Feast of David the Righteous of Thessalonika
DEAR FATHER [Dobbie Bateman], Thank you so much for your letter and for the paper enclosed. The paper is excellent. Its first merit is in that it proceeds inductively, from the concrete cases or episodes. Then the conclusion imposes. I think you are right about Motovilov. In any case, the Conversation should not be regarded as a closed unit. It does not say... Continue Reading
Feast of St Agrippina the Martyr of Rome
IF WE SEE all servants of probity and right feeling shaping their conduct suitably to the disposition of their lord; if, that is, the art of deserving favor is obedience, while the rule of obedience is a compliant subjection: how much more does it behoove us to be found with a character in accordance with our Lord, – servants as we... Continue Reading
Feast of the Holy Martyr Julian
THIS SPECIES of the divine patience indeed being, as it were, at a distance, may perhaps be esteemed as among “things too high for us;” but what is that which, in a certain way, has been grasped by hand among men openly on the earth? God suffers Himself to be conceived in a mother’s womb, and awaits the time for birth; and, when born,... Continue Reading
Feast of the Holy Martyr Zosima
I FULLY confess unto the Lord God that it has been rash enough, if not even impudent, in me to have dared compose a treatise on Patience, for practicing which I am all unfit, being a man of no goodness; whereas it were becoming that such as have addressed themselves to the demonstration and commendation of some particular thing, should themselves first be conspicuous... Continue Reading
Feast of the 40 Martyrs of Rome
THE MYSTERY of our redemption leads up to what the Fathers call the recapitulation of our nature by Christ and in Christ. This is the Christological foundation of the Church, which expresses itself above all in the sacramental life, with its quality of absolute objectivity. But if we wish to safeguard another aspect of the Church, which has a quality of subjectivity no... Continue Reading
Feast of the Holy Prophet Elisha
EVEN A fool, it is said, when he asks questions, is counted wise. But when a wise man asks questions, he makes even a fool wise. And this, thank God, is my case, as often as I receive a letter from your industrious self. For we become more learned and wiser than we were before, merely by asking questions, because we are taught many things which we did not know; and our... Continue Reading
Feast of St Onuphrius of Egypt
HOLY CROSS, which calls to mind the cross whereon our Lord Jesus Christ died, to bring us back form that eternal death to which our misery was leading us, to the eternal life we had lost by sinning.
I adore, I venerate, and I glory in that cross which you represent to us, and by that cross I adore our merciful Lord and what... Continue Reading
St Vincent of Lerins: Are You Fortifying Your Faith by Both the Divine Law and the Church's Tradition?
Feast of the Removal of the Relics of St Theodore the Commander
I HAVE often inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and so to speak universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of Christian faith from the falsehood of heretical depravity; and I have always, and in almost every instance, received an answer to this... Continue Reading
Feast of Pentecost
“IF PLATO and Pythagoras,” I asked, “do not know the truth, what teacher or method shall one follow?”
“A long time ago,” the venerable old man replied, “long before the time of those so-called philosophers, there lived blessed men who were just and loved by God, men who spoke through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and predicted events that would take place in the future, which... Continue Reading
Feast of St Justin the Martyr and Philosopher
AS I WAS in this frame of mind and desired absolute solitude devoid of human distractions, I used to take myself to a certain spot not far from the sea. One day, as I approached that place with the intention of being alone, a respectable old man, of meek and venerable appearance, followed me at a short distance. I stopped, turned quickly,... Continue Reading
Feast of St. Macrina, Grandmother of St Basil the Great
THE HOLY Fathers declare that “anyone who truly wants to be saved should first live with people and endure annoyances, slights, privations and humiliations, and be freed from the influence of his feelings and senses, and only then go into complete solitude or silence. This our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated even in His own case. For it was only after... Continue Reading
The Nicene Fathers: Do You Believe the Son of God Is Begotten, Not Made, Consubstantial with the Father?
Feast of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea
WE BELIEVE in one God, Father Almighty Maker of all things, seen and unseen; and in one Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, begotten as only begotten of the Father, that is of the being of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not made, consubstantial (homoousion) with the Father, through... Continue Reading
Feast of St Vincent of Lerins
I, PEREGRINUS, who am the least of all the servants of God, remembering the admonition of Scripture, “Ask thy fathers and they will tell thee, thine elders and they will declare unto thee” (Deut. 32.7), and again, “Bow down thine ear to the words of the wise” (Prov 22.17), and once more, “My son, forget not these instructions, but let... Continue Reading
Feast of the Holy Martyrs Peter, Dionysius, Andrew, Paul, Christina, Heraclius, Paulinus and Benedimus
DIVINE REVELATION tells us of a world of incorporeal spirits who are found to be in solidarity with men and with the sensible world. With respect to the moment when the world of spirits was created, Holy Scripture contains only one reference. This is found in Job and treats that moment as anterior to the creation... Continue Reading
Feast of St Sergios the Confessor
IF ANYONE wishes his life and mind to be filled with the love of God and to be pleasing to Him, let him respect the better and more noble attributes of these three: the world, the Scriptures, and man as we know him. Let him pay all the attention he can to his soul, for it is immortal, and sacred, and virtues will make... Continue Reading
Feast of St Hilary the Wonderworker
GOD, AS HE alone knew how, completed the primary principles (logoi) of creatures and the universal essence of beings once for all. Yet He is still at work, not only preserving these creatures in their very existence (to einai) but effecting the formation, progress, and sustenance of the individual parts that are potential within them. Even now in His providence He is bringing about... Continue Reading
Feast of Martyr Cyril the Deacon and Those with him
WHAT THEN is the object of the parable? Let us examine the occasion which led to it; for so we shall learn the truth. The blessed Luke therefore had himself said a little before of Christ the Savior of us all, “And all the publicans and sinners drew near unto Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured... Continue Reading
Feast of St. Patrick
THE VOICE of the spiritual eagle strikes in the hearing of the church. May our outer senses grasp its transient sounds and our inner spirit penetrate its enduring meaning.
This is the voice of the bird of high flight – not of the bird who soars above the material air or over the aether, orbiting the entire sensible world – but the voice of that spiritual... Continue Reading
Feast of St Procopius the Confessor and St Raphael of Brooklyn
BLESSED IS he who has in the Lord become completely free of all earthly things in this troublesome life, and who has loved the one good and merciful God.
Blessed is he who has become a doer of good works and, like a fruitful field, brings forth a great abundance of the fruits of life in the Lord.
Blessed... Continue Reading
Feast of Theophany and St Theophane the Recluse
CHRIST, THEN, was born as it were a few days ago—He Whose generation was before all things, sensible and intellectual. Today He is baptized by John that He might cleanse him who was defiled, that He might bring the Spirit from above, and exalt man to heaven, that he who had fallen might be raised up and he who had cast him... Continue Reading