Tag Archives: Prayer

Transfigurating Practices

by Aristotle Papanikolaou  |  ру́сский

On the day of our Lord’s Transfiguration, whose feast day is celebrated on August 6th, Jesus took with him three disciples, Peter, John and James (Mt 17:1-9; Mk 9:2-8; Lk 9:28-36).  They are at the ‘high’ mountain, which is often a place of revelation in the Bible, and at this mountain Jesus is transfigured. St. Matthew tells us, “He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” St. Luke narrates that the “appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.” St. Mark says, “His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.”

The story, in short, teaches us about what the Church has affirmed for centuries:  the divinity of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the God-man, truly God and truly human.  As Rowans Williams so eloquently puts it, “Jesus’ human life is shot through with God’s life, he is carried on the tide of God’s eternal life, and borne towards us on that tide, bringing with him all the fullness of the creator” (The Dwelling of the Light, 6).

The other thing that we learn from the story of Jesus’s transfiguration concerns us, our humanity. The story of the Transfiguration teaches us what we are called to be, the reason for our creation. Continue Reading…

On Ecumenoclasm: Let Us Pray?

by Paul Ladouceur

Orthodox opponents to ecumenism are highly critical of Orthodox participation in prayer and other services in common with non-Orthodox Christians. This opposition is usually based on ancient canons forbidding prayer with “heretics and schismatics.” Among frequently cited canons are Apostolic Canons 10, 11, 45, 65 and 71. Apostolic Canon 10, for example, reads: “If one who is not in communion prays together, even at home, let him be excommunicated;” and Canon 45: “Let any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he had permitted them to perform any service as clergymen, let him be deposed.” (See, for example, here and here.)

Referring to ancient canons is relevant to Orthodox involvement in ecumenical prayer services, but several major qualifications are in order. Continue Reading…