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The Great Martyr Theodore the General

The Great Martyr Theodore the General (Commemorated 8th February)   Great Martyr Theodore the General (Ό Στρατηλάτης) lived in the Black Sea coastal city of Heraclea Pontica, where he served as a military commander during pagan emperor Licinius’ reign (308 – 324 AD). When Licinius learnt that St Theodore was a Christian who had converted many through his heroic actions and eloquent preaching, he summoned him to Nicomedia. St Theodore responded: “I cannot come at present, because the Heracleans are in an uproar. They have forsaken our gods and are worshipping Christ. Therefore, I entreat you to come, and to [...]

By |2019-03-16T14:52:34+10:00March 16th, 2019|Comments Off on The Great Martyr Theodore the General

St John Chrysostom – On The 40 Day Fast

St John Chrysostom - On The 40 Day Fast   Why do we fast for forty days? Formerly many believers approached the sacraments without any particular preparation, especially at the time when Christ first gave them to us. But when the fathers realised the harm that could result from such neglect, they took counsel together and decreed that a period of forty days of fasting be set aside, during which the people would meet to pray and listen to the word of God. During this Lenten season each of the faithful would undergo a thorough purification by means of prayer, [...]

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Hieromonk Isaac

Hieromonk Isaac (1937 - 1998)   Hieromonk Isaac was born Fares Atallah in Lebanon in 1937. His brother Anthony later wrote that as a child “he was already finding all his happiness in nearness to God and His Church”. At the age of twenty-five, after a previous unsuccessful attempt, he joined the Monastery of the Dormition in Bkeftin. When he arrived, he exclaimed, “I give thanks to the Lord for having now granted me my desire.” He then went on to study at the theological college attached to the Balamand Patriarchal Monastery, where he was ordained deacon and received the [...]

By |2019-03-16T14:13:44+10:00March 16th, 2019|Comments Off on Hieromonk Isaac

Proverbs 1:7 – The Beginning of Wisdom is the Fear of God

Proverbs 1:7 - The Beginning of Wisdom is the Fear of God   This phrase from the Proverbs of King Solomon, written towards the end of his life, provides an insight into how the spiritual life is to be approached. What is wisdom? St Ambrose of Milan in commenting on this verse identifies wisdom as the path of virtue, as does St John Chrysostom. Following the path requires that we first cut off the passions that Chrysostom calls “a result of a lack of wisdom”. Essentially, it means looking towards the true source of joy and not to the pleasures [...]

By |2019-03-16T13:43:11+10:00March 16th, 2019|Comments Off on Proverbs 1:7 – The Beginning of Wisdom is the Fear of God

Lenten Hymn of Great Compline

Lenten Hymn of Great Compline   Μεθ' ἡμῶν ὁ Θεός, γνῶτε ἔθνη καὶ ἡττᾶσθε. Ὅτι μεθ' ἡμῶν ὁ Θεός. God is with us, learn you nations and be defeated, for God is with us.   In our Church’s daily Services cycle the Compline service is performed after supper, hence the name Απόδειπνο. There are Small and Great versions of this service. The Great Compline is performed in Monasteries and Parishes alike, from Monday to Thursday of each week of Great Lent and this hymn, “God is with us” is chanted during the service. This ancient hymn is derived from verses [...]

By |2019-03-16T12:55:53+10:00March 16th, 2019|Comments Off on Lenten Hymn of Great Compline