Daily Meditations

The Fourth Friday of Great Lent. The Ladder of Divine Ascent and Moral Improvement »

March 27th, 2020

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 4, 2019  The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church, is dedicated to St. John Climacus, the author of the ancient work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. It is a classic work describing “steps” within the life of the struggling ascetic. There is an icon associated with this work, picturing monastics climbing the rungs of a ladder to heaven, battling demons who are trying […]

The Fourth Thursday of Great Lent. The Ascetic Life (4th Sunday of Great Lent) »

March 26th, 2020

Bishop Agathangelos of Fanari For the secular people of today, focusing on an ascetic saint represents a problem. How can the ascetic figure of Saint John, the author of the Ladder, speak to us, when he acquired and preserved the Grace of God through tears, prayers, and spiritual asceticism? In Orthodox teaching, the ascetic life is nothing other than the transcendence of selfishness, the attempt, in Grace, to apply God’s […]

Our Conciliar Salvation: The Feast of the Annunciation »

March 25th, 2020

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 25, 2015  I consider it both a strange mystery and a settled matter of the faith that God prefers not to do things alone. Repeatedly, He acts in a manner that involves the actions of others when, it would seem, He could have acted alone. Why would God reveal His Word to the world through the agency of men? Why would He bother to use […]

The Fourth Tuesday of Great Lent. The Journey of Joyful Sorrow. »

March 24th, 2020

The main reason Christianity spread so rapidly following the Resurrection of Christ, was the power behind the resurrection. The truth of Christ’s resurrection empowered believers to joyfully embrace martyrdom, knowing that they would be joined in eternal bliss with their resurrected Saviour. Although their martyrdom would involve both mental and physical anguish, they were almost joyful in their willingness to go to their deaths, rather than betray their faith. Not […]

The Fourth Monday of Great Lent. As Lent Moves On—The Greatest Fast Awaits »

March 23rd, 2020

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 9, 2019  As Great Lent has passed its mid-point, attention begins to move towards Holy Week itself and its very intense focus. It has been an unusual time for me, having traveled on two successive weekends to lead retreats. Travel is always disruptive, and absence from your own community creates a break in the normal continuity of the Fast. I have great sympathies for those […]