March 15, 2018

The Concept of Sin as Debt in the Early Church Fathers and Writers

  ·   Articles

In a recent theological discussion, someone spoke about the concept of sin as debt. I was curious as to what the patristic literature had to say and compiled these quotations from most of the major series translated in English. Unsurprisingly, I found quite a few more references to sin as debt in Western writers than in Eastern writers, which perhaps explains some of the differences that exist in terms of our understanding of salvation. Origen …

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Tagged: Salvation, atonement, debt, sin, soteriology
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February 13, 2018

Treasures of the Fathers: Prophecies of Tuesday of the First Week of the Great Fast

  ·   Meditations

In this series, we will read the Holy Scripture with the Church through the lens of the Holy Fathers who lived the Scripture and bequeathed their inspired interpretations to later generations for their edification and spiritual growth. Isaiah 1:19–2:3 And if ye be willing, and hearken unto me, ye shall eat the good things of the land: 20 But if ye be not willing, neither hearken unto me, a sword shall devour you; for the …

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November 28, 2017

The Women in the Genealogy of Christ

  ·   Meditations

Let us examine a unique aspect of the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel according to St. Matthew: the inclusion of several women. The historical reality is that, in Biblical genealogies, women are not typically included. A person’s lineage was defined primarily by his or her male ancestors. But in Christ’s genealogy, we have several interesting women listed: Tamar is mentioned in v. 3, as are Rahab and Ruth in v. 5, …

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November 16, 2017

On the Remembrance of Death

  ·   Meditations

Tonight, brothers and sisters in Christ, we offer our hearts and prayers in this Evening Raising of Incense service on the eve of the Fourth Sunday of the blessed Coptic month of Paope. Every day, our loving Mother, the Holy Church, nourishes us with different spiritual teachings through the Katamerous, or the daily readings, which are quite accessible these days. I wholeheartedly encourage you to search out these readings every day, whether we have services …

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Tagged: Death, Homily, Remembrance of Death
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October 28, 2017

Christ Calms the Raging Sea

  ·   Meditations

Tonight, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we offer our prayers through the raising of incense on the eve of the Third Sunday of the blessed Coptic month of Paope. Our Mother, the Holy Church, nourished us with a passage from the Gospel according to St. Mark 4:35-41, which described how our Lord Jesus Christ calmed a fearful storm by the power of His word. In this beautiful story, which is also found in Matthew …

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October 23, 2017

Christ Above the Temple Tax

  ·   Meditations

Christ our Lord was in Capernaum, the city that hosted Him during much of His earthly ministry, residing in one of the houses along with His disciples. St. Peter, however, was outside this house when certain tax collectors came and asked him whether our Lord paid something called the “temple tax.” Peter responded, “Yes,” and entered the house where our Lord was staying, but before he could say anything, our Lord, Who knows all things, …

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Tagged: Bible Study, Christology, Homily, Temple Tax, Tithing
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May 11, 2017

A Prophecy of Abba Pambo

  ·   Meditations

“And I’ll tell you this, my child, that the days will come when the Christians will add to and will take away from, and will alter the books of the Holy Evangelists, and of the Holy Apostles, and of the Divine Prophets, and of the Holy Fathers. They will tone down the Holy Scriptures and will compose troparia, hymns, and writings technologically. Their nous (souls) will be spilled out among them, and will become alienated …

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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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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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