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Encountering The Beauty Of The Church: The Way Of Love

Orthodoxy in the West - 20 January 2017

I would like to briefly express what the Orthodox Church means to me, as one who has entered into it later in life. This of course, is impossible to articulate with words, because it is a mystery, but I will speak, like a child in awe. I am in awe at the Orthodox Church. It’s beauty, its grace. T...

A Spiritual Migration: The Story of my Return Home

Society - 20 January 2017

As I was growing up, I was living in a world that neither my mother nor father had a complete understanding or control of, particularly my mother who was an immigrant. Of course, my parents allowed me to participate in many of the same “American” luxuries that the other children in my school took ...

Cunning actions

Words of Life - 19 January 2017

The purer and more powerful are the means that unite us to God, that is prayer and repentance, the more cunning and destructive the actions of the evil one become against these means....

The Eucharist: Its Meaning and Place in Our Salvation

Pastoral Theology - 19 January 2017

The earliest title of the main Sunday service of the Christian Church is “the Eucharist”, from the Greek word eucharisteo, meaning, “to give thanks.” As early as about the middle of the second century, Justin the Philosopher (later known as “Justin Martyr”) wrote that the bread and wine which the Ch...

Preparation for Holy Communion

Liturgy - 19 January 2017

This preparation incorporates a series of supplications and a prayer by the priest which concludes with the words: ‘And count us worthy, Master, with boldness and without condemnation, to dare to call upon you, the God of heaven, as Father, and say’: ‘Our Father Who are in heaven…’ In this prayer...

Journey of a Young Artist: The Seeds of “The Mystery of Art”

Orthodoxy in the West - 18 January 2017

Whoever wants to become a Christian, must first become a poet. — Saint Porphyrios When I was young, they brought me to Babylon And the night hung over my head The smoke came into my dreams In the valley of dry bones It was under the skies of Babylon Where my soul fell in love with God My ...

Abba Dorotheos: Instruction 11

Wisdom & Word - 18 January 2017

115. It happened that a great Elder was with his disciples in a place where there were all kinds of cypresses, large and small. He said to one of his disciples: ‘Pull up that little cypress plant’. It was very small and the monk had no difficulty in pulling it up with one hand. Then the Elder indica...

With courage

Words of Life - 20 January 2017

Learn to suffer courageously the trials the Lord may allow to visit you. Don’t seek comfort from people in your sorrows, but take your comfort from God....

Moth-eaten virtues

Words of Life - 18 January 2017

Vainglory is the thief of spiritual riches. It doesn’t only destroy good works but also becomes a guide for evil ones. It undermines the foundations of the greater virtues. It’s the moth that eats away at everything we have with pleasure, which coats the poison of its deception with honey, thus fi...

Cut off the passions before the soul becomes accustomed to them – 3

Ethics - 18 January 2017

I’ve told you in different ways how people fall into bad habits. We don’t call people volatile if they lose their tempers just once. They’re not libertines if they succumb once. If they’ve given alms once, that doesn’t make them charitable. It’s the constant practice of virtue or wickedness that m...

The Mystery of Art by Jonathan Jackson

Orthodoxy in the West - 17 January 2017

In Greece, our knowledge of Hollywood stars is restricted almost exclusively to watching them at the cinema or on television. Jonathan Jackson, however, has broken this pattern. He came to Greece, the cradle of Orthodoxy, in order to speak and to describe his own journey into Orthodoxy. This is of g...

How to Make Friends at Church

Society - 16 January 2017

Some time ago, I was approached by a new parishioner, after Liturgy, with a question, “How do I become closer to the people at church?”  Shocked and saddened that she even had to ask that question (such implications!), I hurriedly mumbled something about her volunteering.  And then I thought, and ...

Spiritually weak

Words of Life - 15 January 2017

When I first went to Elder Iosif, he began his supervision and his cure from the very first day. He was very strict with me, always chastising me and berating me. He tired me out, because I was spiritually weak....

Like a broken mirror

Words of Life - 17 January 2017

We make it very hard for God to appear to us when we’re like a broken mirror on the shards of which even spiritual matters are reflected and reduplicated in a hundred different ways. Christ came into the world to make this mirror of ours complete, so that we can receive His image within us....

Sermon on Gratitude

Pastoral Theology - 16 January 2017

17 December 1989 In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Ten lepers came to the Lord; ten men who were ritually unclean and therefore, ritually rejected by their community, unable to attend the common worship of the Temple, unable to come near the habitations of men; and unclean als...

When does it wane?

Words of Life - 16 January 2017

Zeal is the dog which guards the law of God, which is virtue. Like a fiery furnace, zealous people heat up, like the Cherubim and are on the lookout at every moment for the traps and attacks of the evil spirits. Zeal wanes when people don’t believe in divine providence and forget God. There is a c...

Be still and know God

Pastoral Psychology - 17 January 2017

There is a point of stillness within us, though we rarely recognize it. We inhabit the world of our thoughts and feelings and rarely find them to be quiet. Almost nothing challenges the “normalcy” of this noisy world – almost everything we encounter is aimed towards it and markets itself with this r...

Cut off the passions before the soul becomes accustomed to them – 2

Ethics - 15 January 2017

When I was in the coenobium, the Abbot, with the consent of the Elders, made me guest-master. I was, at the time, recovering from a serious illness. Strangers came and I stayed up with them; camel-drivers arrived and I looked after them. And there were lots of times when I was just about to go to sl...

Those who truly love God

Patristic Theology - 14 January 2017

Who are those who truly love God, where does their love for Him come from and how is it shown? What are the works of our love for God as regards our neighbours? And that love is the culmination of the old and the new law. Saint Symeon the New Theologian, Alphabetic Chapters, chapter 9. Some peop...

Fundamentalism and the Psychology of Violence

Person and violence - 21 January 2017

Propaganda Poster Recently I began what I hope will become a dialogue with a fundamentalist.  That is, I asked on-line for a free copy of the Quran, and in due time it arrived in the mail.  After a decent delay, the people who kindly supplied it to me emailed me to ask what I thought of it.  It wa...

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