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November 24, 2015

The Christian and Black Friday

  ·   Meditations

Throughout the past week, my inbox has been bombarded with advertisements relating to Black Friday. There is the Black Friday sale, the pre-Black Friday sale, the early Black Friday specials, and many other advertising catchphrases that point to the same thing: discounted material goods on the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday is not a topic that is commonly discussed among Orthodox Christians. Sadly, in the absence of the Church’s guidance on this holiday, most of …

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November 21, 2015

On the Holy Angels

  ·   Articles

“Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire” (Ps. 104:4). These are the words of the King and Prophet David. With these words, he said that God created the wisest minds, the fleshless spirits, servants loyal to Him, who burn with eternal love for God, fulfill God’s will and abide in the unapproachable light of the Throne of Glory. The Lord created the angels as wise, powerful, eternally holy, purity and within Divine …

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November 19, 2015

The Meaning of Fasting in the Orthodox Church

  ·   Articles

Fasting is as old as the human race. Fasting was practiced by pagan religions, Judaism and Christianity, and it was generally considered an important element of religious life, although with different practices and understanding. In the ancient religions of the East fasting meant a complete abstention from good for a certain period of time — one day or more. The origin of fasting as a moral discipline, especially among the old pagan religions is very …

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Tagged: Fasting, Spiritual Counsels, Spiritual Life
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November 18, 2015

Why Do Children Lose Faith in God?

  ·   Articles

Why is it that some people are able to know God and believe in Him until the end of their days, while others lose their faith while still young ? How does this loss of faith occur and by what means can faith be preserved or renewed? Before answering these questions I would like to say a few words to those who say that religious beliefs should not be “foisted upon” children. Religious faith cannot …

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Tagged: Ego, Parenting, Secularism, Youth, faith
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November 17, 2015

The Problem of Anger

  ·   Meditations

In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, I observed that the most frequent response was that of anger. President Francois Hollande, for example, vowed to destroy ISIS while the hacking cooperative Anonymous declared it would mercilessly hunt ISIS members down. It was anger that led the ISIS to attack France and now it is the French people’s turn to give in to anger and strike back, all while ISIS plots to strike …

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November 13, 2015

The Deeper the Sorrow, the Closer to God

  ·   Meditations

The unprecedented terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in Paris today have left many with anguish, fear, and shock in their hearts. In the coming weeks and months, politicians and pundits will speak at great length about what happened and what the world needs to do to address the increase of terrorism throughout the world. I do not write in order to contribute to that discussion, but instead, I echo the Russian proverb, “The deeper the …

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Tagged: Extremism, Peace, Terrorism, Violence, islam
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November 10, 2015

Is Christianity Found on a Cup?

  ·   Meditations

By now, most of us have heard about the recent controversy over Starbucks’ new solid red cups. It all began when Joshua Feurstein, an Evangelical pastor, posted a video about the new red cups, which he believes represents a war on Christ, Christianity, and Christmas. Prior cup designs featured Christmas themes, like snowflakes and reindeer, but this year’s cup is plain, which he finds problematic. His solution? Order a drink under the name “Merry Christmas” as …

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Tagged: Christianity, Christmas, Starbucks, mission
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November 8, 2015

The Beautiful Gate of Nain

  ·   Meditations

On the Fourth Sunday of the blessed Coptic month of Paopi, our Mother, the Holy Church, nourished us with the story of the Raising of the Son of the Widow of Nain in Luke 7:11-17: “And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was …

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October 13, 2015

Let the Deacons Respond!

  ·   Meditations

The Divine Liturgy is the most important activity in our Orthodox Christian lives. It is the time when the people of God, the ekklesia, stand before Him in reverence, worship Him and entreat His mercy, and receive Communion with Him for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Because of its importance, any changes to the Divine Liturgy must be studied with caution. I feel we are at the cusp of such a change relating …

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October 6, 2015

The Right to Really Die

  ·   Meditations

On October 5, the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed a new law that confers what is known as the “right to die” upon people living in this state.The media has done an exceptionally good job in distorting the meaning of this law for Christians. The Associated Press, for example, is careful to note that Gov. Brown is a “lifelong Catholic and former Jesuit seminarian” who signed the law after discussing the issue with a …

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