104. The Return of Saint John Chrysostom

On January 27, 438, the incorrupt body of Our Holy Father John Chrysostom arrived in Constantinople – “translated” (moved) from Armenia where he had been banished and where he had died 31 years earlier. His relics were received with honor into the imperial city where once he had been Patriarch. The story of John Chrysostom I am no historian, so please correct me if I have anything wrong, and of course in…

103. Seven Deadly Sins #5 – Lust, Part Two: Some commentary by C.S. Lewis and “How to Fight Lust”

Sexual Lust (continued) Please remember from last week that sexual lust is only one form of lust. I’m about to quote from C.S. Lewis again. Why do I turn to him so often? Because I think he says things better, more simply, more understandably than most other writers. Because his teaching was aimed at ordinary folks while much Orthodox writing, especially on this subject, is by monastics for monastics. I think Lewis was…

102. The Seven Deadly Sins #5 – Lust, Part One

  Ah… I thought this might catch your attention. But you may be a bit disappointed in what follows. Earlier Posts on the “Seven Deadly” were #85, #86, #93, #94, and the previous two, #100, #101. Passions and “Besetting Sins” Lust is defined in our Antiochian Pocket Prayer Book as “impure and unworthy desire for something evil”. So sexual lust is only one kind of lust.  It is often said, for example, that…

101. The Seven Deadly Sins #4: Anger, Part Two

Last week we looked at five examples of anger (one rather embarrassing to me, I’m afraid) and then at the sources and results of anger. Now let’s consider: How to control Anger 1 First, we need to begin with the external symptoms, the loss of temper, the vengeful acts, because they do so much harm to us and to others, get us into so much trouble. We need to plan how to hold…

100. The Seven Deadly Sins #4: Anger, Part One

Previous posts on the Deadly Sins are #85, #86, #93, #94.  Anger is defined in our Antiochian Pocket Prayer Book as “unworthy irritation and lack of self control”.  Some Examples of Anger  1 My family and I were driving on a road west of Cedarburg, speed limit 40 and I was going 45, when this guy rushed up behind and started tailgating us. I mean, close, right on my bumper. This went…

98. The History of Everything from before the Beginning till after the End – Part Two

Christ is born! Glorify him! The point of last week’s Post, and of the Old Testament (as Christians call it) is that Christ did not arrive “out of the clear blue”, without warning. There had been long centuries of preparation – indeed from before the beginning of time. Saint Paul wrote that Christ came in “the fullness of time” Galatians 4:4 – that is, at the right time, when all things were…

97. The History of Everything from before the Beginning till after the End – Part One

If there is one thing I would change in our unchangeable Orthodox Church, it would be to add an Old Testament reading to Divine Liturgy. Its absence means that most Orthodox never hear Genesis, the story of the Beginning of Everything – and much other important material. If we don’t get the foundation right, the whole house will be unsteady. Make it two things: Nor do we hear the magnificent conclusion to…

96. Is Christmas a Fairy Tale? Part Two – The Evidence for Christ and the Christmas Stories

Now we come to the big question. Lest you hold your breath in dread anticipation, I’ll not keep you waiting. The conclusion (surprise!) will be No. Christmas is not a fairy tale. I know that, for the most part, I’m preaching to the choir here. And I know we in the choir usually believe not for intellectual reasons, but because we love Jesus and the Church. So you may think you don’t need…

95. Is Christmas a Fairy Tale? Part One – The Necessity for Facts, The Evidence for God

Four years ago, along I-94 west of downtown Milwaukee, these words were on a billboard sponsored by a local atheist group. I read that these appeared in other places too. Well, it’s a free country… …and if this challenges Christians to think it will be a good thing. I suspect more than a few of us are afraid to think about the Faith, and especially the Christmas stories, for fear they might…

94. Seven Deadly Sins #3: Greed

  I could almost, barely, slightly, kind of, well not really, tolerate Black Friday if I thought people were shoving and shouting, and this year occasionally shooting each other *, in order to find the finest Christmas gifts for their family and friends. However, somehow I suspect this is not what’s going on here. As you probably know, the shooter in the video above escaped. Police mistakenly killed a shopper instead. Long…