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The Holy and Great Tuesday: The End of the Fast and the ‘Air’ of Asceticism

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, April 9, 2017 Having completed the forty days that bring profit to our soul, we beseech You, in Your love for us: May we behold the Holy Week of Your Passion that in it we may glorify Your majestic works and ineffable dispensation for us, singing with one mind, ‘Lord glory to You’. Great Lent has come to an end. It’s an event which cannot but move all consciously-striving Christians, whatever

The Sixth Friday of Great Lent: An Atonement of Shame – Orthodoxy and the Cross

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 6, 2017 Some decades ago in my early (Anglican) priesthood, a parishioner brought a crucifix back from South America. The question for me as a priest was whether I would accept the crucifix as a gift and place it in the Church. I like crucifixes, my taste was always towards the Catholic direction. But, you have to bear in mind that Spanish/Latin crucifixes have a tendency to be, well, rather

The Sixth Thursday of Great Lent: God Is Always with You, Part 3

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, June 16, 2015 Ms. Jessica Precop traveled to the Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan to interview Father Roman Braga, who grew up and served in Romania under a communist regime. We are very thankful to Ms. Precop, Father Roman, and the Sisterhood at the Monastery for making this interview possible. The interview was commissioned for the OCA Wonder blog, on which it originally appeared. Why

The Sixth Wednesday of Great Lent: God Is Always with You, Part 2

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, June 16, 2015 Ms. Jessica Precop traveled to the Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan to interview Father Roman Braga, who grew up and served in Romania under a communist regime. We are very thankful to Ms. Precop, Father Roman, and the Sisterhood at the Monastery for making this interview possible. The interview was commissioned for the OCA Wonder blog, on which it originally appeared. Can

The Sixth Tuesday of Great Lent: God Is Always with You, Part 1

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, June 16, 2015 Ms. Jessica Precop traveled to the Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan to interview Father Roman Braga, who grew up and served in Romania under a communist regime. We are very thankful to Ms. Precop, Father Roman, and the Sisterhood at the Monastery for making this interview possible. The interview was commissioned for the OCA Wonder blog, on which it originally appeared. Father,

The Sixth Monday of Great Lent: The Healthy Shame at the Heart’s Core

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 20, 2017  Imagine: A large crowd has assembled and you know that something special has been planned. Unknown to you, however, is the fact that the something special is for and about you. At a given moment, you are called forward. A short speech detailing some extraordinary thing you have done is given. You had not thought anyone would notice, and you did not expect them to. However, you are being

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

The Fifth Thursday of Great Lent. The Monastic Life: The Way of Perfection, Part III

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, June 16, 2015 By Prof. Georgios Mantzaridis The monastic profession rite, with its shearing of hair, is called a second baptism”19. Baptism, however, is one and the same for all members of the Church. It is participation in the death and resurrection of Christ. The rite of profession does not repeat, but renews and activates the one baptism. The vows taken during the rite are in essence no different from those taken

The Fifth Wednesday of Great Lent. The Monastic Life: The Way of Perfection, Part II

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, June 16, 2015 By Prof. Georgios Mantzaridis Christian monasticism has always been associated with stillness or silence, which is seen primarily as an internal rather than an external state. External silence is sought in order the more easily and perfectly to attain inner stillness. This stillness is not the same as inertia or inaction, but awakening and activation of the spiritual life. It is intense vigilance and total devotion to God. Withdrawing

The Fifth Tuesday of Great Lent. The Monastic Life: The Way of Perfection, Part I

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, June 16, 2015 By Prof. Georgios Mantzaridis With the advent of monasticism, a special way of life appeared in the Church, which however did not proclaim a new morality. The Church does not have one set of moral rules for the laity and another for monks, nor does it divide the faithful into classes according to their obligations towards God. The Christian life is the same for everyone. All Christians have in common