Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Orthodox Church
Archpriest Steven C. Kostoff
4285 Ashland Ave, Cincinnati OH 45212 - (513) 351-0907

Welcome to Father Steven Kostoff's rich collection of Meditations dating back over two decades.

We publish Fr. Steven's writings on his Orthodox Christian Meditations blog, which is updated at least once a week, and is enabled for subscription, comments and search.
Immediately below are info and links on Fr. Steven's books, Monday Morning Meditations, pubished in 2018 by Kaloros Press, and The Divine Liturgy - Meaning, Preparation & Practice, followed by a classic article by Fr. Steven on the Resurrection of Christ, and recordings of his presentation on the Resurrection at a women's retreat some years ago. Additional archives on Fr. Steven's writings and interviews are also included.
Further down this page you will find other select treasures on Orthodox Spirituality, and links to other sites of interest. We invite you to linger here a while, and to return often.
Books by Fr. Steven Kostoff, available at the church, or order online


Reflections of a Parish Priest

Fr Steven's new book is available through the church office/bookstore, and online.

"For almost twenty years now, parishioners at Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit in Cincinnati, and friends in Christ from places near and far, have been receiving from Father Steven his 'Monday Morning Meditations' via email, or have been visiting his Orthodox Christian Meditations Blog. Now at long last a selection of Father Steven's reflections have been published in book form by Kaloros Press!"

Paperback, Full color cover, 199 pages, $20

Learn more here, and purchase at church, or order online.


Meaning, Preparation and Practice

Third Edition, with a new Epilogue by the author...

Seekers, catechumens and Orthodox faithful alike will be blessed by this trustworthy and inspiring guide to the Divine Liturgy and the Life in Christ, composed by our beloved pastor, a faithful presbyter of the Orthodox Church in America.

Paperback, 64 pages, full color cover with B&W illustrations.

REDUCED PRICE - Only $7.99 retail.

Full info here. Purchase at church, or order online!

A Classic Article and Podcasts on the Resurrection


Living in the Light of the Resurrection

Fr Steven C. Kostoff


Christ is Risen!

In May 2008, Fr Steven gave a two-part talk on the Resurrection, at Holy Dormition Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan, to a retreat of the Midwest Antiochian Women's Association.


This warm and inspiring, richly developed presentation on the Resurrection of Christ was digitally recorded in excellent quality, and made available as a special podcast on Ancient Faith Radio. We rejoice to make it available again here during the Paschal season. Save it to your computer, smartphone and tablet. Share the joyful message of the reality of Christ's Resurrection with your family and friends!

Part 1: Theological and Historical Aspects of the Resurrection

Direct Link - Play in Popup - Download - Transcript


Part 2: Living in the Light of the Resurrection

Direct Link - Play in Popup - Download - Transcript


Be sure also to read Fr. Steven's classic article in defense of the bodily resurrection of Jesus:

SPECIAL INTERVIEW, THE ILLUMINED HEART: 'Immortality of the soul', or 'Resurrection of the dead?", features Fr. Steven's 2010 interview and discussion with host Kevin Allen (†2018). The Illumined Heart for years was one of Orthodoxy's premier internet podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio.
Meditation Archives, and much more . . .


Fr. Steven's meditations from late 2007 through the present are archived and easily browsed or searched through the Meditations Blog. Meditations from 2004 through 2007 are now archived on a separate page on this site. Earlier meditations dating back to 2001 are to follow as phase two of the archive project.

Fr. Steven's
articles are also regularly featured on the official website of the Orthodox Church in America.

Go to our Meditation Blog

Download Fr. Steven's Reading List of Contemporary Orthodox Classics

Add your email address to Fr. Steven's Meditation List



Preparation for Communion

Communion of the Apostles
Communion of the Apostles
Communion of the Apostles

Dear Parish Faithful,

As we begin a new Church year, it is always helpful to remind ourselves of how we are practicing our Orthodox Faith.  At the heart of that "practice" is our preparation for, and reception of, the Eucharist.  Therefore, I have attached a document dealing with our preparation, so that it be in a "worthy manner."  This article goes into some depth in explaining the meaning and purpose behind preparing to receive Holy Communion.   These are meant to be guidelines that assist in creating a "eucharistic discipline" rather than an air-tight set of "rules" that are meant to be legalistically adhered to. 
Also, I am attaching a reminder about our liturgical etiquette or discipline while in church. I am certain that this can be helpful to our new members, inquirers and others. A certain liturgical discipline has nothing to do with an empty formalism or legalism. It is about respecting the sacred space in which we worship as a community.

Please pass on any questions or concerns.

In Christ,
Fr. Steven



Contemporary Classics of Orthodox Literature

NEW FOR 2023!


Read Fr. Steven's important new article, an "apologia" and guidepost on some of the great Orthodox writers and books of the 20th century, those pillars on whom our contemporary Church and writers stand. — Excerpt:


Contemporary Classics of Orthodox Literature


by Fr. Steven Kostoff

...A steady Orthodox reading discipline/program is essential in today's world perhaps more than ever. We are so ideologically bombarded from so many disparate quarters, that we need to remember who we are and what we believe! I am writing, though, with a particular concern in mind: Perhaps we are only - or mostly only - reading the most contemporary literature...


I want to make a heartfelt plea for the great writers who nurtured me, who nurtured an entire earlier generation or two, and who wrote the classics of twentieth century Orthodox literature. This is a great literature that placed Orthodoxy on the "map" both in America and in Europe and beyond - into Russia and other parts of the world. I strongly believe that we need to read these classics of the twentieth century, because these are the very books that served as the foundation for others to build on. These were books that allowed Orthodoxy to emerge from its sheltered ethnic communities; books which revived an abiding and lasting focus on the Fathers of the Church; books which completely restored the apostolic vision of the Liturgy and the Eucharist; and books that penetrated deeply into our genuine spiritual Tradition with the insights and practices that lead us to lives of holiness...


Read the complete article, with an extensive book list and brief line about each title...


Lenten Readings


A "classic" by Archbishop Kallistos Ware
Perhaps one of the best all-around essays on Great Lent was written by Archbishop Kallistos Ware as an Introduction to his translation of The Lenten Triodion (the book that provides the hymnography and scriptural readings for Great Lent).  The article has the simple title of "The Meaning of Great Lent," but is already a kind of "classic" as Archbishop Ware offers brilliant insights into the nature of meaning of fasting within the context of our preparation for the great paschal mystery.  If you search hard enough, you could probably find this article somewhere on the internet.  (If you undertake that search, let me know if you find it!). 
However, some years back our dear friend Mother Paula (formally Vicki Bellas) created an excellent summary of the most essential points of the article in a very accessible and "handy" version.  She was able to convey the content of the article in a "reader-friendly" form so that everyone can gain access to Archbishop Ware's teaching without the full article at hand. 
Therefore, to share this with everyone, I am attaching this shortened version from Mother Paula so that you can carefully read through it, gain new insight into Great Lent, and perhaps make provisions for incorporating some of this teaching in your upcoming Lenten efforts.  As in all insightful writing on Great Lent, we find ourselves quickly moving beyond the "rules of fasting," and into the deepest realms of repentance, conversion, renewal, etc. 
If you have any furthers questions, or would like to discuss anything that you read in this article, please feel free to contact me.
Besides the Bible What Other Book Are You Reading for Great Lent?
Turning again to another "classic" - Great Lent by Fr. Alexander Schmemann - I would like to share what he briefly writes there about "Lenten reading:"
It is also a good time to read a religious book.  The purpose of this reading is not only to increase our knowledge about religion; it is  mainly to purify our mind from all that which usually fills it.  It is simply incredible how crowded our minds are with all kinds of cares, interests, anxieties, and impressions, and how little control we have over that crowd.  Reading a religious book, concentrating our attention on something entirely different from the usual contents of our thinking, creates by itself another mental and spiritual atmosphere.  - (Great Lent, p. 91)
Too much pop culture?  Sports?  Politics?  Internet reading?  A good theological/spiritual book would be the perfect remedy for the over-crowded mind alluded to by Fr. Schmemann. 
Speaking of good Lenten reading, there are many excellent choice in our parish bookstore. We will try to have about three copies of Fr. Schmemann's Great Lent on hand in the near future (I believe that we do have one copy available right now).  There are many other good choices already available there on theology, spirituality, liturgy, iconography, patristics, etc.
There is also the possibility of simply reading some good literature, like one of the enduring classics of our Western tradition.  These enduring classics are read to this day precisely because of what they reveal about "life."  There is often a hidden "theology" there that can penetrate or minds and hearts in an imperceptible but satisfying manner. (Of course, the greatest example of such a work would be The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky).
In addition, we have slowly and steadily built up an impressive library catalogued downstairs in the parish library section of our Education Center.  Could I assist you in finding just the "right book" out of our library?  Please let me know...
Seeds of Wisdom



Talks by Mother Abbess Gabriella
of Holy Dormition Monastery, Rives Jct MI.
Talks by Mother Abbess Christophora
of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City PA.
• Four talks on the Church's spiritual resources for healing, given in July 2016
Restoring the Human Icon
• and the role that monasteries have in aiding this restoration, 2014
The Joy of Repentance: Part 1Part 2

A Smile from Eternity

Blessed Elder Joseph of Vatopedi in Repose
Blessed Elder Joseph of Vatopedi in Repose
Blessed Elder Joseph of Vatopedi in Repose

Dear Parish Faithful,

I had to send along these remarkable photographs and the explanatory texts below.  This is an incredible example of what we mean by "falling asleep in the Lord."  Have you ever seen anyone in a coffin with such a smile on his face?!  No wonder the article is entitled "A Smile From Eternity."  All of the eyewitnesses must have been overwhelmed with the certainty that they were burying a saint.  The Holy Mountain - Mt. Athos - has a great reputation for sanctity even to this day.

~ Fr Steven

Links to the Articles:

A Smile from Eternity
This warm, brief article describes the funeral of Blessed Elder Joseph and the effect his radiant smile had on all those present. (Note: the website seems to be in Greek, but the article has been translated into English - just scroll down.)

Why is the Smile of Elder Joseph of Vatopedi from Eternity?
As the photos and text in this article show, Elder Joseph did not repose smiling, but rather, his smile appeared some forty-five minutes after his death!