St Gregory the Dialogist: Do You Edify Others by the Virtue of Charity?

Feast of the Holy Martyrs Terrence and Eunice

Gregory_the_Great_Square_4.jpegBECAUSE WE have already shown how the pastor should live, let us now demonstrate what he is to teach. Indeed, long before us, Gregory Nazianzus of blessed memory taught that one and the same exhortation is not suited for everyone because not everyone shares the same quality of character. For example, what often helps some people will cause harm in others, just as... Continue Reading


St John Chrysostom: Is Your Aim to Please God?

Feast of St Nestor the Martyr of Thessaloniki

John_Chrysostom_Square_5.jpegLET THE craftsman be the judge of his own handiwork too, and let us rate his productions as beautiful or poor when that is the verdict of the mind which contrived them. But as for the erratic and unskilled opinion of outsiders, we should not so much as consider it. So too the man who has accepted the task of teaching should pay... Continue Reading


Fr Georges Florovsky: Are You Relearning the Idiom of the Bible?

Feast of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-Streamer

Florovsky_Square_7.jpegCHRISTIAN ministers are not supposed to preach their private opinions, at least from the pulpit. Ministers are commissioned and ordained in the church precisely to preach the Word of God. They are given some fixed terms of reference—namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ—and they are committed to this sole and perennial message. They are expected to propagate and to sustain “the faith... Continue Reading


Fr Georges Florovsky: Do You Believe Reunification Is a Real Task?

Feast of St Sebastiane the Martyr

Florovsky_Square_6.jpgA DIALOGUE is primarily a meeting. In many circles—there is now a real will to meet. Meeting has already occurred at a distance—in the theological literature. We must first of all get to know one another. The problem of mutual familiarization must be tackled at all levels. Most fruitful of all would be joint study and discussion of the main themes of the Christian faith,... Continue Reading


Fr Georges Florovsky: Are You Walking in the Steps of the Fathers?

Feast of St James, the Apostle and Brother of Our Lord

Florovsky_Square_5.jpegTHE TASK of a contemporary Orthodox theologian is intricate and enormous. He has much to learn still before he can speak with authority. And above all he has to realize that he has to speak to an ecumenical audience. He cannot retire into a narrow shell of some local tradition—simply because his Orthodoxy, i.e. the Patristic, tradition is not a... Continue Reading


Fr Georges Florovsky: Do You Acknowledge the Masters of Old?

Feast of the Seven Holy Martyred Youths of Ephesus and St Cecelia the Martyr

Florovsky_Square_4.jpgIN THE EARLY church the preaching was emphatically theological. It was not a vain speculation. The New Testament itself is a theological book. Neglect of theology in the instruction given to laity in modern times is responsible both for the decay of personal religion and for that sense of frustration which dominates the modern man. What we... Continue Reading


Fr Georges Florovsky: Are You Loyal to the Church of the Fathers?

Feast of St Hilarion the Great

Florovsky_Square.jpgTHE LAST and most distinctive feature of the Russian development in recent time was a return of philosophers to the Church and their attempt to re-interpret precisely the Patristic tradition in modern terms, to restate the teaching of the Church as a complete philosophy of life. It was a noble endeavor, and a daring and courageous one. There is no need to conceal all the... Continue Reading


Fr Georges Florovsky: Are You a Theologian Bearing Witness?

Feast of St Artemius the Great Martyr of Antioch

Florovsky_Square_3.jpgTHEOLOGY IS called not only to judge, but also to heal. It is necessary to enter into this world of doubt, illusion and lies, in order to answer doubt as well as reproach. But we must enter into this world with the sign of the Cross in our heart and the name of Jesus in our spirit, because this is a world... Continue Reading


Fr Georges Florovsky: Is Your Theology Historical?

Feast of St Joel the Prophet

Florovsky_Square_2.jpgTHE CONSCIOUSNESS of knowing must expand, embrace the fullness of the past, and, at the same time, the continuity of growth into the future. Theological consciousness must become historical. Only on account of its historicity can it possibly be catholic. Indifference for history always leads to a sectarian dryness, to a doctrinaire attitude. Historical sensitiveness is indispensable to the theologian, it is the necessary condition... Continue Reading


St Theodore the Studite: Do You Have One Worship?

Feast of St Hosea the Prophet

Theodore_Square.jpegWE CHRISTIANS, you know, O heretics, have one worship, and one veneration—I mean, for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—because that which is venerated is one in the nature of divinity, although those which are intellectually perceived are three in their hypostatic properties, according to our normal teaching. [. . .]

“But,” the heretics say, “the Godhead does not remain uncircumscribed when Christ... Continue Reading


St Theodore Abu Qurrah: Do You Make Prostrations?

Feast of St Longinus the Centurion

Holy_Napkin_Square.jpegIF, IN SPITE of it all, you want to know that making prostration to the icon of Christ, and to the icons of the saints, is a fundamental principle in God’s church, listen to what the well-known St. Athanasius says about it in the Questions which Duke Antiochus asked him about some things in connection with which he thought the church had some inconsistency. St.... Continue Reading


St John of Damascus: Do You Venerate the Purple Robe of Christ's Body?

Feast of St Lucian the Martyr of Antioch

John_Damascene_Square_5.jpegI KNOW what the One who cannot lie said: “the Lord your God is one Lord” (Deut. 6.4), and “you shall venerate the Lord your God and Him alone shall you worship” (Deut. 6.13), and “there shall be for you no other gods” (Deut. 5.7), and “you shall not make any carved likeness, of anything in heaven above or on the earth below”... Continue Reading


Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council: Do You Confess that Christ Can Be Represented in His Humanity?

Feast of St Cosmas the Hagiopolite

7th_Ecumenical_Council_Square.jpegTHE HOLY, great and universal synod, by the grace of God and by order of our pious and Christ-loving emperor and empress, Constantine and his mother Irene, assembled for the second time in the famous metropolis of the Nicaeans in the province of the Bithynians, in the holy church of God named after Wisdom, following the tradition of the catholic church, had decreed what... Continue Reading


Niketas Stethatos: Do You Devote Yourself to the Lives of the Saints? Part 2

Feast of Sts Carpus, Papylus, Agathodorus & Agathonica, the Martyrs of Pergamus

Symeon_New_Square_5.jpgIN FACT MOSES, the man who saw God, bears witness to me that our doing this is acceptable to God and thus that the grace of the Holy Spirit from above has made it happen, for he recorded the lives of men from former times, as well as his own life. So does Ezra, and the most wise... Continue Reading


Niketas Stethatos: Do You Honor Your Spiritual Parents? Part 1

Feast of St Symeon the New Theologian

Symeon_square_4.jpeg“CAN YOU prove here and now,” asked the patriarch, “that when you celebrate your father’s memory in the same way as the long-established saints, you are acting in accordance with the teachings of the fathers and apostles, and thus demonstrate that you are yourself acting lawfully in strict accordance with the holy laws?”

“If, as you my master have requested,” replied the saint,... Continue Reading


Archimandrite Vasileios: Are You a Window through which People See Paradise?

Feast of Our Father Theophilus the Confessor

Vasileios_Square_2.jpgTHE FATHERS do not formulate individual opinions of their own, however brilliant, because “the thoughts of men are all miserable” (Wisdom 9.14). Through them is expressed the inexpressible, which is the life of the Church. They become channels for the certainty given by the Spirit. They become instruments for the revelation of the “transcendent cause” which governs all; they are lyres of the... Continue Reading


St Symeon the New Theologian: Do You Wish and Choose to Become Holy?

Feast of St James the Apostle, Son of Alphaeus

Symeon_Square_3.jpgBUT PERHAPS someone will come forward and say, “The things you are saying are great and exaggerated and beyond human power.” I on my part will tell you, “They are indeed great and above nature, for they are God’s words, as I have said.” He will say, “How is it that none of the great Fathers has spoken so explicitly about... Continue Reading


St Symeon the New Theologian: Do You See the Light?

Feast of Sts Pelagia the Righteous and Taisia the Harlot of Egypt

Symeon_Square_2.jpgOUR SALVATION is not by the baptism of water alone, but also by the Spirit. Neither is it by the bread and wine alone of communion that we receive the forgiveness of our sins and participation in life, but also by the divinity which mystically accompanies and is unconfusedly mingled with them. We say “mystically” because that divinity... Continue Reading


Elder Aimilianos: Are You a Revealer of the Word?

Feast of Sts Sergius & Bacchus the Great Martyrs of Syria

Aimilianos_square_3.jpgAFTER THE Apostles, theology is transmitted within the Church through the succession of the Fathers, who were the trumpets and mouths of Christ, just as Christ Himself is called the “mouth of God” (cf. St Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans 8). As such, the theology of the Fathers of the Church sings and celebrates the “Monarchic Unity... Continue Reading


Elder Aimilianos: Is Your Whole Life a Theology?

Feast of the Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas

Aimilianos_Pascha_Square_2.jpgLET US NOW consider theology as it lives and unfolds in the life of particular human beings. To begin, who could deny that the Virgin Mary, by giving flesh to the Word, became both Theotokos and theologos, that is, both Mother of God and a theologian? By allowing God to enter her womb, by clothing Him in the flesh of her humanity,... Continue Reading