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Seeing and Believing – A Noetic Life Part 2

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, September 2, 2016  “I see what you mean.” Language holds many secrets that we ignore. Some of the secrets are quite old. If we pay proper attention, we are able to discover things that we already know, but did not yet know that we knew. The phrase, “Now I see,” or other various uses of “seeing” as a form of “knowing,” is quite ancient in its insight. The Greek word for

A Noetic Life

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 28, 2016  Eskimos really do have over 50 words for snow. In total, there are around 180 words for snow and ice. There is “aqilokoq” for “softly falling snow” and “piegnartoq” for “the snow [that is] good for driving a sled.” There is also “utuqaq,” which means, “ice that lasts year after year” and “siguliaksraq,” the patchwork layer of crystals that forms as the sea begins to freeze; and “auniq,” ice that

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Fifth Friday of Pascha: A Quiet Apocalypse

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, October 12, 2016  Noise. The sound of the world around us generally qualifies as little more than noise. Almost nothing advertises itself as unimportant or something to be attended to later. The insistent cries of everything often raise the demands for our attention to a deafening pitch. “Do this! Read this! Buy this! Remember this! Believe this!” The world constantly presents itself to us as though it were teetering on the

The Fifth Wednesday of Great Lent. The Monastic Life: The Way of Perfection, Part II

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, June 16, 2015 By Prof. Georgios Mantzaridis Christian monasticism has always been associated with stillness or silence, which is seen primarily as an internal rather than an external state. External silence is sought in order the more easily and perfectly to attain inner stillness. This stillness is not the same as inertia or inaction, but awakening and activation of the spiritual life. It is intense vigilance and total devotion to God. Withdrawing

The Thirtieth Day of Christmas Advent. Gifts in Silence.

Vasie-Leigh Andriotis As a person in the Facebook era, I am showered by daily “status” updates and photographs of my friends’ children.  There is such a great joy and anticipation when a child comes into the world or just your world.   Family and friends are so happy to see those new little faces that they have been anticipating.  It is hard to contain the excitement. It must have been unimaginable for Mary and Joseph, preparing

When Words Fail – The End of Morality

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 22, 2016  I can think of two experiences where words fail: before the presence of God and in the presence of deep shame. The first is too great and too wondrous for words, the second too bitter and painful. Both are essential for our humanity if it is to be lived to the fullest. They represent not only the boundary of our vocabulary, but also the boundary of our existence.

Unknowing: Knowing that We Don’t Know

I encourage you, then, to make experience, not knowledge, your aim. Knowledge often leads to arrogance, but this humble feeling never lies to you. —Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing [1] In meditation, we move beyond doctrines and dogmas to inner experience. When we move to the level of experience, we see that this self, which is primarily a “radio receiver,” is not to be taken too seriously, for it is always changing stations and is filled with

Fasting. Fasting Precedes Forgiveness.

Fasting Precedes Forgiveness: But fasting alone does not save without forgiveness By Abbot Tryphon, November 22, 2019  There is the story of Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus who invited Hilarion the Great to dinner, and in order to show his hospitality place fried chicken on the table. Hilarion, when he saw the fried chicken, asked forgiveness, but said he had not eaten meat since his tonsure as a monk. Saint Epiphanius responded by saying that he,

Around the Corner

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, September 7, 2015  Among the most appealing aspects of CS Lewis’ children’s fiction is at the point that I would describe as “turning the corner.” It is not that he creates a fantasy world, but that the fantasy world he creates somehow intersects with the world in which we live. It is the discovery that at this moment, quite unexpectedly, the back of an old wardrobe is a door into another

Third Friday of Pascha: Suffering

By Abbot Tryphon, April 5, 2020 The role of suffering in the salvation of humankind Elder Ambrose of Optina Monastery said, “We should not forget that in our age of ‘sophistication’ even little children are spiritually harmed by what they see and hear. As a result, purification is required….You must understand that Paradisal bliss is granted to no one without suffering.” A person walks on the path to salvation not only by his good deeds,