Preaching the Gospel to the Poor

...  it seem strange that Christ describes Himself as “preaching to the poor?” His answer to St. John, of course, is ...  experiment. Suppose you gathered a crowd of the poor from across our nation, black, white, etc. They are gathered for a seminar in which ...  otherwise. The place where this is least manifest is in Church attendance. Belief in God and Church attendance are highest among the ...

From Desire to Necessity

...  You’ve seen his work, but you didn’t know it. He was one of the pioneers of modern advertising as well as modern government ...  One result was a flourishing and growing wealth across the land (except for the collapse in the Great Depression). America moved ...  reflection. This understanding undergirds all of the Church’s disciplines. We fast, we pray, we give alms, we subdue the ...

The Greatest Battle Is at Hand

...  had very little institutional existence or stability. Churches met in homes (usually those of the wealthy). They gathered around ...  When we think about these things in hindsight, we too easily project the institutionality of our own experience onto a very unstable ...

The Light of Christ and the Transfiguration

...  attention was drawn to the event of the Transfiguration during my college years. It was ...  in the Palamite Councils of the 14th century. The Church affirmed the teaching of St. Gregory Palamas that the experience of ...  (including the Transfiguration) was a movement towards the Cross and the work (“energy”) of undoing death by death. This remains a ...

Singing the Lord’s Song

...  my first parish as an Anglican priest, I approached my first Midnight Mass with eager anticipation. I was trained “High Church,” with a very traditional liturgical emphasis - but I was serving in a ...  elevate the spoken word even over the sacraments and the Cross. The practice of chanting made its continued decline towards dark ...

God Within Us

...  New Age thought postulates that everyone has a “god within.” It’s a pleasant way of saying that we’re all special ...  Christ-in-us longs to show mercy. The disciplines of the Church are not a prescription for behaving ourselves or a map of moral ...  in proportion to] the suffering found in each one. The Cross recapitulates the suffering and sin of humanity, but it extends ...

Beauty and Iconoclasm – Where We Find God

...  human being is an icon of God...so iconoclasm is a much larger matter than smashing statues and such. It also includes ...  to Greece where nearly every public wall and monument (Church and otherwise) is covered in graffiti. There is an instinct at work ...  news stories of the past weeks, an image of beauty came across my desk that was encouraging. In Atlanta, scene of many racial tensions ...

The Useless God

...  this year. During this time of various quarantine measures, when our "usefullness" seems thwarted, it seems an important ...  on the Medieval calendar marked by feast days in which Church and festival, rather than normal work, were the order of the day. Fifty ...  stops. The work ethic has become a cultural ethic (all across the world). We take vacations, quite often, so that we can return as ...

Good Friday and Unbelief

  Christmas and Easter are often difficult days for those who do not believe in God. Christians ...  God rather than first about Christ and His death on the Cross and resurrection from the dead. It is a mistake because it presumes we ...  battles that are hidden from our knowledge. When the Church proclaims, “Christ is risen, trampling down death by death and upon ...

Let’s Get Out of This Place

...  Saturday before Palm Sunday is known as Lazarus Saturday among the Orthodox, and they celebrate Christ raising ...  occurred to Hades itself, at least in the hymnody of the Church:  I implore you, Lazarus, said Hell, Rise up, depart quickly from ...  notion of the “Harrowing of Hell.” The object of the Cross is not the wrath of God, but the death and confinement of man. It is the ...

Look Who’s Talking

...  it drowns everything else out. One simple question we can ask: “Who’s doing the talking?” This voice is not the product of ...  in hell from many of the greatest spiritual fathers in the Church. I have become all too accustomed to hearing extreme statements of ...

And God said: יְהִי אוֹר

...  did so by speaking them into existence, such that there was an exact correspondence between the word spoken and the thing created. On ...  problems in the nature of language itself. Language, across time, has been more and more abstracted from the objects of the world. ...  around us. In the writings and hymnography of the Church, we are often described as "rational sheep" (λογικά ...

The Good That Lies Within

...  line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties ...  or the last-minute salvation of the thief on the Cross, the faith celebrates the extreme mercy found in such stories. C.S. ...  This is the ground on which all of the doctrines of the Church were founded. The language of the Trinity, of Christology, of sacrament ...

Who’s Minding the Kids?

...  was sitting in a Sunday School class, and was probably around eight or nine ...  They readily greet the icons, light candles, and cross themselves. I’m frequently presented with pictures (of me!) drawn by ...  of virtue is the work of a whole community (the Church). It is good to be with people who also want to become the same kind of ...

Ninety Percent of Orthodoxy Is Just Showing Up

...  back, I was asked about “being present.” The question was rooted in the problem of a ...  always where our bodies are. This is the reason that the Church gives such attention to what we do with our bodies. St. Paul goes so far ...  with the body (with bows, prostrations and the sign of the Cross); we fast with the body; all of the sacraments are received through the ...

Let’s Get Out Of This Place

...  Saturday before Palm Sunday is known as Lazarus Saturday among the Orthodox, and they celebrate Christ raising ...  occurred to Hades itself, at least in the hymnody of the Church:  I implore you, Lazarus, said Hell, Rise up, depart quickly from ...  notion of the “Harrowing of Hell.” The object of the Cross is not the wrath of God, but the death and confinement of man. It is the ...

As Lent Moves On – The Greatest Fast Awaits

As Great Lent has passed its mid-point, attention begins to move towards Holy Week ...  would be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his Cross and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24) There is no “life of Christ” that ...  it means to live in the image and likeness of God. The Church’s movement through Great Lent to Pascha is a small, intentional ...

The Ladder of Divine Ascent and Moral Improvement

...  Fourth Sunday of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church, is dedicated to St. John Climacus, the author of the ancient work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. It is a classic work describing “steps” within the life of the ...  describe a path of moral improvement. His path follows the Cross, which is the descent into Hades. My failure, not sought for its own sake ...

A Modern Lent

...  things are as difficult in the modern world as fasting. It is not simply the action of ...  eat in order to know God or to rightly keep a feast of the Church - this is foreign. Our first question is often, “How does that ...  it is characterized by self-emptying and the way of the Cross. When a modern Christian confronts the season of Lent - the question ...

Forgiveness and the Whole Adam

...  and those yet to come. For Silouan and Sophrony, this was something known in the present tense, a “hypostatic” knowledge of the ...  thought to all of these things. Is it any wonder that the Church teaches us to cry out, “Lord, have mercy!” over and over again? I ...

Theophany – Showing the World to be the World

...  was standing beside the Jordan River, somewhere along its trek through Israel. I ...  to hymn Thy wonders! The Metropolitan's voice boomed out across the valley in its Oxford-accented tones, sounding like the voice of God. ...  while everything around them remains the same. We go to Church, the miracle happens, but remains confined to the altar or the font, ...

Orthodoxy Represents Our Original Incompetency

...  is one thing to be said about Church-shopping: you can always find a better one... I often see examples of what I would describe as “comparative denominationalism.” It is the comparison of one Church to ...  going to like it, there’s some sort of train wreck across the world and it falls apart again. The greatest victim in the course ...