Prioritizing the Joy of the Resurrection: An Antidote to the World’s Misery

Prioritizing the Joy of the Resurrection: An Antidote to the World’s Misery

Natural catastrophes and personal tragedies, not uncommon in our complex and fallen world, are simultaneously indicative and derivative of our fallen existence. Orthodox soteriology, always cognizant of the imperfect world in which we live, makes insightful references to salvation as man’s restoration to perfect communion with God and nature’s “re-creation”...

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On God’s Golden Lake: A Vision of the Divine at Pascha

On God’s Golden Lake: A Vision of the Divine at Pascha

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Christ is risen! There is an ancient myth that speaks of a magical lake, in whose waters everything reflected in it (including people) appears as gold. Grass, rocks, and even the plants growing alongside the banks of this lake have a golden appearance as reflected on the surface...

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Thanksgiving: The Norm of Christian Existence

Thanksgiving: The Norm of Christian Existence

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 135:1 LXX). My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Several decades ago, a visitor from Western Europe came to the Soviet Union and met with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow at the time...

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Embracing the Desert in Our Hearts

Embracing the Desert in Our Hearts

Famous French author, poet, and aristocrat Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once wrote in his acclaimed masterpiece The Little Prince: “What makes the desert beautiful … is that somewhere it hides a well.” As I reflected on this profound statement, I couldn’t help but think of the ascetic fathers and mothers who...

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Our Mother Who Art in Heaven

Our Mother Who Art in Heaven

Now that I have your attention with the radically unusual title you see above, I want to assure you that no prayer within the corpus of Orthodox Christian writings begins with these words. The ‘paternal’ version of the “Our Father” prayer is well known to us all; and yet during...

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Scripture’s Most Valuable Secret

Scripture’s Most Valuable Secret

During one of our Wednesday morning Bible studies, our group tackled the famous verse John 3:16, which reads: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Scholars have cleverly labeled this pericope the...

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Holiday Feasting at God’s Table

Holiday Feasting at God’s Table

How many of you recently have gone out to eat with your families? Holiday shoppers, especially on the weekends, will generally dine out because of the convenience or simply to enjoy the festive atmosphere that virtually every restaurant or public place provides. Naturally, we have all felt the economic pinch...

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The Nature of Hell from a Talking Skull

The Nature of Hell from a Talking Skull

The question regarding the nature of hell was perhaps best answered in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church by the great elder St. Makarios of Egypt (300-391 A.D.). Abba Makarios taught: “Walking in the desert one day, I found the skull of a dead man, lying on the ground. As...

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The Resurrection IS the Lord!  

The Resurrection IS the Lord!  

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Christ is risen! Natural catastrophes and personal tragedies, not uncommon in our complex and fallen world, are simultaneously indicative and derivative of our fallen existence. Orthodox soteriology, always cognizant of the imperfect world in which we live, makes insightful references to salvation as man’s restoration to perfect communion...

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Intensity, Freedom, and Joy — A Lenten Message

Intensity, Freedom, and Joy — A Lenten Message

”THE DIVINE SERVICES OF THE CHURCH are words in which we converse and speak to God with our worship and with our love. The hours spent closest to Paradise are the hours spent in the church together with all our brethren when we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, when we sing...

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Give God to One Another

Give God to One Another

  ”PRAYER is by its very nature a dialogue and a union with God. Its effect is to hold the world together and to achieve a reconciliation with God. Prayer is the mother and daughter of tears. It is expiation of sin, a bridge over temptation, a barrier against affliction....

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Ch, Ch, Changes … for a Spiritual Renewal

Ch, Ch, Changes … for a Spiritual Renewal

  As we enter yet another new year of the Lord’s goodness, we hear from today’s Gospel pericope, on this Sunday after Epiphany, a message of personal renewal: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). How appropriate, given this time of year, when people commit themselves...

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