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Fr. Geoff’s Blog
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Many people have mistaken beliefs about “saints.” Some think that “saints” are only those people through whom God worked miracles. Others believe that “saints” are only those people who do no wrong at all. But let’s put these aside and discover what a saint is. Because, as we’ll discover, becoming a saint is not just a desirable outcome of leading a Christian life, but is in fact is the whole purpose of the Christian life. Unless one strives for sainthood, one is not a true Christian.
This excellent letter was written by Father Alexander Schmemann (1921–1983) to an Episcopal friend on the topic of the ordination of women. Given the announcement in the media about the ordination of the first woman bishop in the Anglican Church in Australia, it is salutary to read Schmemann’s words again. They were written over 30 years ago and yet they remain vital. A letter written by Orthodox priest Fr. Alexander Schmemann: Dear Friend,
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.
In a time when churches of every description are faced with Vanishing Male Syndrome, men are showing up at Eastern Orthodox churches in numbers that, if not numerically impressive, are proportionately intriguing. This may be the only church which attracts and holds men in numbers equal to women. As Leon Podles wrote in his 1999 book, The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity, “The Orthodox are the only Christians who write basso profundo church music, or need to.”
This is a talk that is over 20 years old and focuses on the North American continent, but the history of the first two millenia is of interest to us all. Also there are lessons that Metropolitan Philip draws for the North American Orthodox Church which apply to the Australian Orthodox Church today.
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.
In this article, Fr. Gregory and Frederica Mathewes-Green — two former Episcopalians — reflect on 15 Years in the Orthodox Christian Church. Fr. Gregory and Frederica explain how they found their way to the Orthodox Church and built their lives together in faith, with their three children and thirteen grandchildren. Let’s see what they have to say about keeping body and soul together while journeying to Orthodoxy.
As we journey through life we become more and more aware of the patterns and cycles that emerge — in the natural world, in history, in society, in the spiritual life, and in the life of the Church. The Church in her wisdom has organised cycles that guide us through the events, the fasts and feasts of the Christian Year. The Church Calendar urges us to join this common life of the living Body of Christ, the Church. Let’s learn some more about the purpose of the Liturgical Year and its highlights.
Epiphany is celebrated on Jan 6th, and it commemorates the Baptism of our Lord in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17). Epiphany is one of the major feasts of the Liturgical Year. During this service the Parish Priest blesses the Holy Water for the year, which is used to bless the homes of the people in the congregation. Let’s learn some more about Epiphany, the Blessing of the Water, and House Blessings. The meaning of Epiphany The doctrine of the Trinity is revealed in the Gospel reading of Christ’s Baptism, which reads: