Orthodox in the Southern World

I tend to think of myself as doing Orthodox mission work in the world of Appalachia. Geographically that is true, though much of the work I do with people are with folks who comes from somewhere other than the Appalachian region. My own roots are fairly shallow in Appalachia, though they are on the at least the fringes. There is also the Southern aspect to mission. A culture that is steeped in…

Again, Many Thanks

Again, I offer many thanks to the readers of “Glory to God for all Things.” We continue to average nearly 1,000 views per day, and the quality of comment is an inspiration to me. Part of the software available to those who manage blogs gives them much information about what is going on “behind the scenes.” This blog is hosted by WordPress which is home to over 600,000 blogsites. Rarely does a…

Mission to the Modern World

C.S. Lewis spoke of “men without chests” in his famous little book, The Abolition of Man. Without going into all he meant by that, I will suffice it to say that he saw many modern men who no longer felt about themselves and their world as men had generally felt through the ages. And here I should note, that would certainly be true for women as well. One of the great missions…

Orthodox Mission

Today I have had the pleasure of being in Jacksonville, Fl, for the Diocese of the South’s annual clergy retreat. Our speaker is Fr. Michael Oleska who teaches in Alaska, and is probably the foremost authority of the history of Orthodox missions to America, as well as Orthodox missions in general. Our lecture this afternoon was excellent, particularly connecting the fairly well-known work of early missions in Alaska, with the larger history…

St. Silouan as a Teacher

This is a small excerpt from St. Silouan the Athonite by Archimandrite Sophrony. Throughout my time with Blessed Staretz Silouan I never for an instant doubted that his words were the ‘words of life eternal’ received from on high, and that it was not some sophistry that had taught him the truth which his whole life bore witness to. A great many people talk lightly about love of Christ but their actions…

Apostolic Succession

For the first three days of this week (Mon-Wed) I will be in Jacksonville, FL, along with my brother clergy from the diocese to meet with our hierarch, Archbishop Dmitri. It is always a joy to be with the Bishop. For years as an Anglican, I almost always dreaded such occasions. I rarely got along with other clergy, and I found myself either ill-treated by bishops or simply the butt of jokes.…

We Are Not Able To Do That

From the Wisdom of the Desert Fathers It was said that some philosophers came one day to test the monks. Now one of the monks passed by clothed in beautiful garments, and the philosophers said to him, ‘Come here’, but he, in anger, scorned them. Another monk, a Libyan, passed by, and they said to him, ‘You old scoundrel of a monk, come here’, and they compelled him to come. They gave…

Silence is Enough

From the Wisdom of the Desert Fathers A brother asked an old man, ‘If a brother tells me irrelevant things, do you advise me, abba, to ask him not to do so?’ The old man said he did not. Then the brother asked why, and the old man said, ‘Because we are not able to do this ourselves [refrain from speaking irrelevant things], and for fear lest having asked our neighbor not…

An Orthodox Witness on NPR – Be Kind to Children

I have no idea what you may personally think about spanking children. I was vehemently opposed to it when I was a child, but no one asked my opinion. All of my children are now too large to spank. Indeed, my son is larger than I am and could certainly take me out if the need arose. I am very polite to him. The story I’ve linked to here is from a…

Candlewax and Hedgehogs – Origins of Groundhog Day

This article, from an earlier parish newsletter is posted here by request. Candlewax and Hedgehogs—a peculiar way to entitle an article, I’ll admit. But both have their associations with the second day of February. The first is more important so we’ll begin there. The second day of February is one of the 12 great feasts, and is also celebrated by Christians in the West. The feast is the Presentation of Christ in the…