The Great and Holy Wednesday: The Bridegroom and Judgment

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 27, 2021  Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching; and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless.  Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom.  But rouse yourself crying: Holy, holy, holy, art Thou, O our God.  Through the Theotokos, have

The Fifth Friday of Great Lent: Forgiveness – Give an Enemy a Cup of Cold Water

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 10, 2021  There is a story related in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov about an old woman who was quite wicked. She dies and goes to hell to the great distress of her guardian angel. The angel searches for any possible good deed to plead on her behalf and finds a rotten onion – something the old woman had given to a beggar. The angel takes the onion and, with it, begins to

The Fifth Thursday of Great Lent: Forgiveness

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, February 18, 2018 In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ! “It is a lie, any talk of God that does not comfort you.” That is one of my favorite quotations from the great Western mystic Meister Eckhart. Growing up as a Southern Baptist kid in Tennessee, I heard many things said about

The Third Tuesday of Great Lent. The Beauty and Sanctity of All He Has Made

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, August 23, 2020 Forgiveness, offered, isn’t always accepted or passed on. The unforgiving servant is the New Testament version of the narcissist. Receiving extravagant mercy from his master and caring only for himself, he refuses it to his fellow servant. “Why ask forgiveness when I’ve done nothing wrong,” the narcissist asks? For such a person there are rarely second thoughts and no effective arguments. It is vain

The First Wednesday of Great Lent: Forgiveness and the Whole Adam

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 the human race. Sophrony described it as

The Eighth Day of Christmas Advent: The Elder of love, forgiveness and discernment

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, November 22, 2016 Elder Iakovos Tsalikis (5/11/1920-21/11/1991) By Alexandros Christodoulou Our age and today’s culture has, unfortunately moved away from the vision and pursuit of sanctity. The Orthodox faith is based on the presence of the saints. Without these, our Church is on the path towards secularization. Naturally, as we know from Scripture, God alone is holy, and sanctity derives from our relationship with Him, and therefore sanctity is theocentric rather

When People Don’t Forgive

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, June 1, 2017 Abbot Tryphon There are people who insist on holding on to resentment, often inventing situations in their minds that never happened, justifying their bad behavior, and putting the blame on others. They see themselves as the abused party, always quick to take offense. Rarely are they able to have healthy relationships, for they are in reality, the abusers. Their world centers around them, and any attempt by others

When Words Don’t Come

Fr John Breck, July 2, 2009 An elderly woman recently broke down during Confession and began sobbing. She had attempted to offer to God what she felt was her sinful neglect in raising her son. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, she had taken him to church services on Sundays and feast days, and each day she had prayed with him and for him. Apparently, she had done all she could, gently and supportively, to lead

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Fourth Tuesday of Pascha: The Great Gain [1]

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, April 26, 2017 Archimandrite Theofilos Lemontzis, D. Th. Forgiveness is the effort and exercise of a love that is, in the end, transformed into joy and leads to salvation, as Saint Païsios the Athonite notes: ‘There’s no greater joy than that which you feel when you’re hard done by. I wish everybody would treat me unfairly. I can honestly tell you that the sweetest spiritual joy I’ve ever felt was through

The Fifth Friday of Great Lent: The Danger and Shame of Forgiveness

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 27, 2017  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