The Orthodox doctrine of theosis, according to 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 and later. Theosis refers to

Thomas Merton: Thoughts in Solitude (Part I)

The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived. Like all life, it grows sick and dies when it is uprooted from its proper element, Grace is engrafted on our nature and the whole man is sanctified by the presence and action of the Holy Spirit. The spiritual life is not, therefore, a life entirely uprooted from man’s human condition

Human Beings and the Cosmos (Part VIII): The Biblical Revelation, Foundation of Technology

The real difficulty with modern technology is not technical but spiritual; what would humankind or nature need to be like, to feel at home in this ‘wild revolution’, as Edgar Morin called it? Left to itself, technical progress becomes the tool of the rich and powerful in their struggle for profit and mastery, while the real need, that hunger for bread and for truth to which we keep referring, is ignored. What we lack, in

The Annunciation: Announcing the Incarnation

By Father Steven Kostoff On March 25, we celebrate the Great Feast of the Annunciation to the Most Holy Theotokos.  This great feast always falls during Great Lent, and when it falls on a weekday, it is the only instance during that season for which the full Eucharistic Liturgy is served for its commemoration—clearly a sign of the feast’s significance.  Thus, the Annunciation is something of a festal interlude that punctuates the Eucharistic austerity of

The Peacemakers

Blest are the single-hearted; for they shall see God. Blest are the peacemakers; they shall be called children of God. [Matt. 5:6-91 The opportunities for satisfying the hunger for holiness are immediately at hand if we are sensitive to the needs of others. Every now and then we are prompted to offer some kind of assistance at considerable cost to ourselves. This offer has to be appropriate to our state of life; at the same

The Fifth Day of Christmas: Light Shines in the Darkness (Feast Day of the Holy Innocents)

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, made the light of knowledge dawn on the world. For through it those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of righteousness, and to know You, the Dawn from on high. O Lord, glory to You! (Apolytikion of the Nativity) THE SEASON OF CHRISTMAS is a feast of light and joy, since we celebrate the coming of “the true Light which gives

The Thirty-Eighth Day of Christmas Advent: For so has God Loved the World (Part I)

That we begin our reckoning of time with Christ’s birth is a fact which has long been but a mere convention for many. Seldom does one recall and recognize the great event from which we count time. So do we betray our ignorance and insensitivity. In ancient days, time was computed from the Incarnation of God the Word. It signifies that we live in a world which has been renewed and redeemed already, that even

First Day of Christmas Advent: The Winter Pascha

The Christmas-Epiphany season in the Orthodox Church begins with a forty-day fasting period….When winter begins to make its way into the northern hemisphere, the Church of Christ begins to celebrate  the feast of Christ’s Nativity…called [Winter] Pascha. This emphasizes its close connection with the mystery of our salvation and deliverance from sin and death; the mystery which the holy Church proclaims in her dogmatic teachings and with which she brings us into direct spiritual contact

Be it according to Thy Word

Again, the Annunciation is “the beginning of our salvation and the revelation of the mystery which is from eternity: the Son of God becometh the Son of the Virgin, and Gabriel proclaimeth good tidings of grace” (Troparion of the Feast of the Annunciation). The divine will has been declared and proclaimed by the archangel. But the Virgin was not silent. She responded to the divine call, responded in humility and faith. “Behold the handmaid of

Saint Athanasius the Great of Alexandria

Athanasius was born in Alexandria in the year 296 A.D. and from his early childhood had an inclination to the spiritual life. He was a deacon to Archbishop Alexander and accompanied him to the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 325 A.D.]. It was at this Council that Athanasius became renowned for his learning, devotion to and zeal for Orthodoxy. He contributed greatly to destroy the heresy of Arius and to strengthen Orthodoxy. He wrote the Symbol