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A New Year's Wish from Theophan the Recluse

I wished you a Happy New Year in passing, and then it occurred to me to give you a special wish for it. What, specifically? That you become new. New in what way? In the way that a new dress is new: Everything is in its place, there is not the slightest little spot or wrinkle; it billows with freshness. That is what I wish for your soul to be like. You, in body, like the dress that we are talking about, fresh from the needle, will be completely new. Our soul, however, even upon its arrival in the world, brings the old;  if this oldness is not removed from it, then it will remain old, without having tasted the new. Vanity and passions-that is what is old in the soul. Drive these out, and you will become new. 

St. Athanasius on Fasting

The holy Psalmist commanded, saying, “Blow with the trumpet in the new moon, on the solemn day of your feast”.... “if ye shall go out to battle in your land against your enemies that rise up against you, then ye shall proclaim with the trumpets, and shall be remembered before the Lord, and be delivered from your enemies.” Not only in wars did they blow the trumpet, but under the law, there was a festal trumpet also. Hear him again, going on to say, “And in the day of your gladness, and in your feasts, and your new moons, ye shall blow with the trumpets”. ... Now these things were typical, and done as in a shadow. But let us pass on to the meaning, and henceforth leaving the figure at a distance, come to the truth, and look upon the priestly trumpets of our Saviour, which cry out, and call us, at one time to war, as the blessed Paul saith;

The Vine and Our Nature

How many things in nature are combined in the same plant! In a vine, roots, green and flexible branches, which spread themselves far over the earth, buds, tendrils, bunches of sour grapes and ripe grapes. The sight of a vine, when observed by an intelligent eye, serves to remind you of your nature.

Read more: The Vine and Our Nature

Let the Earth Bring Forth--St. Basil

"Let the earth bring forth." See how, at this short word, at this brief command, the cold and sterile earth travailed and hastened to bring forth its fruit, as it cast away its sad and dismal covering to clothe itself in a more brilliant robe, proud of its proper adornment and displaying the infinite variety of plants. 

How God speaks?--From St. Basil


And God said, "Let there be...", first let us ask how God speaks? Is it in our manner? Does His intelligence receive an impression from objects, and, after having conceived them, make them known by particular signs appropriate to each of them?

Read more: How God speaks?--From St. Basil



In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." So he denies that matter shared with God the time before the beginning, eternity; or that it was uncreated, as some say.  He doesn't present something that didn't exist at one time as coinciding with and co-existant with the eternal; he doesn't confuse the temporary, something which was brought into existence ... with that which is from time immemorial; something that changes to something which is always itself; nor something which is corruptible with that which is incorruptible! 

God assumed the whole of humanity in His Incarnation

Wherefore Luke points out that the pedigree which traces the generation of our Lord back to Adam contains seventy-two generations, connecting the end with the beginning, and implying that it is He who has summed up in Himself all nations dispersed from Adam downwards, and all languages and generations of men,  together with Adam himself. Hence also was Adam himself termed by Paul "the figure of Him that was to come,"


The Church's Message--St. Cyril of Alexandria


Since, then, God knows and at the same time observes everything about  us, let us have a faith that is sure and stable. And let us rid ourselves of the shame coming from duplicity, remembering  what  the  blessed  Paul  writes: "Therefore, my brothers, be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in God's work." (1Cor 15:58)
Come, then, while offering  to God a genuine faith as a spiritual sacrifice, let us say from a heart free of suspicion, "Behold us, we will be yours, because you are the Lord our God. " (Jer 3:22)  And again, "Lord our God, take possession of us. Lord, we know not any other beside you. Your name we name." (Isa 26:13) 


Fr. Athanasius refutes H.E. Met Bishoy's answer to H.G. Bishop Serapion here:

Fr. Athanasius on Original Sin

Fr. Athanasius refutes H.E. Met Bishoy's teaching regarding Original Sin here: