Riddled with the Worm of Bad Temper

We ought to be very careful to keep watch on ourselves. When a harbor is full of ships it is easy for them to run against each other, particularly if they are secretly riddled by the worm of bad temper. St. John Climacus, 4 I have seen my four living children nearly grown. The youngest turns 17 tomorrow (which is quite old as we all know). Her older sisters are in their…

Traditions and the Keeping of Family

It would be easy to speak of families keeping traditions – we all have them – some of them silly – some of them profound. Some are inherited from generations, others develop completely independent of what has gone before. What I know, as the father of four (most now grown), is at least two things: tradition is unavoidable in the presence of children who can remember how something was done the year…

Thanksgiving Evening – 2007 – America and Christianity

My Thanksgiving over the past few years has mostly served as one of the few occasions for the gathering of extended family. Somethings are measured in these meetings – the passing of time – I am older; my parents are older – and now the children are increasingly the adults. I am beginning to assume my role as an elder (though not quite “elderly”). I’m sure many places across the world have…

The Fullness of the World to Come

I am fascinated by what the Holy Tradition does with the idea of “fullness” or “fulfillment.” The Church is described as the “fullness of Him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:23). And it is not unusual for Orthodox Christians to express the meaning of Orthodoxy under the rubric of “fullness”: Orthodoxy is the “fullness of the Church.” The Scriptures do much with the concept – speaking of the “fullness of time,”…

“A Single Word Shall Fell Him”

I recall the line from Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress.” When speaking of our adversary, whom I need not name, it boldly proclaims, “A single word shall fell him.” It goes on to say, “That Word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them abideth…” etc. A single word is indeed powerful, particularly if that Word, is Jesus. It also true, however, that as James says: “But the tongue can no…

How Vulnerable is Your Life?

Young parents quickly discover a level of vulnerability they had not known before a child came into their world. With the birth of a child, under most normal circumstances, your heart becomes extremely vulnerable. You discover that you’ve never loved anything so much and the fragility of their lives becomes, sometimes, all too obvious. I’m not certain that this sense of fragility stops even after their grown and no longer fit the…

Prayer to My Guardian Angel – A Post Revisited

WordPress provides a fair amount of information to its bloggers – it gives you a chance to see some of what works and occasionally why. Then there are mysteries. One of my mysteries is the popularity of this particular post which first went up last January. Since then it has generated over 2800 views – probably more than 5 times the number of any other single post. Interestingly, it is daily listed among my…

Communion with Christ and the Union of Marriage

One of the clearest images of the relationship we have with Christ is that of marriage between a man and a woman. St. Paul makes reference to this in Ephesians 5: So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are…

Somethings Have to be Shared

Having posted several times about my son’s wedding last weekend (how could I not?), it seemed only right to post a photo of the young couple (James and Anna). I asked one of my extremely talented, artistic children who had all of the photos in digital form to send me a few wedding pictures this week so that I could share them – but strangely – none of the pictures were of…

Before the Feast

I will not likely get a chance to post until after the weekend – the wedding is coming soon upon us and it’s not local. Bags are being packed – last minute details that seem to be endless are all coming to an end that lack of time alone can bring. When it’s all said and done a wedding takes place. As I have written before, our family gathers from the four…