The Mystery, Upborne, Fulfilled

Orthodoxy has a number of “favorite” words – all of which fall outside the bounds of normal speech. Though we commonly use the word “mystery” (for example), popular speech never uses it in the manner of the Church. I cannot remember using the word “fullness,” or even “fulfilled,” in normal speech. More contemporary words have … Read More ›

The True Culture War

The cultural landscape of the modern world is continuing to shift and change. Opinions that were but shortly ago in the minority have moved into the majority and the political world is quickly realigning itself. Positions that were once traditionally Christian with wide public support or acquiescence are being marginalized. In various places Christians find … Read More ›

Preaching the Love of God – St. Isaac of Syria

I would not have a blog except for the friendship of Fr. Aidan Kimel. He has returned to writing himself. His latest is an exquisite word on the need for preaching the love of God – with a wonderful look at this love in the writings of St. Isaac. I append a short excerpt. Do … Read More ›

Outside of Paradise

And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the Garden…     Joni Mitchell (1969) The instinct of the folk-music singer celebrating the Woodstock Festival was not wrong. The religious sensibilities of younger generations today would likely say the same thing but with no reference to the Scriptures. The longing that marks the human heart finds many … Read More ›

The Fast that Keeps

Corrie Ten Boom, the Dutch Christian who suffered in Hitler’s Ravensbruck for her work rescuing Jews, shared stories of her life within those death camps. I recall one of her remarks, “We did not keep the Sabbath, the Sabbath kept us.” Some years back I was filming a television show with the local Rabbi and … Read More ›

Love and Freedom in a One-Storey Universe

I offer the first-ever guest article on the blog. My eldest daughter, Matushka Mary Holste, sent me this piece. I loved it and wanted to share with others. Enjoy. St. Augustine said, “Love and do what you will.” This statement describes a way of being that offers us both freedom and joy. We are to … Read More ›

Saving Communion

Few things are as fundamental to the New Testament as the reality of communion (koinonia). It means a commonality, a sharing and participation in the same thing. It is this commonality or sharing that lies at the very heart of our salvation. This communion is described in Christ’s “high priestly prayer”: I do not pray for these alone, but also … Read More ›

The Pillar and Ground of Hypocrisy

A growing feature of the modern world is the disconnect between members of the Church and the teaching of the Church. A recent New York Times article noted a deep divide between what American Catholics believe and what their hierarchy teaches. It’s not just a Catholic phenomenon – it’s a feature of the modern Christian … Read More ›

What Would You Do?

“To the extent that man does not use his freedom, he is not himself. In order to emerge from that indeterminate state, he must utilize his freedom in order to know and be known as himself.” – Fr. Dimitru Staniloae A popular bumper-sticker-level spirituality swept the pop-culture scene several years back asking, “What would Jesus … Read More ›

Dwelling in a Strange Land

By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion. We hung our harps upon the willows in their midst. They that carried us away in captivity asked of us a song, And they that laid us waste, required of us mirth, saying: “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.” … Read More ›

Living a “Spiritual” Life

It has become a commonplace to hear someone say, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Most people have a general understanding of what is meant. I usually assume that the person holds to a number of ideas that are considered “spiritual” in our culture, but that they are not particularly interested in “organized religion.” I understand … Read More ›