By Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis  Scripture and the Fathers When we think of the term stewardship, we frequently consider only matters of financial support. The prevalent rendering of the term oikonomia as “stewardship” or “economy” is not very illuminating as it provides both a linguistic as well as conceptual reduction of this critical and originally Biblical word. In so doing, however, we have narrowed the scope of the Bible’s teaching and neglected the depth of

Saint Mary of Egypt and Zosimas the Priest (Part I)

The Story of Mary ~ Professor Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Ph. D., Brown University The story of Mary of Egypt as it is written for the church is really three separate stories: The story of Mary’s life, the story of the priest Zosimas, and the story of their experience together. Without doubt, the action and thrills come in Mary’s story, which she tells to Zosimas when he finds her wandering in the desert. She had been

FAST FROM SIN: Meatfare Week

In vain do you rejoice in not eating, O soul! For you abstain from food, but from passions you are not purified. If you have no desire for improvement, you will be despised as a lie in the eyes of God, you will be likened to evil demons who never eat! If you persevere in sin, you will perform a useless fast; therefore, remain in constant striving so as to stand before the Crucified Savior,


Do not direct your gaze towards the enemy. Never get into a controversy with him whom you cannot possibly resist. With his millennia of experience he knows the very trick that can render you helpless at once. No, stand in the middle of your heart’s field and keep your gaze upward; then the heart is protected from all sides at once: the Lord Himself sends His angels to guard it both from right and left

55 Maxims for Weekly Meditation, by Father Thomas Hopko

SUNDAY 1. Be always with Christ and trust God in everything 2. Pray as you can, not as you think you must 3. Have a keepable rule of prayer done by discipline 4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times each day 5. Repeat a short prayer when your mind is not occupied 6. Make some prostrations when you pray 7. Eat good foods in moderation and fast on fasting days MONDAY 8. Practice silence, inner


Now that you have thus become aware of your own wretchedness, your insufficiency, and your wickedness, you call upon the Lord as did the Publican (Luke 18: 13): God, be merciful to me a sinner. And you add: Behold, I am far worse than the Publican, for I cannot resist eyeing the Pharisee askance, and my heart is proud and says: I thank Thee that I am not like him! But, say the saints, now

The Fourth Friday of Great Lent

It is not the Body that Sins Do not believe anyone who maintains that our bodies have nothing to do with God. I might say in passing that people who regard the body as corrupt most often defile it with impure actions. But what can possibly be wrong about this marvelous body of ours? Look at the beauty, the harmony of it. The eyes are shining, the ears are placed in the most convenient position

The Second Wednesday of Great Lent

Before the Ship Sinks An illness that has become chronic, like a habit of wrong-doing that has become ingrained is very hard to heal. If after that, as very often happens, the habit turns into second nature, a cure is out of the question. So the ideal would be to have no contact with evil. But there is another possibility: to distance yourself from evil, to run away from it as if from a poisonous

The Second Monday of Great Lent

Life is a Dream with Many Changes of Scene I am not telling a lie: human life is a dream. In our dreams we look without seeing, we listen without hearing, we taste and touch without tasting or touching, we speak without saying anything, we walk without moving. We seem to be moving normally even though we stay still and to be making our habitual gestures even though we are not. The mind invents realities

Malicious Gossip and Passing Judgment

Let us begin by trying to understand the nature of malicious gossip and passing judgment on others. “Malicious gossip is to talk about your neighbor’s sins and mistakes, for example, to say that someone lied or became angry or committed fornication … Saying any of this is denigration, that is to say, speaking maliciously against somebody, talking maliciously about his sin. Passing judgment is when you condemn the actual person, saying he is a liar,