Daily Meditations

The Long Defeat and the Cross »

August 22nd, 2017

By Father Stephen Freeman Few ideas contrast as starkly to our modern myths as Tolkien’s view of history as “the long defeat.” I have been very interested in the continuing comments that struggle with the perceived pessimism of such a phrase. I have refrained from commenting at length myself, for the very reason that I wanted to do so in an article. For the nature of the long defeat that […]

Giving Birth to God »

August 21st, 2017

Many of the early teachers of the Christian Church believed in an ontological, metaphysical, objective union between humanity and God, which alone would allow Jesus to take us “back with him” into the life of the Trinity (John 17:23-24, 14:3, 12:26). This was how many in the Early Church understood and experienced “participation.” It proclaimed our core identity as the beginning point (Ephesians 1:3-12), not external practices of any type. […]

The Purpose and Method of Christian Life (Part VI). Virtues (Part II): Discernment and Discretion (Part I) »

August 18th, 2017

Both discernment and discretion involve the Christian’s development of a correct relationship with various ideas and concepts. They are intellectual virtues in that to display them means to recognize certain truths and realities clearly, without being deceived. Abba Moses defines discernment in the first conference as the ability first to avoid any kind of incorrect doctrine or idea that might lead a monk astray. Whatever has found entrance into our […]


August 17th, 2017

This is something that really separates the sheep from the goats. Tessa Bieleckie once defined the contemplative life as “the art of stealing time.” If you have ever spent time in communities of monks or friars or nuns, you will see firsthand that even in communities that officially value contemplation, the practical demands of earning income, keeping rather large premises reasonably clean, and apostolic initiatives leave time for little else […]

Full of Grace and Truth, The Holy Mandylion (Napkin) of Christ (Not-made-by-hands) »

August 16th, 2017

The Holy Mandylion (Napkin) of Christ (Not-made-by-hands) “The Transfer from Edessa to Constantinople of the Icon of our Lord Jesus Christ Not-Made-by-Hands occurred in the year 944. Eusebius, in his HISTORY OF THE CHURCH (I:13), relates that when the Savior was preaching, Abgar ruled in Edessa. He was stricken all over his body with leprosy. Reports of the great miracles worked by the Lord spread throughout Syria (Mt.4:24) and reached […]

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