Lent in the South

One of the hallmarks of my generation in the South is that we never grew up without a great deal of attention to God. Whether it was the absolute assurance in the sermons of preachers who could say with some precision who was going where when they died, or even with assurance describe heaven, or … Read More ›

Lenten Thoughts

I recommend a short paragraph by Ian Dalrymple over at his site The Scrivener. Good thoughts. Today we labor under cloudy skies and thunderstorms. Sure signs in Tennessee that Spring will be not far away. I have no idea what happened with the groundhog. But it will surely be a very beautiful Pascha this year.

All Things Were Created For Him

St. Paul makes the remarkable statement in Colossians: “For all things were created through Him and for Him.” This remarkable statement gives rise to a later even more remarkable statement by St. Maximus the Confessor: “The incarnation is the cause of everything.” This statement takes the “all things were created for Him and sees it … Read More ›

St. John Chrysostom on Fasting

The following text comes from Monachos.net’s Great Lent 2003 (a CD I purchased), though the text is from the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, vol. 9. As we begin the fast I can think of no better passage in the Fathers for our consideration. By St John Chrysostom From Concerning the Statues, … Read More ›

If You Want to Read Some Basic Zizioulas

The name of Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) came up in discussion on one of the other threads. He is well known in the West for his book Being as Communion, which is a difficult read. There is, however, a remarkable resource available in English from his lectures at the University of Thessaloniki. I would commend it … Read More ›

The Difficulty of Lent

Great Lent is one of the most important spiritual undertakings in the course of the Orthodox Church year. There is nothing unusual asked of us, nothing that we do not do the rest of the year. We fast; we pray; we give alms; we attend services, etc. But we do all of them with greater … Read More ›

If You Love Dostoevsky

If you love Dostoevsky as I do, then you must read this article (actually a lecture) by Donald Sheehan. That’s his picture (which made me want to read the article in the first place – sort of ZZ Tops and Dosteoevsky) Forgive me. But it is exquisite. His own story and Memory Eternal is worth … Read More ›

To Forgive is Divine

One of the more important verses in the New Testament, it seems to me, is Christ statement, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). I have noticed that there are some side discussions that some of my comments have been used in on the subject of “synergism” vs. “monergism,” which is not a … Read More ›

That One Must Be Watchful Not to Judge Anyone

From the Wisdom of the Desert Fathers. In a monastery there were two remarkable brothers who soon merited to see the grace of God descend upon each other. Now one day it happened that one of them went out of the monastery on a Friday and saw someone who was eating in the morning, and … Read More ›

The Grace of Forgiveness

  I never know quite how these things work, but I awoke this morning with the tune and words of “Open to me the Gates of Repentance.” It invariably set the tone of my morning’s thought and the background for the better part of the day. It occurred to me, reflecting, that forgiveness, like repentance, … Read More ›

The Word of God

Every human thought, every human word, is energy, a force. And if this is true where human thought and speech are concerned, how much more so is it with the Divine word, the word of Christ. When we hear Christ’s Gospel sayings, so fragrant, so gentle and sweet – ‘Blessed are the pure in heart: … Read More ›