Daily Meditations

A Sense of Wonder

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at St. Mary Orthodox Church Every time I turn my attention to the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan Woman I am astonished. There is no end to inspiration in this magnificent story. This morning I will make just a few remarks bookended by a couple of startling quotes and hope your imagination might be stirred to consider for yourself the depth of meaning

A Better World is Within You

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 17, 2017  “We must eliminate poverty, oppression, racism…” How is it possible to disagree with the demand for justice? Who would not agree to end all suffering? How can we not commit our lives to bringing about a better world? The desire for justice and an end to suffering are deeply seductive in our modern world. Being told that these are false desires flies in the face of almost everything

Thomas the Apostle. The Good Unbelief of Thomas

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on May 9, 2021 Elder Moses the Athonite † In one of its hymns, our Church calls the unbelief of Thomas “good”. Understandably one would wonder – is there good and bad unbelief? There seems to be, because humans are not purely good or evil. In one who has a clean conscience, good heart and humble thought, everything is clear. In one infected with the virus of unbelief, all is dark and troubled. If

So Plain, So Clear, So Beautiful

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, May 20, 2018 Meeting an actual Christian – that is a saint – is such a beautiful thing. They don’t usually come, in my experience, draped in black robes, wearing weird hats, with long, bushy beards and birken stocks. Saints are far less ostentatious, as if they don’t want to be seen. Humility makes them like children playing hide and seek with the world as St. Seraphim

The Conscience We’ve Forgotten

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on October 16, 2021 Protopresbyter Themistoklis Mourtzanos ‘When our conscience tells us to do something and we ignore it, and when it then tells us to do something else and we don’t do it, we steadily and relentlessly stamp upon it; we bury it and it can’t shout aloud within us anymore, because of the weight that’s covering it’ (Abbas Dorotheos). Nowadays, our conscience has been banished from the stage of upbringing, education, and

Go and Sin No More

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, July 8, 2018 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA. I want to begin today by drawing a comparison between the healing of the paralytic in today’s reading and the healing of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda in John’s Gospel, especially the Lord’s exhortation to go and sin no more. We know that the word sin most used in the Gospels is hamartia or

The Secular Mind Versus the Whole Heart

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 6, 2017  Thinking is among the most misleading things in the modern world, or, to be more precise, thinking about thinking is misleading. For a culture that puts such a great emphasis on materiality, our thinking about thought is decidedly spooky. The philosophy underlying our strangely-constructed modernity is called nominalism (of which there are many formal varieties). Its imaginary construct of the world consists of decidedly separate objects, united only by our thinking

Get Your Soul Back

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 24, 2017  When was the last time you heard someone express concern for their soul? When was the last time you listened earnestly as a friend lamented a psychological or emotional struggle? The reason for the difference is simple: we have become a “soul-less” psychologized society. The classical concern for the soul has been replaced by an overwhelming interest in psychological and emotional “health.” We are becoming a “well-adjusted” society. The soul

Venerable Chariton the Confessor, Abbot of Palestine

Commemorated on September 28 Saint Chariton the Confessor was born at Iconium in the province of Lycaonia, and suffered there during a persecution against Christians in the reign of Emperor Aurelian (270-275). The example of the holy Protomartyr Thekla (September 24), who was also a native of his city, encouraged him to confess Christ, since he had a great devotion to her. Saint Chariton bravely denounced the pagan gods and staunchly confessed faith in the one

More than a Religious Rule

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, September 30, 2018 The Golden Rule is not too hard for us. It is not unnatural or even extraordinary. For those who are created in the image of God, baptized into Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit, unmitigated compassion and kindness is normal. Every time we act in any way opposite to love we are acting against our own nature. That is what we call sin.