From the blog of Fr Stephen Freeman, Glory to God for All Things
Among the greater mysteries of the New Testament are those surrounding the Mother of God. A large segment of modern Christianity has become tone deaf in this regard, a result of centuries of antagonism towards certain aspects of older tradition. It is a deafness that grieves my heart, primarily in that it represents a great gulf within the broader experience of the faith. A few years after my reception into the Orthodox Church, a friend from my Anglican past asked me if I ever thought of returning. He had no idea of how foreign the thought was to me. But within my mind, the first thought was the absence of Mary. I think I said something to the effect that I could never consider leaving "my mother."
By Fr Sergei Sveshnikov
According to surveys, nearly one-third of Orthodox Christian teens are unsure whether pornography is right or wrong. This is approximately the same number as that of teens who are unsure whether premarital sex is right or wrong. This is very telling in two ways. First, teens who are unsure about premarital sex are probably also unsure about pornography. And second, while the Church makes its position very clear – premarital sex and pornography are wrong – it needs to do a better job of explaining why. In this short paper, I would like to step away from the words ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ After all, Christ did not come to bring us laws and legislations. Sins are not right or wrong because someone issued a regulation. Instead, I would like to talk about things that are good for you or bad for you.
Sunday sermon on the Sunday reading Luke 8:41-56
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.
What are the similarities between the woman who was hemorrhaging for 12 years and the ruler of the synagogue, named Jairus? The story of healing of the woman is kind of sandwiched in between Jairus asking the Lord to save his daughter and Jesus going to his house.
Christ did many things, He said many things in His three years of ministry, but not everything was written down in the Gospels, the evangelists simply did not have enough space to write everything, but they did write the most important aspects of the teaching of Christ.
By Fr. Thomas Hopko
How can I know Christ as the way, the truth, and the life of God, and humanity, the light of the world? How can I know the Orthodox Church as “the household of God,” and “the pillar, and bulwark of the truth” - God’s kingdom on earth? If you want to find answers for yourself to these questions, Orthodox Christian saints, and spiritual teachers would ask you to do the following things as faithfully, and honestly as you can, and to see for yourself what happens.
"...a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'..." (2 Cor. 12:7-9)
These words of St Paul are hard to understand and even harder to accept. Here is a story who has struggled with the thorn in the flesh, and came to realize, by real life experience, what it means "My grace is sufficient for you."
Of course every human being is a unique individual. One story does not fit all, there is no one general path to salvation.
by Saint Theophan the Recluse
It reached my ears that, as it seems, you consider my sermons very strict and believe that today no one should think this way, no one should be living this way and therefore, no one should be teaching this way. “Times have changed!”