From the Desert Fathers’ Wisdom: on Fasting

1. A certain demoniac once went to Sketis. He was not cured, however, even though he spent a long time there, since the Fathers declined, out of extreme humility, to heal him. But one of the Elders, taking pity on him, made the sign of the Cross over the demoniac and at once the man […]

On Cheesefare Sunday

On this Sunday the Holy Church focuses on the memory of the exile of our ancestral parents from paradise for disobedience and intemperance in order that through misfortune it more evidently emphasizes the importance of the presented ascetical effort for all, and in the loss of the blessedness of paradise it specifies a subject, worthy […]

Clean Monday and the First Week of Great Lent

With Clean Monday begins Great Lent in the Orthodox Church and marks the end of feasting. Clean Monday is called as such because Christians are called to cleanse themselves spiritually and bodily. It is also a day of strict fasting with no work. The holy fast has a duration of 40 days in imitation of […]

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving: They’re not Just for Lent Anymore

By Father Sergius Halvorsen Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are not “Lenten disciplines” per se. Rather, they are essential to our basic health and wellbeing: they are fundamental to the Christian life. Yes, it is true that during Lent we place a much greater emphasis on prayer, fasting and almsgiving, but this does not mean that […]

Thoughts from a Parish Priest for the Great Lent

We have just entered the period of Great Lent (February 27), and our Church calls us to observe the traditional fast and prayer. Several people will raise again the questions why should we fast, or how much should we fast, etc. The following thoughts provide some answers to the general questions which are raised at […]

Third Sunday of Great Lent-Gospel Commentary

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Mark 34-37. And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever desireth to follow after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever […]

The personal relationship of Saint Gregory Palamas with the Theotokos

Every Saint loves the Panagia. Sainthood is not understood without this Theotokophilia. It occurs because the Saints, after tasting the Love of God, communing of the Body and Blood of Christ, and experiencing the gifts of the incarnation of Christ, feel the need to give thanks also to that person who was the cause of […]

Saint Gregory Palamas and the Heavenly Synod

The following vision was recorded by Patriarch Philotheos Kokkinos, the biographer of Saint Gregory Palamas, and was also later repeated by Hieromonk Athanasios of Paros in his biography of Saint Gregory Palamas. At the Great Lavra of St. Athanasios on the Holy Mountain there dwelt a perfected anchorite. Spending his time in solitude and prayer, […]

Saint Gregory Palamas and the Second Sunday of Great Lent

The Holy Church calls the second Sunday of Great Lent the Sunday of the Light-Creating Fasts. In its Divine services, in line with the destruction of the sinful condition of man, it is descriptively and touchingly represented in the church hymns, which explains the Gospel parable about the Prodigal son, and praises the fast as […]