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The Sixth Thursday of Great Lent. Living in the Present: An Orthodox Perspective

By Fr. Antony Hughes Delivered at the Antiochian Women’s Pre-Lenten Retreat, February 10. 2018, At St. John of Damascus Church in Dedham, Massachusetts We are in the midst of a kind of awakening. The sciences, including neuroscience and the quantum sciences, have discovered that there is mystery at the core of the universe. Psychology is being revolutionized by the discovery of the benefits of mindfulness practice in religious people, including prayer and meditation. Even the

The Sixth Monday of Great Lent: The Icon of Unfallen Suffering

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 27, 2017 The so-called “problem of evil” garners enduring attention in our culture. I recall in my freshman philosophy class the conundrum was used as the “coup de grace” in the logical assault on God’s existence. “Not only does God not exist, He’s not even good.” Poor God. All of this is made even more poignant in our comfortable world of modern prosperity where minor setbacks are seen to unravel

The Fourth Saturday of Great Lent: The Annunciation of the Theotokos

Reading Six months after John the Forerunner’s conception, the Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth, a town of Galilee, unto Mary the Virgin, who had come forth from the Temple a mature maiden (see Nov. 21). According to the tradition handed down by the Fathers, she had been betrothed to Joseph four months. On coming to Joseph’s house, the Archangel declared: “Rejoice, thou Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art

The First Thursday of Great Lent: Depth Spirituality

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, October 25, 2020 Let me begin today by reading from Paul’s letter to the Galatians chapter 5, vs. 22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Let’s focus on self-control today since one of the hallmarks of what we call “possession” is the loss of it. Our Holy Fathers and Mothers were not acquainted as

Feast of the Three Holy Fathers, Great Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom

January 30 Introduction During the reign of the Emperor Alexius Comnenus (1081-1118), a controversy arose in Constantinople among men learned in Faith and zealous for virtue about the three holy Hierarchs and Fathers of the Church, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. Some argued for Saint Basil above the other two because he was able, as none other, to explain the mysteries of the Faith, and rose to angelic rank by his

The Tenth Day of Christmas Advent: Thanksgiving

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 24, 2009 This year I will make the annual pilgrimage back to South Carolina to be with family for the (American) Thanksgiving holiday. Fewer of my children will be there – a mark of the maturing of their own families and the difficulty of travel at this time of year. The year is different as well for it will be the first Thanksgiving holiday without my mother’s presence (may her

To Sing Like a River

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, October 19, 2016  We stood looking out at a river rushing past the rocks – a brisk morning in the North Carolina mountains, a rare setting for the Divine Liturgy. The tradition of the Church generally holds that services such as the Divine Liturgy are to be held indoors, in the Church. There are exceptions. In monasteries across the world, it is not unusual for a major feast to be held

Atheism and the Experience of God (2)

By Fr John Breck, February 1, 2007 Those who hold that the only sure ground of knowledge is scientific inquiry and rational analysis actually represent not so much science as the heresy of “scientism,” a purely materialistic view of reality. Yet science itself debunks that approach with its acceptance of principles such as those embodied in quantum mechanics and relativity theory. In a universe where subatomic particles constantly appear and then disappear, where electrons can

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