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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Honoring the Nativity of the Theotokos

Honoring the Nativity of the Theotokos

Sometimes in the Divine Services, we may be graced with a moment of clarity. Something touches us or we, at last, come to an awareness about something in our life. It’s only for a moment. We feel God so close to us. We may sense His mercy intensely for us....

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Reclaiming the Sabbath

Reclaiming the Sabbath

At the beginning of September, we celebrate Labor Day. From the earliest days of the Church, work has always occupied a central place in the life of the Christian. St. Clement of Alexandria, writing in the early years of the third century, reminded new converts that there was no need...

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Faith and Putting First Things First

Faith and Putting First Things First

One of the greatest temptations facing the Christian church today is the tendency to mistake religion for faith. The distinguished Orthodox theologian Christos Yannaras writes: “The greatest problem of Christians – and even of the Orthodox – is that they have ‘religionized’ Christianity and have turned the Church into a...

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Take Up and Read

Take Up and Read

Perhaps one of the most memorable verses in the New Testament comes from the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel, “ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.” (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was...

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Welcoming the Light: Letting Jesus Get Close

Welcoming the Light: Letting Jesus Get Close

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

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Meeting Christ: An Encounter She Would Never Forget

Meeting Christ: An Encounter She Would Never Forget

Continuing the post-Paschal themes of healing, transformation and belief in the risen Christ, this Sunday we visit John 4:5-42, wherein we hear of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman (St. Photini) at the well. In this passage, Jesus talks more to this one woman than in any other individual conversation...

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The Paralytic: Hoping, Healing, and Heralding

The Paralytic: Hoping, 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...

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