Longing for Jerusalem

My wife and I, as well as other pilgrims from our group, have been spending our time since coming home letting our bodies adjust to the “jet-lag.” It is easy to blame many things on jet-lag until the excuse will no longer work. I noticed towards the end of last week, that beyond any expectation, … Read More ›

Memories – Prayers By the Lake XXX

This poem by St. Nikolai Velimirovich should not be read as looking back to a pre-existence of souls – but to the fullness of our Baptism and the purity that was ours at the font. It emphasizes in the imagery of memory, the desire to have communion with God above all else. XXX Blot out, … Read More ›

What Do You Want From God?

This may seem an entirely innocuous question. But I ask it in earnest. What do you want from God? On the level of the trite, we may want more of what we already have, but have it in abundance. We may want less of what we have, only have it in a healthy manner (relationships … Read More ›

Truth and Existence – A Second Look

The original article (which follows) was published in August (not long ago). However, questions that continue to arise tell me that I need to publish it yet again. I will here emphasize its connection with the Atonement. Theories of legal indebtedness as the problem of sin are certainly popular in some circles of the Christian … Read More ›

Pascha And Creation

There are several religious or theological mistakes to make about Christ’s resurrection. They are generally innocent, and refelct the faith as a number of people have been taught it. The problem lies in the fact that many do not rightly understand the resurrection nor the true scope of its significance. I am just a sinner … Read More ›

A Single Monk

I earlier shared the story of my conversation with a monk at Mar Saba Monastery in the Judean desert. For me, it was both an oasis of rest (it really is in a desert) and an oasis of truth. We had spent the morning traveling, with our guide also giving us a political commentary – … Read More ›

Rocks, Desert and No Rain

Jerusalem is in a desert. Water is easily the most essential element. There are great aquifers in the area and the politics of water underlies much of the political reality on the surface of the ground. It was observed by one of our pilgrims that the early Christians left the cities to enter the desert, … Read More ›

Assimilating the Gospel

A pilgrimage is reduced to tourism if it does not become a part of the pilgrim himself. I have been home for a little over 24 hours – most of it in the stupor of “jet-lag.” I have sat down to write several times, only to find that I was too tired to say much. … Read More ›

Flying Home

Today we fly home, with an overnight lay-over at Heathrow. Many thanks to all of you for your prayers. As God wills, I’ll be posting photos and writing more when I reach home. Doubtless there will be parish matters to attend to – thus how quickly I get back into rhythm is anybody’s guess. May God … Read More ›

Away From Home

From a modern American perspective – one of the interesting components of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is to find yourself largely outside of the news cycle. There has been no television or radio. I have looked briefly at the internet, but mostly to answer email or tend the blog site. I am not … Read More ›

Jerusalem and the Modern Heart

Jerusalem, more than any city of the Holy Land, is a place of layers. This is generally true of most places here. Long before Jerusalem was the City of David, it was the city of the Jebusites, the city where Melchizedec, King and Priest, ruled and prayed – he who offered bread and wine and … Read More ›