Humility And The Unseen Martyrdom

Homily thirty-seven is one of St. Isaac’s longer homilies and consists of a series of questions and answers.  The questions are posed by an apparently fictional disciple and fellow struggler in the hermitic life.  The questions are such as, “What is spiritual prayer, and how is a man who struggles deemed worthy of [attaining] it?” Or, “How is it that many who, perhaps, practise these works do not sense tranquillity from passions…

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…