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St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology

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August 2013 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

From the Paraklesis service, we gain insight into the Promise of Renewed Life and Hope coming forth from Mary, a promise fulfilled through Him, shining brightly in her Dormition:

May she, who herself was born of promise, through whom Promise has entered the world, intercede with her Son to guide and comfort us, so He may bring to fulfillment, first-fruits of salvation, His compassionate promise of peace, within and for all.

Mary was born of promise to her faithful parents, Joachim and Anna. Yet Anna was barren and according to the laws of nature, unable to have children. Never losing faith in the Lord, laying aside public ridicule, and with the patience of Job, they beseeched the Lord for a child. As part of their petition, they promised to dedicate this child-of-promise, to the Lord's service. Reminds one of Hanna and the words of the High Priest Eli, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you the petition you have asked of him." (1 Kingdom 1:17, OSB).

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

July 2013 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

"For he who loves another, fulfils the Law." Romans 13: 8 – 13

Book of Romans points to a new Law – the Law of love and Spirit of Grace. One not based on works of merit, nor obedience for the sake of obedience. Instead one of relational love – compassionate, forgiving, and gentle. It is core to our one true faith in Jesus and His being our Christ, the Son of the living God, His Father. It speaks to a far better way of loving our neighbor – even those who hate or despise us. It is a love that calls us to love one another as Jesus first loves us and the Father loves Him. St Paul brings this point home loud and clear. For even this greatest of commandments, to love God, will not become a reality in a church, unless we love our neighbor with the same intensity we love God.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

June 2013 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Pentecost: Sending the Holy Spirit

- The Fulfillment of Promise First Revealed in His Baptism -

Matthew 3:16 - 4:1 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

John 7:39 But this He spoke, concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was yet glorified. John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

May 2013 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

His Cross - The Banquet Feast - Psalm 22:5

The Cross of His Resurrection and The Glorification of our Risen Lord, He Who has become our living offering to the Father, calling all to Him.

The Lord’s words from His Cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me” – Mt 27:46 – are difficult words. They bring a sense of one without hope or purpose, defeated by death. For certain, these words snared the devil in his own self-pride. He believed Jesus to be a mere man by nature, and a human person – another to be possessed in Hades. Yet Psalm 21, in its entirety, is not of defeat. Instead it is of transforming fears and doubts – by His Grace alone – into songs of thankfulness, praise, and hope. His words of love, should call all to the glory of His Resurrection, while preparing His faithful for a renewed beginning.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

April 2013 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

The Spirit of the Fast and Loving Kindness

A prisoner-student asks: Prison makes keeping the tradition of the fast, difficult, especially during Great Lent. Does this mean I am less Orthodox?

Our response: Fasting is a righteous act of the Church, helping us fulfill the words of Scripture, “...build ourselves upon our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, to keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude 1:20-21

Truly, fasting helps us stay in the love of God the Word, Jesus our Christ. For He is our Creator and the foundation of our faith, Who gifts us the mercy of His blessings and promises each, eternal life.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.