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Soul Talk

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 20, 2018  Everybody is familiar with the voice in their head. Sometimes it has the sound of a nagging argument, repeating, rehearsing endlessly to no good end. It can also be the voice of scolding, shaming us for some minor transgression while it consigns us to the lowest of the low. It is rarely a welcome presence in our lives. No one ever says, “You wouldn’t believe how wonderful the

Get Your Soul Back

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 24, 2017  When was the last time you heard someone express concern for their soul? When was the last time you listened earnestly as a friend lamented a psychological or emotional struggle? The reason for the difference is simple: we have become a “soul-less” psychologized society. The classical concern for the soul has been replaced by an overwhelming interest in psychological and emotional “health.” We are becoming a “well-adjusted” society. The soul

Pentecost and the Liturgy of Hades

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 21, 2021  Pascha (Easter) comes with a great note of joy in the Christian world. Christ is risen from the dead and our hearts rejoice. That joy begins to wane as the days pass. Our lives settle back down to the mundane tasks at hand. After 40 days, the Church marks the Feast of the Ascension, often attended by only a handful of the faithful (Rome has more-or-less moved the

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! Bright Monday: When Death Dies

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 22, 2022  Christianity is not reconciliation with death. It is the revelation of death, and it reveals death because it is the revelation of Life. Christ is this Life. And only if Christ is Life is death what Christianity proclaims it to be, namely the enemy to be destroyed, and not a “mystery” to be explained. Religion and secularism, by explaining death, give it a “status,” a rationale, make it

The Sixth Friday of Great Lent. This Time Is That Time – Holy Week Thoughts

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 19, 2019  At the very heart of traditional Christian worship is an understanding of time. “This time is that time.” When the Jews gathered for Passover and recited the words given to them, they said, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.” Passover was not (and is not) a historical re-enactment, nor a simple memorial in which things done long ago are remembered. The key word is “we.” The events in

The Sixth Thursday of Great Lent. Living in the Present: An Orthodox Perspective

By Fr. Antony Hughes Delivered at the Antiochian Women’s Pre-Lenten Retreat, February 10. 2018, At St. John of Damascus Church in Dedham, Massachusetts We are in the midst of a kind of awakening. The sciences, including neuroscience and the quantum sciences, have discovered that there is mystery at the core of the universe. Psychology is being revolutionized by the discovery of the benefits of mindfulness practice in religious people, including prayer and meditation. Even the

The Sixth Wednesday of Great Lent: On Why We Must Reproach Ourselves

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on January 25, 2022 By Abba Dorotheos Let us investigate how it is that sometimes, if a person hears something unkind, they’re able to let it go without becoming upset, whereas at other times, they hear something and are immediately offended. What’s the reason behind this difference? Is there only one cause or many? The way I see it is that there are many, but there’s one which engenders all the rest, so to

The Sixth Tuesday of Great Lent: The Awareness of Death

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, April 5, 2020 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA. Through this Great Lent we are being forced to look at everything, including our faith, in deeper ways. For example, the crucifixion of Jesus has never been only about his death, but also ours. In Larry Rosenberg’s wonderful book LIVING IN THE LIGHT OF DEATH he says it like this: we are being asked “to come

The Sixth Monday of Great Lent: The Icon of Unfallen Suffering

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 27, 2017 The so-called “problem of evil” garners enduring attention in our culture. I recall in my freshman philosophy class the conundrum was used as the “coup de grace” in the logical assault on God’s existence. “Not only does God not exist, He’s not even good.” Poor God. All of this is made even more poignant in our comfortable world of modern prosperity where minor setbacks are seen to unravel

The Fifth Friday of Great Lent: Forgiveness – Give an Enemy a Cup of Cold Water

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 10, 2021  There is a story related in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov about an old woman who was quite wicked. She dies and goes to hell to the great distress of her guardian angel. The angel searches for any possible good deed to plead on her behalf and finds a rotten onion – something the old woman had given to a beggar. The angel takes the onion and, with it, begins to