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The Fourth Thursday of Great Lent: Salvation

More than acquittal and justification By Abbot Tryphon, December 12, 2019 Salvation cannot be explained in legalistic terms of acquittal and justification, for salvation is much more than simply being forgiven and getting into heaven. The close tie between faith and works, when it comes to the Orthodox view of salvation, is not about being “saved” by our works, for this is impossible. Works do not save us, but when placed in the context of

The First Friday of Great Lent: The Sunday of Orthodoxy

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 7, 2009  The first Sunday of Great Lent is always observed as the “Sunday of Orthodoxy” in our Churches. It marks both the return of the icons to the Churches following the end of the Iconoclast Controversy, but also as a summation of all the Holy Teachings of the faith which Orthodoxy holds and for which many have died. Most of our parishes will have a procession around the Church

Holy Tradition. The Church Militant.

Holy Tradition: Holy Tradition supports the proper interpretation of the Bible By Abbot Tryphon, November 24, 2019 Many evangelical protestants see Holy Tradition as standing in direct contrast to Scripture, as though Tradition is always relegated to “the traditions of men”. However, there are numerous references in Holy Scripture to Holy Tradition. For example: “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were

Misplaced Priorities. Situation Ethics.

Misplaced Priorities: Our laziness and misplaced priorities By Abbot Tryphon, November 7, 2019  Our laziness and misplaced priorities regarding the Sunday and holy day services, keep us from our obligations to God, and endanger the soul, for in keeping ourselves away from God’s temple, we remain afar from the cure that comes from participating in the Divine Mysteries. Saint Gregory Palamas tells us that we “may remain uncured, suffering from unbelief in your soul because

Bob, His Doctor, and Your Moral Life

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 15, 2015  Bob woke up one morning and felt terrible. He had no energy and his head hurt. After a while, he decided to go to see his doctor. When he got there the doctor had a number of questions for him: “Are you eating good meals? A balanced diet?” Bob replied, “Yes.” “Are you getting enough exercise?” the doctor continued. “Yes,” Bob said. “Do you smoke?” “No.” “Then, I

The Twenty-Third Day of Christmas Advent. The Nativity Fast.

By Abbot Tryphon, December 7, 2019  Can we be a Christian without fasting? The Nativity Fast is already in progress for those on the Gregorian (New) Calendar, and the Julian (Church) Calendar. During this period of prescribed fasting we are to abstain from all meat, dairy, eggs, cheeses, and all animal products. The Church does allow for fish on the weekends during the Nativity Fast. Fasting is so important for the Orthodox Christian that many

A Law for All Seasons

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, September 21, 2015 From the screenplay of A Man for all Seasons William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law! Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that! Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil

Elder Porphyrios: On the Means of Preserving Inner Peace

To preserve inner peace: First of all, keep your outer senses in order and flee all licentiousness in your external conduct, – namely, neither look, speak, gesticulate, walk nor do anything else with agitation, but always quietly and decorously. Accustomed to behave with decorous quietness in your external movements and actions, you will easily and without labour acquire peace within yourself, in the heart; for, according to the testimony of the fathers, the inner man

The Mystery of the Mother of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 3, 2010 The 15th of August is the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God (her death). Orthodox Christians fast for two weeks prior to this great feast and celebrate it with great solemnity. A question was recently placed by a reader about the “perpetual virginity” of Mary. I am offering this small post to address that question and to look at the place of the Most Holy

The Day the Earth Stood Still

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 12, 2011 Orthodox Christians (New Calendar) are currently observing a two-week fast in preparation for the Feast of the Dormition, a day which marks the death (“falling asleep”) of the Mother of God. For those for whom such feasts are foreign, it is easy to misunderstand what the Orthodox are about – and to assume that this is simply a feast to Mary because we like that sort of thing.