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The Fourth Thursday of Great Lent. Holy Mountain: A Universal Presence and a Heavenward Orientation

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, November 3, 2014 By Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaias and Lavreotikis The spiritual influence of Mount Athos is indisputable and certainly stems from the fact that many men have attained holiness through their secret ascetic struggles there. In recent years many pilgrims have found peace of mind and repose on the Mountain, together with spiritual guidance and support. The higher one rises, scientists tell us, the weaker the force of gravity becomes, the

The Third Wednesday of Great Lent: On Humility and the Humble Outlook (Part 3)

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, November 14, 2014 By Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi With a variety of definitions, our Fathers lead us to humility, but the meaning is almost the same: the comprehensive labour of love that supports all the other virtues. We shall now note some of the sayings of the Fathers which refer to the qualities and fruits of the humble outlook and the manner in which those who have it behave. This will

The Second Wednesday of Great Lent: On Humility and the Humble Outlook (Part 2)

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, November 4, 2014 By Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi Βlessed and favoured people who are humble are meek, calm, serene, attached to virtue, opposed to evil, untroubled by any circumstance or threat. They live in the bosom of the faith, like infants in the maternal embrace of grace. They never live for themselves, because they’ve forgotten what that is. They’ve become one with the others; they become all things to everyone, in

The First Wednesday of Great Lent: On Humility and the Humble Outlook (Part I)

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, September 30, 2014 By Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi (+2009) The title of this speech in Greek is ‘Περί ταπεινώσεως και ταπεινοφροσύνης’. An Elder has explained the difference as being that ‘ταπεινοφροσύνη’ is an attitude of mind (hence ‘humble outlook’), while ‘ταπείνωσις’ (‘humility’) is from the heart. In practice, however, the terms are often used interchangeably. Without question, the Scriptures as a whole, as well as Patristic philosophy, are ‘seasoned with salt’, as it were,

The Thirty-Eighth Day of Christmas Advent. I Have No Gift to Bring! Wait. There is Exactly ONE Gift I CAN Bring!

Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis Then opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts – ­gold, frankincense and myrrh. -Matthew 2: 11 As we run around purchasing, wrapping, and delivering gifts for other people this Christmas, we must ask ourselves seriously and soberly, “What gift am I offering to Him this Christmas?” As we are now in the home stretch heading towards the Feast of the Nativity as we count down now the hours until we are at the manger,

The First Day of Christmas Advent. Fasting for Christmas.

By Stephen Freeman, November 19, 2006 [Monday] November 15, the Orthodox Church began its “Winter Lent,” the fast that prepares for the feast of the Nativity. Somewhat similar to Advent, it is the older practice, a full 40-day fast, that reminds us that Christmas, joy that it is, is a foretaste of Pascha. The Cave of Bethlehem reminds us of the Cave of Hades (icons of the Descent into Hell picture the Cave of Hades).

Idolatry

The idolatry of self-esteem By Abbot Tryphon, January 15, 2020  Among the contributors to self-worship, is the possibility of falling into a form of idolatry associated with self-esteem. It is easy to fall into this form of idolatry, since our society has placed a great deal of emphasis on the need for self-esteem. The modern religion of psychoanalysis has promoted self-esteem as though it were the modern equivalent of enlightenment. The priests of this modern,

Imitating Christ. Divine Warmth.

Imitating Christ We must live as the Lord requires of us By Abbot Tryphon, December 17, 2019  As we examine how we live our lives as Christians, we look to those who leave an impression of goodness, kindness, and humility, as examples of the person we would like to become. That saintly person, by their every example, exudes the humbleness of the Lord, and love seems to be palpable when we are in their presence.

The One Thing Progress Cannot Do

By Stephen Freeman, February 6, 2016  It is common among Orthodox teachers to identify prayer with the “one thing necessary” that Christ speaks of in John 11. This emphasizes prayer as communion with God – for communion with God is the very source of our life. I will expand this meaning of the “one thing necessary” to include the very “mind” required for its practice. And, as we shall see, it is strikingly at odds

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Fifth Friday of Pascha: The Soul Is a Mirror

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 25, 2017  There are meditations and insights that simply change your life. I recall walking across the campus at Duke some 30 or so years ago. I had been plowing through a book of Orthodox theology (very thick reading). I would read a page and think, and read it again. But I recall very plainly a moment of insight – it regarded some paragraphs surrounding a statement of St. Basil’s.