Tag Archives: Philip Mamalakis

Fasting Reaffirmed

by Philip Mamalakis, Very Rev. Dr. Nathanael Symeonides, and Gayle E. Woloschak

The draft of the Holy and Great Council’s document, The Importance of Fasting and its Observance Today, affirms the importance of fasting for the spiritual development of the person.  The documents provides a Scriptural and Patristic foundation for the spiritual benefits of fasting, noting that there are times when pastoral discernment is needed particularly with regard to physical infirmity, extreme necessity and difficult times.  Despite these affirming statements, the document provides little concrete information beyond what the Church has prescribed for centuries; it is a short commentary on fasting and not an in-depth discussion about the value and method of fasting in the modern world, a message that is desperately needed for the world and the Church today.  Continue Reading…

Sexual Purity and the Vocation of Marriage

by David C. Ford, Mary Ford, Rev. Dr. Philip LeMasters, Philip Mamalakis, and Alf Kentigern Siewers

“The sacred nature of the God-established union and its lofty spiritual content explain the Apostle’s affirmation in Heb. 13:4. That is why the Orthodox Church condemned any defilement of its purity (Eph. 5:2-5, 1 Thes. 4:4, Heb. 13:4ff)” (Chambesy Statement). The Church indeed must emphasize sexual purity, or chastity, today more than ever, especially for the benefit of young people, as a calling to the integral unity of body and soul in Christ. Orthodoxy envisions chastity as an ascetical discipline whereby people achieve an embodied wholeness fulfilling them in synergy with God’s grace. Holy matrimony and monasticism are both icons of chaste participation in the mystical marriage of Christ with His Bride, the Church. Such purity minimally requires  abstinence from genital expressions of sexuality outside of monogamous marriage between a man and a woman.  Authentic chastity, however, involves much more than simple refraining from certain behaviors. Continue Reading…