Are our Hearts Orthodox?

Are our Hearts Orthodox?

Orthodox spirituality concerns itself directly with the human heart. Originating not in the concepts and, as Dostoevsky wrote, “the empty firmament of the mind”, our spirituality ultimately takes root in the heart where a special connection is made between God, whose seeking us out never ends, and ourselves, the searching...

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Letting Jesus Get Close to Us

Letting Jesus Get Close to Us

The internationally known journalist, cultural critic, and scholar of the English language, H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) of Baltimore, regarded the ninth chapter of St. John’s Gospel as the best crafted short story in all of world literature. It is this chapter (John 9:1-38) that forms the foundation for this Sunday’s...

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The Paralytic: Hope, Healing, and Heralding

The Paralytic: Hope, Healing, and Heralding

On the third Sunday after Holy Pascha we hear the story of Jesus healing the Paralytic at Bethsaida (John 5:1-15). This passage is taken from what Biblical scholars have designated as “The Book of Signs,” i.e. John 1:19 through John 12. It precedes “The Book of Glory,” which deals with Christ’s Paschal Mystery...

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From the Mouths of the Holy Women

From the Mouths of the Holy Women

Since the New Testament and throughout subsequent generations of believers, “Christ is Risen!” has been at the heart of the Christian proclamation (κ?ρυγμα). It is how Orthodox Christians greet one another during Paschal season. Of all the written testimony about Jesus’ life, in the four Holy Gospels, His death and...

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Christians to the Paschal Victim Give Praise!

Christians to the Paschal Victim Give Praise!

As we remember the days of Christ’s final ordeal, the Church feels an oppressive silence at the death of her Lord, a silence that penetrates to the depths of the heart of every disciple, then and now, who stands wordless before the Cross. It is the silence after an execution....

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Fighting a Cross-Less Christianity

Fighting a Cross-Less Christianity

One of the most difficult things for human persons to face is rejection.  Think of a time in your life when you felt rejected. Think of the feelings you had – sadness, betrayal, alienation and aloneness, and, for even a moment, a bitter lack of love and confidence in oneself....

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This Is the Faith of the Apostles

This Is the Faith of the Apostles

The noted American historian, Dr. Henry Glassie, once observed, “History is not the past. History is a story about the past, told in the present, and designed to be useful in creating the future.” On the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the First Sunday of Great Lent, we naturally look back at...

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For Whom Will You Speak?

For Whom Will You Speak?

At a theological conference held recently in Brazil, His Eminence Archbishop Anastasios, Primate of All Albania, challenged the Orthodox participants. “Woe to us if, in this 21st century, we surrender the initiative for social justice to others, as we have done in past centuries, while we confine ourselves to our opulent...

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Turning Resolutions into Revelations

Turning Resolutions into Revelations

It’s a yearly rite for millions. Create a list of “resolutions” for the year ahead, then watch in horror as those New Year’s resolutions slip out of grasp. A recent study by the University of Scranton finds that a mere 8 to 9 percent of resolution makers keep their goals...

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Waiting in Joyful Hope

Waiting in Joyful Hope

As we come closer to the commemoration of the birth of Christ, we would do well to consider exactly what it is that we celebrate. By in large, the Christian world marks the birth of Jesus in the cave at Bethlehem, the “en-fleshing” of the Divine Word, “full of grace...

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Protecting the Church We Love

Protecting the Church We Love

The bark of the Christian Church sails through troubled waters these days. Mega-scandals have assaulted Christian communities throughout the United States and the world, scandals of a grave dimension, scandals which can only be described as sin, as the pervasiveness of evil, and as the failure of Christians and their...

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Lifting Up the Precious Cross That We Love

Lifting Up the Precious Cross That We Love

The Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross that we celebrate every year on September 14 reveals an important lesson: there is a difference between the Cross as a theological construct and the Cross as a lived experience. Suffering with Gratefulness and Grace Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae (1903–1993) was...

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