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ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Third Thursday of Pascha: Paschal Musing

By Fr. John Breck, May 1, 2002 Dylan Thomas wrote some eminently quotable lines on the subject of death. The most familiar and powerful are also the most troubling. “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” This ringing summons to courage in the face of one’s approaching end betrays an all too common attitude toward death. In this perspective death is and remains the last enemy.

The Holy and Great Friday: Unbelief and Good Friday

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 5, 2018  Christmas and Easter are often difficult days for those who do not believe in God. Christians are more public about their faith than at other times of the year and this brings with it an annoyance. Christmas bespeaks the birth of God as a human being. Easter bespeaks a resurrection from the dead. For those who do not believe, such miracles, spoken of so glowingly and with such

The Holy and Great Tuesday: The End of the Fast and the ‘Air’ of Asceticism

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, April 9, 2017 Having completed the forty days that bring profit to our soul, we beseech You, in Your love for us: May we behold the Holy Week of Your Passion that in it we may glorify Your majestic works and ineffable dispensation for us, singing with one mind, ‘Lord glory to You’. Great Lent has come to an end. It’s an event which cannot but move all consciously-striving Christians, whatever

The Sixth Friday of Great Lent: An Atonement of Shame – Orthodoxy and the Cross

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 6, 2017 Some decades ago in my early (Anglican) priesthood, a parishioner brought a crucifix back from South America. The question for me as a priest was whether I would accept the crucifix as a gift and place it in the Church. I like crucifixes, my taste was always towards the Catholic direction. But, you have to bear in mind that Spanish/Latin crucifixes have a tendency to be, well, rather

The Fifth Friday of Great Lent: The Danger and Shame of Forgiveness

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 27, 2017  Forgiveness is so terribly hard. On a psychological level, it feels dangerous. The shame engendered by any insult or injury is our experience of vulnerability, and we instinctively react to protect ourselves. That, we must understand, is not a sin, it is an instinct that is a gift from God. The example of Christ, who did not “turn His face from the spitting and the shame,” is also

The Second Wednesday of Great Lent: On Humility and the Humble Outlook (Part 2)

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, November 4, 2014 By Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi Βlessed and favoured people who are humble are meek, calm, serene, attached to virtue, opposed to evil, untroubled by any circumstance or threat. They live in the bosom of the faith, like infants in the maternal embrace of grace. They never live for themselves, because they’ve forgotten what that is. They’ve become one with the others; they become all things to everyone, in

The First Monday (Pure) of Great Lent: It’s a Crying Shame

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 2, 2016 Orthodox Christians make a beginning of their Lenten discipline with the forgiving of everyone for everything (theoretically). This is expressed in the rite of forgiveness which is part of Vespers on the Sunday of Cheesefare. The ritual expression of forgiveness can easily and often be little more than a ritual. It reminds us of the need to forgive, but does not, on its own, achieve what it expresses.

The Answer to Anxiety and Stress

By Fr. Christopher Makiej, November 4, 2019 I want to talk to you today about the answer, the solution, to worry and anxiety in your life. There are so many people stressed, anxious, worried, pessimistic about life. But the Church provides us with the answer in the Bible – Saint Paul’s letter to the Phillipians 4: 4-9. TRY TO BE JOYFUL The first answer-response to worry and anxiety is to rejoice – to seek to have some joy

The Sixteenth Day of Christmas Advent. The Apostle Andrew: The First-Called of the Twelve

At the very beginning of His ministry, Christ passed by two brother-fishermen casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee. He spoke very simple words to them: Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). They did just this, straightaway casting aside their entire former lives. These were Simon-Peter and Andrew. Why, then, has the Apostle Andrew – whose memory we celebrate today – received the title of the “first-called”? The brothers came

Do We Believe in God?

By Stephen Freeman, April 5, 2016  Belief is a strange thing. It rests like an idea in our mind. We can examine it, walk around it, argue it, and change it or reject it. But as an idea, belief really isn’t such a big thing. It is probably quite correct to say that most of the things we “believe” make no difference whatsoever. This is especially true of what most people mean when they say,