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The Feast Day of Saint Anthony the Great

Anthony was born in central Egypt around 215, the son of Christian peasant farmers. After their death, around 269, he paid attention when the Gospel was read in church and applied to himself literally the words, ‘Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor.’ He disposed all his property and undertook a life of solitude and discipline under the guidance of another recluse near his village. Some years later, having put his

Honor, Subversion and the Kingdom of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 5, 2017  Many who read the New Testament see it as advocating for and supporting the oppressive structures of its time. They argue that it is patriarchal and pro-slavery. St. Paul’s instructions for slaves to obey their masters is thus seen as an endorsement of slavery as an institution. His admonition, though, belongs to a category of teachings known as the haustafeln (household rules). An example is found in Colossians: Wives, submit

Politics and the Kingdom of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 27, 2017  The modern project holds that the world can be improved and made better. It also holds that human beings can be improved and made better. And finally, it holds that the means of that improvement and betterment are political. Modernity began only partly as a philosophical assertion. It found its voice first, and foremost, in the political experiments of the 18th century. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the rapid

To Have More – Pleonexia

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, September 22, 2016  Addictions are strange things. I have a friend who says that the problem with alcohol is that there “simply isn’t enough.” Non-addicts frequently misunderstand. I once heard someone say to an addict, “When you decided to go down that road…” There is very little decision within an addiction. The disease of addiction itself does the choosing. The person involved often watches helplessly as they go through the motions

You Don’t Mean a Thing

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, September 19, 2016  There is an assumption within our contemporary world that the life we bring into this world doesn’t mean a thing, at least, not at the start. Meaning is something the individual must create for himself/herself. It is, we think, a version of freedom. We are told that if we come into this world with our meaning already established as a given, then we can never be free. Autonomy, being “self-ruled,”

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