Whether he knows it or not,, Fr. Stephen Freeman is really helping me work through some very basic concepts of the Orthodox faith of which I frequently find myself needing more words and better organization of thought to explain to others. I guess that means, (I’m humbled to say), that I have been needing a better understanding, and a better grasp, of Orthodoxy myself. I’m humbled, but not surprised. I welcome clarification on all things, and for me, the simpler the better.
This latest post from Fr. Stephen is a clarification of some of his previous posts contrasting philosophies of morality with the true philosophy of the Gospel, (my summary), the most recent one to my recollection being his post, “Why Morality is Not Christian”. I really enjoyed that article and gained a better understanding of our Orthodox faith, and this one, “Salvation, Ontology, Existential, and Other Large Words”, clarifies it even deeper. Read the rest of this entry »
Ever since I began realizing , that Orthodoxy IS Christianity, (going on almost a year now), this thing called forgiveness has come ‘alive’ to me as never before. And wouldn’t you know it, this previously benign philosophical concept I was once satisfied with accepting as just that, has increasingly become an acute-on-chronic and growing mountain of God’s grace in my life that continues to challenge everything that I am; or at least, what I thought I was. I am being humbled. Ha, and saying that proves I have a long way to go. Read the rest of this entry »
“The study of the Gospel, then, implies certain presuppositions. One not only needs to be a member of the Church, but one must also trace the way forged by the holy Evangelists who “evangelised peace and good”. So one must live the holy life of the Church, struggle for cleansing from passions and for the acquisition of Christ-like virtues, be nourished by the sacred Mysteries of the Christian altar, be enlightened and sanctified by the Grace of God offered in all the Holy Sacraments and the liturgical life of the Church in general. One must at least be in the stage of purification according to Christ, in Christ and through Christ.“
The Gospel is not a good, beneficial, edifying book. It is not, as it has been called, “the king of books”. It is the book of life. It is the Word of God. It is the voice of the Trinitarian God treasured in the Church and conveyed by the Church and through the Church to the world, for the salvation of humanity and the world. This is its primary distinction from every other book that has been or will be published on earth and on every planet (if there is ever life discovered beyond earth!)…. Read the rest of this entry »
“We novices bared our own souls to the Elder, revealing our thoughts, our doubts, our struggles, and receiving in return, healing, consolation, cleansing, and experienced a deep, monastic exchange, received from the elder. A transfer of grace.” (And then a short insight into the Jesus Prayer…the prayer of the heart) Read the rest of this entry »
Awesome post by Fr Stephen Freeman
The first few Sundays following the feast of Pentecost are set aside for the remembrance of the saints. The first Sunday is "All Saints," much like the West observes on November 1. The second and third Sundays mark saints of national and other particular interests. In the Orthodox Church in America, we commemorate, All Saints, All Saints of America and All Saints of Russia, and lastly, All Saints of the British Isles and Ireland (noting the large … Read More