Tags

The Holy and Great Tuesday

At Bridegroom Orthros on Great and Holy Tuesday the Church sings the following hymn by St. Kassiane: O Lord, the woman who had fallen into many sins, perceiving Thy divinity, fulfilled the part of a myrrh-bearer; and with lamentations she brought sweet-smelling oil of myrrh to Thee before Thy burial. ‘Woe is me,’ she said, ‘for night surrounds me, dark and moonless, and stings my lustful passion with the love of sin. Accept the fountain

The Fortieth Day of Great Lent. Get Out of Hell Free

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 2, 2015  The Saturday before Palm Sunday is known as Lazarus Saturday among the Orthodox, and they celebrate Christ raising him from the dead just prior to His entrance into Jerusalem (gospel of John). It is a feast that offers something of a preview of Christ’s resurrection, and a foretaste of the General Resurrection at the End of the Age. Some years back I sat in a cave that is purported to

The Twenty-Sixth Day of Great Lent. The Ladder of Divine Ascent and Moral Improvement

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 11, 2016  The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church, is dedicated to St. John Climacus, the author of the ancient work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. It is a classic work describing “steps” within the life of the struggling ascetic. There is an icon associated with this work, picturing monastics climbing the rungs of a ladder to heaven, battling demons who are trying to pull them off. However,

The Twenty-Third Day of Great Lent. “. . . BUT BY PRAYER AND FASTING” (Part I)

In the Orthodox teaching, sin is not only the transgression of a rule leading to punishment; it is always a mutilation of life given to us by God. It is for this reason that the story of the original sin is presented to us as an act of eating. For food is means of life; it is that which keeps us alive. But here lies the whole question: what does it mean to be alive

The Seventeenth Day of Great Lent. FASTING & PARTICIPATION IN LENTEN SERVICES

[Not everyone] can attend the entire cycle of Lenten worship. Everyone can attend some of it. There is simply no excuse for not making Lent first of all the time for an increased attendance of and participation in the liturgy of the Church. Here again, personal conditions, individual possibilities and impossibilities can vary and result in different decisions, but there must be a decision, there must be an effort, and there must be a “follow-up.”

Members of One Another (Part VIII): The Total Adam

The sin of Adam is cosmic in its effects, destroying as it does the primal harmony that prevailed between humans and the rest of creation. So Adam exclaims in his ‘Lament’: In paradise was I joyful and glad: The Spirit of God rejoiced me, and suffering was a stranger to me. But when I was driven forth from paradise cold and hunger began to torment me. The beasts and the birds that were gentle and

The Twelfth Day of Christmas Advent. Saint Stylianos, The Protector of Children

Saint Stylianos was born in Paphlagonia, Asia Minor, between 400 and 500. He was blessed even from his mother’s womb. As he grew up, by the grace of God he increasingly became a dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit. From childhood he displayed the rare qualities of his blessed life. When he was young and still an adolescent, although, of course, he was of the flesh, he never allowed desires to pollute his spirit and soul.

Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen! Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Pascha. Divine Light.

Only divine light, when it shines in us, allows us to see our sins. It is by prayer that our heart begins, little by little, to understand the influences of the spirits which fill the cosmos. Instead of making progress, we see with an ever greater acuteness the passions which possess us. Paradoxically, this feeling that there is no progress is itself progress. Even if we have not yet seen the uncreated light of God,

Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen! Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Pascha. Endless Suffering

Earthly existence is for man an endless suffering. Why do we bear all this? Because the Creator has come and has dwelt among us. And we now know Him personally. We are created ‘in the image and likeness of God’. When we measure the reality of our everyday life against this divine revelation, we fall into despair. Why is it so difficult to act as a Christian in the here and now? Because it is

The Great and Holy Monday. 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