April 4, 2017

An Overview of the Holy Pascha Week

  ·   Articles

Excerpt from Treasures of the Fathers: The Holy Pascha series, which is available for purchase and download here. Without question, the Holy Pascha week is the holiest week of the entire year. The artistic beauty and spiritual depth of the rites of this week are at its zenith. Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection are the foundation upon which is built the whole fabric of Christianity. The Word, “Pascha” “He is the Pascha of our salvation.” Melito …

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Tagged: Holy Pascha, Passion Week, Passions, Patristics
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February 23, 2017

If You Love Me, Speak Up

  ·   Meditations

Recently, I had the blessing of attending a college youth meeting in which they were discussing the sanctity of marriage in Church and society. Not surprisingly, the issue of same-sex marriage came up and the servant asked the youth, “If you were invited to the same-sex wedding of a close friend, would you attend?” Quite surprisingly (at least to me), a couple of Orthodox Christian youth indicated that they would indeed attend out of a sense …

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February 16, 2017

A Nineteenth Century Account of Coptic Wedding Customs

Fr. Moses Samaan   ·   Articles

The following account was written by a British author, E.L. Butcher, during the time of the British occupation of Egypt in the late 19th c. The ceremonies of a wedding, on the other hand, are most of them beautiful and symbolic. Unhappily, Moslem influence has affected even these, and till quite lately it was thought improper for a man even to see beforehand the girl he was going to marry, much more to have any …

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January 23, 2017

Advice to Women from St. Gregory the Theologian

Fr. Moses Samaan   ·   Meditations

In 384 A.D., our father among the saints, the Holy Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzus) composed the following 111-line poem to Olympiatha, a young bride, on the occasion of her crowning and marriage to Nevrithios, an illustrious youth and official of the imperial city. Although the saint wrote this poem as advice to a young bride, it can be received as advice for all faithful women. My daughter, For your wedding, I, your spiritual father Gregory, …

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January 15, 2017

Why all the Acronyms (WATA)?

Fr. Moses Samaan   ·   Meditations

Are you going to SMSP or SASC tomorrow? This question likely makes no sense to you, dear reader, but to a fictional youth deciding between two fictional parishes, St. Mark and St. Peter Church (SMSP) and St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Church (SASC), the question makes perfect sense, because each parish, of course, has an acronym. Wait… acronyms? For parish names? Why? Let me suggest with all love, respect, and sincerity, that this notion of …

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Tagged: Speech, Spirituality
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November 30, 2016

Fun vs. Joy

Fr. Moses Samaan   ·   Meditations

When the Founding Fathers of this country, after having been oppressed in England throughout much of their lives, sought to define the inalienable rights to which every human is entitled, they came up with this phrase found in the Declaration of Independence: “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We see that the pursuit of happiness was considered to be as important as life itself. Who among us doesn’t want this happiness and joy? It …

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Tagged: Fun, Happiness, Joy, Spirituality
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November 29, 2016

This was from Me

  ·   Meditations, Quotes

In the Gospel reading for the Third Sunday of Hatour, our Savior declared, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Lk 14:27). From these divine words, we learn that suffering and tribulations in this world are part of the cost of discipleship and requirements for those who wish to bear the name “Christian.” The letter reproduced below is said to have been written by a modern Russian …

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November 28, 2016

Are You a Fly or a Bee?

  ·   Meditations, Quotes

Any period of fasting is a time for reflection and sincere self-examination. What kind of person have I become? What motivates me? Who am I? Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos, who was recently canonized as a saint in the Greek Orthodox Church, offers a thought-provoking meditation on the two categories of people in this world: I know from experience that in this life people are divided in two categories. A third category does not exist; …

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November 27, 2016

Learning to Say No

  ·   Meditations

Fasting, coupled with prayer, is one of the most powerful spiritual weapons we have in our struggle against the devil, sin, and the passions. This is undoubtedly why the Holy Church, as a loving Mother, consecrates several periods of fasting throughout the year, including the 43-day Fast of the Nativity, which we just began. The power of fasting comes from its connection to self-denial, the practice of saying “no” or “not now” to our impulses. …

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November 26, 2016

Thank God for Enemies!

  ·   Meditations, Quotes

As we continue our fast for the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity, we consider the following wisdom from St. John Chrysostomos whose feast we joyfully celebrated today. The Golden-Mouth counsels us to thank God for our enemies who actually help us in our journey to the eternal Kingdom. Enemies, he tells us, provide us with the opportunity to be Christlike by practicing love, mercy, and forgiveness. As our Savior teaches us in His Sermon on …

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Tagged: Enemies, Forgiveness, St. John Chrysostomos
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