Many Orthodox prayer masters talk about three powers of the soul — mind, will and heart. St. Theophan the Recluse describes how to educate each power of the soul. The Christian life of virtue depends on educating and training each power. Educating the Mind We educate the mind (the intellectual power) through study of the faith - scripture, ancient church writers, and helpful books.
Blog Tag: Communion of Saints
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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.
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.
Today we are surrounded by a host of voices that say, “Peace.” “Live and let live.” “There are a thousand different voices, let’s accept everyone’s views.” But Christians must remember that the essentials of the Faith cannot be compromised. The life story of Basil of Caesarea demonstrates the commitment that Christians have made through the ages to maintain the essentials of the Faith. The world is temporary, but God and his Kingdom are everlasting.
Gregory of Nazianzus (329–389), also known as Gregory the Theologian, served as Bishop of Constantinople during the second Ecumenical Council (381). His piety, eloquence, and depth of theological inquiry made him one of the most beloved figures in the Church—and a strong influence on people like John Chrysostom. He is known for his beautiful poetry, where he addresses a range of theological ideas, including the Trinity, Human Nature, and the Christian understanding of marriage and virginity. Let's look at what he has to say on the Christian Marriage.
The saints in each generation, joined to those who have gone before and filled like them with light, become a golden chain, in which each saint is a separate link, united to the next by faith, works and love. Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)
Angels are an important part of Orthodox belief, because we understand that angels are part of the worshiping church. But what are they? Well, the word angel comes from the Greek word for “messenger.” They are beings created by God, who are completely spiritual and have no body — though they are able to assume bodies. At baptism, every Christian is assigned a guardian angel who is to guard, guide and pray for him or her. Let's learn some more about angels and their role in the history of the Church.
What do you think or feel when you hear the name, “Mary”? For some her name evokes utmost love, but for others it surfaces wariness. Some people have their mind made up about Mary in advance — even if they haven’t thought about her themselves. We all need to avoid allowing preconceptions to colour our understanding. So, let’s open our minds for the next few minutes and examine what Scripture and History tells us about Mary the Mother of Jesus.
The Letter to Diognetus was written by an unknown early Christian apologist during the time when the early Church was persecuted by the pagan Roman government. The author attacks pagan beliefs and practices as superstitious and immoral. He argues that biblical teaching is superior to pagan philosophy, because it is grounded in the divine revelation, not in human wisdom. Believers are good citizens because their moral values transcend the conventions of pagan society. Let's see what the writer of this letter believed made Chrisitans unique from the rest of society.
I was a little mystified. I had just entered the Orthodox Church for the first time, and then I heard this term Theotokos being applied to Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. It took me some time to sort out just what the Orthodox mean by Theotokos. Let’s unpack just what’s going on here. Perhaps we can get a little “de-mystified” together!