St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Monthly Reflections from Fr. Antony Hughes

Fr. Antony reading the Gospel In every edition of our parish's newsletter, Fr. Antony offers a short, but inspiring message to complement the activities, minsitries, and current events of the life of the church.  Below is a collection of these messages.

November 2018

Orthodox spirituality centers on relationship. Beginning with the doctrine of the Holy Trinity our faith is imbued with an emphasis on personal connection with God and with one another. In a very real sense they are one and the same. Read more »
 

October 2018

A significant element of Orthodox ecclesiology is that the Church Universal resides in her fullness in every local parish. This means that when we gather together, particularly for the Eucharistic celebration, the whole Church is present. Each local parish is not merely a part of the Church, but a manifestation of the Church entire. Read more »
 

September 2018

The fruit of such spiritual practice, so much at the heart of the Gospel and the Church, is union with God and the awakening of inexpressible joy. This path is open to all who desire to take it. Read more »
 

August 2018 Reflection

We must not fail to remember the glorious truth that we, and all human beings and all of creation, are loved, madly, insistently, unconditionally, and infinitely. The only ones who apply conditions to love are us. God never does. Read more »
 

June/July 2018

The idea of God descending from heaven far, far away misdirects us from the central truth that heaven is where God is and he is everywhere, in us, and surrounding us all the time. The Holy Spirit does not descend to us as much as he is revealed to be exactly where we did not think to look: within. Read more »
 

May 2018

We need a path to follow or we get lost and a path that is well-lit so that we don’t stumble and fall. The Way is the way revealed in Christ, the Word of God, and it is the way of death and resurrection. Read more »
 

April 2018

The Resurrection of our Lord reveals to us the truth that life cannot be conquered by death, nor light by darkness, nor goodness by evil. The core of everything is God. It has always been and will always be. Read more »
 

March 2018

Enter every moment then as something utterly fresh and new. Let go of what has gone before and dare to believe that the only thing that matters to God is what we do with the moment we inhabit right now. And then live in it boldly and creatively, giving thanks and rejoicing always that God is the God of new beginnings, always ready to receive us as we are because he knows who we really are. He knows our true name! Read more »
 

Owning Our Powerlessness - February 2018 Reflection

Our Lenten discipline is not to try and impress God. It is to help us recognize our absolute dependence on him. If we have not yet owned our own powerlessness, Great Lent returns year after year to give us another chance to do so. And also to become more and more convinced that God is Trustworthy, even when we are not. Read more »
 

January 2018

So much of popular and common religion is self-centered, as Richard Rohr and everyday experience tells us. We have come to believe that it is about me and my salvation, my sin, my righteousness, the star in my crown, and if this is so, then there is a great distance between what we believe about Christ and who he has revealed God to be. Read more »
 

December 2017

In this day when our society is polarized and hatred is so evident we must reflect on how we should live our lives in response. This demands that we try and understand why people cling to hate in the first place. Read more »
 

November 2017

Every liturgy we hear the words, 'Let us attend,' or in Greek, 'proskomen.' This is a deliberate call to mindfulness. It is a wake-up call. 'Wake up! Something beautiful is about to happen!' There are many other calls to mindfulness in our services. 'Let us pray to the Lord,' is one, the bells on the censor, another, the processions, big and little, a most obvious one, the icons, the chanting and hymns, the exchange of the kiss of peace, the ceasing of the people, the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the sermon, all are calls to mindfulness. Read more »
 

October 2017

Faith is not a creedal statement; it is an emptying, a divestiture, a kenosis, a letting go. We let go of what we think we know about Him in order to know by experience God as he is. Spiritual growth comes not by addition but by subtraction. Read more »
 

September 2017

In 1948 Nazi Germany an anti-fascist tract was published by an underground group known as 'the White Rose.' This group of Christian young students was led in part by a man by the name of Alexander Schmorell, an Orthodox Christian, who, like his compatriots, could not bear to see Hitler unchallenged. They paid for their efforts with their lives, beheaded by an evil regime that would have consumed the whole world had it not been for courageous people such as these. Read more »
 

August 2017

The message of Christ is so simple we often can't see it or believe it. There is one law and that is love. And there is one sin and that is the refusal or failure to love. When we do not love, the Gospel we are supposed to be sharing becomes cloudy or completely hidden instead of comforting and attractive. In this way we become the greatest hindrance to the spread of the Gospel. Read more »
 

June/July 2017

Sunday, May 21, is designated as 'Prison Awareness Sunday.' On this day we take note of the commandment from our Lord to minister to those who are in prison. He calls them, among others who suffer deprivation and isolation, 'the least of the brethren.' And 'the least of the brethren,' Jesus says, is him. God often comes to in disguise. Read more »
 

May 2017

In the Pascal Canon St. John of Damascus exhorts us to be radiant. Radiant with joy on the Resurrection, certainly and yet I do not believe it means only that. I think he is asking us to live radiantly, full of joy, brimming with lovingkindness, making peace with all people, that is, sharing the Gospel in deed, yes, and with words, if necessary. Read more »
 

April 2017

Now that Great Lent and its "bright sadness" have passed into Paschal Joy, it is hard not to notice that little has really changed. Life is still full of 'bright sadness.' There is still much suffering in the world and in our lives and there is also cause for much joy if we look deeply into life as it comes to us, recognize God in each moment and give thanks for everything. Read more »
 

March 2017

The doctrine of the Trinity that the Gospel of Jesus reveals is the heart of authentic Christian life, the cosmic and revelatory Mystery. It shows us that God is Relationship, ever giving, ever receiving, ever welcoming. Not removed, not isolated, but always the Life of all that exists. God is love. Read more »
 

February 2017

We seek to be clear-sighted, with hearts and minds unobscured like cloudless skies and still water. Our fears and desires cloud our vision. Only souls immersed in the love of God and consciously living in the flow of grace found in every present moment, anchored by internal stillness and vigilance can see things as they really are. From this comes wisdom to choose what is good and right. Holiness springs from open hearts unencumbered by fear. Read more »
 
 
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