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The life of an Orthodox Christian is one of prayer.  In Orthodox Tradition it is the person who truly prays that is a theologian and a God-seer.  The purpose of all life is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to become one with Christ. As St Peter says in his letter , "To become partakers of the Divine Nature."  In Orthodox Tradition that is known as theosis or in English it would be deification, and everything an Orthodox person does should be done to further that goal.  If it were easy then it would be done, but what is wrong?   After the Fall of Adam and Eve we as human beings became enslaved to our passions, which leads us away from the Freedom of the Life in Christ.  The Ascetic struggles of fasting and vigils are to tame the body and its passions, so that we can pray.  The goal is not a fast, it is to live a life of Active Love for all people.  To be filled with mercy and forgiveness, to bind up wounds, to love, that is the result of a life of prayer. 

The beginning of prayer is the realization that without the mercy of Our Lord, there is nothing.  That all that I am, and all that I have is do to the Mercy of Our Lord Jesus.  That is why we cry, "Lord have Mercy."

 

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St Geoffrey St. Nilus of Sora, My Patron Saint

 

The Symbol of Faith

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man.  And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried.  And the third day He arose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets.  In one Holy , Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins.  I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  AMEN.

The central feature of Orthodox life is the Divine Liturgy, this is the service of Thanksgiving and Communion with the Holy Mysteries of Our Lord's Body and Blood.  We prepare to receive the gifts by Prayer and Fasting.  Prior to Communion we must examine our hearts so as not to eat and drink to our damnation.  We go to confession to confess our sins and to receive absolution and forgiveness.  The sacramental life is a must to follow the Way, because according to The Orthodox no one is saved alone, but we are saved as a member of the Body of Christ.

PRAYER OF THE OPTINIA ELDERS

O Lord, grant that I may meet all that this coming day brings to me with spiritual tranquility. Grant that I may fully surrender myself to Thy holy Will.

At every hour of this day, direct and support me in all things Whatsoever news may reach me in the course of the day, teach me to accept it with a calm soul and the firm conviction that all is subject to Thy holy Will.

Direct my thoughts and feelings in all my words and actions.  In all unexpected occurrences, do let me forget that all is sent down from Thee.

Grant that I may deal straightforwardly and wisely with every member of my family, neither embarrassing nor saddening anyone.

O Lord, grant me the strength to endure the fatigue of the coming day and all the events that take place during it.  Direct my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to be patient, to forgive, and to love. Amen.

Lord, Jesus Christ, our God,
who blessed the five loaves in the wilderness,
from which five thousand were fed,
bless also these loaves, this oil, this wine,
and all the fruits of the earth;
multiply them in this city, in this country,
and everywhere in Your world;
sanctify Your faithful who will receive them.
For You are the One who blesses
and feeds and sanctifies all creation,
O Christ our God,
and to You we give glory,
together with Your eternal Father
and Your all-holy, good and life creating Spirit,
now and ever and unto ages of ages.

The site will give an overview of what an Orthodox Christian prays and what he or she prays, and will provide links to Orthodox sites, a list of books to read.

An Orthodox person prays at his or her beautiful corner.  The beautiful corner is on the east wall of a room, and there are ikons, a palmbranch and or pussywillow, a red egg, maybe a handheld censer, and a bottle of holy water.  The holy water is from the Blessing of the Waters on Theophony, the egg is a red egg from Pascha, and the palmbranch and or pussywillow is from Palm Sunday. A link follows for some online prayers Orthodox Christians use every day.

Orthodox Prayers

SERMONS ON CONFESSION BY METROPOLITAN ANTHONY

Jeff the Finn

The Church is One

In Memory Of The 50 Million Victims Of The Orthodox Christian Holocaust

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KATHISMAS

 ORTHODOX READING

ORTHODOX LINKS

Orthodox Peace Fellowship

English Literature: An Awe Inspiring Art

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The Story of the Onion

You might find the following description useful if you are planning to visit an Orthodox Church.

First Visit To An Orthodox Church - Frederica Mathewes-Green

Below are descriptions of a journeys into Holy Orthodoxy from an Evangelical background.

From Evangelical to Orthodox

The Pilgrim Essays Introduction



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Sunday, June 15, 2003