St John of Damascus on the Dormition

St John of Damascus on the Dormition   This great Saint of our Church gave three homilies on the Dormition, which are believed to have been given at the all-night vigils held at the Church of the Theotokos’ tomb in Gethsemane. The first homily delves into the life of Panagia and her role in the Incarnation. After going through her connection to the Old Testament and her life, it ends on a description of her tomb as a place of life and healing. The second homily is the longest. It covers in greater detail the death, funeral and glorious assumption [...]

By |2020-09-07T15:45:17+10:00September 7th, 2020|Comments Off on St John of Damascus on the Dormition

St Clement’s Epistle to the Corinthians

St Clement’s Epistle to the Corinthians At the end of the first century AD, the Christian congregation of Corinth was so divided that the younger members of the local church formed a rebellion against their appointed elders. When news of this reached St Clement, the Bishop of Rome, he felt deeply that the only way to preserve the unity of the Church was to respect the Ministry established by the Apostles. He therefore wrote a letter to the Corinthians: “How blessed and marvelous are the gifts of God, dear friends!” St Clement called to the Corinthians to study the God-given [...]

By |2020-06-28T13:17:02+10:00June 28th, 2020|Comments Off on St Clement’s Epistle to the Corinthians

St John of Damascus On the Resurrection

St John of Damascus On the Resurrection In the Exact Exposition of the Christian Faith, St John of Damascus (675-749) takes readers methodically through Orthodox dogma and enhances our understanding of much of what is often taken for granted. This is particularly evident in Books 3 and 4 where he elaborates on what actually happened at the Resurrection. A key focus of St John is that Christ took on “death on our behalf” in both of His natures: human and divine. Death did not corrupt Christ’s body. It was a normal human body subject to the wounds of the flesh [...]

By |2020-05-27T19:29:37+10:00May 27th, 2020|Comments Off on St John of Damascus On the Resurrection

St Seraphim of Sarov On Gluttony

St Seraphim of Sarov On Gluttony Why does the Orthodox Church place such an emphasis on eating during the spiritually intense Lenten period? Food is a blessing. Jesus shared many meals with his disciples and followers. Enjoying food is not a sin. However, one can reach a point where eating becomes excessive, and distorted as merely pleasure, or even as a comfort. Food can even become an addiction. This is not an exaggeration considering the obesity epidemic in developed countries. The medical profession has long called for temperance. The Church regards gluttony as a sin. The Holy Fathers have not [...]

By |2020-03-12T17:02:53+11:00March 12th, 2020|Comments Off on St Seraphim of Sarov On Gluttony

St Gregory of Nyssa On the Baptism of Christ

St Gregory of Nyssa On the Baptism of Christ St Gregory of Nyssa, the younger brother of St Basil the Great, was one of the most influential theologians of the early Church. In his famous sermon On the Baptism of Christ the Saint begins by explaining the ongoing significance of baptism for the Orthodox Christian: “Baptism, then, is a purification from sins, a remission of trespasses, a cause of renovation and regeneration. For as the child new-born is free from accusations and from penalties, so too the child of regeneration has nothing for which to answer, being released by royal [...]

By |2020-01-26T17:06:00+11:00January 26th, 2020|Comments Off on St Gregory of Nyssa On the Baptism of Christ