The Passion of the Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, and Love, and Their Mother, Sophia

During the reign of the impious Roman Emperor Hadrian, a widow of Italian ancestry called Sophia, whose name means wisdom, lived in Rome. She was a Christian, and in accordance with her name, she lived wisely, showing that wisdom praised by the Apostle James, who says, The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits. This wise gentlewoman, Sophia, while living in honorable wedlock, bore three daughters, whom she named after the three great virtues. The first was named Faith, the second Hope, and the third Love, for to what does Christian wisdom give birth other than to God-pleasing virtues?

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Αναρτήθηκε στις 09 Σεπτέμβριος, Christianity, In English, Συναξάρι. Ετικέτες: , , , . 1 Comment »

This story is not a parable, it is an event;

Healing of the paralytic

Metropolitan Antony of Sourozh

What has the event related today in the Gospel (St. Matthew IX: l-8) to do with us? Who of us is aware of being paralysed? And who of us has the faith, a calm and yet passionate certainty that no one but God can give us again the freedom of our movements? Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Pay attention to three phrases.

Metropolitan Antony of Sourozh 

I should like you to pay attention to three phrases of today’s Gospel.

The first one is a tragic word of a man who for 38 years had been ill, without receiving any help from those from whom he hoped healing. 38 years he found not one person to help him to receive wholeness and healing. This is an image and a reality. It was reality because it happened to that one man, but isn’t it an image that should reach all of us? How many people nowadays are in desperate need of wholeness, of physical health, of support, of spiritual healing – and there is not one person who is prepared to give it: not unable to, but not prepared to, because no-one realy looks in order to see another man’s needs. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Αναρτήθηκε στις 15 Πεντηκοστάριο. Ετικέτες: , , , , , . Leave a Comment »

CYNICISM AND THE GOODNESS OF GOD

narnia-lion

Like so many other aspects of our spiritual life, emptiness cannot replace fullness. To trust in God and to rejoice in His goodness is an act of fullness, an act that fills the heart with good things.

Fr. Stephen Freeman

I admit to being a child of the 60’s (which means I was born in the early 50’s). I have lived through a period in American history marked by assasinations, abuse of power, incompetence and unrelenting and outrageous pieties from the lips of the impious. As such, like many in my generation, I am tempted by cynicism – an assurance that things are never as they seem but that things seem mainly because someone wants them to seem that way. Of course, cynics rarely have to repent because history frequently supports their suspicions.

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Abandon Despair!

light of JesusIf the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness. Matthew 6:23

The Fathers say that it is a great danger to spiritual life. Once you fall into it, it is very difficult to climb out. It frequently comes up in confession, and as a spiritual advisor, it is one of the most difficult spiritual states to cure. The Fathers called it “acedia.” (Pronounced “ah see dee ah”) Today, we call this passion “despair.” Truly, when the only light in you is despair, how great is that darkness.

Despair attacks the will and this is how this passion gains its power. With the will weakened, it is difficult to be healed. After all, to pray requires will; to fast requires will; to read or study requires will. It is a bad situation when “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”, but when both the spirit and the flesh are weak, it is a dire situation. Despair begins to strengthen as it feeds upon itself. When despair is strongest, hope is lost. We feel separated from God and begin to wonder if God even exists. We are dead and lying in the darkness of the grave. Life without hope is hell on earth, and a foretaste of eternal life apart from God. It is with great insight that Dante wrote about the sign that hangs over the entrance to hell: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »