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 ›

Is the Bible True?

There is a fundamentalist anxiety that I hold in great sympathy. My sympathy is driven by the fact that I lived for many years under the burden of that very anxiety. It is the hidden fear that possibly, despite all faith exercised in the opposite direction, the Bible may not, in fact, be true. A … Read More ›

The Geography of Heaven and Hell

I noticed tonight in a Facebook discussion a reference to this article – thus I thought a reprint might be timely. I continue to be amazed at the literalism that infects the minds of many Christians. Just because Scripture uses the language of geography to describe something does not at all mean that we should … Read More ›

In A Strange Land

It seems to me that life carries us into strange places on occasion – places where I have not been before. Such experiences can be quite distracting. In very strong instances such experiences can threaten to take over our lives and redefine everything around us. Living as a Christian in a strange land is difficult. … Read More ›

Fasting without Force

The following is taken from Wounded by Love: the Life and Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios You don’t become holy by fighting evil. Let evil be. Look towards Christ and that will save you. What makes a person saintly is love – the adoration of Christ which cannot be expressed, which is beyond expression, which is … Read More ›

Knowing the Beautiful God

We prove God’s existence by worshiping him and not by advancing so-called proofs. We have here the liturgical and iconographic argument for the existence of God. We arrive at a solid belief in the existence of God through a leap over what seems true, over the Pascalian certitude. According to an ancient monastic saying, “Give … Read More ›

Change and the Mystery of God

A body changes in its activity as a result of contact with another body. How therefore could there be no change in someone who with innocent hands has touched the Body of God. St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, 28. +++ I am the father of four adult children, all of them married. In … Read More ›