“God will make him a saint for you”: On Rigidity

I spent the day yesterday at St. Tikhon’s with some of my fellow clergy from the Lehigh Valley Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood, and we shared a beautiful day of brotherhood as guests of the monastery. In one of our conversations, one of the priests was relating time he had spent with a holy elder in Greece (who is still living, though not in good health),…

St. Raphael and Me: On the 100th Anniversary of His Repose

Fifteen years ago, in the month of May, I drove with two of my friends from Raleigh, North Carolina, to St. Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, for the canonization services of a new saint. I knew almost nothing about him at the time. I had been an Orthodox Christian for only two years, I was still a bit starry-eyed about the faith (and…

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,…

Death and the Saints

Sunday of All Saints, June 15, 2014 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Death and the afterlife are topics which are often on the minds of clergy, but they were especially on my mind this past week, as we not only experienced the death of one of…