Tags

Seeing and Believing – A Noetic Life Part 2

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, September 2, 2016  “I see what you mean.” Language holds many secrets that we ignore. Some of the secrets are quite old. If we pay proper attention, we are able to discover things that we already know, but did not yet know that we knew. The phrase, “Now I see,” or other various uses of “seeing” as a form of “knowing,” is quite ancient in its insight. The Greek word for

A Noetic Life

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 28, 2016  Eskimos 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 sea begins to freeze; and “auniq,” ice that

Prophet Elijah, the Gift of God

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, November 5, 2014 By Savva Alexandrou Saint Gregory Palamas, speaking in general about the prophets, as also the Fathers of the Church, notes: “God raised up the Prophets and the Fathers unto our guidance and He showed signs and wonders to us through them, so that He could correctly lead us up to faith.” The Prophets, as also the Fathers of the church, are essentially God’s gift to men, because they

Lest We Forget: Keeping Traditions

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, April 13, 2016 By Virginia Nieuwsma To hear Mother Victoria of the St. Barbara’s Monastery tell it, growing up in the Ukranian Orthodox Church was a rich and memorable experience at special times of year. On Christmas Eve, for instance, she remembers looking for the first star in the sky, which would signal the start of the Nativity meal. Before eating, she and her family always fed the animals first, in

The Hand in the Gospel

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 18, 2016  My desk sits looking out of a wall of windows. My small backyard is shaded by a lush green this time of year. At any time of day or night, nature sounds mark the movement of the sun as much as the shifting shadows: birds in the early morning give way to katydids as the sun moves up the sky, succeeded by the drone of frogs as night

The Holy and Great Saturday: Knocking Down the Gates of Hell

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, May 1, 2021  The Swedish Lutheran theologian, Gustav Aulen, published a seminal work on the types of atonement theory in 1930 (Christus Victor). Though time and critical studies have suggested many subtler treatments of the question, no one has really improved on his insight. Especially valuable was his description of the “Classic View” of the atonement. This imagery, very dominant in the writings of the early Fathers and in the liturgical

The Third Wednesday of Great Lent: On Humility and the Humble Outlook (Part 3)

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, November 14, 2014 By Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi With a variety of definitions, our Fathers lead us to humility, but the meaning is almost the same: the comprehensive labour of love that supports all the other virtues. We shall now note some of the sayings of the Fathers which refer to the qualities and fruits of the humble outlook and the manner in which those who have it behave. This will

The Third Monday of Great Lent: The Contradictions of Scripture

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 29, 2016 We can, however, only express the Truth if we foresee the extreme expression of all the contradictions inherent in it, from which it follows that Truth itself encompasses the ultimate projection of all its invalidations, is antonymic and cannot be otherwise. -Pavel Florensky I wrote in a previous article about the importance of contradictions in the knowledge of God. The Orthodox faith utterly delights in paradox and contradiction

Knowing the Knowledge that Transforms

By Father Stephen Freeman, March 22, 2016 “If only I had known…” These are, not infrequently, the words of an apology. They are also an explanation of why we are sometimes the way we are. Ignorance is, in the mind of the Fathers, a major cause of sin. Of course, if sin is understood in a legal/forensic framework, then ignorance would be nothing more than a form of innocence. Not knowing is excusable in most

The Matter of our Salvation

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 18, 2016  Perhaps the most obvious thing for a visitor to an Orthodox Church are the presence and place of icons. They are literally everywhere. Some Churches are covered completely with iconography and no Orthodox Church is ever without them. That Churches are so decorated might not strike someone as unusual. After all, many Catholic Churches, particularly in Europe are highly decorated (think of the Sistine Chapel). But the difference