A Morning Prayer to the Holy Trinity

by St. John Chrysostom Glory to You, our God, glory to You. Glory to You, O Lord our God, Who always overlooks our sins. Glory to you. O Lord our God, who enabled me to see this day. Glory to You, O most-holy Trinity, our God. I venerate Your ineffable goodness. I praise Your inexplorable forbearance. I thank and glorify Your infinite mercy. For although I deserve every punishment and chastisement, You…

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…

Our Capacity for Love

Our first child was born over 26 years ago. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the event – staggered at the seriousness of what had happened in my life. Evey aspect of her coming into our life was new – and I felt completely unprepared. On her first night home from the hospital, I slept on the floor next to the crib fearing that I would not hear her if she woke…

Some Ground Rules for Blogging Here

Glory to God for All Things, has been up for a little over a week. We’ve been blessed with very good readership (around 8,000 views). I am moved and grateful. I took the liberty of removing a couple of comments today, including one of mine, and am taking this opportunity to state what I will maintain as some groundrules for this site. First, this is my site, not the public’s, so that…

The Gift of Hospitality

This delightful gem from the Desert Fathers comes from Benedicta Ward’s The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers (157) There was a saint in Egypt who dwelt in a desert place. Far away from him there was a Manichean who was a priest (at least what they call a priest). Once, when this man was going to visit one of his confederates, night overtook him in the place where the orthodox saint was…

Believing in God

There was a time in my life that I thought belief in God was easy, and that those who did not believe in God were just obstinate or wrong-headed. As years have gone on, I’ve come to think that belief in God is a very hard thing – perhaps the hardest thing of all. Much of my change of mind has to do with my understanding of belief in God. The more…

The Pillar and Ground of Truth

Writing to the young Timothy (first letter) St. Paul gives this homey admonition: These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. Paul does not then go on to give us several chapters’ explanation…

Words from St. Isaac of Syria

St. Isaac stretches love and mercy to it’s farthest limits, occasionally beyond the bounds of canonical understanding. He remains a saint of the Church and his words are very important to hear. Let yourself be persecuted, but do not persecute others. Be crucified, but do not crucify others. Se slandered, but do not slander others. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep: such is the sign of purity.…

The Icon We Love the Most

Years ago when I was studying in an Anglican seminary (mid-70’s), I had the beginnings of my interest in icons. I owned a couple, and read what little was available on the topic in English at that time (believe it or not there was a time when not many books were available in English on the topic of Orthodox Christianity). One day, in prayer, I had an overwhelming urge to paint an…

Without Expecting in Return

Our culture is famously ordered along commercial lines. We work, we earn, we spend, we spend until the card maxes out. Though there need not necessarily be any conflict between a free economy and the practice of the faith, many find Mammon to be a formidable foe. On November 1, the Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, the “unmercenary physicians.” The short life given in the OCA’s official…