Tags

The Third Thursday of Great Lent: The Image of the Cross

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, April 4, 2021 I picked up my copy of the book MYSTICAL CHRISTIANITY: A PSYCHOLOGICAL COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN the other day. It is a brilliant book by the renowned psychologist John A. Sanford. I turned to the chapter where he speaks about the Cross and read something that piqued my interest. He spoke of the image of the Cross as a mandala. Now I

The Second Friday of Great Lent: The Mystery of “Mystery”

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 9, 2018  Few words can be more misleading to the modern ear than the Orthodox use of the word “mystery.” It’s a fine New Testament word and is (technically) the proper name for the sacraments in Orthodoxy (though we most often say ‘sacrament’ in English). Its root meaning is that of something “hidden.” In our culture’s language, mystery is more a matter of a who-done-it or a reference to something

The Ninth Day of Christmas: To See Him Face to Face

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 11, 2017  “The self resides in the face.” – Psychological Theorist, Sylvan Tompkins There is a thread running throughout the Scriptures that can be described as a “theology of the face.” In the Old Testament we hear a frequent refrain of “before Thy face,” and similar expressions. There are prayers beseeching God not to “hide His face.” Very clearly in Exodus, God tells Moses that “no one may see my face

The Thirty-Second Day of Christmas Advent: And Honesty for All

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, December 23, 2021  There are “bogus” Scriptures out there – special “revelations” to various characters (generally self-described as “prophets” and such). They have as a hallmark, a kind of self-promotion and a carefully crafted message to “solve” various religious problems. I’ll not name names lest I wind up on someone’s hit list. I’ll let the reader fill-in the blanks. However, there is something quite striking about the writings of the Bible,

The Fear of God is Reverence for and Love of Him [2 of 2]

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, November 20, 2017 Metropolitan Athanasios of Lemessos The Church is not opposed to the human body. This is why the Fathers were so careful not to damage their body with their ascetic efforts. They tried to submit it to the Holy Spirit and to God’s commandments, so as not to seek the pleasures and lapses of the flesh, but they never accepted that their bodies should be damaged. In Patristic literature,

Ex nihilo (2)

By Fr John Breck, March 1, 2008 In the prologue to his Gospel, the evangelist John takes up the account of creation given in the first chapter of Genesis, in order to illustrate the story of redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ, the eternal Son and Word of God. “In the beginning,” out of His infinite otherness, with God and as God, the Word comes forth, to create the world and to save it from death

Waiting and Watching

By Fr John Breck, July 2, 2008 Some years ago a close family friend passed away in a nursing home. She spent the last months of her life in what appeared to be a state of semi-consciousness, rocking back and forth in her chair and muttering to herself, “Waiting, waiting…”. We never did learn just what she was waiting for, other than death. She was, though, a fervent and faithful Christian, and her “waiting” seemed

The Second Friday of Great Lent: Reading by the Light of Christ

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 28, 2016 Let us suppose that you have heard the story of Jesus, in a fairly bare form, nothing like as complete as any of the gospels – just a general outline. And then let us suppose that the only Scriptures you have access to are the Old Testament. You have never seen a New Testament and do not have its phrases in your mind. And then let us suppose

Christmas Eve, the Fortieth Day of Christmas Advent. Making Sense of a Jumbled World.

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, December 27, 2014 Listening to the Nativity collection of readings for the Vespers of Christmas Eve (there were eight of them), my mind drifted to the “jumbled mess” that is the Old Testament. We speak of it as if it were a single thing, when, it is many things (over 40), and some of those things are jumbled concatenations of other jumbled things. I can only imagine what someone coming to

The Thirty-Eighth Day of Christmas Advent. I Have No Gift to Bring! Wait. There is Exactly ONE Gift I CAN Bring!

Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis Then opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts – ­gold, frankincense and myrrh. -Matthew 2: 11 As we run around purchasing, wrapping, and delivering gifts for other people this Christmas, we must ask ourselves seriously and soberly, “What gift am I offering to Him this Christmas?” As we are now in the home stretch heading towards the Feast of the Nativity as we count down now the hours until we are at the manger,