St Hilary of Poitiers: Be Careful When You Speak of the Ineffable!

Feast of the Holy Nine Martyrs of Cyzicus

Hilary_Poitiers_Square.jpgTHE WORD OF GOD, together with the very power of its own truth which we received from the testimony of the Evangelist, was sufficient for those who believe, since He says: “Going now, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded... Continue Reading

St Gregory the Theologian: Are You Being Smoothed into Beauty?

Feast of the Holy Hieromartyr Symeon, Kinsman of the Lord

Gregory_Theologian_Square_2.jpgDISCUSSION OF theology is not for everyone, I tell you, not for everyone—it is no such inexpensive or effortless pursuit. Nor, I would add, is it for every occasion, or every audience, neither are all its aspects open to inquiry. It must be reserved for certain occasions, for certain audiences, and certain limits must be observed. It is not for... Continue Reading

St Athanasius: Are You Guarding Christ's Likeness?

Feast of St Mark the Apostle & Evangelist

Athanasius_Square_2.jpgSPEAKING OF the manifestation of the Savior to us, it is necessary also to speak of the origin of human beings, in order that you might know that our own cause was the occasion of his descent and that our own transgression evoked the Word’s love for human beings, so that the Lord both came to us and appeared among human beings.... Continue Reading

St Gregory the Dialogist: Are You Standing in the Citadel?

Feast of St Elizabeth the Wonderworker

Gregory_Great_Square.jpgTHE EASE OF indolence is represented by sleep, and physical labor by getting up. And the desire for rest is represented by the word evening, something associated with sleep. But the holy church, for as long as she continues in a life of corruption, unceasingly laments what she has lost through her mutability. For the first human was created for this purpose: that, with... Continue Reading

St Bernard: Are You Imitating the Model of Meekness?

Feast of St George the Great Martyr

Bernard_Square.jpgBEFORE I SPEAK of the different steps of humility—which indeed St Benedict does not ask us to count but to climb—I will first try to show what we may expect to find at the top. The toil will be easier if we have the profit before our eyes. Our Lord shows us plainly both the difficulty and the reward of the work. “I... Continue Reading

St Athanasius: Are You Virtuous Like Christ?

Feast of Sts Nathaniel, Luke & Clemente the Apostles

Athanasius_Square.jpgBUT IN ADDITION to the study and true knowledge of the scriptures, there is needed a good life and a pure soul and the virtue which is according to Christ, so that the mind, guided by it, may be able to attain and comprehend what it desires, as far as it is possible for human nature to learn about... Continue Reading

St Anselm: Are You Seeking the Face of God?

Feast of St Anselm

Anselm_Square.jpgINSIGNIFICANT MAN, escape from your everyday business for a short while, hide for a moment from your restless thoughts. Break off from your cares and troubles and be less concerned about your tasks and labors. Make a little time for God and rest a while in him. Enter into your mind’s inner chamber. Shut out everything but God and whatever helps you to seek him; and... Continue Reading

Abba Nicon: Do You Show Compassion?

Feast of Zacchaeus the Apostle of Caesaria

Desert_Father_Square.jpgA BROTHER asked one of the Fathers saying: “How does the devil present temptations to the saints?” The old man said to him, “There was one of the Fathers, named Nicon, who lived on Mount Sinai. And someone went into a Pharanite’s tent and finding his daughter alone, sinned with her. Then he said to her, “Say it was the anchorite, Abba Nicon,... Continue Reading

St Gregory Palamas: Does Laziness Keep You from Sunday Gatherings?

Bright Saturday and Feast of Holy Father John the Righteous

Gregory_Palamas_Square_2.jpgYOU WILL UNDERSTAND how much better Sunday is than other feast days from what follows. Every other festival comes round once a year, but the Lord’s Day comes round four times every month, and this frequent recurrence makes the whole year a year of true remission for us, a year acceptable to the Lord (cf. Is. 61.2). It was in... Continue Reading

St Gregory the Theologian: Have You Offered Everything?

Bright Friday and Feast of St Symeon the Holy Martyr & Bishop of Persia

Gregory_Nazianzen_Square_1.jpgYESTERDAY THE lamb was slaughtered, and the doorposts were anointed, and the Egyptians lamented the firstborn, and the destroyer passed over us, and the seal was awesome and venerable, and we were walled in by the precious blood. Today we have totally escaped Egypt and Pharaoh the harsh despot and the burdensome overseers, and we have... Continue Reading

C. S. Lewis: Do You Preach the Resurrection?

Bright Thursday and Feast of the Holy Martyrs Agape, Chionia & Irene

Lewis_Square.jpgIN THE EARLIEST days of Christianity an “apostle” was first and foremost a man who claimed to be an eyewitness of the Resurrection. Only a few days after the Crucifixion when two candidates were nominated for the vacancy created by the treachery of Judas, their qualification was that they had known Jesus personally both before and after His... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Do You See Christ Shining Forth?

Bright Wednesday and Feast of St Crescens the Martyr

John_Damascene_square.jpgTHE DAY OF resurrection, let us be radiant, O peoples, Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha; for from death unto life, and from earth unto heaven, Christ our God has brought us over, as we sing the triumphant song.

Let us purify our senses and then we shall see in the light unapproachable of the Resurrection Christ shining forth, and we shall clearly... Continue Reading

St Gregory of Nyssa: Have You Accepted the Scriptures?

Bright Tuesday and Feast of Sts Aristarchus, Pudens and Trophimus, the Apostles of the 70

Gregory_Nyssa_Square.jpg“FURTHERMORE, it is possible,” she said [St. Macrina], “to gather many other testimonies from the holy Scriptures to support the doctrine of the resurrection. Ezekiel, for example, leaping over the whole interval of time and space by his spirit of prophecy, takes his stand at the very moment of the resurrection by his power of... Continue Reading

Melito of Sardis: What is the Pascha?

Bright Monday and Feast of Martin the Confessor

Melito_Square.jpgWHAT IS THE Pascha? It is called by its name because of what constitutes it: from “suffer” comes “suffering.” Therefore learn who is the suffering one, and who shares in the suffering of one’s suffering, and why the Lord is present on the earth to surround himself with the suffering one, and take him to the heights of heaven.

God, in the... Continue Reading

St John Chrysostom: Enjoy the Feast of Faith!

Great and Holy Pascha

John_Chrysostom_Square_2.jpgIF ANY  MAN be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come... Continue Reading

The Fathers: The Only-Begotten Son of God Rests

Holy Saturday and Feast of Antipus, Bishop of Pergamum

Theophanes_Burial_Christ_Square.jpgTODAY THE GRAVE holds Him Who holds creation in His palm. A stone covers Him, Who covers the heavens with virtue. Life sleeps, and Hades trembles; and Adam is set free from his bonds. Glory to Your dispensation, through which, when all things are accomplished, You present to us an eternal Sabbath rest, granting us Your most-holy resurrection from the dead.

... Continue Reading

St Cyril of Jerusalem: Is Your Resolve True?

Holy Friday and Feast of St Terence and His Companions Beheaded at Carthage

Cyril_Jerusalem_Square.jpgALREADY, MY dear candidates for Enlightenment, scents of paradise are wafted towards you; already you are culling mystic blossoms for the weaving of heavenly garlands; already the fragrance of the Holy Spirit has blown about you. Already you have arrived at the outer court of the palace: may the King lead you in! Now the blossom has... Continue Reading

St John Chrysostom: Do You Shine More Brightly Than the Sun?

Holy Thursday and Feast of the Holy Martyr Eupsychius of Caesarea

John_Chrysostom_Square.jpgYOU MUST ALSO keep this truth firmly fixed in your minds, that the Holy Spirit is of the same dignity as the Father and the Son. Christ said to His disciples: Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28.19).

Did... Continue Reading

St Isaac of Syria: Do You Delight in the Pursuit of Scripture?

Holy Wednesday and Feast of St Celestine, Pope of Rome

Isaac_Square.jpgWHEN A MAN'S thoughts are totally immersed in the delight of pursuing the wisdom treasured in the words of Scripture by means of the faculty that gains enlightenment from them, then he puts the world behind his back and forgets everything in it, and he blots out of his soul all memories that form images embodying the world. Often he... Continue Reading

St Justin Martyr: Are You Choosing What Is Pleasing To God?

Holy Tuesday and Feast of St Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow & Enlightener of North America

Justin_Martyr_Square.jpgAND WE HAVE been taught, and are persuaded, and believe that He accepts only those who imitate the good things which are in Him, temperance and righteousness and well-doing, and whatsoever else truly belongs to God who is called by no given name. And we have been taught that in the beginning He of His... Continue Reading