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
Feast of the Ten Martyrs of Crete
Refrain: Glory to You utterly from all of us.
1. Who, being a mortal, can tell about the Reviver of all, // Who left the height of His majesty and came down to smallness? // You, Who magnify all by being born, magnify my weak mind // that I may tell about Your birth, not to investigate Your majesty, // but to proclaim... Continue Reading
Feast of St. Ambrose of Milan
HEARKEN, You who rule Israel,
You who sit upon the cherubim.
Appear before Ephraim; rouse up
Your power and come (Cf. Ps. 80.1-2)!
Come, redeemer of the nations,
Show forth the virgin’s begetting.
Let the whole world marvel:
such a birth begets God.
Not by a man’s seed
but by a mystical inbreathing
did the Word of God become flesh
and the fruit of... Continue Reading
Feast of the Holy Prophet Habakkuk
THE ORTHODOX Church has not made Mariology into an independent dogmatic theme: it remains integral to the whole of Christian teaching, as an anthropological Leitmotif. Based on Christology, the dogma of the Mother of God has a strong Pneumatological accent; and through the double economy of the Son and the Holy Spirit, it is inextricably bound up with ecclesiological reality.
In truth, if we... Continue Reading
Feast of the Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian
IN SEPARATION from God human nature becomes unsettled, goes out of tune, as it were, is decomposed. The very structure of man becomes unstable. The unity of the soul and the body becomes insecure. The soul loses its vital power, is no more able to quicken the body. The body is turned into the tomb and prison of the soul. And physical death... Continue Reading
Feast of St Thecla the Protomartyr & Equal to the Apostles
AMONG THE miracles of God’s providence we can notice how each star takes its place in the firmament of heaven to illuminate the night of our present life, until the Redeemer of the human race, who is the true morning star, rises to end the night. The blackness of night is illuminated by the courses of the stars as... Continue Reading
Feast of St. Laurence the Holy Martyr & Archdeacon of Rome
AND AFTER six days” (according to Matthew and Mark), “He took Peter and James and John his brother, and led them by themselves up a high mountain. And He was transfigured before them.”
It seems to me not without purpose that those who are being led by Jesus “up the high mountain,” and who are deemed worthy of seeing... Continue Reading
Feast of St. Salome the Holy Myrrhbearer
THERE ARE some people who persistently bandy the Name about with the grossest hypocrisy, besides behaving in a number of other ways that do no credit to God. You must keep away from these men as you would from a pack of savage animals; they are rabid dogs who snap at people unawares, and you need to be on your guard against their... Continue Reading
Feast of St Paraskeve the Righteous Martyr of Rome
HUNTING TRUTH is no easy task; we must look everywhere for its tracks. Learning truth is like learning a trade; apprentices grow in experience little by little, provided they do not despise any opportunity to increase their knowledge. If a man spurns fundamental elements as insignificant trifles, he will never embrace the fullness of wisdom. “Yes” and “No” are only two... Continue Reading
Feast of St. Vladimir, Equal to the Apostles
THE ARTIFICER of the universe, the Logos, created man as a single living creature from both elements, that is to say, from the nature of both the visible and the invisible worlds. On the one hand He took the body from already pre-existing matter, on the other He endowed it with breath from Himself, which Scripture terms the intelligent soul and... Continue Reading
Feast of St Martha, Mother of Symeon Stylites
NOT ONLY all the subjects of the Roman government know the famous Symeon, the great marvel of the world, but even the Persians, the Medes and the Ethiopians. His fame has reached the Scythian nomads and taught his love of labor and his love of wisdom. Now although I have the whole world, so to speak, as witnesses to his indescribable struggles,... Continue Reading