Overcoming Holiday Depression

Overcoming Holiday Depression

By the time Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, many in America are already struggling with something known as holiday depression. But why does this depression occur, and how can one either prevent or appropriately deal with it? There are a number of causes suggested by medical science for holiday depression, but I would propose that many […]

The Birth and Death of Mary

Saved Between the Birth and Death of Mary

Salvation is a journey from birth to death—and then to birth again. The calendar of our Church begins and ends with the story of salvation through Jesus Christ. And in that salvation story, the gateway—from birth to death—is the life of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. The ecclesiastical year begins on indiction, or September 1st, […]

Ripe for Metamorphosis

Ripe for Metamorphosis

Transfiguration is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church. It comes forty days before the Elevation of the Holy Cross, and is the next-to-last feast of the ecclesiastical year. In this feast we are reminded of our calling as Christians: to be transfigured; to mature into ripened fruit; to be glorified in […]

Fasting According to the Scriptures

Fasting According to the Scriptures

The spiritual discipline of fasting has been part of religious life since the very beginning. In Paradise, the Lord commands Adam (Gen. 2:16–17): From every tree that is in the paradise you may eat for food, but from the tree for knowing good and evil, you will not eat from it. And on whichever day […]

Why We Fast Before Christmas

Why We Fast Before Nativity

The time of preparation before the great feast of the Nativity of Christ (i.e. Christmas) is intended to be a time of purposeful asceticism, almsgiving, and learning to say “yes” to God while saying “no” to one’s own desires. Christmas (especially in the present day) has become a time of great anxiety and materialism for […]