The Orthodox Creed (The Symbol of Faith)

Written at the First Ecumenical Council in 325 AD and amended at the Second Ecumenical Council in 381 AD, The Creed was agreed to remain unchanged and so it has remained in the Orthodox Tradition.

The word “creed comes” from the Latin credo, which means “I believe”. In the Orthodox Church, the Creed is usually called the Symbol of Faith, which means the “expression” or “confession” of the faith.

The Creed is as follows:

  • I believe in one (1) God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth and of all things visible and invisible.
  • And in one (1) Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-be-gotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all Ages. Light of Light, True God of True God, begotten, not created, of one essence with the Father, through Whom all things were made.
  • Who for us men and for our salvation, He came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became Man.
  • He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and He suffered and was buried.
  • And He rose on the third day according to the Scriptures.
  • He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
  • And He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead; His kingdom shall have no end.
  • And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son, is worshiped and glorified; Who spoke through the Prophets.
  • I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
  • I confess One Baptism for the remission of sins.
  • I look for the resurrection of the dead.
  • And the life of the Age to come.

In the Orthodox tradition, The Creed’s recitation is ended with “Amen”, which should be said in a loud cry.


Source: http://www.orthodoxprayer.org/Divine_Liturgy/Divine%20Liturgy-The%20Creed.html

Short prayer for repentance

This is a short Christian prayer that I have found on a Romanian website and decided to translate into English because I particularly liked it. May it help bring those who read it closer to God and grant them His great mercy.

Lord, forgive me. Do not judge me according to my weakness and wickedness, but rather according to Your kindness. I have sinned like a human. Forgive me like the God that You are.

( translated from Romanian into English by Lucian Hodoboc )

Writing prompt 4

You’re the guardian angel of a physically-disabled teenager who’s constantly bullied by his high-school peers and doesn’t have any friends. You show himself to him / her in an attempt to comfort him in a moment when he / she was feeling suicidal, only to realize that he / she starts to develop a romantic crush on you.

Romania’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019

Romania’s national selection for this year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has taken place on the 17th of February 2019, having the slogan “Fulfill the dream!”. The winner is Ester Peony, who performed the song “On a Sunday”, which she had written together with Alexandru Șerbu and Ioana Victoria Badea. The song was selected through a national final organized by the Romanian broadcaster Televiziunea Română (TVR).
Prior to the 2019 Contest, Romania had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest nineteen times since its first entry in 1994.

You can find her performance below. Let me know what you think about it in the comments section. Also, feel free to share if you would vote for her in the Eurovision Contest, and the entries of which countries you have particularly enjoyed this year.

What to do to avoid Purgatory

Purgatory is a Catholic doctrine that the Eastern Orthodox, the Evangelical and the other Christian subgroups reject. According to the Catholic Church, “purgatory” is the name given to the final purification of all who die in God’s grace and friendship without having been perfectly purified.

While it is not uncommon for purgatory to be pictured, in popular imagination, as a place rather than a process of purification, the idea of purgatory being a physical place is not in accordance with the Church’s doctrine. Fire, also present in the description of purgatory in secular works of fiction, is not part of the Catholic Church’s doctrine.

The purgatory of Catholic doctrine

At the Second Council of Lyon in 1274, the Catholic Church defined, for the first time, its teaching on purgatory, in two points:

  1. some souls are purified after death;
  2. such souls benefit from the prayers and pious duties that the living do for them.

The Council declared:

[I]f they die truly repentant in charity before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for (sins) committed and omitted, their souls are cleansed after death by purgatorical or purifying punishments, as Brother John has explained to us. And to relieve punishments of this kind, the offerings of the living faithful are of advantage to these, namely, the sacrifices of Masses, prayers, alms, and other duties of piety, which have customarily been performed by the faithful for the other faithful according to the regulations of the Church.

https://www.catholicfidelity.com/apologetics-topics/suorces-of-catholic-dogma/sources-of-catholic-dogma-400-500/

A century and a half later, the Council of Florence rephrased the two points, again rejecting certain elements of the purgatory of popular imagination, in particular fire and place, against which representatives of th Orthodox Church spoke at the council:

[The Council] has likewise defined, that, if those truly penitent have departed in the love of God, before they have made satisfaction by the worthy fruits of penance for sins of commission and omission, the souls of these are cleansed after death by purgatorial punishments; and so that they may be released from punishments of this kind, the suffrages of the living faithful are of advantage to them, namely, the sacrifices of Masses, prayers, and almsgiving, and other works of piety, which are customarily performed by the faithful for other faithful according to the institutions of the Church.

http://www.catholicessentials.net/purgatory.htm

The avoidance of speculations and non-essential questions was highly recommended at the Council of Trent, on the 4th of December 1563, when the same two points were repeated:

Since the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Spirit, in conformity with the sacred writings and the ancient tradition of the Fathers in sacred councils, and very recently in this ecumenical Synod, has taught that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained there are assisted by the suffrages of the faithful, and especially by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar, the holy Synod commands the bishops that they insist that the sound doctrine of purgatory, which has been transmitted by the holy Fathers and holy Councils, be believed by the faithful of Christ, be maintained, taught, and everywhere preached.
Let the more difficult and subtle “questions”, however, and those which do not make for “edification” (cf. 1Tm 1,4), and from which there is very often no increase in piety, be excluded from popular discourses to uneducated people. Likewise, let them not permit uncertain matters, or those that have the appearance of falsehood, to be brought out and discussed publicly. Those matters on the contrary, which tend to a certain curiosity or superstition, or that savor of filthy lucre, let them prohibit as scandals and stumbling blocks to the faithful.

https://www.catholicfidelity.com/apologetics-topics/suorces-of-catholic-dogma/sources-of-catholic-dogma-900-1000/

Mother Angelica’s advice on how to avoid purgatory

In an episode of her famous TV shows on EWTN, aired on the 1st of August 2000, Mother Angelica replied to one of her callers, who asked her if she could provide some advice on how to avoid purgatory.

I have found her answer to be remarkably beautiful and inspiring and I would like to share it with you, and to ask you to watch the video in question (embedded below) and meditate on her words for a bit. Pray to God for discernment and guidance, so that you may always do His Will and, subsequently, follow the narrow path and enter through the narrow gate.

In Mother Angelica’s opinion, skipping purgatory and going straight to Heaven should be easy as long as we do the Will of God in the present moment. The past is dead (it does not exist anymore) and the future – unborn. But we are now, and we should strive to do our duties in this life every single moment according to God’s Will.

How can we know God’s Will? Well, that’s an issue for another article. 🙂 Feel free to share your opinions about the video and about Purgatory in the comments section below or in the comments section of the YouTube video. God bless you!

Motivational Bible verse about repentance

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool.”

(Isaiah 1:18)

Stock photo used: https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-wooden-house-surrounded-with-trees-covered-with-snow-1887629/

Writing prompt 3

After many centuries, technological advancements allow humankind to explore the galaxy, and we discover an alien civilization on a planet just outside our solar system. They look similar to humans, and our translation devices make communication between our two species possible. Everyone is shocked to find out that they’re also waiting for a Messiah to return.

Happy Random Acts Of Kindness Day, 2019!

The Random Acts Of Kindness Week has reached its last day this year and today we are celebrating the Random Acts Of Kindness Day. I hope you were all motivated to engage in random acts of kindness this week and I pray that this might turn into a habit, so that we can be kinder people all year long.

God bless the people who walk in the good works that He has prepared for us!

Writing prompt 2

It’s the year 3000 and technology has advanced at a rapid pace. After almost a century, the terraforming of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, by AI androids, has been completed and thousands of spacecrafts are ready to transport mankind there. Just when the first humans are about to embark, armies of angels appear in the sky over every country, announcing Jesus’ Second Coming.