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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

Forgiveness: Including Everything

The True Self is always humble. It knows that we didn’t do it right and that it isn’t even about doing it right; it’s just about doing it. Our True Self knows that everything belongs. That means holding together the good and the bad, the dark and the light, the sinner and the saint—which are two parts of me and two parts of everything. It is our participation in divinity which allows us to be this large.

Forgiveness: Forgiving Reality for Being What It Is

The story of Noah and the flood is filled with insight. God tells Noah to bring into the ark all the opposites: the wild and the domestic, the crawling and the flying, the clean and the unclean, the male and the female of each animal (Genesis 7:2-15). Then God does a most amazing thing. God locks them together inside the ark (Genesis 7:16). Check it out. Most people never note that God actually closed them

A Word on What Matters

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 3, 2015 I began writing this blog in October of 2006. Printed below is the second article that I wrote. I have reprinted it from time to time, as much for my sake as anything. When I wrote it, almost no one was reading the blog. It was simply a reminder not to take myself too seriously. With around a million views a year these days, it’s tempting to think

A HOMILY ON THE DORMITION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD

We have peace when we are with the Lord and His Most Holy Mother; she is always here to help whenever we call upon her. In her we have unshakable support, which remains the same for all ages and which will not change. We cannot find this support anywhere else on earth, not even among our family members, let alone in things like riches, earthly power, and honor. We can be left without all these

REPENTANCE IN THE PHILOKALIA (Part III)

Theognostos (fourteenth century?) is known to us only as the author of the work included in the Philokalia. “When you fall from a higher state, do not become panic-stricken, but through remorse, grief, rigorous self-reproach, and, above all, through copious tears shed in a contrite spirit, correct yourself and return quickly to your former condition. Rising up again after your fall, you will enter the joyous valley of salvation, taking care so far as possible

The Eighteenth Day of Great Lent. A Lenten Meditation, by Saint Leo the Great

Dear friends, at every moment the earth is full of the mercy of God, and nature itself is a lesson for all the faithful in the worship of God. The heavens, the sea and all that is in them bear witness to the goodness and omnipotence of their Creator, and the marvelous beauty of the elements as they obey him demands from the intelligent creation a fitting expression of its gratitude. But with the return