The Priest (2009) full

120 minutes feature film 2009 (Selection shot with English subtitles)
Genre: Drama
Director: Vladimir Khotinenko
Cast: Sergey Makovetskiy, Nina Usatova, Liza Arzamasova, Anatoliy Lobotskiy
Production Co: Orthodox Encyclopedia Film Company Country: Russia
Distributor: Tritona Studio (http://www.tritonafilm.ru)

Official site www.pop-movie.ru

Set in Russia and based on the true story happened during WWII. Father Alexander (Makovetsky) is making every effort to maintain peaceful life for his church during the Nazi occupation. His mission is to survive through the deadly war and save the civilians. But he is only a human...


The Fasting Rule of the Orthodox Church

The Church's traditional teaching on fasting is not widely known or followed in our day. For those Orthodox Christians who are seeking to keep a more disciplined fast, the following information may be helpful.
Though the rules may appear quite strict to those who have not seen them before, they were developed with all of the faithful, not only monks, in mind. (Monks do not eat meat, so rules regarding the eating of meat cannot have been written with them in mind. Similarly rules regarding marital abstinence apply only to the laity and married clergy.) Though few laymen are able to keep the rule in its fullness, it seems best to present it mostly without judgement of what level is "appropriate" for the laity, since this is a matter best worked out in each Christian's own setting, under the guidance of his spiritual fathers.
There are many exceptions to the broad rules given here, such as when a major feast day, or the patronal feast of a parish, falls during a fasting period. Consult your priest and your parish calendar for details. St. Innocent Press publishes wall and pocket calendars that give the fasting rule for every day of the year. The Saint Herman Calendar, published annually by St. Herman of Alaska Press, is also a good day-by-day guide.
Non-fasting Periods
For the Christian, all foods are clean. When no fast is prescribed, there are no forbidden foods.
Weekly Fast


Sermon on Holy Spirit

Anthony Bloom (Metropolitan of Sourozh (1914- 2003))
The Church of God is not an institution, it is a miracle and it is a mystery. It is a miracle because how could we expect that closeness of God which is revealed to us in the Church. And it is also a mystery in the original sense of the world, something which cannot be either explained or conveyed in words, something that can be known only through a spellbound communion with God. The English word “God” comes from a Germanic root that means “him, before whom one prostrates in adoration”. This is where our knowledge of God begins – the sense of the divine presence that forces us down to our knees, spellbound, silent, not with an empty silence that is ours at times but with a silence which is nothing but intent worshipful listening, listening to the presence, listening to that presence which is at the core of the silence. And he who speak to us within this silence is the Holy Spirit, who unveils before our minds and hearts what the words spoken by God, revealed to us in the Gospel truly convey. It is only under the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we can both believe and understand what Christ spoke because words in themselves are always equivocal, they may be clear or obscure, they may be made to mean what they never meant. And this is the role of the Holy Spirit - to make us understand God’s word as it was born in the divine silence and unfolded before us in words which we could understand. But these words are not a prison, they are an open door as Christ is the door leading to the Father and leading to eternal life. It is the Holy Spirit who according to the promise of our Lord unveils for us the meaning of the Scriptures, it is not scholarship, it is worship and a worship that allows us to commune with the mind of God and the heart of God. The Spirit of truth, but also Him whom the Scripture calls the Paraclete, a complex word as so many of the words of ancient languages. It means “the Comforter”, Him who gives consolation. It means ‘Comforter’ in the sense that He gives us strength, it means also “Him, who brings joy”. And these three meanings are important but He can be to us the Comforter in these various ways only if we are in need of His comfort.
What kind of consolation do we need? Most of us feel perfectly comfortable in our lives and indeed in our worship and our spiritual life, and who of us is in a position to say with all the intensity and depth with which St. Paul spoke these words, “For me life is Christ, death would be a gain because as long as I live in the body, I am separated from Christ”? Can we honestly say that for us life is Christ, that all that He stands for is life-giving, all that is contrary to Him, to us is death? Can we say that we have died with Christ to everything which is alien to God? Can we say that we are alive only when the things of God come our way - prayer, deep meditation, the kind of understanding which the Spirit of God reveals to us? And so we must ask ourselves very sternly a first question: is Christ my life or not? Would it be enough for me to feel that life is fulfilled, complete to be at one with Christ in all things or do I feel that there are so many things which I love and which I am not prepared to let go off even to be with Christ?
And again, Christ is in the midst of us invisibly, mysteriously. Yes, but He is not with us in the way in which He was with the Apostles. We cannot say with St. John that we speak of what we have seen, what we have heard, what our hands have touched. We know Christ in the spirit, no longer in the flesh, and yet Christ rose in the flesh, Christ ascended and is seated at the right hand of the Father in His body glorified. Paul longed to be with Him in this companionship full of veneration, of reverence, of love. He wanted to be at one with Him without anything separating from Him. “Who shall make me free of this body of corruption?” - of this body against which my thoughts and my prayers and my best inclinations, and my most passionate impulses for good break down? Can we say that? Is death what we expect longingly because it will unite us to Christ? Or are we still pagan at heart and do we wish to flee from death? And instead of saying, “Lord, Jesus, come and come soon!” aren’t we prepared to say, “Tarry, o Lord, tarry, give me time,” in the way in which Augustine prayed to the Lord after his conversion, “Lord, give me chastity but not just now.” Isn’t it that our condition - not concerning chastity alone but everything in life: not just now, o Lord, the time will come when all my energies will be spent, when age will have come and made life much less attractive or unpalatable - then take me. No, this is not it. And so when we think of the Holy Spirit as our Comforter, as one who consoles us from the absence of Christ by making us to commune with the essence of things, where do we stand? Is He our Comforter while we need no comfort?
And again, in our ministry how often do we feel that we are totally, ultimately helpless, that what we are called to do is simply beyond human possibilities? In the beginning of the Eucharistic celebration in the Orthodox Church, when the priest is vested, when he has prepared the Holy Gifts, when he is about to give the first liturgical exclamation, when in his naivety he may think, “Now I will perform miracles on earth,” the deacon turns to him and says, “And now, father, it is for God to act.” All you could do, you have done, you have prayed and prepared yourself, made yourself open to God, you have vested yourself and become an image – but only an image, not the thing. You have prepared the bread and the wine and now what is expected of you is something which you cannot do, you cannot by any power including apostolic succession make this bread into the Body of Christ, this wine into the Blood of Christ, you have no power over God and you have no power over the created world. It is only Christ who is the only celebrant because He is the High Priest of all creation who sending the Holy Spirit can break through into time, open it up so that eternity can flow, indeed, make eruption into it and within this eschatological situation in which eternity fills time make possible the impossible, make bread into the Body of Christ crucified and risen, the wine into the Blood of Christ crucified and risen.


Buzzard, bat and bumblebee

If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and

Is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its

Ability to fly, will remain a prisoner. The reason is

 a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a

Run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit,

It will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner

For life in a small jail with no top.
  The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkably nimble 
Creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on 
The floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, 
No doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which 
It can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.
A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, 
Unless it is taken out.  It never sees the means of escape at the top, 
But persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near 
The bottom.  It will seek a way where none exists, 
Until it completely destroys itself.
In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee. 
We struggle with all our problems and frustrations, 
Never realising that all we have to do is look up! 

That's the answer, the escape route and the solution 
To any problem!  Just look up.
Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up!

Live simply, love generously, care deeply,
Speak kindly and trust in our Creator who loves us.