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Saving Knowledge

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 15, 2021  I have often used the example of riding a bicycle as an image of knowing God. There’s no difficulty learning how to ride if you don’t mind falling off for a while. But no matter how many years you have ridden, you cannot describe for someone else how you know what you know. But you know it. I also suspect that if you thought too much about riding a bicycle while you were riding

On Sudden Death

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on August 22, 2021 Archimandrite Ephraim, Abbot of the Vatopaidi Monastery Nowadays when science and technology are flying, when cultures converge and there is a crisis in values, even the word ‘death’ is avoided and anything reminiscent of it is ignored and discarded. Modern man views death as something negative and as a loss; we usually say for the departed: ‘We’ve lost him’. Whoever does not have the proper knowledge about this issue of

A Noetic Life

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, September 17, 2021  The Native Peoples of Alaska and the far north really do have over 50 words for snow. In total, there are around 180 words for snow and ice. There is “aqilokoq” for “softly falling snow” and “piegnartoq” for “the snow [that is] good for driving a sled.” There is also “utuqaq,” which means, “ice that lasts year after year” and “siguliaksraq,” the patchwork layer of crystals that forms as the

The Seventeenth Day of Christmas Advent: You Are Not Alone – And Neither Is God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 16, 2021 I consider it both a strange mystery and a settled matter of the faith that God prefers not to do things alone. Repeatedly, He acts in a manner that involves the actions of others when it would seem, He could have acted alone. Why would God reveal His Word to the world through the agency of men? Why would He bother to use writing? Why not simply communicate

The Danger and Shame of Forgiveness

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, December 20, 2021  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 Pain that Leads to Joy

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on October 17, 2021 Fr. Andreas Agathokleous The ‘forgive me’ which comes from a heart in pain over a mistake breaks down the hard wall of remoteness, of animosity, and unites that which was divided. This is why it’s neither easy nor painless. Because the easy and painless ‘forgive me’, expressed as a formula for restoring relations on a superficial level, isn’t capable of breaking down walls. There’s ‘forgive me’ to God and to

Curiosity and Confusion

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on November 5, 2021 Fr. Andreas Agathokleous It’s not unknown for young people not to have anything to do with Church activities (services, fasts and sacraments), yet they continue to be curious, to wonder, to enjoy talking about God and what emanates from him as a way of life. Anyone would think that these people were unversed in the spiritual life, without experience of the grace of the Holy Spirit and that they were

Goodness and a Word in Due Season

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, May 8, 2017  There is an old mystical Jewish belief that when God created all things, He did so by speaking their names (in Hebrew, of course). It was further believed (and here’s the mystical part) that if you could manage to speak that name in the right way, you, too, could cause it to be. The instinct behind this is true, regardless of our inability to do such a thing.

Great Martyr Euphemia, Olga Equal-to-the-Apostles, New Martyr Nektarios

In 451, during the reign of the Sovereigns Marcian and Pulcheria, the Fourth Ecumenical Council was convoked in Chalcedon against Eutyches and those of like mind with him. After much debate, the Fathers who were the defenders of Orthodoxy, being 630 in number, agreed among themselves and with those who were of contrary mind, to write their respective definitions of faith in separate books, and to ask God to confirm the truth in this matter.

The Sins of Our Fathers – the Epigenetics of Shame

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 27, 2017 There is a new word and a new idea in science: epigenetics. It is the study of how the environment and experience alters our body – and alters it in a way such that it becomes part of our genetic legacy. It is, to the mind of some, a genetic form of inherited sin. That’s more than I know, and more than I care to say. But it