Saint Ephraim the Syrian — “Death Slew and was Slain”

Saint Ephraim the Syrian — “Death Slew and was Slain”   In his sermon “On Our Lord”, the masterful poet and orator St Ephraim the Syrian portrays with all his customary eloquence the theological significance of the death and Resurrection of our Lord. The Saint commences by confirming that our Lord did in fact die: “[death] trampled our Lord underfoot”. However, this trampling was in no way a defeat, for Christ “in turn treated death as a high road for His own feet”. In other words, Christ’s death was not an unintended consequence of His coming. There was a mission [...]

By | 2018-04-14T09:38:48+00:00 April 14th, 2018|Comments Off on Saint Ephraim the Syrian — “Death Slew and was Slain”

St John Climacus – On Love

St John Climacus - On Love In The Ladder of Divine Ascent, St John describes the spiritual life as a thirty step ladder of virtues and passions. Each step is one chapter, and when successfully dealt with, raises the Christian one step closer to Christ who awaits at the top of the ladder. The top step of the Ladder (Gr. Κλίμαξ) is that of Faith, Hope and Love. This trio is metaphorically described as an increasing concentration of light with the greatest of the three being Love. In its essence, Love is ‘a resemblance to God insofar as this is [...]

By | 2018-03-04T20:16:08+00:00 March 4th, 2018|Comments Off on St John Climacus – On Love

The Evergetinos

The Evergetinos   The great treasure of Christian literature known as the Evergetinos takes its name from the monk Paul Evergetinos, the founder of an 11th century monastery in Constantinople dedicated to the Theotokos “the Benefactress” (ἡ μονὴ τῆς Εὐεργέτιδος). Elder Paul undertook the compilation of a vast collection of the writings of the Church Fathers and the Lives of the Saints, arranging them methodically into two hundred chapters which he called “hypotheses”, which each refer to a single practical aspect of the spiritual life. The great ascetics of the Egyptian desert feature in almost every hypothesis, with excerpts from [...]

By | 2017-12-08T10:05:19+00:00 December 8th, 2017|Comments Off on The Evergetinos

St Basil the Great – On Humility

St Basil the Great – On Humility   In his beautiful homily On Humility, St Basil the Great exposes with his artful oratory man’s disobedience, and reveals the folly of human glory. This is of course to show that God’s glory is the only true glory - the glory which man should still possess had he not chosen his own path towards false glory. St Basil draws a direct line between pride and death, telling us that arrogance is poison to the soul. Absalom and Goliath, along with many other Old Testament characters and stories, are used to illustrate this [...]

By | 2017-10-12T14:26:55+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Comments Off on St Basil the Great – On Humility

St Nicodemus – on Frequent Communion

St Nicodemus – on Frequent Communion   St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain was born in 1749 on the island of Naxos. He was baptised Nicolas and received his early education from the local priest. He entered Dionysiou Monastery on Mt Athos in 1775, and soon after was clothed with the Monastic Habit and given the name Nicodemus. As a monk, he revised and annotated many patristic manuscripts, including the well-known “Concerning Frequent Communion of the Immaculate Mysteries of Christ”. This book had as its purpose to defend the tradition of frequent Communion in the divine Mysteries at a time [...]

By | 2017-09-08T10:49:36+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Comments Off on St Nicodemus – on Frequent Communion
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