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The Fourth Thursday of Great Lent: Salvation

More than acquittal and justification By Abbot Tryphon, December 12, 2019 Salvation cannot be explained in legalistic terms of acquittal and justification, for salvation is much more than simply being forgiven and getting into heaven. The close tie between faith and works, when it comes to the Orthodox view of salvation, is not about being “saved” by our works, for this is impossible. Works do not save us, but when placed in the context of

The First Thursday of Great Lent. Great Lent.

Great Lent: The journey of joyful sorrow in expectation of the Resurrection By Abbot Tryphon, February 28, 2020 The main reason Christianity spread so rapidly following the Resurrection of Christ, was the power behind the resurrection. The truth of Christ’s resurrection empowered believers to joyfully embrace martyrdom, knowing that they would be joined in eternal bliss with their resurrected Saviour. Although their martyrdom would involve both mental and physical anguish, they were almost joyful in

Love: Our Holiness Is God’s Holiness

Self-hatred is also the hatred of God, because God and ourselves are united. —Thomas Keating [1] There is only one thing you must definitely answer for yourself: “Who am I?” Or, restated, “Where do I abide?” If you can get that right, the rest largely takes care of itself. Paul answers the questions directly: “You are hidden with Christ in God, and Christ is your life” (Colossians 3:3-4). Every time you start hating yourself, ask, “Who

Eastern Christianity: The Patristic Period

As I [have] shared …the desert fathers and mothers focused more on the how than the what. Their spirituality was very practical: virtue and prayer-based. Now we turn to its parallel, the Patristic Period, which emphasized the what—the rational, philosophical, and theological foundations for the young Christian religion. This period stretches from around 100 CE (the end of the Apostolic Age) to either 451 CE (with the Council of Chalcedon) or as late as the eighth century (Second Council of Nicaea

Third Tuesday after Pascha. Death and Resurrection: Do Not Be Afraid

I am aware of the phrase “true self” occurring only once in the Bible. Paul used the words to describe what he was desperately trying to locate in the midst of some major trials with his false self. He wrote of it in a telling way: “When I act against my own will, then it is not my true self doing it, but sin which lives in me” (Romans 7:20, Jerusalem Bible). Somehow, he knew there was

Faith and Science: Open to Change

God comes into the world in always-surprising ways so that the sincere seeker will always find. Is sincere seeking perhaps the real meaning of walking in darkness and faith? It seems to me that many scientists today are very sincere seekers. In fact, today’s scientists often seem to have more in common with the mystics than do many religious folks who do not seek truth but only assert their dogmas and pre-emptively deny the very possibility of other people’s

Prayer of the Heart in an Age of Technology and Distraction, Part 14

By Fr. Maximos (Constas) As we begin to enter into the practice of the Jesus Prayer to engage the presence of the Spirit within ourselves we began to encounter both passing and deeper, recurring thoughts that work to distract us from calling upon the name of the Lord. What is the origin of these thoughts, and what do they show us about ourselves and how we interact with the world? How does the Church teach

Prayer of the Heart in an Age of Technology and Distraction, Part 12

By Fr. Maximos (Constas) It seems clear that the very practice of the Jesus Prayer reflects the Biblical teaching of the nature of personal names, and especially of the Divine Name. We all know that the name is closely linked to the person that bears it so that to invoke the name is to invoke the person who bears it. So it’s logical that when there is a change of life there is also a

Sin: Symptom of Separation. Love and Mercy

The law was given to multiply our opportunities for falling. —Romans 5:20 The pattern of necessary falling or the “myth of transgression” made less and less sense to Western Christianity as it came to think that religion’s purpose was to teach and maintain social and imperial order. The Christian mind eventually had little respect for the ubiquitous disorder in the universe, unlike most native religions—for example, as here in New Mexico where the Puebloan clown deliberately

RENEWAL THURSDAY. CHRISTOS ANESTI! CHRIST IS RISEN! OF TIME AND ETERNITY: THE RESURRECTION (Part I)

Nothing about Jesus is so misunderstood, misrepresented, trivialized and falsified as the Resurrection. Everything in the Gospels has to be understood in light of the Resurrection. Christian faith takes its meaning from the Resurrection—every claim about Jesus, every notion of what it means to live in trusting hope, every view of the world, every take on reality. What the Christian knows of God—with “knowledge” that is qualitatively different from knowledge about anything or anyone else—comes