Friday, December 11, 2015

The Atheist is the most misfortunate person ( St. Nektarios )

Of all people, the atheist is the most misfortunate person because he has been deprived of the only good thing upon the earth: faith—the one true guide toward the truth and happiness. The atheist is a most misfortunate person because he is deprived of hope: the essential staff needed to journey through
life's lengthy path. The atheist is a most misfortunate person because he is deprived of
human love, which caresses the aching heart. The atheist is a most misfortunate person because he has been deprived of the divine beauty of the Creator's image, which the Divine Artist has etched withinman and which faith unveils.

The eye of the atheist sees in creation nothing other than the operation of natural processes. The brilliance and magnificent beauty of the Divine Creator's image remain hidden and undetectable to him. As he glances aimlessly at creation, nowhere does he discover the beauty of God's wisdom, nowhere does he see God's omnipotence, nowhere does he observe God's goodness and providence,
nowhere does he discern the Creator's righteousness and love for creation. His mind is neither capable
of ascending higher than the visible world nor
reaching beyond the boundaries of physical matter. His heart remains anesthetized and indifferent before God's ever-present divine wisdom and power.

Within it, not even the slightest desire to worship
the Lord exists. His lips remain closed, his mouth silent, and his tongue frozen. His soul voices no
hymn, doxology, or praise as an expression of gratefulness to God.

The peace of the soul and the serenity of the heart have been removed by disbelief; instead, mourning has inundated the depth of his being. The delight, which the faithful person experiences from executing God’s divine commandments, and
the great pleasure that he enjoys from
an ethical way of life are unknown feelings for the atheist.The elation which faith bestows to the believer has never been felt by the atheist’s heart.
The assurance that arises from faith in God’s providence, which relieves man from the anxiety of life’s worries, is a power unknown to him. 

St. Nektarios of Pentapolis

Study Says Fasting May Help Protect Brain

Fasting a day or two a week may protect the brain against degenerative diseases like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, according to a study by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in Baltimore, USA.

Meeting of the AAAS:

"Reducing calorie consumption could help the brain, but simply reducing food intake may not be the best way to enable this protection. It's probably better to alternate periods of fasting, in which you eat almost nothing, with periods in which you eat all you want," said Mark Mattson, head of the neuroscience lab of the Institute during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver.

The National Institute of Ageing based its conclusions on a study with laboratory mice, in which some animals received the minimum number of calories every other day. These mice lived twice as long as the animals that were fed normally.


Mattson said that mice that ate every other day were more sensitive to insulin - the hormone that controls blood sugar levels - and needed to produce a smaller quantity of the substance.

High levels of insulin are typically associated with a decrease in brain function and an increased risk of diabetes. Moreover, according to the scientist, fasting would have made the animals to furthermore develop new brain cells and show themselves more resistant to stress, besides equally protecting the mice from diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

According to Mattson, the theory would also be proven by studies in humans who practice fasting, including showing benefits against asthma." The dietary restriction increases energy and lifespan, and protects the brain and the cardiovascular system against age-related diseases," said Mattson.

The team now intends to study the impact of fasting on the brain using magnetic resonance imaging and other techniques.