Posts Tagged ‘belief’

The Church feast of St. Tsar (King) Boris Mihail (Michael) I – Baptizer of Bulgaria – 2nd of May a Triumph for Bulgarian Autocephalous Church and Church Slavonic

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Reading Time: 5minutes

saint Tsar Boris the baptizer of all Bulgaria

Today on Second of May every year in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church calendar we commemorate the memory of Saint King Boris (Michael) who is a baptizer of Bulgarian nation and among the greatest saint of Bulgaria, perhaps second in saintship after St. John of Rila.

St. King Boris was the ruler of the First bulgarian Empire (852-889) the actual title as we know it from the chronicles is not king but archont which literally means ruler, but as the main chronicles who came to us are Byzantine we have to take in consideration that Byzantine Chronicles aimed to discredit the Bulgarian rulers because of feeling inferior every non-Byzantines who in Byzantine terms were considered barbarians.

He had a notable correspondence with Pope Nicolas II head of the Western Church before the Great Schism.
Saint Boris I is famous with with 115 Questions (which are fully preserved). He  beseech the pope to sent an apostoles of faith who will teach the new nation to faith in the same time he lead a correspondence with the Byzantine emperor and the Eastern Church.

The pope sent 2 missionaries cardinal Formiosa of Portuens and Bishop Paul of Papulon. King Boris requested for Cardinal Formiosa to become a future archibishop of Bulgaria, but the pope Nicolas II being afraid of loosing ground of a choice of future Bulgarian archibishop rejectedking Boris request it is interesting fact that the same cardinal Formiosa become the next Pope of the Roman Western Church in period (891 – 896).

Taking in consideration the papal's desire to dominate over him and the more freedoms given by the Byzantine Church along with the fact that Saint Cyril and Methodius's pupils came to him with a ready Church Slavonic Glagolic version of the Holy Bible and a new Church language (and considering the fact that the seven pupils of St. Cyril and Methodius were being chased away from Great Moravia (Saint Clement of Ohrid (Kliment Ohridski) and Naum Ohrdiski with Sava, Angelarius and Gorazd) and seeing the fallacy of the filioque addition to the Creed of Faith finally King Boris received baptism by the hands of Patriarch Photius.

He received holy baptismal in year 864, receiving the Christian name Michael (Mihail) receiving his Christian name from his godfather, Emperor Michael III.

According to Church tradition the reason to Baptize in Christian faith was his amazement of an icon of the Judgement Day he saw in one of his visits to Constantinople.

The Church tradition also says saint Boris I's sister have lived for a long time in Constantinople, where she received baptism and once returning to the Bulgaria she bring the light of faith here too.

Besides that some of his family has already earlier converted to Christianity and some earlier Bulgarian Khans such as Trivelius (Tervel) who is considered to saved Europe from Muslim Invasion earlier were already Christians.

King_Boris I bapttish of Byzantine Emperor Michael III

During his holy reign he has established mass Christianization of Bulgaria, where the traditional ancient pagan traditions and belief in fake gods like Tangra were abolished completely.

St. Tsar Boris has secured the Bulgarian Church an autocephalousy, he also received the saints Cyril and Methodius, when they were banished from Great Moravia.

Our saint king has secured a refuge for st. Cyril and Methodius and provided them with assistance to develop the Slavonic alphabet and literature.

After he abdicated in 889, his eldest son and successor tried to restore the old pagan religion but was deposed by Boris I. During the Council of Preslav which followed that event, the Byzantine clergy was replaced with Bulgarian and the Greek language was replaced with Old Bulgarian as an official language of the Church and the state.

Bulgaria_under_rule_of_Boris_I-st-the-baptizer-king-of-Bulgaria

In 889 Boris abdicated the throne and became a monk. His son and successor Vladimir attempted a pagan reaction (to return the Bulgarians to the old belief in Tanra), which brought Boris out of his monastic life in 893 out of zeal for Christ and a fatherhood for the future of Bulgarian nation.

Vladimir was defeated and blinded by a miracle of God as Boris had less soldiers than his pagan son but in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ he showed victorious.

Once defeating his unbelieving son, Boris gathered the Council of Preslav in which the Old Greek language in Church was replaced with Church Slavonic and most imporantly on the council King Boris on the Church assembly placed his third son, Simeon I of Bulgaria on the throne, threatening him with the same fate if he too apostatized.

Simeon I was reluctant to become a secular ruler as according to some of the written sources he was preparing to become a great spiritual leader a monk and perhaps a next archibishop or even patriarch in the newly established autocephalous Bulgarian Church but following the monk rule of humility he decided and accepted the throne but throughout his life he kept his great zeal for monasticism and enlightenment. His ruling become a golden age for the Church Slavonic he financed seriously and worked hardly to prepare educated monks and to translate a major works of the Holy Fathers such as Shestodnev (The Six Days of Creation), Simeonov Sbornik (Simeon's Collection) and many of the key works of saint Athanasius the Great, Saint Basyl the Great, Saint John of Damascus etc.

According to some historians it was King Simeon who later give birth to the second by size Monastic Community in Byzantine Emperire the Stone Monasteries of (Meteora).

Boris returned to his monastery, emerging once again in c. 895 to help Simeon fight the Magyars, who had invaded Bulgaria in alliance with the Byzantines. After the passing of this crisis, Boris resumed monastic life and led a holy life until he pass out in year 907.

Here is the daily troparion assigned by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church sang at the churches today (the text is translation from Bulgarian):

St. Boris-Michael, prince of Bulgaria, Troparion

Full of the fear of God, and enlightened by holy baptism, thou becamest a habitation of the Holy Spirit,
O right-believing King Boris; and having established the Orthodox Faith in the land of Bulgaria,
and set aside the scepter of kingship,
thou madest thine abode in the wil derness,
didst flourish in ascetic struggles, and found grace before the Lord.
And now, standing before the throne of the Most High, pray thou, that He grant unto us who entreat thee salva tion for our souls.

Theophany (Jesus’s baptizm in Jordan) feast in Bulgarian Orthodox Church on 6th of January

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Reading Time: 3minutes

Baptism of Christ Theophany Old Orthodox icon

On 6th of January in our Bulgarian Orthodox Church just like in the most Christian realm, we celebrate the great feast of Theophany / Epiphany (Baptizm of our Saviour Jesus Christ in Jordan).

What exactly we celebrate is the Baptizm of our Saviour Jesus Christ in Jordan by st. John the Baptist (John the Forerunner as we call him in the church). This day is very important for us as Christians and this is why the holy fathers in the church has ordered this feast to be among the 12 most important feasts in our Church, the so called (Lords feasts).

On Theophany's day it is a rule in orthodox Church that the Great Blessing of Water is performed. The Blessing of the water and the preceding holy water from the priests blessing is taken by Church layman and we bring a little of this water to our homes to bless through that our homes.

In our Church belief the Holy Water from the Theophany feast is considered the most powerful in spiritual sense holy water as this water is the same water with which our sinless Saviour and lamb (Son) of God Jesus Christ was baptized in Jordan.

The reason why we call the feast Theophany is because God in his essence of Holy Trinity appeared clearly to mankind for a first time in Human history. Our Holy Trinity (3 essence God in one indistructable and insaparatable God – one God as God said for himself in the beginning of writtings) has revealed himself in front of all the people gathered along John the Baptist in Jordan waiting to be baptized in his three essences:

1. God the Father spoke from heaven manifesting and testifying about Jesus Christ being his beloved and only son and saviour of mankdin
,br />2. God the Son (Jesus Christ), has physically appeared to receive the baptizm to fulfill all righteousness and (the old testemential prophecies) and to begin his 3 years mission on earth.

3. God Holy Spirit) has descended from heaven on Jesus Christ in a publicly observable form of a dove

Theophany's feast is called by some english speaking orthodox christians Epiphany, but this is a term less used in orthodox christendom and much more spread in Roman Catholic one.

The Gospel readings in the church tell of the Lord's baptism by John in the Jordan River. The epistle reading of the Divine Liturgy tells of the consequences of the Lord's appearing which is the divine epiphany.

After the end of the st. Basil the Great Holy Liturgy served, the Great Blessing of Water is performed by one or more priests (depending on the number of present priests). The meaning of the blessing of the waters meaning is to show that mankind and all of God's creation, were created to be blessed and filled with the sanctifying of God's presence.

A very local unique bulgarian tradition on this number is that if the great blessings of water is performed by a priest near a river or a sea shore the cross be thrown in the water in order to bless the waters. Pulling out the holy cross from the Sea Bulgarian local Tradition on Theophany feast

Then a number of brave man jump in and do a race swimming aiming to pull out the crucifixion of the water. It is believed that the one who could pull out the cross will get God's great blessings through the upcoming church year.A person who pulled out the cross on Theophany Bulgarian tradition

Let us pray trust and hope on God to also appear to us who seek him, and show us his Holy Trinity wholeness mercies just like he did himself to the people waiting for Baptizm from John the Baptist by the holy prayes of the Theotokos and his holy saints and all heavinly hosts. Amen

Arizona Dream (1993) – Movie Review

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Reading Time: 2minutes

Just completed Arizona Dream by the famous Serbian director Emil Kosturica. The movie is starring Johny Depp an movie actor I’m not too big fan of.

The movie’s plot is too cracky. It all starts and ends with scenes of some Eskimos, where it progresses and depicts later on an ordinary life of an american fisher.
As movie progresses parts of the life of a successful car sells man comes in place. Axel (Johny Depp) is the main actor. The movie revolves around the sexist element.

Some of the scenes and movie delopment looks quite unexpected. Axel starts living in a place with two beautiful woman (a mother in law and a daguther in law).
The mother in law is famous for her passion to attract and sleep with new young man. Axel fells in love and together they follow a dream of building an airplane which is supposed to be used later on as a mean to kill themselves together and according to Eskimos belief bind together their souls for eternity.
The spiritual concepts of the movie are completely messed up and clearly the movie contains references to multitude of anti-christian ideas.
The movie is generally a bit depressing as the atmosphere one can feel is a jail like. Initially Axel fells in love with the mother in law Ellaine, later on near the movie denouement, he losts his passion for Ellain which is a bit older for his age and fells in love with Grace (which is a way younger and even more attractive).

Grace has a severe problems with feeling of unvalueness and suffers with chronic depression and thus things constantly to kill her self.

Near the end of the movie Axel explains himself in love with Grace (which seems to also be in love with him).
However the ending scenes are too sad as Grace decides finally to kill herself and commits suicide with a gun …

Honestly I expected a way more from the movie and I wouldn’t recommend it as a piece of classics or a movie with some significant value.
The rest of the movies directed by Emil Kosturica seems to be a far more superior and positive than this one.
If you want to save yourself from some insanity just stay away from this cranky movie!

The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ feast in Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes
Ascension of Christ Orthodox Icon, Voznesenie Hristovo ikona, Vyznesenie Hristovo icona

On 2 of June this year 2011, our Bulgarian Orthodox Church has marked one more bright feast (one of the 12 chief (God’s) feasts).

The Spiritual Joy is great as our Saviour has Ascended to Heaven 40 days after his Glorious Resurrection in front of the amazed desciples, and crowd of people who were with them.

An Angel has also told the people testifing our Lord’s ascension that the Second Coming of our saviour will take place in the same manner as his Ascension.

Here is some passages from the Gospel of Luke 24:50-53

50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.
51 hile he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.
52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

It’s a tradition in some Orthodox Churches that the Paschal Greeting (Christ is Risen / Hristos Voskrese / Hristos Anesti etc.) is substituted with the greeting:
Christ has ascended by the person greeting, while the respondant confirms answering with Truly he has ascended

This Ascension greeting is not that deeply routed among Christians as the Pashcal greeting, though it’s very truthful and beautiful, to use it instead of the standard daily Hi greeting 😉

The whole following week after Ascension’s feast has been arranged by the Church to be a feast week commemorating our Lord Christ’s glorious Ascension (in his glorified body) to Heaven and sit in the right hand of God.

There is a local village hear in Bulgaria near a village called Spasovo – Saviour’s which has a Church called The Ascension of Christ

In this small village there is a spring which does start flowing only on the date of the Ascension (celebrated on a different date every single year)!!!
That’s amazing God miracle given to strengthen our faith as a confirmation that the Ascension of God’s Son and our saviour Christ is a real event that happened!

There is a false belief seriously accepted in many non-devoted Orthodox Christians who does not know well the Orthodox Christian faith, that on the date of The Ascension the so called Spasov Den (in Bulgarian) – Day of the Saviour , the dead who are in heaven and hell are allowed to get out of Heaven or Hell (for a temporary break) and be a bit closer to the living.
Many people who believe this insanity instead of visiting a Church and being joyful for the Ascension of Our saviour do go to the city graves and spends few hours, crying or remembering the dead …
This kind of believe is firmly non-orthodox and is taken from ancient paganism beliefs.

With all this said I find it important to say few words on why the Lord Jesus Christ has ascended?

The answer to this question gives Christ himself, as he says in the Gospel of John – Chapter 16

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth;
It is expedient for you that I go away:
for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;
but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Here is a part of the Troparion for Ascension that is being sing in the Church:

When You fulfilled the dispensation for our sake,
and united earth to heaven:
You have Ascended in Glory, oh Christ our God
not being parted from those who love You,
but remaining with them and crying:
I am with you, and no one will be against you!

Christ has Ascended to all Orthodox Christians!

Will the End of the World come in 2012? The Orthodox Christian perspective

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Reading Time: 7minutes
Nowdays, there is a lot of talk and discussions about the end of the world.
The fear of the End of the World in year 2012 is highly proclaimed, ancient mayan false “prophecies” are highly buzzed about.

Many people are more interested into the of the world, as many of the signs of the end times has been fulfilled.
Many people are turning back into occult and pagan beliefs to look up for prophecies to backup their thesis of the mayan prophecies.

A mess of false prophecies from different religions are usually mixed in order to proof to ourselves that the end of the world is at hand.
A number of apocalyptic movies has been produced until in the making industries as the more the time is close to year to 2012 the more sci-fi and all kind of movies on the apocalyptic theme are being produced.

Many people live in a constant fear that they’re gonna die in 2012 and start living even more irresponsible than before, asserting that there is no reason to do anything valuable now as the world’s end is near.
I myself some few years ago have been among this blind “false prophets” and has confessed the same destructive philosophy.
Yes it’s true that the Apocalypsis is approaching and has been approaching since the last 2011 years that passed since our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth on earth.
What is erronemous is the mistake that, we should live in fear about the end and we should do belief like the pagans in their shaky wrong beliefs based more on superstitiousness than on prophetic facts or signs of the time.

Even a plenty of music bands Protestant Christian bands like Saviour Machine are writting lyrics on the topic of the End Times, spreading fear unto some degree even among Christian Metal heads.

The situation outside the realm of the Christian secularity is even worser, I’ve heard a whole bunch of people especially in (USA) are preparing food and provisions to survive great cataclysm that they say is expected to come over the earth.
You can judge how insane is that! The end of the world as my spiritual father has told me some long time ago could be individually for us in every further minute.
If I as an individual die then I will experience the end of the world and when I will die is in God’s hands, so there is no point to worry about where the all world will end, if there is a high probability that my personal end could occur every single minute.
It’s sad that the consequences of such an panical beliefs about “the evils that are about to come on the world” are being falsely interpreted among Christians, this kind of tendency is also spread this days even among some practicing Orthodox Christians.

At many times studying of the Holy Bible “Book of the Apolapysis” are soul and mind destructive.
It’s a well known fact that in the past the book of Apocalypsis has been officially included in the Holy Bible, somewhere nearby the 5th century.

The reasons the holy church fathers decided to place the book of revelation in the bible so late is that, many of the things written are hard to understand and can lead novice Christian astray from the true essence of our faith which is love for God and love for the neighbor
Very pitily even I as an Orthodox Christians have suffered the great consequences of attempting to interpret the prophecies among the end of the world.

Therefore I found interesting that I share in this article what is the position of the Orthodox Church on the Apocalypsis or the so called End Times

First it should be said that Orthodox Christians positions is mostly based on factological information and prophetic saying by the Holy Fatherswhich by itself require a spiritual father to interpret them properly.

In the Orthodox Church we’re expecting the End Times, since the beginning of the one Holy and Apostolic Church. However the Apocalypsis is never being perceived as something that we should concentrate about but as an information that it’s good to have a general awareness of in order to have understanding in the spiritual times we’re living and how close we’re to the Second coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Orthodox Christian belief on Apocalypsis is completely opposite to the worldly belief which plants panic and fear in people’s mind and souls.
We belief that drawing near to the End Times, we’re drawing near to our second coming of our Lord and hence near to our eternal Salvation therefore the end days to come are not to be a concern of fear but on a contrary, they should accepted with humility and joy that we’re drawing near to our eternal salvation.

As a part of the topic of the End of the World, it’s very common nowdays in Christian and Non-Christian (heretical) groups (Mormons, Jehova’s Witnesses) to talk about the expected AntiChrist and to propagate fear in their deceived deciples.

These heretical groups has the wrong idea that starts with the definition of AntiChrist in that groups they belief AntiChrist means Against Christ, which is not very proper definition of the word.
The Orthodox Christian understanding about the AntiChrist word is Instead of Christ
Therefore the true meaning of AntiChrist in the original church was always perceived as Instead of Christ and not literally Against Christ.

Instead of Christ means, a substitute for Christ. Now if we think deeply in the modern world we have a bunch of substitute of Christ in the form of passions we have, disbelief inattendance of the Holy Liturgy – the Ancient Church service in our Orthodox Church.
In the number of Instead of Christ are a false belief to all kind of transcendental philosophies buddhism, reincarnation, hinduism, muslim beliefs, cult to public perons like let’s say Madonna or Marilyn Manson etc. etc.

If we as Christians have an example person for our life instead of having our saviour Jesus Christ for an example to follow, then we are definitely following an AntiChrist.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t say that Madonna or Michael Jackson or whoever is an AntiChrist. They’re definitely not, even though very often their behaviour and public performance becomes the reason for many people to be falsely leaded to false beliefs and false teachings different from the teachings of Our Holy Orthodox Church.

In that sense the danger of the mani AntiChrists is rooted in following anything different from the real Lord Jesus Christ who leads our Orthodox Church and who gives us grace by the 7 Church established mysteries.

Now as I said a few words about the general perception of Apocalypsis, the End of the World and the AntiChrist. Let me answer the question is there a date when the world will end up?

The Church is definitive about that and the answer is NO! NO! and NO!

It’s even written in the Holy Bible, here is the exact quote that clearly states, that we’re not given to know the exact time and date but only some general signs:

Mark 13:32:
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

Having said that for us Christians it’s more than clear that it’s almost impossible that the end of the world is in 2012, especially if that kind of false belief is taken from a pagan religion like the mayans.

Throughout the years before this year 2011, there were plenty of so called “prophecies”, each of which has claimed the end of the world will be soon, some of the “new days end time prophets” even has gave a specific date and time for the global cataclism expected to occur..
For instance followers of William Miller (the founder of the deadly end-times movement) has predicted the exact day on which the world will end according to their calculations this was Oct 22, 1844.

You can see by your own that this kind of deliberate fear creation and massive panic is not something new and has been known to exist for several decades.

Concerning the fear of the end of the world, I remember that one of our Holy Fathers said I quote by memory: “Even if the World falls apart and the sky falls over, I would not be afraid for I believe in God”.

Our Orthodox Christian perspective is not to focus on external cataclysms and calamities but to focus on our internal spiritual life.

Knowing when the world will come doesnt’ worth a cent for us the Christians, as it is not a goal of our living. Our Goal is to gain an eternal salvation by faith in Christ and repentance for our bad sinful lives.

Today many of the panical false beliefs and “warnings” from Jehovah’s witnesses and other sects a like are absolutely deliberate, they use this as a tool to set fear and then gain followers of their soul destructive satanic teachings.
We the Orthodox Christians, should not be afraid of the end but be joyful as it’s said in Thessalonians: “..Always be joyful..”

I personally belief that the end times fear that is being planted nowdays from all medias and the internet is at many times done on purpose, to even try to deceive us the Orthdox Christians.

This kind of end times and mystical interest into prophecies and future things to come very often could mislead us and make us belief many of the false beliefs the fortune-tellers has and preach.

Unlimited interest into spirituality, definitely ends up in spiritual blindness and spiritual disored, even often to a mind inconsistencies.
The recent raise of Neuro Lenguistic Programming is nothing different, it’s just another way to blind up and deceive people and mislead them from the way of thuth that our Saviour Jesus Christ has shown us..

Interest into broken-mysticism is very natural for our fallen sinful state, but we should not let this to lead our lives, we should not live in fear Christ has never given us a spirit of fear right on the contrary.

Note that the above reasonings include a lot of my personal reasonings and it might be that I’m wrong somewhere as I’m not a father and I’m not 100% aware of all Church beliefs.
However I’m pretty sure that most that I said so far is truthful and does correspondent to our Orthodox Church understanding about Apocalypsis and End times.
There is much to be said on the topic of End of the World and our Orthodox position about it, but as my goal was simply to answer the Will the world over in 2012 and I believe I answered thoroughfully enough it will most probably not!Now to close up this article, I do pray that God (The Holy Trinity) save us and protect us from all evil and show us the true way in the Orthodox Church and deliver us from false doctrines, false beliefs and end times paranoias.