On the ledge over our balcony by the kitchen, a pair of pigeons has been living for a year now. That is, they appear there periodically, feeding from our household, and for them this has become a just as natural and inalienable part of their lives as flying, warbling, and making nests in the spring.
The holy, right-believing Prince-Passion-bearers Boris and Gleb were the first saints to be canonized in Rus’. Despite this, many Christians, and especially in our time, do not understand the meaning of their podvig. And really, where is the virtue in being meekly killed? Deacon Valery Dukhanin, Fr. Dimitry Shishkin, and Archpriest Artemy Vladimirov speak about the meaning and importance of the podvig of the holy princes and the last Russian tsar.
In our time, many laypeople ask the question: Why should people of the twenty-first century act according to rules written by monks and for monks in deep antiquity? Why should they read monastic books in which there isn’t even a remote mention of the problems that we face today?
It is impossible to imagine a meaningful Christian life without a daily prayer rule. But what should this prayer rule be? How long or short, and consisting of which prayers? How can we prevent our daily prayer rule from becoming purely a formality? What should we pay particular attention to, and what mistakes should we avoid? And what is the most important thing in a prayer rule?
In nearly every person’s biography—internal or external—there is something shameful, something terrible and torturous to remember, but which inevitably comes back to his memory and feelings him from time to time, poisoning his entire existence. Even if there be a person who self-contentedly announces that there never has been anything like that in his life, then most likely the memory of any shameful deeds and desires are simply eclipsed in him by his self-assurance, which cannot endure to admit his spiritual bankruptcy. But here is the question: Does the presence of dark moments in a person’s life mean that we can evaluate him through the prism of these facts, that we can view him as worthless?
We can’t say that our path is ideal; there has been much that is bitter and hard, and many mistakes were made. But there is nothing in this world that is ideal. The main thing about this path is that it is a search not only for the earthly, but for the heavenly. This is a very serious and important point. And it must be allowed that we are capable of making a deep analysis of our mistakes in order to avoid repeating them in the future.