Looking Like Christmas

One of the most striking features of the Gospels is the frequent response of the Disciples after the resurrection of Christ: doubt. I have always been sympathetic to the doubts and hesitations that accompanied their ministry during the ministry of Christ. They are almost endearing in their inability to grasp what Christ is all about. … Read More ›

To Live 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 ›

Bodies, Bones and Belief – Christianity and Relics

And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the … Read More ›

Giving Thanks

The act of giving thanks is among the most fundamental acts of love. It lies at the very heart of worship – in which, in the words of Archimandrite Zacharias of Essex, there is an exchange. In giving thanks we make an offering which itself is always inferior to what we have received – but … Read More ›

The True Agent of Change

As inhabitants of our modern culture, we find ourselves trapped in a world of “cause and effect.” It is a physical explanation of the universe that has, for all intents and purposes, become a universal metaphor, dominating religion and the most personal aspects of our lives. We see ourselves as the agents of change – … Read More ›

The Nativity Fast – Why We Fast

November 15, marks the beginning of the Nativity Fast (40 days before Christmas). The following article offers some thoughts on the purpose of fasting. +++ Fasting is not very alive or well in the Christian world. Much of that world has long lost any living connection with the historical memory of Christian fasting. Without the … Read More ›

Living the Life of the Publican

For many people in our culture, the idea of private confession is neither attractive nor comforting. We prefer “to put our best foot forward,” and make the best impression on others. Everyone is aware that everyone has faults. Those who have grown up Protestant may have been frequently reminded, “For all have sinned and fall … Read More ›

Face to Face

There are few joys of a blogosphere writer greater than to meet face-to-face with his readers. Such has been my experience at my time at the 16th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America. To embrace someone who can say that my articles on the death of my parents helped them to endure the … Read More ›

Reading Rightly

The course of your reading should be parallel to the aim of your way of life…. Most books that contain instructions in doctrine are not useful for purification. The reading of many diverse books brings distraction of mind down on you. Know, then, that not every book that teaches about religion is useful for the … Read More ›

Pilgrimage to Seattle

I fly Saturday from the beautiful autumn leaves of Appalachia and make a pilgrimage to Seattle. Every three years the Orthodox Church in America has an “All-American Council,” in which we conduct a certain amount of Church business, pray some, and do the sorts of things you do at conventions. St. Gregory the Theologian thought … Read More ›