Today is the Feast of the Nativity, whereon we commemorate the Incarnation of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. So great is this feast-day that even centuries of unprecedented godlessness and apostasy have been unable to erase it...Continue reading
The Mother of God truly perceived the holiness of the place she lived ... she strove to purify her heart in order that it might accord with the holiness of the place she dwelt bodily. Let us do the same.
The favor of God is evident towards those born into the Jewish nation and especially into the direct lineage of Christ; however, the means through which one draws near to God has never changed despite one’s birth into a particular race or nation. Nor should one conclude that he finds favor with the Lord due to wealth, one’s station in life, or assume that he has found favor as evidenced by prolonged health.Continue reading
Today we celebrate the memory of the Venerable Herman of Alaska, the patron saint of North America. There is so much that is praiseworthy in the life of this man of God that one hardly knows where to begin. He was an ascetic who dwelt as an anchorite in the forests from the time of his early childhood. He was a zealous missionary who, like the righteous Abraham, left his home and his fatherland for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, not for himself only but for all of us who have received the precious gift of Orthodoxy on this continent. Though a hermit and a lover of solitude, he nevertheless joyfully took care of his orphans and fearlessly defended the native Aleuts from exploitation by his own people. He was a monk who, out of his deep humility, refused ordination to the priesthood, and so was sent an angel from heaven on the day of the Lord’s Theophany to bless holy water for him. He was a man who lived so wholly in the Kingdom of Heaven even during this earthly life that, when asked whether he ever grew lonely living by himself in his island hermitage, he could not even comprehend how such a thing could be possible, surrounded as he was by such a countless host of angels.Continue reading
There is no substitute for the Church and no other way to draw close to God, which equals the Church. And it is here, in the Church, into the Holy of Holies, to which the Mother of God was brought to live and to learn, to be fed by angels and to be taught by God.Continue reading