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Keeping Silence, Not Passing Judgment (Part II)

Father Poimen used to say, “It is written: ‘What your eye has seen, that you shall attest to’ (Prov. 25:7). But I say to you: ‘Even if you grasp it with your hands, do not speak about it.’ One brother was fooled in this matter. He saw something that looked as if his brother were sinning with a woman. Strongly tempted, he went over and kicked them with his foot, believing that it was they,

The Lord’s Epiphany in the Jordan

Like the liturgical celebration of the Lord’s Nativity, the festival of His Epiphany in the Jordan at the time of His baptism is inaugurated with a prefeast celebration of five days. And also like the services of the Nativity, many hymns of the Epiphany prefeast are patterned after those of the springtime Pascha of the Lord’s death and resurrection. Once again just a few words in many of the songs are changed from those sung

Becoming Fathers and Mothers

Becoming Fathers and Mothers What are we going to do when we get home? When the two sons of the parable of the prodigal son both have returned to their father, what then? The answer is Simple: They have to become fathers themselves. Sons have to become fathers; daughters have to become mothers. Being children of God involves growing up and becoming like God. Jesus doesn’t hesitate to say this: “Be perfect as your heavenly

The Good News according to the Gospels of Mark and Luke

Mark’s is primarily a gospel of action. Of the four gospels, his includes the least verbal teaching. Jesus is constantly on the move from place to place preaching and healing, preaching and healing, but it is mostly action and narrative. Jesus is the invasion of God’s Big Picture into our small worlds, and he does this much more than he talks about it. We have to look at Jesus’ actions, and how his physical healings

The Art of Letting Go

It is good to remember that a part of you has always loved God. There is a part of you that has always said yes. There is a part of you that is Love itself, and that is what we must fall into. It is already there. Once you move your identity to that level of deep inner contentment, you will realize you are drawing upon a Life that is much larger than your own

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

Forgive me. More Virtue, More Kindness Today.

Forgive me Have mercy on me, God, according to Your great mercy (Psalms 50:1). On my knees before You, CrucifiedLord, I beg for mercy, for this grace. I’ve sinned. Yet again I’ve fallen. I’ve done exactly the opposite of what Your holy will asked of me. I tasted sin. Its bitter, oppressive taste lingers on my lips. I am lost. I measure the height of Your holiness against the abyss of my corrupt existence, and

St. Peter Damaskos on Humility and Repentance

Peter exhorts sinners not to despair and challenges their belief that the Creator of all is incapable of saving them. Because God is, as the liturgy says, “the lover of mankind,” because Paul tells us that it is God’s desire “that all shall be saved” (1 Timothy 2:3-4), so we should not lose hope. Even if you are not what you should be, you should not despair. It is bad enough that you have sinned-

Praying to Die Well

Praying to Die Well Many people say, “I am not afraid of death, but I am afraid of dying.” This is quite understandable, since dying often means illness, pain, dependency, and loneliness. The fear of dying is nothing to be ashamed of. It is the most human of all human fears. Jesus himself entered into that fear. In his anguish “sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood” (Luke 22:44). How must we

Sharing Freely Our Knowledge

Sharing Freely Our Knowledge Often we think that we do not know enough to be able to teach others. We might even become hesitant to tell others what we know, out of fear that we won’t have anything left to say when we are asked for more. This mind-set makes us anxious, secretive, possessive, and self-conscious. But when we have the courage to share freely with others all that we know, whenever they ask for