The Sin of Ingratitude

"Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us! So when He saw them, He said to them, 'Go show yourselves to the priests.' And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, 'Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?' And He said to him, 'Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well" (St. Luke 17:11-19).

Read More

May 21st - The Holy Feast of Saints Constantine and Helen

Today the Church celebrates your reign, and she rejoices mystically, O King. As she rightly honors your all-venerable memory, she sings hymns of praise to you, and she salutes you and says "Rejoice! You zealously emulated Saint Paul, you took up the Cross of Christ, and you crushed the snares of the enemy. Rejoice! Most excellent of rulers, and equal in honor to Apostles. Rejoice! You were the support of the faithful and the rampart of emperors. O blessed Constantine, the adornment of Emperors, never cease interceding with the  Lord on our behalf, for you have great access to Him.

Read More

Homily on the Divine Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa's brief homily on the Divine Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ is perhaps the most ancient witness of this feast's existence, and he does not hesitate to call it the "Great Celebration". The literal reading of the title is "Concerning that festive day which is said to be consecrated in the of the Cappadocians: the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ." On the other hand, there is little allusion to Christ Ascension into heaven; the homily turns out to be more a commentary on Psalms 22 and 23. Because of this, it is not difficult to see that Saint Gregory's sermon was most likely composed about the same time as his Commentary on the Inscriptions of the Psalms.

Read More

The Divine Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Lord's events are not separate from one another, nor are they rationalized. All feasts of the Lord are saving events of the Divine Economy, for it was by them that Christ arranged the salvation of the human race. Christ became man, He taught, He suffered, He was resurrected and ascended into heaven. There is a remarkable oneness among them. The Ascension is the last feast of the Lord, it is the end of the Annunciation and the Nativity.

Read More

Wisdom. Arise. Let us Hear the Holy Gospel...

"If any earthly king, our emperor," says Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783), "wrote you a letter, would you not read it with joy? Certainly, with great rejoicing and careful attention." But what, he asks, is our attitude towards the letter that has been addressed to us by no one less than God Himself? "You have been sent a letter not by any earthly emperor, but by the King of Heaven. And yet you almost despise such a gift, so priceless a treasure." To open and read this letter, Saint Tikhon adds, is to enter into a personal conversation face to face with the Living God. "Whenever you read the Gospel, Christ Himself is speaking to you. And while you read, you are praying and talking to Him."

Read More

Let us Pray to the Lord...

n Orthodox Christian Tradition one can distinguish two aspects of prayer - the personal prayer which is done privately and the catholic prayer which is done collectively in the realm of public worship by many Christian believers together. These two kinds of prayer are really inseparable. Every Orthodox Christian will be saved as a faithful member of the Ekklesia (Church), as a member of the Body of Christ, together with the other Christian believers.

Read More

The Divine Ascension

Forty days after His Resurrection Christ ascended into Heaven, where He had been previously, according to His own words to the Disciples before His Passion  "Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? (St. John 6:61-62). Of course, this does not mean that Christ, as God, was not in heaven during the time of His incarnation, but that He would go up even with His human flesh. Moreover, His coming down from heaven is meant as Divine condescension and not as a change of place.

Read More

The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Part V)

Christ's Resurrection should not be celebrated as historical or social event, but as existential, which means that it should be a participation in the grace of the Resurrection. The fasting which precedes the feast during the whole of Lent, the ascetic struggle, aims at the bet participation in the mystery of the Resurrection. In order to be successful, however, this requires, as all the Holy Fathers teach, purification of the senses of both body and soul

Read More