The trembling soul should not be given the false medicine of Eternal Security, but the true medicine of the Eucharist. Salvation is not just a single experience; it is also an ongoing journey. On that journey one continually returns to God for renewal, forgiveness, and cleansing.
If one disbelieves in Christ and Pascha, then our cultural of denial of death makes good sense. We can’t do anything about the fearful fate which awaits us, so why think about it? Eat, drink, be merry, and watch television. But if what the Church says about Christ and Pascha is true, we don’t need the lies or the denial.
Millions of people have learned to read, but have not learned how to cull their choices of books. Tons of DVDs are available to millions of people, but the ability to cull a pearl from the manure is not.
If the church were to produce a new canon which read, “If anyone teaches that a woman may be ordained to the sacramental and holy priesthood just as men can, let him be anathema!” would these Orthodox feminists sign on and agree with the canonical sentiment?
Literary fiction, which evolved out of the texts found in the Gospel, turn the reader toward himself, toward his own conscience. And the more similarities between the lives of Dorian Gray and the reader (external celebrity purchased at the price of internal compromise), the more obvious and irrefutable the inner parallels.
These three are needed in any society that considers itself educated and intelligent; a society that is perhaps even somewhat bored with its feigned omniscience and, like Pilate, shrugs its shoulders and asks: “What is truth?”
If a person is locked up in hell, he is locked up there voluntarily, like someone committing suicide in a burning house, or like an elderly, alcoholic bachelor living amidst the bedlam of empty bottles, cobwebs, and cigarette butts.
If God is not needed and there is no prayer, if you are nothing more than a tourist when you enter a temple, then hell eagerly assumes its rights and makes its presence known, not with the smell of sulfur, but with a sense of depression and meaninglessness.
Christmas was more than a celebration; it was God’s trumpet, announcing to Herod the beginning of the end. It was a banner of war, unfurled to declare that a divine revolution had begun.
With the right combination of soft and economic power, Poland can return to becoming one of Europe’s Great Powers.
We listen for the essential melody of the patristic chorus, and charitably pass over the odd discordant note which all of the Fathers occasionally sound.
The year is 1868; the place, Damascus. A self-taught mystic calling himself Abd el Matar left his wife, family, and home to found a group of disciples in Damascus, the Shazlis, basing it on a Sufi brotherhood established in the middle ages. About forty or so people gathered about him […]