Worshipping God

Why do we go to church on Sunday and feast days? The answer we give to that question is very important and reveals a great deal about us and our real faith. Before I give the Church’s answer to that, I’ll give several of the reasons people commonly give — whether they are brave enough to voice them or not: (1) Because that is what my family has always done. (2) To feel…

Lenten Joy

Of all the seasons, of all the preparations, of all the fasts… it has to be Lent. Okay, Lent isn’t Lauren Bacall in Casablanca, but it is beautiful and it often sneaks up on us. As a matter of fact, it really is my favorite time of the year (including Pascha from which it can never be separated). Lent often seems to surprise people by its arrival. I begin looking forward to…

Flag Burning

It strikes me that people who burn our country’s flag actually do so because they have no sense of the sacred in their lives. The flag is, after all, a civil icon. It points to a complex synthesis of meanings from home, to patriotism, to a national “ideal”, to the sacrifice of those in service of the country. These things are not unique in the U.S. flag. They are inherent in the…

Preparing Homilies

Preaching is a task that we priests do at least every Sunday, and many of us more often. St John Chrysostom, my patron Saint, said that this is one of the most important tasks of the priest. I have been asked in the past how I prepare homilies. I preach without notes before but that doesn’t mean that there has been no preparation. However, I think beyond the technical component of what sources…

Holy Water & House Blessings

We have entered that beautiful season in the Church where we bless holy water and homes. I try to give a little explanation about that in my new video blog series that you can find on Facebook, but very soon, elsewhere!

And on Earth Peace…

We all know the next phrase in that Scriptural quote… don’t we? Did you think, “…and on earth peace, good will towards men”? What if I told you that there is also an ancient manuscript tradition that is translated, “…and on earth peace, towards men of good will“? This is actually the translation of the words from the Byzantine Majority Text and which were also translated from the Vulgate (bonæ voluntatis) by…