Genesis 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
This is the beginning sentence of scripture, announcing the creation of the world, “formless and empty” with the Spirit of God hovering above it. The sentence portrays creation, including mankind, incomplete and in suspense anticipating the descent of the God to complete His work. The travails of the nation of God before this descent witness to an anticipation.
And when did He finally descend?
At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was revealed. For the Father’s voice bore witness to You by calling You His Beloved Son; and the Spirit in the from of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. O Christ God who have appeared to us and enlightened the world. Glory to You! (Troparion of the Theophany)
And when did the nation of God receive formal completion? When would more nations of God be propagated to counter the divisions of Babel?
At Pentecost of course.
Pentacost Troparion BLESSED ARE YOU, O Christ our God, who have filled the fishermen with wisdom by sending down the Holy Spirit upon them; and who through them have caught in Your net the whole world. O Lover of Mankind, glory to You!
Pentacost Kontakion WHEN THE MOST HIGH came down and confused the tongues, He divided the nations, but when He distributed the tongues of fire, He called all men to unity. Wherefore, we glorify the Holy Spirit with one accord!
What is the only sign that God gives to a corrupt generation? With warning after warning unheeded?
13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to weary men, that ye will weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Whether or not one feels we are entering into the apocalypse before Christ’s final coming, we can see how the Church, the Bride of Christ, is lured into the beast of the end times. The beast is the system that can usher in the Anti-Christ. The method is exactly that, an incorporation. In this case a tax entity. God can do no wrong and no evil can overwhelm without disobeying God. So God must have the Word that protects against evil. Certainly the unfaithfulness of the shepherds on core issues of morality is at the core, but the lure of incorporation and consolidation of the Church into the beast may be related to disobeying another, if not command, then at least, a suggestion Christ directly made to the Apostles. Pay your taxes.
The Church teaches rightly that we should pay our taxes. But why don’t they pay their share? Only the defrauded can recognize the fraud. Tax structures have the potential to create an illusion of a moral code, a self-deluded perception that we are okay. In the code of governments, Al Capone was a tax-evader, not a murderer or illicit business operator. In the code of governments, natural immunity does not exist, only immunity from regular vaccinations
Look carefully at the words of our Lord in the following Matthew passage.
Matthew 17: 23 And when they were come to Capharnaum, they that received the didrachmas, came to Peter and said to him: Doth not your master pay the didrachmas? 24 He said: Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying: What is thy opinion, Simon? The kings of the earth, of whom do they receive tribute or custom? of their own children, or of strangers? 25 And he said: Of strangers. Jesus said to him: Then the children are free.26 But that we may not scandalize them…thou shalt find a stater: take that, and give it to them for me and thee.
Jesus is stating the arbitrary nature of the tax and addressing His bride directly, He says pay it. He is saying that by not paying it, she (His Bride) becomes like the children of the kings of the earth, not of His Kingship.
Does the Church have to go underground for us to realize this? Christ is directly addressing the concept of a tax exemption here. It is time to grow up. If we want history to continue.
Kontakion of Saint Matthew
When you renounced the instruments of a tax-collector, to choose those of justice, you became an excellent merchant, rich in Divine Wisdom. You preached the Word of Truth, and you exhort us to be always ready by your vivid description of the last judgment.
For decades now, discussions about religion have gone back and forth on whether an organized or institutionalized religion is needed if one believes in God. That what it is really about is conscience, and not what a priest, bishop, rabbi, or pastor says, but that what matters is a personal belief in God. On the other side of the coin were those that believe that what really matters is the official endorsement of a priest, bishop, or religious organization and that matters of conscience are irrelevant.
Today the day of reckoning has arrived. A window of escape from a poisonous vaccine and developed largely from aborted human tissue, is the religious exemption. The request is perfectly a matter of conscience and its backing is from solidified and institutionally documented teachings in the Catholic Church with perhaps some Orthodox, Jewish, and protestant churches qualifying. This while potentially a majority of priests, rabbis, pastors, and bishops increasingly cling to perverse teachings in their sanctioned government playground. True religion is defined. A God of all matters: secret, private, public, and institutional.
How helpful it would be for the faithful to receive backing from faithful pastors, priests or bishops in these times. But while a faithful priest or bishop is golden, rest assured that a faithful soul will have their cross decorated by the Virgin Mother herself.
From the Ikos on the Holy and Great Friday in the Byzantine Rite we read
THE VIRGIN MOTHER, seeing Her own Lamb led to the slaughter, followed Him with the other women and cried: where are You going, O my Child? Why do You travel along so fast? Is there another wedding in Cana, and are You speeding in order to turn for them the water into wine? Can I accompany You or rather wait for You? Give me a word. O You who are the Word. Pass me not by in silence, O You who did keep me holy, for You are my son and my God.
Imagine for a moment if you will, that your whole life was dependent on what would happen near the end of your life. That some event in your future would define your life from its beginning and in fact define your very existence. Jesus’s mother needed the Crucifixion of the Redeemer, as does all of mankind. But how much more this creature, the mother of Christ, needed the event of cross, not only for her and our salvation, but also for guiding her life on earth to that end. Without the cross there is no redemption, and without the redeemed life of Mary, there is no cross.
Imagine now the anguish of the love of a mother whose very life depends on giving up her beloved. The very love she would need to carry her life to its intended purpose would depend on giving up her beloved near her end. A sort of retroactive grace from an event in her future. If she would not need the redemption of the cross for her own salvation, how much greater the sacrifice she made still would be for mankind? How could she have withstood the prospect of such a destiny if not God had her from the very beginning? Her anxious plea in the Ikos reminds one of her question at the Annunciation: “How shall this be done…?” The answer then would be the same on Holy Friday: “The Holy Spirit will come on you…”
Maybe this is too much for us mortals here on earth to fathom. But how can we avoid trying? Can there be a grace unavailable for us from her? Even graces not available from the God-Son of Man Himself, except with and through her? Such as the motherhood for our redemption. the grace of perseverance, preservation, and an assurance of Christian destiny to our end? A living definition of our final home, available now. Can we love God any more and any more faithfully and endlessly than with her heart?
“In Mary, the fullness of all grace is poured out as it is in Christ, only in a different manner.”
This post is about the illusion of power, or actual power, exhibited by the world in contrast to God’s Love or the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. The worldly kingdom perpetually tries to present itself as a replacement of reality, which is of course God. The natural world is an instantiation of God’ s reality, to use the terminology of object oriented programming. One of the ways our current age tries to replace God is through vaccines. Without refuting some role of vaccines in medicine, we can show that this industry is disfigured, for the sake of that illusion of power.
It’s as if we are under a curse with COVID. More with the world’s reaction to it rather than the virus itself. A world gone mad. The disease has no where near the morbidity that warrants the responses. And the mortality rates have been based on dying with the virus, rather than from the virus. The response has become a symbol, a religion. Without recognizing God more deeply, the world is entering into a war of responses to the virus, so that the winner will be the “best” responder, instead of addressing the fraud itself. This urgency towards stupidity has been witnessed in our recent times with 9/11. The world went into a mode of responses rather than address the fraud itself. These responses became permanent. Pointing out the fraud is always met with an accusation that we are denying the event, that 9/11 did not happen or that the virus does not exist. But the fraud is in the shallow analysis and the emphasis on pre-selected responses.
A large red flag has been available for us to see that this was coming. By this we mean a distorted and abusive emphasis on vaccines. This red flag is the widespread vaccination of newborns for Hepatitis B, a disease predominantly of prostitutes and IV drug abusers. This has been administered reflexively without any individual scrutiny for decades now. Every physician learns in medical school that newborns have effectively no ability to illicit an immune response, including to a vaccine, having only the undeveloped tools to do so later in life. Otherwise mother and baby would be at war with each other. This article summarizes this: Two immune systems, one body. Incredulously, after a detailed presentation of the science, the article spends a few sentences at the end still recommending the vaccine, and using allegory rather than any science. We know that the baby can’t handle the vaccine in any constructive way, but they still should get it. What’s another baby cry? This happens in fact before the mother can even hold the baby.
This is about power. The state simply wants their mark on every new human being surviving the abortion industry. It’s the state’s “baptism”. How can this be anything else? Enabled by a payment scheme of some kind, like we have had with the flu shot for years now. I don’t even blame the health care workers. There is large void in our soul, made vacant by lack of any piety or appreciation of the Divine. So that after a science is established, a thin veneer of logic crosses the line into a tyranny and people swarm to it, thinking that they will become safe. Medicine by mob rule.
Another huge red flag about COVID-19 has been the gross denial of prior art regarding the virus and the proposed vaccines. Large volumes of studies on treatments, nutritional aids, and cautions on the start of the vaccinations were systematically ignored. Pubmed is an online searchable database for the medical community and even cursory searches show thorough research. Here are two examples: 1, 2. Even if these other studies prove to be wrong, ignoring them from the start is not how real scientists and doctors function. Combine this with the fact that coronaviruses have been tweaked and patented in the last few years, you will know who you are dealing with. This is an attempt at embedding a modern technological scrutiny on a mild co-factor in the causes of death that has been in existence for thousands of years.
God’s mercy is always available for the living. We all need to forgive ourselves for this. But even in a world where human pride prevents us from admitting a fraud we have bought into, history will move on. In the scenario where we never admit the fraud, the best responder will still win. That responder will be the one who also moves on, even with a placebo vaccine of normal saline.
Have you heard of the fire within? The fire within first started outside. It was in the command on the Israelites to sacrifice animals as burnt offerings to the Living God. In reparation for sins. This practice is similar to the innate practices of other cultures especially before Christianity. For example in the pagan Roman empire or, since humans are animals, in the Mayan culture of central America. The sacrifice of animals is ongoing in the religious practices of Islam today.
Have you heard that in trying to fulfill this command, man is compromised by insincerity and an imperfect nature? So that the offerings were never enough to appease the living God. But God foretold the final way that this will be offered, a way that would perfect those that present and consume the offering as well:
Genesis 22:8. Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
Have you thought about the zeal the young Jesus felt when He visited the temple of the sacrifice with His parents? He recognized His eternal home, His eternal function, to replace the offerings forever.
[from nourstat.com‘s rosary series on the 5th joyful mystery. Caption in Arabic: Luke 2: 41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom.43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.]
Have you contemplated that so drawn to the fire of the sacrifice, He disappeared into the temple to try to perfect the elders in the temple with His teachings?
[from nourstat.com‘s rosary series on the 5th joyful mystery. Caption in Arabic: Luke 2: 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. ]
But the plan was to internalize and immortalize this fire and action, in both spirit and flesh, and the guidance of His life and death was with His mother. Have you heard that the fire offering has to be in spirit and flesh for consumption by people (Exodus 12:1-11) and so He had to sacrifice His Body and Soul for that consumption?
O You Who graciously gave Your Flesh to me as food, who are a fire consuming the unworthy: consume me not, O my Creator, but rather pass through all the parts of my body, into all my joints, my heart, my soul; burn, O good Lord, the thorns of my transgressions…
From the Byzantine Third Prayer of Thanksgiving after Holy Communion at the Divine Liturgy
Given all this can we understand how evil can only grow when the general consumption of this offering is limited or denied? A spiritual connection to the Divine Liturgy is fine but that is what protestants have . With the physical presence of Mercy so denied, can we understand that without this consumption peoples can only resort to animal sacrifices or even worse, the sacrifice of humans? Can we now know why the Virgin of Guadalupe felt so compelled to personally visit the Mayan race to end their human sacrifices?
 The selection of the Books of the Bible, which are used to defend Bible-alone Christian philosophies, was based on the collection of documents used in the Divine Liturgy at the time of the Church Fathers.
This post is not about whether the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart has been sufficiently done as instructed by the Virgin Mother of God in the early 20th Century. I believe the declarations and suggestions of the Latin Church leadership that it has. I could be wrong. I would think that there would be nothing wrong with a repeated or more formalized consecration now. Maybe to be more sure? It can’t hurt.
Instead this post is about a more encompassing historical perspective for the consecration, its meaning for the reign of Christ the King and with perhaps an unexpected conclusion. Asking for the reader’s patience through what could be perceived as a disjointed and even superficial discourse, we will suggest at the end that a solution of our times may be a practical agreed upon footnote from the Council of Nicaea, in the 4th Century.
Certainly we know that the evils of communism began with and were spread by the Soviet Union. Our Lady of Fatima spoke of this danger for the whole world. However there is a meaning that has its roots in ancient times and echoes throughout history. It has all to do with the tug of war between secular man’s power, represented by an expanding government, even to take captive the soul, and God’s Kingdom of Love.
The Request for an Earthly King
A beginning point is when the ancient Israelites complained to God for a worldly kingdom. The passages speak for themselves:
1 Samuel 8: 7 And the Lord told him [Samuel]: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their king. …9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”…11 He [Samuel] said, “…17 … and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
The Kingdom of Heaven Established
Now fast forward to after the Resurrection of Christ, the Acts of the Apostles and the early centuries that followed. Christianity was rapidly expanding east and west. A peculiar event however recorded in the Acts of the Apostles gives one pause:
Acts 16: 6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
With repeated emphasis and with outward geographical meaning [look up the locations of those regions], God directly intervenes in shifting the emphasis of the evangelization from east to west, directing Paul’s zeal. Although ultimately a mystery, a logical reason for this is the destined location for Primacy of Peter in Rome, the capital of the Roman empire. Also, within the organizational backdrop of the Roman Empire, a council can convene to create statements of doctrinal orthodoxy for the whole of Christendom, for all the churches in the orbit of the empire. Here we see the benevolence of God who does not put His Kingdom at odds with government. Rather He proposes a marriage with government through conversion of the hearts of peoples who understand His Kingship present among them.
The First Ecumenical Council
The first such ecumenical council occurred in Nicaea in AD 325. The primary focus of this council was the defense against Arianism, which denied the full Divinity and full humanity of Christ. God’s Kingship has been established and in harmony with cultures, nationhood, and sovereignty. This dual nature of Christ, is also directly stated with the title of Mother of God, since God, taking the nature of man, must have a mother. In fact this title would have to be defended a few years later at the Council of Ephesus (431 AD).
The Parable of the Weeds
Our next point has to do with workers of deception that latch on the blessings that God gives man in constructing a just civilization, trying to replace it with a purely worldly governance that dominates rather than frees. Everyone benefits from the presence of Christianity, but there are those, among whom are Christians, who with time forget the grace of God. And there are those outside Christianity that build empires on the backs of the workers of God’s Kingdom. The betrayal of the doctrine of the dual nature of Christ defined at the Council of Nicaea has been presented here in a prior post. Although our Lord may have been referring to a different specific point in time, His parable of the weeds, reminds one of this kind of betrayal:
Matthew 13:24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
Readers can familiarize themselves with history between the time of the First Ecumenical Council with Emperor Constantine, who was at the Council, and the rise and fall of his nephew Emperor Julian the Apostate. Julian represented the return to paganism for the empire as the Arian heresy spread and became the dominant theology amongst the bishops. From the fall of Julian, the fragmentation of the empire began, bloated from corruption, top heavy, heterodox, and mired by foreign entanglements. The fall of the empire is a type of a “time of harvest” from Jesus’ parable. The building of a worldly government always entails moral decay on a personal level, breakdown of families, loss of sovereignty, and foreign wars. This should remind us of our present time.
The Mother of All Heresies and the Mother of All Councils
In denying the Divinity and humanity of Jesus, Arianism opens up the historical figure of Jesus to all sorts of interpretations, such as that of Islam who describes Him as only a human prophet. Heterodox (errant) teachings also explode. This is touched on in our prior post. One can think of the First Council then as where Christ’s Kingship was defined for all of history just as the heresy that it countered was one from which all errors emanated. Future councils can then be thought of addressing corollaries of orthodoxy just as the heresies they fought are variants of Arianism. This is the implicit or stated position of the present day Orthodox Churches not in communion with the Roman Church, who were, nonetheless present at the Council of Nicaea via Apostolic succession. These were the eastern Churches in the orbit of the empire at that time. The future councils that followed then were increasingly concerning the Roman Church, eventually to counter the more specific and western cultural errors of the second millennium, such as those from which emerged with protestantism, moral relativism, modernism, and the like. For the smaller and more regional Orthodox Churches, these councils seem unimportant. The Latin Church, or See of Peter, headed by the Pope, is in this interpretation the spearhead of Christianity. Where the devil concentrates his attacks in history. Without this perspective, we find ourselves arguing over the differences in titles like of the Immaculate Conception and the title All-Pure which pervades the eastern liturgy.
A Timeline Overview of a Slow Schism and Isolation Starting after the Council of Nicaea
Most scholars put the final break between the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches at the formal schism of 1054. Until that time, theological and political differences between Eastern and Western Christianity slowly accrued for centuries. Details of these differences include issues of the procession of the Holy Spirit, using leavened or unleavened bread in the liturgy, the role of other patriarchies. But these are better presented by scholars. Rather, we would like to point out a perspective by stepping back for an overview of this history, from the directing of the Apostle Paul’s zeal westward leading to the Council of Nicaea and to the present time. At Nicaea Christendom is defined for the faithful and for all time to follow. What follows is a slow isolation of the Apostolic Churches, Orthodox and Roman Catholic, while keeping the Sacraments available for those who chose to be faithful to them. At the latter part of the timeline, in the 9th Century, the Byzantine monks Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius translated the Gospel to the Slavonic language setting up the Christianization of the Slavs, including Russia, in the 10th Century. Suddenly, a very large chunk of the East became Christian, reaching the Pacific Ocean, and curiously just before the schism was formalized.
Becoming the last major Apostolic Church before the formal schism and one that did not exist in the orbit of the Roman Empire before its breakup, can we see perhaps why it was in Russia that the evils of communism began as a major political movement in the 20th Century? The western (Roman Catholic) church in the millennium after the schism and leading up to Communism, defended western attacks on the physical Kingship of Christ such as protestantism, moral relativism, modernism, secularism, etc. Being the Holder of the Keys of the Kingdom, the Latin Church was still able to effect vast eastern evangelizations in her fight against these errors and her internal corruptions. The evangelizations of Saint Francis Xavier comes to mind.
But if we are to take the warning of our Lady of Fatima seriously, the widest threat from a secular world government came from the country wherein is the last Apostolic Church before the schism, the Soviet Union. A Church that was not in the orbit of Christendom at the time of Council of Nicaea. We can see now more meaning behind the consecration of Russia.
Interestingly, the formation of the College of Cardinals, the body used to elect the Pope, was approximately coincident with the final Schism and isolation of the Churches, certainly by 1099.
There is much meaning to learn from timelines.
The Isolation of the Churches May Have Run its Course and a Footnote from the Council of Nicaea
Combining this timeline overview and the times we live in, particularly the compromise of the See of Rome with secular and shallow world government movements suggests that the isolation of the Apostolic Churches may have run its course. God exists independent of time however and promises that no trouble can befall His faithful without a way out, a grace for all trouble and temptation we undergo.
1 Corinthians 10:13…fidelis autem Deus qui non patietur vos temptari super id quod potestis sed faciet cum temptatione etiam proventum ut possitis sustinere.
Christ promises that He will return, not during trouble, but AFTER the Gospel is preached to all the earth (Matthew 14:14). So all available graces have to used first. All graces come from Christ’s supreme act of salvation on the cross and these graces became available for all time at Pentecost. The Council of Nicaea defined the true natures of Christ and addressed other matters as the empire’s first ecumenical council after Pentecost. It is the ecumenical council most proximal to Pentecost and is the last such council before the subsequent slow fractioning and isolation of Apostolic Churches.
So was there a grace defined at the Council of Nicaea as contingency for what was to follow? We point out an agreement somewhat obscure and certainly dwarfed by the definition of Christ’s dual nature:
Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges. And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod has declared that such a man ought not to be a bishop.
While this Canon has been debated over the centuries, it should be clear that it includes the appointment of bishops by each Apostolic jurisdiction (how these patriarchies are defined I would leave for those more qualified than me). That the granularity of the Church is preserved by the patriarchies appointing their own bishops is made explicit by the last sentence. It also states that the patriarchy’s authority is the same as that for the Bishop of Rome. By using here the term Bishop of Rome, the Canon is not stating that the Patriarchies have independence from the See of Peter as the Holder of the Keys of the Kingdom. That is a different jurisdiction, instituted by Christ Himself, and not by the Council.
Recall that it is Christ that appoints the Apostles, not the Apostle Peter. It is Christ who admonishes the seven bishops in Asia Minor. The Vicar of Christ can admonish an eastern bishop but he does not appoint him. A bishop appointed by Rome is no guarantee of orthodoxy, as is so clearly evident in our time. Rome cannot even guarantee her own orthodoxy especially with the present College of Cardinals, let alone the orthodoxy of an eastern bishop. Is the neglect of this canon a source of pride for both sides that amplifies schisms and breeds heresies and their innumerable flavors. Providence has defined this canon at the same time when Christ’s Nature was defined for all times to follow. Could the canon be a faint reminder of Christ’s advice in the parable of the weeds, a remedy for the ubiquity of evil? Preserve the granularity for the final harvest?
“There is, in fact, among the bishops only one Church, only one soul, only one heart… There is, through the institution of Christ, one and only one Church, spread out over the whole world, one and only one episcopacy represented by a multiplicity of bishops united among themselves… The Church forms a single whole, whose bond is the union of bishops” (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 3rd Century).
This heart is the Immaculate Heart or heart of the Theotokos, present at Pentecost.
There is a quote from the story of Saint Joan of Arch who’s martyrdom had everything to with the loss of her county’s sovereignty, a corrupt bishop, AND THE DENIAL OF ACCESS TO THE SACRAMENTS . “Act. And God will act.” So was Russia sufficiently consecrated to the Immaculate heart by the various Popes in the 20th Century? Maybe. Is a return to the norm of Canon 6 from the Council of Nicaea needed? With the present state of affairs, it sure can’t hurt. After all, all sides signed it.
 This is why I believe that we are not at the time of Christ’s second coming. But this is just my opinion.
The entire iCalendar(.ics) calendar file used on this website for the Byzantine Liturgical year is available below for download. This is an exportable calendar file that can be read by most calendar software and includes thousands of entries including Byzantine prayers and quotes by saints of the Byzantine rite.