Feast of St Spyridon the Wonderworker of Trymithous
Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cupboard boxes -
Some have got broken - and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week -
Not that we...
Feast of St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan
O COME you who love the festivals,
Come gather and sing the praises of the fair beauty of bishops,
The glory of the fathers,
The fountain of wonders and great protector of the faithful.
Let us all say: Rejoice, O guardian of the people of Myra,
Their head and honored counselor,
The pillar of the Church which cannot be shaken.
Rejoice, O light full of brightness
That makes the...
Feast of St Pelagia the Righteous
THE VISIBLE beginning of the Church is at Pentecost, but that is only a result of its actual beginning – and ending – in heaven. In fact, all the external world, as we know it, is always a result. Our causes are concealed, and mankind becomes to us a mass of contending unrelated effects. It is the effort to relate the effects conveniently...
St John of Damascus: Do You Have Ears to Hear that the Union of God & Humanity Comes from the Holy Spirit & the Virgin Mary?
Feast of the Nativity of the Holy Theotokos
TODAY STERILE gates are opened and a virginal, divine gate comes forth, from which and through which God (cf. Ez. 44.1-3), who is beyond all existing things, will enter ‘into the world’ (Heb. 1.6) ‘bodily’ (Col. 2.9), according to Paul who heard ineffable things (cf. 2 Cor. 12.4). Today a rod was begotten from the root of Jesse (cf. Is. 11.1),...
Feast of St Julian the Martyr
ST ATHANASIUS carefully distinguishes the appearance of the Logos in Christ from His appearance and presence in saints. Christ became man. The visible body of Christ was the body of God, not man. He made the body ‘His own’, and the weakness of the flesh became ‘proper’ to the Logos. Christ’s works were not separated in such a way that one was accomplished...
Feast of St. Gregory of Nyssa
WITH THE conjoined truths of the Trinity and Incarnation in mind, Christians may aptly consider how it is that the Triune God enlightens us through one of His created and recreated icons of Love – human communion, as seen particularly in the form known to us as Friendship. Though the world of human relationships is all-too-familiar, a close look at human fellowship discloses...
Feast of St Gideon the New Martyr of Mt Athos
AS WE celebrate the Feast of the Incarnation, it behooves us to remind ourselves how startling this doctrine really is. A second century conversation between rabbis, recorded in Chagigah 14a of the Babylonian Talmud, might help us ponder anew this mystery. The dispute has to do with the appearance of “thrones,” in the plural, in Daniel’s heavenly vision of...
Feast of the Martyr Juliana of Nicomedia
ST ANSELM famously asked, “Why did God become man?” [Cur Deus Homo]. After much wandering and weaving through a scholastic web of cause and effect, necessity and the freedom of God, the two natures of Christ, and a reflection upon the atonement, Anselm makes the following observation:
Now we have found the compassion of God which appeared lost to you...
Feast of St Ignatius the God-Bearer, Bishop of Antioch
MY SPIRIT is a humble sacrifice for the cross, which is a stumbling block to unbelievers but salvation and eternal life to us. Where is the wise? Where is the debater? Where is the boasting of those who are thought to be intelligent? For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan, both from the...
Feast of St Euplus the Holy Martyr & Archdeacon of Cantania
I AM THE Alpha and the Omega” (Rev. 1:8). The Christian message was from the very beginning the message of Salvation, and accordingly our Lord was depicted primarily as the Savior, Who has redeemed His people from bondage of sin and corruption. The very fact of the Incarnation was usually interpreted in early Christian theology in the perspective of...