An Orthodox priest once told me, “Finding Orthodoxy is the easy part. The hard part comes when you begin to learn the depth of what our faith means. Each time you step into the next level of relationship with Christ, you will see a new and greater depth in which you must traverse to continue the journey.”
“The body is a garden,” proclaims Angela Doll Carlson in the opening lines of her book, Garden in the East: The Spiritual Life of the Body. It is a declaration that should make any reader pause, particularly anyone who has ever struggled with body image, chronic illness, or immobility. It’s the line that immediately pulled me into the rest of Carlson’s poetic exploration of the relationship she has with her body and…
My kids especially appreciated the self-examination questions, which help with introspection and examination of conscience and focus first on love and our failures to love perfectly, rather than on sin.
When you read a book you value, the best thing you can do to support the author and publisher is to write a review. The interconnected digital conversation that swirls around us daily is the modern equivalent of village talk around the well or in the marketplace. A good word passed from one villager to another will always be the most effective way to share news. A review is that good word!…
As I read, I compared my former attitude, approach, and rational understanding of worship to what the authors explained was really happening on a deeply spiritual level, and I have to say, it transformed the way I participate in services.
I had to write it three or four times, each time healing somewhat from my own hardened, bitter heart and getting closer to what I wanted to say in it.
St. Mary of Egypt is one of the most important saints on the calendar – so important she gets an entire Sunday in Lent dedicated to her, in addition to her feast day of April 1. She’s a major part of the Canon of Repentance that’s said at the beginning and ending of Lent. So why write an Akathist to her, since we already have so much about her? Around the turn…
I must confess that I laughed out loud at the first sentence in the Introduction, “…the first experience of the Divine Liturgy will be a stunning surprise.” What an understatement that was for me at my first Divine Liturgy in 2004!
I was scared of this book. It arrived, fresh and lovely…and thick. I thought, “Oh, I will never find time for this. I am already so busy with work, with children, with church, with life…” The book continued to sit at my desk, and I continued to avoid it. Then, things got worse.
Had I known, when I received it a year ago, what all Elissa’s message would have entailed, I’d have said yes on the spot, without thinking about it for a few days.