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Daily Meditations

The Fifth Day of Christmas Advent. BIRTH: WONDER . . . ASTONISHMENT . . . ADORATION »

November 19th, 2018

BIRTH: WONDER . . . ASTONISHMENT . . . ADORATION. There can’t be very many of us for whom the sheer fact of existence hasn’t rocked us back on our heels. We take off our sandals before the burning bush. We catch our breath at the sight of a plummeting hawk. “Thank you, God.” We find ourselves in a lavish existence in which we feel a deep sense of kinship—we […]

The Second Day of Christmas Advent. The Meaning of Christmas »

November 16th, 2018

[My] journey began on Christmas morning, 1988, in Ottawa in a small Anglo-Catholic church called St. Barnabas. It was my first encounter with what my high church friends call “smells and bells.” Throughout that Christmas service a translucent ribbon of incense lingered just above eye level. Its constant presence provided a gentle introduction to the physical elements of the Christmas service that I had not experienced before—the Eucharist, the processions, […]

The First Day of Christmas Advent: The Fast of Advent »

November 15th, 2018

The Fast of Advent, by Father Leonidas Contos If there is one central idea in Paul, a kind of link that binds his theology to his ethics, that is his doctrinal theology and his moral theology; it is the idea of “newness of life.”  Again and again he makes this emphasis:  that when a person became a Christian, he literally renounced a former way of life and adopted a wholly […]

Live the Church Year »

November 14th, 2018

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “LIVE THE CHURCH YEAR”? Our goal is to recover a more ancient way of looking at time and the mysterious relationship between the material and spiritual realms. The early Christians believed that the rhythm of the year gave us a perfect opportunity to re-enact the story of our salvation. In the holy days and seasons of the church year, the life of Christ and the […]

Can You Forgive Someone Else’s Enemies? »

November 13th, 2018

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 11, 2015 I have written from time to time about the concept expressed in Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, “Forgive everyone for everything.” It is a quote taken from the fictional Elder Zosima, but it is certainly a sentiment well within the bounds of Orthodox thought. I have recently been challenged in several places by people arguing that we cannot forgive those who have not sinned against us […]