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ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Mystery of Pascha – Expanded

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 9, 2010  I have, on occasion, edited and reissued a post – though not as quickly as this one. My post from earlier this week seemed to want a few more words – something to draw the reader closer to the mystery itself. I offer this small addition and pray it is of some use. In his Revelation, St. John describes Christ as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of

The Sixth Friday of Great Lent: An Atonement of Shame – Orthodoxy and the Cross

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 6, 2017 Some decades ago in my early (Anglican) priesthood, a parishioner brought a crucifix back from South America. The question for me as a priest was whether I would accept the crucifix as a gift and place it in the Church. I like crucifixes, my taste was always towards the Catholic direction. But, you have to bear in mind that Spanish/Latin crucifixes have a tendency to be, well, rather

The Sixth Thursday of Great Lent: God Is Always with You, Part 3

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, June 16, 2015 Ms. Jessica Precop traveled to the Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan to interview Father Roman Braga, who grew up and served in Romania under a communist regime. We are very thankful to Ms. Precop, Father Roman, and the Sisterhood at the Monastery for making this interview possible. The interview was commissioned for the OCA Wonder blog, on which it originally appeared. Why

The Third Monday of Great Lent: The Contradictions of Scripture

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 29, 2016 We can, however, only express the Truth if we foresee the extreme expression of all the contradictions inherent in it, from which it follows that Truth itself encompasses the ultimate projection of all its invalidations, is antonymic and cannot be otherwise. -Pavel Florensky I wrote in a previous article about the importance of contradictions in the knowledge of God. The Orthodox faith utterly delights in paradox and contradiction

The Second Monday of Great Lent: A Truly Rational Faith

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 20, 2016 St. Paul notes that “faith works through love” (Gal. 5:6). This describes the very heart of the ascetic life. Only love extends itself in the self-emptying struggle against the passions without becoming lost in the solipsism of asceticism for its own sake. It is love that endures the contradictions of reality without turning away or reducing them. And it is love that finally comprehends the reality hidden within

The First Friday of Great Lent: The Renunciation of Reason

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 14, 2016 I grew up in a house of contradictions. We loved each other and we fought. I had a brother who was five years my senior, and we somehow developed a style of contradiction. If he said white, I said black. If I said red, he said blue. Or after either of us made a perfectly reasonable statement, whatever exceptions might exist, the other was sure to note them.

The Answer to Anxiety and Stress

By Fr. Christopher Makiej, November 4, 2019 I want to talk to you today about the answer, the solution, to worry and anxiety in your life. There are so many people stressed, anxious, worried, pessimistic about life. But the Church provides us with the answer in the Bible – Saint Paul’s letter to the Phillipians 4: 4-9. TRY TO BE JOYFUL The first answer-response to worry and anxiety is to rejoice – to seek to have some joy

A Simple, Great Soul

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 1, 2016 For a variety of reasons, I have been spending a fair amount of time with A.I. Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian writer who died in 2008. I am working through a collection of his writings and have been watching videos on his life along with detailed interviews. If any man lived through the maelstrom of the 20th century, it was he. Born in 1918 to a pious, Orthodox family, he

Words of Love (Part I)

How can you possibly define love? Aside from love being undefinable, English-speakers face the added difficulty of having only one word for love. We often use the name of love in vain. We hear the verse “God is love” and the next minute we say how we ‘love’ our favorite breakfast foods. This naturally leads to a fair amount of confusion and prevents us from honing in on love’s true meaning. To clear this confusion, we

A Bunch of Stuff We Don’t Know

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 25, 2016 Reading discussions about life after death, it is easy to get the impression that people actually know what they’re talking about, that perhaps they have been there, seen what goes on and therefore authoritatively opine on the nature of things. But, the truth is that we mostly don’t know. We have a few things given to us in Scripture, and even those few things are often somewhat cryptic