Donnerstag, 14. Juli 2016

Prophecy of St Porphyrios about America and Western Society introduction - Fr. Constantine (Charles) J. Simones

Dear People,
        I have translated three books about the life and works of St. Porphyrios, I had forgotten about the prophecy the Saint made about America back in 1985.  In view of what is happening to America in the beginning of the 21st century, I believe it is important for us to listen to the contemporary Saints of Holy Orthodoxy.  The Church of the East is filled with miraculous events almost on a daily basis.  The Church looks upon these events as a powerful indication that the Holy Spirit is very active and alive in the life of Holy Orthodoxy. 
        During a time in history when profound events are shaking the very foundations of society; faith, family and Christian ethics, I believe that it is very important for us to pay close attention to the spiritual giants that Holy Orthodoxy is producing today.  Most observers of the political developments throughout the world do not pay any attention to the men and women of the Orthodox Church who are receiving revelations from God about the afflictions that are plaguing humanity.  These observers of the financial, political and spiritual chaos that has befallen Western society do not relate these things to mankind’s violations of the Commandments of God.  It has been proven throughout human history that when mankind rebels against the will of God Divine Grace abandons us.  This divine abandonment brings war, poverty, hunger, draught, plagues, natural disasters, violence and social chaos. 
        I have just finished reading a book entitled “The Silent Mountain,” A Search for Orthodox Spirituality written by Dr. Kyriakos Markides of the University of Maine.  He very effectively puts forth the spiritual causes of the spiritual malaise that is afflicting the Western Christian Church today.  In this section of the book he is writing about the beginnings of the great division that separated the Christian Church in 1054 A. D. known as the Great Schism.  Listen to what he says about the great divide that afflicts Christianity in the 21st century.  He writes here about the 6th and 7th centuries of the Roman Empire.
        “Whereas the Eastern part of the Roman Empire as Byzantium thrived and prospered, the social and political infrastructure of the Western part of the Roman Empire eventually collapsed under the weight of the Germanic invasions.  This development left the Roman Church as the sole organized institution keeping a politically fragmented and barbarized Western European society together.  The Dark Ages descended upon Europe, a development that did not take place in Byzantium, and this is an important point that Western historians have often overlooked.  It is interesting to note that during the Dark Ages, Constantinople was a leading center of culture with over a million inhabitants whereas Paris had only a few thousand.  Here is how a Western historian described the prevailing conditions in the West.
        “The leadership which was so badly needed by the disorganized Western society of the 6th century could come initially only from the Church, which had in its ranks almost all of the literate men in Europe and the strongest institutions of the age. The Church, however, had also suffered severely from the Germanic invasions.  The Bishops identified their interests with those of the lay nobility and in fact were often relatives of kings and the more powerful aristocrats; the secular clergy in general was ignorant, corrupt, and unable to deal with the problem of Christianizing a society which remained intensely heathen in spite of formal conversion of masses of Germanic warriors to Christianity.  The grossest heathen superstitions were grafted onto Latin Christianity.  By the beginning of the 7th century Church discipline in Gaul was in a state of chaos, and the problem was the most basic one of preserving the sufficient rudiments of literacy to perpetuate the liturgy of Latin Christianity.
        “These developments signaled the beginning of the preoccupation of the Western Church with the management of this world, so much so that in some cases the Pope himself participated in military expeditions and used the sword with the same ease as the Gospel.  It was a ghastly development for the Eastern monks, nuns and hermits, who objected to any form of violence. The reluctance of the Byzantine Church to accept that ends could justify the means (even to the point of insisting that killing enemy soldiers in battle was sinful) led to a feeling that no one could engage in politics, war, or commerce without some moral taint.  This put the Byzantines at a disadvantage against Western merchants or Crusaders or Muslim Holy Warriors.  
          The different historical developments of the Western and the Eastern parts of the Roman Empire paralleled and perhaps were responsible for the rise of two distinct orientations in Christian theology.  The type which developed in the West was based on the thought of Aristotle, the philosophical precursor to the scientific revolution and the philosopher whose primary focus was the study of this world.  God as the “Unmoved Mover” Aristotle taught, can be known and proven by studying nature and through philosophical, logical deductions.  St. Thomas Aquinas, who introduced Aristotle to the West, was the catalyst for the Roman Catholic Church to embrace Aristotelian philosophy and establish it as the central orientation in Catholic theology.  Western theology, by adhering to such an orientation, did in fact plant the seeds for the scientific revolution and the rise of rationalism that paved the way for the modern secular world as we know it.  This “scholastic perspective, however, was at odds with that of Eastern Christianity, which believed that God can only be known through spiritual practice and direct mystical illumination.
        “Christianity eventually split formally into the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church during the Great Schism of 1054 A. D. Since then the two Christianities followed their radically different and separate ways. 
        “Western Christianity underwent further radical convulsions that led to increasing secularization.  In the middle of the 16th century Martin Luther nailed to the door of his Church his Ninety-Five Theses that launched the revolution against the Pope. With Protestantism, monasticism as an institution was abolished altogether as well as was the practice of honoring the saints, who traditionally had served as spiritual beacons on the path toward Theosis, becoming god-like.  In the words of Fr. Maximus, it was as if the heart was taken out of Christianity.”   
        With this introduction, my friends in the living Christ, we offer you the prophecy as it was related to the world by Saint Porphyrios in 1985.  The translation from the Greek was done by:

+Fr. Constantine (Charles) J. Simones, Waterford, CT, USA, July 11, 2016, 860-460-9089,

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