The Zone of Faith
Nun Barbara: We do not have bans or prohibitions, there simply are rules that we stick to. The most difficult part of it for me was when the sisters did not accept one another: a new sister would turn up and they would reject her and start plotting something against her. I had to take the newcomers under my protection: not just paying more attention to them but literally being close to them. Most importantly, the sisters have begun to notice these changes in one another...
The Path of Temptations
Stories of the Sisterhood
Unfortunately, sometimes we fail to get our priorities right, and forget about our neighbours as we are trying to help the entire world. We forget about the people who are near and willing to receive some warmth and care from us. Sister Tatiana found herself between a rock and a hard place: on the one hand, she had the sisters who would always ask her to step into the breach as someone would be ill, someone would have something important to do or some family problems.
Congratulations on the Feast of the Nativity of Christ from Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok, the Spiritual Father of St Elisabeth Convent
The Lord came into this world in order to sacrifice Himself to the people. Every Christian who finds God, encounters Him in his life, and follows Him should learn the most important thing: living with Christ and in Christ, remembering that one cannot live without God. A human becomes a monkey without his Creator and Saviour; he exchanges his right of the firstborn to pigs' food, trying in vain to satisfy his immortal soul with it.
On The Way To The Eternal Life
On The Way To The Eternal Life
Four postulants of our Convent were admitted to novitiate on December 30. The rite of admission is traditionally held in our Convent during the midnight service, when the choir sings Behold, The Bridegroom Cometh, symbolising the betrothal of the novices’ souls to the Heavenly Bridegroom. From that moment on, the heart of the novice must fully belong to Christ. A sister makes a commitment before God to struggle for the purity of her thoughts and actions.
“You Are Also In This Prayer”
Fragment of a meeting of the monastic sisters on December 9, 2013
In fact, God controls every situation. This is astonishing. The words “have mercy on me a sinner” may be thought of as including the entire humankind. This is the alternative dimension again. It makes one responsible for all other people. If I do not go to church now, if I am lazy or dozy, if I spare myself, how many people would suffer because of my sin, how much pain and evil I would inflict on them! If we realise all this, we are doing it the Orthodox way.
The Sisterhood Chronicles
Sister Tatiana: I used to meet young people in other places: in shops, in the underground, in the streets. It seemed to me that they lack moral upbringing because I saw girls smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. I was a little upset about it, and I thought, “How is life going to develop? How is our nation going to be continued? Is it possible that the entire nation will perish?” I saw their sins but in fact, it was my own condition that was sinful!
Needles Tapping on Fabric
By Yulia Rudenko
A small copper bell rang. When people heard this sound, they came together and started to pray in front of the icons of Christ and the Mother of God. After the prayer, they went on to work… Paper rustled, pieces of fabric were spread on the desks, numerous spools of thread started spinning on spindles, needles started tapping — work in the sewing and embroidery workshop of St Elisabeth Convent began.
Chapter 1 of The Stories by Natallia Klimova
The old man used to pray in the attic every evening, while the boy would sit in a corner and watch him. It seemed to Ruslan that there was some secret in that old man. The old man was certainly unusual! There is no believer who would be seriously thinking that the higher you climb, the closer to God you become! Stranger yet was the fact that he did not know any prayers, except for the Our Father. A sudden blow for the entire guesthouse happened on the fourth day.
“I Would Like to Say a Couple of Words About Love. Sorry If I Speak Too Low”
Fragment of a meeting of the monastic sisters on December 2, 2013
Novice Yekaterina: God's love is when you have the courage to talk about the eternal life even while you are dying. Or, in other words, you do not live what you preach but you still preach for others' sake. Thus, the Lord miraculously acts within your heart, and your soul can feel the support from above. This is perhaps what the spiritual life is all about: when you struggle for the sake of others every day and with every word...
The Nativity Fast
Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok
The Orthodox Christians have the Nativity Fast from November 28 to January 6. Fasting is voluntary but people are terrified and think, “How can I read all prayers and abstain from food when my health is so poor?” The person does not trust God. We should be aware of the fact that we need God because without Him we will fall prey to the devil. The holy life, the divine life appears to be an intolerable burden. The Lord tells us, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)...
Another One of God's Miracles
A chapel in honour of the “Merciful” icon of the Mother of God was opened on November 25, 2013 thanks to the Sisterhood in honour of the Holy Martyr Grand Princess Elisabeth. A Divine Liturgy followed by a moleben and a procession was celebrated in this chapel on its first patron's day. The Rev Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok, the spiritual father of St Elisabeth Convent, celebrated the Liturgy in concelebration with the Rev Andrew Malakhovsky and the Rev Rodion Alkhovik.
Beauty Shall Prevail
Meeting of Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok with the House of Love of Labour Staff (Part 4)
Father Andrew: What do I read now? I read sins: it is like a follow up of confession. Now I perceive life as a book into which I should write everything I see and hear. You can be reading all the time even if you do not read anything at all, if you are attentive and able to hear what other people say or hide. Confession is when people share things that they were previously unable to admit even to themselves...
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