Celebrating the Paschal Feast, by Saint Athanasios of Alexandria Brethren, how fine a thing it is to move from festival to festival, from prayer to prayer, from holy day to holy day. The time is now at hand when we enter on a new beginning: the proclamation of the blessed Passover, in which the Lord was sacrificed. We feed as on the food of life, we constantly refresh our souls with his precious blood, as

A LENTEN MEDITATION, by Saint Leo the Great

Dear friends, at every moment the earth is full of the mercy of God, and nature itself is a lesson for all the faithful in the worship of God. The heavens, the sea and all that is in them bear witness to the goodness and omnipotence of their Creator, and the marvelous beauty of the elements as they obey him demands from the intelligent creation a fitting expression of its gratitude. But with the return

Empowered to…

Empowered to Speak The Spirit that Jesus gives us empowers us to speak. Often when we are expected to speak in front of people who intimidate us, we are nervous and self-conscious. But if we live in the Spirit, we don’t have to worry about what to say. We will find ourselves ready to speak when the need is there. “When they take you before . . . authorities, do not worry about how to

Pure Love’s Ways: A Valentine to God

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (and with all your strength).  Matthew 22:37, Mark, 12:30, Luke 10:27   How do I love Thee my Lord?   I love Thee when I turn my back to bitterness, forgiving spite and might To caress and bless the broken-hearted walking dead.   I love Thee as I abandon sleep to dawn metallic bangles and belts-tight

Praying to Die Well

Praying to Die Well Many people say, “I am not afraid of death, but I am afraid of dying.” This is quite understandable, since dying often means illness, pain, dependency, and loneliness. The fear of dying is nothing to be ashamed of. It is the most human of all human fears. Jesus himself entered into that fear. In his anguish “sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood” (Luke 22:44). How must we

Christmas Advent: The Thirty-Fifth Day

The Gift of Christmas The Christmas season is such a beautiful time of the year. Lights, candles, and cutout snowflakes begin to decorate our city’s streets. People begin to adorn their homes with the colors of red and green, wreaths, candles, and dazzling arrays of lights. These decorations even spill into our schools and businesses. That’s the Christmas season! That is the Christmas season? This past week, as I was speaking with one of my

Christmas Advent: The Fifth Day

CONSIDER THE WORDS “SOILED, DEFILED, OPPRESSING”—spoken of God’s people—and the human character qualities that follow them in the book of Zephaniah—deaf, obstinate, untrusting, distant. These words express the Almighty’s disgust and disappointment that his chosen ones, given multiple opportunities to live in the realm of his blessing, have ignored or despised him. Now listen to the exuberant contrasts uttered a few verses later about the same people by the same prophet: “The LORD . .

The Commandment to Love

Jesus commanded us to love, so we know it is not just a feeling, since you cannot command feelings. Love is a decision. Jesus did not say: When you get healed, love;When you grow up, love; when you feel loving, love;When you get it together and have dealt with all your mother/father/husband/children wounds, then you are able to love. No, the commandment for all of us is to LOVE now. I think we know the

Persons in Communion: The Disciplines of Communion (Part II)

The training of our consciousness enables us to recover an immediacy of response to anybody’s face, however spoilt, haggard, or careworn, and precisely because it is such. God loves this person here and now, in their very ordinariness, their cowardice, their loneliness, their sin. Our consciousness being awakened, the eye of the heart is opened, and we begin to see with the eyes of God. Then we can put ourselves in the other’s place, share

Persons in Communion: The Disciplines of Communion (Part I)

We can now give an outline of the disciplines of communion. The first thing, before love is even mentioned, is humility, and what humility becomes when it is exercised towards another person, that is, respect. Respect rejects all self-interested curiosity, all possession of souls. Some people undergo a strict regime of self-denial to free themselves from carnal desire, only to fall prey to a more exquisite desire, that for souls. This must be identified and