Why Would Someone Like Hank Hanegraaff Become Orthodox?

My assistant, Eudora Mathewes (granddaughter), came across this Facebook post I’d written in April 2017, and thought I should put it on the blog here. The occasion was that Hank Hanegraaff had just been chrismated, and there was much misunderstanding in the Protestant press about what Orthodoxy is, and what…

Thinking about Halloween

Every year there is a buzz of controversy among Orthodox Christians about Halloween. It’s my observation that it largely arises between American converts, who grew up thinking Halloween is fun and harmless, and Orthodox who grew up elsewhere thinking it obviously dangerous and possibly demonic. As in many things, I…

So Judgemental

When you accuse someone of being judgmental, you’re doing the same thing. Practice at all times compassion for those you disagree with. Try to understand their reasoning, which is different from yours. Perhaps they have had life experiences that you have not had. Never distort what they are saying in…

Prayer to the Saints

Someone asked me why we Orthodox “pray” to the saints. It’s such a common question, and from a Protestant point of view, a reasonable one. Here’s my reply: I think your hesitation is the single biggest thing that holds Protestants back. It is the biggest objection I hear. So of…

When Reality No Longer Gets In

I ran across something I wrote in an email to a friend years ago, about how we become gradually more self-centered, more blind to the real world (and people) around us, as time goes by: <<I thought of the wife’s line from “The Death of Ivan Ilych” (approximately): “He screamed…

“Without ceasing,” Really?

  Somebody asked me about the Jesus Prayer: <<What does it mean to ‘pray without ceasing’? Do you actually say the Jesus Prayer everywhere? On the beach, in a restaurant, when you’re with other people? Really, all the time?>> That’s a great question. Here’s how I replied. <<How it works…

The Battle You Are Already In

[2022-4-4] I was invited to give a talk on Cross Veneration Sunday, and it happened that the preceding Friday was the Feast of the Annunciation. So it was like a parenthesis of the whole Christian story, with the Annunciation of Christ’s Incarnation on one side, and the Crucifixion on the…

An Age of Hidden Violence

[2022-2-13] Someone who was writing an article about the state of the culture asked me to send her by email a couple of quotes about abortion and porn. I thought I’d share my responses here. About abortion: <<Abortion takes a terrible toll on our country. The annual fatality rate from abortion…

How Can We Evangelize Today?

[January 14, 2022] Someone once emailed me to ask me about evangelism in Orthodoxy. I wanted to share my reply, because it’s worth discussing. +++ After my husband’s and my chrismation, I was frustrated to see that most Orthodox “evangelism” seemed to be aimed at evangelicals. I asked why that…