With Apologies to my Readers

There really are no shortcuts – even in something as trivial as a blog. My last two posts have been pulled – one a small quote from Fr. Sophrony, added last night before bedtime (because you have to add something), the other written today when I was not entirely certain of what I wanted to write. But both of those are part of the stuff of life. Comments were on target and…

The Ecumenical Vision of Fr. Georges Florovsky

Fr. Georges Florovsky remains, in my mind, one of the most neglected of modern Orthodox scholars. His vision of the place of Orthodox theology in relation to the West was instrumental in the birth of the ecumenical movement – which has sadly lost that vision. The cruciform nature of his ecumenical vision exonerate him from charges of “ecumenism” in the negative sense of the word. He saw a mission for Orthodoxy within…

Cleansing the Temple in John

A rather oddly placed story – always a problem for those who need to harmonize the gospels (and many of the Fathers tended to desire this themselves) – is the story of the “cleansing of the temple” found in the second chapter. In other gospel accounts it is always part of the story of Holy Week. But here in John it follows immediately after the miracle at the wedding in Cana (another…

You Must Be Born From Above – John 3

Absolutely one of the strangest conversations to occur anywhere in the gospels takes place between Jesus and the inquiring Nicodemus in the third chapter of John. Of course, at least one of its verses (or at least its Stephanus Pagination verse number) has become nationally famous as an attendee at almost all televised American sporting events (3:16). The language of being “born again” has passed into American Evangelical popular parlance for probably…

Mystagogical Catechesis and the Gospel of John

I promise to get “off topic” from time to time – but I would like to do a bit of a “series” here in the post Pascha period – doing what has been done in the history of the Church – and look at the Gospel of John and what it means for us as believing Christians. I’m not suggesting a straightforward Bible study – but to look at a number of…

Knowing God – After Pascha

We approach things so differently in our modern world (as opposed to the ancient world). All of us have access to a great deal of information, although the information that comes to us when we are in the passive mode is less than useless (here I mean television and popular media). Thus I would paraphrase Our Lord and say, “How hard it is for a couch potato to enter the Kingdom of…

And Into the Brightness

Bright Week – such a marvelous phrase – descriptive theologically and in many other ways of the time after Pascha. If we only knew, we all live in Bright Week – despite the fasting that we take up from season to season – despite the disasters that plague our earthly sojourn – still, we are all living in Bright Week. In Bright Week, the Bridegroom has come, and the friends of the…

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…

Lament Me Not

Do not lament me, O Mother, seeing me in the tomb, for I shall arise and be eternally glorified as God. I shall exalt all who magnify you in faith and in love. From the Paschal Service I stand by the tomb with chills each Pascha, listening to the choir, and for that major chord, “For I shall arise.” The priest then lifts the “Winding Sheet” (Plachinitsa) and carries it into the…

Father, Forgive Us All

Some part of me issues a “knee-jerk” reaction to the way our culture treats Christian holydays. We did this at Christmas, and we’re doing it again. For whatever reason, mainstream media have largely decided that Christian holy days are occasions for airing the most specious programs. Whether its more of the DaVinci nonsense or a focus on the “Christian Right,” almost everything but a quiet and reverent moment of reflection or something…