Why would God sing? The question may sound strange and yet it is said in Zephaniah 3:17 that “He will rejoice over thee with singing.” I first noticed this verse when I was a very young Christian and have puzzled about it for nearly forty years. Equally puzzling to our modern way of thought is the question, “Why does anybody sing?” I have been to plenty of operas and have to admit that even the ones in English need subtitles — singing does not necessarily make something more easily understood. And yet we sing.
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Many Christians today question belief in angels, and especially guardian angels. The Orthodox their inherited belief in guardian angels from the Hebrews. We have scriptural passages detailing interactions with guardian angels, and some people who have seen guardian angels in visions. Let’s learn some more about guardian angels.
Even the very best choices in life come with temptations. Temptations to take things to excess, or to approach things with the wrong motives. Visiting a monastery is no exception. While monasteries are holy places and visiting them can prove a great blessing, it can come with temptations.
From the very early years of the Church, Mary was called not only Virgin, but Ever-Virgin. But the Bible mentions Jesus’ brothers, so how can this be? The gate is shut The Church Fathers often cite Ezekiel 44:1-2 as the prophecy of the Ever-Virginity of Mary: And the Lord said to me, ‘This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.’
Frederica Matthewes-Green reflects on how new converts to Orthodoxy can sometimes be overzealous. While discovering the truth of Orthodoxy is exciting, we need to learn a gracious balance when dealing with our friends, family, workmates and others with whom we have contact. Now let's hear from Frederica.
The challenge for Western converts to Orthodoxy Why did the Archbishop of Canterbury not become Fr Roman? The Times of London of Saturday, 12 November 2005, carries an interesting article about the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, entitled: “Archbishop reveals his unorthodox way to God.”
Efforts to redefine Christian practice and teachings in the last few hundred years have been fuelled by an apparent boredom with presentation of doctrine. Yet the reality is that Christianity answers the most central needs and longings of mankind. Dorothy Sayers Dorothy Sayers (1893 – 1957) was a well-known British author, playwright, and scholar, who had a knack for unmasking misperceptions of the faith. She graduated from Oxford University in 1915, among one of the first groups of women to graduate.
Saint John Chrysostom was the Bishop of Constantinople, one of the largest and wealthiest cities of his day. He had humble beginnings, and is well-known for his beautiful writings and his perspective on the meaning of true wealth. He is the noted as being the writer of the Divine Liturgy that we celebrate most weeks. Let's discover a bit more about John Chrysostom, who he was, and his message to the Church.
Rusticus, the prefect of Rome, glared at Justin and asked, “What teachings do you hold?” The 65-year-old man quickly replied, “I have tried to learn from all teachings, but I came to adopt the true teachings, which are those of the Christians.”1 Upon further examination, Justin confessed to holding meetings in the house of a man named Martinus in Rome. Rusticus demanded that Justin and those with him offer sacrifice, but they boldly refused. The prefect then commanded them beaten with rods and beheaded.
The Church Fathers had high regard for the sanctity of marriage because of its symbolic correlation to Christ’s relationship with the Church. Today the Orthodox Church combines the ideal of a high view of marriage with a sensitivity to the unique situations individuals and couples find themselves in.