Wednesday, August 26, 2015

St. Kosmas the Aitolos on the Devil

By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

And so, my brethren, the first order of angels of which we spoke earlier fell because of pride and sought to be glorified equally with God. From a luminous and most brilliant being, the angel became the darkest devil and the enemy of people. He is in hell where he burns forever. When we hear the word devil, it is he who was once the first among angels; it is he who moves people to pride, to murder, to theft; it is he who enters into a dead person, causing him to appear living, and we call him a vrykolakas. It is he who enters a living person who takes on the image of Christ, of the Panagia, or some Saint, and running up and down like a person possessed, says he performs miracles. It is the devil who enters into a person and causes him to become an epileptic and demoniac. But may God be glorified, for he's given us three weapons with which to fight him.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cosmic Horror vs. Sacred Terror: Finding Meaning in Modern Horror

H.P. Lovecraft (left) and Arthur Machen

By Jonathan Ryan

Why is there so much hopeless despair in modern horror? Part of the answer can be found in H.P. Lovecraft's writings and his concept of "cosmic horror." He explains his view of the end of the world: "The human race will disappear. Other races of beings will appear and disappear in turn. The sky will become icy and void, pierced by the feeble light of half-dead stars. Everything will disappear. And what human beings do is just as free of sense as the free motion of elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, feelings? Pure 'Victorian fictions.' Only egotism exists."

Lovecraft injected this worldview into all of his stories. Lovecraft fans discuss the "Cthulhu mythos," based on one of his short stories, The Call of Cthulhu. A malevolent entity, Cthulhu becomes a stand-in for all the monsters or aliens of the Lovecraft universe. He drives home his committed atheist worldview through his "old ones"—alien "gods" from other worlds who either do not care about ours or actively seek our destruction. Cosmic horror is what happens when the characters in Lovecraft's stories face this reality and react in utter despair at the futility of doing anything about it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Prayer for Intercession Against One's Inner Darkness

My most holy Lady Theotokos, by thy holy and all-effective prayers drive from me thine unworthy servant all despondency, indecision, folly, carelessness, and all impure, evil and blasphemous thoughts, from my wretched heart and my darkened mind. And quench the flame of my passions, for I am poor and wretched, and deliver me from many cruel memories and deeds, and free me from all their bad effects; for blessed art thou by all generations, and glorified is thy most honorable name unto the ages. Amen.

See also: Prayer Rule Against Evil Thoughts

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Miraculous Holy Spring of Saint Myron and the Dragon

Holy Spring of St. Myron

From August 7th through the 8th every year thousands of pilgrims from all over Crete descend on the town of Agiou Myrona to celebrate the memory of their patron saint, Saint Myron the Wonderworker, who was Bishop of Crete in the fourth century. There they enter the church dedicated in his honor, they light a candle, venerate his recently discovered relics, and kiss his holy icon. Besides these things, they also go to the spring of St. Myron, located beneath his tomb, to drink from its miraculous waters.