October 21, 2016

The Third Day Memorial: No More Clichés

As Orthodox Christians, our departed loved ones are never far from our minds and the consciousness of the Holy Church. From the very beginning, the Church established special prayers and memorials for the repose of their souls, a practice which stems from our faith that those who have departed continue to live in Christ and […] The post The Third Day Memorial: No More Clichés appeared first on Become Orthodox.

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August 30, 2016

The Monk who Paid for a Harlot

As we celebrate the Feast of the Departure of Abba Bessarion tomorrow, it is good to meditate on his beautiful encounter with Thais, the harlot who received crowns in the Kingdom of Heaven, as recounted in the Paradise of the Holy Fathers. AND now I desire to narrate unto you the excellent history and the great repentance of the blessed woman Thais or Thaisis, for speech concerning her is most excellent, and it is full – …

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July 21, 2016

Women, the Church is not Your Enemy

Recently, I came across an anonymous blog post written by a Coptic Orthodox woman expressing her frustration over several supposed inequalities and injustices in the Church. At the outset, let it be clear that I don’t doubt this woman’s sincerity. I might even agree with some of what she wrote. It was beneficial to see different viewpoints and understand how some people feel. At the same time, it left me wondering why some people see – …

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July 2, 2016

July 4: What are we Celebrating?

We find ourselves at the gate of another Fourth of July weekend, a time when family and friends gather to celebrate the birth of this nation with barbecues by day and fireworks by night. When it comes to celebrating July 4, we certainly know what we’re doing. Our mailboxes are filled with circulars advertising various cuts of meat, meal pairings, and flag-themed napkins. This weekend, the brave will flock to local beaches despite overcrowding in – …

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June 18, 2016

Pentecost and the Gift of Unity

This weekend, our Mother, the Holy Church, guides us in the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost, the feast on which the Holy Spirit descended like tongues of fire upon the Holy Apostles and other disciples of our Lord in the Upper Room. The scene is described beautifully in the Book of Acts: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a – …

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April 8, 2016

The Length of our Lord’s Public Ministry

The Gospel reading of the Fifth Sunday of the Great Holy Fast, known as the Sunday of the Paralytic, begins with this simple statement: “After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem” (Jn 5:1). It is, prima facie, a simple statement that one can easily pass over, but it deserves our attention, for we learn from it more than the obvious fact that our Lord went to Jerusalem – …

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February 21, 2016

Love Leading to Repentance

I am a sinner. Quite easily, I fall into the sin of fornication and greatly enjoy it. I feel as though it is the most pleasurable feeling ever. I met a holy hieromonk who encouraged me to repent and confess my sins. Initially, I thought the meeting was a coincidence, but now, I realize it was by the grace of God. When he encouraged me to confess, I looked at him with derision and mockingly – …

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February 1, 2016

On Modern Wedding Receptions among Orthodox Christians

In the Holy Orthodox Church, marriage is a divine Mystery that culminates in two people being transformed into a one-flesh unity through the work of the Holy Spirit. The ultimate goal of this one-flesh unity is the salvation of the husband, wife, and any children the Lord grants to the couple. Orthodox Christian marriage, therefore, is a path towards holiness. Today, this beautiful reality of marriage is oftentimes overshadowed by the dark cloud of the – …

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January 16, 2016

The Holy Prophet Elias: Going Up is Going Down

This week, in addition to the Feast of our Lord’s Circumcision, the Holy Church commemorated the miraculous ascension of the Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite to the heavens on a chariot of fire. He is one of two men who departed from this world without first tasting death, the other being the Righteous Enoch (Gen 5:21-24). Elias lived during the reign of the wicked monarchs of Israel, Ahab and Jezebel (874-853 B.C.), who encouraged the – …

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January 13, 2016

How a Faithful Husband Sees His Wife

On the joyful day a man and woman are crowned and married in the Orthodox Church, an inseparable bond develops between them. No longer are they two individuals serving their own egos and self-wills, but rather, they become one flesh in a sublime mystery. This reality is made abundantly clear in the marriage of the first husband and wife described at the end of Genesis 2. When Adam awoke from the deep sleep into which – …

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January 6, 2016

God Dwells with Us Forever

As we prepare to celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is good to meditate on some of the types and symbols of His Birth in the Old Testament. One of the most beautiful foreshadowings of the birth of Christ can be found in 3 Kingdoms 8:26-30 (LXX). 1 In this passage, the Holy Prophet-King Solomon, the son of the Holy Prophet-King David, had just finished constructing the magnificent Temple – …

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December 17, 2015

The Angel of the Lord and the Burning Bush

One of the most beloved Kiahk melodies in the Coptic Orthodox Church is the praise on the Thursday Theotokion known as “The Burning Bush.” The story of Moses and the burning bush is easily found in the Book of Exodus: And Moses was feeding the flock of Jothor his father-in-law, the priest of Madiam; and he brought the sheep nigh to the wilderness, and came to the mount of Choreb. And an Angel of the – …

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