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The Sixth Wednesday of Great Lent: The Mystical Reality of Holy Week

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 6, 2015 As we journey through Holy Week… For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (1Co 15:16-19 NKJ) Earlier this Spring, two

The Fifth Monday of Great Lent: How to Strengthen Your Lenten Prayer Life

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 9, 2018  The traditional acts of asceticism associated with Great Lent (and the whole of the Christian life) are prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and repentance. In my experience, Orthodox faithful tend to concentrate on fasting and perhaps making a good confession. If we have weaknesses, they are found in our prayers and almsgiving. These two belong together. Christ said: And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that

The Fourth Wednesday of Great Lent: Ten Suggestions for Lent

By His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America Meditate on the History of Salvation Think of the Lenten period as a time of meditating on the history of salvation.  Think about the creation of the universe and of Adam and Eve as the beginning of human life on earth.  Think about the fall of Adam and the entrance of sin in humanity.  We see in the hymnology of the liturgical book of Lent, the Triodion,

The Dangerous Vision of Paradise

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 17, 2015  A utopian vision gave birth to America. The “pilgrims” who came to New England in the 17th century, imagined an ideal state, defined by their radical “purification” of society and the Christian Church. Their dreams of a new world were constantly thwarted in England by the reluctance of the greater body of Protestants to embrace their extreme vision. England’s Reformation fell far short of their imaginings. In 1640,

The Thirty-Second Day of Christmas Advent. The Tree of Life Blossoms.

In the hymns for the prefeast of Christ’s Nativity, Jesus’ birth heralds a return to paradise. The Messiah is born and the gates of Eden are opened. The Savior comes and the tree of life blossoms. Paradise is not a place on the map. It is a condition of spirit. When a person knows God and lives in communion with Him, this is paradise. When a person does not know God and lives in communion

Together. Authentic Orthodoxy.

By Abbot Tryphon, November 5, 2019  We are all in this together As we struggle in this life, it is good to remember that we are all together. We find our place of silence, where we encounter God, but even in this place set apart, we are together. In our journey to God, our common goal is the acquisition of a humble and contrite heart, and our common homeland is found in the Divine Liturgy,

A Law for All Seasons

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, September 21, 2015 From the screenplay of A Man for all Seasons William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law! Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that! Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil

The Intercession of the Saints

By Abbot Tryphon, October 19, 2019 Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us Most Protestant churches strongly reject all saintly intercession, citing passages such as 1 Timothy 2:1-5, which says that Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man, as well as Deuteronomy 18:10-11 which seems to forbid invoking departed souls. They also point to the fact that there are no examples in the Bible of living

The Second Thursday of Great Lent. Saint Gregory Palamas and the Hesychasts (Second Sunday in Lent)

Pavlos Mouktaroudis The second Sunday in Lent is devoted to Saint Gregory Palamas (14th century), a hesychast from the Holy Mountain and later Archbishop of Thessaloniki. Saint Gregory Palamas defended the hesychasts of the Holy Mountain who were being mocked and attacked by the person who expressed the spirit of the Western Church, the monk Barlaam, from Calabria in Southern Italy. When Saint Gregory defended these monks, he set out the Orthodox faith regarding God,

Theophany and the Gates of Hades

By Father Stephen Freeman, January 6, 2015  For an Orthodox priest, the services of the Church involve many “comings and goings.” Part of any service takes place within the altar area, which is usually enclosed by an iconostasis, a wall on which icons are hung. The wall does not truly separate one area of the Church from another so much as it marks one area off from another – the space of the Church is