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[orthodox-synod] Re: Father Seraphim Rose

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  • Andreas ODell
    My question on this was pretty much the same. I have many photos around the house and in my office of several of the priests and monks who I have come to know
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 3, 1999
      My question on this was pretty much the same. I have many photos around
      the house and in my office of several of the priests and monks who I have
      come to know and to love: my spiritual father, my confessor, just to
      name a few. I also have a photo of the Archbishop mounted to an ikon
      type wood, but it is still a photo.

      Although I have these photos around the house and office, I pay them
      respect (veneration?) by always being reminded of their presence and it
      continues the "bond" with them and myself.

      Would this be the same as veneration if I were to have a photo or,
      possibly, and ikon of Fr. Seraphim Rose? Would it be the same as
      veneration to an ikon of the Theotokos, whom I dearly love?

      Just asking... I didn't know.

      O anaxios,
      Andreas

      On Fri, 3 Sep 1999 10:02:22 -0400 "Udut, Kenneth"
      <kenneth.udut@...> writes:
      > It was interesting seeing an icon of him, but I dunno - it
      > feels a little premature - kinda odd to see such a familiar face
      > in an icon. A very well done icon, I think.
      >
      > What is the appropriate response to something one things is a saint
      > but is not recognized yet by the Church? Is it appropriate to have
      > an icon of one like Fr Seraphim Rose? I will remain uncomfortable
      > with
      > the idea until I find out that 'it's okay, but with these
      > limitations '-
      > then I'll promptly print it out :)
      >
      >
      >
      > Kenneth Udut
      > Kenneth.Udut@...
      >
      >
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    • Olga Mitrenina
      ... Dear Kenneth Udut: Our metropolitan Vitaly told me that canonization is a Catholic notion. We, being Orthodox, just venerate those whom we consider as
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 3, 1999
        >What is the appropriate response to something one things is a saint
        >but is not recognized yet by the Church?

        Dear Kenneth Udut:

        Our metropolitan Vitaly told me that "canonization" is a Catholic notion.
        We, being Orthodox, just venerate those whom we consider as Saints. For
        example, St. Nicolas Miracleworker was never canonized. And St. Gregory
        Palama was canonized BECAUSE people were BUILDING CHURCHES in his honour.

        I believe that Father Seraphim prays for us.

        With love in Christ,
        Olga
      • Udut, Kenneth
        Thank you for the clarification, Olga. I understand that the appearance of Saints in the calendar and/or Synodal proclaimations comes *after* popular
        Message 3 of 11 , Sep 3, 1999
          Thank you for the clarification, Olga.

          I understand that the appearance of Saints in the calendar
          and/or Synodal proclaimations comes *after* popular
          veneration, out of the geniune love for the Saint.

          I just wasn't certain about the 'logistics' of it -
          for example, is it okay to sing praises? To paint
          an icon? To ask for his/her prayers?

          I've never understood this part, but I have always
          liked Fr Seraphim Rose's writings, so I would be
          happy to hear that venerating an icon of him is okay.

          Kenneth Udut
          Kenneth.Udut@...
          "Voistinu CHelovek
          `Etot byl Syn Bozhij!'"

          |-----Original Message-----
          |From: Olga Mitrenina [mailto:alektor@...]
          |Sent: Friday, September 03, 1999 3:13 PM
          |To: orthodox-synod@egroups.com
          |Subject: [orthodox-synod] Father Seraphim Rose
          |
          |
          |>What is the appropriate response to something one things is a saint
          |>but is not recognized yet by the Church?
          |
          |Dear Kenneth Udut:
          |
          |Our metropolitan Vitaly told me that "canonization" is a
          |Catholic notion.
          |We, being Orthodox, just venerate those whom we consider as Saints. For
          |example, St. Nicolas Miracleworker was never canonized. And St. Gregory
          |Palama was canonized BECAUSE people were BUILDING CHURCHES in
          |his honour.
          |
          |I believe that Father Seraphim prays for us.
          |
          |With love in Christ,
          |Olga
          |
          |
          |
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        • Rev. John R. Shaw
          I do not think this is quite what Metropolitan Vitaly meant to say--in view of the fact that Fr. Herman was disciplined for printing a picture of St. John of
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 3, 1999
            I do not think this is quite what Metropolitan Vitaly meant to say--in
            view of the fact that Fr. Herman was disciplined for printing a picture
            of St. John of San Francisco with a halo *before* he was officially
            canonized--the Russian word is "glorified"--by the Church.
            We also have a custom of celebrating a "last Pannikhida"
            immediately before a Saint is canonized, since ther are no more
            Pannikhidas for someone after they have been recognized as a Saint.
            However, it is true that Rome has taken to "political"
            canonizations--as gestures to various groups, nationalities, races &c. We
            have "common services" for Saints of various types--Apostles, Martyrs,
            Prophets, Monastic Saints, and so on; before Vat. II, Rome had basically
            the same categories. If you look at their books now, you can see a common
            service for "Those That Have Worked for the Underprivileged".
            In the Orthodox Church, Sainthood is not a rank like the hall of
            fame or the college of cardinals! People are not made Saints--they
            already *are* Saints, and what the Church does is recognize something
            that already is shown to be a fact.
            Yours with love in Christ
            Fr. John R. Shaw
            >
            > Our metropolitan Vitaly told me that "canonization" is a Catholic notion.
            > We, being Orthodox, just venerate those whom we consider as Saints. For
            > example, St. Nicolas Miracleworker was never canonized. And St. Gregory
            > Palama was canonized BECAUSE people were BUILDING CHURCHES in his honour.
            >
            > I believe that Father Seraphim prays for us.
            >
            > With love in Christ,
            > Olga
            >
            >
            >
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          • LJames6034@aol.com
            There is a French expresson Taxation populaire, by which is meant: The people take what they want. If the people believe a person is a saint, he/she may
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 10, 1999
              There is a French expresson "Taxation populaire," by which is meant: The
              people take what they want. If the people believe a person is a saint,
              he/she may be. As the Orthodox Patriarchs said to the pope, in 1848: "None
              of us is infallible. The whole people of God are the gurantors of the faith."


              Father Andrew
            • LJames6034@aol.com
              Curious. I have been in South Carolina, since last Monday, and was in Baltimore Saturday (4th), Sunday (5th), and Monday morning. I did not write this
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 10, 1999
                Curious. I have been in South Carolina, since last Monday, and was in
                Baltimore Saturday (4th), Sunday (5th), and Monday morning.

                I did not write this yesterday (9/09/99), though I did write it.

                Even more curious: As I recall, it was intended to be a private post to
                one of you, not to everyone on the List. However, as I have said in the
                past: "There is no private me as over against a public me." (Though, to be
                sure, I might not refer to the patriarch of Moscow as a "commie bastard,"
                publicly, as I have privately.)

                Nevertheless, for anything I have said, I would be willing to give you two
                weeks to draw a crowd---and then post what I said!


                Father Andrew
              • Rev. John R. Shaw
                Years ago, an elderly lady parishioner of ours in Chicago, the late Mrs. Lydia Petrovna Braginskaya, who was the daughter of a priest martyred by the
                Message 7 of 11 , Sep 11, 1999
                  Years ago, an elderly lady parishioner of ours in Chicago, the late Mrs.
                  Lydia Petrovna Braginskaya, who was the daughter of a priest martyred by
                  the Bolsheviks, told me the following:
                  "No matter how much you may dislike or disagree with a priest [or
                  bishop], when you talk [and also write or think] about him, remember
                  this: you do now know what he is doing at the given moment. Perhaps he is
                  offering the Holy Sacrifice, administering Holy Communion or Unction, or
                  praying for someone--and here you are calling him bad names".
                  The late Archbishop Seraphim of blessed memory, of Chicago and
                  Detroit, once in a conversation with me [privately], made a remark not
                  unlike the one below about another cleric; but then caught himself,
                  crossed himself, and added "krome svjaschenstva ego, prosti
                  Hospodi"--"except for his priesthood, and may the Lord forgive me".
                  Fr. John R. Shaw
                  > past:
                  "There is no private me as over against a public me." (Though, to be
                  > sure, I might not refer to the patriarch of Moscow as a "commie bastard,"
                  > publicly, as I have privately.)
                  >
                  > Nevertheless, for anything I have said, I would be willing to give you two
                  > weeks to draw a crowd---and then post what I said!
                  >
                  >
                  > Father Andrew
                  >
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                • byakimov@csc.com.au
                  http://www.orthodoxnews.com/doodad.fcgi?tcode=10&story=Pravda.ru9282002020814.shtml Published by Pravda, September 27, 2002 It Is Later Than You Think!
                  Message 8 of 11 , Sep 30, 2002
                    http://www.orthodoxnews.com/doodad.fcgi?tcode=10&story=Pravda.ru9282002020814.shtml
                    Published by Pravda, September 27, 2002


                    "It Is Later Than You Think!" American Apostle to the Russian People


                    Fr. Seraphim Rose giving an open air talk

                    By Deacon-monk Makarios

                    IVANOVO, Russia, September 27, 2002 (Pravda) -- Nothing to do with sleek
                    businessmen, fast food chains or investment schemes. And many Russian
                    Christians will recognize him right away: few Christian stores or church
                    book counters would not carry translations from Fr. Seraphim Rose.

                    It should be noted, however, that his apostleship -- to Russia or to any
                    other nation into whose languages his works are translated -- did not
                    emerge until he finished his earthly sojourn: he died in September, 1982 at
                    the age of 48, and the twentieth anniversary of his untimely death is
                    solemnly observed these days all over the globe. And here on earth he lived
                    in a tiny Orthodox monastic community in the mountains of North California,
                    constantly immersed into the church service cycle, into research, writing,
                    editing and publishing work, translating treasures of Christian heritage
                    into English, responding to letters from readers and inquirers, attending
                    to the daily needs like gardening, firewood, truck engine and printing
                    equipment, and praying in silence.

                    Who was he, that humble, reticent priest-monk? Eugene Rose before
                    monasticism, younger son of a janitor, born in San Diego, CA, in his school
                    and college years he had little involvement with, or interest for
                    Christianity. But he had a bright, inquisitive mind and an honest heart,
                    yearning for the truth -- and that has made all the difference.

                    He studied Buddhism under Alan Watts in San Francisco and Chinese
                    philosophy in the University of California, Berkeley, excelling in any
                    field he touched and realizing at the same time that the full truth had to
                    be found elsewhere? As he later recalled, "?a new idea began to enter my
                    awareness: that Truth was not just an abstract idea, sought and known by
                    the mind, but rather something personal -- even a Person -- sought and
                    loved by the heart. And that is how I met Christ".

                    A number of outer circumstances furthered his conversion. Eugene had
                    connections to the Russian immigrant community in San Francisco with very
                    strong Orthodox Christian roots. In 1962 it was headed by Archbishop John
                    Maximovich, known by some of his followers in China and Western Europe as a
                    saint even during his lifetime (and indeed, he was canonized in 1994 in San
                    Francisco). He took spiritual charge over the young American inquirer, and
                    Fr. Seraphim throughout his life kept the deepest devotion to Archbishop
                    John.

                    But there is more to it. A throng of faithful flocked around the saintly
                    Archbishop -- yet no one else was to become like Fr. Seraphim. Much later a
                    person who had known him quite well summarized it as follows:

                    "He was very intelligent -- such a genius that few people saw him for what
                    he was. But at the same time he was very simple, not complicated at all,
                    rather like his father and mother. He could see things exactly the way they
                    were -- a down-to-earth, warm, honest man".

                    Fr. Seraphim's heritage, both tangible and intangible, is truly immense,
                    and even today, twenty years after his death, it keeps unfolding, opening
                    new riches. A new volume of his correspondence, Letters from Fr. Seraphim,
                    has just been published. Before that, a vast collection Genesis, Creation
                    and Early Man has appeared, devoted mostly to the evolution vs. creation
                    controversy. His most widely known work, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the
                    Future, reprinted many times in the US and abroad, should be credited for
                    exposing numerous modern-day spiritual deceptions and rescuing countless
                    souls from the New Age and Occult sects. The Soul After Death spells out
                    the traditional Christian view and explains otherwise mysterious
                    "near-death" and "after-death experiences". The Orthodox Word bi-monthly,
                    published by Fr. Seraphim since 1965, at times single-handedly, is still
                    serving the English-speaking Christians.

                    And that's just a small portion of what he has done. His disciples, both
                    clergy and laity, are found in Orthodox communities all over the US and, in
                    fact, all over the world; his articles, sermons and lectures provide an
                    ever-fresh source of knowledge and inspiration. And his gravesite in
                    Platina, CA has become a popular place of pilgrimage for those who loved
                    him here on earth as well as those who never met him personally.

                    From the preface to the Heavenly Realm, a collection of essays by Eugene
                    Rose, future Fr. Seraphim:

                    "The wonder of a soul of a modern young man who managed somehow to
                    penetrate into the realm of the rich Christian tradition, then to saturate
                    himself by its divine splendor, and finally to emerge as a living link with
                    the Church Fathers -- is indeed awesome! Who would suspect that our prosaic
                    America could produce such a visionary?"

                    Remembering Fr. Seraphim (Orthodox America, Aug.-Sep. 1982)

                    ? In conversation he was the proverbial "man of few words". He had no
                    interest in idle chatter, seldom expressed a personal preference for
                    anything, and disliked fakery of all kinds, often speaking of the
                    "Disneyland mentality" of America which was making it impossible for people
                    to seek and find the truth. (Such aversion to Disney, in those years
                    ostensibly innocent, seemed strange to many -- but soon the cat will be out
                    of the bag, and in 1996 American Christians will begin boycotting Disney ?
                    ed.)

                    He worried about the fact that most of us were "unconscious": we were so
                    abysmally ignorant of the great truths of our Faith? "Be awake, aware,
                    informed!..." -- he would plead, -- "Don't keep Orthodoxy to yourself as
                    though it were some private treasure. Share it!"

                    ? Fr. Seraphim was an inspiration for thousands of people. He gave some of
                    the most inspiring sermons ever uttered in the English language. His
                    constant counsel was: "Never excuse yourself. If you must, or think you
                    must, give way to a weakness, then be certain to recognize it as a weakness
                    and a sin. But see your own faults and condemn not your brother!"

                    During the latter portion of his life, Fr. Seraphim continually emphasized
                    the need for spiritual attentiveness in preparation for struggles to come.
                    He seemed to have an awareness, a foreknowledge of apocalyptic times ahead.
                    His message was conveyed in a well-known phrase: "It is later than you
                    think!"

                    ? The death of Fr. Seraphim produced a spiritual phenomenon untold of in
                    our times. Lying in state in a crude wooden coffin in the humble monastery
                    church, not only did the body remain soft and life-like in the summer heat,
                    but so comforting was his face that one could not bear to cover it, in the
                    traditional monastic way. Even children could hardly move away from the
                    coffin, since the body brought such internal peace and suggested such love.
                    Everyone was aware that, in our times, among us, a holy man had left in his
                    body a phenomenon that challenges science and our hearts.

                    From God's Revelation to the Human Heart by Fr. Seraphim
                    (St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1987)

                    ?Is there a special organ for receiving revelation from God? Yes, in a
                    certain sense there is such an organ, though usually we close it and do not
                    let it open up: God's revelation is given to something called a loving
                    heart. We know from the Scriptures that God is love; Christianity is the
                    religion of love (you may look at the failures, see people who call
                    themselves Christians and are not, and say there is no love there; but
                    Christianity is indeed the religion of love when it is successful and
                    practiced in the right way)? If you ask anyone who knew Archbishop John
                    what it was that drew people to him -- and still draws people who never
                    knew him -- the answer is always the same: he was overflowing with love; he
                    sacrificed himself for his fellow men out of absolutely unselfish love for
                    God and for them. This is why things were revealed to him which could not
                    get through to other people and which he never could have known by natural
                    means. He himself taught that, for all "mysticism" of our Orthodox Church
                    that is found in the Lives of the Saints and the writings of the Holy
                    Fathers, the Orthodox faithful always has both feet firmly on the ground,
                    facing whatever situation is right in front of him. It is in accepting
                    given situations, which requires a loving heart, that man encounters God.
                    This loving heart is why anyone comes to a knowledge of the truth?

                    The opposite of the loving heart that receives revelation from God is cold
                    calculation, getting what you can out of people; in religious life, this
                    produces fakery and charlatanism of all descriptions. If you look at the
                    religious world today, you see that a great deal of this is going on: so
                    much fakery, posing, calculation, so much taking advantage of the winds of
                    fashion?

                    From the Letters from Father Seraphim (Nikodemos, Richfield Springs, NY,
                    2001)

                    ? Good heavens! What is happening to people? How easily one gets dragged
                    off the path of serving God into all kinds of factions and jealousies and
                    attempts at revenge.

                    ? I think about... that older generation that is now almost gone, and I
                    want to weep for the young know-it-alls who have missed the point. But the
                    understanding comes only through real suffering, and how many can do that?

                    ? Christians, surrounded by and already swimming in a sea of
                    humanist-worldly philosophy and practice, must do everything possible to
                    create their own islands, in that sea, of other-worldly, God-oriented
                    thought and practice.

                    ? Try to remember that all real Christian work is local -- right here and
                    now, between myself and God and my neighbor.

                    ? Do you have a notebook for taking down quotes from Holy Fathers in your
                    reading? Do you always have a book of Holy Fathers that you are reading and
                    can turn to in a moment of gloom? Start now -- this is essential!

                    ? Now one cannot be a half-hearted Christian, but only entirely or not at
                    all.
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