St Ephraim the Syrian: Do You Resemble the Holy of Holies?

Feast of St Domnica the Righteous of Constantinople

Creation_Adam___Eve_Square_1.jpegTHE JUST ONE saw how Adam had become audacious because He had been lenient, and He knew that he would overstep again if He continued thus; Adam had trampled down that gentle and pleasant boundary, so instead God made for him a boundary guarded by force. The mere words of the commandment had been the boundary to the Tree, but now the... Continue Reading


St Sophronius: Have You Been Illuminated by the Light of the Knowledge of God?

Feast of the Holy Theophany of Our Lord

Baptism_Square_1.jpegO TRINITY supreme in being, in goodness, and in Godhead, almighty, who watchest over all, invisible, incomprehensible, Maker of spiritual beings and rational natures, innate Goodness, Light that none can approach and that lightens every man that comes into the world: Shine also upon me Thine unworthy servant. Enlighten the eyes of my understanding that I may make bold to sing the... Continue Reading


St Ephraim the Syrian: Is He God and Flesh or Is Our Salvation False?

Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and Feast of Sts Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian

Ephraim_Square.jpgWE CONFESS one and the same individual as perfect God and perfect Man.

He is God the Word Which was flesh.

For if He was not flesh, why was Mary chosen? And if He is not God, whom does Gabriel call Lord?

If He was not flesh, who... Continue Reading


St Peter Chrysologus: Can You Fathom the Mystery of the Lord's Birth?

Feast of St Gideon the New Martyr of Mount Athos

Theotokos_with_Child_Square.jpegHOW SECRET are the sleeping quarters of a king! The place where the nation’s head, who is powerful, takes his rest is wont to be viewed only in a spirit of reverence and awe. No alien, no sullied man, no unloyal subject, gains access and entrance to it. How clean, how chaste, how faithful are the services expected there! The... Continue Reading


St Augustine: Are You Holding Fast to the Lowliness of God?

Feast of the 20,000 Martyrs Burned in Nicomedia

Augustine_Square_4.jpgTHE BIRTHDAY of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on which Truth sprang forth from the earth and the procession of day from day extending even unto our time began, has, with the return of its anniversary, dawned upon us today as deserving of special celebration. “Let us be glad and rejoice therein” (Ps. 117.24), for the faith of Christians holds fast... Continue Reading


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