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Justice, Forgiveness and Bearing a Little Shame

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 15, 2016  This morning I read a headline in the newspaper: “We will get justice.” In the relentless cycle of the daily news, the report was of the discovery of a young woman who had been murdered. It seemed a completely appropriate response by the law officer in charge of the investigation. His words doubtless echoed the sentiments of everyone who knew the young woman. The desire for justice is

Why We Forgive

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 14, 2016  There are many ways to think about forgiveness, not all of them true or helpful. It is easily the most emotionally and psychologically difficult aspect of the Christian life revealing both the power of trauma as well as the tenacity of lingering memories. The directness of Christ’s commandments (“forgive your enemies”) and the consequences of ignoring them (“if you do not forgive others neither will your heavenly Father

Forgiveness for All the Sundays to Come

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 10, 2016  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. They were, for them, something known in the present tense, a “hypostatic” (the term Sophrony preferred) knowledge of the fundamental

Forgiveness – The Hardest Love of All

By Stephen Freeman, March 9, 2016  I cannot think that any of my readers is a stranger to forgiveness, either the need to be forgiven or the need to forgive. The need to forgive, according to the commandment of Christ, extends well beyond those who ask for our forgiveness: we are commanded to forgive our enemies – whom I presume would rarely want to ask for our forgiveness. Of course, our experience of those who

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,