They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth. (Amos 5:10)

December 31, 2006

Prot. N. 181

To the Very Reverend Protopresbyters, the Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy and Beloved Faithful of the Diocese:

In the day of the Prophet Amos, the Vision of God’s Will was met with ridicule and dismissal. No one in society wanted to hear that God’s Law was being broken and that His Justice was being ignored. The poor were being abused and taken advantage of. The powerless and the weak were trampled on for the sake of a materialistic society. 

The Prophets spoke then, but they were ignored. “The lion roared, the Lord God has spoken”, and the prophecies of God’s command were proclaimed. But society continued on its way of eating and drinking like normal, “stretching out themselves upon their couches” and “singing idle songs” (Amos 6:4).

As it was then, so it is now. The Orthodox Church has proclaimed the sin of abortion. And society has responded by sanctioning infanticide as a phase of the feminist agenda. It has responded by renaming the unborn child as fetal tissue, so it could be more easily disposed of. It has responded by making abortion a matter of personal opinion, and not of right and wrong.

It is God alone Who is the origin of all life. It is He Who holds the key to life and death. It is man, in his arrogance, who usurps the authority of the Almighty, who in his pride deliberates over the validity of God’s divine decrees, who justifies his sin and pacifies the screaming of his conscience in the face of the shedding of innocent blood. We have forgotten the absolute and unchanging nature of Scripture’s declaration, “Thus says the Lord…”.

The blessings of America remain as a contingency: we will keep our freedom and our liberal comforts only if we heed the call of Amos who proclaimed in a voice that echoes across the ages: “Seek the Lord and live!” (Amos 5:6).

I urge you, therefore, to make every effort to support the National Right to Life March in Washington, DC on Monday, January 22, 2007. Support freely and generously the work of Crisis Pregnancy Centers in your area. And be confident, without equivocation, in the hard and simple truth that abortion is sin, and cannot be countenanced or supported in the Orthodox Church.

Assuring you of my Archpastoral supplication for the day on which legalized abortion will end, with blessing I remain

Most sincerely yours in Christ,

+ Metropolitan Nicholas - Metropolitan Nicholas is the Bishop of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of Johnstown

Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by boredom, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, 'Lord, I want to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?'

A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony saw a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him: 'Do this and you will be saved.' At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved.

The Desert Fathers