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Rest for Your Soul

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, December 31, 2016  If…then… Among the most alluring ideas in our lives are the notions of cause and effect, performance and award. Nothing seems more soothing than the simple promise that doing one thing leads to the reward of the other. It is predictable, subject to control, clearly delineates the rules of reward and punishment and makes obvious who deserves what. Nothing could be neater. The limit to this idea comes

Myrrhbearer and Equal of the Apostles Mary Magdalene

The Holy Myrrh-Bearer Equal of the Apostles Mary Magdalene, Commemorated on July 22 A woman whose name has entered forever into the Gospel account was born and grew up in Magdala. The Gospel tells us nothing of Mary’s younger years, but Tradition informs us that Mary of Magdala was young and pretty…. It says in the Gospels that the Lord expelled seven devils from Mary (Luke. 8:2). From the moment of her healing Mary led

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Fifth Monday of Pascha: Stumbling Toward Salvation

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, May 14, 2021  On occasion I have written on topics that seem to scandalize readers, or certainly cause difficulty for many. Some of those topics have been articles on the wrath of God; the radical forgiveness of everyone for everything; the commonality of our life and our salvation; and various posts on giving thanks always for all things (there are others as well). I am not intentionally contrarian – I do

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Third Monday of Pascha: Knowing God – After Pascha

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 10, 2007  We approach things so differently in our modern world (as opposed to the ancient world). All of us have access to a great deal of information, although the information that comes to us when we are in the passive mode is less than useless (here I mean television and popular media). Thus I would paraphrase Our Lord and say, “How hard it is for a couch potato to enter the

The Third Monday of Great Lent: The Contradictions of Scripture

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 29, 2016 We can, however, only express the Truth if we foresee the extreme expression of all the contradictions inherent in it, from which it follows that Truth itself encompasses the ultimate projection of all its invalidations, is antonymic and cannot be otherwise. -Pavel Florensky I wrote in a previous article about the importance of contradictions in the knowledge of God. The Orthodox faith utterly delights in paradox and contradiction

Democracy in the Kingdom of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, May 27, 2016 Nothing is equal because nothing is the same. All things are unique and unrepeatable. This is especially true of persons. Understanding this helps us deal with reality. But the mindset of our modern world suggests in a very seductive manner that things are quite different. It suggests that all things are indeed equal and that wherever inequality exists, it should be overthrown or corrected. Elsewhere, I have called

The Twelfth Day of Christmas Advent. A Secular Kingdom…Where Christmas Never Comes

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 27, 2017  Two people are working at a soup kitchen, feeding the poor. One of them is a Christian, the other an atheist. The Christian is doing what he does out of obedience to Christ, in order to serve Christ “in the least of these my brethren.” The atheist is doing what he does because he thinks that generosity is a good thing and that the world would be a

The Second Day of Christmas Advent. Apostle and Evangelist Matthew.

The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew, was also named Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27); he was one of the Twelve Apostles (Mark 3:18; Luke 6:45; Acts 1:13), and was brother of the Apostle James Alphaeus (Mark 2:14). He was a publican, or tax-collector for Rome, in a time when the Jews were under the rule of the Roman Empire. He lived in the Galilean city of Capernaum. When Matthew heard the voice of Jesus Christ:

Knowing Saints

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 7, 2016 There are many stories of saints in the Orthodox world, including contemporary ones. Their biographies are sometimes remarkable, sometimes not. Their stories are occasionally marked by miracles, but not always. I cannot think of a single characteristic that makes them like one another apart from their sanctity. And that quality does not make them so much like one another as so completely and truly themselves. I have had

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