Daily Meditations

Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries Kosmas and Damianos of Mesopotamia

Christianity flourished in antiquity in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. In defiance of odds of a different kind, the odds of chance, a pair of physician brothers came into the service of Christ. Less than five hundred years later they were followed by two different sets of brothers of identical name and purpose in the service of the Lord. The result is that all six have become saints of the Church. Evidence of divine

The Christianization of a Pagan Holiday Myth

There is also the myth that Christians condemned the pagan festivities of October 31 by replacing it with All Hallows Eve, the day before the Feast of All Saints in the West. It is often recorded that in 601 AD Pope Gregory I issued a now famous edict to his missionaries concerning the native beliefs and customs of the peoples he hoped to convert. Rather than try to obliterate native peoples’ customs and beliefs, the

Father Maximos on the Two Types of Faith

“The Fathers of the Church,” Fr. Maximos continued, “taught that there are two types of faith. The first is simply belief that there is a God as revealed in Holy Scripture. You must reach this stage in order to arrive at the second stage, which is the faith that we call theoria.” When I began my exploration of Eastern Orthodox spirituality, several years back, I was fascinated to notice the difference between the way science

Becoming Fathers and Mothers

Becoming Fathers and Mothers What are we going to do when we get home? When the two sons of the parable of the prodigal son both have returned to their father, what then? The answer is Simple: They have to become fathers themselves. Sons have to become fathers; daughters have to become mothers. Being children of God involves growing up and becoming like God. Jesus doesn’t hesitate to say this: “Be perfect as your heavenly

Agia Skepi, OHI Day, and the People of Greece

While Most of the Orthodox Christian world celebrates the Holy Protection, or Agia Skepi, of the Theotokos on October 1st according to ancient custom, Greeks celebrate the Holy Protection on October 28th as a special holiday in order to invite the secular government of Greece to honor the Theotokos for her special protection over the Greek people during World War 2. The celebration of Holy Protection dates back to 626 A.D., when the miraculous intervention

Keeping Silence, Not Passing Judgment

One sign that asceticism has led a monk to God is the refusal to pass judgment. However severely monks fast and however hard they work, all of that is useless if they nonetheless go on judging others. Asceticism has merely gotten them to the point where they can exalt themselves over others. It has served to satisfy their pride, to heighten their feeling of self-worth. Those who have encountered themselves in their asceticism, those who

Our Collection of Videos

They changed their sky but not their souls. —Horace O Lord you are my rock, my refuge, Who trains my arms for battle, my fingers for war. —Psalm 144 Each of us has a soul but we forget to value it. —St. Teresa of Avila Undergraduates always know exactly what I mean by “mind-tripping” and “inner videos.” These terms describe the way a certain thought or train of thoughts quickly steals our attention and sets

Destiny and Eros: Monasticism, the Fulfillment of Eros, Obedience, Chastity, Poverty

Like John lying on his Master’s breast at the Last Supper, and later, in old age, seeing the dazzling face of the Lord of the universe, the monk is fascinated by the incomparable beauty of the Risen Christ. In him eros is altogether robed in the beauty of love and light, all the more beautiful because it shines through the disfigurement of the Passion and the Cross. There is no more room here for another

The Essence of Prayer (I)

THE GOSPEL OF St Matthew confronts us almost from the beginning with the very essence of prayer. The Magi saw the long-expected star; they set out without delay to find the king; they arrived at the manger, they knelt, they worshipped and they presented their gifts: they expressed prayer in its perfection, which is contemplation and adoration. Often, in more or less popular literature about prayer, we are told that prayer is an enthralling adventure.

Power, Love and Life’s Journey

There are always two worlds. The world as it operates is largely about power; the world as it should be, or “the Reign of God,” is always about love. Conversion is almost entirely about moving from one world to the next, and yet having to live in both worlds at the same time. As you allow yourself to loosen your grip on the ego or bad forms of power, you will gradually see the inadequacy