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The Twenty-Seventh Day of Christmas Advent: Descent is Ascent

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at St. Mary Orthodox Church There are a number of characteristics that mark Christian spirituality. One of them is this: The Christian path is a first a way of descent. Most other spiritual traditions are about making an ascent. To be sure, St. Paul writes about ascending “from glory to glory.” But first there must be a descent, for example, from the mind to

The Twenty-Fourth Day of Christmas Advent. What a Caveman Said: To Perceive That Which Is Eternal

Fr. Stephen Freeman, October 27, 2020 Fr. Alexander Schmemann described “secularism” as the greatest heresy of our time. He didn’t describe it as a political movement, nor a threat from the world outside Christianity. Rather, he described it as a “heresy,” that is, a false teaching from within the Christian faith. What is secularism? Secularism is the belief that the world exists independent of God, that its meaning and use are defined by human beings.

The Seventeenth Day of Christmas Advent: You Are Not Alone – And Neither Is God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 16, 2021 I consider it both a strange mystery and a settled matter of the faith that God prefers not to do things alone. Repeatedly, He acts in a manner that involves the actions of others when it would seem, He could have acted alone. Why would God reveal His Word to the world through the agency of men? Why would He bother to use writing? Why not simply communicate

On the Feast of St. Philip the Apostle

By S. Michael Phillips In the Name of the + Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ! “Philip ran to [the Ethiopian eunuch], and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.” [1] Introduction Before it was a Church of those

God and the Mystery of the Self

By Father Stephen Freeman, July 22, 2021  St. Augustine, in his Confessions, offered this simple statement: “Noverim me, noverim te.” “If I knew myself, I should have known Thee.”1 There is probably no writing in the life of the early Church as “self-reflective” as Augustine’s. His Confessions have sometimes been called the first “modern” writing. They are certainly the first writing that can properly be described as “autobiographical.” He gives us the first truly “interior” view of an

Consent to Reality

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, July 22, 2018  Catholic philosopher, Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue), has presented perhaps the most cogent account of our modern cultural landscape. It is not an account of how one set of ideas gave way to another set of ideas, but how a once-upon-a-time consensus gave way to our current collection of competing truth-claims and world-views. Indeed, he demonstrates (Whose Justice, Which Rationality) that our present confusion is not primarily represented by

A Life of Luminous Actions

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, October 29, 2017 Mystics like De Chardin believed that the luminous heart of Christ is the center of the cosmos. We agree, of course. Professor Jaroslav Pelikan said that the problem with modern theology is that it has lost sight of the Cosmic Christ. True Christianity always rests in the revelation that Christ is Forever and All-Encompassing. The reason we have forgotten him, I believe, is encapsulated

The Compassionate Way of Self-Care

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, November 18, 2018 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA. No matter how hard we try, we suffer. Sometimes it even seems like the more we try the more we suffer. Resistance is futile and resist we still do! Suffering is a part of life and to deny that is to miss a good portion of it. It comes in small ways and big ones. For

The Tree Heals the Tree

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, September 14, 2017  Readers of the New Testament are familiar with St. Paul’s description of Christ as the “Second Adam.” It is an example of the frequent Apostolic use of an allegoric reading of the Old Testament (I am using “allegory” in its broadest sense – including typology and other forms). Christ Himself had stated that He was the meaning of the Old Testament (John 5:39). Within the Gospels Christ identifies His own

The Sacrifice of Worship

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, May 30, 2017  When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac (Genesis 22), there was no questioning on Abraham’s part about what was intended. He understood precisely what was involved in such a thing. There was wood to be gathered, an altar of stones to be constructed, the victim to be bound, and then the slitting of its throat with the gushing forth of blood, all consummated in the burning