Tags

The Way of Shame and the Way of Thanksgiving

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, December 19, 2015  The language of “self-emptying” can have a sort of Buddhist ring. It sounds as we are referencing a move towards becoming a vessel without content – the non-self. Given our multicultural world, such a reference is understandable. It is, however, unfortunate and requires that we visit the true nature of Christian self-emptying. Our self-emptying is deeply tied to shame and the Crucified Christ. As a touchstone, I cite

The Saturday Before the Feast of Pentecost

On the Saturday before Pentecost we commemorate all departed pious Christians, with the idea that the occasion of the coming of the Holy Spirit not only consists of the economy of the salvation of man, but that the departed also participate in this salvation. Therefore, the Holy Church, sending up prayers on Pentecost for the enlivening of all the living through the Holy Spirit, petitions for grace of the Holy Spirit also for the departed,

Three Guiding Lights of Truth Faith

By Very Rev. Stephen Rogers, from The Word, January 2001 As the month of January draws to a close, the Church calls us on the 30th to celebrate the Feast of the Three Holy Hierarchs: St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom. In celebrating these three great teachers of the Church, the Church in its hymnody refers to them as “harps of the Spirit,” “rays of light,” “scented flowers of Paradise,”

Saint Athanasius the Great, Patriarch of Alexandria

Saint Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria, was a great Father of the Church and a pillar of Orthodoxy. He was born around the year 297 in the city of Alexandria into a family of pious Christians. He received a fine secular education, but he acquired more knowledge by diligent study of the Holy Scripture. In his childhood, the future hierarch Athanasius became known to Saint Alexander the Patriarch of Alexandria (May 29). A group

Remembering the End

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 4, 2016 Orthodox Christianity often seems inherently conservative. The unyielding place that tradition holds within its life seems ready-made for a conservative bulwark against a world all-too-ready to forget everything that is good or beautiful. There are subtle but important distinctions that make this treatment of Orthodoxy misleading and can lead to the distortion of the faith and an almost reverse image of our true salvation. Orthodox Christianity does not

Overcoming the Tyranny of History

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 10, 2015  History is tyranny. A seemingly inescapable part of human life is its history (and the baggage it brings with it). So much that shapes our identity: language, culture, economics, health, personality (and the list goes on), are largely products of history. As such, all of these things are outside of our control, not a part of our choosing. I am white, Anglo-American, lower middle class, with high blood

The Fourth Friday of Pascha: The Gift of Pascha

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 23, 2020 It is impossible to describe the joy of Pascha, particularly as I experience it as a priest. This year, I was deeply aware that I stand in a place that was both created for me, and for which I am unworthy. The joy of such a combination is the realization of the Gift. When you are trying to find a gift for someone, the most difficult part, it

Sixth Tuesday of Great Lent. The Ethos of Lent

By Fr. George Morelli The ethos of Lent for the committed Orthodox Christian is told to us by St. Dorotheus of Gaza. He likened it to a wake-up call, ‘a coming to one’s self’ (like the Prodigal Son) to find meaning for the entire year. The “great and saving forty days” are to wake us up to all times and seasons of all year. St. Dorotheus means more than this year only because each and

Prayer of the Heart in an Age of Technology and Distraction, Part 11

By Fr. Maximos (Constas) What is the Jesus Prayer and how old is it? Who is the Jesus Prayer for? Where can the Jesus Prayer be found in Scriptures, and how does it differ from the mantras of eastern traditions? How ought we to practice the Jesus Prayer, and what do we find when we do? This talk is about the Jesus Prayer, something that we all know about and hopefully something we all practice, but

Prayer of the Heart in an Age of Technology and Distraction, Part 3

By Fr. Maximos (Constas) Man is a creature of great depth, created by God, but after the Fall we are easily distracted from the depths, being enamored with mere surface appearances. What in our world today serves to distract us from the depths, and what can we do about it? It’s hard not to hark back to the saint of the day—Isidore of Pelusium, for a very famous quote that merits repeating. Despite that he