
malayalee priests). The person who really motivated us to start matrimonial unit
is a senior member of a dayara & former priest of Brahmavar Community who served
here for more than 20 years. So, this whole thing stems from the side of
priests. Priests if they come to certain conclusion; they come to it by
understanding the whole situation. And one more thing, as you know, Priests, are
one who dedicate their lives to serve the Church : So, you can easily understand
what zeal runs through their blood for the Church. So, please don't try to see
us Church Haters.....or Floggers. Do you think, we should put smiling face, deny
the negligence, cover our hurts & shower all "praises" - "All is Well, All is
Well", and allow things to go in the same manner? If in detail, every negligence
was shown would have been written here: even you would have agreed to it. If
only we make known, the reality, then only there can be positive changes. You
gave a good plan for Achens to travel on Sunday to non-brahmavar parishes. But
you should know, we ourselves lack priests & have to cover 500 km radius every
Sunday, to do Qurbana in our parishes, attend to the prayer meetings, & to other
spiritual needs. Many of our own parishes don't get qurbana on Sunday, and we
have do it on weekdays for them. Certain other times we do 2 qurbanas in a day,
especially in the time of feasts. And, Bingo, we don't get alternate Achens to
carry on our duties in our absence. And if we don't attend, then we are on the
verge of loosing our people. But of course as you already said, we already have
network with all the churches in karnataka region, in regards to matrimony. And
we have been doing this for a quite a long time- more than 7 years. The reason,
it was posted on ICON, was to draw the attention of the Synod, and also to reach
out to a wide section, who may help us by submitting profiles of the needy
Fr. Noel Lewis, on behalf of priests of the Brahmavar Community.
Evangelist C M Cheru passed away.
1 of 1 Photo(s)
It is very shocking that the Hyderabad Bomb blast yesterday (21/02/2013) evening
around 7.00 PM leaving 14 innocent people dead on the spot and more than 80
injured admitted in various Hospitals and out of which 10 persons are very
seriously injured. Terror returned to Hyderabad after five years with two
massive explosions triggered by Tiffin-carrier bombs planted on cycles in the
crowded Dilsukhnagar locality. Police have confirmed that these blasts that
ripped through the crowded area in Hyderabad are an act of terror. However,
there is no clarity yet on who engineered these well-coordinated and pre-planned
explosions. In my opinion severe punishment should be extended to the
terrorists. We all peace loving people shall condemn this act of terrorism on
innocent people. It is terrible and horrific act by the organized anti
nationals. This is only to disturb peaceful living of all communities in
Hyderabad and other parts of the country.
Hon. Home minister of India and Police claim that they had some intelligence
information about the terrorist attack at some place of the country within this
week but none of the States acted seriously on the report. The Ministers, Police
and in fact the Government are to be more vigil in the future to control
terrorism. It is a shame for every Indian that the Government- both Central and
State are not doing enough to control terrorism.
Sam Cherian Karuvely, Visakhapatnam
February 23, 2013
2nd Saturday of Lent
Before Holy Qurbana
Deuteronomy 30: 1 -7
Isaiah 35: 1-10
Acts 13: 37 -52
II Corinthians 8: 1- 9
St. Mark 1: 21-31
“Behold, you scoffers, and marvel, and perish; for I am accomplishing a work in
your days, a work which you will never believe, though someone should describe
it to you." - Acts 13:41
Early in his ministry, Paul was invited to speak at the synagogue in Pisidian
Antioch. In his speech, he outlined Jewish history, beginning with the exodus
from Egypt. He reminded them of the promises of the prophets and described how
Jesus fulfilled those promises. He told how Jesus had been crucified and raised
from the dead.
Paul challenged them to believe the message of the Gospel-that God was offering
them forgiveness of their sins. Providing the context, he quoted several verses
from the Scriptures.
Paul turned to words from the prophet Habakkuk, who described how there might be
"scoffers" among them, people who would doubt that God's Word was true and
reject Jesus as the Messiah. But Paul also cited Habakkuk's declaration about
the amazing things God would do-things no one would believe, that couldn't even
be described adequately.
Paul was trying to help them understand that God's plans are beyond our human
understanding. Literally, beyond belief!
These same principles are true today. God's plans still are being unveiled, day
by day, according to His timetable, according to His will, based on His
sovereign design. But as Paul wrote to the Corinthians (quoting Isaiah 64:4),
"Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered
the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him" (1
In your life, don't be content with the temporary crumbs the world thinks are so
important. Realize that God loves you and has great plans for you! More wisdom!
More power! More blessings! He has prepared a vast inheritance for you. Ask Him
to stretch your mind. Be ready to step out in faith. Let Him take you to places
your mind cannot comprehend.
Father, I want more of You! Open my mind to understand more of Your Truth! Give
me boldness and courage! I believe that Your Word is true! In Jesus' name. Amen.
'2013 Lenten Devotionals', published by MGOCSM, Philadelphia
I had a blessed opportunity to visit Makodiya in Madhya Pradhesh last month,
where we have a Mission Project among the tribal belt of the region which was
concieved by LL beloved Theodosius Thirumeni Metropolitan. A lot of good work is
currently being done by the Church to fulfil the dream of His Grace to work
among the down trodden, and a lot of good work can potentially be done with
everyone's prayers and help in Makodiya.
I am putting together a small blog with some pictures and glimpses of what I
experienced in Makodiya. The blog is being updated daily, and I hope to
highlight the place, the area, the needs and goals of the mission as I could see
it. However I felt this urge to send out what I have so far to you for your
information and also so that you can help me edit it for factual errors etc.
Please take a look, leave comments and feedback. And do watch the space for
Mathew Samuel, Albany, NY
Dear Mr. Thomas,
You are quite right. I found the resources that you provided extremely
enlightening; especially " The Meaning of the Great Fast- The true nature of
From the above I have learned:
1. 'One reason for this decline in fasting is surely a heretical attitude
towards human nature, a false 'spiritualism' which rejects or ignores the body,
viewing man solely in terms of his reasoning brain. As a result, many
contemporary Christians have lost a true vision of man as an integral unity of
the visible and the invisible; they neglect the positive role played by the body
in the spiritual life, forgetting St. Paul's affirmation: 'Your body is a temple
of the Holy Spirit . . . glorify God with your body' (I Cor. 6: 19-20).' is a
new understanding to me.
2. 'During Lent there is frequently a limitation on the number of meals eaten
each day, but when a meal is permitted there is no restriction on the amount of
food allowed. The Fathers simply state, as a guiding principle, that we should
never eat to satiety but always rise from the table feeling that we could have
taken more and that we are now ready for prayer.' (I forgot that fasting is for
body and soul not just soul.)
3. 'The inner significance of fasting is best summed up in the triad: prayer,
fasting, almsgiving. Divorced from prayer and from the reception of the holy
sacraments, unaccompanied by acts of compassion, our fasting becomes pharisaical
or even demonic. It leads, not to contrition and joyfulness, but to pride,
inward tension and irritability.' (I never knew fasting carelessly is demonic)
4. 'It is no coincidence that on the very threshold of the Great Fast, at
Vespers on the Sunday of Forgiveness, there is a special ceremony of mutual
reconciliation… But almsgiving means more than this. It is to give not only our
money but our time, not only what we have but what we are; it is to give a part
of ourselves.' (Giving of ourselves)
5. 'By virtue of their Baptism, all Christians - whether married or under
monastic vows - are Cross-bearers, following the same spiritual path. The
exterior conditions in which they live out their Christianity display a wide
variety, but in its inward essence the life is one. Just as the monk by his
voluntary self-denial is seeking to affirm the intrinsic goodness and beauty of
God's creation, so also is each married Christian required to be in some measure
an ascetic. The way of negation and the way of affirmation are interdependent,
and every Christian is called to follow both ways at once.' (I read that persons
engaged in ordinary life are actually in the battlefield, more that the monks
and nuns and so we need to strengthen ourselves with training)
6. The 'spiritual' is not to be equated with the non-material, neither is the
'fleshly' or carnal to be equated with the bodily. In St. Paul's usage, 'flesh'
denotes the totality of man, soul and body together, in so far as he is fallen
and separated from God; and in the same way 'spirit' denotes the totality of
man, soul and body together, in so far as he is redeemed and divinized by grace.
Thus the soul as well as the body can become carnal and fleshly, and the body as
well as the soul can become spiritual. When St. Paul enumerates the 'works of
the flesh' (Gal. 5: 19-21), he includes such things as sedition, heresy and
envy, which involve the soul much more than the body. In making our body
spiritual, then, the Lenten fast does not suppress the physical aspect of our
human nature, but makes our materiality once more as God intended it to be. (I
never thought this way- I thought flesh means excessive self-preservation
7. Marriage is honorable, and the marriage-bed undefiled. For on both Christ has
given His blessing, eating in the flesh at the wedding in Cana, Turning water
into wine and revealing His first miracle.
The abstinence of married couples, then, has as its aim not the suppression but
the purification of sexuality. Such abstinence, practiced 'with mutual consent
for a time', has always the positive aim, 'that you may give yourselves to
fasting and prayer' (1 Cor. 7: 5). Self-restraint, so far from indicating a
dualist depreciation of the body, serves on the contrary to confer upon the
sexual side of marriage a spiritual dimension, which might otherwise be absent.
8.Those who fast, so far from repudiating material things, are on the contrary
assisting in their redemption. They are fulfilling the vocation assigned to the
'sons of God' by St. Paul: 'The created universe waits with eager longing for
the revealing of the sons of God… The creation will be set free from its bondage
to decay and will obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know
that the whole creation has been groaning in travail until now' (Rom. 8: 19-22).
By means of our Lenten abstinence, we seek with God's help to exercise this
calling as priests of the creation, restoring all things to their primal
splendor. Ascetic self-discipline, then, signifies a rejection of the world,
only in so far as it is corrupted by the fall; of the body, only in so far as it
is dominated by sinful passions. Lust excludes love: so long as we lust after
other persons or other things, we cannot truly love them. By delivering us from
lust, the fast renders us capable of genuine love. No longer ruled by the
selfish desire to grasp and to exploit, we begin to see the world with the eyes
of Adam in Paradise. Our self-denial is the path that leads to our
self-affirmation; it is our means of entry into the cosmic liturgy whereby all
things visible and invisible ascribe glory to their Creator.
All this just from one article! It is literally a treasure house!
Susan Eapen, Thiruvananthapuram.
The Institute Of Lent
Rev. George Mastrantonis
There are institutes and symbols adopted by nations, churches or groups of men
which represent certain ideals accumulated in the past. These institutes, that
is precepts recognized as authoritative, and symbols represent the thoughts and
feelings of those who created or adopted them and put in them all the experience
of the past, often through struggle and sacrifice. A few feet of ribbon for
instance, red, blue and white in color, have little value as is. But if one puts
them in a certain pattern of stripes and stars, they become the flag of the
United States and represent the ideals and unity of the people of America. The
flag reminds us of the people's struggle for liberty. It represents the national
unity which attained for them their rights as a people. The same could be said
for the institutes of a nation, army or any group of people. These institutes
are created by the people and are used by them in certain ways for certain aims.
Some of these institutes are the means for achieving certain values and ideals.
In the life of the Church of Christ there are many institutes created and
maintained to meet the needs of the people - the Ecclesia. Among these is the
Great Lent which falls within the year-cycle of the life of the Church before
Pascha-Easter. Lent is the period of time for self-examination by the believer;
of putting on the spiritual armor of the Militant Church; of applying the riches
of prayers and almsgiving; of adopting deeply the meaning of repentance; of
atonement and reconciliation with God Almighty.
This great period of Lent before Easter is called by the Orthodox Church,
Tessaracoste (Quadragesimal), which comes from the word forty (the 40 days of
"fasting"). This Institute of the 40. days of Lent precedes the Resurrection of
Christ. The celebration of the Resurrection of Christ does not fall on the same
date each year, but according to the determination of the position of the moon
and spring equinox, which is based on the original setting during the last
Events of the life of Christ on earth. This 40-day period of Lent is a period of
"abstinence" from foods, but primarily from personal iniquities. Abstinence from
foods (fasting) alone is a means of attaining virtue; it is not an end in
itself. During the period of fasting one makes a special attempt to evaluate his
calling as a Christian; to listen to the voice of the Gospel and heed its
commandments; to accept the constant invitation to enter Christ's Kingdom. It is
an open invitation to everyone willing to enter; who believes in Christ and
repents his iniquities; who makes an "about face" directly to Christ. To
accomplish this - Which is a year-round concern - the Christian Church, dating
back many years, out of experience and according to the nature of man instituted
certain days of prayer and fasting as steps in a ladder to help those who need
guidance to reach this spiritual plateau. All of these steps must have genuine
personal meaning to avoid becoming merely a habit and routine. Fasting
encompasses the entire pious life of the Christian, as Christ proclaimed, that
symbolizes a deep acceptance of His admonition to "repent". This can be achieved
not so much in terms of time, but in deeds in love of God and one's fellow man.
During the period of the Great Lent the awakening of the spirit of man comes
about through inspiration from the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ. It is a
time of self-examination and preparation, and of taking an inventory of one's
inner life. He and Christ know his exact condition. At this time one sees
himself in the mirror of the Gospel - how he looks. One finds the means and ways
to correct and improve himself. Lent is a period of time when one delves into
himself with the light of the Holy Spirit in order to rid himself of the
impediments which hold him back. It is a period when one strengthens his faith
by more prayer and devotional life.
Let us then examine the meaning of fasting, which became an Institute of the
Church. Fasting means the total abstinence from foods, as the original Greek
word in the Bible, nesteia, literally means. The word fasting today is used for
selection of foods and a limiting of their quantity. Fasting also can mean
eating once a day bread, salt and water, after sunset. Although the period of
Lent appeals to the function of man as a whole in repentance, self-examination,
almsgiving, relationship with people with whom one is at odds, attitudes toward
life, the abstinence from foods plays a vital role in the life of the Christian.
The quantity and kinds of foods selected for this period of Lent help control
carnal desires and develop discipline and a pious life. Fasting from foods is
not a virtuous activity in itself, but a means for its achievement. But it has a
distinct place in the life of the Christian, especially during the Great Lent.
George C.Thomas, Kuwait
Holy Cross Indian Orthodox Mission will have their monthly service and Annual
Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 2, 2013 beginning with Evening Prayers at 5:00
pm in the Lampman Chapel (Union Theological Seminary).
Rev. Fr. Abraham (Vijay) Thomas, Assistant Vicar of Sts. Baselios and Gregorios
Orthodox Church - 9 Mercer Ave North Plainfield, NJ 07060 will be the main
celebrant and speaker for the evening.
To know more, visit the following link:
Source: NE American Diocese website
Dear ICON friends,
Cochin Diocese has started a Tri-Monthly Magazine and its 2nd issue is attached
K.K. George, Ernakulam.
1 of 1 File(s)
George Easaw <geasaw@...> wrote: It was a lovely, well thought out divine reply
to my query. Imagine a society where everyone irrespective of his/her status and
education, were working for the benefit of others. Even the sinner has pride of
place in the Kingdom of God as in the parable of the workers in the vineyard,
Dear Mr. Easow,
Our thoughts are food for our soul, same way the food we eat are good for our
body. There are good food and stale food. Stale food can make us sick. Same way
stale thoughts can lead us to spiritual sickness. Many choose to feed their soul
with stale thoughts and that is why we have all these problems in the world.
Good thoughts are like light in our life. Without good and positive thoughts,
our soul lives in darkness, which is dwelling place of the devil. When God
created the world it was dark and void. So, whether we like it or not, the
default status of everything in this world including our mind is dark and void.
Then God's spirit hovered over the waters of the world and God created light to
replace darkness. Therefore, whether we guide our thoughts in the light of God's
Holy words determines whether we live in light or darkness.
Your second point about a society where every one working for the benefit of
others. That is what exactly St. Paul narrated in the example of comparing the
whole community or society to our body. Hands cannot say I am not head, so I am
not part of the body. In Canada, a good plumber makes as much money as a Doctor.
Municipality garbage collectors makes more money than a teacher. When every one
makes enough money for their needs and every one work for the good of the other;
that is when God's Kingdom will come on earth. That will happen when more people
who believe in the Bible allow that light from God enlighten our thoughts.
Your third point about the parable of the worker in the vineyard. Many consider
it as an approval to sin till the last hour. But, the problem is that we do not
know when and where that last hour is. I heard a sermon where the preacher; an
Orthodox Priest was saying this. Quote "There are only two questions asked at
the time of final judgment. 1. Did you hear the word of God at any point of time
in your life? 2. If you heard, did you live according to that??". Unquote..
Everything else like when you are baptized, where you are baptized, which church
you belong to, whether you were under disciple of Peter or Thomas, or under
which throne has no relevance at all. We are doomed if our answer to that second
question is a "No".
The man who worked the last hour in the vineyard, had shown the courtesy to
accept the call of the Master and apparently gave his full devotion to what he
was asked to do during that one hour he worked for the master. We may have
accepted the call, but the question is where is our devotion. Do we work for the
stale food of this world or do we work for the Kingdom of the Lord.
Again I appreciate your thoughts and question about the prayers we chant every
now and then. Now we are in the Holy lent and we are going to chant and hear a
lot of prayers and sermons. We have a delicious, full course buffet placed on a
table in front of us. Think about going around this table with a plate and
taking nothing from it. Or taking everything in the plate and dropping the whole
plate on the floor.
Instead of hearing all the prayers and sermons through the right ear and letting
it go out through the left, allow some of it to stay in the few inches between
our two ears and let it become food for our soul. Those prayers and songs in the
books have great meanings and real power to influence our thought processes and
finally helping each one of us in becoming a tool in the hands of our Lord to
make the Lord's prayer "Thy kingdom come" come true.
Ronnie Daniel, Toronto, Canada.
For the news and photos about the UGC sponsored National Workshop held at our
St. Thomas College, Bhilai, please go through the attached files.
Reported by: Jerry John Koshy, Culcutta Diocese
2 of 2 Photo(s)
Distribution of ICON Charity Educational Awards (2012) in respect of Angamally Diocese (REAP 2012) is planned for Sunday, February 24th at 03:00PM in a simple ceremony at the Diocesan HQ (Thrikkunnathu Seminary, Alwae).
H.G. Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos will preside over the function and 13 selected financially challenged (but brilliant) students will be presented with 2012 REAP Awards. These students will collectively receive a sum of about Rs. 1.3 lakhs for this year. End of the day, our objective is to ensure that these children are transformed to socially committed citizens with very high integrity. Congrats to them.
If you are in a position to attend this function, please do so, even though this notification is sent at such a late hour. You can contact Aramana Manager Rev. Fr Yacoob Thomas Achan (9446824442) .
Again, we thank all those who supported REAP 2012 one way or other. It has been a great success. Thank YOU !!
Many thanks for the support provided by the Diocese under His Grace Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos leadership for the execution of this small pilot project on behalf of ICON Charities.
Please see the link below for updates:
REAP 2012 list: http://www.icon.org.in/r12/page1.php
We continuously try to enhance our website to enhance transparency. Please check your award page at http://www.icon.org.in/ra/page1.php and let us know of any
error or omissions.
In case you can forward the picture of your beloved ones (indianorthodox@...) on whose memory the award is constituted by you, we can upload it soon, as shown in the link above.
In Christian Fellowship,
List of Award Winners from Angamally Diocese:
Aneetta Baby Parnayil
Basil Mathew Chettakulathinkara
Bincy Jacob Padamattom
Chithu Varghese Chettakulathinkara
Elby Iype Pokkanathil
Eldho Thomas Onamthuruthil
Elvin Eldhose Vacheril
Greena Elias Kalarickal
Greeni Eldho Ambalathinal
Jaimol Thomas Chandanaparampil
Jisha Chakkappan Kurisingal
Reshma Mathew Kakkathottathil
Winny Elizabeth Philip
St. Luke 5: 17-26
St. John 5: 1-18
Before Holy Qurbana
Ezekiel 33: 23-34: 12
Exodus 4: 10 - 17
II Kings 2 : 1 - 11
Isaiah 5: 20-25
Acts 5: 12-16. 19: 8 -12
Romans 5: 1-11
St. Mark 2: 1-12
“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from
wrath through Him.” – Romans 5:9
As Orthodox Christians we consider our fasting, praying and prostrations as
qualifiers for God’s love, but as the Apostle Paul clearly says in Romans
chapter five we are justified by faith. No amount of prayer, fasting, or
prostrations can attain any merit in the eyes of God. All our works are like
dirty rags in the eyes of God. (Isaiah 64:6) Did God save you when you when you
were prefect? Absolutely, not! He saved you while you were a sinner. (Romans
5:9) So then why do we fast, pray and make prostrations? Are the Orthodox
attempting to be justified by works? Absolutely not! We as Orthodox believe
completely and absolutely that we are justified by faith; however, justification
by faith produces within us a genuine passion and love for Jesus Christ. In
other words, faith produces works (James 2:8), but not works that are somehow
used to please or appease God, because that is dead works. For us, faith
produces a works of love for God to demonstrate the love that we have for God in
our hearts. It is not a work to earn any merit but to show Christ how much we
love Him. Think of it this way: Christ died for us not because He was required
to, but because he loved us, and the death that He suffered was a demonstration
of perfect love. (John 3:16)
This is exactly what the Orthodox Church teaches in regard to fasting, praying,
prostrations, that is, it is a work of love, not to please or appease, but to
demonstrate our love for Christ. During this fasting season do everything with
love; realizing that Christ died on the Cross-because He loved you.
Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that through this Lenten season, may everything I do,
be done in love. Let not the dark forces of this material world cloud my heart,
but let me be able to love unconditionally, as you did on the cross. Amen.
'2013 Lenten Devotionals' Published by MGOCSM, Philadelphia.
Distribution of ICON Charity Educational Awards (2012) with respect to Angamaly
Diocese (REAP 2012) is planned for Sunday, February 24th at 3:00 PM in a simple
ceremony at the Diocesan HQ (Thrikkunnathu Seminary, Alwaye).
H.G. Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos will preside over the function and 13 selected
financially challenged (but brilliant) students will be presented with 2012 REAP
Awards. These students will collectively receive a sum of about Rs. 1.3 lakhs
for this year. End of the day, our objective is to ensure that these children
are transformed to socially committed citizens with very high integrity.
Congrats to them!
If you are in a position to attend this function, please do so, even though this
notification is sent at such a late hour. You can contact Aramana Manager Rev.
Fr. Yacoob Thomas Achan (9446824442).
Again, we thank all those who supported REAP 2012 one way or other. It has been
a great success. Thank YOU!
Many thanks for the support provided by the Diocese under His Grace Yuhanon Mar
Polycarpos leadership for the execution of this small pilot project on behalf of
Please see the link below for updates:
REAP 2012 list: http://www.icon.org.in/r12/page1.php
We continuously try to enhance our website to enhance transparency. Please check
your award page at http://www.icon.org.in/ra/page1.php and let us know of any
error or omissions.
In case you can forward the picture of your beloved ones
(indianorthodox@...) on whose memory the award is constituted by you, we
can upload it soon, as shown in the link above.
In Christian Fellowship,
List of Students
No Name Course Seq.No.
1 Aneetta Baby Parnayil BSN 6
2 Basil Mathew Chettakulathinkara XI 91
3 Bincy Jacob Padamattom BA 43
4 Chithu Varghese Chettakulathinkara XI 81
5 Elby Iype Pokkanathil BBA 30
6 Eldho Thomas Onamthuruthil BE 25
7 Elvin Eldhose Vacheril XI 72
8 Greena Elias Kalarickal BCA 50
9 Greeni Eldho Ambalathinal BSc 39
10 Jaimol Thomas Chandanaparampil GNM 50
11 Jisha Chakkappan Kurisingal BE 1
12 Reshma Mathew Kakkathottathil BE 9
13 Winny Elizabeth Philip XI 89
Dear Noel Achan,
Thank you for your kind reply.
When you put in place policies to facilitate the whole community to grow, the
marriage pool too will grow automatically.
That would be a better approach than to worry about who's marrying whom.
I cited the example of Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, the founder of the Malankara
Catholic Rite, just to show how it's possible to grow a community by creating
resources out of thin air.
Remember, he was not even a bishop with a diocese under his charge. He was just
the bishop of a monastery. But when he defected, the monastery continued with
the Mother Church.
But through skillful use of available resources (the schools placed in his
control due to fortuitous circumstances, and a printing press), he could grow
his community. Nobody realised that school management could unlock resources
until he started practising it.
Regarding my suggestion about priests travelling to non-Brahmavar parishes,
please take the help of someone like Fr. Ashwin Fernandes, who's of your own
background, and who is now presently based out of Kottayam. There are also many
other Konkani speaking Malayalee priests in our church, who are serving in
non-Brahmavar parishes. Make a database of all of them and start tapping them.
You have already taken many good initiatives like regular videography of
community related events and the email ID as the first step for a marriage
portal. When you start doing things, opportunities open up.So good luck to you.
Please continue your efforts. The ICON family will be with you to support you.
Georgy S Thomas, Bangalore
Even Now, Prepared to Fast?
How did we prepare to fast in the past? Are we ready to meet God as He
created us to be? How do we yield everything to God's will?
We fast not by diet but by faith.
There was some technical difficulties with the recording, so Fr. John
Brian's sermon ends abruptly, but not before a dynamic and seasonal lesson.
This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian
Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, February 17, 2013 by Fr.John-Brian
Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.
Please pray for Fr. John Brian and for our mission and help us as you are able.
PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:
PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD all sermons: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
For more articles and sermons, visit www.Frjohbrian.blogspot.com
Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Parish
621 N. Sherman Avenue, Suite B3
Madison, Wisconsin - Sundays 9:30am
608.242.4244 ~ transfiguration@...
Inspirational and pastoral books on spirituality and modern life by Fr John
o HEALING LIFE o DEEPENING FAITH
o ENRICHING PRACTICE o REFRESHING SPIRIT
Genesis 18: 20-33
Judges 6: 11-21
Acts 28: 1-10
Revelations 2: 1 - 7
I Timothy 6: 1-12
St. Mark 2: 13-22
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did
not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” – St. Mark 2:17
About a month ago we all made New Year’s resolutions – perhaps it was to eat
better. Maybe you vowed to fix a relationship or to finally overcome that sin
you’ve been struggling with. A few weeks later, most of us broke that promise
that we made to ourselves. What went wrong?
We often forget that true change comes from knowing the living God. Christ
called Matthew, knowing his sinfulness. It was in following Him that Matthew
was transformed into the fearless man who helped spread the Gospel. In the same
way, Christ is calling you in the middle of your weakness, knowing all your past
sins, your present struggles and your future failures. Will you follow Him like
Matthew did in complete trust?
In Matthew 11:28-30, Christ invites all who are weary and burdened to come to
Him. He tells us that His yoke is easy, and His burden light. A yoke was a
wooden bar that was put over the necks of two animals and attached to a plow.
It allowed both animals to share the task of pulling the plow. What a beautiful
picture of what Christ is offering us! He wants to help us carry our burdens
and our struggles.
In this Lenten season, let us challenge ourselves to come before God and
surrender-surrender our fears, our weaknesses, our failures and our sins.
Allow Him to help us carry our burdens. Trust that in following Him, we will be
transformed in ways we thought unimaginable.
Dear God, I ask that even though I am a lowly sinner, you grant me the mercy of
cleansing me and making me worthy to be called your child again. Amen.
'2013 Lenten Devotionals' Published by MGOCSM, Philadelphia.
Here is a link of the commemorative speech on the 79th memorial of St.Dionysius
(Vattasseril Thirumeni) held on the eve of 22 February 2013 at Pazhaya Seminary,
The speaker is Rev. Fr. Aby Philip from Mavelikara Diocese. Even though the
audio has occasional disturbances, the message is thought provoking. Please
May the memorial of St. Dionysius be a blessing to us all!
Philip Ayyamplackal, Auckland
THE ORIGIN OF FASTING
One may ask how the Institute of fasting originated. Was it a tradition handed
down by the Apostles? Was it determined as such by the early Church? Was the
duration of fasting established from the beginning? These and similar questions
require an answer.
Fasting before Easter was not determined by the early Church as such either in
specific days or for certain foods. In the New Testament the word for fasting,
nesteia, means abstinence from food entirely, and was originally a Jewish custom
reluctantly practiced by the Jews, although it was not an official requirement.
Bishop Irenaios of Lyon (192) wrote a letter to the Bishop of Rome that there is
a great difference about the duration of fasting before Easter. Some people, he
wrote, fast one day, others two, still others more days. Some of them fast 40
hours continuously, day and night, from all foods (Eusebuis, Ecclesiastical
History, 524,12). Tertuuian, an ecclesiastical writer of the 3rd century, refers
to abstinence from foods as being two days, Friday and Saturday. Some of the
early Christians abstained from foods the whole day and ate only in the
evenings, while others ate not at all, day or night, as did those who were
fasting for 40 hours. Other Christians extended the period of fasting beyond the
two days to one week (during the mid-third century),'but everyone was allowed to
extend the duration of fasting as long as he wanted. Thus, these Christians
added hours and days of fasting at their own will, beyond the customary duration
of time (Dionysios, Bishop of Alexandria, P. G. Migne 10, 1278).
George C.Thomas, Kuwait
Dear ICON members,
February 23rd, 2013 was the fifth memorial feast of Late Lamented Makarios Thirumeni, first Bishop of the Diocese of UK-Europe and Africa. In memory of our beloved Makarios Thirumeni, St.Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, London named their Church Hall -Bishop Mar Makarios Hall. Yesterday after the Holy Qurbana, Rev.Fr. George Joy, vicar of our church unveiled the plaque with Thirumeni's name (photo attached).
Dr. Sen Kallumpuram
St.Thomas IOC, London
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