Christmas Hope

Saint Sophia Cathedral
Online Resources for our Religious Edification

TOPIC OF THE WEEK – Christmas Hope
“Perhaps this year you can relate to “… the experience of another Family who also had been separated from family activities that first Christmas… “

In a grotto under the altar of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem lies the spot where Tradition says Christ was born, marked by a 14-point silver star.


“…Far from their home, the Holy Family made do with the humble resources God provided. No room for them in the inn but not without hope, for a shepherd’s cave sheltered them. No warm blankets or bed in which to lay a newborn baby; nevertheless not without swaddling cloths and a hay-filled manger to warm Him. Extended family wanting – both Mary and Joseph’s own parents had long since passed away – yet not without company when shepherds were ushered in by angels, and kings were led to them by a Star.

There in the quiet, rustic shelter far from the bustling,  census-laden Bethlehem, lay baby Jesus. He was small and vulnerable. Consistent with how He revealed Himself in the gospel narratives, He entered the scene of our life circumstances humbly. Hope seems to come with humility. Sometimes it takes sickness to quiet us down enough to experience calm and peace. Sometimes it takes being away from our community to realize the great gift of belonging.

So, fellow pilgrim of life, do not lose heart if you are missing and longing for family to celebrate life with.. Just follow His Star, and you will find a Holy Family….”

Read the entire article Christmas Hope.


View Where God Was Born: A Tour Inside the Holy Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Middle School:

Tour The Grotto of the Nativity, Bethlehem

High School:

“…Do not give up if you get sidetracked and become isolated, for deep within you something is telling your soul that there is a Light and a love waiting to be embraced and nurtured. Do not fear that you don’t belong to the celebration of life: keep striving to do what it takes to survive and in the fullness of time, like the shepherds, you will be invited by a host of angelic powers proclaiming “good tidings of comfort and joy” that will cause you to proclaim that indeed “He is the Christ!” Do not be troubled if doubts assail you as they did Joseph, for God will send His angels to reaffirm His truth and show you where to go for safetyDo not despair when you fear insignificance, pain, sickness or even death, because you belong to the One Who came to share in all these hardships with you. He has made suffering a pathway to eternal life.

There is no problem too big that He cannot overcome, no sin too heinous that He cannot forgive, no pain so great that is immune to His comfort. He has not left us alone, nor will He ever leave us alone. He is Emmanuel, “God with us,” and no matter what life’s circumstances, that will not change.”

Read the entire article Christmas Hope.




A Message from Maria Spanos

I am passionate about our Orthodox Christian faith and seek to help others learn as much as they can about it. My purpose here is to share online resources that help strengthen our relationship with Christ and bind us closer to His Church. I believe they are invaluable in learning about our precious Orthodox Tradition, and are a great aid for teaching family members, friends and others about Orthodoxy. ~Maria

Two of my favorite quotes:

“A true Christian behaves in this life so that it may be a preparation for the future one and not only a life here below. In his actions, he does not think what will be said of him here but of what will be said there in heaven; he represents to himself that he is always in the presence of God, of the angels and all the saints, and remembers that someday they will bear witness of his thoughts, words, and deeds.”  — Saint John of Kronstadt


Of all the holy works, the education of children is the most holy.”
— St. Theophan the Recluse