200. A Special Message from our American Orthodox Bishops on the Civil Unrest

We just received this letter from our Bishops, calling for prayer for justice and peace tomorrow Wednesday June 3 at Noon EDT.  It is important enough that I’m sending it out quickly. I’d suggest that you offer this short prayer from the Ancient Faith Prayer Book: For Times of Trouble O Lord of hosts, be with us. For in times of distress we have no other help but You.  O Lord of hosts, have mercy on…

199. The Ascension of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ

The Time Jesus Ascended on a String You may find this hard to believe – but back in the 1940s, the public School Boards of Hancock County in Ohio (where I grew up) hired a teacher who went from school to school throughout the county teaching Bible stories to us children. I can understand why this no longer happens, but oh! our young people miss so much. In those primitive days teachers…

196. Sixth Sunday of Pascha: The Man Born Blind

Christ is risen! Students, we are now going to play a sort of Third Grade game, but with a serious purpose. So pay attention, and please do what I say. Now: Look around – forward, left, right, up, down – and take in and remember what you see. Next, close your eyes (wait, not yet!) and with your eyes shut do the same: look around – forward, left, right, up, down, and…

195: Fifth Sunday of Pascha: The Woman of Samaria

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen! This is a contemporary Coptic Orthodox icon. The Samaritan Woman  This is one of my favorite Gospel stories. It makes me smile. Because:   1 The dialog is written so beautifully. It makes me wonder if the Apostle John was a frustrated dramatist. 2  I can see a quiet gleam in the Lord’s eyes as He so cleverly, so carefully “works” this Woman, so to speak, leading…

194. Fourth Sunday of Pascha: The Paralytic

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen! Yes, but fifty five years years ago last February I was not. I was paralyzed. Not physically, but emotionally and mentally. On January 26 I had flown home to Ohio from seminary in New York. My father had died. I loved him so dearly, and I took it hard. Then I had spent two weeks with my mother helping her straighten up affairs, and getting…

193. Third Sunday of Pascha: Sunday of the Myrrhbearing Women

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen! This Sunday’s Lessons: 1 Don’t cooperate with the rats. 2 Do your duty. 3 Never fail to help the poor and needy. But first: Last year I started a series on the Sundays of Pascha but got distracted onto something else. This year we’re going to complete it, come what may. Probably.  If today’s Post seems familiar, you’re right. Just to keep this series in order, I’m repeating last…

192. Second Sunday of Pascha – Seeking the Truth with the Apostle Thomas

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen! Some Bible commentaries say that Saint John the Evangelist portrayed the Apostle Thomas as “the clueless one”, a shallow skeptic, and otherwise sought to “discredit” him. Really? I don’t think so! From what I read in John’s Gospel, I admire Thomas immensely, and I think John did too. Remember that John needed to keep his Gospel account short, compact enough to be carried around easily –…

191. GREAT AND HOLY PASCHA: The Resurrection of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ

Christ is risen! Truly he is risen! Father Alexander Schmemann called our Orthodox Paschal celebration “an explosion of joy”. There are many videos here. I’m guessing you won’t listen to them all today. Why don’t you spread them out through the week? There is so much pure joy in them, and we could use that these days. Please do not miss the last one. I am one of those who are shut…

190. Great and Holy Saturday Morning: Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil

I meant to have this published last night before the Liturgy. Forgive me for being late. Gospel Reading: Matthew 28:1-20 Brothers and sisters, there is a whole lot going on this morning. Follow closely. This Liturgy begins as a celebration of Christ’s victory over Satan and death “down below”, and by the end we’re proclaiming the Resurrection here “up above”. In the two hours or so in between, many things happen – and I…

189. Great and Holy Friday Evening Matins – “The Lamentations Service”

Please find yourself a place to worship live-stream tonight. This is much too beautiful to miss – my favorite service of the year. Is this a funeral service? Is this a resurrection service? The answers are: Yes! We stand before the bier on which Christ is laid out before us. On the Epitaphion see His Body lying stone cold dead, with His blessed Mother and Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus and the…