Orthodox America


  Lord, What shall I do? Arise and Go!


The Prophet Elijah said, I have been very jealous for the Lord of Hosts, for the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thy prophets with the sword  III Kings 19:10 

AND WHAT can one say of today?

1. The whole of Russia is inundated with blood, and the same fate awaits America!

2.The Orthodox Russian people, dispersed by God Himself over the whole world in order to testify of the One True Faith - are paralyzed before the advance of world-wide evil - and remain inactive.

3. The Orthodox hierarchs of the other Churches turn coldly away from the cries for help which come from crucified Russia and occupy themselves with deeds which art clearly destructive of Holy Orthodoxy!

4. The Soviet hierarchs loudly deny before the whole world the persecution against the faithful in Russia, cooperating with the persecutors, who were anathematized by the last lawful Patriarch, Tikhon.

5. Every kind of sectarian, Uniate, and all those who distort the Divinely-revealed teaching of the Orthodox Church greatly prosper in their intensified propaganda both here and in Russia!

6. Converts to Holy Orthodoxy, whose hearts God Himself touches, after becoming full members of the Church, so often reject the suffering of heart that comes with growth in true Orthodoxy and seek a path that can be harmonized with their self-love: and few of them prosper or even survive spiritually.

And I sit away the precious time, the immense opportunities, and the freedom given to me by God and, seeing all this, I do not even shed tears!

 

LORD, WHAT SHALL I DO?

 So THE APOSTLE PAUL asked (Acts 22:10), when the Lord in miraculous fashion called him to serve in His field. And the Lord showed him!

The Lord calls everyone to labor in His grace-filled field, which has long since become yellow unto harvest. In the life of every man, sooner or later, there is a single critically important moment, when the Lord clearly calls his soul arid waits for the soul, wounded by His love, once and forever, by its own will, to give itself up entirely to Christ.

This decision, as to whether you are with Christ or have renounced Him, is the most important decision in the life of every man. This decision constitutes the basic attitude in one's spiritual lift and is called determination or commitment,

Having made the step or determination, which has in itself an enormous power and inspiration, a spiritual energy, a man dies to the world which lies in evil and becomes Christ's; By this also there is opened to him a new real life, a life filled with unutterable joy. with a spiritual enjoyment unknown to the world, for the sake of which it is worth while to sell everything, to give everything away, and of which there will be no end, for this is the life in Christ and for Christ!

Orthodox Christian! Now you are called upon to make this step of determination! Do it before it is too late!

The soil of this continent of America on which we now find ourselves has been sanctified by the footsteps and deeds of its first enlightener, the Apostle of America who came from Holy Russia, the meek missionary' Herman, Wonderworker of Alaska.

Here he labored planting and nourishing the first sprouts of Holy Orthodoxy. Here, having attained sanctity in the Lord, he died a blessed death in the fragrance of his wonderworking relics. Here also he is the Guardian Angel of the Orthodox Christians who dwell on this continent. To him first of all is it fining to direct our fervent appeal of prayer. Leading his life as a conscious Orthodox Christian and seeing clearly through the spirit of his times (that is, the reforms of Peter and the French Revolution, which are the. fundamental causes of our own disordered times), he taught, and to this day he teaches how to become and how to be an active Orthodox Christian, while at the same time being under the cannon-fire of the spirit of the time of apostasy.

His zeal according to God is extended to us also, his distant followers, and it can cover us with his inspired protection, if we will take to ourselves his own words, as the Lord's answer to our sincere and repentant entreaty: Lord, .'W'hat shalt I do?

 ARISE AND GO

(Acts 22:10)

Such was the answer the Lord gave to the Apostle Paul! So also should you arise from your traitorous sleep of sloth and stony insensibility, and with your whole soul strive to make your own the following basic attitudes, in the words of St. Herman himself:

 

1. MAKE THE STEP OF DETERMINATION!

2. HAVE A CONSCIOUS FAITH!

3. CONDUCT CONSTANT UNSEEN WARFARE!

4. HAVE ALWAYS BEFORE YOU THE PURPOSE OF LIFE!

5. BE A ZEALOT MISSIONARY OF ThUE ORTHODOXY!

6. BE A DISCIPLE OF SAINT HERMAN!

 

 

I.   MAKE THE STEP OF DETERMINATION.

 

"What do you love most and best of all, and what would you desire for your happiness? Is it not true that from all your various desires one may draw one conclusion? Each one of us desires that which he considers to be best and most worthy of love. And what could be better, higher above everything more worthy of love, more surpassing all else than God Himself, Jesus Christ, Who created the heavens and adorned everything, gave life to all, supports all, nourishes all, loves all, Who is love itself - more splendid than all mankind!

Should we not above everything else love God, more than everything else desire Him and seek Him? I, a sinner, for more than forty years have been learning how to love God, and I cannot say that I love Him completely! How should we love God? If we love someone, we constantly remember him, strive to please him day and night. Our heart and mind are occupied by the object of our love. Do you love God in this way? Do you turn to Him often? Do you remember Him always? Do you always pray to Him and do His will, His holy commandments?

"For our good, for our happiness, let us at least. make ourselves a vow: that from this day from this hour, from this minute, we shall strive to love God above all and do His commandments!"

 

II. HAVE A CONSCIOUS FAITH !

 "A true Christian is made by faith and love toward Christ. Our sins do not in the least hinder a Christian, according to the word of the Saviour Himself. He deigned to say: I am not come' to call the righteous, but sinner's to repentance; joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons. Likewise, concerning the harlot who touched His feet, He deigned to say to the Pharisee Simon that to one who has much love a great debt is forgiven, but from one who has no love even a small debt will be exacted. By these reflections a Christian should lead himself into hope and joy and should pay no heed whatever to an inflicted despair. Here there is needed the shield of faith." (Which in our time is (1) knowledge of and love for the Orthodox Divine services, tradition, history, and (2) a fuller understanding of the spiritual side of contemporary heresies and sects, ecumenism, the charismatic movement, communism. and of what is happening now in the Soviet Union and in the whole world. This is the shield of faith.)

 

III. WAGE CEASELESS WARFARE!

 "We are not tossed about on the waves of the sea, bit we suffer and wander about in the midst of a deceptive and much-disturbed world.  Although we do not have the grace which the Holy Apostles had, nevertheless our warfare is against the same fleshless power and authorities, against the power of the darkness of this world, against the spirits of wickedness under heaven, which strive to intercept all the pilgrims and travelers to the homeland and keep them from entering therein. According to the Holy Apostle Peter, our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

"Sin, for one who loves God, is nothing but an arrow from the in battle."

 

IV HAVE ALWAYS BEFORE YOU THE PURPOSE OF LIFE!

 "The true Christian is a warrior making his way through the regiments of the invisible enemy to his heavenly homeland,"  

"The vain desires of this world remove a man from his heavenly home' land. Love for them and habit clothe our soul in a hideous garment. This is called by the Apostle the “outward man”. We, pilgrims in the journey of this earthly life, calling on God for help, must put off that hideousness and be clothed in new desires, a new love of the future age [the acquisition of the Holy Spirit] and through this to know whether we are near or far from the heavenly homeland. But it is not possible to do this quickly; one must follow the example of sick people, who, desiring dear health, do not cease to seek out means for healing themselves."

 

V BE A MISSIONARY OF TRUE ORTHODOXY:

''Oh, how enraptured I was in spirit Finding myself between fair weather and foul, between joy and tedium, between sufficiency and insufficiency, satiety and hunger, warmth and coldness, in all my sorrows I find something that cheers me, when I hear conversations between the brethren about their preaching. and about their dividing up various regions among themselves for this purpose

Glory to the decrees of merciful God! By His unutterable Providence He has shown me now something new, which I had never seen while living in Kodiak for a long time, Just now after Pascha a young woman who did not know me and had never seen me, came to me and heard about the Incarnation of the Son of God and concerning eternal life, and she became so inflamed with love for Jesus Christ that she does not in the least wish to leave me. looking at this with great astonishment, I remember the words of the Saviour, Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Seeing her, there are already other volunteers; and there are also many young men.

"But those who have departed from the true Orthodox Church are not on the right path!"

 These are the authentic words of a Saint! With fervent prayer they can inspire your soul on the path of confession and missionary labor. -which is what our much suffering Holy Russia expects from  the sons and daughters of the Orthodox Church, May God be our help! Arise and go! Saith the Lord (Acts 22:10).

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