The Future of the Church

Keeping our youth in the Church click on photos to enlarge We are living in an age that has witnessed changes on a massive scale as never before. The way we communicate has changed with the coming of the internet, with information available that would have required a library and advanced degrees to access in the past. Ideas and information…

Forgiveness and Love

The capacity to forgive and the capacity to love The capacity to forgive is directly related to the capacity to love, and it is in our act of forgiving others, that we find forgiveness. For it is in the turning away from our own self-concern, and our own self-will, that we begin to see that our salvation is directly linked…

Fasting

Fasting for the right reasons The Lord condemned the Pharisee, not because he fasted, but because his motivation was based on pride. The Pharisee wished to be seen by men, and he had no fear of God. He dared to stand before the Lord in pride and arrogance, while the Publican stood afar off, beating his breast, begging for the…

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

Communing from the Body and Blood of the Master during the period of spiritual combat The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is attributed to Saint Gregory the Dialogist († 604), Pope of Rome, but in actuality, it is not the work of one individual, but is a composite work coming down to us from Holy Tradition. The Liturgy of the…

The Banishment of Hell

The Lenten Journey and the banishment of hell One of my favorite authors as a young man, was Thomas Merton, the famous Trappist monk. In the introduction to his work New Seeds of Contemplation he wrote: “Hell was where no one has anything in common with anyone else except the fact that they all hate one other and cannot get…

Why Ask the Saints?

Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man Most Protestant churches strongly reject all saintly intercession, citing passages such as 1 Timothy 2:1-5, which says that Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man, as well as Deuteronomy 18:10-11 which seems to forbid invoking departed souls. They also point to the fact that there are no examples in…

Great Lent

The Journey of Joyful Sorrow in the expectation of the Resurrection The main reason Christianity spread so rapidly following the Resurrection of Christ, was the power behind the resurrection. The truth of Christ’s resurrection empowered believers to joyfully embrace martyrdom, knowing that they would be joined in eternal bliss with their resurrected Saviour. Although their martyrdom would involve both mental…

The Mystery of the Church

And the corporate nature of salvation There is a certain emptiness in trying to live the Christian life outside the life of the Church. This is because it is impossible to truly live as a Christian without the Church. The reading of the scriptures, and our commitment to prayer, are important foundations in the life of a Christian, but they…

The Incarnation

A replay of that which happened in the Garden of Eden The Orthodox Church teaches that the Lord took on our humanity by means of a Virgin Birth because he desired to become the first-fruits of a new spiritual humanity, one in which those who were to be united with him would be made sons and daughters of God. According…

Microcosm

Humankind is a microcosm of the universe God is the Creator of the whole cosmos, and ordered his creation with its own integrity, and as a positive reality. Creation is the good work of the good God (Gen. 1), made for the blessed existence of humanity. According to the Cappadocian Fathers, God first created the world and made it like…

Prayer of the Heart

The Jesus Prayer and the Acquisition of Inner Peace The Jesus Prayer, also known as the  Prayer of the Heart, is the central prayer for monastics. One of the early desert fathers, Saint Macarius the Great, said of the phrase from the Psalms, “The meditation of my heart is in your sight”, “There is no other perfect meditation than the…

Passion of a Harlot

Virtue of a saint or passion of a harlot? We are all called to live the angelic life, for it is not just monks who are called into communion with God. We are all invited into that sublime life in imitation of the angels, and whether we live as monastics or are surrounded by family, we are called to an…