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The Fourth Monday of Great Lent: As Lent Moves On – The Greatest Fast Awaits

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 9, 2019  As Great Lent has passed its mid-point, attention begins to move towards Holy Week itself and its very intense focus. It has been an unusual time for me, having traveled on two successive weekends to lead retreats. Travel is always disruptive, and absence from your own community creates a break in the normal continuity of the Fast. I have great sympathies for those whose jobs involve frequent travel.

The Third Friday of Great Lent: Before Thy Cross

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 26, 2011  Sunday, the third in Lent, is set aside to honor the Venerable and Life-Giving Cross. I offer these thoughts: In a short work, The Beginning of the Day, (I believe it was a special printing and is not generally available), Met. Kallistos Ware notes this about the Cross and its connection with the whole of creation: …[The] created order in its entirety participated in the Savior’s Passion: the earth shook,

The Third Wednesday of Great Lent. The Spiritual Fruits of Lent.

+ DEMETRIOS Archbishop of America This month…we entered the sacred period of Holy and Great Lent, a season of the Church that accords us with splendid opportunities to prepare ourselves for the glorious feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which we celebrate this year in April. Our journey throughout these next few weeks is, thus, of extraordinary significance for our spiritual lives. During this time, our occasions for prayer and worship are greatly increased,

Bob, His Doctor, and Your Moral Life

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 15, 2015  Bob woke up one morning and felt terrible. He had no energy and his head hurt. After a while, he decided to go to see his doctor. When he got there the doctor had a number of questions for him: “Are you eating good meals? A balanced diet?” Bob replied, “Yes.” “Are you getting enough exercise?” the doctor continued. “Yes,” Bob said. “Do you smoke?” “No.” “Then, I

Struggling with Prayer. Standing in Worship.

Struggling with Prayer: When prayer becomes a struggle By Abbot Tryphon, November 10, 2019 When we find ourselves struggling with prayer, and feel that it has become dry and lifeless, we are sometimes tempted to stop praying. When our prayer has become a struggle, it is good to remember that God knows our needs, and even knows what we want to say when we don’t seem to know. This is the time we need to

Thoughts on Asceticism, the Difficulty of Love and Burdens

Thoughts on Ascetism and the Difficulty of Love Compiled by Michael Haldas, July 1, 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

The Twenty-Seventh Day of Christmas Advent. The Morality of Christmas.

By Father Stephen Freeman Morality is tricky business in what is an extremely moral society. I pray my readers to be patient with me as I explain what I think is the problem. First, I will note that morality is all that is left when the most fundamental grounds of a culture have been destroyed. We indeed live in just such a time, hence the rise of a vehemence in the moral life. Second, I will suggest

A Dog’s Best Friend

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, September 23, 2015  I would like to suggest that dogs are perhaps the greatest things humans have ever accomplished. If my understanding is correct, dogs are essentially gray wolves, or directly descended from a wolf species, beginning somewhere between 60,000 to 100,000 years ago. At some point they were domesticated by us and used as aids to hunting. It has even been suggested that the domestication of dogs gave us an edge

Elder Porphyrios: On the Means of Preserving Inner Peace

To preserve inner peace: First of all, keep your outer senses in order and flee all licentiousness in your external conduct, – namely, neither look, speak, gesticulate, walk nor do anything else with agitation, but always quietly and decorously. Accustomed to behave with decorous quietness in your external movements and actions, you will easily and without labour acquire peace within yourself, in the heart; for, according to the testimony of the fathers, the inner man

A Practicing Christian

Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 18, 2015 My father was an auto mechanic. He learned the trade by working on cars (airplanes before that in the war). He liked his work and would come home in the evenings with stories of things he had diagnosed and fixed. I thought he was amazing. Stanley Hauerwas tells similar stories about his own father who was a brick mason. A brick mason learns his trade by working with another