Thursday, July 30, 2020

How Does the Devil Perceive our Prayers Yet Cannot Read our Thoughts?

By Lay Preacher Demetrios Panagopoulos (+ 1982)

A young monk had a question:

"How does Satan perceive someone's noetic prayer and turns away from them, but he does not have the power to know the thoughts they may have within them?"

That night, a certain female Saint appeared to him while he was sleeping, and she said to him:

"Niko (this was his name), you question how Satan perceives someone is praying noetically, while it is God alone who knows the thoughts of someone?


Like the stove, which burns wood internally and we do not see the fire, but the heat tells us that the stove contains fire, so Satan may not see your prayer, but because he burns when he approaches you, he realizes that you are united with God, through prayer."

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Creepiest Scene in Jesus Film History

The King of Kings


Directed by Cecil B. DeMille

Despite the odor of sanctity around the set and production, DeMille began his Jesus-epic with a thoroughly extra-biblical episode at the lavish pleasure palace of the high-living and scantily-clad Mary Magdalene, played by the beautiful Jacqueline Logan. When Mary Magdalene discovers that one of her lovers, Judas Iscariot, has forsaken her to follow a certain preacher from Nazareth, she leaves the party-in-progress, hops on her chariot, and rides off to gain him back. When she finally meets Jesus, there follows one of the most dramatic and frightening and in my opinion greatest scenes in Jesus-film history. The scene depicts the seven ghostly deadly sins reluctantly being exorcised from her body, by the use of simple double exposures. Up to this point, this is the high point in the film. After this dramatic and unusual opening, with its sexual lustiness, which DeMille knew would draw people into the story, the film begins its conventional and reverential treatment of the incidents of Jesus' life.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Thoughts on Watchfulness and Vigilance After Watching "A Nightmare on Elm Street"

I was at my local drive-in theater a few days ago watching the 1984 original A Nightmare on Elm Street, which I've seen at least a dozen times over the years, though this was my first time outdoors in the woods. For those who don't know, the movie centers around the spirit of Freddy Krueger, who in life was a serial killer that targeted children, and who now uses a gloved hand with razors to kill his victims in their dreams, causing their deaths in the real world as well. The more I see this film, the more I see Orthodox Christian themes of watchfulness and vigilance that one often encounters in its literature.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

St. John Chrysostom on Whether Disembodied Souls Wander the Earth

By St. John Chrysostom

(From Homily 28 "On Matthew))

Nor indeed is it possible for a soul, torn away from the body, to wander here any more. For "the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God" (Wisdom 3:1); and if of the righteous, then children's souls also; for neither are they wicked. And the souls too of sinners are straightway led away hence. And it is evident from Lazarus and the rich man; and elsewhere too Christ says, "This day they require your soul of you" (Luke 12:20). And it may not be that a soul, when it is gone forth from the body, should wander here; nor is the reason hard to see. For if we, going about on the earth which is familiar and well known to us, being encompassed with a body, when we are journeying in a strange road, know not which way to go unless we have some one to lead us; how should the soul, being rent away from the body, and having gone out from all her accustomed region, know where to walk without one to show her the way?