The Fifth Friday of Great Lent: St. Mary of Egypt and Moral Progress

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 11, 2015  The suggestion has been made several times recently that my criticism of moral progress is not supported by the example of the saints. Surely, it is said, the transformations we read about in the lives of the saints are clear examples of moral progress. A noted such example, perhaps the greatest story of repentance and asceticism known in the Church, is that of St. Mary of Egypt. It is worth

The Third Wednesday of Great Lent: Saint Silouan, the Great Spiritual Figure of the 20th Century

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on September 25, 2021 Alexandros Christodoulou Saint Silouan the Athonite Saint Siouan- Symeon Ivanovich Antonov, before his tonsure- was born in 1866 into a peasant family in the Tambov region of Russia. From the age of four he began wondering: ‘Where is this God? When I grow up, I’ll travel the whole world looking for Him’. When he was a little bit older he heard about the life of a holy

Before the Judgment Seat of Christ

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 23, 2017  For a Christian ending to our life: painless, unashamed, and peaceful; and a good defense before the dread judgment seat of Christ, let us ask of the Lord. From my childhood, I have memories of the phrase, “Great White Throne of Judgment.” It comes complete with an abundance of frightening images and threats. It is the last possible moment before all hell breaks loose and the preachers at

The Walls of Paradise – and the Fire of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, December 14, 2020  I love walls. Perhaps the most charming aspect of medieval cities are their use of walls. Some surrounded the city and served as protection. Others surrounded smaller areas and prevented easy access and egress (perhaps understandable in a world with lots of animals present). There were other walls that signaled “higher” boundaries. In a medieval world, the “order” of things was thought important: kings and commoners, high-born and

The Twelfth Day of Christmas: Sermon at the Vigil for Epiphany

By Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, 5 January 2022 The day of the Theophany is the day when the whole world is being renewed and becomes a partaker of the sanctity of God. But at the same time, it is the day when Christ enters on the way to Calvary. He came to John the Baptist at the Jordan not in order to be cleansed, because He was free of sin—both as God and in His humanity

The Twenty-Second Day of Christmas Advent: Saint Nicholas, the Saint of the Seas

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on December 6, 2021 Alexandros Christodoulou Saint Nicholas was born at the south-east corner of Asia Minor, in the town of Patara, in the 3rd century (at the time of the persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian) of devout and rich parents, who had been childless for many years. From an early age it appears that God had destined him for a life of sanctity and of dedication to Himself. The fact he became a

The Fourteenth Day of Christmas Advent: Embracing Indestructible Joy

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, December 13, 2020  The Parable of the Great Banquet is a call to joy. We are all invited to it. In fact, the Banquet can be seen as a metaphor for the Eucharist, the Great Thanksgiving. Of course, not everyone comes when invited. Still God invites. He calls even those he knows will reject him. The verse “many are called but few are chosen” can be confusing.

The First Day of Christmas Advent: The Christmas Fast

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on November 16, 2021 Georgios Arabatzoglou Another blessed period of fasting begins, a time of spiritual struggle and an effort to turn our mind to God, each of us with the strength and spiritual ‘nobility’ at our disposal, and, as always, in conjunction with the advice of our spiritual guide. This fast begins on 15 November and lasts until 24 December, while on 25 December, when we celebrate the Nativity of Christ, we have

The Dormition

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, August 15, 2021. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ. The scripture readings today are extremely significant and apropos to the day. Saint Paul’s talking about self-emptying: The Kenosis of Jesus Christ, who came to the world, giving up all His divine prerogative to become one of us and save us in

[An Essay on] The Holy Dormition of our Most Pure Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on August 15, 2021 Saint Gregory Palamas If ‘the death of the saints is precious and the memory of the righteous is blessed’, with how much greater praise should we keep the memory of the ‘saint of the saints’ through whom the whole of sanctity came to them, that is the memory of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God? This is what we do when we celebrate the anniversary of her holy dormition or transferal,