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.

August 2010

Our faith calls us to much more than simply believing a set of theological propositions and adhering to a list of moral imperatives; it calls for the radical transformation of human life from the inside out. This is not an instantaneous event. It is a process of purification that continually leads us deeper in a gravitational pull to the image of God within, to Divine love, without which there is no spiritual life at all. Read more »
 

June 2010

Long ago, when I was a little boy, a Roman Catholic priest came to speak at our church in Erwin, Tennessee. We attended a Presbyterian church at that time having left the Baptist church just down the street a year or so earlier. The priest's name was Fr. LaFrance. He was an imposing figure for a small child: tall, a full head of jet black hair, and eyes that seem to have their own source of light. Read more »
 

May 2010

Christ is Risen! It is amazing how often I hear people saying that they are not worthy to receive Holy Communion as if any of us are or ever could be! Worthiness has nothing at all to do with it. Read more »
 

March 2010

There are many lessons to learn in Lent and one of them is this: we have only moments to live and each one deserves our full attention. That is why the Fathers instruct us to remember that life is short and can end at any time. Moments are precious. How many of them pass without a notice? Read more »
 

December 2009

We are made in the image of God. The question then must be asked, "How shall we live in a way that is compatible with that truth?" How we live reveals what we believe that image to be - the smallness or largeness of our ideas about God, the kindness or meanness, the miserliness or generosity, the ugliness or beauty. All is disclosed in the way we live, the things we say and how we treat our fellow human beings. Read more »
 

November 2009

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a radical message. In every age it is unwelcomed by prideful men and women. The Lord was not an ideologue. He was not conservative or liberal. Jesus does not fit into any category. He is above them all. Truth will not be hemmed in by our pet values, ignorance, fear or blindness. We want Jesus to be like us, to believe as we do, to justify our anger, our fear and our ignorance. This he will not do. Read more »
 

October 2009

When we are faced with difficulties we have options. Denial, resistance or acceptance. It does no good to deny the problem. Denial may distract us from the issue for awhile, but sooner or later it will resurface and even more energy will be needed to pretend the issue doesn't exist. The old adage about one rotten apple contaminating the whole barrel comes to mind. Read more »
 

September 2009

People often see the spiritual life as superfluous. Prayer does not seem relevant and church attendance even less so. The rules and regulations that make up the content of much of what passes for spirituality are off-putting, seen as cultural relics of a less enlightened age. Some of the trappings, I admit, do obscure the point. But I suspect that the real problem is that the spirituality (or lack of) people have been taught simply does not work. It makes no discernible difference in day to day life. Read more »
 

June 2009

Recently, as I was having lunch with one of my sons and his friend who has been coming with him to church, his friend said something like this: The difference between my church and yours is that the people in your church seem happy to be there. I was surprised, You mean the people aren't happy to be in yours? Not at all, was his reply. I had to agree with him on his first point. People are happy to be at St. Mary's. On the second I only felt sad. Read more »
 

May 2009

I was greatly inspired by this quote from the famous Roman Catholic mystic, Bede Griffiths. He wrote that God cannot be expressed, cannot properly be thought. It is present everywhere, in everything, yet it always escapes our grasp. Read more »
 

April 2009

Christ is risen! How wonderful to be able to greet you with the joyous Paschal Greeting! Once again we were blessed to journey together through Great Lent and Holy Week to the Empty Tomb of the Savior. Now we enter the Paschal Season in which there is usually some let down, perhaps even a little confusion. What do we do now? Where do we go from here? Read more »
 

March 2009

Jesus said, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. Believe it or not, this verse is not about monetary wealth only, but about the habit of grabbing hold of things. Jesus is referring to possessiveness and attachment. Only God can bring true happiness, but we convince ourselves that we can find it in things, in relationships or in ideologies. But only eternal things can bring lasting happiness. Read more »
 

February 2009

Most of us believe this can be ours if we have the right relationships and own the right stuff, but experience should teach us, if nothing else, that getting what we want does not make us happy for long. Soon the thrill of getting what we want gives way to disappointment and craving all over again and the cycle continues. Read more »
 

January 2009

St. John writes in his first epistle that we cannot love God whom we cannot see, if we first do not love our neighbor whom we can see. We are exhorted to put people above ideology. Why? Because that is what God does and we are called to be like Him. When we do the opposite we end up serving only our egos because we make ourselves judge and jury of all who deserve to be loved. Read more »
 

December 2008

I love the Gospel reading that combines the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the healing of the Woman with the issue of blood. The overwhelming compassion of the Savior comes alive for us in these two vignettes in which he literally releases these people from the chains that bind them. Read more »
 

November 2008

We are about to enter into a period of preparation called Advent. It is the forty day time of fasting and prayer that leads us to the celebration of the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ. Fasting, if done properly, should not lead to despair and a heavy heart, but rather to a greater desire to enter into communion with God. Therefore, we should be careful how we enter into the fast. Read more »
 

October 2008

October 2008 is going to be historic for St. Mary's and for the Diocese of Worcester and New England as we prepare to participate in two blessed events. This month we celebrate a milestone in the life of our beloved parish, her 80th Anniversary. We will soon welcome His Beatitude Patriarch IGNATIUS IV of Antioch to our Diocese. Read more »
 

September 2008

I look forward to the beginning of the Ecclesiastical New Year (September 1) with joy. Fall is my favorite time of year for a variety of reasons, but one of the most important to me is the return of our parishioners from vacation and the many college students that call St. Mary’s home. September marks a time of new birth every year. Read more »
 

August 2008

The summer seems to have flown. Already it is August, the Feast of the Dormition is approaching. By the time you get this I probably will have returned from the Symposium and my annual two weeks at the Antiochian Village. Before you know it school will be in session again and college students will be returning to Liturgy. Time marches on and we are powerless to stop it. Read more »
 

June 2008

This beautiful world is filled with people who have not experienced it as beautiful. Whether it is from childhood trauma, or war, or disease the result is the same: people who are in distress often for reasons they do not understand. Read more »
 
 
168 Total Articles