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


Rt. Rev. H. B. Whipple: Are Your Words & Acts Hastening or Retarding the Reunion of Christendom?

Feast of St Anastasios, Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Saturday of Souls

Henry_Whipple_Square.jpegMOST REVEREND and Right Reverend Brethren: No assembly is fraught with such awful responsibility to God, as a council of the Bishops of His Church. Since the Holy Spirit presided in the first council of Jerusalem, faithful souls have looked with deep interest to the deliberations of those whom Christ has made the shepherds of His flock,... Continue Reading


St Ambrose: Are You Willing to Rebuke Your Friend?

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Ambrose_Square_2.jpgNOTHING, then, must be set before virtue; and that it may never be set aside by the desire for friendship, Scripture also gives us a warning on the subject of friendship. There are, indeed various questions raised among philosophers; for instance whether a man ought for the sake of a friend to plot against his country or not, so as to serve his friend?... Continue Reading


St Clement of Alexandria: Are You A Friend Who Does Good to Others?

Feast of St Anthony the Great

Clement_of_Alexandria_Square_3.jpegWE HAVE been taught that there are three forms of friendship. The first and best of these is based on virtue, since the love which proceeds from reason is firmly based. The second stands between the others and is based on mutuality. It involves mutual sharing and is beneficial to life. Friendship on the basis of free giving is mutual. The third, and... Continue Reading


St Aelred of Rievaulx: What Is Friendship?

Feast of St Dominica the Righteous

Aelred_Square_2.jpegAELRED: You and I are here, and I hope that Christ is between us as a third. Now no one else is present to disturb the peace or to interrupt our friendly conversation. No voice, no noise invades our pleasant retreat. Yes, most beloved, open your heart now and pour whatever you please into the ears of a friend. Gratefully let us welcome... Continue Reading


St Augustine: Do Your Friends Repair & Remake You?

Feast of the Synaxis of the 70 Holy Apostles

Augustine_Square_3.jpgTHE COMFORT I found in other friends – and the pleasure I had with them in things of earth – did much to repair and remake me. […] All kinds of things rejoiced my soul in their company – to talk and laugh and do each other kindnesses; read pleasant books together, pass from lightest jesting to talk of the... Continue Reading


St Ignatius: Are You Loudly Proclaiming the Incarnation?

Feast of St Ignatius the God-Bearer, Bishop of Antioch

Ignatius_Square.jpgMY 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... Continue Reading


St John of Damascus: What Kind of Images Are the Sounding Heralds in Your Home?

Feast of St Daniel the Stylite

John_Damascene_Square_3.jpegI SAY THAT everywhere we use our senses to produce an image of the Incarnate God Himself, and we sanctify the first of the senses (sight being the first of the senses), just as by words hearing is sanctified. For the image is a memorial. What the book does for those who understand letters, the image does for the illiterate; the word appeals to... Continue Reading


Fr Brian Daley: Do We Desire Unity Enough to Let Our Dialogue of Love Change Us?

Feast of the Holy Martyr Diogenes

Francis___Barth_Square.jpegECUMENICAL theological dialogue is a uniquely demanding, as well as a uniquely consoling form of religious conversation. To be successful at it – to engage in dialogue that is not only congenial but fruitful for those involved – requires time, expertise, and learning on the part of its participants, a commitment to doing the necessary homework in preparation for each meeting, a great deal... Continue Reading


St Gregory Palamas: Are You Preparing Yourself to Accept the Heavenly Seed?

Feast of St Andrew the First-Called Apostle

Gregory_Palamas_Square_2.jpgTHE WORD which brings about the salvation of our souls is analogous to seed. Just as farmers first cultivate the earth with the plough, then sow seed, so must we prepare ourselves beforehand to accept the heavenly seed, by which I mean the word of spiritual teaching. But we are not inanimate, unfeeling earth which is cultivated and sown by others, but living,... Continue Reading


Fr Thomas Hopko: Why Celebrate the Entrance of Mary into the Temple?

Feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple

Entrance_Theotokos_Square_1.jpegDURING THE first days of the Christmas fast the Church celebrates the feast of the entrance of the child Mary into the Jerusalem temple. Called in the Church The Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, this festival, which is not among the biblically recorded events, is one of the twelve major feasts of the Orthodox... Continue Reading


St Gregory: Do You Dishonor Education by Rejecting Secular Literature?

Feast of St John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople

Gregory_Theologian_Square_2.jpgI TAKE IT as admitted by men of sense, that the first of our advantages is education; and not only this our more noble form of it, which disregards rhetorical ornaments and glory, and holds to salvation, and beauty in the objects of our contemplation; but even that external culture which many Christians ill-judgingly abhor, as treacherous and dangerous, and keeping us afar from God. For as we ought not to neglect... Continue Reading


St Basil: Are You Purging Your Soul by Nourishing It with Divine Thoughts?

Feast of St Paul the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople

Basil_Square_7.jpegTHE DISCIPLINE of piety nourishes the soul with divine thoughts. What then is more blessed than to imitate on earth the anthems of angels’ choirs; to hasten to prayer at the very break of day, and to worship our Creator with hymns and songs; then, when the sun shines brightly and we turn to our tasks, prayer attending us wherever we... Continue Reading