Condolences of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for the Virginia Tech University Family 

New York, NY - In response to the unfathomed tragedy and senseless loss of life at Virginia Tech University on Monday, April 16, 2007, Archbishop Demetrios of America has offered the fervent prayers and deepest sympathy of the Greek Orthodox faithful in America.  

In a letter yesterday to Dr. Charles W. Steger, President of Virginia Tech University, Archbishop Demetrios wrote,  

“This horrific incident has shattered our thoughts and hearts while we are still journeying in the period which celebrates our Lord’s victory over death and His granting to us eternal life and salvation.  May the ‘Father of mercies and God of all comfort’ (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) give you, your faculty, the students and their parents the strength today and the days ahead to bear the heavy burden of this enormous loss.  God promises to be with us always in times of grief and unbearable pain, even in the shadow of death.

We, at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, offer our fervent prayer for the comforting of everyone who has been affected by this act of violence.  May the Lord, the Divine Comforter and Savior of humankind, grant life to all and eternal memory to those who perished.”

Archbishop Demetrios also affirms the ministry of Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), its Virginia Tech Chapter, and International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), who are working to provide traumatic incident counseling to those who have been affected.   OCF and IOCC are endorsed agencies of SCOBA, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas.  For more information please log onto www.ocf.net.

www.goarch.org


Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

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

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Saints and Martyrs

Adorned with the blood of Your Martyrs throughout the world, * as with purple and fine linen, * Your Church cries out to You through them: * "Send down Your compassions upon Your people. * Grant peace to Your commonwealth and great mercy to our souls." (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.

As the first-fruits of nature to the Planter of Creation, * the whole world offers to You, O Lord, the God-bearing martyrs. * Through their prayers and the intercession of the Mother of God * preserve Your commonwealth, the Church, in profound peace, O Most Merciful One. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing, confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica