Fr Georges Florovsky: For What Purpose Has God Created You?

Feast of St Cyril, Patriarch of Jerusalem

Florovsky_Square.jpgWE NEED A theology of culture, even for our “practical” decisions. No real decision can be made in the dark. The dogma of Creation, with everything that it implies, was dangerously obscured in the consciousness of modern Christians, and the concept of Providence, i.e. of the perennial concern of the Creator with the destiny of His Creation, was actually reduced to something utterly... Continue Reading


St Patrick of Ireland: How Many Prayers Do You Pray?

Feast of St Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland

Burley_Patrick_Square.jpgBUT AFTER I came to Ireland—every day I had to tend sheep, and many times a day I prayed—the love of God and His fear came to me more and more, and my faith was strengthened. And my spirit was moved so that in a single day I would say as many as a hundred prayers, and almost as many in the night,... Continue Reading


Fr Hans Urs von Balthasar: Are You Building Islands of Humanity?

Feast of the Martyr Sabinus of Egypt

Balthasar_Square.jpgCULTURE IS A loosely-knit word. Originally it meant the cultivation of the soil, as mentioned in Genesis: to make nature’s wilderness humanly habitable, to put the imprint of man upon it. During certain cultural epochs this enterprise may have succeeded to a degree; let us remember the Georgics by Virgil. But what can be done amid this want of culture wrought by the... Continue Reading


St Ephraim the Syrian: Have You Repented in Word or in Deed?

Feast of the Translation of the Relics of St Nicephorus the Patriarch of Constantinople

Ephraim_Square.jpgBEFORE THY GLORY, O Christ my Savior, I will announce all my misconduct and confess the infinitude of Thy mercies, which Thou pourest out upon me according to Thy kindness. From my mother's womb I began to grieve Thee, and utterly have I disregarded Thy grace, for I have neglected my soul. Thou, O my Master,... Continue Reading


Fr Alexander Schmemann: Are You in the School of Repentance?

Feast of St Symeon the New Theologian

Schmemann_Teaching_Square.jpgREPENTANCE, WE are told, is the beginning and the condition of a truly Christian life. Christ's first word when He began to preach was: "Repent!" (Matt. 4.17). But what is repentance? In the rush of our daily life, we have no time to think about it, and we simply assume that all we have to do during Lent is abstain from certain foods,... Continue Reading


St Anthony the Great: Do You Create Intervals of Prayer at Work?

Feast of St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem

Anthony_Square.jpgWHEN THE HOLY Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by accidie, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, “Lord, I want to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?” A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony... Continue Reading


St. Theophan the Recluse: Do You Prepare for War Every Morning?

Feast of Quadratus the Martyr and His Companions

Theophan_on_Prayer_Square.jpgAs soon as you wake up in the morning, pray for a while, saying: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me.” Then your first work should be to shut yourself in your own heart, as if taking up position in an arena. Having established yourself there, bring yourself to the consciousness and feeling that your enemy and the passionate... Continue Reading


St John Climacus: Are You a True Servant of God?

Feast of the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebastia

John_Climacus_Square.jpgOur God and King is good, transcendently good and all-good. Of the rational beings created by Him and honored with the dignity of free-will, some are His friends, others are His true servants, some are worthless, some are completely estranged from God, and others, though feeble creatures, are His opponents. By friends of God, we mean those noetic and incorporeal beings... Continue Reading