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November 30, 2015

Keep Your Eyes on Yourself

  ·   Quotes

Speak well of those who speak evil of you. Pay good for evil. Pray for those who cause you various offenses, wrongs, temptations, persecutions. Whatever you do, on no account condemn anyone; do not even try to judge whether a person is good or bad, but keep your eyes on that one evil person for whom you must give an account before God–yourself. — St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, The Arena

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November 29, 2015

The Necessity of Self-Denial

  ·   Meditations

On the Third Sunday of the Coptic month of Hatour, our Mother, the Holy Church, nourished us with a passage from the Gospel according to St. Luke 14:25-35 in which our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us that the cost of being His disciple, the cost of being a Christian in this world, is a total and complete commitment to Him. This total commitment to Christ necessarily begins with self-denial, as our Savior teaches us, “And …

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November 27, 2015

We Should be Peacemakers

  ·   Quotes

For God commands us to be peacemakers, and in agreement, and of one mind in His house; and such as He makes us by a second birth, such He wishes us when newborn to continue, that we who have begun to be sons of God may abide in God’s peace, and that, having one spirit, we should also have one heart and one mind. Thus God does not receive the sacrifice of a person who …

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November 26, 2015

God Provides for All Things

  ·   Quotes

What then, they say — do you not want me to know clearly and believe that God provides for all things? Certainly, I want it and pray for it and desire it exceedingly, but not that you pry and inquire curiously into His providence. If you know and are persuaded, then do not make inquiry. But if you doubt, then ask the earth, the sky, the sun, the moon; ask the various classes of animals, …

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Tagged: Patristics, Providence of God, Thanksgiving
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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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