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Seventh Day of Christmas Advent: The Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple

During the first days of the Christmas fast the Church celebrates the feast of the entrance of the child Mary into the Jerusalem temple. Called in the Church The Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, this festival, which is not among the biblically recorded events, is one of the twelve major feasts of the Orthodox Church year. Its purpose is not so much to commemorate an historical happening as to celebrate a

On Christian Authenticity (Part I)

Lack of authenticity and experience produces Christians who, rather than being saved in the Church, feel that the Church needs to be rescued and saved by them. Rather than consider those around us as Christ’s brethren, we view them as enemies to be destroyed or allies obligated to support our opinions. Rather than entrust our soul to the power of God’s grace, we (with an inexcusable naivete) subject it to the dubious scalpels of psychotherapy,

Father Maximos on the Fruit of Faith

“Fr. Maxime, why do you suppose St. Paul placed the fruit of faith at the bottom end of his hierarchy?” Michael asked. “This is an important point. Paul did not place faith at the top part of his hierarchy but in the bottom triad, namely faith, gentleness, and self-control,” Fr. Maximos replied, extending three fingers of his right hand. “Why? Because, the apostle claims that a time will come when faith will be transcended. It

The Untamable Textbook and Its Handouts: Ruminations on Scripture—Tradition Relationship (Part V)

REV. DR. EUGEN J. PENTIUC Scripture’s polyphony is a pastorally more efficient way to cope with the tough questions of the suffering of the just and the silence of God than any flat statement such as creatio ex nihilo. When Tradition fails to give an adequate explanation, untamable Scripture through its ambiguous, enigmatic language and imagery offers us alternative routes of inquiry and further meditation that may at least provide an authorized word on the

MASHUP: Conversations about Cinema and the Church (Part II)

By Paul Lundberg With regard to work, changes in the American and global economy have undermined stable, lifelong careers and replaced them with careers of lower security, more frequent job changes and an ongoing need for new training and education. It’s no longer a straight upward path: getting your foot in the door, working hard for your first promotion, and then moving into management or trading up for another position in the same field. Young

MASHUP: Conversations about Cinema and the Church (Part I)

By Paul Lundberg Perhaps you’ve seen a trailer for the movie Cowboys and Aliens. And perhaps you’ve wondered, “Has it come to this?” Have we exhausted every possible storyline to the point that we now must combine genres to come up with something new? Apparently it has, and it boasts the star power of Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford-a.k.a. James Bond and Indiana Jones. When I first saw the trailer for this movie, conflict between

Dwarfs on the Shoulders of Giants

And all that is present today. It is in us. Granted, there is a certain amount of rubbish: the sins of the Church. But above all else there is a crowd of wings fluttering in our hearts: the holiness of the Holy One, of God, and the holiness of Christians sanctified by mortification in their faith and their love. We have the twenty centuries of the Church’s life in our blood. We are its heirs.

Christians Bring the Church to Birth

Each of us ought to realize this fact: each one of us is also the Church. The Church belongs to the second Adam, the Christ. From his side dripping blood and water on the hill of the skull, God took the Church, while the eyes of the Crucified were closing for their three days’ sleep. When on the third day the New Adam awoke, he embraced the Church and made her fruitful with his Spirit.

How to Pray

I think the one thing the Church should do is teach people how to pray. Contemplative prayer in particular can give people back their birthright as children of God (inherently connected to and created by God). That is the only way to know your birthright experientially. Prayer is not something you do; it’s finally something you are whenever you collapse back into the very Ground of your being. Unfortunately, we flee into our minds instead—to

Sacred Cosmology in the Christian Tradition (Part V)

St. Maximos the Confessor 1,400 years ago, St. Maximos the Confessor (580-662) brought the ‘Logos’ paradigm to new heights, creating an unsurpassed synthesis showing that all are representatives of one simple and supreme principle, the Logos Principle which underlies the deep structure of the cosmos. For Maximos, the perennial integrity paradigm of the cosmos was self-evident. It was the Church as the cosmic ‘living symbol’; the house of all horizons and perspectives. The Logos is