Modern Loneliness and Staying Put

Fr. Stephen Freeman

In monastic tradition, a monk makes four vows: poverty, chastity, obedience and stability. Most people are familiar with the first three but not with the fourth. In classical monastic practice it meant that a monk stayed put: he did not move from monastery to monastery. It was not a new idea. Before this vow was formalized in various Rules, there was already the saying from the Desert: “Stay in your cell and your cell will teach you everything.” Continue reading “Modern Loneliness and Staying Put”

Christ’s Passion Overcomes Death

When Christians talk about death, they don’t do so with pessimism, they aren’t resigned to it, they don’t think it natural. They see it principally as an enemy which must be defeated through Christ. ‘The last enemy to be destroyed is death, (I Cor. 15, 26); ‘The Word became flesh’ (Jn. 1, 14); ‘that he might destroy him who holds the dominion of death, that is, the devil’ (Heb. 2, 14). Continue reading “Christ’s Passion Overcomes Death”

The History and Structure of the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

A reference point in the typiko of Great Lent is the communion of the Presanctified Precious Gifts. The discordance between the festal and joyful nature of the celebration of the Divine Eucharist and the compunction of Great Lent makes it inappropriate to celebrate the bloodless sacrifice on fast days. And yet, the importance of Holy Communion for the spiritual struggle of the faithful has established participation in the Presanctified Gifts even on such days. Continue reading “The History and Structure of the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts”

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