“Blessing”: Does It Actually Mean Anything?

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost / Sixth Sunday of Matthew, July 8, 2018 Romans 12:6-14; Matthew 9:1-8 In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Today I would like to speak about blessing and cursing. Our epistle reading from Romans 12 ends with this verse: “Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse”…

Do Orthodox Christians Have Jesus in Their Hearts?

Sunday of the Canaanite Woman, February 14, 2016 II Corinthians 6:16b-18, 7:1; Matthew 15:21-28 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. “You are a temple of the living God, even as God has said: ‘I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their…

Do We Preach “Orthodoxy”… or Christ?

In her review of Kyriakos Markides’s Gifts of the Desert, Frederica Mathewes-Green says she had a hard time finding Jesus in the book: Markides’ previous book, “The Mountain of Silence” (2001), was read eagerly by those interested in Orthodox spirituality, chiefly because he had faithfully transcribed taped conversations with a monk trained on Mt. Athos, Father Maximos. Though Markides himself seemed not wholly on…

Do Orthodox Christians know the Gospel message?

This is a talk I recently gave at the Orthodox Homeschooling Conference. (Listen to the recording here.) This topic has been of great importance to me over the past several years, and I must admit to a little bit of frustration regarding what I describe especially in its opening paragraphs. I normally do not publish full talks like this on my weblog, but I…

Back to Greek

It’s been fifteen years since I did formal study of Ancient Greek. I’ve been wanting to get back to it for a long time now. So on the recommendation of learned friends, I got myself a copy of Greek: An Intensive Course by Hansen and Quinn. I also pulled out my two volumes of Athenaze by Balme and Lawall.  (Old notes from 1999 fell…

Can the Virgin Mary “save” us?

Today I read the comments on this YouTube video. I know, I know—YouTube comments generally are the lowest form of discourse on the Internet, and I wasn’t terribly surprised to see that someone thought that the musical line “Most Holy Mother of God, save us” was “blasphemous.” (He preferred to hear his blasphemy in Latin, apparently.) I must admit to being a bit baffled,…

Jennifer Aniston Goes Makeup-Free. Liberation Ensues.

I read this morning that actress Jennifer Aniston (whose family name is Anastasakis and whose godfather is Telly Savalas) had declared that going makeup-free in her new film Cake was “dreamy and empowering and liberating.” I don’t normally bother with celebrity news, but of course when using social media, it’s hard to escape it. This caught my eye, though, because it struck me as…