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…
This was to be a book about other people. Not about me. I am an Orthodox Christian with a strong tendency to get involved in activism. Being a woman with children, my special interests are women and children. Let me tell you some of the things that keep me awake at night. We are seeing unprecedented rates of anxiety and depression amongst children and teens. Porn use is sky high for boys…
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.
Reflection questions abound in this book, and are designed for couples to discuss together in order to learn more about (and from) one another. Questions such as “What does agape love mean?” or “In what ways is your home like the Church?” serve as thought-provoking prompts on the meaning of marriage, and can serve as a constant source of conversation for couples new and experienced.
When I was 25 years old, I was working full-time as a Montessori assistant in a Kindergarten classroom. During morning circle time, I would take little notes on our scrap paper about what the head teacher was sharing with the 5-7 year olds. No holds barred, this teacher, a life-long lover of learning, poured into these children rich details about complex ideas and precise nomenclature. I love the Montessori concept of the…
Sometimes, the most powerful and effective books are the ones that are short, simple, and full of practical ideas.