Our Fathers Among the Saints Athanasius and Cyril, Archbishops of Aelxandria-January 18 (Part II)

Saint Cyril was also from Alexandria, born about the year 376 A.D., the nephew of Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, who also instructed the Saint in his youth. Having first spent much time with the monks in Nitria, he later became the successor to his uncle's throne in 412 A.D. In 429 A.D., when Cyril heard tidings of the teachings of the new Patriarch of Constantinople, Nestorius, he began attempting through private letters to bring Nestorius to renounce his heretical teachings about the Incarnation; and when the heresiarch did not repent, Saint Cyril, together with Pope Celestine of Rome, led the Orthodox opposition to his error (heresy).

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Our Fathers Among the Saints Athanasius and Cyril, Archbishops of Alexandria-January 18 (Part I)

In the half-century after the First Ecumenical Council held in Nicaea in 325 A.D., if there was one man whom the Arians (heretics) feared and hated more intensely than any other, as being able to lay bare the whole error (heresy) of their teaching, and to marshal, even from exile or hiding, the beleaguered forces of the Orthodox, it was Saint Athanasius the Great.

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January 17-The Feast of St. Anthony the Great

Most of what we know about the life of Saint Anthony the Great is from the Greek Life of Antonios by Saint Athanasios.

Saint Anthony was born near Herakleopolis Magna in Upper Egypt in 251 A.D. to wealthy parents. When he was eighteen years old, his parents died and left him with the care of his unmarried sister. In 285 A.D., he decided to follow the words of Jesus who has said: "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven; and come, follow Me" (St. Matthew 19:21). Anthony gave his wealth to the poor and needy, and placed his sister with a group of Christian virgins.

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How to the Read Holy Bible (Part V)

According to Saint Mark the Monk ("Mark the Ascetic"," fifth/sixth century), "He who is humble in his thoughts and engaged in spiritual work, when he reads the Holy Scripture, will apply everything to himself and not his neighbor." We are to look throughout Scripture for a personal application. Our question is not simply, "What does it mean?" but "What does it mean for me?" As Saint Tlikhon insists, "Christ Himself is speaking to you." Scripture is a direct, intimate dialogue between the Savior and myself--Christ addressing me, and my heart responding. That is the fourth criterion in our Bible reading.

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How to Read the Holy Bible (Part IV)

The third requirement in our reading of Holy Scripture is that it should be Christ-centered. If we agree with the 1976 Moscow Conference that the "Scriptures constitute a coherent whole," where are we to locate their wholeness and coherence? In the Person of Christ. He is the unifying thread that runs through the entirety of the Bible, from the first sentence to the last. Jesus meets us on every page. It all ties up because of Him, "In Him, all things hold together" (Col. 1:16).

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How to Read the Holy Bible (Part III)

Understanding the Holy Bible through the Church

In the second place, as the Moscow Conference affirms, "We know, receive, and interpret Holy Scripture through the Church and in the Church." Our approach to the Holy Bible is not only obedient but ecclesial. The words of Holy Scripture, while addressed to us personally, are at the same time addressed to us as members of a community. Book and Church are not to be separated.

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How to Read the Holy Bible (Part II)

Each of the four Evangelists has his own particular standpoint. Matthew is the most "ecclesiastical" and the most Jewish of the four, with his special interest in the relationship of the Gospel to the Jewish Law, and his understanding of Christianity as the "New Law." Mark writes in less polished Greek, closer to the language of daily life, and includes vivid narrative details not found in the other Gospels. Luke emphasizes the universality of Christ's love, His all-embracing compassion that extends equally to Jew and Gentile. The Fourth Gospel expresses a more inward and mystical approach, and was aptly styled by Saint Clement of Alexandria "a spiritual Gospel." Let us explore and enjoy the full this Life-giving variety within the Holy Bible.

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The 8th Day of Christmas-January 1st-St. Basil the Great

One of the most beautiful and inspiring traditions of our Greek Orthodox Church is the observance of Vasilopita which usually takes place on the Feast of Saint Basil the Great on January 1st every year. It is this annual observance, together with many other traditions of our Holy Church, which joins Our Orthodox Christian Faith with its history and heritage.

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