The Second Sunday of Lent: St. Gregory Palamas

On the Second Sunday of the Fast, we celebrate the memory of our Father among the Saints, Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica.

The situation in St. Gregory’s time was that Orthodoxy was being debased; it was becoming worldly and being changed into either pantheism or agnosticism. Read more…

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The First Sunday of Lent: The Sunday of Orthodoxy

Introduction
The Sunday of Orthodoxy is the first Sunday of Great Lent. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 has been that of the victory of the icons. In that year the iconoclastic controversy, which had raged on and off since 726, was finally laid to rest, and icons and their veneration were restored on the first Sunday in Lent. Ever since, this Sunday has been commemorated as the “Triumph of Orthodoxy.”

Historical Background
The Seventh Ecumenical Council dealt predominantly with the controversy regarding icons and their place in Orthodox worship. It was convened in Nicaea in 787 by Empress Irene at the request of Tarasios, Patriarch of Constantinople. The Council was attended by 367 bishops. (Read more…)

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Metropolitan JOSEPH on American Orthodoxy

“We have the particularity of various lands and nations of origin, but our identity as Orthodox Christians stems from our confession of faith and the baptismal font where we derive our “birth from above,” and so we can charitably call every man our brother, since Christ made us all to be renewed in Himself.”…A personal encounter and a continuous intercourse with the Living God. The ultimate goal…is precisely the holy man and the holy community, i.e. the Holy Church, and just the holy system.” We live now in a perilous state in society in general, both morally and intellectually. We need to be ready to reach out to everyone, with confidence that we can address their need for spiritual healing with the Holy Gospel.

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Frameworks for Youth Ministry by Gregory Abdalah

Youth Ministry should provide an environment within which our youth can encounter Christ, It should create an atmosphere that facilitates the development of their personal relationships with Christ, Once a relationship with Christ has been developed to provide opportunities for the fostering of that relationship. Our youth are seeking out community wherever they can find them, not knowing where to look. When the Liturgical Life becomes the center of the community. It is then, we can began to help them to realize their Liturgical Discipleship. Considering each from the viewpoint of Liturgical Discipleship, we would understand them as Baptism-the roots of Liturgical Discipleship, Chrismation-the sign of Liturgical Discipleship, Eucharist-the expression of the Liturgical Discipleship. The anaphora prayers aren’t for God. God knows them all already, liturgical prayers are for us. Liturgy is joy Why would keep that joy way from our Youth.

Youth, generally speaking, are narcissistic, and each successive generation seems to be more and more so. Read more.

 

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Reflection from Fr. Laurence Lazar

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time
we will  reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
-Galations 6:9

             Today the breeze outside was a bit cool, even what you might call refreshing but then it hit me that it won’t be too long before everyday will feature cold weather, snow, sleet, and ice.  If you think I’m looking forward to any of that you’re wrong.  The changes in the weather, the roads, the… (fill in the blank), in reality, there will always be the good and bad.  That’s life.  The great philosopher Rosanne Rosanadana said, “Life.  If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.”  In the words of Forrest Gump, “Mama always said, life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re gonna get.”

             Isn’t that the truth? Yet, we children of our loving God realize that whatever it is that life “throws” at us, it is His gift to us, to be used for our good and that of others, for His glory.  “Everything that is good come to us from above.” And everything that is NOT good? No, it doesn’t come from Him.  Man’s sin brought into our world death and sickness, problems, heartache, the injustice of poverty, and all of our woes.  But because God loves us, He strengthens us to endure whatever is wrong in our lives, in society, across the world to endure everything until we are with Him forever in Paradise.

             Let us give thanks to the Lord.  The seasons and challenges of our lives change.  But there is one thing that will never change.  God’s mercy and love.  They endure forever.  His love is beyond our comprehension.  His forgiveness is constant.  His blessings never cease to fall on us.  With each day of life in this world-when it’s peaceful and beautiful, or even painful, we need to grow in union with Jesus Christ, the Captain of our Ship of Life, who promises to lead us through the often crashing waves of the sea to the safety and joy of Paradise.

            ~Fr. Laurence Lazar

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