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forgiveness

The Tenth Day of Great Lent. Lent in Our Life (Part II) »

March 20th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

In regard to Lent, instead of asking fundamental questions—”What is fasting?” or “What is Lent?”—we satisfy ourselves with Lenten symbolism. In church magazines and bulletins appear recipes for “delicious Lenten dishes,” and a parish might even raise some additional money by means of a well-advertised “tasty Lenten dinner.” So much in our churches is explained symbolically as interesting, colorful, and amusing customs and traditions, as something which connects us not […]

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

March 8th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

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 […]

Should I Forgive the Unrepentant? »

February 1st, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 17, 2015 It has been noted that forgiveness is often directly tied to repentance. This is doubtless true, but also fraught with misunderstanding. It is important to understand what forgiveness is and is not and what repentance is and is not. The heart is filled with twists and turns – understanding is helpful at every moment. “Without repentance, there can be no forgiveness.” This, or […]

Can You Forgive Someone Else’s Enemies? »

November 13th, 2018    Posted in Daily Meditations

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 […]

A Tuning Fork »

November 12th, 2018    Posted in Daily Meditations

Contemplative prayer is like striking a tuning fork. All you can really do in the spiritual life is resonate to the true pitch, to receive the always-present message. Once you are tuned, you will receive, and it has nothing to do with worthiness or the group you belong to, but only inner resonance, a capacity for mutuality (see Matthew 7:7-11), which implies a basic humility. We must begin with the knowledge that […]