Tags

The Thirty-Third Day of Great Lent. St. Mary of Egypt and Moral Progress

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 11, 2015 The suggestion has been made several times recently that my criticism of moral progress is not supported by the example of the saints. Surely, it is said, the transformations we read about in the lives of the saints are clear examples of moral progress. A noted such example, perhaps the greatest story of repentance and asceticism known in the Church, is that of St. Mary of Egypt. It is worth

The Sixteenth Day of Great Lent. Synaxis in Honor of the Archangel Gabriel

On the Leavetaking of the Feast of the Annunciation, the Church commemorates the Archangel Gabriel, who announced the great mystery of the Incarnation of Christ to the Virgin Mary.  Mindful of the manifold appearances of the holy Archangel Gabriel and of his zealous fulfilling of God’s will and confessing his intercession for Christians before the Lord, the Orthodox Church calls upon its children to pray to the great Archangel with faith and love. The Synaxis

A Lesser Atonement

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 28, 2015 It has long been known that people tend to see what they think they are seeing. This is particularly the case where what we think is familiar and expected. The case of “mistaken identity” flows from our assumptions and expectations. This is nowhere more true than when we are reading Scripture. If a passage has years of associations, it is almost impossible to see anything else. I have noticed this

“Who Am I”?

As humans we have struggled continually through time to answer the seemingly simple question; “Who am I?” Philosophers continue to wrestle with this question. Some popular psychology tells us that we are who people tell us we are. Others tell us that we are who we want to be. And of course pop-society advertising tells us that we are what we eat, drink, wear, drive, etc. So we go through life trying to define ourselves

Abraham at the End of the World

By Father Stephen Freeman, January 24, 2015  This is an exercise in the Orthodox reading of the Scriptures. My thoughts frequently return to this story and this line of thought. This article is greatly expanded from an earlier version. The habits of modern Christians run towards history: it is a lens through which we see the world. We see a world of cause and effect, and, because the past is older than the present, we look

Saved in Weakness

By Father Stephen Freeman, January 21, 2015  We are not saved by our talents and gifts nor by our excellence – we are saved by our weakness and our failure. I have made this point in several ways in several articles over the recent past – and the question comes up – but what does that look like? How do I live like that? The question can be somewhat urgent for some because the message

The Feast of Holy Pentecost

The Feast of Holy Pentecost is celebrated each year on the fiftieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter) and ten days after the Feast of the Ascension of Christ. The Feast is always celebrated on a Sunday. The Feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, a feast of the Jewish tradition. It also celebrates the establishment of the Church through the preaching

Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen! Wednesday of the Second Week of Pascha: We Should Follow Him.

Christ said: ‘I am the Way’. If He is the Way, we should follow Him, not outwardly, but from within. And we must remember that on Golgotha and in Gethsemane He was confronted by the hostility of everyone. Alone. There are times, when the love of Christ touches us that we feel eternity. This cannot be understood rationally. God acts in a manner proper to Himself, which is beyond reason. We must not be too

Renewal (Bright) Friday. Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!

An anthropology which embraces an [Orthodox Christian] notion of sin will deal with good and evil in terms not of moral value, but of being and non-being, life and death, communion and separation, disease and healing. And the Church addresses us in the same terms: we are to be grafted by baptism on to the living Body of the Risen Christ, and thus enabled to receive the power of the resurrection by which our life

The Great and Holy Friday. Good Friday and the Irony of Believing

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 10, 2015 Irony is probably too much to ask of youth. If I can remember myself in my college years, the most I could muster was sarcasm. Irony required more insight. There is a deep need for the appreciation of irony to sustain a Christian life. Our world is filled with contradiction. Hypocrisy is ever present even within our own heart. The failures of Church and those who are most