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The Divine Compass

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 28, 2016  I was in a small shop yesterday in a coastal town. Among its many knick-knacks were a large variety of compasses. We have become a compass-driven culture today, after a lull in which they were largely passé. Of course, the compass is now a very passive thing, hidden within the workings of the resident GPS system in our phones. There has long been a debate about the presence

The Dormition Fast

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, August 1, 2021 From the 1st to the 14th of August we fast in honor of Our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God. It’s a strict fast, with fish eaten only on the feast of the Transfiguration of the Savior (6 August). If 15 August falls on a Wednesday or Friday, there is a dispensation only for fish. Fasting is a commandment from God. The first. The oldest of all.

A Faith You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 25, 2016  In a now-famous experiment, volunteers were fitted with inverting lenses, such that everything they saw appeared upside-down. In a few days their brains adjusted and what they saw appeared correctly. When the lenses were removed, their naked eyes now saw things inverted, though again, after a few days their vision returned to normal. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and created in such a fashion we adapt to

How Unintentional Are Unwittingly Committed Sins?

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, December 3, 2017 Ioannis Kornarakis, Emeritus Professor of Pastoral Psychology and Confession, University of Athens († 2013) All of us have had the experience of unwittingly committing a sin. And, of course, every confessor/spiritual guide often hears, at almost every confession, the assurance or claim on the part of the penitent that a particular sin was unintentional. ‘Honestly, father, that sin occurred without me realizing. It was entirely unintentional. I didn’t

Deicide is the Equivalent of Patricide

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, January 14, 2017 According to the Biblical concept, ‘patricide’ is essentially the same as the sin of Adam and Eve. Their effort to become gods through the forbidden fruit and not through the alignment of their will and their actions to the commandment and will of God is the first attempt to remove God from the world and from our life. It’s the first attempt to expel God from the human

The Apostles’ Fast

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 2, 2010  The Orthodox year has a rhythm, much like the tide coming in and going out – only this rhythm is an undulation between seasons of fasting and seasons (or a few days) of feasting. Every week, with few exceptions, is marked by the Wednesday and Friday fast, and every celebration of the Divine Liturgy is prepared for by eating nothing after midnight until we have received the Holy

Is there Spiritual Life and Sanctity Today?

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, April 14, 2016 By Archimandrite Kyrillos, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Essex  My immediate answer to both parts of this question is a very affirmative ‘Yes’. God does not change. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the nature of human beings has not changed either. Since Adam, humans are dignified with such a power over their own destiny that they can to a great degree turn

People as Liturgical Beings, Part 1

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, October 23, 2014 By Abbot George Kapsanis of Gregoriou We usually characterize people as rational and independent beings. These attributes are correct enough, but don’t convey human nature in its completeness. Through the liturgical experience, we feel that, more than anything, people are liturgical beings. They were made to serve, to offer themselves and the whole world to God with gratitude, praise and worship, to unite with God, to be sanctified,

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Sixth Tuesday of Pascha: From the Depths of Hell

By Fr John Breck, April 1, 2009 The final Old Testament reading for Holy Saturday vespers—Daniel 3:1-57, the story of the three young men in the fiery furnace in Babylon—is composite, drawing upon both Aramaic and Greek (Septuagint) traditions. The latter modifies and amplifies a detail the Church’s patristic witnesses consider essential. That small detail is a typological image that announces the primary theme of Orthodox Pascha or Easter: the descent of Christ into the

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad!

Submitted by Fr. John Breck, May 2, 2009 Attributed by all of the extant manuscripts to St John Chrysostom, this little-known, pseudepigraphical homily from the fifth century focuses on “the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.”[1] It begins by summarizing various fruits of the resurrection in the lives of believers, then exhorts readers or listeners to assume conduct appropriate to the day of Holy Pascha. In the rhetorical style typical of the period, it stresses antitheses,