St Clement of Alexandria: Is the Word Educating You?

Feast of the Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian and the Virgin Martyr Justina

Clement_Alex_Square.jpgO YOU WHO are children! An indestructible corner stone of knowledge, holy temple of the great God, has been hewn out especially for us as a foundation for the truth. This corner stone is noble persuasion, or the desire for eternal life aroused by an intelligent response to it, laid in the ground of our minds.

For, be it... Continue Reading

Lactantius: Are You Going for the Straight Path?

Feast of St Ananias, Apostle of the 70, and St Romanos the Melodist

Lactantius_Square.jpegLET US leave to one side the inventors of this earth-based philosophy, who have nothing secure to offer, and go for the straight path. If I thought that they were sufficiently sound as guides to good living, I would both follow them myself and encourage others to do so. But since they disagree violently with each other,... Continue Reading

St Clement of Alexandria: Has Your Soul Learned to Choose the Highest?

Feast of St Gregory the Illuminator, Bishop of Armenia

Clement_of_Alexandria_Square_3.jpegPHILOSOPHY includes questions concerning truth and the nature of the universe (the truth of which the Lord Himself says, “I am the truth”); I also assert that the stage of education preliminary to resting in Christ exercises the mind, awakens the understanding, and produces a sharpness of intellect which uses true philosophy for its investigations. Those who discover this, or rather... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Have You Approached the Teacher Who Is the Truth?

Feast of St Cyriacus the Hermit of Palestine

John_Damascene_Square_4.jpegNOTHING IS more estimable than knowledge, for knowledge is the light of the rational soul. The opposite, which is ignorance, is darkness. Just as the absence of light is darkness, so is the absence of knowledge a darkness of the reason. Now, ignorance is proper to irrational beings, while knowledge is proper to those who are rational. Consequently, one who by nature... Continue Reading

Origen: Are You Seeking God's Truth and the Causes of Things?

Feast of St Baruch the Prophet

Origen_Square.jpgJUST AS when our eyes rest upon something made by an artist, . . . our mind burns to know how and in what way and to what purpose it was made, far more and beyond all comparison with such things does our spirit burn with an unspeakable longing to know the why and wherefore of the works of God which we see. This... Continue Reading

Paul Evdokimov: Are You Living as a Liturgical Being?

Feast of the Falling Asleep of St John the Evangelist and Theologian

Evdokimov_Square.jpgIN THE LITURGY of St John Chrysostom, the Cherubic Hymn (“We who mystically represent the Cherubim”) shows the icon of the angelic ministry of adoration and of prayer in man. It is also the moment where the angelic hosts join the liturgical celebration. Man is associated with their song first in the Trisagion (“Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy... Continue Reading

St Symeon the New Theologian: Do You See Christ in Every Single Being?

Feast of Our Righteous Father Sergius of Radonezh

Symeon_New_Square.jpgCHRIST IS the beginning, the middle, and the end. He who is in the first is in all, and as He is in the first so He is in the middle and the last as well. There is no difference between these things for Him, just as there is neither barbarian, Scythian, Greek, nor Jew—only Christ who is in all and is... Continue Reading

Acts of Paul and Thecla: Do You Behave Yourself with Courage?

Feast of St Thecla the Protomartyr & Equal to the Apostles and St Silouan the Athonite

Thekla_Square_1.jpegTHEN PAUL went into the house of Onesiphorus, and here was great joy among the family on that account: and they employed themselves in prayer, breaking of bread, and hearing Paul preach the word of God concerning the temperance and the resurrection [. . .]

While Paul was preaching this sermon in the church... Continue Reading

St Bede the Venerable: Do You Strive to Convert People to the Joys of Heaven?

Feast of the Conception of St John the Forerunner & Baptist

Bede_Square_2.jpgON BOISIL’S death Cuthbert became prior, an office which he carried out for many years with holy zeal. Inside the monastery he counseled the monks on the religious life and set a high example of it himself, and outside, in the world, he strove to convert people for miles around from their foolish ways to a delight in the... Continue Reading

Fr Georges Florovsky: Have You Accepted the Challenge of Western Culture?

Feast of St Phocas the Martyr, Bishop of Sinope

Florovsky_Square.jpgCHRISTIANITY accepted the challenge of the Hellenistic and Roman culture, and ultimately a Christian Civilization emerged. It is true that this rise of Christian Culture has been strongly censured in modern times as an “acute Hellenization” of Christianity, in which the purity and simplicity of the Evangelical or Biblical faith is alleged to have been lost. Many in our own days... Continue Reading

St Cyprian of Carthage: Do You Understand the Artifices of Our Deceiving Enemy?

Feast of Sts. Jonah the Prophet and Quadratus the Apostle

Cyprian_Square_1.jpegOUR LORD warns us with the words: “You are the salt of the earth” (Mt. 5.13). He commands us to be guileless with a view to being blameless, but also wise with such blamelessness. What else is fitting for us, beloved brothers, other than to take due care and, awake with a trembling heart, both to understand as well as... Continue Reading

Fr Dumitru Staniloae: Do You Cover All Your Actions with the Sign of the Cross?

Feast of Sts Trophimus, Sabbatius & Dorymedon the Martyrs

Staniloae_Square_3.jpegIT IS DOUBTLESS true and right that persons reveal their love for one another by their gifts, and this is also true in God’s relationship with men. In this sense we cannot think of the cross without the world as God’s gift. But on the other side we cannot think of the world without the cross. The cross makes this world... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Do You Adore the Sign of the Cross?

Feast of St Ariadne the Martyr

John_Damascene_Square_3.jpgWE ADORE the likeness of the honorable and life-giving cross, even though it be made of another material, not that we honor the material—God forbid!—but the likeness as a symbol of Christ. Thus, when He explained to His disciples, saying: “Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven” (Matt. 24.30), He meant the cross. For this reason, also, the angel... Continue Reading

St Cyril of Jerusalem: Are You Ashamed to Confess the Crucified?

Feast of St Sophia & Her Three Daughters: Faith, Hope & Love

Cyril_of_Jerusalem_Square_3.jpgHE STRETCHED out His hands on the Cross, that He might embrace the ends of the world; for this Golgatha is the very center of the earth. It is not my word, but it is a prophet who hath said, “Thou hast wrought salvation in the midst of the earth” (Ps. 74.12). He stretched forth human hands, who... Continue Reading

The Fathers: Do You Venerate the Blessed Wood?

Feast of St Euphemia the Great Martyr

Square_1__Angels_Venerating_Cross.jpegTHE CROSS is raised on high, and urges all the creation to sing the praises of the undefiled Passion of Him who was lifted high upon it. For there it was that He killed our slayer, and brought the dead to life again: and in His exceeding goodness and compassion, He made us beautiful and counted us worthy to be citizens of heaven.... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Has the Cross Clothed You with Wisdom and Power?

Feast of St Bessarion of Larissa

John_Damascene_Square_2.jpgEVERY ACTION of Christ and all His working of miracles were truly very great and divine and wonderful, but of all things the most wonderful is His honorable cross. For by nothing else except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ has death been brought low, the sin of our first parent destroyed, hell plundered, resurrection bestowed, the power given us to despise the... Continue Reading

St Symeon the New Theologian: Have You Bowed Before the Cross?

Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

Symeon_New_Square_5.jpgINASMUCH, therefore, as the Cross has become as it were the altar of this fearful sacrifice—for on the Cross the Son of God died for the fall of man—therefore the Cross is justly revered and worshipped and depicted as the sign of the common resurrection of all men, so that those who bow down before the wood of the Cross might be delivered... Continue Reading

St Maximus the Confessor: Are You a Chaste Lover of Wisdom and Beauty?

Feast of St Autonomous the Martyr

Maximus_Square.jpgTO THE SANCTIFIED servant of God, spiritual father and teacher, lord Thomas, from the humble and sinful Maximus, his unworthy servant and disciple.

From your concerted zeal in the pursuit of divine things, you have acquired, dearly beloved of God, a habit of undeviating contemplation, and have become a most chaste lover, not simply of wisdom, but of her beauty. Now the beauty of... Continue Reading

St John Cassian: Do Your Souls Shine and Bear Christ the King?

Feast of St Euphrosynos the Cook

Cassian_Square.jpgTHE HISTORY of the Old Testament relates that the most wise Solomon—after he had received from God “exceedingly great wisdom and prudence and a breadth of heart like the countless sands of the sea” (1 Kgs. 5.9), such that by the Lord’s testimony it is said that no one was like him in times past and that no one like him would ever arise... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Are You Shrinking Back?

Feast of Sts Menodora, Metrodora & Nymphodora the Martyrs

John_Damascene_Square.jpegIT IS NECESSARY for us, always conscious of our unworthiness, to keep silence and confess our sins before God, but since all things are good in their season, and I see the Church, which God built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Christ His Son being the head cornerstone, battered as by the surging sea overwhelming it with... Continue Reading