Life of St. Mary of Egypt

Saint Zosimas (April 4) was a monk at a certain Palestinian monastery on the outskirts of Caesarea. Having dwelt at the monastery since his childhood, he lived there in asceticism until he reached the age of fifty-three. Then he was disturbed by the thought that he had attained perfection, and needed no one to instruct him. “Is there a monk anywhere who can show me some form of asceticism that I have not attained? Is there anyone who has surpassed me in spiritual sobriety and deeds?”

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How is a Child Ever Going to Learn to Behave in Church if They Aren’t in Church?

It’s Sunday morning. The Church bulletin says that Church starts at 10:00am. It’s now 10:30am. You’re walking to the car to take yourself and the kids to Church. You’re arriving at communion. You’re embarrassed to come in that late, but you’re less embarrassed (after all, half the parish comes to Church late) than you would be by your children’s behavior if you stayed for the whole service.

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The Services of Great Lent

The holy season of Great Lent is a time of intense preparation for Orthodox Christians. The forty days leading up to Pascha, the glorious celebration of the resurrection of Christ, call for a concentration on repentance, confession and renewal through increased activity in worship, prayer, fasting, confession, almsgiving, etc. We should expect suffering and sacrifice, after the example of our Lord, so that we may share in His victorious life.

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The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent—St John Climacus

On the Fourth Sunday of the Fast, we celebrate the memory of our Holy Father John the author of the Ladder.

In the Church services for the fourth Sunday the Holy Church offers us a great example of the life of fasting in the person of the Venerable John of the Ladder, who, “having overcome the flesh through fasting” and “by the sweat of his ascetic efforts quenched the fiery arrows of the enemy” and “renewed the strength of souls” and, “ascending to the height of virtues”, [read more…]

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The Third Sunday of Great Lent—Veneration of the Holy Cross

The Third Sunday of Lent is called “The Veneration of the Cross.” At the Vigil of that day, after the Great Doxology, the Cross is brought in a solemn procession to the center of the church and remains there for the entire week-with a special rite of veneration following each service. It is noteworthy that the theme of the Cross which dominates the hymnology of that Sunday is developed in terms not of suffering but of victory and joy. Read more

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