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The First Wednesday of Great Lent. Balancing Great Lent

George Tsongranis Do you fast?  Give me proof of it by your works.  If you see a poor man, take pity on him.  If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him.  Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye, and the feet, and the hands and all the members of our bodies.  Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.  Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run

Friday of Cheesefare (Forgiveness) Sunday: Forgiveness for All the Sundays to Come

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 18, 2018  I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; (John17:20-21) The Elder Sophrony, together with St. Silouan, wrote about the “whole Adam.” By this, they meant all the human beings who have ever existed and those yet to come. For Silouan and Sophrony, this was something known in the present tense, a “hypostatic” knowledge of the fundamental unity of

Fasting. Fasting Precedes Forgiveness.

Fasting Precedes Forgiveness: But fasting alone does not save without forgiveness By Abbot Tryphon, November 22, 2019  There is the story of Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus who invited Hilarion the Great to dinner, and in order to show his hospitality place fried chicken on the table. Hilarion, when he saw the fried chicken, asked forgiveness, but said he had not eaten meat since his tonsure as a monk. Saint Epiphanius responded by saying that he,

Church as Living Organism

The Apostle Paul’s teaching is deeply incarnational, yet this has often not been recognized. Paul sees that the Gospel message must have concrete embodiment, which he calls “churches.” Jesus’ first vision of church is so simple we miss it: “two or three gathered in my name” (Matthew 18:20), “and I am with you” (which is just as strong a statement of presence as in the bread and wine of communion). This is surely why Jesus insists

Being Ready to Die. A Grateful Death. The Companionship of the Dead.

Being Ready to Die Death often happens suddenly a car accident, a plane crash, a fatal fight, a war, a flood, and so on. When we feel healthy and full of energy, we do not think much about our death. Still, death might come very unexpectedly. How can we be prepared to die? By not having any unfinished relational business. The question is, Have I forgiven those who have hurt me and asked forgiveness from

Prison Ministry

By Abbot Tryphon, October 6, 2019  I was in prison and you came to Me (Matthew 25:36) I served eight years as a volunteer Orthodox chaplain within three Washington State Prisons in Monroe, WA. With the goal of bringing the love of Christ to those, who, for whatever reason, found themselves serving hard time, I found my eyes opened to the importance of truly believing in the biblical concept of forgiveness. Among the three prisons,

Image and Likeness: We Were Made by Love to Love

God said, “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness.” —Genesis 1:26 My dear people, we are already children of God; what we will be in the future has not yet been fully revealed, and all I do know is that we shall be like God. —1 John 3:2 The Judeo-Christian creation story says that we were created in the very “image and likeness” of God—who is Infinite Love flowing between Three, making unity out of clear diversity. (Picture

The Third Monday of Great Lent. It’s a Crying Shame.

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 2, 2016  Orthodox Christians make a beginning of their Lenten discipline with the forgiving of everyone for everything (theoretically). This is expressed in the rite of forgiveness which is part of Vespers on the Sunday of Cheesefare. The ritual expression of forgiveness can easily and often be little more than a ritual. It reminds us of the need to forgive, but does not, on its own, achieve what it expresses.

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

Prayer of the Heart in an Age of Technology and Distraction, Part 17

By Fr. Maximos (Constas) There have been times when I was in line to receive Communion, and some of the most horrible, dark, even blasphemous thoughts came into my mind. Is that me? Why would I think such things, that I’d never thought before in my life, when my entire self is concentrated on receiving Communion? It breaks my heart even to know that I had such thoughts. I feel so bad that I have