The Fathers: What Have You Offered Christ?

Synaxis of the Holy Theotokos

Nativity_Square_5.jpegWHEN THE Lord Jesus was born of the holy Virgin, all the world was enlightened. The shepherds watched in the fields, the Magi adored and the angels praised in song; but Herod was troubled: for God has appeared in the flesh, the Savior of our souls.

Thy Kingdom, O Christ our God, is a Kingdom of all the ages, and Thy rule is from generation... Continue Reading

The Fathers: Do You Cry Aloud for Mercy from the God Born of a Virgin?

Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the Adoration of the Magi: Melchior, Gaspar & Balthasar and the Commemoration of the Shepherds in Bethlehem Who Were Watching Their Flocks and Came to See the Lord

Nativity_Square_4.jpegCOME, LET us greatly rejoice in the Lord as we tell of this present mystery. The middle wall of partition has been destroyed; the flaming sword turns back, the cherubim... Continue Reading

The Fathers: Do You Bear Witness to the Fearful Wonder?

Forefeast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

gifts-of-magi_square.jpgMAKE READY, O cave, for the Ewe Lamb comes, bearing Christ in her womb. And do thou, O manger, accept Him who by His word has loosed us dwellers on earth from acts that are against reason. Ye shepherds abiding in the fields, bear witness to the fearful wonder. And ye, Magi from Persia, offer to the King gold... Continue Reading

The Fathers: Have You Looked with the Eyes of Your Soul upon the Virgin and the Mystery in the Cave?

Forefeast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Nativity_Square_3.jpgLET US celebrate, O ye people, the Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ, and raising our minds on high let us go in spirit to Bethlehem; and with the eyes of our soul let us look upon the Virgin, as she hastens to the cave to give birth to our God, the Lord of all. Joseph, when he beheld... Continue Reading

The Fathers: Do You Worship with Zeal Him Who Strangely Came to Dwell in the Virgin Mary?

Forefeast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Nativity_Square_2.jpegTHOU DOST bear the form of Adam, yet Thou art all-perfect, being in the form of God. Of Thine own will Thou art held in human hands, who in Thy might upholdest all things with Thine hand. To Thee the pure and undefiled Virgin spake aloud: “How shall I wrap Thee in swaddling clothes like a child, how shall... Continue Reading

The Fathers: Do You Sing the Praises of His Nativity Past Speech?

Forefeast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Nativity_Square_1.jpegLET US sound the symbols; let us shout aloud in songs. The revelation of Christ is now made manifest; the preachings of the prophets have received their fulfillment. For He of whom they spoke, foretelling His appearance in the flesh to mortal men, is born in a holy cave and is laid as a babe in a manger, and... Continue Reading

St Augustine of Hippo: Have You Tasted the Sweetness of the Lord?

Feast of Our Righteous Father Gregentius, Bishop of Ethiopia

Augustine_Square_3.jpgMY MOUTH shall speak the praise of the Lord, of that Lord by whom all things were made and who was made flesh amid all the works of His hands; who is the Manifestor of His Father, the Creator of His Mother; Son of God born of the Father without a mother, Son of Man born of a mother without a father;... Continue Reading

St Ephraim the Syrian: Do You Confess that Mary Gave Birth to God?

Feast of St Sebastian the Martyr & His Companions

Ephraim_Square_3.jpegTHE FATHER exclaimed: This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; heed Him. Thus He spoke of the Son, Who is undivided from the glory of the Divinity. For the Father and the Son together with the Holy Spirit are one nature, one force, one essence and one kingdom.

And Mary was called the Mother of God by... Continue Reading

Fr Thomas Hopko: Does Your Faith Make Claims on the Lord?

Feast of St Daniel the Prophet and the Three Holy Youths

Daniel_Square_1.jpgTHE STORY of the three young men in Babylon is especially loved in Orthodox liturgy. Not only is there the celebration of these Hebrew youths together with Daniel eight days before the feast of the Nativity, but their story is remembered and hymned on the two Sundays before Christmas which are dedicated to the memory of all the righteous... Continue Reading

St Peter Chrysologus: Do You Acknowledge that God Was Born?

Feast of the Holy Prophet Haggai and Our Righteous Mother Blessed Empress Theophania

St_Peter_Chrysologus_CNA_World_Catholic_News_7_27_12_1_.jpgTHE HOLY Apostle today recounts that two men gave an origin to the human race, namely, Adam and Christ. They are two men alike in body, but different in worth; truly similar in the structure of their members, but truly dissimilar in their own beginnings. “The first man, Adam,” the text says, “became a living soul; the... Continue Reading

Fr Thomas Hopko: Do You Proclaim the Divine Memory of the Fathers?

Feast of St Eleutherios the Hieromartyr, Bishop of Illyrica, and his Mother Anthia

Hopko_Square_3.jpegTHE SUNDAY before the feast of Christ’s Nativity is again a special day in Orthodox liturgical worship. Once more the Church celebrates the memory of the men and women who believed in the true God and prepared for the coming of His Son and Word in human flesh. The day is a celebration of their faith and... Continue Reading

Fr Thomas Hopko: Do You Offer Praise to the Fathers?

Feast of the Holy Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus of Asia Minor

Hopko_Square_2.jpegTWO SUNDAYS before the celebration of Christmas, the Orthodox Church rejoices in the festival of the holy forefathers of the Old Covenant, including those who came before the giving of the Law. They foretold the coming of the Messiah and are redeemed by His saving Pascha. Together with the canon of the Nativity of Christ, the following hymns... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Do You Venerate the Son's Two Begettings?

Feast of St Spyridon the Wonderworker of Trymithous

John_Damascene_Square_2.jpgWE SAY, then, that the divine Person of God the Word exists before all things timelessly and eternally, simple and uncompounded, uncreated, incorporeal, invisible, intangible, and uncircumscribed. And we say that it has all things that the Father has, since it is consubstantial with Him, and that it differs from the Person of the Father by the manner of its begetting and... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Do You Give Your Assent to the Holy Spirit?

Feast of St Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople and St Luke the New Stylite of Chalcedon

John_Damascene_square.jpgAFTER THE holy Virgin had given her assent, the Holy Spirit came upon her according to the Lord’s word, which the angel had spoken, and purified her and gave her the power both to receive the divinity of the Word and to beget. Then the subsistent Wisdom and Power of the Most High, the... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Have You Been Schooled by the Compassionate One?

Feast of the Holy Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes & Eugraphus

John_Damascene_Square_5.jpegMAN SUCCUMBED to the assault of the demon, the author of evil; he failed to keep the Creator’s commandment and was stripped of grace and deprived of that familiarity which he had enjoyed with God; he was clothed with the roughness of his wretched life—for this is what the fig leaves signify—and put on death, that is what the garment of... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Are You Deified by the Lord & Giver of Life?

Feast of Hannah the Righteous, Mother of Samuel the Prophet and the Conception by St Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos

John_Damascene_Square_4.jpegWE LIKEWISE believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and abides in the Son; who is adored and glorified together with the Father and the Son as consubstantial and co-eternal with Them; who is the true and authoritative Spirit of... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Do You Know the Brightness of the Father?

Feast of St Patapius the Righteous of Thebes and the Forefeast of the Conception by St Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos

John_Damascene_Square_3.jpegTHE HOLY Catholic and Apostolic Church teaches that the Father exists simultaneously with His only-begotten Son, who is begotten of Him without time or change or passion and in a manner beyond understanding, as only the God of all knows. They exist simultaneously, as does the fire with... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: What Do You Confess?

Feast of St Ambrose

John_Damascene_Square_2.jpgNOW, WE both know and confess that God is without beginning and without end, everlasting and eternal, uncreated, unchangeable, inalterable, simple, uncompounded, incorporeal, invisible, impalpable, uncircumscribed, unlimited, incomprehensible, uncontained, unfathomable, good, just, the maker of all created things, all-powerful, all-ruling, all-seeing, the provider, the sovereign, and the judge of all. We furthermore know and confess that God is one, that is to say, one substance, and... Continue Reading

St Francis of Assisi: Are You Enlightened to Know Our Father?

Feast of St Sabbas the Sanctified and the Holy Martyr Diogenes

Francis_Square.jpgOUR FATHER, our most blessed, most holy Creator, our Savior and our Comforter; who art in heaven, in the angels, in the saints, enlightening them to know Thee; because Thou, O Lord, art the light that inflames them by Thy divine love; because Thou, O Lord, art the love which is in them and fills them to render them... Continue Reading

Tomas Spidlik: Is Your Life in Harmony with the Lord's Prayer?

Feast of St John of Damascus, the Patron Saint of Eighth Day Institute, and St Barbara the Great Martyr

Spidlik_Square_2.jpgCONSCIOUS OF the sublime dignity of being able to pray in this manner, the spiritual writers insist above all on the moral purity of the person who wishes to address God as Father. “Before we approach God,” Gregory of Nyssa advises, “we should first examine our life, whether we have something... Continue Reading