EP. 52: COFFE WITH SR. VASSA & STEVEN CHRISTOFOROU IN NEW YORK, USA – ENGLISH VIDEO WITH GREEK, SPANISH, RUSSIAN & ITALIAN SUBS

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USA OF MY HEART

EDELWEISS OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Ep.52: Coffee with Sr. Vassa & Steven Christoforou in New York, USA

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Subtitles: Greek, Spanish, Russian and Italian

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In this episode Sr. Vassa from Austria interviews the famous Steven Christoforou of the “Be the Bee” YouTube podcasts, in New York City! Steven shares his amazing story, how he left a prestigious job on Wall Street to first study theology at seminary, and then to work full-time for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese as director of Youth Ministry. See be the Bee at the following links:

http://youtube.com/y2am

http://bethebee.goarch.org

BE THE BEE

USA: JONATHAN JACKSON GIVES GLORY TO GOD

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Jonathan Jackson gives glory to God

 

HOLY THURSDAY OF HOLY WEEK AT ARCHANGEL MICHAEL ORTHODOX CHURCH IN OHIO, USA – VIDEO

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

Columbus Ohio

Holy Thursday of Holy Week

at Archangel Michael Orthodox Church

in Campbell, Ohio, USA

LANCE GOLDSBERRY, USA: WHY I BECOME ORTHODOX – A PERSONAL STORY & TESTIMONY

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USA OF MY HEART

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

2015 - 1

Lance Goldsberry, USA:

 Why I Became Orthodox – A Personal Story & Testimony

From Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

On January 31st, 2010, one day after my 50th birthday, I was received into the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church of the East at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

My chrismation represented a 20 year journey of studying Orthodoxy. I was raised Roman Catholic, and went to parochial school for 12 years. I am grateful for my Roman Catholic upbringing; I learned who Jesus was, I believe I knew the Christ, but I did not always follow Him in my life.

After wasting a few years in adolescence and young adulthood smoking marijuanna and living a generally aimless life, I had a “born again” experience through the Catholic Charismatic movement. It was real in the sense that I repented of my sins and re-directed my life to Christ, and gave up drinking and drug use.

Shortly thereafter, I began attending independent charismatic churches, and left the Catholic faith. The churches I went to were very fundamentalistic. I got burned out after spending a few years in one fellowship in particular, where the leadership of untrained ”elders” exercised a very authoritarian and spiritually abusive kind of authority. After a failed marriage, I tried a number of evangelical churches, but did not find a home.

I am grateful for both my Catholic upbringing and my evangelical experience. My Catholic background instilled in me a knowledge of Jesus as my Lord, God, and Savior, and of wholesome morality. My evangelical experience taught me to be Christ-centered and to have a love of the Holy Scriptures.

After having been burned out from the fundamentalist sect, I began to do some reading. In fact, I already had been reading since the mid-1980s early Church fathers such as Polycarp of Smyrna, Ireneaos, and Ignatios of Antioch, and I was stuck by how “catholic” the earliest Christian writers after the New Testament itself were. I was especially struck by their belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. For them, the Eucharist was the very Body and Blood of Christ our God. These early Christians had liturgy, sacraments, bishops; they did not seem like the fundamentalist churches I had been attending.

In the early 1990s I met a Greek Orthodox priest who would plant the seeds of my eventual conversion. Through a mutual friend, United Methodist Pastor Bob Stamps, I met Father Hans Jabobse. We all attended a bible study or sharing at lunch time once a week. Because Fr. Hans lived close to me, he often would give me a ride home. There was something compelling about Fr. Hans. I began asking him questions about Orthodoxy, the Eucharist, the Theotokos, and I always found his answers intriguing. He answered my questions with authority, humble but firm and certain.

I remember one day after Fr. Hans dropped me off at my home, I went upstairs and knelt by my bed, and said a Hail Mary for the first time in probably 10 years. A tear came to my eye. It was almost as if the Mother of God bent down and kissed me on the forehead.

I attended the parish he served at the time, my future parish, St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church. I found the liturgy very uplifting and inspiring. I thought the chant sounded beautiful.

I began to attend inquirer’s classes at St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral in Minneapolis (St. Alexis Toth’s Church). For some reason, shortly after starting, my interest began to wane somewhat. I found Orthodoxy too conservative, and I quit going to the classes.

In the 1990s, I attend St. Mary’s Catholic Basilica on and off. I thought “Orthodoxy seems so similar to my Catholic faith, I might as well return to that.” At times I was devoted to my Catholic faith, and at other times, I was not. During the mid 1990s I actually began to lose my faith altogether, and started looking into Buddhism. But I never completely lost sight of Christ. I still read the New Testament every day, even during my short inquiry into Buddhism.

My return to Christ was inspired in part by watching the movie about Dorothy Day, called Entertaining Angels. There was a scene from the movie, when she was on the cusp of her conversion, where Dorothy is in Church, and look up at a crucifix and says,

“You really have a way of getting to people, don’t you?”.

It was a very moving scene, and I shed some tears.

Around 2000, I began attending a Byzantine Catholic Church, St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church in Minneapolis. I never completely lost my interest in the Christian East although it had waned at one time. As I re-committed my life to Christ, I began to think more about how to live out my Christian life, and how I would practice. I began to feel the hunger again for the Eastern Liturgy.

But since I was Catholic, I thought I would attend a Byzantine Catholic Church rather than an Orthodox one. I had read that the Byzantine Catholics shared the heritage of Eastern Orthodoxy, for they were Orthodox Churches that accepted union with Rome. My Church, the Byzantine Ruthenian Church, accepted union with Rome at Uzhorod in 1646.

I attended St. John’s for approximately 10 years. Overall, my experience at St. John’s was a very good one. All three priests that served our parish while I was there were very good men, very Eastern in their spirituality, and very trustworthy.

But during those years, I became increasingly Orthodox in my outlook. There are some very stark differences in Western Catholic and Eastern Orthodox spirituality and teaching. I found that on all of the issues that divide the Roman Catholic Church from the Eastern Orthodox Church, I came down in every instance on the side of the Orthodox- whether the issue was Papal Primacy, the Immaculate Conception, the Filioque, Purgatory, Indulgences, and a host of other issues.

I felt by far more attracted to the mystical theology of the Eastern Church. I began to feel disenchanted with the rationalist and legal framework of the Roman Church. It is my perception that the Roman Magisterium functionally supersedes Holy Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church.

As an Eastern Catholic, I had an identity crisis. Was I an Eastern Orthodox in communion with Rome, as many of the more Orthodox Eastern Catholics like to say? Or was I a Roman Catholic with Eastern Liturgics, as some Eastern Catholics in fact seem to be?

When people would ask me about my religion, I distanced myself from Roman Catholicism, and tried to explain what an Eastern Catholic was, and that I was really an Orthodox Christian “who accepted the authority of the Pope.” But in fact, I didn’t; I began to believe, as an Eastern Catholic, that the Pope could be seen as having a primacy of love and honor, as the eldest among co-equal brother bishops, but I could not accept that he had supreme jurisdiction over the entire Church Catholic.

I aligned myself with the Melkite Greek Catholic Bishop Elias Zoghby, who proclaimed himself in duo communion with both Rome and Orthodoxy. Bishop Zoghby considered himself an Eastern Orthodox Christian, holding to everything Eastern Orthodoxy teaches, but in communion with the Bishop of Rome, according to the limits recognized by the Eastern Fathers of the first millennium. But the problem with this is obvious: how can I be in communion with the Pope of Rome, if I do not have the same view of his office as he does, and as the Roman Catholic Church requires of all her members?

I began to  be dissatisfied with certain limitations placed on the Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States, such as not having married clergy. The authentic tradition of the Eastern Church is to have married clergy, but for most of the time Eastern Catholics have been in Western Europe and in the United States, they have not been allowed to have married clergy. Although my bishop in fact was willing to ordain married men, and in fact had done so, most of our bishops were not courageous enough to do so.

I also questioned how I could belong to an autonomous Church, when Rome in fact chooses our Metropolitan? Or when Pope John Paul II in fact promulgated our Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Catholic Churches? And why in fact was there only one Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Churches, when in fact, there are 21 divergent Eastern Catholic Churches, with very different heritages and theological traditions? With the exception of the Maronites, all the Eastern Catholic Churches have an analog in the Orthodox world- there are Catholic Russians, Greeks, Copts, Ethiopians, Syro-Indians, etc.

I decided I wanted the Orthodox identity. I believe in my heart that the Orthodox Church is the true Church, the Church founded by Christ and his apostles.  I believe that Catholics and Protestants are Christians too, I am not an exclusivist in the sense of asserting that only Orthodox are Christians and go to heaven. But the Orthodox Church has preserved in purity the faith

“You really have a way of getting to people, don’t you?”

It was a very moving scene, and I shed some tears.

Around 2000, I began attending a Byzantine Catholic Church, St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church in Minneapolis. I never completely lost my interest in the Christian East although it had waned at one time. As I re-committed my life to Christ, I began to think more about how to live out my Christian life, and how I would practice. I began to feel the hunger again for the Eastern Liturgy.

But since I was Catholic, I thought I would attend a Byzantine Catholic Church rather than an Orthodox one. I had read that the Byzantine Catholics shared the heritage of Eastern Orthodoxy, for they were Orthodox Churches that accepted union with Rome. My Church, the Byzantine Ruthenian Church, accepted union with Rome at Uzhorod in 1646.

I attended St. John’s for approximately 10 years. Overall, my experience at St. John’s was a very good one. All three priests that served our parish while I was there were very good men, very Eastern in their spirituality, and very trustworthy.

But during those years, I became increasingly Orthodox in my outlook. There are some very stark differences in Western Catholic and Eastern Orthodox spirituality and teaching. I found that on all of the issues that divide the Roman Catholic Church from the Eastern Orthodox Church, I came down in every instance on the side of the Orthodox- whether the issue was Papal Primacy, the Immaculate Conception, the Filioque, Purgatory, Indulgences, and a host of other issues.

I felt by far more attracted to the mystical theology of the Eastern Church. I began to feel disenchanted with the rationalist and legal framework of the Roman Church. It is my perception that the Roman Magisterium functionally supersedes Holy Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church.

As an Eastern Catholic, I had an identity crisis. Was I an Eastern Orthodox in communion with Rome, as many of the more Orthodox Eastern Catholics like to say? Or was I a Roman Catholic with Eastern Liturgics, as some Eastern Catholics in fact seem to be?

When people would ask me about my religion, I distanced myself from Roman Catholicism, and tried to explain what an Eastern Catholic was, and that I was really an Orthodox Christian “who accepted the authority of the Pope.” But in fact, I didn’t; I began to believe, as an Eastern Catholic, that the Pope could be seen as having a primacy of love and honor, as the eldest among co-equal brother bishops, but I could not accept that he had supreme jurisdiction over the entire Church Catholic.

I aligned myself with the Melkite Greek Catholic Bishop Elias Zoghby, who proclaimed himself in duo communion with both Rome and Orthodoxy. Bishop Zoghby considered himself an Eastern Orthodox Christian, holding to everything Eastern Orthodoxy teaches, but in communion with the Bishop of Rome, according to the limits recognized by the Eastern Fathers of the first millennium. But the problem with this is obvious: how can I be in communion with the Pope of Rome, if I do not have the same view of his office as he does, and as the Roman Catholic Church requires of all her members?

I began to  be dissatisfied with certain limitations placed on the Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States, such as not having married clergy. The authentic tradition of the Eastern Church is to have married clergy, but for most of the time Eastern Catholics have been in Western Europe and in the United States, they have not been allowed to have married clergy. Although my bishop in fact was willing to ordain married men, and in fact had done so, most of our bishops were not courageous enough to do so.

I also questioned how I could belong to an autonomous Church, when Rome in fact chooses our Metropolitan? Or when Pope John Paul II in fact promulgated our Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Catholic Churches? And why in fact was there only one Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Churches, when in fact, there are 21 divergent Eastern Catholic Churches, with very different heritages and theological traditions? With the exception of the Maronites, all the Eastern Catholic Churches have an analog in the Orthodox world- there are Catholic Russians, Greeks, Copts, Ethiopians, Syro-Indians, etc.

I decided I wanted the Orthodox identity. I believe in my heart that the Orthodox Church is the true Church, the Church founded by Christ and his apostles.  I believe that Catholics and Protestants are Christians too, I am not an exclusivist in the sense of asserting that only Orthodox are Christians and go to heaven. But the Orthodox Church has preserved in purity the faith

“once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

The Orthodox Church has continuity through episcopal apostolic succession with the Churches originally found by the Apostles in Europe in Asia in the first century.

The Orthodox Church is not a monarchial Church, it is a conciliar Church. The doctrine of the Christ, His Divine-Humanity, was enunciated by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church from years 325 A.D. to 787 A.D. The Bishops, throughout the world, came together at these councils and proclaimed the doctrine of the Church. There is no one Bishop who defines dogma for the Church, as Roman Catholics claim for the Pope.

Besides embracing with my heart everything Holy Orthodoxy teaches, I love the spirituality and aesthetics of the Orthodox Church.

For Orthodox, God is not angry, rather He is the lover of mankind. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is not to placate a vengeful God, but to liberate us from sin and death, and to defeat our adversary, the devil. For Orthodox Christians, there is no “sinners in the hands of an angry god.”

Orthodox spirituality is apophatic; that is, we cannot know him through discursive thought. We cannot know God by our ideas about God.

One of the things that attracted me to Orthodoxy originally was its liturgy. The Russian Primary Chronicle relates the story of St. Vladimir’s emissaries who were sent out to various nations to discover the true faith. Here is what they wrote back to Vladimir after visiting the Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople:

Then we went on to Greece, and the Greeks led us to the edifices where they worship their God, and we knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth. For on earth there is no such splendour or such beauty, and we are at a loss how to describe it. We know only that God dwells there among men, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations. For we cannot forget that beauty. Every man, after tasting something sweet, is afterward unwilling to accept that which is bitter, and therefore we cannot dwell longer here.

This is how I feel about Orthodox worship. It is beautiful, it is the liturgy of heaven.

I am now a very contented Orthodox Christian. I believe that the Orthodox faith is the true faith.

“This is the Faith of the Apostles. This is the Faith of the Fathers. This is the Faith of the Orthodox. This is the Faith that has established the universe.” – from The Synodikon of Orthodoxy.

SOURCE:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF ALONENESS: WHEN CHRIST FOUND ME IN THE HIMALAYAS – JOSEPH MAGNUS FRANGIPANI, ALASKA, USA

553e9fd142208530f6d4bb94c388f33f,,,,,,,,,,Forest Reflections. Mammoth Lakes, Eastern Sierra, California. T

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ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

ALASKA & AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Joseph Magnus Frangipani, ALASKA, USA

After Baptism in the Eastern Orthodox Church

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The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas

by Joseph Magnus Frangipani 

I’m an Orthodox Christian living in Homer, Alaska and experienced Jesus Christ in the Himalayas, in India.

I listen to the heartbeat of rain outside…

Cold, Alaskan fog blowing in off the bay, emerald hills now that autumn is here and summer chased away into the mountains. But a milky white fog spreads over the bay like a silken ghost. I used to visit Trappist monasteries, back when I was Catholic, at the beginning of high school, and searching for a relationship of love. I read plenty of philosophy then to know that knowing isn’t enough, that having a realization in the mind is entirely different from experiencing a revelation of the heart.

I spent two birthdays in the Himalayas…

Traveling along gravel roads that drop deep into icy gulches where the Ganges river rages below not yet packed with the filth and mud and newspapers of villages, not yet carrying remainders of Indians in her current, I found Christ found me. It’s a difficult and strangely compelling atmosphere to confront oneself, – – India, – – sandwiched with black corpses, white snow, pagan fires and virulent animals.

I took a bus north from Delhi. It was crowded, tight and cramped, flies buzzed between my face and the windows smeared with brown slime. It’s so polluted in Delhi, so much coffee-colored smoke, so much steam that you really can’t see the sun. You saw it, a rising orange-reddish ball burning over the horizon fifteen minutes in the morning, but then fifteen minutes slouching back down again, an exhausted head over the mountains.

I grew up Catholic but turned to Buddhism when introduced to a self-hypnosis class at my Catholic high school, experimenting with meditation and ‘mindfulness.’ I experienced serious symptoms of manic depression then, partially because I’d consciously turned away from the Judeo-Christian God, and also because life at home was very, very difficult for me. I grew anxious and got into extremely self-destructive habits, and so Buddhism seemed a perfect door to address – or not address – my turning from God and family, and focusing my energy toward dissolving into a Void, a dissolving bubble on an endless and personless river, Tathāgatagarbha. The element that got me is to dissolve my desire, and abandon my selfhood, in order to avoid suffering. But desire doesn’t seem so bad, especially when it is for love, which requires more than one person, and thereby voids any notion of abandoning self, – – and to love, to truly love, is to give, which may require sacrifice, and suffering – –

So Tibetan Buddhism kept coming up, because the meditation helped calm my anxieties and depression, and because the culture proved highly engaging, what with all her colorful flags, her skulls, and metaphysical explanations of things, – – but what is left, when ‘I’ disappear, and there is no one else for whom a relationship of the heart can exist? Not to mention, what did the experiences of the Gospels, the Cloud of Witnesses, the Holy Church, amount to? I knew nothing of Orthodoxy when I reached into the closet of Buddhism, but in light of it, now, what does it all add up to?

Mindfulness worked as far as cleansing the window, the mind, is concerned, which is important, but then many of its doctrines, – and I explored countless doctrines, – really stop here. Clear sky. But what it did not do, and could not, really, is orient me toward the sun, and the warmth of the sun, and the sunlight – – all religions seem to contain some seed of truth, but fail in witnessing to the Triadic God…and all my destructive habits, and relationships, and every mantra, and yoga, all of which I’ve had my fill…this is how Christ brought me to Him.

Back to the story, I’m in Delhi, on a bus. And after an hour or two of sitting in that cramped, stuffy and urine-soured air you hear the front breaks release, the bus finally stretching her arthritic joints and creak slowly forward. She rolls, head first, toward the busy main road. For fifteen minutes we cough and pop down the road, away from my filthy, but greatly lovable refuge of Manju Ka Tilla, a sort of Tibetan refugee camp criss-crossed with telephone wire, wet and narrow alleyways packed with dogs and diapered babies, and polio. Cobblestone streets and bakeries, copper trinkets and arms, this is the first place on earth I met leprosy, and her sister polio. The beginning of my spiritual warfare.

I usually saw them together, these two, – polio and leprosy – crowding in around a barrel of fiery rags, in the crayon-black darkness hands like chewed-up bread, teeth pencil yellow and cracked. I see a boy attacked by a skinny, vicious-looking dog with long, wet fur and crazy eyes – it looks like a red and yellow fox, – – a tangle of fur and blood and whimper. The taxi cab drivers, waiting on their afternoon customers near the stinking, feathered dumpsters launch after the monster in a terrible raid of madness and darkness. They chase the thing down with bricks loosened from neighboring grocery store steps leaving the boy warm and wet with his own blood, a hound’s tooth broken off inside his leg.

Here is suffering, and personhood, and sacrifice…

He looks young but his face shows no signs of innocence. His dark eyes follow me as I run a few feet away to pick up a bottle of water, then return. We look at each other. His long, dangling arms and fingers started rubbing the area of skin that have broken open and gush a strange, purple fluid.

Wet, mossy feet and the bitter odor of trash hang in the air. Cows streaked with vomit pick through spoiled food and milk cartons nearby at the dumpsters. He waits for a doctor but one never arrives. I don’t know what else to do. The boy looks through me, limping into an alley and disappearing in the terrible darkness.

I will live here a total of five and a half months. I will have arrived here practicing Buddhism and Hinduism for eleven years, and leave Christian…

I thought maybe I’d join a Buddhist monastery, or be discovered by wise sage in the mountains, spend the rest of my life in the Himalayas experiencing exotic mystery and enlightenment. I read dozens of sutras by various Buddhas, had an underlined and well-worn copy of the Bhagavad-Gita and Upanishads, and was reading all the California guys, Bhagavan Das, Ram Das, Krishna Das, and even met most of them, all the 60s ‘hippy’ idols who dropped acid and flew to India to go ‘find the guru.’ I read Be Here Now and did the whole drug scene, but despite all the colorful statues and marijuana and tantra, no matter how ‘empty’ I became, there wasn’t enough and I sensed…how can I say this…something was wrong.

I worked as a wilderness guide for at-risk youth in the sage deserts of Idaho. Teaching primitive skills, meditation and mantra, and working with psychologists to develop methods of emotional and behavioral therapy – – I was chased by a wolf, I killed a rattlesnake. And while out there, – this is in the middle of my life before Christ, – – toward the end of it, actually, – – I began experiencing strange things – not only while traveling through India, but before that, and not only me, but my girlfriend. We saw, and everyone involved with this recipe of mantra, meditation, yoga, – and a lot of it sober, – – we saw shadows and demons, experienced trembling and ungodly anxiety and fear. So I knew something was strange, something was going on. It is not all opinion, all belief, for if I have freewill, and exist outside the body, – and I had plenty experiences where I knew I was more than my body, – – and this is one of the things that helped me dismiss and eventually leave the bag of eastern religions, – in addition to God’s grace, – – that if I am more than my body, and I have free will, and can choose to either accept or reject love, then others can too, and this brought up the issue of good versus evil, of right and wrong.

Was what I was doing, right? Who was I following? Are these things, these deities, just archetypes, and if not, if they are ‘real,’ are they ‘good?’ It like jumping into an ocean and realizing there are many different things floating around in there, harmless creatures, some of them beautiful, and some, in fact, that will attack you, that are poisonous, and the astral life, the spiritual life, is like that. Very quickly, once I got to India, I understood this. And was scared.

The boy with the watermelon disease, his head swollen on a piece of cloth outside my guest room door, a cloud of black flies wriggling over an empty ribcage and hollow eyes, a human Jack-O-lantern, his mother’s long brown arm rung with silver jewelry begging for rupees.

So why did I leave a supportive and beautiful girlfriend behind in Oregon to experience this? I was beginning to mend my relationship with my parents, gain more confidence, and had read Way of the Pilgrim a number of months before, but it was with all my California stuff, and I never saw any relation to that and Orthodoxy, never once asked, where is a church that deepens one’s relationship with the living, loving, Truth? Where truth is a Person, as I’d later read from Father Seraphim Rose?

I’d head up to the mouth of the Ganges River, to Gangotri, – – into a mountain. On my 28th birthday, I listened to the heartbeat of the wind on the cliffs, on the water, and experience not a realization of the mind, though that did happen, sure enough, but only once the heart was struck by a sort of cherubim’s sword in my heart, experiencing a revelation occurring in meeting the living God, Jesus Christ, and myself peeling away from itself.

What can I say?

Everything I’d learned, practiced, experienced for all of eleven years poured out from my head, in one ear and out the other, replaced by their approximate Christian terms, fulfilled, actually, and I knew reincarnation is impossible through the resurrection, because I am a self, a soul, and I knew karma is impossible because it operates independently of ‘God’ and there is Divine Intervention, I’ve witnessed it, and experienced it. In the cave, a joyous ache in my heart, and in the cave, no more aloneness, no more aloofness. In the Himalayas, and I mean immediately, like I was zapped, I really met Christ, and was dumb for a moment, and in Eternity I saw in my heart the Person of God as Christ, and I could never, ever be alone. Maybe I’d FEEL alone, sure, (doubtful) but I ought to remember, the impossibility of aloneness. Maybe that should be the title of this letter.

So what happened after? I picked up a Bible and read the thing in a guest house back in Dharamsala, over 12 hours away, and then I’d return to America, after the shaking bus trips and gargantuan ceremonies of burning bodies and yellow and black gods and goddesses, and and I’d fall into the lap of the Orthodox Church, in Eugene, and, I’m only skimming over it now, due to time constraints, and I’d visit St Anthony’s Monastery, in Arizona, and all the monasteries and churches in between, long enough to fill a book, and pray to St Herman who could, by his intercessions, bring me straight to Spruce Island, and to where, kneeling before his relics, find home. In Homer. There is more, but I’ll write later. So much has happened to my heart. Forgive me for rambling, and going on. May the Father of Lights enlighten us, and have mercy on us. Amen.

“It is one thing to believe in God, and another to know Him.” +St Siliouan

Editors Note: Joseph Magnus now lives in Port Townsend, Washington. He is a writer of children’s books and helps the Father Lazarus Moore Foundation.

SOURCE:

http://www.ancientfaith.com

ANCIENT FAITH TODAY

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Fr. Ephraim of Arizona

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Photos from St Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, Arizona, USA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvcvLykW5Jk

The Spiritual War – Father Efraim of Philotheou and Arizona

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Facebook about Father Ephraim Philotheitis, Arizona, USA 

 http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/map.php

 http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/index.php

St Anthony’s Monastery in Arizona

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The Monasteries of Fr. Ephraim in America

ALASKA: THE HOLY MARTYR PETER THE ALEUT OF ALASKA & SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA

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ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

ALASKA OF MY HEART
APTOPIX Northern Lights

Alaska

The holy martyr Peter the Aleut (or Cungagnaq in his native tongue) was a native aleut of Kodiak Island, Alaska.

When missionaries came from Russia, the Aleutians were baptized by the hundreds, and at baptism he was given the name Peter. St. Peter is believed to have been baptized by Saint Herman himself, since he knew the Holy Saint personally.

In 1815 a group of Aleut seal and otter hunters, including Peter, were captured by Spanish sailors while on an excursion near fort Ross. The Roman Catholics took them to Mission Dolores in San Francisco for interrogation, as they were angry with the Russians for encroaching on “their territory.” With threats of torture, the Roman Catholic priests in California attempted to force the Aleuts to deny their Orthodox faith and to convert to Roman Catholicism.

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Saint Peter the Aleut the Martyr of San Francisco in California, from the beautiful Alaska

When the Aleuts refused, the priest had a toe severed from each of Peter’s feet. Peter still refused to renounce his faith and the Spanish priest ordered a group of California Native Americans to cut off each finger of Peter’s hands, one joint at a time, finally removing both his hands. They eventually disemboweled him, crowning his life with martyrdom. They were about to torture the next Aleut when orders were received to release them under escort to their monastery in Monterey.

Upon receiving the report of Peter’s death from Simeon Yanovsky, St. Herman back on Kodiak Island was moved to cry out, “Holy new-martyr Peter, pray to God for us!” Peter the Aleut was formally declared a saint as the “Martyr of San Francisco” in 1980. We have the account of St. Peter’s martyrdom from Simeon Yanovsky as related him by St. Peter’s cellmate who escaped torture. Simeon Yanovsky ended his life as the schemamonk Sergius in the St. Tikhon of Kaluga Monastery), and is the author of The Life of St. Herman of Alaska.

Source:

http://oca.org

OCA – ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

ΓΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ ΕΦΡΑΙΜ ΤΗΣ ARIZONA, ΗΠΑ – ΡΩΣΙΚΟ VIDEO ΜΕ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟΥΣ ΥΠΟΤΙΤΛΟΥΣ

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ARIZONA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

she1391ls-19179-Arizona-Saguaro-Sunset

Γέροντας Εφραίμ της Arizona, ΗΠΑ

Ρωσικό video με ελληνικούς υπότιτλους

(ενεργοποιήστε τους υπότιτλους αν δεν είναι ενεργοποιημένοι)