What is Lent? By most popular definitions lent is a period of abstinence, total or partial, from food. It is basically a diet. If it is not understood as a diet, then is often considered a period of renunciation to some of our guilty pleasures like tv, chocolate etc. The Christian understanding of fasting however and especially the Orthodox one, is much more complex than simply “giving up” something .
So what is Lent? Of course during Lent we renounce some types of foods like meat, dairy products etc. This is an important part of our lenten journey, not to be forgotten or neglected; it helps the body become swifter and, less encumbered by heavy foods, it can rise faster to prayer… Continue reading
Tags: alms · almsgiving · boasting · christian · Fasting · Great Lent · intimate · orthodox · personal · prayer
As a follow up on my last post regarding the 10 lepers found this article on another blog and it moved me to tears. How many things like a simple human touch we take for granted…I also understand more how absurd was for the 9 ungrateful lepers not to come and thank Christ for their healing.
Here are some excerpts from an excellent post by Jimmy McCarty about his experience in a leper colony in India:
I shook hands or hugged nearly every leper there. It was so important that they were touched, and that they knew we cared for them enough to break social stigma and touch them. Ever since that moment I do not read… Continue reading
Tags: colony · lepers · mission · touch
The miracle of healing of the ten lepers, is generally perceived as an exposition of the importance of gratitude in our lives. There is however another aspect I would like to stress today. The essential piece for its understanding lays in Christ’s words addressed to the cured Samaritan returning to offer his gratitude for the healing: And He said unto him, Arise, go your way: your faith has made you whole” (Luke 17:19)
The other nine, ungrateful, lepers did not hear the same words, save a bitter reproof from Christ. They were not called “whole”, like the Samaritan, because they lacked a crucial virtue the Samaritan exhibited: faith.
Without faith, which is recognizing and trusting the power of… Continue reading
Tags: Christ · circles · orthodox · running · whole
Reading yesterday a Romanian Akathist Hymn dedicated to Epiphany (You can read it here in Romanian) I was moved by the following verse
“Glory to you cause with Your body You broke down the dividing wall of hostility, so even us, who are far of upon the sea, will get closer to you. “
Doing a bit of biblical digging I found the corresponding scriptural context
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph 2:13-14)
From another source I found out that… Continue reading
Tags: baptism · Christ · Epiphany · John · Lord · orthodox · river · theophany · wall
On a bench besides John, Mary is also deep in thought. “Hmm… I think I start understanding why I should go to Confession. But what do I say when I get there? I know I’ve done some things that I am not proud of, but here is a scary thought: how can I tell all this to another person, especially a man? He’s going to judge me and probably will never look at me with the same eyes again. Plus, how do I know he’s not going to tell anyone? I don’t think I could overcome this shame.”
Shame is a common feeling for anyone that prepares for Confession, especially at the beginning. It is
To follow up on our discussion about the end of days here is an interesting book that looks at the book of Revelations from an Orthodox perspective.
This verse by verse commentary, a translation of an Russian original by Seraphim Rose, is a based on the commentary by St. Andrew of Caesarea.
Tags: Apocalypse · Bible · orthodox · Revelation
From time to time even a benign shopping session at Walmart can give you insight on the status of our society today. The other night, as part of pre-Christmas preparation, I was looking for a copy of the recent Hollywood movie "The Nativity story". After scouting for a while with no avail in the helter-skelter of the multi-media proposals, I...
Tags: Christ · Christmas · Consumer · Nativity · Society
Please take a look at these two wonderful books by Niko Chocheli
Mr. Choceli was born in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, where he graduated with honors from Tbilisi Nikoladze Art College and Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts. Awarded permanent residency status by the U.S. government as Alien of Extraordinary Abilities, Niko has received numerous awards for is artistic achievements. He has illustrated three other children's books for SVS
Tags: Bible · books · Children · Christ · Christmas