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),... Continue Reading


T. F. Torrance: Did You Know that When Christ Offered Himself He Offered You?

Feast of the Holy Martyr Agathonicus

CHRIST IS priest and oblation in one. Atonement is Christ’s self-offering (Heb. 7.27, 9.14, cf. 9.28). That unity of person and work, of priest and sacrifice in Him, means the final end of all ritual sacrificing (Heb. 9.12, 25-26, 10.12-14). This self-offering of Christ is through the eternal Spirit (Heb. 9.14) and is therefore eternal. It is once and for all (hapax and... Continue Reading


St Gregory Palamas: Do You Praise the Memory of the Just Mother of God?

Feast of the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos

WORDS cannot attain to what is beyond speech, just as eyes cannot stare at the sun. But though it is impossible for us to tell of things surpassing words, we can, by the love of those we extol, sing their praises, and we may use words to pay our debt, and express our longing for the Mother of God in hymns... Continue Reading


St Macarius of Egypt: Are You Manfully Fighting Passions & Enduring Trials?

Feast of the Seven Holy Youths of Ephesus

IT IS THROUGH the renewing of the mind and the tranquility experienced in our thoughts and the love of the Lord and the love for heavenly things that every new creation of Christians distinguishes them from the men of this world. For this reason did the Lord come in order that he might deign to give these spiritual gifts to those... Continue Reading


St Macarius of Egypt: Are You a Source of Edification to All Everywhere?

Feast of the Glorious Prophet Elijah

THE TRUE foundation of prayer is this: to be very vigilant over thoughts and to pray in much tranquility and peace in order not to be a source of offense to others. For such a person, if he received God’s grace, will pray to the end in tranquility and will edify many others much more. “For God is not a God of confusion... Continue Reading


Hans Urs von Balthasar: Have "We Done Everything" for Unity?

Feast of St Pappias the Martyr

PRECISELY in a real confrontation will we be forced to spell out our differences in all their clarity and consequences. In such an honest encounter, any apparently well-meaning attempt to overlook differences, any hasty effort to buddy up to one’s partner, any merely psychological empathy, will only compound the rift by bandaging the wound without healing it. In other words,

we... Continue Reading


Hans Urs von Balthasar: Do You Feel Division as a Daily Wound?

Feast of St Bessarion the Wonderworker of Egypt

THE  MYSTERIOUS split that has divided the Church for four hundred years” (Barth, Church Dogmatics 1.1; referring to Protestant-Catholic division) – what does it mean to us? If we are aware of the true nature of the Church, we must feel this split not only as a daily wound but even more as a constantly burning shame. The essence, and not... Continue Reading


Evagrios the Solitary: Are Your Friends Holy Fathers?

Feast of Sts Eusebius & Haralambos the Monk-Martyrs

IF YOU have friends, avoid constant meetings with them. For if you meet only on rare occasions, you will be of more help to them. And if you find that harm comes through meeting them, do not see them at all. The friends that you do have should be of benefit to you and contribute to your way of life. Avoid... Continue Reading


Fr Georges Florovsky: Did You Know Your Body Is Consubstantial with Christ's Body?

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... Continue Reading


St Nicholas Cabasilas: Do You Love Your Savior More Than Yourself?

Feast of St Arsenios the Great & Synaxis of St John the Theologian

AS GOD'S loving-kindness is ineffable and His love for our race surpasses human speech and reason, so too it belongs to the divine goodness alone, for this is “the peace of God which passes all understanding” (Phil. 4.7). Likewise it follows that His union with those whom He loves surpasses every union of which one might... Continue Reading


St John Cassian: Is Your Whole Life a Single and Continuous Prayer?

Feast of the Prophet Jeremias

WISHING to leave us examples of perfect purity, our Lord, although He did not Himself need the support of withdrawal or the benefit of the desert in order to attain it, since these are external things and He is the source of inviolable holiness (for the fullness of purity could not be soiled by any filth of the crowds, nor could He who cleanses... Continue Reading


Theoleptos: Are You Putting Yourself in the Presence of Him whom You Invoke?

Feast of St Basil the Holy Martyr Bishop of Amasea

PRAYER is the mind’s dialogue with God, in which words of petition are uttered with the intellect riveted wholly on God. For when the mind unceasingly repeats the name of the Lord and the intellect gives its full attention to the invocation of the divine name, the light of the knowledge of God overshadows the entire soul like a... Continue Reading


St Hilary of Poitiers: Will You Endure Sound Doctrine?

Feast of the Martyr Paphnutius

THE APOSTLE Paul was cognizant of the sinful tendencies of the will, and besides his numerous admonitions to defend the faith and to preach the word, he said in his Epistle to Timothy: “There will come a time when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but having itching ears, will heap up to themselves teachers according to their lusts, and they will turn... Continue Reading


St Gregory Palamas: Do You Believe the Resurrected Christ Brought Everything from Non-Being into Being?

Lazarus Saturday

IN AN acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee,” said God through Isaiah (Is. 49.8). It is good today to speak these words of the apostle to your charity: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6.2). “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us work... Continue Reading


Fr Sergius Bulgakov: Has the Holy Spirit Descended Upon You?

Feast of the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel

TODAY is the beginning of our salvation, and the revelation of the mystery ordained from eternity” (from the Hymn of the Annunciation). The light-blue vault encircles the earth, and heavenly lights shine in its transparent depths. There is also a light-blue sky in the soul of God’s creation, in which the Light shines, lighting every human being who comes into the... Continue Reading


St Patrick: Have You Kept the Faith

Feast of the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebastia

I DO NOT trust myself as long as I am in this body of death, for strong is he who daily strives to turn me away from the faith and the purity of true religion to which I have devoted myself to the end of my life to Christ my Lord. But the hostile flesh is ever dragging us unto death,... Continue Reading


St Patrick: Do You Confess & Adore One God in the Trinity?

Feast of St Hermas the Apostle of the 70

BECAUSE there is no other God, nor ever was, nor will be, than God the Father unbegotten,
Without beginning, from whom is all beginning,
The Lord of the universe, as we have been taught;

And His Son Jesus Christ,
Whom we declare to have always been with the Father,
Spiritually and ineffably begotten by the Father
Before the beginning of the world, before all beginning;
And... Continue Reading


Patriarch Jeremiah II: Have You Cleansed Your Mind with the Correct Faith?

Feast of the Martyr Eudocia

Jeremias_II_Square.jpegJUST AS the all-embracing virtues are seven in number: humility, modesty, poverty, fasting, chastity, patience, and forbearance, so also the opposite vices are seven in number: pride, ambition, greed, gluttony, fornication, sloth, and anger. The most sacred symbol dissuades from the vices and urges one on to the virtues. Humility is aroused by the descent of God, the Logos, from the heavens; modesty, by... Continue Reading


St Augustine: What Do You Believe, Hope & Love?

Feast of St Agathus of Rome

Augustine_Square_4.jpgMY BRETHREN, seeing that you have gathered together today as for a solemn feast and that you have come in greater numbers than usual, I admonish you in your devotedness to remember what you have just sung so that your voice may not resound while your heart is silent, but, rather, that what you have uttered for one another’s ears may reach the... Continue Reading


St Augustine: Do You See the Surpassing Glory of the City of God?

Feast of St Onesimus of the 70

Augustine_Square_2.jpgTHE GLORIOUS city of God is my theme in this work, which you, my dearest son Marcellinus, suggested, and which is due to you by my promise. I have undertaken its defense against those who prefer their own gods to the Founder of this city – a city surpassingly glorious, whether we view it as it still lives by faith in this... Continue Reading