His stream-of-consciousness musings

Fr. Thomas Hopko hands out-sq

I remember the first time I heard a talk by Fr. Thomas Hopko. I was driving in my car at the time, and he made me late for work. I was in my 20s, and I hadn't been Orthodox for very long. My entire church had been chrismated in together as one of the Evangelical Orthodox Church missions, and I was just beginning to realize how much I didn't … [Read more...]

St. Patrick & company

St Patrick stained glass detail

Today, everyone wears green or gets chided for it -- even pinched, in my day. That wasn't a very good introduction for me to the good St. Patrick. Forgetting his nameday came at my peril. But maybe it was worth it for the perks that came with March 17 -- green milkshakes and cupcakes, and, for the grownups, corned beef and cabbage with (yuck!) … [Read more...]

Natalie’s sacrifice

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Still mulling over what I can learn this Lent to advance my stumbling way, I came across two reflections from Metropolitan Anthony Bloom that are giving me a lot to think about. I'll pass them along, in case they're as worthwhile to others as they are proving with me. The first has to do with a story that Metropolitan Anthony Bloom told numerous … [Read more...]

St. Andrew’s cannon


How shall I begin to mourn the deeds of my wretched life? What can I offer as first fruits of repentance? In Your compassion, O Christ, forgive my sins. How's that for a feel-good start to things? If your church offers the service that includes St. Andrew's Canon, that's one of the first things you'll hear. (If you've never heard the Canon, … [Read more...]

Lenten reading: The Lenten Spring


It's a pleasant day here in Las Vegas, where I live. It's a strange city in which to be an Orthodox Christian, for all the reasons you would expect, but after visiting the Midwest last week, I can't help but be grateful for some of the blessings I take for granted. I'm a skeptic most of the time about the charms of living in a desert, but somehow … [Read more...]

Lenten reading: First Fruits of Prayer

Lenten bookcase_cropped

On the countdown to Cheesefare Sunday, I've got an indulgent afternoon in mind -- some homemade scones, clotted cream, my best plum jam and fragrant Assam tea with the right amount of milk and sugar. Shame on me. But then, I've got all of Lent to repent of this scandalous Mardi Gras attitude. And if I don't use up these goodies, I'll be looking at … [Read more...]