Mittwoch, 1. Januar 2014

ELDER PHILOTHEOS ZERVAKOS (1884-1980) PATERNAL COUNSELS (about innovations and the Holy Fathers)

...The Orthodox Church places under anathemas and excommunications the innovationists and reformers of the Apostolic and patristic traditions. Your friend falsely says that in the 9th and 10th century the Orthodox Church made reforms. Let his tongue cease from evil and his lips from speaking guile. The innovations are the work of the Catholics and the Protestants. The Eastern Orthodox Church does not have a habit of making innovations, but rather follows the teachings of the Apostles, the Teachers, the Holy Fathers and the seven Ecumenical Holy Synods, whose teachings the wise among the Latins and Protestants ought to also follow....,so that they might be delivered from the penances, the anathemas and excommunications of the holy Ecumenical Synods and of the Holy Fathers. We are obligated to pray for 18 them so that God may return them from delusion to the straight path and so that we may all become one flock with the Ruler and founder of our true Orthodox faith as Leader, our Lord Jesus Christ and Savior the Deliverer and Liberator of our souls and bodies. 

....So whoever does not accept that the Holy Fathers were led by the Holy Spirit, is an evil believer and heretic. 
The Holy Fathers, who handed down to us the correct faith, handed down to us also the teachings about icons, the Cross, incense etc. They had the Holy Spirit, they were not like us, the people of today's wicked generation. The 7th Ecumenical Synod gathered solely to support the correct train of thought concerning the relative not worshipful veneration of the holy icons, and anathematized the foul believing iconoclasts. The Christians don't make idols like the ancient idolators, nor do they venerate them. They don't worship icons, nor the pieces of wood and the colors, nor do they say that the icons, or those depicted in the icons are God, the All Holy Virgin Mary etc. When they venerate the sacred icons they venerate them relatively not worshipfully. They transport their mind from the icon to God and the Saints. While God gives His grace to the icons, and through the icons miracles are performed, by God, the All Holy Virgin Mary, and the Saints... 
For man to be saved it does not suffice for him to merely attribute relative veneration to the sacred icons, he must also have correct faith, love for God and neighbor, humility and meekness, piety and continence, fasting, vigilance, prayer etc. virtues. He ought to do these and not leave those. While the most necessary and greatest virtue is love, without which all the virtues are useless. Whosoever does not love our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema (1 Cor. 16:22). 
Truly the whole of humanity is in a great chaos. They are walking along precipices and pits. Humanity is walking in darkness and without a compass. Where I wonder will it end up? There where all the sinners and transgressors of God's commandments ended up from all ages...The present generation is wicked and to the wicked the Lord sends analogous punishments for their repentance. 

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