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Bashing Heads

Troublesome passages of the Old Testament By Abbot Tryphon, November 17, 2019  It is important when reading the Old Testament, to remember that it was written as an account of a peoples’ journey to God. As the Israelites journey continued, they came to know God, little by little, through God’s self-revelation to their prophets, and their understanding of God expanded. Christ, as the Logos (the Word of God), was from the very beginning, and identified

The Third Day of Christmas Advent. Fasting for Christmas

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 19, 2020 [This past Sunday], November 15, the Orthodox Church began its “Winter Lent,” the fast that prepares for the feast of the Nativity. Somewhat similar to Advent, it is the older practice, a full 40-day fast, that reminds us that Christmas, joy that it is, is a foretaste of Pascha. The Cave of Bethlehem reminds us of the Cave of Hades (icons of the Descent into Hell picture the

Christ and Nothing (Part XI)

By David Bentley Hart, October 2003 The only cult that can truly thrive in the aftermath of Christianity is a sordid service of the self, of the impulses of the will, of the nothingness that is all that the withdrawal of Christianity leaves behind. The only futures open to post-Christian culture are conscious nihilism, with its inevitable devotion to death, or the narcotic banality of the Last Men, which may be little better than death.

Being Ready to Die. A Grateful Death. The Companionship of the Dead.

Being Ready to Die Death often happens suddenly a car accident, a plane crash, a fatal fight, a war, a flood, and so on. When we feel healthy and full of energy, we do not think much about our death. Still, death might come very unexpectedly. How can we be prepared to die? By not having any unfinished relational business. The question is, Have I forgiven those who have hurt me and asked forgiveness from

Taking the Sting out of Death. Living Our Passages Well. The Quality of Life.

Taking the Sting out of Death Dying is returning home. But even though we have been told this many times by many people, we seldom desire to return home. We prefer to stay where we are. We know what we have; we do not know what we will get. Even the most appealing images of the afterlife cannot take away the fear of dying. We cling to life, even when our relationships are difficult, our

A Parable of a Kingdom

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 12, 2020 There was a wicked kingdom in which there lived a large number of slaves. The kingdom fought wars, built cities and was extremely successful in growing its economy. Its achievements were the envy of all the other kingdoms. The slaves did well, too. They were not given low jobs or manual labor. Instead, they were “helping” slaves. Their task was to help the people of the Kingdom get by.

Fleeting Joy is Banished

By Abbot Tryphon, April 21, 2020 For everlasting Joy comes with Christ’s Resurrection We all have certain things in our lives that we feel passionate about. When I was a young man, long distance running was my passion, and nothing gave me more joy than the run. Every day was organized around running. I’d even plan vacations around my runs, often heading to Vancouver, B.C., so I could run around Stanley Park. I’d stay in

The Soul and the Hidden Weight of Glory

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 8, 2015  Everyone likes things for various reasons. This is perhaps my favorite piece that I’ve done this year. I’m not entirely certain why. I think that in some way it touches on the fragility of our existence and even of our belief. I hope that rereading it might be a blessing for you as well. From a Facebook conversation: Though I wish I believed otherwise, in the depths of my being,

A Matter of Life and Death

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 5, 2015  There are very few categories more basic than life and death. For Classical Christian thinking, they are essential. There has also been a tendency in both theology and philosophy, however, to move away from these fundamental categories and become lost in the complexities of other language. Thinking about the moral life is a prime example. A word like “sin” becomes an obscure subset of legal wrangling and tortured

Becoming Personal

By Stephen Freeman, August 1, 2015  “Person” is among the most difficult words in the classical Christian vocabulary. It is difficult on the one hand because the word has a common meaning in modern parlance that is not the same meaning as its classical one. And it is difficult on the other hand even when all of its later meanings and associations are stripped away – because what it seeks to express is simply a very