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ECCLESIAL MEDITATIONS & THEOLOGICAL ARTICLES

A True Member of the Church

Christ the Good Shepherd

An excerpt from Metropolitan Hierotheos Nafpaktos, Entering the Orthodox Church, (trans. Marina Mary Robb), Birth of the Theotokos Monastery (2004), pp. 98-101. A true member of the Church and a real Christian is the person who has the following attributes. First, he remains within the Church, without leaving it through atheism or heresy. He is not cut off from this ... Read More »

Development of the Lenten Fast

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Fasting, in preparation for Pascha was universal in the Early Church, both in the East and in the West, as evidenced by various second and third century references to the practice. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History makes reference to St Irenaeus who had written on the debate regarding the date for Pascha and on the nature of the period of ... Read More »

Reading Scripture in Tradition: Why Sola Scriptura doesn’t work

Reading the Scriptures

By Gabe Martini Orthodox Christians do not hold to the Reformation principle of Sola scriptura. Instead, we view the scriptures as the pinnacle or “summit”1 of holy tradition, neither separating the two as wholly distinct, nor eliminating one or the other. The reason for this is simple: the scriptures are a witness to divine revelation, given from God to mankind (and ... Read More »

Metropolitan Augoustinos of Florina: On the Fathers

Metropolitan Augoustinos Kantiotes of Florina

+Metropolitan Augoustinos (Kantiotes) of Florina[1]  “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” – 1 Corinthians 4:15 Beloved readers, the word ‘father’ is a holy word; implicit in it are many holy ideas. First, for Christians, it calls to mind the Heavenly Father, who alone ... Read More »

Fr Dumitru Staniloae: What is Orthodox Spirituality?

Definition of Asceticism

The term spirituality is used very loosely in our culture. But Orthodox spirituality has a very specific meaning. It is most clearly stated by Fr. Dumitru Staniloae a renown Romanian Theologian (1903 – 1993). He describes it as a life long process. It is a road that leads one to “perfection in Christ.” This road involves the “cleansing of passions ... Read More »

FORGETTING CYPRUS

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“Over the course of the four decades since the invasion and occupation of Cyprus by Turkey, the nature of it has gradually been transformed” DEAN KALIMNIOU 15 July 2016 In his interesting recently published book “In Praise of Forgetting,” David Rieff questions the utility of remembering or commemorating terrible historical crimes such as genocide, ethnic cleansing or massacres. He wonders ... Read More »

Geronta, Why Are The Demons Afraid Of You?”

Dilemma Question

By Elder Ephraim of Arizona There was a holy man who cast out demons—the demons feared him. One of his disciples asked him, “Geronta, why are the demons afraid of you?” “My child, I will tell you”, said the Elder. “I had a mental war with carnal thoughts, but I never allowed myself to yield to them. I had always ... Read More »

Buddhism and Eastern Asceticism Compared to Orthodox Christian Asceticism

Buddhism and Orthodox Christian Asceticism

By Archimandrite Zacharias of Essex It is unfortunate that there is widespread confusion, not to mention delusion, in the inexperienced, whereby the Jesus Prayer is thought to be equivalent to yoga in Buddhism, or ‘transcendental meditation’, and other such Eastern exotica. Any similarity, however, is mostly external, and any inner convergence does not rise beyond the natural ‘anatomy’ of the ... Read More »

Saint Kosmas the Aetolian as a Missionary

Metropolitan Augoustinos Kantiotes of Florina

+By Metropolitan Augustinos (Kantiotes) of Florina *(1.) INTRODUCTION A holy anniversary has recently been celebrated in Greece: this past 24th of August marked the passage of 180 years from the very day on which a glorious son of a Northern Epirian village on the shore of the Apsus River, next to the city of Veratios, finished the course of his ... Read More »

On Bad Religious People

Sergey Khudiev

SERGEY KHUDIEV A translation of American journalist William Lobdell’s book, Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America – and Found Unexpected Peace, has recently been published in Russian. This book is interesting in many regards. Lobdell cannot be placed alongside the popular anti-religious propagandists; he is a much more serious and profound writer. Most likely this ... Read More »