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By Father Rafail Noica from Essex Monastery – fragment from the conference “Crises in the Church“, Alba-Iulia, Romania, April, 2003 (English translation by blog administrator)


We have to take very seriously the reality of our freedom which the Lord would not force it, even though for the salvation of man!

Man is the one who decides for his own destiny. When the Lord will judge us, I don’t believe it to be as one of this world – that we have done certain mistakes for which we’ll have to be punished…but rather the Judgment day, in a certain sense, belongs to man: will man be able to live in the presence of this God by being or become someone different from Him?



Anxiety dominates the lives of people in Greece and the world in general due to the continuous economic crisis…  Dailygreece, aware of this pervading climate of unrest, approached Elder Ephraim at his monastery in Arizona.

Many consider him isapostolos -equal to the apostles – since America is experiencing a new Pentecost with the twenty monasteries he established and their missionary endeavors there.  We asked him if this economic crisis will escalate and if we, as Christians should take some extra precautions such as storing food provisions and material goods, outside/along with the necessary spiritual vigilance that we must always practice…
This was the reply we received by the father in charge of the monastic community’s communications:  Elder Ephraim simply advises people to be prepared and to attain food provisions (and water perhaps) for a few months because there is a possibility of a great economic crisis this year worldwide. They should do this without panic however. If nothing happens, the food supply will not go to waste…  The elder also said that these
hardships are the result of people’s sin and admonishes/exhorts people to repent and to live a Christian life with participation in the mysteries of the Church.

Text published by and translated from greek by CZ


In Unstable Times, One Thing Needful

(By Father David Subu of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA  and published in The Veil, Oct. “08)

Jerusalem Times


BETHANY, JUDEA— Today as news of financial instability spread through the nation and fears of collapse mounted, fear was tangible in this Suburb of the Capitol. At the home of Lazarus, sisters Mary and Martha exemplified the growing climate of unease. Yesterday, traveling Rabbi and reputed wonderworker Jesus of Nazareth was among his disciples there. Martha, engaged in much serving of the crowd publicly rebuked her sister for sitting at the feet of the so-called “Master,” while work was to be done. Before the star-struck devotee could respond however, the celebrated Nazarene interceded on her behalf, saying, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Critics of the itinerant preacher point to a growing disappointment with his failure to satisfactorily address the difficult issues facing the people: Roman Occupation and taxation, the Herodian scandal, and increasing Gentile immigration and influence in the Promised Land. Speaking of a Kingdom without providing any details of what this new administration would look like or who would sit at his right hand have frustrated even many of his own followers. Many continue to question his qualifications for such public service. Neither Mary nor Martha could be reached for comment after the domestic dispute, and the whereabouts of the mysterious carpenter turned community organizer from Galilee are currently unknown…

So we might expect to read if Jesus came today into our world of many worries and troubles. We live in perhaps the most cynical times in American history, and that is saying something if we look at all the difficult times our nation has faced. Yet in the midst of crises and collapses, the words of the “Master” are no less true: “One thing is needful.” That one thing is the Kingdom of heaven: the life of the age to come but also the life which we live today in Christ. As the Lord also said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matt 6:33-34)


This is neither quietism nor fatalism, however, but rather the exact opposite. Only by seeking first God’s righteousness above all other concerns of the world, can we establish ourselves as the only capable and credible sources of virtue and wisdom. The problems facing our world today are neither economic nor political in origin but spiritual. The post-modern world has suffered a fundamental loss of Virtue. Without guiding principles rooted in the absolute goodness of God as source of all life, light, morality, and justice, the world spirals into chaos with no clear reasoning nor even raison d’être. Without a foundation of virtue, politicians, journalists, and every citizen cease to be concerned with Truth or Righteousness but only in power, influence, and privilege. The sources of our current crises are not a lack of regulation or oversight but because of a lack of character.

It may be too much at this point to expect real virtue and character from a system which has become bigger than the sum of its parts. Even if an individual politician genuinely wishes to make positive change, he or she is hamstrung by the rampant wickedness of the whole. But Christ did not come to teach us how to reform government and financial institutions. He came to teach us how to reform our souls, to restore them to their original beauty in Him. The only way society is changed is one soul at a time. The souls of the righteous are the salt of the earth. They are the ones who season society and make it wholesome. So, as times seem precarious and election campaigns seek to exacerbate our fears and flaws for their own gain, let us not be troubled by them but sit rather at the feet of our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pursue the one and only thing we need, knowing that it can never be taken away from us, for Christ is with us!















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February 2009