Tag : Great Lent 2018

Written on Apr, 04, 2018 by in | Leave a comment

When, as Orthodox Christians, we emphasize the importance of human freedom (and all the rights and privileges that we have come to expect as Americans) our concern is in defending is the ability of the soul to imitate either the Harlot or Judas. Human freedom is not for us an end in itself. It is rather for something.

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Written on Apr, 03, 2018 by in | Leave a comment

A “profitable” servant must also be of service to others. I must create value in the lives of neighbors. Just as in the marketplace, this means respecting their freedom. A profitable servant can’t compel others to accept his or her service. What is freely given, must be freely received (see, Matthew 10:5-8). This, in turn, requires that I offer my service to you freely (that is without coercion) that you freely received (or not) the offered service I would do for you.

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Written on Apr, 02, 2018 by in | Leave a comment

Because inner freedom–what the text refers to as the ‘freedom of soul’–is what matters, I might wrongly think that political or soul freedom is unimportant.

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Written on Apr, 01, 2018 by in | Leave a comment

The crowds, the high priests, Judas and the disciples all of them had the opportunity to sit and eat and drink and talk with God. And all of them allowed that opportunity to slip through their fingers because they “did not understand.”

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Written on Mar, 30, 2018 by in | Leave a comment

Tomorrow is Lazarus Saturday and the beginning of Holy Week. So today is the last day of the Great Fast. Given where we are liturgically, today’s Old Testament readings the Church are odd.

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Written on Mar, 29, 2018 by in | Leave a comment

Sometimes I’m tempted to confuse the Gospel with a fairy tale in which “they all lived happily ever after.” Like the blessings of wealth and power, judgment and condemnation are part of God’s economy. To be sure, these are not the central elements of the Christian life. But neither can they be ignored much less dismissed.

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Written on Mar, 28, 2018 by in | Leave a comment

Our ascetical efforts throughout the Great Fast have been at the service of removing from our own hearts anything the would limit our willingness to love sacrificially. This why, after Isaiah’s stern words on fasting, the Church puts before us the example of the Patriarch Joseph.

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Written on Mar, 27, 2018 by in | Leave a comment

Solomon is clear. The wise man knows how to use wealth and exercise authority not simply for his own sake but for the sake of others. “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. … He who closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself cry out and not be heard. … He who pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor” both in the eyes of God and neighbor.

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Written on Mar, 26, 2018 by in | Leave a comment

Grace is stolen not by injuring God but by spreading mistrust, hatred, and violence. Grace is stolen by wounding the heart of the innocent and plunging the guileless into despair. This is the sin of those who Solomon calls a “man of great wrath” who repay forgiveness by once again falling into the sin from which they were only recently delivered.

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Written on Mar, 25, 2018 by in | Leave a comment

Many people are spiritually adrift because they have no sense of their vocation, of what it is God has chosen and appointed them to do in this life. So without a sense of their own calling, the life of the Church becomes a series of distractions. Without a sense of my own vocation, of what God has called me to do, the richness of Holy Tradition overwhelms me even as the behavior of others becomes for me a constant source of distraction.

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