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Palm Sunday. The Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. [On Palm Sunday] Christ enters the path not only of His sufferings but of that dreadful loneliness which enshrouds Him during all the days of Passion week. The loneliness begins with a misunderstanding; the people expect that the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem will be the triumphant procession of a political leader, of a leader who will free his people from oppression, from slavery,

The First Day (Pure Monday) of Great Lent: The Journey to Pascha

By Alexander Schmemann When a man leaves on a journey, he must know where he is going. Thus with Lent. Above all, Lent is a spiritual journey and its destination is Pascha, “the Feast of Feasts.” It is the preparation for the “fulfillment of Pascha, the true Revelation.” We must begin, therefore, by trying to understand this connection between Lent and Pascha, for it reveals something very essential, very crucial about our Christian faith and

A Lesser Atonement

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 28, 2015 It has long been known that people tend to see what they think they are seeing. This is particularly the case where what we think is familiar and expected. The case of “mistaken identity” flows from our assumptions and expectations. This is nowhere more true than when we are reading Scripture. If a passage has years of associations, it is almost impossible to see anything else. I have noticed this

From Image to Likeness (Part II)

In the Mother of God, the first created person who has entered the resplendence of the Kingdom in her earthly flesh, we see the two mysteries conjoined: that of the image restored in Christ and that of the likeness achieved by the Spirit and freedom. Nicholas Cabasilas said that God, as long as he had not found a mother, was like a king in exile, like a stranger without a city. Solely because a young

From Image to Likeness (Part I)

Since we are in the image of God we are therefore in the image of Christ, and it is only in Christ that we discover the truth about ourselves. He alone is the one to whom the Beatitudes fully apply; the poor man who receives himself unceasingly at the hands of the Father and whose royal gentleness transforms the earth into a Eucharist, the ‘pure heart’ like a still lake in which each discerns his

The Problem with Going to Heaven

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 3, 2015 “That man might become God…”  On its surface this statement simply sounds blasphemous. Interpreted in a wrong manner, it would be worse than blasphemous. When read correctly, however, it is the very essence of salvation itself. “To go to heaven…” from my childhood this phrase has been used as the goal of a Christian life. But, interpreted in its most common manner, it is only a Christianized version of paganism.

The Doorway of Hope

The Doorway of Hope “My child, as soon as you speak these words, ‘Love without limits,’ as soon as you give this supreme reality a place in your heart, you open a door. This is the doorway that leads into the Kingdom of freedom and light. “This is the doorway of Hope, the threshold that leads to the infinite expansion of your being. Hope: awaiting what is to come, awaiting the One who is to

“There was an evening and a morning…”

“There was an evening and a morning…” No less than six times in the first chapter of the first sacred book of the Hebrews, God is represented creating the days of the week and setting evening as the time at which the day begins. The way people today count time is not Your way, O Lord.  Instinctively, they tend to start the day with morning.  The day begins with the pale light of daybreak.  Then

The Problem of Goodness

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 9, 2015  Though many struggle with the so-called “Problem of Evil,” the greater moral problem is that of goodness. How do we account for goodness in the world – particularly self-sacrificing heroic goodness? It is not uncommon for a person in a dangerous situation to place their own life at risk in order to save the life of another. It is by no means universal (some act first to save

Grace, Moralism and Unmoral Christianity

By Fr. Aidan Kimel, December 20, 2014 In his recent blog article “The Un-moral Christian,” Fr Stephen Freeman criticizes the tendency to reduce the Christian life to obedience to moral rules. “The nature of the Christian life,” he declares, “is not rightly described as the adherence to an external set of norms and standards, even if those norms and standards are described as being ‘from God.’ The ‘unmoral’ life of Christians is a different mode