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Athos Monks[play]
Th. Vassilikos[play]

About Freud and Homosexuality.

From the Correspondence with One Young man

Dear Teddy!

I would like to talk to you in detail on one subject, which we discussed during my last arrival. You told me about the theory, obviously based on Freud’s doctrine, that the psychological basis, causing the monks go to a monastery, and sailors, leaving for a long-time sailing and dooming themselves to life among men, without women, is subconscious (or conscious) homosexuality.

I vaguely heard of that theory before, but thought that Freud’s theories moved away to the background after Adler and K. Jung made many-sided refutations of them. K. Jung long before had reproached Freud that he turned the entire variety of human psychics’ functions down to sexual motives. But K. Jung as well proposed almost absolutely negative motives to be the key stimuli for human actions: love for power, covetousness, etc.

From our Christian point of view, both the theories should be disagreed with in the same way. Both of them are the demonic slander on the man. The devil in Greek means "a slanderer." He constantly slanders on people. He knows in them only that, what he had sown, i.e. the evil, and does not want to see the good, which the Lord had put into them.

The most primitive and spread form of such slander on the motives of human actions are the statements of Marx and Lenin that religious, state and social movements were inspired by the aspirations for profit and thirst for power. These statements are constantly repeated by the Communists. "God was invented by priests and generals to keep the workers and peasants submitted and squeeze the profit out of them."

In their essence, the theories of Freud and Jung are slander as well.

Only not knowing the Christian monasticism at all, one can assert that active or potential homosexuals became monks.

Many monks always had sexual temptations. But they unfailingly were heterosexuals. Remember the temptations of venerable Anthony, so popularly described in the books, and most basic lives of saints-ascetics. All of them tell about the heterosexual nature of monastic temptations. Yes, Theodore Studit points at the danger of homosexual temptations, but only because of the absence of women, as at the second class temptations.

The monks won over their heterosexual temptations thanks to their love for God, but not through their homosexuality. The description of their lives is full of purity, not of the dirt of pederasty.

The history tells us that in the pre-Mongol period the Russian people (as the ancient Germans) did not know of pederasty at all. It came to Russia only with Tatars. Yes, in the latest times, before the revolution, in the period of the decay of religion and moral in the entire world, there was some wrecking, both heterosexual and homosexual, especially in the Southern Russia.

The Communists, seizing the monasteries, registered all those facts with pleasure. But in the Northern monasteries: in Solovki, Belozersk, Vologda monasteries, in spite of all their attempts, they could not find any testimonies of the monastic dissolute life.

Together with that, it must be noted that homosexuality existed in the monasteries not because the candidates for monks came to the monasteries with homosexual goals, but because homosexuality was spread mainly like a catching disease. The existing homosexuals attracted to their vice new adepts, which would not have become homosexuals, if they would not have been "taught" doing that.

To a considerable degree the same can be said about seamen. They became seamen because of various reasons: on family traditions, because of the interest to the foreign countries, strife to serve to the Sovereign exactly with that, not easy service. Now you cannot imagine how great the devotion to the Sovereign in Russia was before our revolution and in France, before their revolution.

Yes, among seamen, because of the lack of women, during the long periods of time of sailing, there were cases of homosexuality. But those were the exceptions. In the ports, where the ships arrived, flourished the female prostitution but not the male one.

There was high moral purity among seamen. It is a pity that you read in Russian only a little. Otherwise I would have sent you K. Stanukevitch, where he cites the talks of sea men and their letters to wives. There is much love and purity in them. Already in the Soviet time there were published the biographies of Lisyanskiy and Lasarev. There are published their letters as well. From those letters it was obvious that they were faithful to their spouses. One cannot suspect them in homosexuality, and even in the slightest unfaithfulness to their wives.

This is in our time that many because of the decay of religion and morals got sexually insane and do not imagine how it is possible to live without constant satisfaction of the sexual needs. This was predicted by our Lord two thousand years ago, when He said: "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" and more: "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." The times when religion had more influence, knew the powerful sublimation, i.e. the rise of the bodily calls to the higher stages of creative and spiritual aspiration.

The most harmful consequences of freudism and psychoanalysis is the extermination by it the idea of sin, the idea of acceptance by the man of his fault before God.

In his letter to an English woman, Mrs. N, dated by the 9th of April, 1935, Freud writes about her homosexual son: "What concerns the profit, which psychoanalysis can give to your son, it can give him harmony, spiritual peace, complete effectuality, if he is unhappy, torn in parts by conflicts, experiencing difficulties in relations with other people, no matter if he remains a homosexual or not." That means that psychoanalysis will remove the morally healthy, but painful feeling of guilt, and with that the desire to get freed from this vice will disappear in this young man.

In the same letter Freud writes: "There is nothing shameful in homosexuality, it is not a vice or humiliation, it cannot be treated as a disease, we count it to be a variety of the sexual function…" Meanwhile, according to our Christian teaching, homosexuality is a grave sin, which, on the doctrine of the holy fathers, is equal to murder.

The problems of sin cannot be understood without faith in God. While there is no faith in God, there is no sin. Already Dostoevsky noted: "If there is no God, everything is allowed."

Freud, as a conscious and complete atheist, surely could fail to understand the problem of sin. In his letter to the Jewish organization "Bnai Brit" Freud wrote: "I always was an atheist and was brought up out of religion." But he does not pause in that statement. In his letter to L. Binswanger he wickedly and haughtily noted: "I have found the place for religion, after I have discovered the category of collective neuroses."

Anyone can slander at religion and say blasphemies, but this full of indignation diagnosis of Freud is easily refuted by the fact that the generations of believing people had the least probability of suffering with neurosis, and with the increase of atheism the percentage of neuro-pathological phenomena increased greatly.

But I have not still answered the question: what is a sin?

A sin is the violation of the Divine commandments. When a person loves and respects another person, he willingly fulfills the requests of the one, whom he loves. If he does not fulfill the request of the loved one, which it is possible to fulfill, that means that he is a conceited egoist. Such is in its essence the nature of fault of the man in before God, the nature of sin.

That is why the English young man, about whom Freud wrote to his mother, was tormented by the understanding of his guilt. He hardly was a going to the church Christian, even a Protestant, but he had conscience.

About this natural-moral law, which is concealed in conscience, writes Ap. Paul: "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves, which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another" (Rom. 2:14)

Exactly from this, written in the hearts law, Freud dares to "free" the man — he wants to free him from his conscience. This crime is much worse than a murder. Not by chance the famous Argentinean state-social figure Valdivia, in his article "General Peron" puts the harmfulness of Freudism on the same level with the influence of Marxism. V. Valdivia writes: "The liberal circles, which began to rule in 1955, not only got rid of any nationally thinking elements from the universities, but forced the education of the wide ranks of Marxists and freudists, with their artificial prohibition of any bans in life. From here originates the organizing of terrorism."

There are many reasons and causes for sin, but the one most widely spread, and most strong is sexuality. With the perversion of human nature by the first-born sin the evil did not penetrate that deep, than it did into this, generic, sphere, probably because it is one of the most powerful feelings in the man.

To what an extent this feeling is powerful, we can see from the animal world. The man, teaches venerable Anthony the Great, is akin to stones, concerning the body, to animals, concerning his living soul, and angels in spirit. A spider sacrifices his life for sex. An eel and many other fishes go for the difficulties that are hard to imagine, to gain it. Almost all the animals go for great difficulties for that.

The man is not an exception. But at the same time, while other animals, possessing the soul, but no spirit, are not limited by any commandment of God in the realization of their instincts, — the man, the bearer of the similar to God’s spirit, is called by God towards self-limitation.

The Lord requires the same from the man, that he could limit his animal instincts by the submitting to His laws. The same way as the parents require obedience from their children for their good, so the Lord gives His commandments with the same goal. Having entered into communication with people, as their Father (to this points the prayer "Our father," and the words of Prophet Isaiah: "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee"), the Lord gives them His commandments for their own good. First the Lord wrote his law in the hearts of men, then on the Mountain of Sinai gave them the law, inscribed on the stone tables, and finally, the Son of God preached the New Testament, strengthening them in the righteous life with His grace.

From the start people violated the commandments of God, but the voice of conscience exposed them. By the heathen nations, the obedience to the Divine law, put into their hearts, was not equal: some nations disapproved of some kind of violation of the Divine law, another — of some other kinds.

Homosexuality and incest were equally judged by almost all nations, having several wives was almost not judged by the heathens.

But the main thing was, that the principle of acceptance of the own guilt, and consequently the chance of repentance and through the repentance of reconciliation with God, always existed.

Therefore, the fault of Freudism is so great in the face of people, because it deprives human souls of the salvation way, this beam of the Divine similarity: the lack of desire to repent in one’s sin, of thirst for returning the lost resemblance to God and grief about it, which are capable of cleansing and reviving the man.

If the goal of life was pleasant existence, without cares and remorse, then freudism would be only approved of, for it frees the consciousness of the man from the feeling of guilt, twinges of conscience and connected with them troubles. The English publishers of the books of Freud, which I have, call him like that: "A scientist, a prophet, a liberator."

But life in this case turns into a senseless thing. Then are right those, who say that if they become unable to possess a woman or drink cognac, they would shoot themselves.

If to believe like a Christian that life is given to us to prepare the soul for the Heavenly Kingdom, then Freudism will be considered the most harmful of all delusions of the human thought, for it tries to destroy in the man that single thing, through which the soul is cleansed from sin — the acceptance of one’s own guilt before God.

I would like to tell you about several questions, which probably, you will have in mind in the connection with my first letter.

I write there: "If the goal of life was in the pleasant existence, then Freudism would be only approved of…But in that case life would be transformed into a senseless thing."

You have a right to ask a question and where is a proof that it is not like that, that life is not senseless, that there is God and eternal life? There are no rational proves and cannot be. The Divine will arranged it like that, in order that we could perceive everything, concerning the spiritual world and God not through the rational act of knowledge, but with faith, which differs from knowledge with that fact that all the three sides of the human spirit take part in it: the mind, feelings and will.

In the rationalistic facts there is always an element of compulsion: it does not matter if I want or do not, but two by two is four anyway, and my will does not take part in establishing this truth. The Lord God, Who loves us, wants us to take part in searching for Him with our free will.

Therefore the Lord demands faith from the man. If faith does not depend on our will, it would not be possible to demand it from the man, as a moral obligation. It is not possible to morally demand from the man to know mathematics or physics, for this knowledge does not depend on him. But faith does.

The truth of faith cannot be proved, i.e. forced upon the man, as the truths of knowledge are forced upon. God gives faith but together with the necessary participation of the human will. If I want to believe, the Lord will give me faith, but will ask from me to live according to it. If I do not live according to it then God will take it away from me. Exactly because of the perversion of the will, but not at all because of the development of science, the atheism spread so much now. The people did not want to live according to faith, which implies the known restrictions.

And so, in order to be free from any moral limitations, people renounce faith, and there are no outward known forcible proves to make them restore their faith, except one: without faith the moral requirements disappear and life looses its meaning.

From the point of view of rationalists, this is not yet a proof, but from the spiritual and moral one it is a very important proof.

The man is posed a question: what do you want? The sensible world, in which reigns God, loving and wise, giving you a definite task, fulfilling which you can inherit the joyful eternity, or the world, having no sense, which sooner or later will end, and all that happened in it will disappear without a trace, as Freud himself describes in his works picturesquely enough?

Here is repeated the same thing, which the Lord told to the Jews in antiquity, when they entered the promised land: "Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: and a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God."

And if the man, wishing to be "free" from the commandments of the Lord, chooses the life nonsense and immorality, he himself, on his personal will, signs the eternal judgment for him. He sells faith and hope for the lentil soup of satisfying his sensuous desires.

And if he chooses the way of faith, if he strongly, decisively and ardently longs to gain it, then the Lord will give him this faith, for this is what God wishes most, concerning the man: "He that believeth shall be saved"?

And if the man takes root in faith, and the most important, lives according to it, will not leave his faith to be fruitless, then the broad horizons inside of his consciousness, strengthening his faith, will be opened to him.

He will see miracles. I think that any believer in this or that moment of his life was a witness of miracles. The social, and moreover state and national miracles are very rare now. Private miracles that are shown to the people with the sensitive heart happen constantly.

I think it happens because the personal spiritual life of single believing persons is less corrupted than the social life. Sure, we all have spiritually weakened, as if there are no more giants of the spirit, but the radical corruption is more rarely seen in single souls than in the society or state. This also happens because the miraculous events, which are evident only to private persons, are less subjected to the profanation, which inevitably follows each social phenomenon.

I remember the vulgar fuss, which was raised by the press in the years prior to the last war, when in Romania the Lord appeared before the simple righteous shepherd, Peter Lupu and sent him to preach repentance, warning that if the Rumanian people did not repent, they would face terrible disasters.

With that the Lord gave to Peter Lupu the force of wonder-working: he cured the sick and could predict the future. The correspondents from the whole world jumped on this poor shepherd. The movie reporters came from America. Some American movie-star took a photo with Peter Lupu in a bathing suit under the sign: "Together with the man, who had just seen the Lord God."

Such an unlimited flow of vulgarity is abominable in the eyes of God, and God cannot reveal miracles to the society, cultivating such vulgarity.

I want to make the second addition to the previous letter about the complex of Oedipus. With it Freud connects his in the majority blasphemous explanations of what religion is. To be more accurate, he connects religion with the overcoming of the Oedipus complex.

His explanation can be tempting, because in all monotheistic religions, and especially in the Christianity, the idea of God, as the Heavenly Father, is very important. But surely it is not because, as Freud assures (in the 10th chapter of the article "The Mass Psychology and Analysis of the Human "Ego") the man made God for himself out of his antecedent, but because the Lord, loving his creature, the man, took onto Himself the responsibilities of the father, or to be more precise, His attitude to people he made similar to the attitude of the father (and mother) to their children.

The harmfulness of the teaching of Freud is especially destructive because it includes into it the elements of the truth. This is the favorite method of satan. He tempted the first people by the promise "will be like gods," knowing that the Lord created the people to be similar to Him, for that in the eternal, bringing the infinite joy process of becoming similar to God people could become more and more alike Him.

But Freud does not shrink from the more primitive and vulgar slander. In the 7th chapter of the article "The Future of One Illusion" he writes: "The Russian psychics rose up to the conclusion that to sin is absolutely necessary, in order to try all the blessedness of the mercy of God." This is the paraphrase of a known joke, which was invented by the witty men of the highest Petersburg society, concerning Rasputin: "If you do not sin — you would not repent, if you do not repent — you would not be saved."

Never, neither in the Church, nor in the serious Russian thought there was no such understanding. Freud pretends to be thorough and impassionate, but here his feelings burst out. He wants so much to express his indignation towards the Russians, his hatred to their faith that he goes for the unworthy forgery.

He does not shrink from another "spicy statements" in order to express his hatred towards the Christianity; for example, he puts in the 9th chapter a poem: "We let pass angels and sparrows into the heaven."

And finally, I want to touch upon one more problem.

How a believing Christian should perceive Freud and his works? Should he fully neglect this work because Freud was a militant preacher of atheism?

No, the absolute negation of Freudism on the religious motives, as any negation of this or that scientific doctrine on the basis of these motives is not correct and usually brings harm to the church matters, how it happened with Galileo, with Darwinism, with the discovery of a Neanderthal or a pithecanthropus. In the scientific field, as in any other fields, outside the church activity of the man, for example, in politics, in trade, the Lord gave to people the freedom of thought and actions. The Church does not dogmatize in these fields; it dogmatizes in purely religious and moral spheres.

Never and in no circumstances would the Church agree that God is not all-knowing, or not ever-righteous, or that Jesus Christ sinned, as it would not agree with the legalization of murders, abortions, stealing, homosexuality, having several wives and other things of the kind.

But the Church does not prescribe how to trade, how one should do his scientific work or build a state. In these outward spheres the Church demands of its children to be honest and just in their deeds.

The things that are right in the theory of Freud, might and must be accepted. Now one cannot seriously go for psychology or psychiatry, without knowing Freudism. Some discovered by him facts can and have to be accepted, but with his conclusions, preaching atheism, one cannot agree, and what is the main thing — one should not submit to his anti-Christian influence.

This is not easy but possible.

How does a sober, serious sociologist-Christian perceive Marx? For, as one cannot be a psychiatrist, without knowing Freud, the same way one cannot be a sociologist without knowing Marx. Very many of his instructions cannot but be accepted; but with his conclusions, like "religion is opium for the masses," one should not agree. Freud asserts the same. In the 9th chapter of his cited article "The Future of One Illusion" he says: "The believers cannot be deprived of their faith. Those, who took in the soporifics for years, cannot fall asleep if to deprive them of these pills."

It is easier to deal with Marx, for all his prognosis turned out to be incorrect, and many of his conclusions were refuted. Concerning Freud, something was done in this direction by Jung and Adler. But certainly in the history of the human thought both Marx and Freud will remain forever, as there stayed Epicurus, Democritus, Leucippus, Lucrecius and other atheistic philosophers of the antiquity.

In their works as well were the precious elements, which influenced the further development of philosophy, and their harmful conclusions were refuted.

Not to that extent as by Freud, but still there were some incorrect non-Christian conclusions, made by the psychologists and psychiatrists of the middle of the 19th century. For the Orthodox Russian thought they were refuted and edited by the great Orthodox thinker of the 19th century I.V. Kireevsky. He studied in Moscow, Berlin and Munich and got the broadest education. He was very much interested in the problems of psychology and psychiatry, as they were confronted at that time.

Together with that, he was very well-read, concerning the holy fathers. Many of the statements of psychology he confirmed and developed on the basis of the holy fathers’ teachings, some of them he refuted, again basing his views on the assertions of the holy fathers.

Archbishop Nathanael (Lvov, 1906-1985)

—Was an outstanding Orthodox theologian, a preacher and spiritual writer, the bishop of the Russian Church Abroad.

He was the son of the ober-prosecutor of St. Synod Vladimir Lvov. He took part in the paleontologist excavations of Piere Teyar de Charden in China. He was ordained in 1929, in Harbin. In the middle of the 30-th he took a missionary trip to India. In 1939, being the archimandrite, he joined the monastery of venerable Job of Pochaev in the Carpates of Russia. In the years of the Second World War he took an active part in the spiritual-enlightening activity of the Orthodox Church on the occupied by the Germans territory. In the first after-war years he became famous due to his activity, concerning the salvation of the Russian refugees from their giving out to Stalin. In 1946 he was ordained and became the bishop of Brussels and Western Europe. Further on he became the head of the eparchies in England and Northern Africa, took an active part in the restoration of glorification of the ancient Orthodox saints of the West. Since 1966 he became the dean of the temple of venerable Job of Pochaev in Munich. Since 1976 he was the bishop of Vienna and Austria, in 1981 he became the archbishop. In the last years of his life very ill, almost deprived of the possibility to move, Archbishop Nathanael organized huge in size publishing activity, directed at the publication of the spiritual books and booklets, which were secretly brought to Russia. The especially famous book was the Munich "The Lives of Saints," one of the most active authors of which was the archbishop himself.

Archbishop Nathanael found common respect as a preacher and apologetic one of the most fruitful and gifted Orthodox writers of the ХХ century. To him belong the theologian writings, works about the Holy Bible, historical works, apologetic notes, polemical works, directed at the defense of the true Orthodoxy, the multitude of sermons. In the works of Archbishop Nathanael the answer to the questions, posed by the present day, is combined with the strict, unfailing faithfulness to the Orthodox Faith and the Church Tradition.

The part of the vast legacy of archbishop Nathanael is gathered in the 5-volume "Conversations about the Holy Scripture and the Faith," NY, 1991-95.

  The Religious Meaning of the Astronomic Discovery of Black Holes

Among many difficult questions, which arise while reading the Holy Scripture in the mind of a person with the scientific world-view, one of the most difficult is the understanding of the Lord’s words about the final moments of the world’s existence: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" (Math. 24:29). Or according to the Gospel of St. Luke: "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken" (Luke 21:26).

Of course, not "the tribulation of those days," and not "the fear, and looking after those things which are coming on the earth" cause our amazement. The tribulation of the terrible days, and deadly fear and looking for the coming calamities we have experienced, and in many countries of the world the people still experience, if not to the full, then enough to understand, what Christ is talking about, and to appreciate the following approving words of Him: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).

But the expressions "shall the sun be darkened" and "the stars shall fall from heaven," "the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" — all this remains incomprehensible for us. How will the sun, this colossal heavenly body, which is in thousands of times bigger that the Earth, and about which St. Basil the Great says: "The sun, the heavenly body, according to the testimony of the Scripture, is extremely big and infinitely bigger than it seems" ("the Hexaemeron," the 6th conversation) darken?

The more incomprehensible are the words "the stars shall fall from heaven." Where and how would the gigantic stars, many of which are in hundreds of times, and some in thousands of times, bigger than the sun, fall?

The answer to these and other religious-scientific questions partly is provided by the latest astronomic idea about so-called "black holes" in the universe.

In order to let the reader get acquainted with this problem, we give the abridged article on this topic from "The Reader’s Digest."

Black Holes — the Dark Mystery of the Universe

"In these unseen, disappeared stars, which absorb matter of the universe due to their unbelievably powerful gravity, lies the key for prediction of the final lot of mankind" (John L. Wilhelm).

Let us imagine the force, from which no material body can evade. This force proceeds from any unit of matter. It attracts all objects to one another, even if they are located at a great distance. This power is called the power of gravitation, and it increases depending on the measure of mass of the attracted body, and rises the closer they get to each other. Now imagine the place, where the matter collides and flattens until it cannot be recognized, while the atoms flatten and form the solid mass of the infinite density. This will be all that was left from the disappeared star, the fire of which burnt down, and which once was so huge, that super-heavy gravity squeezed it up to the size of a chicken egg, so that it "disappeared."

The scientists suppose that these gigantic "black spots" erode the centers in the majority of galaxies, and together with that the center of our Milky Way, swallowing at once entire stars. Maybe the 90% of the whole mass of the universe is swallowed by these "black holes." Maybe the mysterious quasars, these roaring boilers, boiling with the powerful flashes of energy, which we can hear with our radio-locators, are these huge black holes, which erode the centers of galaxies. G. Grussky from the Harvard-Smith center of astrophysics researches has proposed a hypothesis: "The last and final nuclear hole will be the universe itself."

Gravitation, i.e. the power of gravity is inverse-proportional to the square distance. If to double the distance between two bodies, then their mutual gravitation will be 4 times less. And with the reverse process, the gravitation power will increase very fast.

In order that black holes might appear, one prerequisite is necessary: the huge mass, focused at the minimum distance. Such mass is produced by the gigantic stars. When they grow old, their inner thermo-nuclear flashes are no longer able to oppose the directed inside of them gravitation pressure of the outer layers. These layers begin shriveling, compressing the atoms, what leads to the diminishing of the star size. The law of the reverse proportion starts to fasten the process. The atoms are compresses more and more, gravitation increases, what fastens the "inner destruction." The process supports itself in the action. The further compressing of a star means the further approximation of the atoms, what causes more gravitation. More compressing, more gravitation, more compressing…

The star, in which all the electrons turned out to be compressed into protons, is finally compressed till the size of a small dot of the infinite density. The final compression happens almost with the speed of light, and can happen in less than a second. The star disappears and a black hole is born.

What happens inside of a black hole, the science can only guess. According to the theory of relativity of Einstein, which foresaw the appearance of black holes, the time and space in them disappear.

What should one do, when searching in the skies such a strange and together with that unseen phenomenon? When a star, compressed to the limit, turns into a black hole, the only thing that is left after it is gravity. And gravity can be found, for it influences the closest star, which runs around the orbit. So, the astronomers, using both optical telescopes and X-ray locators, thoroughly examine the skies in their search of the double stars, in which two twin suns are running around each other. In the case, when one of the twin stars influences the other with special powerful gravity, and with that it is compact and does not give light, then this dark satellite is a black hole.

For the extra detecting of black holes, one can undertake another test. Each star gives off directed to all sides eradiation. The matter, which is swallowed up by a black hole in the unbelievably fast process, is heated up to the billion of degrees. The rays of light, as subjected to the influence of gravitation, are not eradiated by a black hole. But the X-rays with their intense chaotic flow are spread from the black holes through the entire universe and can be detected. Though X-rays can hardly be detected on the Earth, for they are absorbed by the atmosphere, which envelops the globe. Therefore for the better detection of X-rays, the locator of these rays should be placed on board of the rockets, which fly above the air capsule of the earth.

Such an apparatus was recently sent by the Americans from Kenya, and it proved the presence of a black hole in the constellation of Swan, in the star "X-1."

The located in such a way object turned out to be a satellite of a gigantic star, which size is 20 times bigger than that of the sun. A black hole, in its turn, is 15 times bigger than the sun and runs around the star for 5,5 days at a distance of 13 million miles.

The scientists suppose that only in our galaxy there are around 10 millions of black holes, which swallow up stars.

For now it is more than for half of a century that we know that the universe expands, and all the scientists agree that such expansion is the result of the first explosion, which had torn apart the gigantic cosmic nuclear, consisting of matter, form which everything got its origin. Will the universe continue its expansion eternally? Or will the gravitation of the stars and galaxies stop this expansion and make the universe begin its compression? The equations of Einstein predict that once the universe will act exactly this way, i.e. will start compressing.

In the present time the astronomers did not find enough matter in the space to develop the necessary gravitation to stop expansion and turn back to compression. Though many astronomers noted that there is the lack of mass in black holes. If it is so then in any moment the universe will start compressing with terrible speed until self-destruction. With that, not only the existing matter will be destroyed but the space and time will be exterminated. Even if the universe does not turn in one black hole in a blink of an eye, then in the final run it will disappear in the millions of black holes, which already at the moment are swallowing up galaxies, flowing with them to all sides.

Faith, the religious belief in mankind drops. The Lord foresaw that when in grief He said: "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8) The reason of that the Lord explains with another, not less sad prediction: "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Math. 24:12). But till the end of ages the Lord does not want to force the people to believe neither with the sticking signs, nor with frightening miracles. He preserves the free will of the man like the apple of His eye.

But he does not leave the weakly believing, hesitating, tempted by the enemies of God contemporary mankind without help, support in faith. There were never so many points of our faith, which found their confirmation. And these confirmations appear mostly for those points of faith, which at the most are undergoing attacks, slander or doubts.

The enemies of faith proclaimed that the Christian Scriptures are the latest imitations, the monuments of the 3 and 4 centuries. The most attacks underwent the scriptures of St. Ap. John the Theologian. Unfortunately, even the people, who called themselves Christians and teachers of theology, often shared those anti-Christian ideas. Let us remember that up to the 20th century the most ancient originals of the books of the Bible were the manuscripts of the 4th and the 5th centuries.

But then, in the 20th century, from the sands of Egypt there appeared one after another the ancient copies of the Holy Scriptures of the Church: the Gospels, Epistles. The Acts of Apostles, as well as the books of the Old Testaments of the 2, 3, 4 centuries, and among them the most precious papyrus with the text of the 18th chapter of the Gospel of St. John of the end of the 1st century, i.e. the time when St. Apostle John still lived.

In 1947 and 1952 in Palestine there were found the precious hidden treasures of the old scriptures of the Old Testament, which gave the bright picture of the spiritual experiences of the period on the eve of the Navity of Christ.

In many countries and many spheres of life nowadays rule demonic forces. The Christians suffer very much because of that. But at the same time, watching these evil forces closely, we now, much better than before, imagine the satanic troops, their customs, methods, ways, actions. The noble-tragic image of a demon, like he was described by Goethe, Byron, and Lermontov, will not appear now. We too closely saw and know the incarnated demons in the face of investigators, jail workers and executioners.

Throughout the ages the Revelation’s meaning, like: "and the third part of trees was burnt up," "and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died," "and the third part of the waters became wormwood" (Rev. chap. 8) could not be understood. And now, to our horror, we understand better and better these predictions of St. Ap. John.

Many topographic directions of the Old Testament are proved to be true now by the researches in Israel. Left unknown till the beginning of this century remarks concerning the Hatties in the Old Testament, starting with the book of Genesis, and especially the fear of the Hatties’ power in the 4th Book of the Kings 7:6 became clear in the 20th century thanks to the multiple discoveries — the excavation of the cities of the great Hattie Empire.

But maybe the most significant, though terrible support of our faith in the final dozens of years is the discovery of black holes and their astounding role in the lot of the world.

The original classical image of hell became so familiar to our contemporaries that even the believers let themselves say jokes about "the saucepans of hell," and the saving fear of hell, which is so necessary in our time of religious decay, faded a lot. So, in order to renew the fear of hell, the Lord reveals to us the horrible image of black holes, which swallow up the entire universe.

The thought that the astronomic processes are fulfilled slowly, during the millions of years, should not serve to diminish the saving fear.

Yes, the process of the swallowing up of the universe into black holes can cover the millions of years. But it can happen in a second, in a part of a second, for, according to the testimony of Einstein, the dreadful concentration of the mass in a black hole distorts the time and space, and the time disappears. In this assertion of the famous physic and mathematician we recognize the words of Apocalypses: "There should be time no longer" (10:6).

For sure, this newest astronomic idea paints the catastrophe only of the material world. To the maximum decomposed material atoms are swallowed up by black holes. For us, the Christians, hell is the spiritual place, the place of tortures of the souls, not bodies, not human atoms. But this will be so only till the Divine Dread Judgment, until the resurrection of the dead. So, the final lot of the entire material, bodily world is brightly and horribly illustrated through the idea about black holes.

The special horror causes the sense of doom, inevitability of the swallowing up of all the material world by these infernal holes.

Let us imagine, what the feelings of mankind will be like when it will know that the Solar system got into the field of gravity of a black hole and is being swallowed up into it, that the notable warming up on the earth shows the start of the speeding up process of burning of the universe, as the fulfillment of the words of the Apostle: "The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Pet. 3:10)

If one contemplates over that, then it will become clear why till the latest time the Lord did not reveal to the man this terrible secret. While the people lived more or less in the fear of God, in the fear of those descriptions of hell, which were left to us by the Holy Scripture, the people did not need extra horror of the idea about black holes.

The Lord did not wish, till there came the need for that, to subject people to "failing for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth."

Against these ideas triumphantly rises the original since the ancient years and attractive till now light image of Christ the Savior, the only one, who has authority to stop the horrible process and endow mankind and all the terrestrial world, instead of the inevitable darkness of a hole, the light of "a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away" (Rev.21:1).

Blessed is that one, who in these forthcoming fearful days will be able to find consolation in the words of the church prayer, read by the Orthodox Christians in the mornings: "But Thou, my Christ, abundant in compassion and art inexpressible in mercy, hast said: "He who believes in Me shall live and never see death." Thus, if faith in Thee saves the desperate: Save me also, for I believe that Thou art my God and Creator."

We would like to hope that the newly discovered idea will warm up and intensify the ancient Christian feeling, which is expressed in the last phrase of the Revelation:

"Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

Missionary Leaflet # E116
Copyright © 2004 Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission
466 Foothill Blvd, Box 397, La Canada, Ca 91011
Editor: Bishop Alexander (Mileant)

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