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St. Silouan the Athonite on How to Talk to Heterodox

By Seraphim Danckaert St. Silouan the Athonite (1866–1938) is one of the most beloved recent saints, having been canonized in 1987. A simple monk who nonetheless attracted pilgrims from all over the world, his teaching emphasized the absolute necessity of love and humility for authentic Christian life. As is evident from the story below, the saint believed these virtues should guide all aspects of Christian witness, including how we interact with and preach the truth

The Times They Are A-Changin’

“Do not be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.” 1 John 3:13 Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. Recently I came across a news story that had everything: patriarchal men facing off against earnest feminists who were protesting male oppression and church traditionalism. The story had liberated sexuality, violence, and people screaming in frustration who couldn’t take it anymore. It had a conference of 17,000 who gathered at the annual the

Marketing the Church: “Mad Men” or “Holy Heralds” (Part I)

By Father Frank Marangos One of the objectives of many churches is to attract people who do not participate in the life of a church. According to Barna Group Research data (2011) 28% of the adult population has not attended any church activities, including worship services, in the past six months. That translates to nearly 65 million adults. When their children under the age of 18 who live with them are added to the picture,

The Destiny of Eros: Uncertainties

Nothing touches the mystery of personal existence like this theme of human love, which is why we should show reverence and restraint, and heed even more the evangelical caution against judging. We should remember the attitude of Jesus towards the woman ‘taken in the very act of adultery’ (John 8.3-11). We should remember the other, almost tangibly sensual account of the same Jesus allowing a prostitute to wipe his feet with her hair and anoint

The Destiny of Eros: The Nuptial Way (Part II)

Marriage is chaste because it integrates the erotic relationship of the two persons into their communion within the Church; as their mutual love is expressed through their complementary natures, each gives the other to the world. For nine centuries there was no distinctive rite of marriage for Christians. The couple would marry, then go together to communion. For a man and a woman whose life is rooted in Christ, their love is something they have

The Lord’s Prayer (Part I)

ALTHOUGH IT IS very simple, and is used so constantly, The Lord’s Prayer is a great problem and a difficult prayer; it is the only one which the Lord gave, yet, reading the Acts, one never finds it used by anyone at all, which is not what one would expect from the words that introduce the prayer in Luke II: I, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ But not being

History of the Feast of the Three Hierarchs

During the reign of the Emperor Alexius Comnenus (1081-1118), a controversy arose in Constantinople among men learned in the Faith and zealous for virtue about the three holy Hierarchs and Fathers of the Church, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. Some argued for Saint Basil [known as Basilians] above the other two because he was able, as none other, to explain the mysteries of the Faith, and rose to angelic rank by

Eighth Day of Christmas Advent: Seeing They Do Not See

If we do not come, we will never see. But it is not enough to come. We also must see. There were many on the earth when Jesus came, but they did not see Him as the Son of God and Savior of the world. And there are many who come to the Church and still do not see. The words apply to them as to those about whom Jesus spoke when He taught them

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,