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Daily Meditations

The Apostle Paul »

January 14th, 2019

Meeting the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus changed everything for Paul. He experienced the great paradox that the crucified Jesus was in fact alive! And he, a “sinner,” was in fact chosen and beloved. This pushed Paul from the usual either/or, dualistic thinking to both/and, mystical thinking. Not only did Paul’s way of thinking change, his way of being in the world was also transformed. Suddenly the persecutor—and […]

Can You Forgive Someone Else’s Enemies? »

January 11th, 2019

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 […]

Saint Gregory of Nyssa »

January 10th, 2019

Born into the one of the most illustrious Christian families of late antiquity, Saint Gregory of Nyssa was the younger brother of Saint Macrina and Saint Basil the Great. He joined the family in about 335 AD, the middle child of the nine living children of his mother. Like his older brothers, Naucratius and Basil, Gregory was educated first by his grandmother, Macrina the Elder. His father, who taught Basil, […]

From Image to Likeness (Part I) »

January 9th, 2019

Since we are in the image of God we are therefore in the image of Christ, and it is only in Christ that we discover the truth about ourselves. He alone is the one to whom the Beatitudes fully apply; the poor man who receives himself unceasingly at the hands of the Father and whose royal gentleness transforms the earth into a Eucharist, the ‘pure heart’ like a still lake […]

“Reign” or “Realm”? (Part I) »

January 8th, 2019

For a very long time interpreters of the New Testament have puzzled over the Greek expression basileia tou theou, which can be translated in various ways. The most common, and most literal, are “the Kingdom of God” and “the Reign of God.” As Jesus used the phrase (in his native Aramaic, subsequently translated into Greek), the basic idea is “lordship”: full dominion and authority over creation and human life. The […]