Cultures of Remembrance

I grew up in a “culture of remembrance.” By that, I mean that the history of the place in which I lived was far more a matter of discussion and meaning than the present or the future. That culture was the American South. Much of the remembrance we discussed was not true – just a left-over from the sentimentality of the 19th century. My childhood was spent in the 1950’s, which may…

A Particular Pilgrimage

One of the common aspects of my pilgrimage to the Holy Land – and this my wife and I have discussed and find we share in common – is the particularity of certain experiences. There are inherently overwhelming experiences, such as kneeling beside a priest in the actual sepulchre of Christ, and reading names aloud for him to remember in the proskomidie, as he prepared the bread and wine for the Divine…

He Ascended on High

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he led a host…

Images in the Modern World

What do you do in a world that is awash with images and yet denies the very power of those images in our lives? It is possible to live in a make-believe world in which all Christians have to do is react to negative and improper images, leaving the Church with a “Church-lady” image that everything out there is simply of “Satan.” This is not an answer to the problems posed by…

The Alpha and the Omega

As Christ walked in the midst of the people of Israel an event that was far more than historical took place. The One who was in the midst of them is also the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Strange paradox that you should meet and encounter a person who is Himself the beginning and the ending of all things. This paradox has led to many of the more…

Iconoclasm and Ignorance

My expectations for intelligent discussion on television is close to nil. An example, on the subject of icons and statues, can be found on Handmaid Leah’s site. If you want to see the subject handled badly on television take a look. I promise a posting on the doctrine of the holy icons in the near future. My thanks to Leah for her posting this small video. We need to speak in some…

The Theophany in Which We Live

The liturgical life of the Church makes a very clear link between the Nativity of Christ, the Theophany at His Baptism, and Pascha. Elements of Pascha run throughout the texts for the services of all three feasts, and even the icons echo one another. There is a recognition that at Nativity, Christ enters the “Winter Pascha,” becoming man, taking on even the weakness of an infant, He has embraced the same weakness…

Renouncing Iconoclasm

I have added a new quote to the sidebar of the blog – it is from an earlier posting: We have to renounce iconoclasm. In so doing, we inherently set ourselves against certain forces within modernity. The truth is eschatological, that is, it lies in the future, but we also believe that this eschatological reality was incarnate in Christ, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. We do not…

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…