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Saint Paraskevi—We are Healed When We Reach Out to Christ

Published by Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis, July 25, 2018 A great crowd followed Him and thronged about Him. And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she

A Terrible Knowledge

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, December 7, 2016  Greek Mythology made the curiosity of Pandora the primary cause of suffering in the world. She fails to resist the lure of finding out what is in a box she is told to leave closed. Opening the box, she unleashes sorrow and suffering into the world. We humans are a curious lot. We want to know everything about our business and much about what is not our business.

The Hand in the Gospel

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 18, 2016  My desk sits looking out of a wall of windows. My small backyard is shaded by a lush green this time of year. At any time of day or night, nature sounds mark the movement of the sun as much as the shifting shadows: birds in the early morning give way to katydids as the sun moves up the sky, succeeded by the drone of frogs as night

People as Liturgical Beings, Part 2

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, October 23, 2014 By Abbot George Kapsanis of Gregoriou People who offer ‘your own from your own, in all things and for all things’ serve God truly and pleasingly. That is, people who recognize that whatever they have is a gift from God. They believe that they’ve got nothing of their own to offer. Everything’s from God and they take from that and offer it to God, together with themselves, their world

The Secular Mind versus the Whole Heart

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 19, 2016 Thinking is among the most misleading things in the modern world, or, to be more precise, thinking about thinking is misleading. For a culture that puts such a great emphasis on materiality, our thinking about thought is decidedly spooky. The philosophy underlying our strangely-constructed modernity is called nominalism (of which there are many formal varieties). It’s imaginary construct of the world consists of decidedly separate objects, united only by our

The Holy and Great Thursday: What Great Thursday Tells Us

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, April 27, 2016 On our journey to Pascha, we are reminded of the Lord’s desire for unity of his flock, that he wishes us to be as one.  The importance of this wish is reflected in the Divine Eucharist because to be in communion with God, we must first be in communion with our fellow man.  All of Jesus’ actions on earth teach us how to love our fellow man. As

The Sixth Monday of Great Lent: The Healthy Shame at the Heart’s Core

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 20, 2017  Imagine: A large crowd has assembled and you know that something special has been planned. Unknown to you, however, is the fact that the something special is for and about you. At a given moment, you are called forward. A short speech detailing some extraordinary thing you have done is given. You had not thought anyone would notice, and you did not expect them to. However, you are being

The Second Friday of Great Lent: Unmediated Grace

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 30, 2013 This Sunday the Orthodox Calendar commemorates St. Gregory Palamas – perhaps the most significant theologian and teacher of the late Byzantine period. He particularly is important when considering the nature of the Christian experience of God. Orthodoxy believes that it is truly possible to know God though He remains unknowable. The mystery of this true knowledge constitutes the heart of St. Gregory’s work. I first encountered St. Gregory’s

The Second Monday of Great Lent: A Truly Rational Faith

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 20, 2016 St. Paul notes that “faith works through love” (Gal. 5:6). This describes the very heart of the ascetic life. Only love extends itself in the self-emptying struggle against the passions without becoming lost in the solipsism of asceticism for its own sake. It is love that endures the contradictions of reality without turning away or reducing them. And it is love that finally comprehends the reality hidden within

Prayers for the Dead

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, May 21, 2016 The Orthodox pray for the departed. The most pressing prayer within the liturgies appointed for this purpose is for God to forgive their sins. We say, “For no one lives and does not sin, for You only are without sin….” This is easily misunderstood, but it goes to the very heart of the mystery of our relationship with God. The same sentiment, interestingly, is offered in the prayers