Being Formed in the Tradition

I watched a group of linguistic-psychologists (of varying sorts) in a panel discussion the other night (CSPAN). All of them are involved in advising political campaigns. What they know about the science of language and how people actually make decisions versus how we would like to think we make decisions was staggering. Among the most staggering of agreed pieces of data was that 98% of the process of so-called rational decisions are…

On the Eve of the Nativity – We Sing the Royal Hours

Come, you faithful, let us arise and behold the divine condescension from above, made manifest for us in Bethlehem; and having cleansed our minds, let us by our lives offer virtues instead of myrrh, as we faithfully prepare the entry of the Nativity with treasures of the soul, crying, ‘In the highest, glory to God in Trinity, through whom his good pleasure has appeared among men to rescue Adam from the ancestral…

The Continuing Problem of Vision

One of the most striking features of the Gospels is the frequent response of the Disciples after the resurrection of Christ: doubt. I have always been sympathetic to the doubts and hesitations that accompanied their ministry during the ministry of Christ. They are almost endearing in their inability to grasp what Christ is all about. However, the same inability to grasp things after the resurrection seems to carry with it all kinds…

Icons Will Save the World

Standing before the icon of Christ in the front of St. John Orthodox Church, I prepare to offer my confession at the Sacrament of Forgiveness. The Holy image of the One Who Forgives comes forth to meet me, as the father comes forth to welcome home the prodigal son in the familiar gospel passage (Luke 15:11–32). The love of Jesus pours forth from his prototype (the icon), sees the offering of my…

Friday – the Day of the Cross

From an earlier post on the Cross. In writing about our union with Christ I offered the following as the response to a question. It seemed to me, worth a posting of its own, though it be short. I have, however, added a few thoughts to it. There are many ways of which to speak of Christ’s work on the Cross, all of them, of course, seeing it as central. In some ways,…

Tuesday – the Day of the Forerunner

Tuesdays in the Orthodox week, are dedicated to St. John the Forerunner and Baptist of our Lord (to use his full title). For me he is one of the most remarkable figures in all of Holy Scripture. Referred to by Christ as the “greatest of those born of women” (yet “less than any in the Kingdom of God”), he stands as the end of one Covenant and the bridge to the beginning…

Confession and Forgiveness in Solzhenitsyn

My dear friend, Fr. Al Kimel (known to many as the Pontificator) sent me a link to this wonderful excerpt from Solzhenitsyn’s The Red Wheel, including some insightful commentary. The piece may be read in its entirety on the Blog, Word Incarnate (on WordPress). My thanks to the writer, Abbot Joseph (a Byzantine Catholic) for such excellent writing, and to Fr. Al for the head’s up.   The passage describes a young woman who was…

A Short Good Read

I explored Richard Collins’ Blogsite today and found some good writing. I commend his article on an Icon class he attended recently. He especially does a good job of setting forth some of the technical distinctions (body, soul, mind, nous, etc.) that I found helpful. A good read is always welcome to me and I recommend it to all as well.

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

Well known to almost everyone is the Christmas carol that bids: “Let every heart, prepare Him room.” It is an excellent piece of theology – drawing a comparison between the coldness and lack of hospitality found in Bethlehem so long ago and the inner landscape of our own hearts. We should prepare our hearts so that there is room for God. I had some experience with this in a different way earlier…