Someone should have warned me about encountering Fr. Tom Hopko. A large warning sign with a large yellow and black sticker would have been nice, too, with very large letters, “Proceed with caution: your life will never be the same.”
Storytelling is a characteristic feature of our Orthodox Tradition. It is an ancient and effective means of sharing high ideals, universal truths, with common man through images and examples relative to his experience in daily life. Not only is our history replete with books full of stories about holy desert dwellers, repentant sinners, sayings and anecdotes of anchorites and hermits, but the Gospel itself, Christ’s own teachings, are dispensed in the form of story, in parables.
Recently, I was on a flight home sitting quietly in my seat as a mother of a toddler, probably around 2, came down the aisle to sit in the row behind me. The mom struggled to navigate the narrow aisle, diaper bag, and carry-on draped over her shoulders, pulling her toddler behind her in a car-seat stroller down the aisle. The toddler seemed content, with a bottle on her lap, just waking…
Sam is the main character of Melissa Johnson’s new chapter book, Shepherding Sam. He’s in third grade. Third grade is a tough year for some children. That’s the year that expectations ratchet up.
These were people who tended to get stuck, somehow, in the middle of their writing—they’d written themselves into a corner and didn’t know how to get out. I loved helping get these these clients putting words on paper again. The ability to tell one’s story is a powerful facet of the human experience, and when that can’t happen–for whatever reasons–it can be deadening.
The Healing of the Human Heart is a new blog from Fr. Michael Shanbour that will explore our human spiritual life. Drawing on the teachings of the Church Fathers, Fr. Michael will focus on the heart and the nous. Because the heart is the center of our existence, his posts will touch on many topics, from spirituality, to culture, economics, and popular trends. He asks your prayers as he begins this new work.
Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home focuses on what we call the “Foundation Stones” of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
These are the books that can never quite stay on the shelf, the ones chosen over and over again – my list of Books Every Orthodox Child Should Own.
I own many of these books and have read and reread them for most of my life. Many of them come recommended by parents of tweens and teens, and even more by teens themselves. This list is twenty books, authors and series long, and it’s barely scratching the surface of challenging, enjoyable and go-straight-to-your heart books that we can visit time and time again.
“All this means that grace is not merely an idea about God’s forgiveness in Christ. It is not a change in God’s ‘attitude’ toward a person. It is not a mere release from ‘guilt.’ It is the very life-giving, transforming, divine power and uncreated energies of God Himself.”