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Words of life

Sermon, Fourth Saturday of Lent 2016 Gospel readings for April 9, 2016   Imagine, if you will, life as a deaf person. More specifically, imagine all of the things that you can do in the course of a day that would be nearly impossible, or at least significantly more difficult, if you were deaf. How…

Everyone loves a winner

Everyone loves a winner. We celebrate athletes that run and jump, throw and catch better and faster than anyone else. We marvel at entrepreneurs who start companies that earn billions of dollars. We idolize the actors and musicians who are at the top of their craft. Everyone loves a winner. We live in a culture…

A new heart of mercy and love

Readings for the day: 1 Cor. 8:8–9:2; Matt. 25:31–46.     Today is both Meatfare Sunday and the day on which we remember the Last Judgment. The readings we have just heard speak to both of these directly and in complementary ways.   With Meatfare Sunday our preparation for Great Lent begins to take on…

Return to the Father

Written by Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Lenten Spring is a book of spiritual readings for the season of Great Lent. People feel unhappy and they don’t know why. They feel that something is wrong, but they can’t put their finger on what. They feel uneasy in the world, confused and frustrated, alienated and estranged, and they…

Keeping Lent in our Families

Let’s be honest: how do we parents feel when we suddenly realize, while attending Liturgy, that the Gospel reading for the Sunday is the Prodigal Son, reminding us that Lent is around the corner? If you’re like me, you start doing a mental checklist of all the meat that needs to be used up in…

“Thou hast led us to these holy days”

Tonight we hear this prayer for the first time this year at the Presanctified Liturgy: Prayer before the Ambo O Almighty Master, who in wisdom hast fashioned all creation; who, through thine ineffable providence and great goodness, hast led us to these all-revered days for purification of souls and bodies, for restraint of passions, and for…

Adam’s Lament

Adam, father of all mankind, in paradise knew the sweetness of the love of God; and so when for his sin he was driven forth from the garden of Eden, and was widowed of the love of God, he suffered grievously and lamented with a mighty moan. And the whole desert rang with his lamentations. His…

When You Fast: A Reflection Before Great Lent

What appears to happen in the Passion of Christ and what actually happens are not at all the same. What appears to happen is not that extraordinary. The Romans crucified a Jewish man in order to keep public order. During their long rule over Judea, the Romans had killed many Jews, making the death of…

Forgiveness (Cheese-Fare Sunday)

Written by Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent is a book of spiritual reflections on the journey through Lent to Pascha. This particular excerpt is from the first chapter, entitled “Preparation for Lent.” And now we have reached the very last days before Lent. Already during Meat-Fare Week, which precedes “Forgiveness Sunday,” two days – Wednesday…