Thursday, February 26, 2015

Saint Basil the Great on the Origin of Evil

By St. Basil the Great

It is equally impious to say that evil has its origin from God; because the contrary cannot proceed from its contrary. Life does not engender death; darkness is not the origin of light; sickness is not the maker of health. In the changes of conditions there are transitions from one condition to the contrary; but in genesis each being proceeds from its like, and not from its contrary. If then evil is neither uncreated nor created by God, from whence comes its nature? Certainly that evil exists, no one living in the world will deny. What shall we say then? Evil is not a living animated essence; it is the condition of the soul opposed to virtue, developed in the careless on account of their falling away from good.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Imitating the Fast of Christ in our Spiritual Warfare

By St. Basil the Great

Our Lord, having fortified through fasting the flesh which He assumed for our sake, submitted to the attacks of the Devil therewith, both instructing us to anoint and train ourselves with fasting for the struggles that we must undergo amid temptations and affording the adversary a handle, so to speak, through hunger. For on account of the height of His Divinity He would have been inaccessible to the Devil, had He not submitted to human weakness through hunger. However, before He ascended back to Heaven, He tasted food, giving assurance of the true nature of His risen body.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Law of Thelema...Christianized Once More

Aleister Crowley, the famous occult magician and author, compiled a book in 1904 titled The Book of the Law, which was said to have been dictated to him by a spirit named Aiwass. This book was meant to usher in the Age of Horus, in which a new ethical code would be followed. The central message of this new ethical code, known as the Law of Thelema (the Greek word θελημα or thelema is translated as "will"), was: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law".

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Saint Haralambos and the Demon Possessed

Many of the weighty difficulties which befall man have their cause, known or unknown, in his past. However, the causes of these weighty difficulties, let us say mental disorders, are nothing else than the transgression of the moral law of God.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Saint Barsanuphios the Great on Demonic Dreams and Delusions

Q: Can the demons communicate anything good? And how does one discover that it is demonic? And what distinguishes it from something good from God?

A: To someone it might seem that he receives something good, but this is from the evil one for his deception. For every good thing which comes from the devil for the deception of a man, being precisely examined, turns out to be unreal; for the devil is a liar, and there is no truth in him (John 8:44), as is shown by the consequences of that (false good). His light ends in darkness, according to the Apostle’s word which speaks about diabolic heralds transformed into the servants of righteousness "whose end will be according to their deeds" (II Corinthians 11:15); and the Savior says: "By their fruit ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:16). If you investigate with understanding and judgment, you will find in the false good (which comes) from the devil, there was not even a trace of good, but either vainglory, or disturbance, or something similar; but the good which comes from God always increases enlightenment and humility of heart and gives a man quietness. But when, out of ignorance, we suffer in something from the deception of the evil one, and later we recognize in this a temptation, then let us call ourselves and hasten to Him Who is powerful to do away with this temptation. One should know that to some the difference (between the good of the devil and that of God) is understandable from the very beginning; while to sinners, only at the end (of the temptation), just as a skilled master in gold work can take gold (in his hand) and tell before it is tested with fire of what sort it is, while an unskilled one does not find this out until it has been tested with fire.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Holy New Martyr Anastasios of Nafplion (+ 1655)

St. Anastasios of Nafplion (Feast Day - February 1 and June 4)

By St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

The limbs of your flesh were cut Anastasios,
Like bread you will rise in the eschaton.

Anastasios, the holy neomartyr, was born and reared in Nafplion of the Peloponnese. He was a painter by trade. In his homeland, he was betrothed to the daughter of a a certain Christian. However, a few days later, he heard of some faults of his fiancee, and he dissolved the engagement. The parents of his former betrothed (not being firmly grounded in Christianity) took recourse in the magic arts to inveigle him into loving her and joining her in wedlock. Consequently, within a short period of time, the charm began to take effect and the young man went completely mad, roaming about aimlessly. The Hagarenes noticed this behavior and took advantage of his insanity, making him a Muslim by circumcision. Despite this, God pitied Anastasios, and, in a matter of days, He granted him complete restoration of his mental faculties. When Anastasios regained his senses and saw that he was wearing a white turban on his head like the Muslims, he shouted without hesitation into a crowd of Turks: "I was a Christian, I am a Christian, and a Christian I will always be!"