On the Commemoration of the Beheading of John the Baptist

By Fr Antony Hughes, August 29, 2010 In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. St. John knew who he was.  Self-knowledge, say some of the Holy Fathers, is the greatest of all the spiritual gifts.  He was the Forerunner, the last prophet of the coming Messiah, that is, of the Old Testament.  Most of all he knew who he was not.  He was not

God and Caesar (Part I): The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Caesar

‘From now on politics will be our religion’; so wrote Feuerbach, a little before Marx socialized God. And looking now at the emptiness created by industrial civilization, we can see how right he was. With the headlong progress of technology and the development of global civilization, there is a greater need than ever for a sense of purpose, the influence of the Spirit, a new marriage covenant between the human race and the earth. Our

The Cruciform Pattern to Reality

The Cruciform Pattern to Reality The Gospel of Mark is the shortest gospel and likely the oldest. In many ways it is the simplest and clearest, and it cuts the hardest because it is so utterly without frills. The more that commentators have studied this gospel, the more they have found that the way in which Mark put events together is trying to say a lot about the centrality of suffering and the cross. By

Holding the Pain

Don’t get rid of the pain until you’ve learned its lessons. When you hold the pain consciously and trust fully, you are in a very special liminal space. This is a great teaching moment where you have the possibility of breaking through to a deeper level of faith and consciousness. Hold the pain of being human until God transforms you through it. And then you will be an instrument of transformation for others. As an

Sixth Tuesday after Pascha, Christ is Risen!

Through Your Glorious Ascension (Part II) By the Reverend John Breck By His incarnation, Christ deified the flesh, the body with its human nature, and thus He restored it to the perfection and glory for which God originally intended it. As the First Adam, the archetype of all human existence, and as the Last Adam, the Author of Life who gives life to those who dwell in Him, Christ ascends in his “divine flesh,” exalting

Fifth Thursday after Pascha, Christ is Risen!

What is Orthodoxy? (Part I) By Rev. Dr. Theodore Pulcini TO BE AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN… Is to experience the Apostolic Faith… They knew that something was different about him, this carpenter from Nazareth. He spoke with authority. He cleansed lepers. He raised the dead. And through he suffered crucifixion and death, he rose from the dead and appeared to his followers … And now nothing seemed the same! Death had been trampled down by death;

Second Wednesday after Pascha, Christos Anesti!

How the Resurrected Bodies will be Transformed at the Second Coming of Jesus, by Saint Symeon the New Theologian This is the revelation received by Saint Symeon the New Theologian from God while in ecstasy. It reveals to us how our material bodies will be transformed and become incorruptible at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.            “One day, while I was praying to God with purity of heart, a breeze came upon me and

Mysterium Tremendum, Mysterium Fascinosum

Rudolph Otto in his book The Idea of the Holy says that when someone has an authentic experience of the Holy, they find themselves caught up in two opposite movements at the same time: the mysterium tremendum and the mysterium fascinosum, a scary mystery and a very alluring mystery. We both draw back from and are pulled forward into a kind of liminal space where we are not at home at all and yet totally

Becoming Food for the World

Becoming Food for the World When Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, he summarized in these gestures his own life. Jesus is chosen from all eternity, blessed at his baptism in the Jordan River, broken on the cross, and given as bread to the world. Being chosen, blessed, broken, and given is the sacred journey of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. When we take bread, bless

Pain and Suffering as a Way of Knowing

Pain teaches a most counterintuitive thing—that we must go down before we even know what up is. It is first an ordinary wound before it can become a sacred wound. Suffering of some sort seems to be the only thing strong enough to destabilize our arrogance and our ignorance. I would define suffering very simply as “whenever you are not in control.” All healthy religion shows you what to do with your pain. If we