St Gregory of Nyssa On the Baptism of Christ

St Gregory of Nyssa On the Baptism of Christ St Gregory of Nyssa, the younger brother of St Basil the Great, was one of the most influential theologians of the early Church. In his famous sermon On the Baptism of Christ the Saint begins by explaining the ongoing significance of baptism for the Orthodox Christian: “Baptism, then, is a purification from sins, a remission of trespasses, a cause of renovation and regeneration. For as the child new-born is free from accusations and from penalties, so too the child of regeneration has nothing for which to answer, being released by royal [...]

By |2020-01-26T17:06:00+11:00January 26th, 2020|Comments Off on St Gregory of Nyssa On the Baptism of Christ

St Paisios on non-possessiveness

St Paisios on non-possessiveness When someone asks us for something and we’re sad when we give it to them, that means that we love it more than we love Christ. - St Paisios Not willing to let anything stand between himself and Christ, St Paisios disdained all worldly possessions and happily gave away anything that was asked of him, “for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) His life is a pure testimony to the godly grace that is provided when one follows a life of non-possessiveness. Whilst non-possessiveness is often seen as a monastic virtue, St Paisios strongly [...]

By |2019-12-16T12:21:58+11:00November 16th, 2019|Comments Off on St Paisios on non-possessiveness

The Epistle to Diognetus

The Epistle to Diognetus The Epistle to Diognetus is a short letter addressed by an unknown Christian author to the pagan Diognetus (translated as “Born of Zeus”). The manuscript is speculated to have been written in the years 100-150AD and was rediscovered in 1436 in Constantinople, when it was found by a young priest in a pile of packing paper in a fish shop! The Epistle is regarded as an apology (defence) of Christianity and begins with an introductory address to Diognetus, who is curious about Christianity. He wants to know about God, the reasons why they do not follow [...]

By |2019-11-03T20:06:29+11:00October 3rd, 2019|Comments Off on The Epistle to Diognetus

Fourth Ecumenical Council

Fourth Ecumenical Council Emperor Marcian convened the Fourth Ecumenical Council in the city of Chalcedon in 451AD to deal with controversy concerning Christ’s nature. Proponents of Monophysitism argued that in the person of Jesus Christ the human nature was absorbed into the divine nature, like a cube of sugar dissolves in a cup of water. Thus, they claimed that the incarnate Christ was left with only one nature, the Divine (Greek mono-one, physis-nature). As the 630 delegates were gathered in the church of Saint Euphemia where her holy relics were housed, the Orthodox hierarchs and their opponents wrote down their [...]

By |2019-08-26T16:09:11+10:00August 26th, 2019|Comments Off on Fourth Ecumenical Council

St Epiphanius – On the Lord’s Descent into Hades

St Epiphanius - On the Lord’s Descent into Hades Christ’s descent into Hades, although only mentioned briefly in the New Testament, is confirmed as a mystery of cosmic significance by the hymnology and iconography of the early Church. This event is narrated most magnificently by Saint Epiphanius of Salamis in his famous Holy Saturday homily: “Whither does He go? What is the means, what is the intent of His descent into Hades?” St Epiphanius explains that Christ goes to Hades with the intention of seeking out and liberating his lost sheep Adam and Eve. He then continues: “But hurry, let [...]

By |2019-06-13T19:41:28+10:00June 13th, 2019|Comments Off on St Epiphanius – On the Lord’s Descent into Hades