“The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” (Mt. 13:33)
Christ came into the world as one of us, to change us from within. He is the leaven of a new world, and although born as a little babe, in a humble and forgotten manger he starts a chain reaction that will reach the entire earth.
The apostles were the first to react to this catalyst and they were changed into something better, from humble fishermen into fishers of men, becoming themselves agents of change for the world.
Through their missionary work entire populations were converted to Christianity, temples were changed into churches… Continue reading
Tags: change · Christ · Christianity · Christmas · de-Christianization · ferment · Jesus · leaven · Nativity
I recently found this quote on humility from Elder Paisios from Sihla (A skete in the North of Romania close to the Sihastria Monastery where Elder Cleopas lived)
“It’s best for a man to become a clay vessel, which is useful to all people and for all kinds of daily work, for food, water, and so on. But golden vessels are put in safes and locked up in cupboards. For fear of thieves they are seldom used, maybe only once a year. A clay vessel has its daily use and service to man. So also is a humble man who does not seek honors and rank. He remains insignificant even amid men of lower rank, but he benefits, counsels, and… Continue reading
Tags: Christ · Christmas · Communion · humility · meekness · Nativity · orthodox · pride
9th Ode of the Christmas Canon… Continue reading
Tags: byzantine · Christmas · Greek · Nativity
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
Much of the post-holiday blues and Christmas depression that occur in the United States may have something to do with the way Americans celebrate Christmas. The Orthodox Nativity fast may be the remedy many people need.
When people are suffering in their lives with things like divorce or other losses, financial stress, aging or illness; the sudden onset of pre-Christmas cheeriness may leave them feeling even more isolated and deprived, because the rest of world is portrayed as happy and fulfilled in stark contrast to how they feel.
Others who do embrace pre-holiday celebrations often feel let down and weighed down by food and debt shortly after Christmas day. The novelty of the new material things wears off quickly, friends and family go home, and people may be left feeling blue. This is the feeling known as post-Christmas let-down.
The Orthodox way of celebrating Christmas can yield completely different results.
Tags: Christmas · Depression · Fast · Nativity · orthodox
For a first comer in an Orthodox Church the thing that strikes the most is the richness of traditions that abound in the life of the faithful. It seems that we have a tradition for everything: the way we light the candles, the way we venerate the icons, the way we cross ourselves and so on. All conforms to some unwritten rules that are puzzling and difficult to follow
Tags: Christ · Christmas · Nativity · orthodox · Tradition