Orthodox Talks in English – No 3: Can we be called Orthodox Christians Without Reading the Lives of the Saints?
More and more lives of saints have become available in English. Many of the Holy Fathers of the Church have said that it is an absolute necessity for one’s salvation to read the lives of saints, because they show the Gospel in practice. These statements seem harsh to some: why such an emphasis on reading the lives of saints? Their importance is explained in this talk with examples from the lives of saints.
One such example can be found in the life of the New-Martyr Constantine (June 2). As a Turk, he knew that converting from Islam to Orthodoxy would result in the death sentence. Prepared to lay down his life for Christ, he set out for Mount Athos to receive Holy Baptism. By studying his life, Orthodox Christians are able to see the teachings of the Gospel in practice. One who reads both the Gospels and the lives of saints will know both what Christ taught and accomplished and the way the saints have “put on Christ” by following His saving teachings. Trying to read and apply the Gospels without the lives of saints can lead to heresy and deception.
Topics covered in this talk: visions and dreams; sorcery; conversion of Muslims to Orthodoxy; the attitude of the Orthodox to the non-Orthodox; Islam and Orthodoxy; the devil’s tricks; supernatural phenomena in the media; homosexuality; spiritual stubbornness; sociopaths and the mentally ill; being judged according to one’s conscience; mediums; ghost chasers; corrupt monastics and clergy; UFOs; does God help the non-Orthodox? is obedience really that important? did the Holy Fathers of Mount Athos compromise with Muslim authorities? to what degree may we judge those who have made compromises in difficult situations? and more.
Talk Duration: 102 minutes
Chanting Duration – 31 mintues
(Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos)
With the blessing of
HIS EMINENCE METROPOLITAN HILARION
Archbishop of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia