Category Archive

95 Posts in Meditations

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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November 25, 2016

Beginning the Nativity Fast: More than a Diet

Fr. Moses Samaan   ·   Meditations

For those of us following the Old (Julian) calendar, as we do in the Coptic Orthodox Church, we have just begun the Nativity Fast, which culminates in the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity in the flesh on January 7, 2017. Throughout this Fast, we commemorate the events that preceded the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and ultimately transformed human history. We are called to be attentive and faithful, awaiting the Feast of our Lord’s …

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Tagged: Fasting, Nativity, Nativity of Christ
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October 21, 2016

The Third Day Memorial: No More Clichés

  ·   Meditations

As Orthodox Christians, our departed loved ones are never far from our minds and the consciousness of the Holy Church. From the very beginning, the Church established special prayers and memorials for the repose of their souls, a practice which stems from our faith that those who have departed continue to live in Christ and that the connection between the living and dead does not cease to exist after their departure. Rather, this bond of …

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August 30, 2016

The Monk who Paid for a Harlot

  ·   Meditations

As we celebrate the Feast of the Departure of Abba Bessarion tomorrow, it is good to meditate on his beautiful encounter with Thais, the harlot who received crowns in the Kingdom of Heaven, as recounted in the Paradise of the Holy Fathers. AND now I desire to narrate unto you the excellent history and the great repentance of the blessed woman Thais or Thaisis, for speech concerning her is most excellent, and it is full …

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Tagged: Abba Bessarion, St. Thaïs, repentance
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July 21, 2016

Women, the Church is not Your Enemy

  ·   Meditations

Recently, I came across an anonymous blog post written by a Coptic Orthodox woman expressing her frustration over several supposed inequalities and injustices in the Church. At the outset, let it be clear that I don’t doubt this woman’s sincerity. I might even agree with some of what she wrote. It was beneficial to see different viewpoints and understand how some people feel. At the same time, it left me wondering why some people see …

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Tagged: Menstruation, Women, Women's Rights
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July 2, 2016

July 4: What are we Celebrating?

  ·   Meditations

We find ourselves at the gate of another Fourth of July weekend, a time when family and friends gather to celebrate the birth of this nation with barbecues by day and fireworks by night. When it comes to celebrating July 4, we certainly know what we’re doing. Our mailboxes are filled with circulars advertising various cuts of meat, meal pairings, and flag-themed napkins. This weekend, the brave will flock to local beaches despite overcrowding in …

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June 18, 2016

Pentecost and the Gift of Unity

  ·   Meditations

This weekend, our Mother, the Holy Church, guides us in the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost, the feast on which the Holy Spirit descended like tongues of fire upon the Holy Apostles and other disciples of our Lord in the Upper Room. The scene is described beautifully in the Book of Acts: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a …

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Tagged: Holy Spirit, Pentecost, Unity
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April 8, 2016

The Length of our Lord’s Public Ministry

  ·   Meditations, Uncategorized

The Gospel reading of the Fifth Sunday of the Great Holy Fast, known as the Sunday of the Paralytic, begins with this simple statement: “After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem” (Jn 5:1). It is, prima facie, a simple statement that one can easily pass over, but it deserves our attention, for we learn from it more than the obvious fact that our Lord went to Jerusalem …

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