Marriage, Sex and Lent

There are some in the Orthodox Tradition who have said that married couples should abstain from sexual relations during lenten periods.  Some have gone so far as to say that this is the teaching of the Church.  I am not an expert on such things, so I will not venture an opinion on whether or not it is the teaching of the Church or whether or not it is merely pious opinion.  However,…

The Unseen Martyrdom

  “This is the fiercest struggle, the struggle that resists a man unto blood, wherein free will is tested as to the singleness of his love for the virtues….It is here that we manifest our patience, my beloved brethren, our struggle and our zeal.  For this is the time of unseen martyrdom…” What is this struggle that St. Isaac speaks of and how can it be overcome? Is it some dread mysterious…

Talking About Sexual Immorality

St. Gregory Palamas in his homily to the people of Thessaloniki on the day of  Pentecost ends with a warning.  It seems the “Barbarian” Serbian army was threatening the city of Thessaloniki at the time, and according to St. Gregory, deliverance from God would come only if the people repented.  The people were to repent particularly from four sins that St. Gregory names: fornication, adultery, effeminate homosexuality and aggressive homosexuality (the last…

Dating non-Orthodox Christians

Single Orthodox Christians have no easy road before them, especially if they suspect that they will be married some day. For most of history and in a large but shrinking portion of the Orthodox world today, single people did not have to worry about who they would marry: someone else chose for them. In the best cases, the people involved had veto power; that is, neither one had to accept the match.…