Daily Meditations

The Third Friday of Great Lent: The Cross and the One Ring of Power

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, October 24, 2017  The greatest trial surrounding the One Ring of Power in Tolkien’s novels, was the temptation to use it. No one (except for Sauron himself) seemed to think that they would do anything but good with the Ring. The Ring would protect Gondor; the Ring would bring order to the world (Saruman). And though it was indeed occasionally used to escape Trolls or to get friends out of Elfin prisons, every

The Third Thursday of Great Lent: Make Peace in Your Heart

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, August 14, 2016 The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (10:38-42; 11:27-28) “Be still and know that I am God.” Martha is not still and so she misses the obvious presence of God right there in her own living room.  She is so concerned about herself, so full of herself and her serving, that she cannot think of anything else.  Sometimes it’s just better

The Third Wednesday of Great Lent: Saint Silouan, the Great Spiritual Figure of the 20th Century

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on September 25, 2021 Alexandros Christodoulou Saint Silouan the Athonite Saint Siouan- Symeon Ivanovich Antonov, before his tonsure- was born in 1866 into a peasant family in the Tambov region of Russia. From the age of four he began wondering: ‘Where is this God? When I grow up, I’ll travel the whole world looking for Him’. When he was a little bit older he heard about the life of a holy

The Third Tuesday of Great Lent: Ego and Humility

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, September 3, 2017 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (21:33-42) The Lord spoke this parable: “There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of

The Third Monday of Great Lent: The Fullness of Lent

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 9, 2022  This article comes to mind as we celebrate the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts on these Lenten Wednesdays and Fridays. There is nothing to compare to them in the Christian liturgical world. It’s hard to think of fasting in the midst of such a feast. Orthodoxy has a number of “favorite” words – all of which fall outside the bounds of normal speech. Though we commonly use the

The Second Friday of Great Lent: Unmediated Grace

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 30, 2013 This Sunday the Orthodox Calendar commemorates St. Gregory Palamas – perhaps the most significant theologian and teacher of the late Byzantine period. He particularly is important when considering the nature of the Christian experience of God. Orthodoxy believes that it is truly possible to know God though He remains unknowable. The mystery of this true knowledge constitutes the heart of St. Gregory’s work. I first encountered St. Gregory’s

The Second Thursday of Great Lent: The Ultimate Letting Go

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, August 27, 2017 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (19:16-26) There are a few themes that run throughout the Gospels. Today we have one that shapes the faith. Without it Christianity becomes something else entirely. The Church sang it in a liturgical hymn very early in her history. St. Paul quotes it in his Letter

The Second Wednesday of Great Lent: Self-absorption, the Cancer of the Soul

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on August 7, 2021 Archimandrite Iakovos Kanakis Self-absorption is a cancer in the soul and has been so from the time of the first human beings until today. It can be defined simply as love for yourself. ‘Is that bad?’, it might be asked. The problem is that you love your ‘old’ self. How do I know if I’m self-absorbed? According to Saint Païsios, gluttony, egotism, stubbornness and jealousy all have self-absorption as their starting-point.

The Second Tuesday of Great Lent: Faith Lets Go

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, July 31, 2016 The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (9:1-8) Often in the Gospel stories, when Jesus brings hope, comfort and healing, detractors often show up. Like the scribes in today’s story. See them as representing the know-it-alls and the self-righteous.  We all know people like that and sometimes they may even be us.  We must be careful not to be like that.

The Second Monday of Great Lent: Annunciation of the Theotokos

Reading Six months after John the Forerunner’s conception, the Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth, a town of Galilee, unto Mary the Virgin, who had come forth from the Temple a mature maiden (see Nov. 21). According to the tradition handed down by the Fathers, she had been betrothed to Joseph four months. On coming to Joseph’s house, the Archangel declared: “Rejoice, thou Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art