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Daily Meditations

The Second Day of Great Lent. “When You Fast…” »

March 12th, 2019

What appears to happen in the Passion of Christ and what actually happens are not at all the same. What appears to happen is not that extraordinary.  The Romans crucified a Jewish man in order to keep public order.  During their long rule over Judea, the Romans had killed many Jews, making the death of Jesus one among these many.  But, only in appearance.  The reality was very different.  The […]

The First Day (Pure Monday) of Great Lent: The Journey to Pascha »

March 11th, 2019

By Alexander Schmemann When a man leaves on a journey, he must know where he is going. Thus with Lent. Above all, Lent is a spiritual journey and its destination is Pascha, “the Feast of Feasts.” It is the preparation for the “fulfillment of Pascha, the true Revelation.” We must begin, therefore, by trying to understand this connection between Lent and Pascha, for it reveals something very essential, very crucial […]

Forgiveness – Do We Know What We’re Doing? »

March 8th, 2019

By Fr Stephen Freeman, March 13, 2016 The first service of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church is “Forgiveness Vespers,” served on the eve of Monday of the First Week. There is nothing unusual about the service itself – other than the “rite of forgiveness” appended to it. In this, the priest and the faithful ask forgiveness of one another. Often this is done with mutual prostrations. Each asks the […]

The Eastern Christian Spiritual Tradition »

March 7th, 2019

The Eastern Christian spiritual tradition is not composed of “schools” as in the West, where they are typically associated with a particular religious order (for example, Benedictine, Carmelite, or Franciscan). Yet there is more than one approach in the East. The one favored on Athos is known as hesychasm, from the Greek word hesychia, translated as “stillness.” It flourished especially in the fourteenth century on Athos, at a time when […]

Members of One Another (Part IX): Weep with Me, Forest and Desert (I) »

March 6th, 2019

Sin and salvation, however, are not merely human in scope, but they also involve the entire created order. When Adam fell, the whole creation fell with him; and by the same token our human salvation will inaugurate the salvation of the total cosmos. As Fr Sophrony puts it, ‘Every saint is a phenomenon of cosmic character’. We are not saved from but with the world. This cosmic understanding of sin […]