The Wonder of Communion

Despite the title, this post is not directly, or at least not yet about the Mystery of Holy Communion. Instead it begins first with the mystery of communion that can only take place when other persons are about. For yet the third time in my family’s life, a child is soon to marry, though this time it is a manchild (to use the Biblical expression). On Sunday week my son will marry…

On a Birthday – Many Years!

Please indulge me in a personal post – I will be in Murfreesboro, TN, visiting with my youngest daughter who is in Governor’s School this summer on Saturday of this week, and on Sunday, my family and I will observe the birthday of my wife. My wish for “Many Years!” is for my wife for whom I give thanks to God constantly. I will be back to blogging regularly come Monday morning.…

Moses and the Unknowable God

Last week, while conducting a retreat for youth at Sts. Mary and Martha monastery, we concentrated on the topic of “Who Am I?” It seemed to me an appropriate topic for an age where youth are frequently struggling with issues of identity. They live in a socially dangerous world – the cruelty of young teenagers towards one another can be brutal – thus it is not an age of risk-taking. Young people…

From a Monastery in the Deep South

I am leading a retreat with young teens this week. All prayers are welcome. This is my evening break time to read comments and relax a moment. My thanks to my wife for checking on comments during the day and clearing the spam. The joy is to be with youth and to here their voices lifted to God. This has been an almost annual event for me since 1999. I have much…

Hope and the Heart – Fr. Dmitri Staniloae

The following comes from Fr. Dmitri Staniloae’s Orthodox Spirituality. (pg. 178) You have the experience of the congestion [crowdedness] of the heart when you are disturbed, and “ample room” when you are peaceful. But uneasiness, in regard to the future is the fruit of uncertainty, just as peace is the fruit of certainty. Care is the offspring of the fear of the future, thus of uncertainty, of the timidity that it won’t…

Back Home (sort of)

I have spent the day traveling down to South Carolina for a short family visit, and to connect with one of my daughters to help her in buying a car (just the joys of being a parent). My last couple of posts have been dealing with our relationship to place – in settings such as Church or home (or city). There are larger spaces, such as being in your home state, or…

All the Fullness of Christ

When you read this you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I was made…

A 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).…

Of One Substance

We are used to confessing that the Son of God is of “one substance” with the Father – meaning that the persons of the Holy Trinity are of one “essence” or “being.” It is also true, however, the all human beings are of “one substance” with all other human beings. That is to say there is only one human nature, essence or being, and that each of us as persons share in…