Gladsome Light Dialogues – An Orthodox Blog

A journey through our Orthodox faith as we live it every day

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Entries Tagged as 'Through Saintly Eyes'

Why We Come to Church or Entering the Bridal Chamber

May 2nd, 2012 1 Comment

Christ is risen!

A new church opening is a major event in the life of a parish that gathers together the entire body of its members in the extraordinary joy of a mission well accomplished. The reason why parishes build such new traditional Church buildings, beside the obvious capacity requirements, is to bring the community closer to the ideal Orthodox way of worshiping, through spaces, shapes and finishes that are appropriate for its intended liturgical purpose. This means that a new church will not only host more people but will also allow them to worship in a more meaningful manner.

As a community gets closer to enter a new… Continue reading

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The Freedom of Morality and the Imorality of Freedom

November 4th, 2011 No Comments

The recent overthrowing of the authoritarian governments from the Middle East countries has brought up again the importance of freedom as an essential human value. The notion of freedom however is not as easy to define as one would think. In general we understand that freedom means the capacity to act without any outside restraint. As J. Rufus Fears, professor of Classics and chair in History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, asserts, this concept can be applied to a nation for example that is free from any outside domination, can be applied to a political system, meaning that one can elect its own choice of government, but most importantly can be applied to the individual that is… Continue reading

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The Counter Culture Church – Sermon for the Sunday of St. John of the Ladder

April 4th, 2011 4 Comments

We live in a world with blazing speed internet that renders TV, radio and newspapers obsolete, we have access to rapid  couriers that can bring to our doors anything from around the world in 24 hours, we even have churches that promise instant  salvation with a simple declaration of faith.  If there was one word to define our society today that would be instant gratification. With the development of technology this long awaited dream of man is getting closer to becoming reality.

I say long awaited because even in the Biblical times people dreamed of such things. Adam and Eve in paradise were seeking  instant knowledge by eating from the tree of knowledge. The apostles today, after seeing Christ… Continue reading

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Lent as transforming expectation

March 5th, 2011 No Comments

But we all, with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord Spirit. (2Co 3:18)
Coming back home the other day, I observed with great joy that some trees on my street started to blossom. I was immediately moved to think: the winter is over, spring is here! All the cold weather, all the snow and the ice is gone. But, the thought continued, if we won’t pass through winter we couldn’t appreciate spring in its fullness.

One the most beautiful celebrations in Japan is the cherry blossom festival. People gather from afar to be… Continue reading

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Reedeming the Time

January 4th, 2011 3 Comments

One year ends another one starts, second after second, since the beginning of the world, the clock is ticking. What is the significance of time? Why are we so obsessed with it and why we celebrate again and again the passing of another year with parties and fireworks?

One explanation may be that the New Year that comes brings with it a wind of hope, a belief that maybe we’ll do better than in the year past. Resolutions are a must at the bridge between years, but most of them are trivial things like loosing weight or stop smoking, nothing substantial. We see clearly however that after a certain age new year celebrations and particularly birthdays become a bitter-sweet… Continue reading

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Work hard – Pray hard – Changing the paradigm

December 10th, 2010 3 Comments

The  slogan “Work hard, play hard” has been in iconic standard for corporate culture for years. It initially meant to be as involved in your daily work as you are in your extra-curricular activities, but was rapidly transformed into a great excuse for irrational and destructive behavior in the after hours like alcohol abuse, recreational drugs, heavy partying etc.  More so the idea has infiltrated from the initial corporate environment to our homes rendering even our everyday life into a two dimensional universe of work and play; everything we do falls into one of these two buckets.

The Holy Grail of a happy life becomes therefore finding the balance between carrier and leisure. A plethora of… Continue reading

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The spirituality of Mount Athos – From Gregory Palamas through the Kollyvades until today

November 19th, 2010 No Comments

The theme of our discussion last Wednesday was the hesychast spirituality of Mount Athos. Please find bellow a number of links pertaining to the subject.

Gregory Palamas

A short exposition of the Palamite controversy by Clark Carlton

St. Gregory Palamas and the tradition of the Fathers by George Florovsky

Kollyvades

A short overview at John Sanidopoulos’ blog

A comprehensive document on the Kollyvades and Frequent Communion

An essay of Bishop Kallistos on the Kollyvades and Philokalia

Mount Athos today

An explanation of the neptic and hesychastic character of the monasticism on Mt. Athos by By Archimandrite Georgios, Abbott of… Continue reading

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Pray without ceasing – From the Desert Fathers

September 28th, 2010 No Comments

There came to the abbot Lucius in Enna certain monks of the kind called Euchitae, that is, the Men of Prayer: and the old man asked them, saying, “What kind of handiwork do ye do?” And they said, “We touch no kind of handiwork, but as the Apostle says, we pray without ceasing.” The old man said to them, “So ye do not eat?” They said, “Yea, we eat.” And the old man said, “Now while ye are eating, who prays for you?” And again he questioned them, saying, “Ye do not sleep?” And they said, “We sleep.” And the old man said, “And while ye sleep, who prays for you?” And they could find no answer… Continue reading

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Passions and Humility – from the Desert Fathers

September 1st, 2010 No Comments

Abba Poemen said of Abba John the Dwarf that he had prayed God to take his passions away from him so that he might become free from care.

He went and told an old man this: ‘I find myself in peace, without an enemy,’ he said. The old man said to him, ‘Go, beseech God to stir up warfare so that you may regain the affliction and humility that you used to have, for it is by warfare that the soul makes progress.’

So he besought God and when warfare came, he no longer prayed that it might be taken away, but said, ‘Lord, give me strength for the fight.’… Continue reading

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The Akathyst of the Holy Martyr Menas the Wonderworker

March 11th, 2010 3 Comments

The shrine of St. Menas used to be for the Ancient Eastern Orthodox world what Lourdes is for Roman Catholics, a place where thousands of pilgrims would bring their prayers in distress and receive the grace of God in return, through the intercessions of the Holy Martyr.
Though the Shrine of Saint Menas was one of the most popular pilgrimage sites of the early Middle Ages, it fell into oblivion over the centuries with the Muslim occupation and was even believed by many scholars to be a myth. Following its discovery in 1905, the ruins of the fabled city of St. Menas were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 as one of the five most historically important… Continue reading

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