Kill the Flesh to Acquire a Body
At the end of his long chapter on chastity (Step 15) in The Ladder of Divine Ascent, after spending pages discussing the never-ending struggle against sexual temptation, St John changes from his more usual didactic tone to one more pensive and reflective. In a series of questions he probes the mystery of the schism which sunders man from himself. What is this mystery in me? What is the meaning of this blending of body and soul? How am I constituted a friend and foe to mysel
The Cross ~ The Tree of Life
This Sunday, the third of Great Lent, is the Sunday of the Cross. On Saturday evening the Cross, decorated with flowers, is brought from the Holy Altar into the center of the church where it will be venerated by the faithful throughout the fourth week of the Fast. Hymns to the Cross are scattered throughout the various services of the Orthodox Church. There are hymns daily at the Ninth Hour because at that hour our Lord through the Cross opened the way to Paradise. There are
What Have You Made?
The Bible opens with those well-known words, “In the beginning God made….” Five more times in the first 25 verses it repeats “And God made….” until we get to vs 26 and we hear, “Let us make man…. And God made man….” Finally, all of this Divine making comes to a grand conclusion with the end of the sixth day and the Sabbath: “And God saw all the things that he had made, and see, they were exceedingly good…. And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their arrangement
Fasting and Love
Invariably in Great Lent I come across internet memes quoting the Fathers of the Church with phrases such as “Love is greater than fasting” or “True fasting is abstaining from sin.” And, of course, all of this is true! Who can argue with the the statement "love is greater than fasting”? For that matter, love is greater than every other virtue, including, according to St Paul, faith and hope. Does that mean faith and hope are not essential? Nope. Or does the fact that we shoul