Christ is Risen! Happy Orthodox Easter!

Happy Easter (Pascha / Paşte or Resurrection Sunday) to all the Orthodox people in the world! Let’s celebrate Christ’s resurrection by rejoicing, praying and striving to be better!

In Romania and other European countries, one of the traditions is to boil and die eggs in red (and other colors, although they should generally be red because the color symbolizes Christ’s blood) and to crack them by tapping the end of one egg against the end of another. One person holds one egg and another person holds another. The first person says “Christ is risen!” and the second person replies: “Truly He is risen!”.

You can read more about the tradition by clicking the links below:

https://www.thespruceeats.com/greek-easter-egg-game-1705738

https://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/04/30/the-symbolism-of-cracking-red-eggs-on-easter/

This is how you say “Christ is risen!” and “Truly He is risen!” in Romanian:

Hristos a înviat! Adevărat a înviat!

And this is how you say it in various other languages:

https://orthodoxwiki.org/Paschal_greeting

An Orthodox prayer for Good Friday

Lord Jesus Christ, sweet Savior of my soul, on this day of Your crucifixion, when You suffered on the cross and accepted death for our sins, I confess before You that I myself have crucified You with my many sins. But I beseech Your indescribable goodness: Grant me Your grace, O Lord, so that I may endure suffering for the sake of the faith, hope and love that I have for You, just as You, in Your long-suffering, endured the passion in order to save me. Strengthen me, O Lord, that from this day forth I may bear Your cross with joy and repentance, and that I may thus hate my wicked thoughts and desires.  

Instill sadness in my heart at Your death, allowing me to grieve just as Your beloved Mother, Your disciples and the myrrh-bearing women did as they stood near Your cross. Illumine the senses of my soul so that they may awaken and comprehend Your death, just as you brought comprehension to the lifeless creation at the time of Your crucifixion, and it trembled; just as the faithful thief understood, repented, and confessed You, and with that confession, You led him into paradise. May Your grace, which You then granted to him, now forgive my sins, for the sake of You holy passion; and as I truly turn and repent, may that same grace place me together with the thief in paradise, for You are my God and Creator.

I bow down before Your cross, O Christ, and because of Your love for us, I cry out to it:  Rejoice, honored cross of Christ, upon which He was lifted and affixed with nails for the salvation of the world; Rejoice, blessed tree, for you held the Fruit of life Who has saved us from the death of sin; Rejoice strong bar which has shattered the gates of hell; Rejoice, royal key, which has opened the door of paradise.

O, my crucified Christ, how You suffered for us! How many wounds, spitting, mockery and insults You endured because of our sins, giving us an example of true patience in times of suffering and troubles which we must endure in this life?! Since God sends these to us because of our sins, that we may correct ourselves and draw near to Him, He thus chastises us for our own good during this life. Therefore, I pray to You, O Master: during times of troubles, temptations and pain that come upon me, grant that I may increase in patience, strength and gratitude. For I confess that I am helpless if You do not strengthen me; blind, if You do not illumine me; bound if You do not set me free; fearful, if You do not make me brave; lost, if You do not seek me; a slave, if You do not redeem me with Your abundant and divine power and with the grace of Your holy cross, which I venerated and glorify, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Source: http://otftd.blogspot.com/2014/11/a-prayer-for-friday.html

Writing prompt 10

Both your parents are heroic vigilantes. They don’t have superpowers, but they are trained in various forms or fighting styles and use gadgets to defend the city. They have done this for decades, and they expect you to follow in their footsteps, but you feel a strong calling to the monastic life.

Happy World Book Day 2019!

World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book, is an annual event the organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the aim of promoting reading, publishing, and copyright.

Having been first celebrated on the 23rd of April 1995, World Book Day continues to be recognized on that day every year. A related event in the United Kingdom and Ireland is observed in March.

Happy World Book Day, 2019!

Happy Earth Day 2019!

Each year, Earth Day, observed on the 22nd of April, marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

Earth Day has reached into its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.

2019 marks the 49th anniversary of Earth Day, while next year, in 2020, 50th anniversary of Earth Day will occur. In honor of this milestone, Earth Day Network is launching an ambitious set of goals to shape the future of 21st century environmentalism. Learn more here.

Blessed Easter to Catholics and Evangelicals

As Catholics and Evangelicals celebrate Easter today, I want to wish them a blessed Easter Day! Khristós Anésti! Christ has risen!

I also want to invite everyone to pray for the people in Sri Lanka, after several terrorist attacks at 3 SriLankan churches & 3 luxury hotels killed over 185 people and wounded more than 400. May the Lord comfort those suffering. Those who have been killed, eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. Jesus has risen! May they find strength in Him on this most holy day. We ask this in Jesus’ name.

Bishop Barron – about pain

As Catholics celebrate Good Friday, I invite you to read a very interesting article about the metaphysics of pain, written by Bishop Robert Barron. I will quote this part, which has really caught my attention through its profoundness:

“Once we understand that God’s love is more powerful than suffering, we have lost, at least in principle, the motivation to sin.”

Let me know your opinions about the points brought into discussion by Bishop Barron in the article.

Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy

A roman Catholic priest converting to Orthodoxy. You don’t see this often. Former Roman-Catholic priest, father Constantine, converted to Orthodox Christianity in 2014. He was converted by his grace archbishop of St. Petersburg in Chapel of Orthodox Academy of St. Petersburg. Father Constantine later became a monk and now serves the Orthodox Church as a monk.

Do you think he did the right thing? Express your opinions in the comments section below.

Types of plant-based diets

There are several types of vegetarian or plant-based diets. The terms “vegetarian” and “plant-based” can sometimes create confusion due to the lack of consensus in regards to their official definitions. Here are some brief explanations of what the main types of vegetarians are:

Fruitarian: a person who eats exclusively raw fruits and seeds (or whose diet consists of at least 70% fruits and about 30% vegetables), mostly raw, but sometimes frozen or slightly cooked fruit is acceptable;

Raw Food Vegan: a person who excludes all food and products of animal origin, as well as food cooked at a temperature above 105 °F. It includes raw fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, grains, legume sprouts, plant oils, sea vegetables, herbs and mushrooms;

Vegan: a person who does not eat or use animal products; vegans eat cooked products from the above list;

Lacto Vegetarian: a person who abstains from eating meat and eggs, but eats dairy products;

Ovo Vegetarian: a person who abstains from eating meat and dairy, but consumes eggs;

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: a person who abstains from eating meat, but eats eggs and dairy products;

Pescatarian: a person who does not eat meat but does eat fish;

Flexitarian: one who consumes a plant-based diet with the occasional inclusion of meat, eggs or dairy products;

Writing prompt 9

You were raised in a family with a strong atheistic world view and you’ve always looked down on people who believe in God. When you fall in love with a Christian person of the opposite gender, during your first year at University, you accept attending Church and praying with him/her a few times, mainly to humor him/her, but immediately after, inexplicable events that you can’t brush off as coincidences start occurring…