The Ecclesiology of the Cross

The following article is a series I wrote during the early months of the blog. I think it worth reprinting (surely people aren’t going back to read everything I’ve written). It is also available in the “Pages” section of the blog. If you’ve read it before I hope you enjoy rereading it – if not, … Read More ›

St. Isaac the Syrian and the Door of Heaven

Be at Peace with your own soul; then heaven and earth will be at peace with you. Enter eagerly into the treasure house that is within you, and so you will see the things that are in heaven; for there is one single door to them both. And another: If you do not strive, you … Read More ›

God and the Universe

The material and organic world is not a world of thought. Only man can think, knowing himself and everything that surrounds him. In our mind an entire ideal world is borne in which is reflected everything we know. But we see that the universe is filled with wisdom, that in acquiring the knowledge of the … Read More ›

At the Edge of Tradition

There are many things that we see in our lives to which the word “traditional” may be attached. It can refer to a style of dress or an understanding of relationships. In Church it may refer to the use of certain kinds of music or a sytle of worship. Many years ago, pastoring my first … Read More ›

In the Depths of the Heart

For many years I have had an image that I carry around with me – it is the notion that the world could be completely other than it appears if we had eyes to see it in some other way. I suspect it’s originally a science-fiction idea that got into my head but the idea … Read More ›

The Goodness of Being

The primary good is existence itself, for if someone does not exist, how can he make use of good things of any sort? And, whereas we all simply somehow exist, God is “the One Who Is,” that is, He is the One Who enjoys utter fullness of existence, the One Who is Being itself. God’s … Read More ›

For the Life of the World

The Orthodox Ministry, Come Receive the Life, has two podcast programs on the Sanctity of Life. The first is an interview with Khouria Frederica Mathewes-Green, the second is an interview with Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News, a relatively recent convert to Orthodoxy (I met him the week after his Chrismation), also on the … Read More ›

It’s Really All About Being

I wasn’t sure how to title this post. One part of me wanted to say, “It’s really all ontological,” but that would lose half my readers in the maze of theological/philosophical vocabulary. I also thought about entitling it, “It’s not what you do but what you are,” and that might have been better than what … Read More ›

Philotimo – Responsive Gratefulness

As noted in my preceding post, I was introduced to this word through reading about the Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain who used it quite frequently in his teaching. The following short article appears on OrthodoxWiki, the online Orthodox encylopedia. It is a worthy read on an important virtue as taught by the Church. May God, … Read More ›

Responsive Gratefulness, Miracles and Love – the Elder Paisios

Responsive gratefulness (translating the Greek philotimo) is a very strong theme in the teachings of the Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain. The following is taken from the book Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain. Elder Paisios stressed that our acts are worthwhile only if they are done out of a grateful predisposition. He always … Read More ›

The Love of God and the Gospel of Christ

I believe that the love of our enemies is utterly essential to the love of God. If we do not love our enemies, we will not know God, nor rightly love Him. Indeed, I believe that we only know God to the extent that we love our enemies. If anything, this points to the utter necessity of grace … Read More ›