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Father H
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« Reply #90 on: June 21, 2012, 05:43:08 PM »


When I was in Greece I had an Old Calendarist and an Orthodox Christian both ask me about Elder Ephraim and if I'd ever been to Arizona. They showed me a calendar and stuff they'd gotten in the mail from there...

I know many Priests who've warned their faithful to watch out, not just at these, but all monasteries because the monastics are deep into the spiritual life and experts at monastic asceticism, but they don't know much about married asceticism and life in (but not of) the world.

I've even heard of some of Elder Ephraim's monks advising couples to fast from each other for a period of time, which inevitably caused undue tensions and conflict in the marriage, sometimes causing lustful passions to flare in one or each party and causing terrible strife between the couple...

I've also heard of other things, but monasteries are for going for quiet and solitude, for rest and spiritual exercises. But they aren't for us "worldly" ascetics to go seek advice and penance.

 God did not call everyone to sanctity. 


(insert jaw-dropping emoticon)

Do you not pay attention to Liturgy, where we pray for the sanctity of all?  

I guess you find your calling equal to Saint Pauls?  Huh

 Roll Eyes

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« Reply #91 on: June 21, 2012, 05:53:42 PM »

In the Apostolic Churches a Saint implies someone that is in a higher state of existence while still in this world.  

Wrong. Sainthood does not concern earthly living. The Saints are those, who achieved salvation.

Quote
But even among saints, (or blesseds), there seems to be lesser ones and greater ones.

So Roman Catholic.

That is not the Orthodox position.

Didn't Saint Paul mention something about a 'third' heaven?  Huh

Anyway I'm speaking about my own personal experiences, as well as the lives of certain people in the Orthodox Church that are assumed to be saints, but are not given as many charisms after their death as  saints such as Saint Nektarios.  As soon as Saint Nektarios died, and the clothes he was wearing was placed on the bed next to him, the sick man on the bed was able to get up and walk.   Also there was a beautiful scent  permeating the air.  The miracles were so abundant, that he was proclaimed a saint within twenty five years, something that is almost unheard of.  In saints such as the Greek Saint Demetrios the New Martyr, and the Russian Saint Elizabeth the Kind, in addition to the scents, myrhh has been known to stream from the caskets.  

I can only deduce from these miraculous gifts given to certain saints by God after their death, that they are  in a higher position than others.  Of course there might be other reasons for God giving them these special gifts, such as people being able to relate to them and their sacrifices more so than other saints, some of which might  only have a local appeal.   Huh
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 05:54:52 PM by Zenovia » Logged
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« Reply #92 on: June 21, 2012, 06:17:50 PM »

I don't doubt there might have been exceptions, though most of the calumny  a saint suffered would be unknown by their biographers.  Very little is known about a saint's personal life and what they went through because humility is a perquisite of sanctity.  All saints consider themselves the most sinful of men and constantly pray for God's forgiveness.

Some of the Saints enjoyed quite a wealthy life (like the Romanovs, St. Vladimir, St. Olaf, St. Constantine, St. Helen, St. Olga - royals, St. Gregory Peradze - university professor... Some Saints left a detailed info bout their personal life (Romanovs again, St. John of Kronstadt).

I can only deduce from these miraculous gifts given to certain saints by God after their death, that they are  in a higher position than others.

The more litres of myrrh - the more important Saint? What about those who were forgotten and came into the sunlight recently? What about those, whose bodies were burnt, drown, given for animals to eat? What about those millions of Saints we do not know about at all?

Why do you generalise so much?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 06:19:08 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged
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« Reply #93 on: June 21, 2012, 06:27:22 PM »

And, PtA, St Paul's words are adhered to by a great many Orthodox couples. You are still young in age and faith, and, if I'm not mistaken, not married. Do not dismiss or dilute what we, older in many ways, have to say.

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.  Great many?  I would like to see the data.  The Apostle Paul was wise in requiring mutual consent.  Monks have no business giving marriage advice to married couples.  They do not fight our fight.  This was very good advice given to me by my Godfather, a monk in the ROCOR.




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« Reply #94 on: June 21, 2012, 06:33:51 PM »

Quote
That is interesting, as it runs counter to all I have heard from others who have visited monasteries on Mt. Athos, the Holy Land, etc.  Elder Ephraim is still the spiritual father of 5 monasteries on Mt. Athos (and some monasteries in Greece), and monks from Athos and elsewhere regularly come to the monastery in Arizona seeking guidance from him.  A few years ago a friend of mine visited monasteries on Mt. Athos and in the Holy Land and he was constantly asked by monks in these places whether he had visited the monastery in Arizona or knew Elder Ephraim.  Everyone he encountered spoke with great esteem about the Elder and the monasteries he has established.
Likewise, I have only heard good things from Athos about the Elder. I had the pleasure to meet a monk from Mt. Athos a few Sundays ago who came to Arizona for medical treatment and will be staying at St. Anthony's for some time, if not indefinitely.
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« Reply #95 on: June 21, 2012, 06:34:26 PM »

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.  Great many?  I would like to see the data.  

My friends' daughter was born in December. The father is the parish council president, the mother - choir director.  police
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« Reply #96 on: June 21, 2012, 06:41:43 PM »

Quote
The father is the parish council president
Not to bash on the father, but that isn't exactly a mark of piety, as many around here I'm sure would joke.  Cheesy
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« Reply #97 on: June 21, 2012, 06:58:46 PM »

People conceived during the most holy Lenten season will become werewolves! It is widely known. Or on a Friday, for that matter. And may other misfortunes will attend them.
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« Reply #98 on: June 21, 2012, 07:09:40 PM »

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The father is the parish council president
Not to bash on the father, but that isn't exactly a mark of piety, as many around here I'm sure would joke.  Cheesy

He's a nice guy.
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« Reply #99 on: June 21, 2012, 07:11:36 PM »

People conceived during the most holy Lenten season will become werewolves! It is widely known. Or on a Friday, for that matter. And may other misfortunes will attend them.
And the lesser lenten seasons? Perhaps they will just like their steaks a little rare?
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« Reply #100 on: June 21, 2012, 07:18:52 PM »

People conceived during the most holy Lenten season will become werewolves! It is widely known. Or on a Friday, for that matter. And may other misfortunes will attend them.
And the lesser lenten seasons? Perhaps they will just like their steaks a little rare?
A very old and wise woman told me. She was also talking about " the 12 forbidden Fridays" . That's   what Orthodox people in many places really believed or, still believe. They didn't know about Paul and Corinthians or whatever, Philistines.
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« Reply #101 on: June 21, 2012, 09:17:02 PM »

Quote
Of course they can, and God has called many a married person to become saints.   I'm sure though at the time they were not living in a married state.  

This is nonsense. Many saints were married throughout their whole life.

And another thing:
Quote
24. It was revealed to Abba Anthony in his desert that there was one who was his equal in the city. He was a doctor by profession and whatever he had beyond his needs he gave to the poor, and every day he sang the Sanctus with the angels.
 

We know that the Church sanctified saints, even if they were married,  were not living as man and wife...at least at the time they were considered saints.   You believe otherwise, but it is only an assumption on your part.  I find it strange the way people can assume that  sanctity can be achieved so easily, when the canonized saints of our Church, prayed until their dying hour that God will forgive them of their manifold sins, for they saw themselves as the least worthy and most sinful of men.  
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« Reply #102 on: June 21, 2012, 09:24:18 PM »

And, PtA, St Paul's words are adhered to by a great many Orthodox couples. You are still young in age and faith, and, if I'm not mistaken, not married. Do not dismiss or dilute what we, older in many ways, have to say.

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.  Great many?  I would like to see the data.  The Apostle Paul was wise in requiring mutual consent.  Monks have no business giving marriage advice to married couples.  They do not fight our fight.  This was very good advice given to me by my Godfather, a monk in the ROCOR.





Exactly.
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« Reply #103 on: June 21, 2012, 09:33:21 PM »

We know that the Church sanctified saints, even if they were married,  were not living as man and wife...at least at the time they were considered saints.

Agreed. People are considered Saints after death and in that state it's hard to have sex.
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« Reply #104 on: June 21, 2012, 09:51:10 PM »

I don't doubt there might have been exceptions, though most of the calumny  a saint suffered would be unknown by their biographers.  Very little is known about a saint's personal life and what they went through because humility is a perquisite of sanctity.  All saints consider themselves the most sinful of men and constantly pray for God's forgiveness.


Quote
Some of the Saints enjoyed quite a wealthy life (like the Romanovs, St. Vladimir, St. Olaf, St. Constantine, St. Helen, St. Olga - royals, St. Gregory Peradze - university professor... Some Saints left a detailed info bout their personal life (Romanovs again, St. John of Kronstadt).

You should read a little bit before posting.  The Romonovs were in a state of constant prayer before being killed, and even before being taken prisoner, they had a very intense prayer life.  You have no idea what those people suffered, especially Alexandra, not only with her son and the guilt feelings she had about him, but through the calumny that was ongoing in the newspapers.  She was so sick because of all these things, plus having an individual next to her that was demon possessed, because he was the only person able to cure her son, that she wasn't even able to walk and had to be wheeled around in a wheel chair.

 Do you know anything about Saint John Kronstadt's life?  Like all saints he hardly ever slept.  There were times his wife had to force him to stay a few minutes and eat a few bites, and like Saint Seraphim and other saints, he was almost beaten to death.  Try reading a bit before posting. 

Quote
I can only deduce from these miraculous gifts given to certain saints by God after their death, that they are  in a higher position than others.

Quote
The more litres of myrrh - the more important Saint? What about those who were forgotten and came into the sunlight recently? What about those, whose bodies were burnt, drown, given for animals to eat? What about those millions of Saints we do not know about at all?

Why do you generalise so much?

Why do you question God so much?  Anyway don't take it up with me, take it up with Him since I'm not the one giving these saints their charisms.  Why don't you just accept what God is showing you before jumping to conclusions.  Do you find it so hard?    Angry
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« Reply #105 on: June 21, 2012, 11:04:21 PM »

There isn't strong canonical guidance on marital relations, and so scheduling one's marital congress is largely left to the couple.  I was taught that one should follow the same rules for intercourse one follows for food: when no eating is permitted, then no intercourse is permitted.  Wednesdays and Fridays and other fast days one should scale back one's activities, whereas the 'regular days' a couple may enjoy themselves to the same degree that they enjoy food.  Never to excess, but more than on the fasting days.

What some people might find disappointing is that there is more to marital relations and sex than simply 'sex' or 'no sex.'

I don't think many monks understand that, and perhaps a number of married people have also forgotten.  Wink


And, PtA, St Paul's words are adhered to by a great many Orthodox couples. You are still young in age and faith, and, if I'm not mistaken, not married. Do not dismiss or dilute what we, older in many ways, have to say.

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.  Great many?  I would like to see the data.  The Apostle Paul was wise in requiring mutual consent.  Monks have no business giving marriage advice to married couples.  They do not fight our fight.  This was very good advice given to me by my Godfather, a monk in the ROCOR.





Exactly.
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« Reply #106 on: June 21, 2012, 11:18:40 PM »

There isn't strong canonical guidance on marital relations, and so scheduling one's marital congress is largely left to the couple.  I was taught that one should follow the same rules for intercourse one follows for food: when no eating is permitted, then no intercourse is permitted.  Wednesdays and Fridays and other fast days one should scale back one's activities, whereas the 'regular days' a couple may enjoy themselves to the same degree that they enjoy food.  Never to excess, but more than on the fasting days.

What some people might find disappointing is that there is more to marital relations and sex than simply 'sex' or 'no sex.'

I'd ask, but I figure a priest shouldn't tell this kind of thing to a 17 year old he doesn't know.  angel
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« Reply #107 on: June 21, 2012, 11:20:13 PM »

There isn't strong canonical guidance on marital relations, and so scheduling one's marital congress is largely left to the couple.  I was taught that one should follow the same rules for intercourse one follows for food: when no eating is permitted, then no intercourse is permitted.  Wednesdays and Fridays and other fast days one should scale back one's activities, whereas the 'regular days' a couple may enjoy themselves to the same degree that they enjoy food.  Never to excess, but more than on the fasting days.

What some people might find disappointing is that there is more to marital relations and sex than simply 'sex' or 'no sex.'

I don't think many monks understand that, and perhaps a number of married people have also forgotten.  Wink


And, PtA, St Paul's words are adhered to by a great many Orthodox couples. You are still young in age and faith, and, if I'm not mistaken, not married. Do not dismiss or dilute what we, older in many ways, have to say.

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.  Great many?  I would like to see the data.  The Apostle Paul was wise in requiring mutual consent.  Monks have no business giving marriage advice to married couples.  They do not fight our fight.  This was very good advice given to me by my Godfather, a monk in the ROCOR.





Exactly.

Most of us that have been married for more than 30 years understand it quite well.  It seems that those who keep wanting to get into our bedrooms are the ones that have the problem.  I think it is a big case of "I ain't gettin' any, so you shouldn't either" more than any piety.  If we are supposed to pray in secret, fast in secret, and give so that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, we should probably screw in secret, too.  If some dumbo feels the need to ask a priest when and where he can have relations with his wife, he pretty much deserves whatever he is told.  As for me and my household - stay out of our bedrooms.
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« Reply #108 on: June 22, 2012, 12:51:02 AM »

You get a for that post!

Most of us that have been married for more than 30 years understand it quite well.  It seems that those who keep wanting to get into our bedrooms are the ones that have the problem.  I think it is a big case of "I ain't gettin' any, so you shouldn't either" more than any piety.  If we are supposed to pray in secret, fast in secret, and give so that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, we should probably screw in secret, too.  If some dumbo feels the need to ask a priest when and where he can have relations with his wife, he pretty much deserves whatever he is told.  As for me and my household - stay out of our bedrooms.
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« Reply #109 on: June 22, 2012, 01:40:58 AM »

^^
Here is the youtube video that I was referring to:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rw8SDZVsbc&feature=related

Modified to comply with rule regarding naked links. Priolo--please acquaint yourself with the rules ASAP. Thanks, Second Chance

What a hack job !    Pffft..
The video, or what Second Chance did to clothe the naked link? Would you please make clear what you're criticizing here? Thank you.

The TV report ..  Especially how at the end they tossed a grenade about antisemitism when nothing in the report was about that. Just a little eyebrow raiser for good measure??  It was poorly done IMHO
OK. Thanks for clearing this up. Smiley
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« Reply #110 on: June 22, 2012, 01:47:11 AM »

Quote
Of course they can, and God has called many a married person to become saints.   I'm sure though at the time they were not living in a married state.  

This is nonsense. Many saints were married throughout their whole life.

And another thing:
Quote
24. It was revealed to Abba Anthony in his desert that there was one who was his equal in the city. He was a doctor by profession and whatever he had beyond his needs he gave to the poor, and every day he sang the Sanctus with the angels.
 

We know that the Church sanctified saints, even if they were married,  were not living as man and wife...at least at the time they were considered saints.   You believe otherwise, but it is only an assumption on your part.
I haven't seen you post anything that isn't an assumption on your part.

I find it strange the way people can assume that  sanctity can be achieved so easily,
Who's saying sanctity is easy to achieve?

when the canonized saints of our Church, prayed until their dying hour that God will forgive them of their manifold sins, for they saw themselves as the least worthy and most sinful of men.  
What do you know of the canonization of saints in the Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #111 on: June 22, 2012, 01:49:13 AM »

There isn't strong canonical guidance on marital relations, and so scheduling one's marital congress is largely left to the couple.  I was taught that one should follow the same rules for intercourse one follows for food: when no eating is permitted, then no intercourse is permitted.  Wednesdays and Fridays and other fast days one should scale back one's activities, whereas the 'regular days' a couple may enjoy themselves to the same degree that they enjoy food.  Never to excess, but more than on the fasting days.

What some people might find disappointing is that there is more to marital relations and sex than simply 'sex' or 'no sex.'

I don't think many monks understand that, and perhaps a number of married people have also forgotten.  Wink


And, PtA, St Paul's words are adhered to by a great many Orthodox couples. You are still young in age and faith, and, if I'm not mistaken, not married. Do not dismiss or dilute what we, older in many ways, have to say.

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.  Great many?  I would like to see the data.  The Apostle Paul was wise in requiring mutual consent.  Monks have no business giving marriage advice to married couples.  They do not fight our fight.  This was very good advice given to me by my Godfather, a monk in the ROCOR.





Exactly.

Most of us that have been married for more than 30 years understand it quite well.  It seems that those who keep wanting to get into our bedrooms are the ones that have the problem.  I think it is a big case of "I ain't gettin' any, so you shouldn't either" more than any piety.  If we are supposed to pray in secret, fast in secret, and give so that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, we should probably screw in secret, too.  If some dumbo feels the need to ask a priest when and where he can have relations with his wife, he pretty much deserves whatever he is told.  As for me and my household - stay out of our bedrooms.
LOL! laugh Well said, Punch!
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« Reply #112 on: June 22, 2012, 01:50:54 AM »

That was amazing, Punch.
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« Reply #113 on: June 22, 2012, 05:10:32 AM »

Quote
Of course they can, and God has called many a married person to become saints.   I'm sure though at the time they were not living in a married state.  

This is nonsense. Many saints were married throughout their whole life.

And another thing:
Quote
24. It was revealed to Abba Anthony in his desert that there was one who was his equal in the city. He was a doctor by profession and whatever he had beyond his needs he gave to the poor, and every day he sang the Sanctus with the angels.
 

We know that the Church sanctified saints, even if they were married,  were not living as man and wife...at least at the time they were considered saints.   You believe otherwise, but it is only an assumption on your part.  I find it strange the way people can assume that  sanctity can be achieved so easily, when the canonized saints of our Church, prayed until their dying hour that God will forgive them of their manifold sins, for they saw themselves as the least worthy and most sinful of men.  


You keep changing your point of view. First, you say that the saints became saints only after their spouse had died, now you say that all saints lived as brother and sister. How am I supposed to take you seriously when you keep changing your opinion?
And I am not assuming that sanctity is achieved easily, please, don't put words in my mouth.
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« Reply #114 on: June 22, 2012, 08:41:02 AM »

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.

For all of your insistence that confessors and spiritual fathers should “stay out of your bedroom”, I am puzzled as to how you have become so familiar with the sexual practices of other married couples.  I have also been married for a number of years but I have no idea about the sexual practices of other married couples, and I would like to keep it that way.  I would also never ask other men about such things as “erectile dysfunction”, nor would I think that men who have this problem would freely discuss this with their friends.  To speak of such subjects with others would seem very intrusive, yet you claim to have such intimate knowledge of others while vehemently opposing the discussion of such supposedly “intrusive” things with a spiritual father?

I also find it troubling to see you suggest that married couples rarely abstain from sexual relations during fasting periods.  All that should matter is that the Church requires married people to abstain from sexual relations during particular times in order to properly prepare both body and soul for the reception of Holy Communion, for the proper celebration of Feast Days, etc.  At the Judgment we will each have to give an account of our own sins and our own negligence, and then we will not be able to justify ourselves by what “everybody else” supposedly does or fails to do.   

By your reference to those having “erectile dysfunction” as being the only ones who abstain from sexual relations in marriage during fasting periods, you seem to be mocking the teachings of the Church and those who would strive to be obedient to the Church, thereby causing temptation for others on this list who might be struggling with obedience in this area.   
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« Reply #115 on: June 22, 2012, 09:50:56 AM »

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.

For all of your insistence that confessors and spiritual fathers should “stay out of your bedroom”,
I'm not sure Punch ever said that, so I would like to see you either show us where he did or stop putting words into his mouth. Hint: The key to my inquiry is your emphasis on confessors and spiritual fathers, while, at least on this thread, Punch spoke only of monastics with whom he has no such confessional relationship.
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« Reply #116 on: June 22, 2012, 10:03:43 AM »

And, PtA, St Paul's words are adhered to by a great many Orthodox couples. You are still young in age and faith, and, if I'm not mistaken, not married. Do not dismiss or dilute what we, older in many ways, have to say.

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.  Great many?  I would like to see the data.  The Apostle Paul was wise in requiring mutual consent.  Monks have no business giving marriage advice to married couples.  They do not fight our fight.  This was very good advice given to me by my Godfather, a monk in the ROCOR.






If people want to look through the archives there is a good quote from Fr. Alexander Lebedeev (ROCOR) saying that this fasting from marital relations  is just nonsense.  It was NEVER part of the Slavic orthodox tradition.
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« Reply #117 on: June 22, 2012, 10:32:33 AM »

And, PtA, St Paul's words are adhered to by a great many Orthodox couples. You are still young in age and faith, and, if I'm not mistaken, not married. Do not dismiss or dilute what we, older in many ways, have to say.

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.  Great many?  I would like to see the data.  The Apostle Paul was wise in requiring mutual consent.  Monks have no business giving marriage advice to married couples.  They do not fight our fight.  This was very good advice given to me by my Godfather, a monk in the ROCOR.






If people want to look through the archives there is a good quote from Fr. Alexander Lebedeev (ROCOR) saying that this fasting from marital relations  is just nonsense.  It was NEVER part of the Slavic orthodox tradition.

Are you talking about this one?
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« Reply #118 on: June 22, 2012, 11:00:46 AM »

Lord have mercy!

May the Lord have mercy on him and grant him eternal rest. May the Lord comfort his family and all his loved ones at this most difficult time. May the Lord  comfort and bring peace to the Monks in the monastery. Amen Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #119 on: June 22, 2012, 11:10:43 AM »

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.

For all of your insistence that confessors and spiritual fathers should “stay out of your bedroom”,
I'm not sure Punch ever said that, so I would like to see you either show us where he did or stop putting words into his mouth. Hint: The key to my inquiry is your emphasis on confessors and spiritual fathers, while, at least on this thread, Punch spoke only of monastics with whom he has no such confessional relationship.

Why would monastics instruct married people regarding the rules of fasting if that monastic is not their confessor or spiritual father?  If you follow the thread, I think it is clear that the subject being discussed is the giving of advice by a monk to married people in the context of confession regarding fasting from sexual relations.  To this, Punch said “As for me and my household - stay out of our bedrooms.”  Though he specifically refers to “monastics”, his other comments suggest that nobody has the right to advise a married couple regarding such things as sexual relations during fasting periods.   

If the Church has specific guidelines for abstention from sexual relations within marriage during fasting periods, a monk who is a spiritual father to a married couple has every obligation before God to inform the married couple regarding the teachings of the Church on this subject.  One should always be discerning when choosing a spiritual father, and one should not take a man for his spiritual father merely because the man is a priest or a monk.  Having one’s parish priest as their spiritual father is more common in Slavic tradition, perhaps, whereas it is less common in the Greek tradition for parish priests to have this role and more common for monastics to serve as spiritual fathers to the laity.  If you read the lives of any of the great monastic spiritual fathers of recent times (the Elders of Optina from the Slavic tradition or the Elders of Greece and Mt. Athos such as Porphyrios, Paisios, Iakovos, Philotheos, etc.) you will find many stories of contemporary monastic saints who served as spiritual fathers to the laity and advised them on every aspect of their lives including issues that may arise in marriage.  Within the context of Orthodox tradition, this is all very normal.

I disagree that a gifted spiritual father should not be sought out for advice regarding marriage under the guise that only those who are married understand marriage.  Such a principle would cause us to reject also the words of the Lord, of St. Paul, St. John Chrysostom, and practically every saint and Church Father who has written on the subject (there are certainly saints who were married, but not many who have written concerning marriage).  I think that in our times, when family life and man’s relation to his sexual impulses has become unbelievably dysfunctional and distorted, we are in even greater need of advice and help from those who do daily and life-long battle against the sexual passions.  Those in the grips of these passions, including married clergy, may not be able to see as clearly regarding the proper and God-pleasing role of sexual relations within marriage compared to an experienced monastic who is immersed in the Scriptures and patristic writings as well as the focused and daily combat against the passions. 

Married couples and monastics are both susceptible to a full range of sinful sexual desires and passions.  The only difference is that for the married couple, there is a context in which it is not sinful for the couple to engage in sexual activity.  For the one lawful context, there are many more sinful and soul-destroying contexts wherein the married couple may be tempted to engage in sexual activity.  If a monastic spiritual father is actually experienced in battling against and overcoming all sexual urges (and not all monks are), he may be a great source of help to the married couple who is struggling to keep the marriage bed undefiled. 
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« Reply #120 on: June 22, 2012, 11:13:02 AM »

Dear Zenovia,

After reading your comments in here and another thread, regarding sanctity, and Holy Matrimony, I have to say, your views are increasingly troubling to me.

Do you regard the Marital bed as being defiled?

Do you see sex within marriage as sinful?

Why is Holy Matrimony called Holy ?

Anyway, I think you should look into  this, because you are bordering a dangerous territory of denying/cursing what God has established honored ,blessed and sanctified. Listen to your orthodox Fathers in here, or the ancients, listen to the council of your orthodox brothers and sisters in here and consider your position on this matter.

With love in Christ,
Hiwot.
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« Reply #121 on: June 22, 2012, 11:38:35 AM »

I have a life outside of this forum, and this discussion comes up quite frequently (usually by some overzealous convert).  The general consensus, by nearly EVERYONE including our Priest, is BY MUTUAL CONSENT as the Holy Apostle wrote.  I really do not care how many celebate monks wrote on the subject, it is NOT their area to discuss.  That is why our Church, in its wisdom, has given us a married priesthood. 

I am Orthodox, and have been married for 31 years.  I know of nearly no one who fasts from relations 40 days unless they have erectile disfunction.

For all of your insistence that confessors and spiritual fathers should “stay out of your bedroom”, I am puzzled as to how you have become so familiar with the sexual practices of other married couples.  I have also been married for a number of years but I have no idea about the sexual practices of other married couples, and I would like to keep it that way.  I would also never ask other men about such things as “erectile dysfunction”, nor would I think that men who have this problem would freely discuss this with their friends.  To speak of such subjects with others would seem very intrusive, yet you claim to have such intimate knowledge of others while vehemently opposing the discussion of such supposedly “intrusive” things with a spiritual father?

I also find it troubling to see you suggest that married couples rarely abstain from sexual relations during fasting periods.  All that should matter is that the Church requires married people to abstain from sexual relations during particular times in order to properly prepare both body and soul for the reception of Holy Communion, for the proper celebration of Feast Days, etc.  At the Judgment we will each have to give an account of our own sins and our own negligence, and then we will not be able to justify ourselves by what “everybody else” supposedly does or fails to do.   

By your reference to those having “erectile dysfunction” as being the only ones who abstain from sexual relations in marriage during fasting periods, you seem to be mocking the teachings of the Church and those who would strive to be obedient to the Church, thereby causing temptation for others on this list who might be struggling with obedience in this area.   
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« Reply #122 on: June 22, 2012, 11:42:17 AM »

For what it's worth, Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, on his monastery's website, tells married Orthodox Christians to beware of having zealous, strict, monastic priestmonks as their confessors, esp. if such priestmonks exhibit an unhealthy interest in the sexual relationship of the couple.  Just a word to the wise.
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« Reply #123 on: June 22, 2012, 11:44:13 AM »


When I was in Greece I had an Old Calendarist and an Orthodox Christian both ask me about Elder Ephraim and if I'd ever been to Arizona. They showed me a calendar and stuff they'd gotten in the mail from there...

I know many Priests who've warned their faithful to watch out, not just at these, but all monasteries because the monastics are deep into the spiritual life and experts at monastic asceticism, but they don't know much about married asceticism and life in (but not of) the world.

I've even heard of some of Elder Ephraim's monks advising couples to fast from each other for a period of time, which inevitably caused undue tensions and conflict in the marriage, sometimes causing lustful passions to flare in one or each party and causing terrible strife between the couple...

I've also heard of other things, but monasteries are for going for quiet and solitude, for rest and spiritual exercises. But they aren't for us "worldly" ascetics to go seek advice and penance.

 God did not call everyone to sanctity. 


(insert jaw-dropping emoticon)

Do you not pay attention to Liturgy, where we pray for the sanctity of all?  

I guess you find your calling equal to Saint Pauls?  Huh

Yes. St. Paul mentions it's the calling of all Christians to be saints.
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« Reply #124 on: June 22, 2012, 12:02:22 PM »

For what it's worth, Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, on his monastery's website, tells married Orthodox Christians to beware of having zealous, strict, monastic priestmonks as their confessors, esp. if such priestmonks exhibit an unhealthy interest in the sexual relationship of the couple.  Just a word to the wise.

While I don't have a ton of respect for his holiness, I do agree and my spiritual father has offered the same warning.
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« Reply #125 on: June 22, 2012, 12:02:30 PM »

What is the monk is certified: http://prayerfoundation.org/monk_certificate_and_card.htm?

I have a life outside of this forum, and this discussion comes up quite frequently (usually by some overzealous convert).  The general consensus, by nearly EVERYONE including our Priest, is BY MUTUAL CONSENT as the Holy Apostle wrote.  I really do not care how many celebate monks wrote on the subject, it is NOT their area to discuss.  That is why our Church, in its wisdom, has given us a married priesthood. 
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« Reply #126 on: June 22, 2012, 12:14:06 PM »

Quote
Of course they can, and God has called many a married person to become saints.   I'm sure though at the time they were not living in a married state.  

This is nonsense. Many saints were married throughout their whole life.

And another thing:
Quote
24. It was revealed to Abba Anthony in his desert that there was one who was his equal in the city. He was a doctor by profession and whatever he had beyond his needs he gave to the poor, and every day he sang the Sanctus with the angels.
 

We know that the Church sanctified saints, even if they were married,  were not living as man and wife...at least at the time they were considered saints.   You believe otherwise, but it is only an assumption on your part.
I haven't seen you post anything that isn't an assumption on your part.

I find it strange the way people can assume that  sanctity can be achieved so easily,
Who's saying sanctity is easy to achieve?

when the canonized saints of our Church, prayed until their dying hour that God will forgive them of their manifold sins, for they saw themselves as the least worthy and most sinful of men.  
What do you know of the canonization of saints in the Orthodox Church?

I've read biographies of modern saints, have you?

 And I know that humility is a perquisite to holiness, do you?

 I also know that miracles is God's assurance about a person's sanctity, do you?

As for saying I'm making assumptions,  funny you would say that since my points have all been proven, have yours?   

As for Abba Anthony, what does this have to do with a saint being married or not?  A person can be living in the world, and yet be just as holy as a monk in a monastery...if that was you intention in posting it.  Certainly Elder Porphyrios was.  He had to leave Mount Athos because of his health, and spent the next decades, including WWII working in a hospital. ...and he had more charisms than even Elder Paisios, and Elder Amelianos. 

Saint Elizabeth, sister to Tsarina Alexandra and granddaughter of Queen Victoria, gave up her enormous wealth after her husband was killed, to open a nunnery and hospital.  She tended the sick and poor, (Queen Victoria raised both girls to be nurses), and the most serious cases were sent to her.  There were times the scent of gangrene was so strong that her clothes had to be burned.  In the end she was thrown down a mine shaft with some young Romonovs that refused to leave Russia.  Singing was heard coming from the mine so grenades were tossed in by the Bolsheviks to finish them off. 

Her body and that of another nun was recovered by a priest, and taken to China.  Her sister, Prince Phillips grandmother, brought her body to Jerusalem...as was her wish.  Again, myrhh kept streaming from the coffin as a sign from God as to her holiness.  angel
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« Reply #127 on: June 22, 2012, 12:16:06 PM »

The general consensus, by nearly EVERYONE including our Priest, is BY MUTUAL CONSENT as the Holy Apostle wrote.

Yes, I have never challenged this, nor have I ever heard a monastic or non-monastic spiritual father suggest otherwise.  We should struggle to keep the fasts as proscribed by the Church and as instructed by our spiritual father, but if our spouse is not strong enough or is otherwise unwilling, then of course it would be better to consent to your spouse than through excessive deprivation to leave room for the spouse to fall into worse temptations (lust for others, fornication, adultery, etc.).  But if this happens, one should have the humility to abstain from communion the following day or for however long one's spiritual father says.  
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« Reply #128 on: June 22, 2012, 12:17:39 PM »

For what it's worth, Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, on his monastery's website, tells married Orthodox Christians to beware of having zealous, strict, monastic priestmonks as their confessors, esp. if such priestmonks exhibit an unhealthy interest in the sexual relationship of the couple.  Just a word to the wise.

While I don't have a ton of respect for his holiness, I do agree and my spiritual father has offered the same warning.

I think that the advice is commonly given by priests and hierarchs coming from outside the limited world of strict monastic communities. Frankly if I were the parish priest of some of you, I would offer you a choice - be part of the fullness of the community of parish life and that entails or find a monastery that suits you. Speaking from the priest's perspective (via my family experience - not my own) the problem with Elders such as Ephraim is not really with the elder per se, but with the impact that parishioners who rely on them as being almost 'mystics' in a non-Orthodox sense have on a parish and its spiritual AND temporal existence.
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« Reply #129 on: June 22, 2012, 12:24:35 PM »

Dear Zenovia,

After reading your comments in here and another thread, regarding sanctity, and Holy Matrimony, I have to say, your views are increasingly troubling to me.

Do you regard the Marital bed as being defiled?

Do you see sex within marriage as sinful?

Why is Holy Matrimony called Holy ?

Anyway, I think you should look into  this, because you are bordering a dangerous territory of denying/cursing what God has established honored ,blessed and sanctified. Listen to your orthodox Fathers in here, or the ancients, listen to the council of your orthodox brothers and sisters in here and consider your position on this matter.

With love in Christ,
Hiwot.

You're taking everything out of context since it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the teachings of the Orthodox Church.  I never said marriage isn't  blessed, (boy you people have a lot of hangups), I merely said that a person cannot achieve the high estate of sainthood, while living a carnal existance.

Come on now, a little humility here.  Is it so difficult to accept some people as being more virtuous than others?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #130 on: June 22, 2012, 12:42:34 PM »

Quote
As for Abba Anthony, what does this have to do with a saint being married or not?

Your first claim was that one cannot achieve the same level of sanctity as a monk if you're married. Yet, one of the greatest monastic saints in the church found his equal in a doctor who most likely would have been married.
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« Reply #131 on: June 22, 2012, 12:42:34 PM »


When I was in Greece I had an Old Calendarist and an Orthodox Christian both ask me about Elder Ephraim and if I'd ever been to Arizona. They showed me a calendar and stuff they'd gotten in the mail from there...

I know many Priests who've warned their faithful to watch out, not just at these, but all monasteries because the monastics are deep into the spiritual life and experts at monastic asceticism, but they don't know much about married asceticism and life in (but not of) the world.

I've even heard of some of Elder Ephraim's monks advising couples to fast from each other for a period of time, which inevitably caused undue tensions and conflict in the marriage, sometimes causing lustful passions to flare in one or each party and causing terrible strife between the couple...

I've also heard of other things, but monasteries are for going for quiet and solitude, for rest and spiritual exercises. But they aren't for us "worldly" ascetics to go seek advice and penance.

 God did not call everyone to sanctity. 


(insert jaw-dropping emoticon)

Do you not pay attention to Liturgy, where we pray for the sanctity of all?  

I guess you find your calling equal to Saint Pauls?  Huh

Yes. St. Paul mentions it's the calling of all Christians to be saints.

It's all semantics you know?  Of course we're called to be saints, but  God didn't give us that road to Damascus experience.   As for me, how can I even imagine myself equal to Saint Paul in virtue? Cry
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« Reply #132 on: June 22, 2012, 12:48:35 PM »

Dear Zenovia,

After reading your comments in here and another thread, regarding sanctity, and Holy Matrimony, I have to say, your views are increasingly troubling to me.

Do you regard the Marital bed as being defiled?

Do you see sex within marriage as sinful?

Why is Holy Matrimony called Holy ?

Anyway, I think you should look into  this, because you are bordering a dangerous territory of denying/cursing what God has established honored ,blessed and sanctified. Listen to your orthodox Fathers in here, or the ancients, listen to the council of your orthodox brothers and sisters in here and consider your position on this matter.

With love in Christ,
Hiwot.

You're taking everything out of context since it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the teachings of the Orthodox Church.  I never said marriage isn't  blessed, (boy you people have a lot of hangups), I merely said that a person cannot achieve the high estate of sainthood, while living a carnal existance.

Come on now, a little humility here.  Is it so difficult to accept some people as being more virtuous than others?  Roll Eyes

Marriage is carnal??? Hmm may want to tell that to Joachim & Anna, Zacharius and Elizabeth, and countless others...

It is actually a western idea that sex is evil, carnal and wrong. As Orthodox we do not and have not ever believed that. Sex is a holy and beautiful thing within the context of marriage.

Just so you know Zenovia, what do you think becoming one with God is? Why do you think Christ is called the bridegroom and the Church is called the bride?

We cannot fall under western misconceptions about sexuality. We are Eastern Orthodox Christians and we don't share those same ideas with Western Christendom.

In fact, a lot of the fundamental American ideals about sexuality are Western conceptions, not Orthodox conceptions.

The bodiless hosts see the union between a husband and wife in the marriage bed and they stand in awe, absolutely marveling at the miracle of two becoming one. It isn't carnal, it is beautiful...
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« Reply #133 on: June 22, 2012, 12:58:10 PM »

I've read biographies of modern saints, have you?
Yes, enough to know that you're drawing conclusions not supported by those biographies.

And I know that humility is a perquisite to holiness, do you?
Yes, since that's been a consistent teaching of the Church since before Pentecost.

I also know that miracles is God's assurance about a person's sanctity, do you?
You assert that miracles are God's assurance of a person's sanctity, but you don't know this, nor have you proven it.

As for saying I'm making assumptions,  funny you would say that since my points have all been proven, have yours?
I've not seen you do anything to prove any of your assertions. Backing up unfounded assertions with more unfounded assertions does not prove anything.

As for Abba Anthony, what does this have to do with a saint being married or not?  A person can be living in the world, and yet be just as holy as a monk in a monastery...if that was you intention in posting it.  Certainly Elder Porphyrios was.  He had to leave Mount Athos because of his health, and spent the next decades, including WWII working in a hospital. ...and he had more charisms than even Elder Paisios, and Elder Amelianos. 

Saint Elizabeth, sister to Tsarina Alexandra and granddaughter of Queen Victoria, gave up her enormous wealth after her husband was killed, to open a nunnery and hospital.  She tended the sick and poor, (Queen Victoria raised both girls to be nurses), and the most serious cases were sent to her.  There were times the scent of gangrene was so strong that her clothes had to be burned.  In the end she was thrown down a mine shaft with some young Romonovs that refused to leave Russia.  Singing was heard coming from the mine so grenades were tossed in by the Bolsheviks to finish them off. 

Her body and that of another nun was recovered by a priest, and taken to China.  Her sister, Prince Phillips grandmother, brought her body to Jerusalem...as was her wish.  Again, myrhh kept streaming from the coffin as a sign from God as to her holiness.  angel
I said nothing about Abba Antony. You must have me confused with someone else.
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« Reply #134 on: June 22, 2012, 01:00:44 PM »

We should struggle to keep the fasts as proscribed by the Church and as instructed by our spiritual father,
AFAIK, the Church does not proscribe any fasts, since proscribe means to forbid. She prescribes fasts, but she doesn't proscribe them. Wink
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