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Jesus Is Not Your Imaginary Friend

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 27, 2015  At some point in our history, we began to attribute a merely mental reality to anything that was not an object and reduced the importance of objects to what they could contribute to our mental reality. We live in a sea of psychology. Things, we believe, are only what we think they are. My “relationship” with you means nothing more than the set of inner experiences and dispositions I have towards

The Mystical Supper. Authentic Christianity.

The Mystical Supper: The Eucharist is both the source and the summit of our life in Christ By Abbot Tryphon, November 18, 2019 At the Mystical Supper in the Upper Room Jesus gave a dramatically new meaning to the food and drink of the sacred meal. He identified Himself with the bread and wine: “Take, eat; this is my Body. Drink of it all of you; for this is my Blood of the New Covenant”

The Non-Orthodox

What about people who are not Orthodox? By Abbot Tryphon, November 11, 2019 It is always a pity when people who claim to be Orthodox make judgements against fellow Christians. In the tradition of Orthodoxy, wherever we find beauty and truth, it is of God, and it is our calling, as Orthodox Christians, to rejoice when we see others have at least some portion of the Truth. Slamming others for what they do not have,

Twelfth Day of Christmas Advent, “O Give Thanks unto the Lord!”

By Father Steven Kostoff “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever!”  (Psalm 136:1) In an article titled “A Moveable Fast,” the scholar Elyssa East summarized the history of our American Thanksgiving, and the intentions and practices of the early New England colonists toward this national feast.  Initially, she writes, Thanksgiving was built around the Christian rhythm of fasting and feasting.  Bearing that in mind, she also offered her

A Gifted Existence

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, October 14, 2015 You cannot give thanks for what has not been given to you. This simple maxim goes to the heart of the Christian life. If I steal your money and burn down your house, I cannot offer thanks for what I have done. It was not given to me from God. Anything that is not a gift has the nature of sin. I can give thanks to God that

A Practicing Christian

Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 18, 2015 My father was an auto mechanic. He learned the trade by working on cars (airplanes before that in the war). He liked his work and would come home in the evenings with stories of things he had diagnosed and fixed. I thought he was amazing. Stanley Hauerwas tells similar stories about his own father who was a brick mason. A brick mason learns his trade by working with another

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.

Contemplative Consciousness: Mirroring the Divine

In Christianity the inner self is simply a stepping stone to an awareness of God. Man [sic] is the image of God, and his inner self is a kind of mirror in which God not only sees Himself, but reveals Himself to the “mirror” in which He is reflected. Thus, through the dark, transparent mystery of our own inner being we can, as it were, see God “through a glass.” All this is of course pure metaphor. It is a way

Begotten of the Father

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 27, 2015  No revelation is more central to the Christian faith than God as Father. Some might immediately respond that the Trinity should be seen as the central revelation. But, in Orthodox understanding, the Trinity has its source (πηγή) in the Father.  We should understand this not only as a matter of Trinitarian thought, but as the proper grounding of the spiritual life as well. To be a Christian in the proper sense, to

Focusing On One’s Own Sins. The Corporate Life of the Church.

By Abbot Tryphon, October 10, 2019 If you are to win the battle, focus only on your own sins When we take our eyes off our own sins we focus only on the sins of the other.  As we allow their sins get our attention, we fail to struggle with the passions that keep us from the wholeness that God intended, and we move ever closer to the abyss of our own fall. Ignoring our