Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

Joy of all the Sorrowful - Mays Landing, NJ (f. 1966)

Articles Section

This section of our website has articles about Orthodoxy and our church. These articles are also currently subdivided into three categories:

  • Orthodox Church, a collection of articles about the Orthodox Church. We hope the articles in this section will be helpful to both inquires of Orthodoxy, and to those who are members of the Church.
  • Worship, a collection of articles about services, prayers, and worship of the Orthodox Church.
  • Saints and Icons, a collection of articles about saints, their relics, or their icons. We hope to include articles, of special interest to our parish, on the saints who are depicted on our icons, or whose holy relics rest here. Articles on our feast day icons will be included here also.

Also see our Salvation History Section and our list of Videos.


Guidance to the Repentant

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Guidance to the Repentant

Bishop Alexander (Mileant)
Translated by Seraphim Larin

The Tragedy of Sin


While people complain of their various sorrows, it must be remembered that they are not our main misfortunes. The foremost evil are our Sins! Indeed, while sin destroys a person permanently, sorrows and misfortunes accepted as God's will bring spiritual salvation. Our sins are chains and bonds that enslave and drag us down into the netherworld, and unless we free ourselves from them, we will be unable to inherit life eternal.

Just like physical afflictions, sins are distinguished by the magnitude of their evil and destructiveness.

Mortal sins are gross violations of the Laws that impact upon the soul in the most destructive manner, denying it communion with God. These deathly sins include: Godlessness, engage in occult teachings (Hinduism, Theosophy etc..), deviation from the true Faith, mocking sacred things, blasphemy, sorcery, spiritism, murder, adultery, robbery, debauchery, calumny, perjury. Having committed a mortal sin and fallen away from God, the individual succumbs to the influence of evil spirits, who lead him still further into greater sins. Unless that person realizes his sorry plight and turns to God for help, his soul will be damned forever.

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Icon of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

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Icon of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Nativity

This Icon of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is found on the Iconostas of our church, in the row of great feasts.  This icon is more than just a beautiful Christmas piece. It conveys important theological truth as all icons do. Jesus is wrapped in swaddling cloths in such a way that he resembles one wrapped for burial. This indicates that He was born to die for us. The red heifer is present in the cave, which is symbolic of being offered as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. The ass which bore Mary and Him out of town for his birth is there foreshadowing the Triumphal Entry as He goes willingly to the Cross to reconcile us to Himself. The angel in the mountains is shown above two shepherds. This tells the story of how the angel appeared to the shepherds singing and glorifying the birth of Christ, calling them to join in the praise. St. Joseph the Betrothed is shown in a struggle against his temptation. The old man talking to him represents his temptation, when he considered "putting Mary away quietly" not knowing whose child she was to bear. Sometimes, the icon shows three men on horseback, they are the Magi following the star that is being guided by God so they can worship the King, Jesus Christ.

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The Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven

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The Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven

by Saint Innocent of Alaska

Introduction

We were created to live on earth, unlike animals who die and disappear with time, but with the high purpose to live with God - not for a hundred years or so - but for eternity!

Every individual instinctively strives for happiness. This desire has been implanted in our nature by the Creator Himself, and therefore it is not sinful. But it is important to understand that in this temporary life it is impossible to find full happiness, because that comes from God and cannot be attained without Him. Only He, who is the ultimate Good and the source of all good, can quench our thirst for happiness.

Material things can never wholly satisfy us. Indeed, we know from experience that every item we have desired has pleased us only for a short while. Then it became boring, and we started to desire something else. This process of satisfaction and boredom then repeated itself many times. The most striking example of unquenchable thirst for happiness was Solomon, the famous King of Israel, who lived around 1000 B.C. He was so rich that all the household utensils in his palaces were made of pure gold. He was so wise that kings and famous people from far away lands came to hear him. He was so famous that his foes trembled at the mere mention of his name. He could easily satisfy any of his wishes, and it seemed that there was no pleasure that he did not possess or could not obtain. But with all of this, Solomon could not find total happiness to the end of his life. He described his many years of searching for happiness and his continual disappointments in the book of Ecclesiastes, which he began with the following phrase: Vanity of vanities, all is vanity (Ecc. 1:2).

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Prayer - Orthodox Spirituality

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Prayer - Orthodox Spirituality

by Fr. Thomas Hopko

Prayer

All of the virtues and powers of God are attained primarily by prayer. Without prayer, there is no spiritual life. As the Russian bishop, Theophan the Recluse, has said, “If you are not successful in your prayer, you will not be successful in anything, for prayer is the root of everything.”  (Theophan the Recluse, 19th c., The Art of Prayer, Igumen Chariton, ed.)

And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:5-6)

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Great and Holy Friday

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Great and Holy Friday

by Fr. Paul Lazor

On Great and Holy Friday, Christ died on the Cross. He gave up His spirit with the words: "It is finished" (John 19:30). These words are better understood when rendered: "It is consummated." He had accomplished the work for which His heavenly Father had sent Him into the world. He became a man in the fullest sense of the word. He accepted the baptism of repentance from John in the Jordan River. He assumed the whole human condition, experiencing all its alienation, agony, and suffering, concluding with the lowly death on the Cross. He perfectly fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

"Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." (Isaiah 53:12)

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Subcategories

  • Orthodox Church

    Articles about the Orthodox Church

    This section of our website, is a collection of articles about the Orthodox Church. We hope the articles in this section will be helpful to inquires of Orthodoxy, Catechumens, and to those who are members of the Church.

    Good starting points would be:


     

    Article Count:
    94
  • Worship

    Articles on services and prayers.

    This section of our website has a collection a collection of articles about services, prayers, and worship of the Orthodox Church.

    Good starting points would be:


    Article Count:
    82
  • Saints and Icons

    Articles on Saints and Icons

    This section of our website, is a collection of articles about saints, their relics, or their icons. We hope to include articles, of special interest to our parish, on the saints who are depicted on our icons, or whose holy relics rest here. Articles on our feast day icons will be included here also.

    Besides enhancing the beauty of our church, icons remind and instruct us in matters pertaining to the Christian faith. They can lift us up to the prototypes which they symbolize, to a higher level of thought and feeling, to help transform us and sanctify us. Icons can stimulate us to imitate the virtues of the holy personages depicted on them. They serve as a means of worship and veneration.

    Good starting points would be:


    Article Count:
    59
  • Videos

    Articles by Video

    This part of our website is where we post videos for now. They may be moved into other categories on the website, whatever seems best.

    (All  the 7 questions 7 answers vedios are noiw in this category.)


     

    Article Count:
    32

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