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

Elder Aimilianos: Do You Know Who the First Theologian Was?

Feast of St Charitina the Martyr

Aimilianos_Square.jpgI THINK that all baptized Christians are, in some way, theologians. [. . .] The first thing we need to do is define our terms, beginning with “theology” and “theologian.” As understood by most people, “theology” means “discourse about God.” From this point of view, theology is identified with things like sermons, homilies, or books and articles that in some way pertain to God... Continue Reading

St Augustine: Are You Descending from Yourself and through Him Ascending to Him?

Feast of St Dionysios the Areopagite

Augustine_Square_3.jpgTHE PHILOSOPHERS “were able to judge the world with understanding” even though “they did not find its Lord” (Wisd. 13.9). “For You are great, Lord, You regard the humble things, the exalted You know from far off” (Ps. 137.6). By the proud You are not found, not even if their curiosity and skill number the stars and the sand, measure the constellations, and trace... Continue Reading

St Clement of Alexandria: Is the Word Educating You?

Feast of the Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian and the Virgin Martyr Justina

Clement_Alex_Square.jpgO YOU WHO are children! An indestructible corner stone of knowledge, holy temple of the great God, has been hewn out especially for us as a foundation for the truth. This corner stone is noble persuasion, or the desire for eternal life aroused by an intelligent response to it, laid in the ground of our minds.

For, be it... Continue Reading

Lactantius: Are You Going for the Straight Path?

Feast of St Ananias, Apostle of the 70, and St Romanos the Melodist

Lactantius_Square.jpegLET US leave to one side the inventors of this earth-based philosophy, who have nothing secure to offer, and go for the straight path. If I thought that they were sufficiently sound as guides to good living, I would both follow them myself and encourage others to do so. But since they disagree violently with each other,... Continue Reading

St Clement of Alexandria: Has Your Soul Learned to Choose the Highest?

Feast of St Gregory the Illuminator, Bishop of Armenia

Clement_of_Alexandria_Square_3.jpegPHILOSOPHY includes questions concerning truth and the nature of the universe (the truth of which the Lord Himself says, “I am the truth”); I also assert that the stage of education preliminary to resting in Christ exercises the mind, awakens the understanding, and produces a sharpness of intellect which uses true philosophy for its investigations. Those who discover this, or rather... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Have You Approached the Teacher Who Is the Truth?

Feast of St Cyriacus the Hermit of Palestine

John_Damascene_Square_4.jpegNOTHING IS more estimable than knowledge, for knowledge is the light of the rational soul. The opposite, which is ignorance, is darkness. Just as the absence of light is darkness, so is the absence of knowledge a darkness of the reason. Now, ignorance is proper to irrational beings, while knowledge is proper to those who are rational. Consequently, one who by nature... Continue Reading

Origen: Are You Seeking God's Truth and the Causes of Things?

Feast of St Baruch the Prophet

Origen_Square.jpgJUST AS when our eyes rest upon something made by an artist, . . . our mind burns to know how and in what way and to what purpose it was made, far more and beyond all comparison with such things does our spirit burn with an unspeakable longing to know the why and wherefore of the works of God which we see. This... Continue Reading

Paul Evdokimov: Are You Living as a Liturgical Being?

Feast of the Falling Asleep of St John the Evangelist and Theologian

Evdokimov_Square.jpgIN THE LITURGY of St John Chrysostom, the Cherubic Hymn (“We who mystically represent the Cherubim”) shows the icon of the angelic ministry of adoration and of prayer in man. It is also the moment where the angelic hosts join the liturgical celebration. Man is associated with their song first in the Trisagion (“Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy... Continue Reading

St Symeon the New Theologian: Do You See Christ in Every Single Being?

Feast of Our Righteous Father Sergius of Radonezh

Symeon_New_Square.jpgCHRIST IS the beginning, the middle, and the end. He who is in the first is in all, and as He is in the first so He is in the middle and the last as well. There is no difference between these things for Him, just as there is neither barbarian, Scythian, Greek, nor Jew—only Christ who is in all and is... Continue Reading

Acts of Paul and Thecla: Do You Behave Yourself with Courage?

Feast of St Thecla the Protomartyr & Equal to the Apostles and St Silouan the Athonite

Thekla_Square_1.jpegTHEN PAUL went into the house of Onesiphorus, and here was great joy among the family on that account: and they employed themselves in prayer, breaking of bread, and hearing Paul preach the word of God concerning the temperance and the resurrection [. . .]

While Paul was preaching this sermon in the church... Continue Reading