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ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Second Thursday of Pascha: The Bridge of Diamond

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, January 3, 2017 Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of Diokleia ‘Thou hast brought us into being out of nothing’ (The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom). How are we to understand God’s relation to the world he has created? What is meant by this phrase ‘out of nothing’, ex nihilo? Why, indeed did God create at all? The words ‘out of nothing’ signify, first and foremost, that God created the universe by an act of

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 Universal Christ: Growing in Christ

[The cosmos] is fundamentally and primarily living. [1] Christ, through his Incarnation, is interior to the world, rooted in the world even in the very heart of the tiniest atom. [2] —Pierre Teilhard de Chardin As Paul saw Christ as a single “New Human” (see Ephesians 2:15), as Duns Scotus saw Christ as the Alpha point of history, so Teilhard saw the same Divine Icon as the Omega point of cosmic history—both the archetypal starting point and the alluring final goal.

The Fourth Day of Christmas. Family Challenge: The 12 Days of Christmas.

The 12 Days of Christmas refer to the period of December 25 – January 5. It is a primarily a festal time, spanning from Christmas Day until the Eve of Epiphany (or Theophany), which is the only day where fasting is observed.  The most important thing is to not let a day go by without marveling at the transformative gift we received in Christ’s Nativity. Are you ready to take the Challenge? Baptized in Christ:

The Life of the Cosmos

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 15, 2016  What does it mean to be alive? This is a question whose answer would seem so obvious that it is hardly worth asking. And yet. A recent comment drew attention to a different way of thinking about what is “alive.” I will offer some quotes from the comment and then some observations of my own. I give special thanks to Justin. Everything is alive. Everything. We encounter the

Pentecost: The Descent of the Holy Spirit

In the Old Testament Pentecost was the feast which occurred fifty days after Passover. As the Passover feast celebrated the exodus of the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt, so Pentecost celebrated God’s gift of the ten commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. In the new covenant of the Messiah, the Passover event takes on its new meaning as the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection, the “exodus” of men from this sinful world to

Saint Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople

This great Father and Teacher of the Church was born in 329 in Arianzus, a village of the second district of Cappadocia, not far from Nazianzus. His father, who later became Bishop of Nazianzus, was named Gregory (commemorated Jan. 1), and his mother was named Nonna (Aug. 5); both are among the Saints, and so are his brother Caesarius (Mar. 9) and his sister Gorgona (Feb. 23). At first he studied in Caesarea of Palestine,

Eastern Christianity: Theosis

The Orthodox teaching of divinization, or theosis, according to Pope John Paul II, is perhaps the greatest gift of the Eastern Church to the West, but one that has largely been ignored or even denied. [1] The Eastern fathers of the Church believed that we could experience real and transformative union with God. This is in fact the supreme goal of human life and the very meaning of salvation—not only later, but now, too. Theosis refers to the shared deification

Eastern Christianity: Trinity

Just as some Eastern fathers saw Christ’s human/divine nature as one dynamic unity, they also saw the Trinity as an Infinite Dynamic Flow. The Western Church tended to have a more static view of both Christ and the Trinity—more a mathematical conundrum than an invitation to new consciousness. In our attempts to explain the Trinitarian mystery, the Western Church overemphasized the individual names—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—but not so much the quality of the relationships

Eastern Christianity: The Patristic Period

As I [have] shared …the desert fathers and mothers focused more on the how than the what. Their spirituality was very practical: virtue and prayer-based. Now we turn to its parallel, the Patristic Period, which emphasized the what—the rational, philosophical, and theological foundations for the young Christian religion. This period stretches from around 100 CE (the end of the Apostolic Age) to either 451 CE (with the Council of Chalcedon) or as late as the eighth century (Second Council of Nicaea