The Hypostatic Nearness of You (A Repost)

Originally posted in February 2007. I have updated a few things. It is a piece that is quite relevant as my youngest child graduates high school this week. The fullness only grows. Sometimes I sit down to write with an idea and I know that I am either getting ready to write something good, or something really bad. That is how I feel about this particular topic. I have good feelings about…

Blue Highways

A few years back there was an American travel book called Blue Highways. The title referred to American maps on which the smaller roads are printed in blue, while the major arteries, the Interstate System, are printed in red. The book was about a trip across America on the “blue” highways. It was almost time-travel since America prior to the 1960’s was largely without an Interstate system. Blue highways are the land…

Letter from Butyrskaya Prison – Pascha 1928

Serge Schmemann, son of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, in his wonderful little book, Echoes of a Native Land, records a letter written from one of his family members of an earlier generation, who spent several years in the prisons of the Soviets and died there. The letter, written on the night of Pascha in 1928 is to a family member, “Uncle Grishanchik” (This was Grigory Trubetskoi who had managed to emigrate to Paris). This…

Turning Points

On February 15, 1998, on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, my family and I were received into the Orthodox Church by Chrismation, bringing both the end to a very long pilgrimage, and the beginning to one far longer. It is significant to myself and my family, that this year the calendar has come back around to where it was 11 years ago. Thus this Sunday, February 15, will be exactly eleven…

Prayers By the Lake XCV – Children and Saints

XCV     Children and saints cling to You, O Lord, the rest rebel against You. Children and saints are the boundary between the Kingdom of existence and the shadow of nonexistence.1   Guardians call themselves parents and cast Your children off crags into chasms.   Guardians presume that they are parents, and so they direct Your children as though they were their own property. Truly, they are directing nothing but aberrations…

A Dowry Much Finer Than Gold

I have wrtten before of my Father-in-law. Regular readers of this blog will know that he was a man of great faith whom I never knew to be less than thankful to God. The goodness of God was doubtless his greatest joy and favorite topic of conversation. He was also a man of great prayer. I found out early in my married life just how great his prayers were. In the course…

Giving Thanks Beyond Measure

I have frequently had reason to ask: who’s keeping whom? When I was received into the Orthodox faith, I and the rest of my family, stood one by one before the Gospel and a hand-cross to make a solemn promise: This true faith of the Orthodox Church, which I now voluntarily confess and truly hold, that same I will firmly maintain and confess, whole and unchanged, even until my last breath, God…

How Can We Give Thanks?

Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation. Fr. Alexander Schmemann I do not believe it is possible to exhaust this topic and that there are many things worth saying in a second article. Most specifically I want to write on what seem to me necessary elements in giving thanks to God. If giving thanks to God is difficult these may be places to begin or to which to give attention. 1.…

A Few Things More

It’s very easy in longer postings (such as the previous) to forget the closest things. Church is everything the Scriptures say of it, but we largely encounter Christ in a particular setting, among particular friends and family (sometimes). Thus, just as He gives Himself to us in His consecrated Body and Blood, so too, He gives Himself to us in the flesh and blood, and spirit, of the witnesses with whom we…