The Feast-Day of the Holy Apostle Matthew the Evangelist

Matthew, the son of Alphaeus, was at first a tax-collector, and it was as such that the Lord saw him in Capernaum and said to him: "Follow Me!" Leaving everything, he followed Him (St. Matthew 9:9). After that, Matthew prepared a feast in his house, and there provided an opportunity for the Lord to voice some great truths about His coming to earth. After receiving the Holy Spirit. Saint Matthew preached the Gospel among the Parthians and Medes and in Ethiopia, the land of the negroes. In Ethiopia, he consecrated as bishop one Plator, a follower of his, and himself withdrew to prayerful solitude on a mountain, where the Lord appeared to him. Saint Matthew baptized the wife and son of the prince of that land, at which the prince was greatly enraged and sent a guard to bring Saint Matthew before him for trial.

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The Memory of Death

The Christian soul that lives with a profound hope of life beyond the grave and the sweet anticipation of the most desirable Paradise, attempts to maintain a vivid memory of death. The Wisdom of Sirach says: "In all you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin" (7:36). The Christian knows that he will live after death and, therefore, should constantly be aware of his present mortality, keeping before him his exodus from the present world, the Second Coming, the future judgment and his entry into endless eternity.

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The Holy Feast of Saint John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (Part II)

Upon his arrival in the city of Antioch, the blessed John was received with joy by the Most Holy Patriarch Meletius, who gave him a place to live. A short time thereafter, the Patriarch ordained John to the diaconate. He remained a deacon for five years and became the adornment of the Church, both because of the virtue of his life and on account of the edifying treatises which he wrote at that time.

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The Holy Feast of Saint John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint John Chrysostom, beacon of the whole world, pillar and confirmation of the Church, and preacher of repentance, was born in the city of Antioch in Syria. His parents were unbelievers and held to the impiety of the Greeks. His father, who was an officer, was named Secundus and his mother Anthusa, and they were persons of wealth and repute.

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St. Nektarios on Darwinistic Evolution and the Human Soul

Man advances toward perfection daily. Man not only looks after himself, he is concerned for the well being of all of humanity in general, and he improves both himself as well as animals. Where do we see a trace of such preoccupation and improvement amongst the animals? Are not their accomplishments always the same? What comparison can be made between the shelter of monkeys that have remained unchanged for eons and the diverse range of buildings erected by man? What is there in common between man and monkeys, even if they have similar external characteristics? What if monkeys can build huts, swallows can make nests, bees construct hives, and other animals have dens?

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St. Nektarios on Darwinistic Evolution and the Human Soul

[The following text comes from Saint Nektarios' study on the human soul, and here he defends the dignity of man against naturalistic explanations for the origin of the soul of man. Whereas Darwinistic Evolution claims man, body and soul, was descended from lower life forms. Orthodox Christian theology, as explained by Saint Nektarios and other Holy Church Fathers, teaches that man's soul has divine origin, given by God. The rational soul of man is in God's image, and the purpose of man is to acquire the Holy Spirit and become like God. This ultimately distinguishes man from the animals, Saint Nektarios astutely does not comment on the body of man, which he concedes is like that of an animal, as other Orthodox writers also say, because the body of man is part of the physical universe which science can study and learn about.]

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