Paradise

The Second Thursday of Great Lent. Saint Gregory Palamas and the Hesychasts (Second Sunday in Lent) »

March 12th, 2020    Posted in Daily Meditations

Pavlos Mouktaroudis The second Sunday in Lent is devoted to Saint Gregory Palamas (14th century), a hesychast from the Holy Mountain and later Archbishop of Thessaloniki. Saint Gregory Palamas defended the hesychasts of the Holy Mountain who were being mocked and attacked by the person who expressed the spirit of the Western Church, the monk Barlaam, from Calabria in Southern Italy. When Saint Gregory defended these monks, he set out […]

Theophany and the Gates of Hades »

January 6th, 2020    Posted in Daily Meditations

By Father Stephen Freeman, January 6, 2015  For an Orthodox priest, the services of the Church involve many “comings and goings.” Part of any service takes place within the altar area, which is usually enclosed by an iconostasis, a wall on which icons are hung. The wall does not truly separate one area of the Church from another so much as it marks one area off from another – the […]

The Holy and Great Tuesday »

April 23rd, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

At Bridegroom Orthros on Great and Holy Tuesday the Church sings the following hymn by St. Kassiane: O Lord, the woman who had fallen into many sins, perceiving Thy divinity, fulfilled the part of a myrrh-bearer; and with lamentations she brought sweet-smelling oil of myrrh to Thee before Thy burial. ‘Woe is me,’ she said, ‘for night surrounds me, dark and moonless, and stings my lustful passion with the love […]

The Fortieth Day of Great Lent. Get Out of Hell Free »

April 19th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 2, 2015  The Saturday before Palm Sunday is known as Lazarus Saturday among the Orthodox, and they celebrate Christ raising him from the dead just prior to His entrance into Jerusalem (gospel of John). It is a feast that offers something of a preview of Christ’s resurrection, and a foretaste of the General Resurrection at the End of the Age. Some years back I sat in a […]

The Twenty-Sixth Day of Great Lent. The Ladder of Divine Ascent and Moral Improvement »

April 5th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 11, 2016  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 […]