November 30, 2016

Fun vs. Joy

When the Founding Fathers of this country, after having been oppressed in England throughout much of their lives, sought to define the inalienable rights to which every human is entitled, they came up with this phrase found in the Declaration of Independence: “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We see that the pursuit of […] The post Fun vs. Joy appeared first on Become Orthodox.

Read more

November 29, 2016

This was from Me

In the Gospel reading for the Third Sunday of Hatour, our Savior declared, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Lk 14:27). From these divine words, we learn that suffering and tribulations in this world are part of the cost of discipleship and requirements for those who […] The post This was from Me appeared first on Become Orthodox.

Read more

November 28, 2016

Are You a Fly or a Bee?

Any period of fasting is a time for reflection and sincere self-examination. What kind of person have I become? What motivates me? Who am I? Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos, who was recently canonized as a saint in the Greek Orthodox Church, offers a thought-provoking meditation on the two categories of people in this world: […] The post Are You a Fly or a Bee? appeared first on Become Orthodox.

Read more

November 27, 2016

Learning to Say No

Fasting, coupled with prayer, is one of the most powerful spiritual weapons we have in our struggle against the devil, sin, and the passions. This is undoubtedly why the Holy Church, as a loving Mother, consecrates several periods of fasting throughout the year, including the 43-day Fast of the Nativity, which we just began. The […] The post Learning to Say No appeared first on Become Orthodox.

Read more

November 26, 2016

Thank God for Enemies!

As we continue our fast for the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity, we consider the following wisdom from St. John Chrysostomos whose feast we joyfully celebrated today. The Golden-Mouth counsels us to thank God for our enemies who actually help us in our journey to the eternal Kingdom. Enemies, he tells us, provide us with […] The post Thank God for Enemies! appeared first on Become Orthodox.

Read more

November 25, 2016

Beginning the Nativity Fast: More than a Diet

For those of us following the Old (Julian) calendar, as we do in the Coptic Orthodox Church, we have just begun the Nativity Fast, which culminates in the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity in the flesh on January 7, 2017. Throughout this Fast, we commemorate the events that preceded the birth of our Lord Jesus […] The post Beginning the Nativity Fast: More than a Diet appeared first on Become Orthodox.

Read more

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.

Read more

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 – …

Read more

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 – …

Read more

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 – …

Read more

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 – …

Read more

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 – …

Read more