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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 Change We Should Believe In

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 25, 2016  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Co 3:18) Among the many losses within modern Christianity has been the place of transformation. Nineteenth-century revival movements and theology emphasized a single experience that was associated with salvation. Those who concerned

Alone. One Person at a Time.

Alone When God seems absent By Abbot Tryphon, January 26, 2020  We all have those moments in our lives when we feel as though God is absent, even perhaps nonexistent. Those times leave us feeling alone and abandoned, as though we are lost in an empty stadium. We feel as though we are on a boat that has been set adrift without an engine, floating further from shore, and heading to an uncertain future. Such

The Second Friday of Great Lent: Unmediated Grace

By Stephen Freeman, March 30, 2013  This Sunday the Orthodox Calendar commemorates St. Gregory Palamas – perhaps the most significant theologian and teacher of the late Byzantine period. He particularly is important when considering the nature of the Christian experience of God. Orthodoxy believes that it is truly possible to know God though He remains unknowable. The mystery of this true knowledge constitutes the heart of St. Gregory’s work. I first encountered St. Gregory’s writings

The First Tuesday of Great Lent. The Lenten Journey. Repentance.

The Lenten Journey: Transformation through the Lenten Journey By Abbot Tryphon, February 27, 2020 The Byzantine Court was filled with sycophants, busying themselves with building alliances that would help them rise in status and influence. During the thousand years of the empire, a few emperors were tricked into believing these sycophants were truly their friends, and could be trusted, when in actuality they were being played, and these flatterers were not their friends. These sycophants

Eastern Christianity: Theosis

The Orthodox teaching of divinization, or theosis, according to Pope John Paul II, is perhaps the greatest gift of the Eastern Church to the West, but one that has largely been ignored or even denied. [1] The Eastern fathers of the Church believed that we could experience real and transformative union with God. This is in fact the supreme goal of human life and the very meaning of salvation—not only later, but now, too. Theosis refers to the shared deification

Feast of the Holy and Glorious Great Martyr Saint Demetrios, the Myrrh-Streamer

Saint Demetrios suffered in Thessalonica during the reign of Galerius Maximian (c. 306). He belonged to one of the most distinguished families of the province of Macedonia and was widely admired not only because of his noble ancestry and grace of bearing, but also for virtue, wisdom and goodness of heart surpassing that of his elders. The military expertise of Saint Demetrios led Galerius, as Caesar of the Eastern Empire, to appoint him commander of

Sermon on the Mount: Blessed Are the Merciful

Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. —Matthew 5:7 I believe with all my heart that mercy and forgiveness are the whole Gospel. The Benedictus (Luke 1:68-79) says we’ll have knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sin (1:77). The experience of forgiveness or mercy is the experience of a magnanimous God who loves out of total gratuitousness. There’s no tit for tat. Grace isn’t for sale. That is the symbolism of Jesus

Fifth Wednesday of Pascha. Holy Mountain: A Universal Presence and a Heavenward Orientation (Part 4)

By Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaias and Lavreotikis A long time ago I was approached by a young student. Very hesitantly, but with the intensity of someone who is determined to find out something, he declared that, although he was an atheist and found it hard to believe, he very much wanted to find faith. He had tried and searched for years but all to no avail. He had talked with professors and educated people but