Arthur Berger stresses:
As you watch TV more and more, you see more ads that promise you a better life, sexual pleasure, happiness and all sorts of other things. To the extent that people will not afford these things, they will feel more and more hazed.
Henry Lefebvre in his book Everyday life in the modern world, observing the terror imposed by the culture of consumption through advertising and television, says:
Those who cannot consume are terrorized by feelings of failure and maladjustment, and those who consume face at the other end of the spectrum the issue of choice (in some cases, even the terror of choosing), and the anxiety caused by the uncertainty that their choice won’t be that good.
Advertising promises beauty, health, love and happiness for those who buy the products presented, but threatening innerly, or explicitly with their loss in case of not buying the services or products presented. In the TV society, women are terrorized by the idea of losing their brightness; their skin and hair will be damaged unless they use miraculous balsams, promoted by advertising; they will become repugnant getting fat (the beauty model promoted is a fin sexy woman, even skeletal – see fashion models); they will no longer be admired by men if they don’t know to put in value their body through clothes or other objects of beauty.
Young people have often a inferiority complex and they are terrorized by the idea that they don’t look like actors in the movies, they do not have the charm, muscle, money, car or other things that advertising deems necessary to be successful. Husbands they will stress their selves to ensure to their wives and children which others can offer their families – things or comfort that advertising suggests that they should have.
Young children suffer that they do not have their friends toys, or the same things or pleasures. Both men and women are stressed by the thought that at any given time, they will not be liked and loved by others, because they cannot meet who knows what bodily or intellectual performance (idealized on small screens) …
Television teaches the viewer what to expect from others and what or how it should be to achieve the ideal of happiness (of course not true happiness, because however, the two are different).
The world is terrorized by the advertising messages industry, by the idea that we need to change our clothes, things, cars, homes or life, and that we should have fun as well, now when we are still young and now when we still can. Bombarded by ads, surrounded by tempting offers, people begin to wish they had those things.
Hence begins the race to get through. Women ask men, children – parents, and men stars searching for money through work, sacrifice or loans, to acquire the things they want and so the race continues.
In one night, I dreamed a lot of newborns who seemed to swim in a giant aquarium, located right in my face, and appeared to choke, because they desperately fell the wall of glass looking for an exit. I can never forget those big and desperate eyes steering to me!
Starting with the next day, a couple of trouble exploded into my existence that brought me on the verge of despair. My wife was diagnosed a breast cancer and underwent an operation that has crippled it. In a short time, my son – high school then – confessed in a suspicious manner that owes a large sum of money to someone and that his life could be in danger if he does not pay his debts. I ‘ve found very quickly that he was addicted to heroin and because of that he was borrowing money more often, to pay doses. After a week my car was stolen – a Volkswagen Passat brand-new – haven’t had time to insure it for theft. And for my life to become completely dark, our spacious villa was partly destroyed by a fire …
I was simply overwhelmed!
Although I was a relatively faithful man, not too frequent to the churches, I thought suddenly to climb the Patriarchate hill, for my despair summit coincided with the day of Oct. 27, when the pilgrimage to Saint Dimitrie Basarabov relics is. In the hours while I waited in line, I prayed silently, asking the Saint what I was doing wrong that so much misfortune, at once, collapsed on my head, and what was to be done. When I got in front of the relics, I couldn’t think to nothing … I just burst out crying and I couldn’t stop than later, after I descended the hill.
Well, please believe me that the next night I dreamed of Saint Demetrios. He was speaking with great gentleness, revealing my truth that I ignored it entirely, as I was a scoundrel! He said that those newborns that I saw in the dream in a number of 187 children. Those children’s never saw the world, because of the curettage I made to their mothers at their request, and received a lot of money, wrongly, in exchange for these crimes. Saint Demetrios continued speak with the same gentleness, clarifying things that if I continue to commit such baby kills, misfortunes will come often and often. Moreover, He asked me to christen a number of children equal to that of the baby’s that I killed with my hands, warning me that: “You will see what will happen if can take to an end such a good deed! And not to sin again…. “
From the second day, I never made any curettage and I won my existence from consultations, births or surgery which helped the coming into the world of children. At the time, I started with my wife in orphanages, accompanied by the priest from the parish in November, christening at least one child every month!
I want to tell you that things have taken a completely different way in my life … Today, after five years, my wife feels good, even if he has lost a breast, and my son, after completing high school, asked me to help him to go to a rehab clinic. It is now fully healed. Medical tests prove that my wife is out of the danger and cancer was removed. We restored the house, with hard efforts, but thoroughly, and – strikingly for a sinner like me – our cash earnings have not declined very much, in the absence curettages! I became a man of true belieth who has understood, even in the last minute, that everything is paid in life, as far as the facts of evil, but equally, it is retributive in life, as far as good deeds.
See how God works through His saints? Saint Demetrios Basarabov hasn’t made a “normal” wonder like spectacular saving me from a car accident. He opened my mind and helped me to save, by my own facts. ”
ALEX I. specialist surgeon obstetrics and gynecology – Bucharest, Romania.
Monday, when we came back from Brasov (Romania) we thought we should stop at Sinaia Monastery but we change our mind because we visit it several times, and we said to go to the Caraiman monastery.
We haven’t been here for a long time, and I knew that is under construction. When I was a few years ago was just the wooden church.
Today a large church, beautiful and imposing, was built in the courtyard of the monastery.
To get here, at the entry into Busteni we turned right as we were coming from Brasov (left as you come from Bucharest) on a bad road following the sign.
The road was climbing through a beautiful forest, the air was clean and a little cold, a smell of fresh savin was in the air, Here and there small rural houses, 3 children running on the road with their bike, cut logs were lying on the road and the sun was shining nice and warm.
The road ends with a nice gladeright at the foot of the Cross Caraiman. The entrance is through a gate in maramuresean style, and in the court you could see the beautiful new church, large and imposing like a vessel ready to bear us to God.
It’s so beautiful, far from noise and hustle of the world, in the middle of the mountains, blue sky …
On entering the church there are two paintings in the mosaic.
Inside only the iconostasis is completed.
It’s a beautiful place, a calming and relaxing, a place where you can meet with God in the courtyard of the monastery and in the middle of the mountains.
Some say that the truth is relative, in that it may be once in a way, once in another way, and that there is nothing clear, nothing settled, nothing set in stone, but everything is changing
But let’s see what the word “relative” means in the Dictionary:
1. What concerns, relate to something or someone, which is related to something or someone.
2. Which has a value dependent on certain conditions, a reference system
3. Which depends on a term in the absence of which would be meaningless?
4. Which exists only in relation to something else.
Therefore the adjective “relative” bounded with “truth” does not show that truth is undefined, or as anybody wants. It means that the truth is related to someone or something and must be in connection with something or someone. “Relative Truth” claimed by some shows that may not exist by itself, but must depend on a system of reference and alone (relative truth) would be meaningless.
Very often we ask ourselves “What is truth? Where is the truth?
Everybody wants to know the truth, about those around them, about their lives, about anything. All we want to know how things really are, right? All we know is that behind every human action is a motivation, is a desire. Everybody knows that nobody makes things by chance, but each seeks something. But who can know the heart and mind of everybody?
Those who say that “truth is relative” realize that nothing is there by itself, nothing is self-sufficient (everything is created, everything is finite, everything appears and disappears, is born and dies, it is manufactured and passes away, rusts, rots and vanishes …).
Not even the laws of physics are 100% valid in any place and any time and in any conditions, but always depend on space, time and especially people. Nothing is really 100% but there are always exceptions. Nothing’s unchanged; nothing can exist independently and without relation to something or someone.
If everything is created and it is limited, and nothing is 100% true, then what is true in the end? Or who is true?
Only one who created everything, only the one that exists by itself, which does not depend on anyone and anything, He is true.
Here’s how He, Jesus Christ, God Himself recommends Himself:
The truth is not relative but the truth is personal, the truth is God. All were created by Him, everything exists through His power, and everything is supported by Him, all related to Him.
All the laws of the world, all constitutions, all the worldly rules are efficient for that because He helps that they are respected, namely it helps peoples to love each other. He reveals all, He lets us discover knowledge, wisdom, gentleness, love….
I heard some saying: “Oh Jesus!” or “Jesus Chirst! What’s happening …” and I enjoyed it beacause it was said in a particular way. And I thought…do they realy know who is Jesus? because if they do this is a great thing.
I think most of them don’t go to church and don’t know who Jesus is but they sure heard about Him.
In the beginning I thought that He is a God messenger, but then I heard he was the Son of God and I wondered how God can have a son. But still I thought that Jesus is not like God and I ask God why He doesn’t speak directly with us and send us somebody, because no one could be like Him.
Jesus for those who do not know, is one who has done many miracles. Someone that kept beautiful sermons, who was crucified on the cross for the sins of the people. Those who see him crucified may try feelings of pity and thinking about his weakness and his failure in front of those who have crucified him.
However I think that they ask themselves why is granted so much importance to Him, why all christians speak so much about Jesus.
Why production houses in Hollywood make movies with Jesus?
Why the world is so interested when somone talks about “new discoveries” about Him? Why the books with Jesus are sold so good?
Why do those who write about Jesus life are so advertised and their books are sold in million volumes?
Must be something about this Jesus. Who is Jesus?
Jesus Christ is God. Jesus Christ is God who made himself man to show us that we people can live a beautiful life, one without sin. Although God was a man, remained at the same time in heaven, and on earth living among people. As a woman wearing her coat impregnates it with her parfume, so God making Himself man is impregnating the human being with his holiness.
But the woman is wearing clothes several times and then throw it and get another. God made His self a man in order for the man to become holly as God, but it will not be a time when God will not be a man. He will be a man in eternity. Jesus Chirst is the God-Man. He is in the same time God and Man, but beeing only one person.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but is God himself. How so?
God is One and being threefold in persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The fire is a single entity but emits heat, light and flame that burns material at the same time.
The fire is one but is actually three: is burning (flame), is heat but is light too.
The flame who burns wood is fire, the heat of fire which warms the house is fire, and the light emited by fire is fire too, and yet there aren’t three types of fires, but one.
So Father is God, God’s Son is God and Holy Spirit is God, but is only one God, but three persons.
Father is not greater than the Son and no greater than the Holy Spirit. Neither Son is not greater then Holy Spirit and Father. Neither the Holy Spirit is bigger then the Father or the Son.
Father and Son and Holy Spirit are equal, no one is bigger than another, neither stronger then another, but together are God. Fire heat is not better than its light and the power of flame then its heat.
Heat fire and light and flame fire are all together fire. Like fire, Father and Son and Holy Spirit are God together.
Jesus is really God that we know and that we fear. Son of God made man to show us that man was created by Him not to tramble in dissipation and in fright but to get to be like the One who created him.
That’s why everyone is talking about Him, why is so advertised… that’s why the polemics and argues about him are so attractive because he is God!
There are four Gospels and all tell the life of Jesus, each relating the same moments in the same story of his life. The Gosples can be found in the Bible in the second half of them in the New Testament.
From my life experience I saw that people love you immediately if you are honest with them. When they see you for the first time, they are a little reluctant and behave and speak officially, but noticing that you are honest and you open your heart to them, talking about you and your life, then they will feel in debt to be honest to you.
One day a colleague meets me and asks me “How are you today?” She was expecting me to say “Fine, how are you?” but I said exactly what I was doing at that moment (I think I was going to photocopy something). She was surprised and happy, saying that she liked a lot that I haven’t answered in a political and cold manner, but I said exactly what I was doing.
I liked much what she said and I realized that very often we are superficial in discussions with others.
Orthodox Metropolitan Anthony Bloom said in a conference that when we meet with a person we tend sometimes to say “Hi!” and then ask in hurry “how are you?” but we don’t actually care how she or he is, because we don’t want to charge ourselves with somebody’s else problems and worries. Anthony Bloom said that once that one person tells you his problems, in a small way those problems become your problems too, his concerns and worries become your cross also, feeling them like a little burden on your soul.
That’s why we want to salute fast and then pass away from that person, because we don’t want to charge our mind and soul with somebody’s else problems., because we don’t really care about that person.
But Saint Paul the Apostle says: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Ga.6, 2)
So thinking, it seems that we are not so honest when talking with others, because we don’t really want to bear their burdens, we don’t really want to help them, even only with an advice. But if we bear other’s burdens then God will arrange things in our life in such a manner that others will bear our own burdens.
Someone said that the shame of truth is much easier to bear than the consequences of the lie. Honesty conquers everybody, making others to forgive, approaching people, and more than all it increases trust between each other.
When I say the truth, I confess the existence of God and ask Him for help, because He really is the Truth. When I lie, I don’t believe that God can help me if I’ll be honest, no matter in what situations I’m in. When I lie I receive help from the devil, becoming as he is, a liar and the father of lies “exactly as Christ said.
God always helps me when I say the truth. The devil tricks me always when I lie leaving the impression that is better so, but he will get back against me and he will harm me later.
I believe that when God says not to judge in order not to be judged, He refers primarily on how other will treat us. When I make fun of someone, when I defame him, when I’m glad for his mistake, this is when I judged him. And if I judge him, he will also offend me, or will be glad for my mistakes, or he will came down on me when I’ll do something wrong. He will judge me also.
It’s simple. I haven’t been sympathetic to him and I didn’t forgive him when he was wrong, but I’ve judged him according to my thoughts, to my mind, to me. He will do the same with me.
When I’ll be good to others, God will arrange my life in order to meet people who will be good with me. When I’ll judge less, and when I will try to understand their problems and their incapacities, then other people in my life will be sympathetic to me and they will not judge me and they will try to understand me and forgive me.
Things are created in such a manner in this world, that when I’m good with others actually I’m good to me. When I forgive them actually I indulge God to forgive me.
But when I judge them, and I don’t forgive them, God leave’s me also to fall into the same sin that in the future I will understand and love them, and for the future not to judge anyone anymore.
How do I love others, in this way they will love to me. As good as I am with others so they will be to me (not necessarily the same people). God makes us to obey His commandments by making us wanting to do good to ourselves.
I want to be happy? Then I must help others to be happy. I’m evil with others then this evil will come back to me sometime.
As usual, we people, accept everything about what’s new from outside, no longer passing it through the filter of our mind and that’s how appears the new fashion of going to a psychologist, or to family planning.
I think that swinging between going to a psychologist or to a priest comes from beliving and being conscious about the existence of the sin. If we do believe that sin exists, we tend to go to the priest, if not, we go to a psychologist because he never uppsets us remainding us that we are sinfull. Unfortunately, the psychologist will not make any reference to our mistakes and our sins, pretending and acting as they do not exist. And then, isn’t it easier to sit on a chair in a quiet discussion, rather then in knees in front of the priest?
Apparently, the priest and the psychologists have many common points, they serve the same causes to us: bringing the human soul at steady state, to a state of harmony and to advise regarding different issue of life. In reality, I consider (without blaming the usefulness of psychology as a science) that is an enormous gap between those two for several reasons.
The relationship between priest and he who confesses is very intimate, more intimate then the one with the best friend, given by the great mystery of confessing, aiming eternity, while the relationship between psychologist and patient is after all a commercial one: you pay to get well. This can be helpful until you die at the best, because after death things change.
My connection with the priest is permanent (or it should be), through his prayer to me, defending me as a rain umbrella of deceit, and through my prayer in front of God for him. But with the psychologist is all about the time spent in meetings.
The priest, by the grace of God, treats the effects and causes of my suffering and of my soul disturbances, which are pulling out from the sins, while in psychology there is no sin … and treating the causes of these problems is relative.
Priest treats man like the God image built according to His likeness, but the psychologist is treating the man as an animal.
In psychology all is about advices of a man to another man, but in confessio is about our Lord who works with His energy through the priest, because the pirest is the mediator of God and we receive a real treatment to cure our problems from God Himself, but the psychologist treatment is a material one (medicamentation) and, as human, the psychologist can not help himself sometimes neither the others.
And maybe the absolute difference is that the psychologist did not intercedes the descending of Holly Gost, as to erase my sins and to receive power to become a new person, and to refresh my soul to be free.
How many times I left the priest after my confession and I was “flying like a butterfly” with joy, full of hope and relief of mind, feeling that I was born again. I want to see someone that feels the same even after ten sessions of speakign to a psychologist.
All these things that we receive from God through his priests, we cannot find them somewhere else, we can not buy them, and is not grant it on social status or anything else, these are only the love of Jesus Christ for the lost sheep.
We see lately as we are pumped up with news, more and more frightening, including the new global crisis. I will not get too much in technical details because there are a lot of articles debating this.
I just want to remind you about our Father Seraphim Rose which has prevented us, long time ago, about the fool’s paradise in which we all are in … that is just crumbling down.
We don’t understand that we live in extravagance, or if we do understand, we do nothing, we indulge ourselves in it … for the simple reason that everyone does so.
We do not understand that we cannot compare with any generation that has lived until now, in terms of living standards, in order that even kings have not eaten as good as we do today.
We are buying things, not because we need them, but because they are cheap, or because of some discounts, tearing apart the standing reason of buying – to buy out of necessity. Everywhere around us we have banks, supermarkets, casinos and restaurants. But let us ask a question of common sense: where do all these lead to, and until when?
We don’t afford the luxury of living in luxury, because it’s not paradise on earth and the soul does not rest here.
We must admit that for everything that happens now, we have a part to blame. Let’s not panic, and let’s try to do something until we find out that it’s too late.
If we want not to suffer from this crisis or from any other threats, then we must follow a practical advice: let’s make our life simple, because simple means beautiful.
I myself am not a good example in this respect, so let’s all try to change our complicated life. Let’s all cut off one of the two personal mobile phones, let’s all not rely on credit cards, and on assurances, let’s all not eat each day in restaurants, let’s all stop buying until we fill out the refrigerator and let’s all stop buying all things that give us pleasure that we have baptized them as “needs”.
Doing so does not mean to get back in the Stone Age, but to be more temperate … in everything we do, like our Lord asks us to do.
“Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Lk 12,13-15)
A few years ago, when I was in high school I wanted a girlfriend, because I saw many friends having and it seemed so beautiful. I had a few girlfriends for a month or two but nothing more, and then entered a period where I didn’t met anyone. And the time passed and passed and I still thought that somebody will show-up in my life. In the evening when I was going to bed, although I didn’t know almost nothing about God, I was praying to the holy icon of Saint Paraskeva like I was praying to God, and I was asking God to give me a girlfriend. And I said: “Please God! Give me a girlfriend so that I love her and that she loves me.”
And the time was passing …
It’s been a month, two, three, half of year, a year. And yet, being a little disappointed, in the evening I was still praying, saying only this and nothing more: “Please God! Give me a girlfriend so that I love her and that she loves me.” This is all that I wanted, that was my relationship with God.
There have been two years, and although I was out almost every evening with my friends, and although we met with various girls, I didn’t have a girlfriend. Although I got along very well with girls and we were talking and feeling great, still I was lonely.
I came to college and I thought, maybe here I will meet someone, There were so many girls in my class, and only 5 or 6 boys.
I had some girls that I liked, but one day I met a girl from another class, that it seemed very nice and cute. She was simple and beautiful and she was very dear to me, but I thought she won’t like me. I invited her out second day of Christmas. She was at home with her parents and surprisingly she said „yes”.
I went out with her and we had a great time. Then we met again and again… we were together! Something weird was happening to me, it was the first time in my life when I was acting naturally with a girl, without trying to be funny, interesting or attractive, I was just me – Claudiu.
He liked me a lot and I liked her much.
Time has passed, we got married, we now have a baby of 3 months – Sofia, a miracle, and we are very happy.
God was listening to my prayers, God heard me yelling when I prayed …
I asked for something but He gave me more… much more.
I have some friends who were upset, as I was, that they don’t have a girlfriend although they have 20 years or more. They were desperate and unhappy, because in the past 4 or 5 years they didn’t meet anybody, and things seemed pretty obvious. But they were praying to God as they could, asking Him for a girlfriend. This is the only thing they wanted, a girlfriend, someone to love them, someone with who to be happy each day.
I was surprised when I saw that God make things in such manner that they met a girl when they expected less. I have four very good friends who a year ago did not have anyone, although they finished college and they were very disappointed. And now all four, have each one a girl. All four are happy and they know in their hearts that God helped them a lot, in a time when they were hopeless.
What can you do if you don’t have a girlfriend or a boyfriend? If I were you, I would pray to God every single night and every single morning, I would tease Him continuously until I get one. God always gives us much more than we ask. You just have to believe and to have a little patience and you will be very happy. Not a single prayer to God doesn’t remain without an answer and without help.
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Lk.11,9-10)
Me and my family are Orthodox Christians. We go to church, we confess, we take the Holy Comunion, participate in the Sacred Liturgy and other services with great love, we have a parent father, we read about God, we talk about God but I don’t think that is enough. I think actually all these are just the beginning, are hardly the basis on which the foundation must be built with God, that is salvation.
Last night at 11 PM I was leaving from work and I was passing by some blocks under construction, and instantly they reminded me of those who live on the streets. I know that they stay usually in the unfinished blocks because there are more secure, there’s no one to cast them out. And I thought, how it would be if I was now going to sit in a block like that. It was hard disheartening, it was dark, damp, cold, windy, and I would had to sleep on the floor, or on cartons as I know some of them sleep, or on old clothes.
I’ve came to myself quickly and I realized that I was going home, where is heat, light, where my wife and my daughter are waiting for me, and where I have good food, a soft bed, a warm bath, and so on.
And I thought how I can be a Christian if I sleep in luxury and in all comfort and they sleep on cement, in cold wheather, without nothing, and sometimes being even alone. I have it all and they have nothing. Eventually what is Christianity? Why God came to earth and made itself a Man? Just only for us to go to church and to show the Christians that we have a certain moral attitude towards others.
Does being a Christian means only not to swear, not to smoke, to talk nicely about God and to read about him? Being a Christian does not mean to be just humbly.
If I am a real Christian, why don’t I take a poor from the street and put him to sleep in the my house, where is warm and cozy, even only a night? If I am a Christian, why not invite him at dinner in my house, to give him some food? How can I bear to have absolutely everything I need and those poor persons on street to suffer in misery, in loneliness, in cold, forgotten by everyone.
I tell you frankly that I am not a Christian, I’m almost nothing, and I’m zero. How can I say that I love God that I don’t see, and the poor next to me that I see, I don’t love, and my soul doesn’t care about them? If I cared about them I would have invited them in my house and give them a glass of water and some good food.
That’s why the saints told us that the love of strangers is the greatest good deed in the world.
We must keep in mind that the universal criteria for the Great judgment at the end of the world, which God Jesus Christ told us:
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” (Mt.25.34-36)