Monday, March 30, 2015

Christ and the End of Satan's Dominion

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"O thou enemy, thy destructions are come to a perpetual end, even as the cities which thou hast destroyed; thy memorial is perished with a roar" (Psalm 9:6).

The enemy of the human race, the murderer of men from the very beginning, has used every weapon and intrigue against man. He thinks up new weapons and new intrigues day and night, in order to destroy someone as a roaring lion, "seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). He hides like a poisonous snake and awaits his prey; he stretches his webs everywhere, like a spider, with the sole purpose of ensnaring some human soul and entrapping it in his foul kingdom.

Pagan peoples were his cities. Until the coming of Christ, he ruled untroubled and absolutely in them. When they served idols, they served him; the practices of soothsaying and fortune-telling served him; he protected, directed and enhanced men's unbridled licentiousness; human sacrifice, fiery passions, discord, war, evildoings of all descriptions - this was all pleasure for him. But in the end, no weapons remained in him; his "cities" were destroyed and his memorial is perished with a roar.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Real Stories of Vampires from Transylvania

The traditional vampire story has its origins in the folk beliefs of the Slavic Orthodox Christians. It was believed that any Orthodox who converted to Catholicism or any heresy was cursed. The sign of this curse could be observed after death if the body refused to be decomposed. This belief is still very popular in traditional Orthodox countries, but it has gone even further to a belief in actual vampires who would rise from their graves at night to steal the life blood and energy from people. One way villagers dealt with this issue was by driving a stake through the heart of the suspected vampire and decapitating it, among other things. This extreme ritual is still a fairly common practice in villages of one of the largest Orthodox countries in the world - Romania.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Nature is Not God

By Th. I. Riginiotis 
(trans. A. N.)

In our day and age there is a noticeable increase in people who have been unearthing from oblivion and reliving the worship of ‘gods’ belonging to ancient pagan religions. This appears to be a worldwide phenomenon, which is intensifying as contemporary peoples seek their cultural roots, and while western peoples are seeing that they can now shake off the oppressive and imperialist versions of Christianity which took shape in the West during the past thousand years: Catholicism and Protestantism.

These contemporary worshippers often admit that they don’t really believe in the existence of ancient ‘gods’, but are attracted by “what is represented” by those gods and the myths that speak of them – that is, “the powers of nature and the universe”, inner peace and harmony of all creatures.

Thus we observe even rituals for worshipping the Sun, the Moon, Nature, Life etc., as well as invocations to the universe and its supposed “powers”. This perception – which is now a strong current – also possesses a whole lot of artistic creations in every form of the arts.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Saint Patrick's Confrontations with Demons and Druids

By Jim Wies

Patrick was as fully aware as the Celts that the power of the druids was real, but he brought news of a stronger power. There are numerous stories from his life of confrontations between the power of God and the power of darkness. Here are just a few.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Saint Columba and the Loch Ness Monster

The event described below by St. Adomnan (c. 690) in his Vita Sancti Columbae is said to have happened in 565 AD:

Concerning a Certain Water Beast Driven Away by the Power of the Blessed Man's Prayer

Also at another time, when the blessed man was for a number of days in the province of the Picts, he had to cross the river Nes [Ness]. When he reached its bank, he saw a poor fellow being buried by other inhabitants; and the buriers said that, while swimming not long before, he had been seized and most savagely bitten by a water beast. Some men, going to his rescue in a wooden boat, though too late, had put out hooks and caught hold of his wretched corpse. When the blessed man heard this, he ordered notwithstanding that one of his companions should swim out and bring back to him, by sailing, a boat that stood on the opposite bank.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Power In Crossing Ourselves

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Mysterious is the power of the Cross no matter how unexplainable, it is true and indisputable.

Yet, St. John Chrysostom speaks of the custom of his time that the sign of the Cross is attached "on the emperor's diadem, on the accoutrements of the soldiers and tracing it on parts of the body: the head, the breast [chest] and the heart and also on the table of oblations and over beds." "If it is necessary to expel demons", says he, "we use the Cross and it also helps to heal the sick."

St. Benedict made the sign of the Cross over a glass which contained poison and the glass burst as though it were struck by a stone.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

St. Paul the Simple Battles a Powerful Demon

St. Paul the Simple (Feast Day - March 7 and October 4)

By Palladius of Helenopolis 
(Lausiac History, Ch. 28)

The great and blessed Anthony had become convinced that the soul of this servant of Christ had become almost perfected in all things, even though he was somewhat simple. After a few months Anthony was moved by the grace of God to build a cell for him three or four miles away from his own cell, and said to him, "See now, by the help of the grace of Christ you have become a monk. Now live by yourself, and even take on the demons."

So a year after Paul the Most Simple came to live with him he was highly experienced in a disciplined way of life and was found worthy to battle against the demons and against all kinds of diseases.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Grave Robber and the Living Dead Girl

The Amazing Miracle of a Dead Girl 
Who Detained Her Despoiler and Would Not Let Him Go 
Until He Promised to Become a Monk

By St. John Moschos

When we were visiting Abba John, abbot of the Giants' Monastery at Theoupolis, he told us the following story:

Not long ago a young man came to me saying: "For God's sake, take me in, for I want to repent" - and he was weeping bitterly whilst he said this. I could see that he was deeply troubled and perplexed.

"Tell me how you have come to such compunction," I said.

He replied: "Abba, I most certainly am a sinner, sir."

Again I said to him: "Believe me child, just as there are many and different kinds of sin, so there are many cures. If you wish to be healed, tell me truthfully what deeds you have committed so that I can apply suitable penances. One does not apply the same treatment to a fornicator and to a murderer and to a sorcerer. Greed is treated one way; lying, anger, theft, adultery - each has its proper medication. But rather than go listing sins for you, let me say that just as we see various remedies applied to different physical infirmities, so too for the sins of the soul (which are many) a variety of medicines are available."