More on the Problem with God

I thought I would add some reflections to my earlier thoughts on “the Problem with God.” Generally I noted there that “God is a problem,” because He is not me, He is free, and He is Lord. That’s more than having a bull loose in a china shop, that’s a God who is free in the universe. I am convinced through the revelation of God in Christ, that this God loves me,…

Beginning to Pray

  I have always found the little classic Beginning to Pray, by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, to be one of the best introductions to prayer. I first discovered the book in college and used it in a small study group. It has never ceased to be relevant to my situation in life. His opening paragraphs are worth a short read (and more). As we start learning to pray, I would like to…

The Problem with having a God

I offer a little personal observation today (there is usally some everyday even when I am writing about something else). But today I am thinking about the problem of having a God. The problem with God is not the same thing as the problem with religion. Many people have a religion but do not have a problem with God. Many people have a Church but have no problem with God. Many people…

No Development of Doctrine?

I must first issue a notice of my ignorance. I have never read Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. Thus I am at a distinct disadvantage in discussing it. I know that Newman is a great favorite of my dear friend, Fr. Alvin Kimel, over at Pontifications. I do, however, suspect that it is a place that I might part company with my friend. Does doctrine develop? I am going…

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Nothing has greater importance in the Christian life than the place of Holy Scripture. On this, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant can agree. Even if one places emphasis on the role of Holy Tradition, they still have to admit that the most prominent manifestation of Holy Tradition in the Church are the Scriptures themselves. But, of course, having said a few kind words about the Holy Scriptures is not to have said very…

“Save Me Whether I Want It Or Not” – Justification and the Orthodox

One of my favorite prayers (from the “Morning Prayers” which is not one of the services, but one of many variations of private prayers used by Orthodox Christians) is to Our Lord Jesus Christ, and is quite clear on justification – at least in a way that should quieten any critics of Orthodoxy who think we are not clear enough on justification and faith. I first published this prayer back on October…

Prayer to My Guardian Angel and Some Other Thoughts

For an update and additional comments on this article see angels. O Holy Angel, who stand by my wretched soul and my passionate life: do not abandon me, a sinner, neither depart from me because of my lack of self-control. Leave no room for the evil demon to gain control of me through the violence of this mortal body. Strengthen my weak and feeble hand, and instruct me in the path of…

Solzhenitsyn on Sitting Down

In Twilight I well remember the very widespread custom, back in the South, of “twilighting.” Carried over from before the Revolution, it might have also been fortified by the meager, perilous years of the Civil War. Yet this practice had come about much earlier. Was it born of the months-long warmness of the Southern dusk? Many became accustomed never to rush lighting their lamps, yet, having completed their chores (or tended to…

The Loneliness of Modern Man

In the Benedictine tradition, a monk makes four vows: poverty, chastity, obedience and stability. Most people are familiar with the first three but not with the fourth. In classical Benedictine practice it meant that a monk stayed put: he did not move from monastery to monastery. It was not a new idea. Before Benedict had written his rule, there was already the saying from the Desert: “Stay in your cell and your…