Faith and science are not in opposition. A scientist of our time says: "One of the greatest tragedies of our time is this impression that science and religion have to be at war." Another scientist advanced a principle he calls "noma" or "non-overlapping magisteria of science and religion, "according to which "the magisterium of science covers the empirical the composition of the universe ('fact') and the way it works ('theory').Read More
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In the teachings of the Holy Fathers the three stages of the spiritual life are characterized by use of the terms "praxis" and "theoria". I think we should dwell upon this subject also, in order, on the one hand, to understand more clearly what is meant by repentance and purification of heart; and, on the other hand, to ascertain the misinterpretation of the terms praxis and theoria by contemporary individuals. I would like to begin with an analysis of the latter.Read More
An Orthodox Church is that part of God's creation which has been set apart and "reclaimed" for the Kingdom of God. Within its walls, the heavenly and earthly realms meet, outside time, in the acts of worship and Sacrifice offered there to God. Angels assist the Priest during the Divine Liturgy, and Saints and members of the Church Triumphant (The Heavenly Church) participate in the Divine Services. The Blessed Theotokos, the Mother of God, is also present and, of course, Our Lord Jesus Christ is invisibly present wherever two or three gathers in HIs Name (St. Matthew 18:20), just as He is always present in the reserved Eucharist preserved on the Holy Table of most Orthodox Churches.
Given these very significant spiritual realities, we shRead More
Saint Cuthbert, an early Celtic Saint, used to pray standing in the sea. When he stepped out, the sea otters would dry his feet with their fur.
"The more I examine myself, the more I see that a life devoted to constructing and organizing, a life which produces positive results and which succeeds, is not my vocation, even though, out of obedience, I could work in this direction and even obtain certain results. What attracts me is a vocation of loss-a life which would given itself freely without any apparent positive result, for the result would be known to God alone; in brief, to lose oneself in order to find oneself" (Father Lev Gillet).Read More
It is incorrect to say that depression is not an illness or that alcoholism is not an illness or that same-sex attraction is not an illness. The standard definition of an illness is any condition which upsets the homeostasis of a system. There are spiritual illnesses and physical illnesses. I suppose one could even say that there are mental illnesses, although their crossover into spiritual illnesses is profound.Read More
You are not alone
Genesis 50:20: "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive."
1 Samuel 16:7: "For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."Read More
Saint Paul speaking on giving says, "But this I say: He who sows sparingly, will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work" (2 Cor. 6-8).Read More
Deacon: Let us be attentive.
Priest: The Holy [Things] for the holy.
As the priest "elevates" the Holy Gifts he "invites" the faithful. "The Holy Things for the holy." What an awesome and fearful invitation! Although we are here for this reason, and this reason only, i.e., to partake of the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments), nevertheless when the moment comes we feel totally inadequate, unworthy and unprepared (can we ever be adequately prepared?) to step forth. The priest's cry checks us, cuts us through, dissects us and proves us wanting:Read More
And once such a person put off everything, he is entrusted with the responsibility to protect the people and inflicts wounds on Pharaoh-that is, he discerns and governs through Divine gifts, and conquers the demons. Then he receives the Divine Laws--not on stone tablets, as Moses did, which wear out and break, but rather in Divine engravings of the Holy Spirit which act in our hearts. And not only Ten Commandments, but as many as his nous, knowledge, and nature can contain. Afterward, he enters into "that which is within the veil" (Hebrews 6:29).Read More