Praying with Icons

In one of our recent services (Paschal Vespers as I recall) we had a handfull of visiting Russian Nationals. I’ve noticed this before – it’s sort of a cultural distinction – but the women (they were all female) came in, and stood for extended lengths of time before the icons, as if waiting for something, and then lit their candles. It is not universally true, but I have often noticed that we Americans,…

Carolina in my Mind

Some readers might appreciate the fact that I was born in South Carolina. For some other readers, I think especially of our Europeans and others across the internet globe, South Carolina means little. It is “Deep South” in the U.S., with its own distinctives. Perhaps one of its striking characteristics is that it has a strong sense of place. I know many Americans who do not have a sense of place –…

Reflections on Florovsky

The following is from my earlier post of Florovsky on Ecumenism:  The entire western experience of temptation and fall must be creatively examined and transformed; all that “European melancholy” (as Dostoevsky termed it) and all those long centuries of creative history must be borne. Only such a compassionate co-experience provides a reliable path toward the reunification of the fractured Christian world and the embrace and recovery of departed brothers. It is not…

Which Way Does Time Work?

I have a 19 year-old son, who would probably rather watch episodes of almost any science fiction show than eat pizza (almost). He particularly loves shows about time travel. In a town like Oak Ridge, it’s possible to have serious discussions with serious people about things that I thought only young boys took seriously (we have some particle physicists in the parish (Russians) and, as I say, Oak Ridge is a town…

Thoughts on Dostoevsky

I have begun re-reading The Brothers Karamazov, this time in the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, which, I am told is a great improvement over earlier efforts. I readily confess to being a great fan of Dostoevsky and easily touched by his novels. I find an occasional brilliance in them that reveals the world in greater clarity than I see almost anywhere else. I read the following today in the…

Ecclesiology of the Cross – The Pillar and Ground of Truth – Part 2

I suggested in my previous post on this topic that the Cross be a central part of our understanding of the Church. There is a natural tendency to compartmentalize in theology – it’s hard to think of everything all the time and everywhere. And yet, it is important that we always remember that our salvation is not a series of discreet, compartmentalized events and undertakings – our salvation is one thing. Thus it…

Can This Really Be the End?

O, Mama, can this really be the end? To be stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues again. Bob Dylan   Ok. I’ll confess it right up front – I’m a Dylan fan. It shows my age and generation. My children have had to learn to put up with his voice, but more than that, to put up with a parent who seems to find lines from Dylan songs that fit…