Human Beings and the Cosmos (Part VII): Church and Cosmos (Part II)

The spiritual discipline and mysticism of the early Church, which have come down to us chiefly through the Eastern .tradition, amount to a veritable ‘physics of the glorious body’. The body, being flooded with light, then illuminates the surrounding cosmos to which it is inseparably joined. Solovyev writes that by the act of descending to the roots of life, and crucifying the cosmic eros in order to transform it into a regenerating force, ‘we release

The World—Is it Good or Bad?

By Father Stanley Harakas One of the most confusing words in the Christian vocabulary is the “world.” Sometimes it seems to have good meanings, sometimes neutral and sometimes the word “world” has bad meanings. How can we make sense of this? The World as the Creation is Good: In the story of the creation of the world by God, repeatedly we see that world is described as good (Genesis 1). Because God is goodness itself, the

Human Beings and the Cosmos (Part IV): The Fall as a Cosmic Catastrophe

The Fathers, by detailed study of the Bible, have demonstrated that the Fall was a truly cosmic catastrophe, eclipsing the paradisal state with a new state of universal existence. Man, the son of God, wished to kill the divine Father and take possession of Mother Earth. ‘Man,’ says Maximus the Confessor, ‘wished to lay hold on the things of God without God, before God and not according to God’s will.’ And so ‘he delivered the


FROM the foregoing we understand that by prayer the holy Fathers are not referring to occasional prayer, morning and evening devotions and grace at meals, but for them prayer is synonymous with unceasing prayer, the life of prayer. Pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5: 17) is to be taken as a literal command. Understood in this way, prayer is the science of scientists and the art of artists. The artist works in clay or colours,


By Mother Mary and Bishop Kallistos Ware We can apply this approach also to the question of abstinence from sexual relations. It has long been the Church’s teaching that during seasons of fasting married couples should try to live as brother and sister, but this does not at all signify that sexual relations within marriage are in themselves sinful. On the contrary, the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete – in which, more than

Return to Paradise

Adam was driven out of Paradise, because in disobedience he had eaten food; but Moses was granted the vision of God, because he had cleansed the eyes of his soul by fasting. If then we long to dwell in Paradise, let us abstain from all needless food; and if we desire to see God, let us like Moses fast for forty days. (Third Troparion of the Praises, Matins of Forgiveness Sunday) 8 ANOTHER THEME OF


Do not direct your gaze towards the enemy. Never get into a controversy with him whom you cannot possibly resist. With his millennia of experience he knows the very trick that can render you helpless at once. No, stand in the middle of your heart’s field and keep your gaze upward; then the heart is protected from all sides at once: the Lord Himself sends His angels to guard it both from right and left


By throwing off the outer bonds, you throw off the inner as well. While you are freeing yourself from external concerns, your heart is freed from inner pain. It follows from this that the hard warfare you are compelled to wage with yourself is exclusively a means. As such it is neither good nor bad; the saints often liken it to a prescribed cure. However painful it may be to follow out, it nevertheless remains

The Destiny of Eros: Woman, the Bearer of Spices (Part II)

Every human being, man or woman, according to his or her nature, is called to a degree of virility – remember the strong women of the Bible- and also, in relation to God, a degree of femininity. Progress in the spiritual life leads men as well as women to a quasi-feminine attitude in the presence of the mystery. That is why the incarnation was accomplished through a woman, who is now at the heart of

Christos Anesti! The Holy and Great Sunday of Pascha!

On the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha, Orthodox Christians celebrate the life-giving Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This feast of feasts is the most significant day in the life of the Church. It is a celebration of the defeat of death, as neither death itself nor the power of the grave could hold our Savior captive. In this victory that came through the Cross, Christ broke the bondage of sin, and