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The Seventeenth Day of Christmas Advent. I’ll Be Small for Christmas

By Father Stephen Freeman Children today are raised with dreams of greatness. Cultural affirmations of our limitless potential, well-intentioned, have not produced a generation of over-achievers, but have indeed brought forth hordes of great dreams. This is nothing new in American culture. We are the world’s longest sustained pep-talk. Ronald Reagan loved to quote the 1945 Johnny Mercer hit: You’ve got to accentuate the positive Eliminate the negative Latch on to the affirmative Don’t mess

A Parable of a Kingdom

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 12, 2020 There was a wicked kingdom in which there lived a large number of slaves. The kingdom fought wars, built cities and was extremely successful in growing its economy. Its achievements were the envy of all the other kingdoms. The slaves did well, too. They were not given low jobs or manual labor. Instead, they were “helping” slaves. Their task was to help the people of the Kingdom get by.

The Personality of Saint Mary Magdalene Equal to the Apostles

Saint Mary Magdalene is the most outstanding person in the circle of Christ’s women disciples, and, indeed, the most significant female figure in the Christian Church, after the Mother of God. Her importance for the Church is expressed in the lengthy references to her in the Lives of the Saints. We have very little information concerning her life. She was born in Magdala, a town to the west of the Lake of Gennesaret and south

The Spiritual Fruit of Pascha: On the Apodosis of Pascha

Source: ROCOR And so for us, too, the eternal bliss with Christ in His Kingdom has not yet commenced—this is merely our hope—but not because the Kingdom of Heaven is not yet ready, but because we are incapable of eternal bliss: we need another podvig under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. ARCHBISHOP SIMON (VINOGRADOV, +1933) OF PEKING AND CHINA: | 28 MAY 2014 Today is the Apodosis of Pascha, that is, the last day of this

The Great and Holy Wednesday

On Holy Wednesday [Matins celebrated by anticipation on Holy Tuesday evening] the Church invites the faithful to focus their attention on two figures: the sinful woman who anointed the head of Jesus shortly before the passion (Matthew 26:6-13), and Judas, the disciple who betrayed the Lord. The former acknowledged Jesus as Lord, while the latter severed himself from the Master. The one was set free, while the other became a slave. The one inherited the

Prayer of the Heart in an Age of Technology and Distraction, Part 15

By Fr. Maximos (Constas) The Church knows of no better way to abide in Jesus than to invoke His name constantly, and thereby also invoke and be in His presence. What better way to abide in Christ and become a tabernacle for the Divine Name, to have Him abiding in you and you abiding in Him? Is the point to accumulate wisdom, data about theology and Church history, or is the point to become transparent to Wisdom? I

Priorities

By Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis, June 3, 2018 If you were to list out the things you love, where would God be on the list? Take a moment and list all the things you love.  My list would include The Lord, my wife, our son, my mom, my brother and his family, a couple of close friends, celebrating Liturgy, other aspects of my ministry, summer camp, and mowing the lawn. Then take a moment and write

Thoughts on Hope and Optimism. Thoughts of being “of Good Cheer.”

By Michael Haldas Thoughts on Hope and Optimism, June 15, 2016 “Hope has a distinctly Christian flavor to it. Unlike optimism, which is secular in nature, Christian hope isn’t centered on what human beings can do, but on what God has done. Hope is an extension of faith; if faith is a tree, then hope is the branches of the tree. The concept of hope has everything to do with the Kingdom, which is a

The Last Banquet

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 23, 2015 Once a week I teach a class at a local alcohol and drug treatment program. It is on the “spirituality of recovery.” Recently I shared Marmaladov’s speech from Crime and Punishment (at the end of this article). There were tears in the room. For many, the version of the gospel they have heard only condemns. Most of the men I meet want to get well, to get sober. Not all

The Purpose and Method of Christian Life (Part XI): Means to the End (Part I)

Here is how things stand so far. We have observed the five most important virtues through which the fathers in the Conferences teach us to establish the purity of heart that is the go al of Christian life. These are detachment, discernment, discretion, balance, and humility. We have observed that the fathers taught Christians to practice these virtues in order to guide them to their proper telos, which is the kingdom of God. We have