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Paradise

The Holy and Great Tuesday »

April 23rd, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

At Bridegroom Orthros on Great and Holy Tuesday the Church sings the following hymn by St. Kassiane: O Lord, the woman who had fallen into many sins, perceiving Thy divinity, fulfilled the part of a myrrh-bearer; and with lamentations she brought sweet-smelling oil of myrrh to Thee before Thy burial. ‘Woe is me,’ she said, ‘for night surrounds me, dark and moonless, and stings my lustful passion with the love […]

The Fortieth Day of Great Lent. Get Out of Hell Free »

April 19th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 2, 2015  The Saturday before Palm Sunday is known as Lazarus Saturday among the Orthodox, and they celebrate Christ raising him from the dead just prior to His entrance into Jerusalem (gospel of John). It is a feast that offers something of a preview of Christ’s resurrection, and a foretaste of the General Resurrection at the End of the Age. Some years back I sat in a […]

The Twenty-Sixth Day of Great Lent. The Ladder of Divine Ascent and Moral Improvement »

April 5th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 11, 2016  The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church, is dedicated to St. John Climacus, the author of the ancient work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. It is a classic work describing “steps” within the life of the struggling ascetic. There is an icon associated with this work, picturing monastics climbing the rungs of a ladder to heaven, battling demons who are trying […]

The Twenty-Third Day of Great Lent. “. . . BUT BY PRAYER AND FASTING” (Part I) »

April 2nd, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

In the Orthodox teaching, sin is not only the transgression of a rule leading to punishment; it is always a mutilation of life given to us by God. It is for this reason that the story of the original sin is presented to us as an act of eating. For food is means of life; it is that which keeps us alive. But here lies the whole question: what does […]

The Seventeenth Day of Great Lent. FASTING & PARTICIPATION IN LENTEN SERVICES »

March 27th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

[Not everyone] can attend the entire cycle of Lenten worship. Everyone can attend some of it. There is simply no excuse for not making Lent first of all the time for an increased attendance of and participation in the liturgy of the Church. Here again, personal conditions, individual possibilities and impossibilities can vary and result in different decisions, but there must be a decision, there must be an effort, and […]