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Forgiveness for All the Sundays to Come

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 10, 2016  I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; (John17:20-21) The Elder Sophrony, together with St. Silouan, wrote about the “whole Adam.” By this, they meant all the human beings who have ever existed and those yet to come. They were, for them, something known in the present tense, a “hypostatic” (the term Sophrony preferred) knowledge of the fundamental

The One Thing Progress Cannot Do

By Stephen Freeman, February 6, 2016  It is common among Orthodox teachers to identify prayer with the “one thing necessary” that Christ speaks of in John 11. This emphasizes prayer as communion with God – for communion with God is the very source of our life. I will expand this meaning of the “one thing necessary” to include the very “mind” required for its practice. And, as we shall see, it is strikingly at odds

The Dormition Fast: The Most Holy Mother of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 13, 2008  On August 15, the Orthodox Church (new calendar) commemorates the Dormition (falling asleep) of the Most Holy Mother of God. The feast is considered to be one of the 12 Great Feasts of the year and thus an integral part of the proclamation of gospel of Jesus Christ. Many who are not familiar with Orthodoxy, or its manner of understanding saints, easily see feast days and the veneration

The Fifth Wednesday of Great Lent: Experiencing Great Lent as a Couple

Rev. Fr. Nicholas Verdaris Orthodox Christians around the world are embarking upon the spiritual journey of Great and Holy Lent, a time that encourages all people to renew, refresh and rediscover their life in Christ. But as this blessed season begins to unfold in earnest, it is important to correct the misconception of the practice and experience of Lent as a lonely or solitary journey. This important clarification applies especially to those in the community

The Second Wednesday of Great Lent. A Brief Meditation On Lent

Reverend Andrew Demotes All of us lead lives so filled with the demands of work and family that little time is left to us to cultivate the garden of our soul. In our preoccupation with the ceaseless business of life, our spirit, if not completely forgotten, is often sadly neglected. When we do find the time to look at ourselves honestly, we soon discover that the spirit of the world has gradually and imperceptibly eaten

The First Wednesday of Great Lent. Balancing Great Lent

George Tsongranis Do you fast?  Give me proof of it by your works.  If you see a poor man, take pity on him.  If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him.  Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye, and the feet, and the hands and all the members of our bodies.  Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.  Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run

Living in the Real World

By Stephen Freeman, November 24, 2015  Nothing exists in general. If something is beautiful or good, it is manifest in a particular way at a particular time such that we can know it. And this is our true life. A life lived in a “generalized” manner is no life at all, but only a fantasy. However, this fantasy is increasingly the character of what most people think of or describe as the “real world.” A

Holy, Righteous Simeon the God-Receiver

Righteous Simeon the God-Receiver was, according to the testimony of the holy Evangelist Luke, a just and devout man waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him (Luke 2:25). God promised him that he would not die until the promised Messiah, Christ the Lord, came into the world. Ancient historians tell us that the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.) wished to include texts of Holy Scripture in the

Struggling with Prayer. Standing in Worship.

Struggling with Prayer: When prayer becomes a struggle By Abbot Tryphon, November 10, 2019 When we find ourselves struggling with prayer, and feel that it has become dry and lifeless, we are sometimes tempted to stop praying. When our prayer has become a struggle, it is good to remember that God knows our needs, and even knows what we want to say when we don’t seem to know. This is the time we need to

Monasteries

By Abbot Tryphon, November 4, 2019  Centers for prayer and spiritual healing Monastics are an integral part of the Church and should not be seen as independent of the Church Universal. Monks are bound by the same Gospel as other Christians and need to avail themselves to the missionary and pastoral needs of the Church, as needed. Although a primary role of monasticism is to be found in worship and contemplative prayer, monks also have