Fifth Tuesday of Great Lent. Orthodox Christian Lent, Prayer, Fasting and Baptism

By Fr. Patrick Reardon, March 13, 2005 The word “Lent,” now associated exclusively with the observance of the liturgical year, originally meant “spring” and had no directly religious significance. In English usage, however, its reference was gradually limited to the season of preparation for Pascha, a season that does, in fact, coincide with spring. In languages dependent on Latin, the word for Lent is some variant of “forty,” derived from the Latin *quadragesima*. This is

The Fifth Monday of Great Lent. A Southern Lent

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 28, 2010  One of the hallmarks of my generation in the South is that we never grew up without a great deal of attention to God. Whether it was the absolute assurance in the sermons of preachers who could say with some precision who was going where when they died, or even with assurance describe heaven, or the far more mundane mutterings of public figures giving lip-service to the God

The Third Wednesday of Great Lent. The Great and Holy Lenten Fast.

From Old Testament times, the people of God prepared for holy occasions with fasting and prayer, and the New Testament continued with this holy tradition. The Lord Himself fasted for forty days before beginning His earthly ministry, demonstrating the importance of fasting before starting any spiritual task. Christ even went so far as saying “When you fast” (Matt. 6:16), rather than If you fast. Our Lord told his disciples that “when the bridegroom shall be

The Second Friday of Great Lent. A Modern Lent.

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 29, 2019  Few things are as difficult in the modern world as fasting. It is not simply the action of changing our eating habits that we find problematic – it’s the whole concept of fasting and what it truly entails. It comes from another world. We understand dieting – changing how we eat in order to improve how we look or how we feel. But changing how we eat in order to know God

Second Tuesday of Great Lent. Forgiveness, Fasting and Fortunes

By Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis, March 10, 2019 Jesus said “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. “And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when

The Second Monday of Great Lent. Great Lent—The Second Week

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 8, 2009  Great Lent began a week ago for the Orthodox. Interestingly the first week of Lent is the hardest week until Holy Week. There are services pretty much every evening and the rules for fasting are stricter. It’s as if you began a race with a sprint only to realize that there are many more laps to go. Many years ago I was on my high-school track team. I

First Thursday of Great Lent. Understanding and Living Our Faith: How We Experience Lent and Fasting.

By Michael Haldas, March 13, 2019 “Many Christians, unaware of the great value of fasting, either keep the fast with difficulty or reject it altogether. We should not be afraid to fast but embrace it with joy.” (St. John Chrysostom) Fasting is so much more then abstaining from certain foods. Christ reminds us in the Gospels it is more important to pay attention to what comes out of our mouths then what goes into them


The Lord condemned the Pharisee, not because he fasted, but because his motivation was based on pride. The Pharisee wished to be seen by men, and he had no fear of God. He dared to stand before the Lord in pride and arrogance, while the Publican stood afar off, beating his breast, begging for the Lord’s mercy. Whereas the Publican saw his sins, and repented, the Pharisee stood before the Lord in arrogance, thinking he

Prayer of the Heart in an Age of Technology and Distraction, Part 1

By Fr. Maximos (Constas) I was intrigued by the organic connections that the feast of the Presentation which we’re still celebrating and obviously of the Mother of God with the Crucifixion and Resurrection, largely through the prophecy of Symeon, who at this remarkable moment in the Temple says that this Child is a sign that will be spoken against and is set for the rising and falling of many in Israel, and turning to the Theotokos he

The Purpose and Method of Christian Life (Part XI): Means to the End (Part I)

Here is how things stand so far. We have observed the five most important virtues through which the fathers in the Conferences teach us to establish the purity of heart that is the go al of Christian life. These are detachment, discernment, discretion, balance, and humility. We have observed that the fathers taught Christians to practice these virtues in order to guide them to their proper telos, which is the kingdom of God. We have