The Continuing Problem of Vision

One of the most striking features of the Gospels is the frequent response of the Disciples after the resurrection of Christ: doubt. I have always been sympathetic to the doubts and hesitations that accompanied their ministry during the ministry of Christ. They are almost endearing in their inability to grasp what Christ is all about. However, the same inability to grasp things after the resurrection seems to carry with it all kinds…

Icons Will Save the World

Standing before the icon of Christ in the front of St. John Orthodox Church, I prepare to offer my confession at the Sacrament of Forgiveness. The Holy image of the One Who Forgives comes forth to meet me, as the father comes forth to welcome home the prodigal son in the familiar gospel passage (Luke 15:11–32). The love of Jesus pours forth from his prototype (the icon), sees the offering of my…

Friday – the Day of the Cross

From an earlier post on the Cross. In writing about our union with Christ I offered the following as the response to a question. It seemed to me, worth a posting of its own, though it be short. I have, however, added a few thoughts to it. There are many ways of which to speak of Christ’s work on the Cross, all of them, of course, seeing it as central. In some ways,…

Tuesday – the Day of the Forerunner

Tuesdays in the Orthodox week, are dedicated to St. John the Forerunner and Baptist of our Lord (to use his full title). For me he is one of the most remarkable figures in all of Holy Scripture. Referred to by Christ as the “greatest of those born of women” (yet “less than any in the Kingdom of God”), he stands as the end of one Covenant and the bridge to the beginning…

Confession and Forgiveness in Solzhenitsyn

My dear friend, Fr. Al Kimel (known to many as the Pontificator) sent me a link to this wonderful excerpt from Solzhenitsyn’s The Red Wheel, including some insightful commentary. The piece may be read in its entirety on the Blog, Word Incarnate (on WordPress). My thanks to the writer, Abbot Joseph (a Byzantine Catholic) for such excellent writing, and to Fr. Al for the head’s up.   The passage describes a young woman who was…

A Short Good Read

I explored Richard Collins’ Blogsite today and found some good writing. I commend his article on an Icon class he attended recently. He especially does a good job of setting forth some of the technical distinctions (body, soul, mind, nous, etc.) that I found helpful. A good read is always welcome to me and I recommend it to all as well.

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

Well known to almost everyone is the Christmas carol that bids: “Let every heart, prepare Him room.” It is an excellent piece of theology – drawing a comparison between the coldness and lack of hospitality found in Bethlehem so long ago and the inner landscape of our own hearts. We should prepare our hearts so that there is room for God. I had some experience with this in a different way earlier…

A Matter of Perspective

During my recent foray into iconography – I spent a week studying with a Master iconographer and a week discovering how little use my hands are in certain circumstances. But among the most fascinating aspects of the week was a lecture that focused largely on the technique of “inverse perspective” that is part of the artistic language of icons. Essentially, inverse perspective does just the opposite of traditional Renaissance art with its…

Time in a One-Storey World

It seems to me as I’ve looked over my posts on the “one-storey” world, that one thing I have not paid much attention to is time. Part of the “two-storey” construct which dominates our modern world-view, is a tendency to view time in a purely linear, historical progression. Thus for some very conservative two-storey Christians, time begins at creation, and moves along in a linear fashion. Thus the timing of Adam and…