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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,

The Sixth Wednesday of Great Lent. Fast from…Feast on…

FAST from self-concern and FEAST on compassion for others. FAST from discouragement and FEAST on hope. FAST from lethargy and FEAST on enthusiasm. FAST from suspicion and FEAST on truth. FAST from thoughts that weaken and FEAST on promises that inspire. FAST from shadows of sorrow and FEAST on the sunlight of serenity. FAST from idle gossip and FEAST on purposeful silence. FAST from problems that overwhelm you and FEAST on prayer that sustains. FAST

Prayer: The Need for Intentional Silence

By Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis, May 23, 2018 We all know the externals of prayer.  Many people also pray in front of icons.  Today’s reflection is about the need for intentional silence. Before we can encounter God, there is a necessity for silence and stillness.  You might be wondering “it is not silent when we worship,” so does there need to be silence in order to encounter God?  There has to be a sense of stillness,

True Self and False Self: Living in God

Guest writer and CAC faculty member James Finley continues exploring insights on the true self and false self that he gleaned from Thomas Merton. In ways known only to God, the one seeking God in silence unexpectedly falls through the barriers of division and duplicity to discover, as Merton writes, that: . . . here, where contemplation becomes what it is really meant to be, it is no longer something infused by God into a

What the Fathers Sought

What the Fathers sought most of all was their own true self, in Christ.  And in order to do this, they had to reject completely the false, formal self, fabricated under social compulsion in “the world.”  They sought a way to God that was uncharted and freely chosen, not inherited from others who had mapped it out beforehand.  They sought a God whom they alone could find, not one who was “given” in a set,

Persons in Communion: The Disciplines of Communion (Part II)

The training of our consciousness enables us to recover an immediacy of response to anybody’s face, however spoilt, haggard, or careworn, and precisely because it is such. God loves this person here and now, in their very ordinariness, their cowardice, their loneliness, their sin. Our consciousness being awakened, the eye of the heart is opened, and we begin to see with the eyes of God. Then we can put ourselves in the other’s place, share

The Seventh Thursday after Pascha. Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation

Stand diligently at the gate of the heart. —St. Philotheos The practice of stillness is full of joy and beauty. —Evagrius By the grace of creation and redemption, there is a grounding union between God and the human person. In the depths of this ground, the “between” cannot be perceived, for it is completely porous to the Divine Presence. Indeed, there is more Presence than preposition. While this is the simplest and most fundamental fact

The Second Tuesday after Pascha. CHRISTOS ANESTI! CHRIST IS RISEN! Staying by Oneself (Part II)

The inner attitude with which monks are supposed to sit in their cells is described by another elder in a drastic image: “When you dwell in the desert as a hesychast [a person who practices quietistic meditation], don’t imagine that you are doing something great. Instead, think of yourself as a dog that has been driven away from the crowd and tied up because he bites and bothers people.” The monks do not remain sitting