The Fourth Thursday of Great Lent

Beyond Medical Knowledge Even without anyone to instruct us we are quite able, on the basis of what we see, live and feel, to understand how our body is formed. Its own nature teaches us. It may be useful, nonetheless, to consult experts to have a clearer idea. The science of anatomy has allowed us to know the positions of the individual parts of the human body. Other sciences help us to grasp their uses.

The Fourth Wednesday of Great Lent

The Body was Made by One who Knows What He is Doing Look within yourself. From your own nature you can learn something of your Maker. There is nothing to be ashamed of in your body. If you are in control of its members, they are not in the slightest evil. Adam and Eve in paradise were naked at first and their bodies did not appear shameful or disgusting. Our limbs do not cause sin,

The Fourth Monday of Great Lent

Hope Lessens the Labour The Psalter begins with the words: ‘Happy is the one who does not take the counsel of the wicked for a guide.’ These words immediately show us our final end which is happiness. The hope of future goods, therefore: can help us to accept willingly the sufferings of life. For anyone travelling along an impassable road, the hope of a comfortable hotel is a relief. Merchants have to face many risks,

Eighteenth Day of Christmas Advent: Christ Comes to Restore the Image

Human beings, male and female, are made in the image and according to the likeness of God.1 This is a fundamental doctrine of the Judeo-Christian worldview. It means that we humans are not simply the product of our heredity and environment, of our biological makeup and genetic construction. Neither are we simply the result of some accidental combination of physical particles and material cells, nor merely the outcome of historical processes, economic systems, and sociological

The Essence of Prayer (II)

Every time we come near God, it is either life or death we are confronted with. It is life if we come to him in the right spirit, and are renewed by him. It is death if we come to him without the spirit of worship and a contrite heart; it is death if we bring pride or arrogance. Therefore, before we set out on the so-called thrilling adventure of prayer, it cannot be too

The Divine Election

Mary “has found favor with God” (Luke 1:30). She was chosen and ordained to serve in the Mystery of the Incarnation. And by this eternal election or predestination she was in a sense set apart and given an unique privilege and position in the whole of mankind, nay in the whole of creation. She was given a transcendent rank, as it were. She was at once a representative of the human race, and set apart.

The Fifth Thursday after Pascha: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN!

Resurrection, by Fr. Thomas Hopko Christ is risen from the dead! This is the main proclamation of the Christian faith. It forms the heart of the Church’s preaching, worship and spiritual life. “… if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor 15:14). According to Orthodox doctrine there is no competition of “lives” between God and Jesus, and no competition of “powers.” The power

Third Wednesday after Pascha: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN!

In Adam our nature was split or dissected into two through sin. Yet in Christ this split is healed completely. This then is the abolition of death, or rather of mortality. In other words, it is the potential and dynamic restoration of the fullness and wholeness of human existence. It is a recreation of the whole human race, a “new creation” (ή καινή κτίσις),a new revelation of Divine love and Divine power, the consummation of

Why We Glorify the Cross during Great Lent

In the services for this Sunday the Holy Church glorifies the Holy Cross and the fruits of the death of the Savior on the Cross. She will carry out the Holy Cross into the middle of the temple for veneration, and is why the Sunday is called the Veneration of the Cross. In the hymns for this day the holy Church, inviting us to honor the holy cross, tenderly appeals: “Now the angelic hosts gather


In the Orthodox teaching, sin is not only the transgression of a rule leading to punishment; it is always a mutilation of life given to us by God. It is for this reason that the story of the original sin is presented to us as an act of eating. For food is means of life; it is that which keeps us alive. But here lies the whole question: what does it mean to be alive