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.’
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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 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.
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.
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.
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.”
How old is your church? Which church is the oldest Christain church? Let's find out.
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,