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Iconography and Hand painted icons

Many accuse modern technology for all the woes in the world. Evil does not come from unfeeling, dead technology, but from the dead hearts of people. St. Nikolai Velimirovich

 

Ιησούς Χριστός_Jesus-Christ_Иисус-Христос-Byzantine Orthodox Icon5_tumblr_nnjvle0ANT1rrfu1ao1_1280St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Many complain against technology.
Many accuse modern technology for all the woes in the world.
Is technology really to blame, or those who create technology and use it?
Is a wooden cross to blame if somebody crucifies someone on it?
Is a hammer to blame if a neighbor breaks his neighbors skull?
Technology does not feel good or evil.
The same pipes can be used for drinking water or the sewer.
Evil does not come from unfeeling, dead technology, but from the dead hearts of people.

Completely conscious of the presence of God and without any pride, Noah built a wondrous ship that was for his salvation and of the new mankinds that was to be born.

In a darkened consciousness regarding God’s presence, people filled with pride agreed among themselves, “Let us build a city and a tower whose top shall reach heaven, and make a name for ourselves.” That was the building of the tower of Babel.

“And you O Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You shall descend to Hades.” This prophecy of Christ, in the days when Capernaum shined with glory, like a fairytale city beside a lake, was fulfilled. It was so dreadfully fulfilled, that when a traveler finds himself among the thorns and snakes, where once the rich and proud city of Capernaum exalted itself, frightfully asks,” Is it possible that this loathsome place was once a dwelling place of men?”

Ethics are long-lasting and unchanging, that is, evangelic ethics, but technology is always changing. Ethics are likened to a lady, and technology like her handmaiden. That is why ethics have to control technology. Eternal values are the territory of ethics and not technology. It is devastating for an entire people to put the purpose of their lives in technology, and all of their labor and sweat they sacrifice to the advancement of technology, dragging behind them ethics, like Achilles dragged the dead Hector tied to a chariot. A people like that can succeed to build all of their cities from ivory and gold, but if people like Ahab and Jezebel live in them, dogs will have the last word and not people. Between honor and skill it is easy to choose. An honest man even without skill is more respected in our time than a skillful man without honesty.

Technology changes man’s relation towards nature, but not towards man and God.

Whoever thinks otherwise values things more than people, and dust more than the spirit. A horrible tragedy of our time is the war between men and God.

God wants to raise up and exalt man’s identity above dumb and lifeless materiality, while men want to bury their identity and forget their Creator, and make the sole purpose of their lives technology and material wealth.

Many people who are spiritually and morally handicapped by their unbelief in Christ, create out of modern technology idols that they worship, and call upon all peoples and nations to bring sacrifices to those idols.

 St. Nikolai Velimirovich, From the Complete Works of Bishop Nikolai [in Serbian], Book 12, p. 23. Translated from the Serbian by Marija Miljkovic.

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Saint Paisius the Athonite

Νωε κιβωτος-Noah's Ark-Ноев ковчег_ΝΩΕ-Noah's Ark-Ноев ковчег_-8-small480O, if only we could realize how long-suffering is God! It took 100 years to build Noah’s ark. Do you not think that God was unable to quickly build some kind of an ark? Of course He could do it, but He allowed Noah to suffer for 100 years, in order for others to likewise realize what awaited them, and to repent. “Look, – said Noah to the people, – there will be a deluge! Repent!” But they only laughed at him. “What a box he is building!” – remarked Noah’s contemporaries sarcastically and continued on their merry way. Even now God can shake up the entire world in two minutes and force it to change, so that all would become believers and even “superbelievers.” How? This is how: if He turns on the switch for “earthquake” and slowly begins to turn the dial: first to a “5 on the Richter scale,” then to a “6,” and then to a “7.” At “eight” the skyscrapers will start to sway like drunkards. At “ten” everyone will cry out: “We have sinned! We entreat Thee – save us!” However, as soon as the earthquake stops, the people – though still unsteady on their feet – will straightaway run off to bars and discos. Because there was no real repentance in their appeal to God, they uttered the words of repentance superficially, only in order to be saved from evil.

Let us ask God to grant the world repentance and that we may escape His righteous anger. God’s imminent wrath cannot be avoided safe through penitence and the keeping of His commandments.

Tone VIII: Glory …,

The gates of repentance, do Thou open unto me, O Giver of Life, * for early in the morning my spirit seeketh Thy holy temple, * bearing the temple of my body all defiled. * But as One who art compassionate ** cleanse it by Thy loving-kindness and mercy.

Now & ever …,

Guide me on the paths of salvation, O Theotokos: * for I have polluted my soul with shameful deeds * and wasted all my life in slothfulness. ** but by thine intercessions * do thou deliver me from all impurity.

Doxastikon of the Aposticha, Saturday Vespers (Tone plagal of the first)

Mine eyes are weighed down by my transgressions, and I cannot lift them up and see the height of heaven. But receive me, Savior, in repentance as the Publican and have mercy on me.

Tone 8

I know the value of tears, almighty Lord: They delivered Hezekiah from the gates of death, And rescued the harlot from repeated sins. Tears justified the Publican instead of the Pharisee: I pray You, Lord: number me with the former, and have mercy on me!

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