On Paradise

On Paradise

Saint John of Damascus   Now because God was about to fashion people from the visible and invisible creation in His own image and likeness to reign as monarchs and rulers over all the earth and everything that therein is, He first made for them, as it were, a realm...

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‘If you Want to Enter Life, Keep the Commandments’

‘If you Want to Enter Life, Keep the Commandments’

Hierodeacon Rafael Misiaoulis, Theologian   The rich young man in today’s Gospel reading seems to have metaphysical concerns and considerable spiritual interests. His young heart burned for the sublime, the eternal, the things to come. He approached the Lord with zeal and with a genuine willingness to learn. A desire...

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Saint John Chrysostom: Condign Retribution and Reward!

Saint John Chrysostom: Condign Retribution and Reward!

Punishment and reward. Both of these are in the hands of God. But just as life on earth is no more than a shadow of that in heaven, by the same token, punishment and reward are merely a shadow of the real punishment and reward of eternity. The main persecutors...

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Eternal riches, cost free

Eternal riches, cost free

Saint Nectarios of Pentapolis   Uncharitable people are unhappy because their heart has never felt the joy of doing good works and or giving alms. They haven’t understood that real enjoyment lies in loving your neighbor. They haven’t realized that, in giving to others, you pile up eternal riches, cost...

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Bright Sadness: Learning Who We Are

Bright Sadness: Learning Who We Are

During the summer I’ve had the bright sadness of experiencing the deaths of five people close to me who I respected. In many cases, some of us didn’t learn significant details about the reposed until after their death. Peter, a longtime member of our parish, had been a rocket scientist...

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Finishing the Race: A Daughter’s Tribute

Finishing the Race: A Daughter’s Tribute

My mother died recently. My sisters and I ordered the marker, and I was confronted with the dash between the dates, the dash in place of 84 years of living. We gave up trying to write an obituary for mom. She did so much in her life, it would never...

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Understanding and Living Our Faith: Pascha and the Promise of Life from Death

Understanding and Living Our Faith: Pascha and the Promise of Life from Death

“We must understand that the human person, in reality, does not die. Death is simply a transfer from one life to another.” (St. Paisios of Mt. Athos) “Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down death, and to those in the tombs, He grants life.” Whether it is...

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What is eternal life and the kingdom of heaven?

What is eternal life and the kingdom of heaven?

Alexandros Christodoulou   Meatfare Sunday Today’s Gospel gives an anthropomorphic description of the fundamental dogma of our faith regarding Christ’s Second Coming on earth and the Judgement. The throne on which Christ will sit depicts the majesty of the judgement, its impartiality, and the separation of people. In fact, everything...

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Between the First and Second Comings

Between the First and Second Comings

In the early Church, when Christian believers gathered or parted, when they first saw each other or were separating, they didn’t say the equivalent of our “hello” or “goodbye.” They said “Maran-atha!”—an Aramaic expression that means “Come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelations 22:20) The Church Father, St. Hippolytus of Rome, in 204...

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On the Dormition of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

On the Dormition of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

August 28 marked the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, according to the Julian calendar. Most of the world’s autocephalous, or self-governing, Orthodox Churches celebrate the feast along with Roman Catholics and some Protestants on August 15th.  However, the majority of the world’s Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians celebrate...

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