Transcripts

Glory to God

Glory to God

The Wrath of God

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Fr. Stephen looks at the Orthodox understanding of the wrath of God and the patristic teaching that His wrath is nothing other than His love given to us. The wrath is our own hatred for His love. It is an understanding of the good God who loves mankind.

What shall we make of the wrath of God? We have this quote from the Gospel of St. Luke. We read:

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, Christ steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples…

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Glory to God

The Secular Mind Versus the Whole Heart

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Fr. Stephen Freeman discusses the right relationship between the mind and the body. You might be surprised.

Thinking is among the most misleading things in the modern world, or, to be more precise, thinking about thinking is misleading. For a culture that puts such a great emphasis on materiality, our thinking about thought is decidedly spooky. The philosophy underlying our strangely-constructed thought-world of modernity is called nominalism (of which there are many formal varieties). Nominalism has as its imaginary construct of the world a view that…

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Glory to God

Saving My Neighbor

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Just how connected are we? Fr. Stephen Freeman looks at the classical understanding of human connectedness and what it means for our salvation.

If you are in the helping professions, confronting problems in people’s lives, it doesn’t take long to realize that no one is purely and simply an individual. Our lives are much more complicated and interwoven. The problems we suffer may occasionally appear to be of our own making, but that is really the exception rather than the rule. Whether we are thinking of economic or genetic inheritance, or the psychological and social environment, almost all the…

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Glory to God

Weak, Sick, Poor, Tired: A Story for Losers

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Elder Zacharias of Essex says that the "way of shame is the way of the Lord." Fr. Stephen Freeman looks at how our weakness is, in fact, the path of our salvation.

Nobody wants to be sick. The dependence it fosters, the way it changes and shapes a life are a form of powerlessness that holds no attraction. Poverty, however we measure it, is a massive struggle against forces that steal human dignity. Most homes in poverty include children and are headed by women. Their daily efforts to pay the rent, work a job (or two or three), tend to childhood needs, and face another day are quiet works of heroism that fall beneath the radar…

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Glory to God

Giving Thanks for All Things: The Cruciform Life

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When we give thanks to God, particularly in difficult times, Fr. Stephen Freeman tells us we unite ourselves with the Cross of Christ.

St. Paul says, “I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live.” The Cross is the heart of our salvation. It is on the Cross that we see the fullness of God’s love and it is in the Cross that we are united to that same love. Every Christian shares the commandment, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). This commandment long ago passed into the common stock of cultural…

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Glory to God

Comfort to a Child - Speaking Peace to Shame

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Fr. Stephen Freeman offers some insight on dealing with the dark thoughts that often fill our minds.

In my previous podcast, I described the origins of the “self-talk” (the logismoi: that’s what the tradition calls them) that haunts our minds with negative chatter. These things lie very deep within us, even having something of a signature within the deeper parts of the brain itself. It is very “old” and yet it is very “young.” It is old in that the foundations of these voices and these things we keep hearing in our…

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Glory to God

That Thing You Do - Right Worship

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Father Stephen Freeman argues that the near-unchanging shape of the Liturgy is part of the "givenness" of our lives. Like many other things in the Orthodox faith, it imparts a stability. Learning to embrace this is important.

In my Anglican years, I watched the introduction of a new prayer book. I went through trial periods of different books, eventually settling on one in the mid ‘70s. Among its most notable features was variety. In a certain manner, it brought under one roof that one most obvious feature of modern Christianity: There were options. Our culture has an understanding that ideas, thoughts and sentiments are what matters; how they are embodied is considered to be largely…

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Glory to God

Justice, Forgiveness, and Bearing a Little Shame

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With this podcast, Fr. Stephen begins a series in which he looks at the reality of shame and its place in our emotional and spiritual lives. He introduces us to the teaching of the Elder Sophrony that we must learn to "bear a little shame."

Beginning with this podcast and a number following it, I want to touch on the topic of shame. I’m not going to try to do a systematic treatment, but I’m going to be discussing it from a variety of angles. I wanted to begin, though, by giving something of a small definition of shame. This is something of a clinical definition, drawn from the works of psychologists, but it’s also very much in line with the tradition of the faith.

Generally,…

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Glory to God

No Opinions Needed

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Fr. Stephen looks at the role of the passions in the formation of the modern soul. There is a better way to live.

There is a name for the Orthodox way of life. It is hesychia. In Greek, the word means “silence.” It could also be rendered “stillness,” or “quiet.” Far more than simply refraining from speech, it is the quiet of the heart, the stillness of the mind at rest in God, dwelling in peace. It is in this place that we primarily encounter God. Now, God certainly makes himself known even in stormy circumstances, but when the soul…

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Glory to God

Christmas Throughout the Ages

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Fr. Stephen offers thoughts on the daily consequences of the "Word made flesh" and suggests ways that we might live Christmas every day of our lives.

I’ll have to ask for forgiveness at the outset of this podcast, mostly because of its speculative nature. Generally I prefer not to engage in too much speculation, at least not in the context of this podcast or when I’m writing for others to read. The incarnation of Christ, which we celebrate in the feast of Christ’s nativity, the feast of the Word become flesh, is a most significant point in our salvation. But we all too easily look at the story…

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