Embracing the Blessing of Exquisite Pain

Embracing the Blessing of Exquisite Pain

Every year when Pascha ends, I start to eagerly anticipate the next one, the next opportunity to completely focus on my faith and forget the rest of my earthly obligations. In the Orthodox faith, we are gifted with an abundance of fasts, feast days and other opportunities to embrace what...

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Fr. Seraphim Rose on Calling Someone a “Heretic”

Fr. Seraphim Rose on Calling Someone a “Heretic”

The word “heretic” comes from the Greek word haireisthai, meaning “to choose.” Strictly speaking, a “heretic” is someone who was a right-believing member of the Church but willfully chose a belief in contradiction to the universal faith of the Church. In other words, being a “heretic” requires a deliberate rejection...

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In a New York State of Mind

In a New York State of Mind

Jessie Beddoe, one of our teen contributors at OCN, shares the story of a special experience she had during a visit to New York City. What started out as a day of vacation adventure became a chance to explore the deepest instincts of her living faith. Posted by the Orthodox...

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You Are the Face of Orthodoxy

You Are the Face of Orthodoxy

“So, you’re Christian…What type of Christian are you?” I overheard the conversation of some high-school-aged people sitting next to me. “Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic?” he questioned the girl sitting next to him. “I’m not really anything. I’m just Christian,” she answered back. He forgot to mention “Orthodox Christian,” I thought...

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Different Paths, Same Destination

Different Paths, Same Destination

The Orthodox blogging community, at large, is both a blessed gift and a stumbling block for so many of us. It’s a two-sided coin. On the one hand, we can find inspiration through the words of a myriad of Orthodox writers with a few, simple clicks of our mouse. This...

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To Judge or Not to Judge, That’s the Question

To Judge or Not to Judge, That’s the Question

I pass judgment on my friends, my clients and utter strangers all the time. I offer opinions about their clothes, their taste in movies, their writing, their charity or lack of charity and what they do. But I keep telling myself I shouldn’t do that. It’s wrong to judge. “Judge...

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The Strength of Sickness: How I Remembered to Let God Do the Work

The Strength of Sickness: How I Remembered to Let God Do the Work

Some may call me crazy, but here’s the truth. I’m grateful to have multiple sclerosis. Diagnosed 11 years ago, I was shocked into a state of clarity when my body betrayed me for the first time. And why wouldn’t it? I’d been blessed with my youth, my family, and my...

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A Call to Pilgrimage

A Call to Pilgrimage

My family and I were recently blessed to spend some time in the French Alps. These massive temples of stone and ice could leave the best poet without words, render the greatest orator speechless, and still the most skilled painter’s brush; for no human expression could possibly ever capture their...

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Faith: Part 1

Faith: Part 1

Faith is a complex virtue, which is not understandable by our mind, but by our heart. Just as one cannot have obedience without humility, one cannot have faith without also having ‘the fear of God’. “The ‘fear of God’ is the beginning of virtue and it is said to be...

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Drive-Through Christianity

Drive-Through Christianity

Drive-through Communion lines and drive-by home blessings with a super-soaker were standing jokes during Orthodox clergy retreats, as the priests vented a little about their busy liturgical and sacramental schedules. Recent news excerpts have robbed us of these punch lines forever. According to a recent newscast, a church in Massachusetts...

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