by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon Before he ever met the Apostle Paul, the life of young Timothy was already full of blessings. Indeed, Paul himself, among the last lines he wrote on this earth, reminded Timothy of those blessings: “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:14–15). Both Paul and Timothy knew who were the latter’s first teachers of Holy Scripture. Paul wrote earlier in this same epistle, “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in … [Read more...]
Transfiguration and the Cross
By George Mantzarides Professor at the School of Theology, University of Thessaloniki Are you aware that counting 40 days from Transfiguration, on the 40th day we celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross? It’s not a mistake. The Transfiguration of Our Savior has a central place in the Orthodox Church and in Orthodox theology. It is the event that reveals the glory of the Church and of the faithful. It is a witness to the new reality introduced by the coming of Christ in history. During His Transfiguration, Christ revealed the Uncreated Glory of His Divinity within His human nature. At the same time, He took up those surrounding Him into His Uncreated Divine Glory. Moses and Elias … [Read more...]
by Fr. Lawrence Farley The service of Vespers is, I think, dramatically under-appreciated today. The temptation for us busy people is to reduce our church-going to Sunday mornings only, and let everything else slide. Since we under-appreciate Vespers, it often tends to slide with other things we deem relatively unimportant. But Vespers warrants a second look, and a renewed appreciation. The word “vespers” comes from the Greek ἑσπέρα (hespera) and the Latin vesper, both meaning “evening”, because it is the evening service of the Church. Christians are to pray to God not just on Sunday mornings, but constantly, sanctifying time by offering prayer throughout the day. In the eighth chapter of … [Read more...]
Need a Reason for Embracing Orthodoxy?
by Abbot Tryphon One of the most powerful reasons for embracing Orthodoxy is to be found in the Church’s insistence that she holds to the evangelical and apostolic doctrine of the Ancient Church. In an age when everything is up for change, there is a certain security and stability when one institution (the Church) stands firm in her Apostolic Authority, and refuses to allow popular culture or political correctness to influence her rightful role as hospital for the soul. “It is not lawful to differ even by a single word from the evangelical and apostolic doctrine, or to think otherwise than as the blessed Apostles and our fathers learned and taught concerning the Holy Scriptures," (Saint … [Read more...]
Historical Sources for the Miracle of St. Euphemia at the Fourth Ecumenical Synod
The Fourth Ecumenical Synod of 451 took place in the Church of Saint Euphemia in Chalcedon, where her sacred relics were kept. The Patriarch of Constantinople at this Synod was Anatolios, while the Pope of Rome was Leo the Great. Information about the miracle of Saint Euphemia comes from two letters: one from the the Synod to Pope Leo and the other from Patriarch Anatolios to Pope Leo. Though the passages are a bit obscure about the miracle, it says that the definition of faith was delivered by Saint Euphemia as her own confession of faith and confirmed by the holy Fathers present. It seems clear that Pope Leo already knew of the miracle, or it was common knowledge by the time these two … [Read more...]
The Miracle of St. Euphemia the All-Praised at the 4th Ecumenical Council
The holy Great Martyr Euphemia (September 16) suffered martyrdom in the city of Chalcedon in the year 304, during the time of the persecution against Christians by the emperor Diocletian (284-305). One and a half centuries later, at a time when the Christian Church had become victorious within the Roman Empire, God deigned that Euphemia the All-Praised should again be a witness and confessor of the purity of the Orthodox teaching. In the year 451 in the city of Chalcedon, in the very church where the glorified relics of the holy Great Martyr Euphemia rested, the sessions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council (July 16) took place. The Council was convened for determining the precise dogmatic … [Read more...]
“Constitution Does Not Confer Right to Abortion”: Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade
The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.” “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly … [Read more...]
Trampling Down the Power of the Devil!
by St. John Chrysostom Original translation by Dr. David Ford "He who is wrestling is still held fast in the contest; but it’s enough for him that he has not fallen. The brilliant victory will not be completely gained until we depart to the next life. Consider, for instance, the case of some evil lust. The wondrous thing would be not just to refuse to entertain it, but to quench it completely. But if this isn’t possible, even if we have to wrestle against it continually, if we depart in the midst of fighting that ongoing battle we will be victorious. This is different from wrestling matches in the arena, where if you don’t throw over your opponent, you don’t gain the victory. But in the … [Read more...]
Why Didn’t the Holy Spirit Come Right After the Ascension?
by St. John Chrysostom But why did the Holy Spirit come to them, not while Christ was present, nor even immediately after his departure, but, whereas Christ ascended on the fortieth day, the Spirit descended “when the day of Pentecost,” that is, the fiftieth, “was fully come?”(Acts 2:1) And how was it, if the Spirit had not yet come, that He said, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit?” (John 20:22) In order to render them capable and meet for the reception of Him. For if Daniel fainted at the sight of an Angel (Dan. 8:17), much more would these when about to receive so great a grace. Either this then is to be said, or else that Christ spoke of what was to come, as if it came already; … [Read more...]
Is God a Fool?
by Fr. Stephen Freeman Few things are as awkward (and even painful) as “feeling like a fool,” whether it is the mild thing we call “embarrassment,” or the stronger things that make us want to disappear or run away. No one wants to be the fool. Nevertheless, I have come to see God as a “fool,” and those rare saints whom we name the “holy fools,” to be amazing exemplars of this way of being. I do not mean to scandalize anyone by saying that I’ve come to see God as a fool. I mean, rather, to suggest that we seem to constantly ignore His abiding foolishness and, as a consequence, fail to understand His love. St. Isaac of Syria wrote about God’s “manikos eros” (literally, “crazy desire”) for … [Read more...]
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