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

St Basil the Great: Have You Placed Your Confidence in God through Christ?

Feast of the Holy & Righteous Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna

Basil_Square.jpgWHEN, BY THE grace of God, I learned of your piety’s command, whereby you sought from us a written profession of our holy faith, I hesitated at first as to my answer, sensible as I am of my own lowliness and weakness. But when I recalled the words of the Apostle, “supporting one another in charity” (Eph. 4.2),... Continue Reading

St Gregory the Dialogist: Are You Raising the Eyes of Your Mind to the Giver of Gifts?

Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos

gregory_the_great_square.jpgTHE BROTHERS begged me to give an exposition of the book of Holy Job, revealing the mystery of the riches insofar as the Truth should teach me. Moreover, to this burden that they asked me to assume, they added as well that I should not only search the literal words for the allegorical sense but that I should then bend the allegorical sense... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Are You Exposing the Truth?

Feast of the Holy Prophet Zacharias, Father of the Venerable Forerunner

John_of_Damascus_Square_5.jpegI SHALL SET forth the best contributions of the philosophers of the Greeks, because whatever there is of good has been given to men from above by God, since “every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (Js. 1.17). If, however, there is anything that is contrary to the truth,... Continue Reading

Lactantius: Have You Devoted All Your Effort to the Search for Truth?

Feast of St Babylas the Holy Martyr

Lactantius_Square.jpegIN THE DAYS when men of outstanding ability made a serious commitment to learning, they dropped every activity both public and private and devoted all the effort they could spend on it to the search for truth. They thought it far more glorious to investigate and understand the essence of things human and divine than to concentrate on piling up wealth and accumulating... Continue Reading

St Gregory of Nyssa: Have You Separated Yourself from the Nourishment of the Church's Milk?

Feast of St Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedea

Gregory_of_Nyssa_Square_5.jpegSINCE THE daughter of the Egyptian king, being childless and barren (I think she is rightly perceived as profane philosophy), arranged to be called his mother by adopting the youngster, Scripture concedes that his relationship with her who was falsely called his mother should not be rejected until he had recognized his own immaturity. But he who has already attained maturity, as we... Continue Reading

St Justin Martyr: Have You Applied Yourself to Philosophy?

Feast of St John the Abstainer, Patriarch of Constantinople

Justin_Martyr_square_2.jpgEARLY ONE morning as I was walking along the colonnades of the gymnasium, a man, accompanied by some friends, came up to me and said, “Good morning, Philosopher.” Whereupon, he and his friends walked along beside me.

After returning his greeting, I asked, “What is the matter? Is there anything special you wish of me?”

He answered, “In Argos I was... Continue Reading

Origen: Are You Employing the Full Power of Your Pursuit for Christianity?

Feast of Sts Joshua Son of Nun and Symeon the Stylite

Origen_square_2.jpgGREETINGS IN GOD, my most devoted and venerable son Gregory, from Origen. As you know, the pursuit of understanding, since it calls for asceticism, can involve exertion, which leads as much as possible (if I may put it that way) toward the goal of that for which a person wishes to train. Thus your pursuit can have made you... Continue Reading

St Clement of Alexandria: Are You Working for Food which Lasts to Eternal Life?

Feast of St Cyprian the Hieromartyr & Bishop of Carthage

Clement_of_Alexandria_Square_3.jpegIF “THE HARVEST is plentiful, the laborers are few” (Matt. 9.37; Lk. 10.2), then it really is appropriate to pray that we may have as many workers as possible. The farming is of two kinds: one uses writing, the other does not. But whichever method the Lord’s worker uses to sow the good grain, to help the stalks to grow,... Continue Reading