Daily Meditations: January

The Synaxis of the Three Hierarchs »

January 30th, 2015    Posted in Daily Meditations

On 30 January, the Church celebrates the memory of the three great hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. This is not a commemoration in the strict sense of the word, i.e. the anniversary of the death of these Fathers, but a common feast, a “synaxis”, to use liturgical terminology. Basil the Great died on 1 January in the year 379 and his memory is celebrated, as […]

HUMILITY: The Sunday of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee »

January 29th, 2015    Posted in Daily Meditations

Brethren, let us not pray like the Pharisee, for those who exalt themselves will be humbled. Let us be humbled before God through fasting like the tax collector, as we cry aloud, “God forgive us sinners.” (First troparion of Vespers, Sunday of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee) IT IS NO COINCIDENCE that the season of the Lenten Triodion begins on the Sunday of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee. […]

Feast Day of Saint Ephraim the Syrian »

January 28th, 2015    Posted in Daily Meditations

St. Ephraim was born early in the fourth century in the ancient city of Nisibis in Mesopotamia, where the Roman Empire bordered on the Persian Kingdom. At one time Mesopotamia belonged to Syria and for this reason St. Ephraim is known as “the Syrian.” He was born of Christian parents before the Edict of Milan was issued (313), establishing official toleration of religion, and, as he later wrote, his ancestors […]

The Season of the Triodion »

January 27th, 2015    Posted in Daily Meditations

Introduction THERE IS MORE TO LENT THAN FASTING, and there is more to fasting than food. This principle lies at the heart of the Lenten Triodion, the main hymnbook of Orthodox Lent. For the Orthodox Church, Lent is without doubt the richest and most distinctive season of the ecclesiastical year. The Lenten services, the spiritual lessons of the Triodion, and the biblical readings for the season invite us to simplify […]

God and Caesar (Part VI): Towards a Creative Secularism »

January 26th, 2015    Posted in Daily Meditations

In the inescapably pluralist life of the city today, Christians must strive for a creative secularism. An open civilization, free from ideocracy, must not be a spiritual desert abandoned to the instincts by the blind forces of production. Kirkegaard thought it necessary ‘to go more deeply into man as he actually exists’ before daring to speak to him of God. More than a thousand years before, the hardiest of ascetics, […]