Passionately Drunk

...  of writings by the fathers on prayer of the heart, has as its full title, The Philokalia of the Neptic Saints gathered from our ...  quality, precision and value. It is a successful strategy across the whole of our culture. However, those who are "drunk" with the ...  It is a conversation between drunks. And so the Church values the holy, sober fathers. These are the men and women who have ...

Being Saved – The Ontological Approach

...  words whose meanings are not immediately obvious. But, alas, I have found no substitute and will, therefore, beg my reader’s ...  into our conversations. From the earliest times in the Church, but especially beginning with St. Athanasius in the 4th century as the ...

Blood Brothers of the Incarnation

...  War) and “Cowboys and Indians.” Despite the clear bias of the movies and the slanted propaganda that passed for history, almost ...  would seal that bond in a simple ceremony. Both would cut across the palm of a hand with a knife, revealing a flow of blood. Every child ...  understood in contractual/legal terms. But the life of the Church as given us by Christ Himself has a very different ...

Why the Orthodox Honor Mary

...  (August 1) marks the beginning of the Fast of the Dormition, the annual preparation for the feast of the Falling ...  is the place and role of the Mother of God in the Church and in my life. It is, on the one hand, deeply theological and even ...  be revealed. (Luk 2:34-35) Here, Mary is linked to the Cross of Christ in the piercing of her soul. I describe these stories as ...

The Long-Range Option

...  1981, Alasdair MacIntyre published his book, After Virtue. He offered a historical ...  man of virtue. And so it is that Christ establishes the Church. Human beings do not actually live as individuals (despite all the ...  culture. Of course, the result of those first monasteries across Europe gave rise to Medieval Latin Europe. A form of virtue was better ...

The Contradictions of Scripture

...  in it, from which it follows that Truth itself encompasses the ultimate projection of all its invalidations, is antonymic and cannot ...  Scriptures. Indeed, we could say that the primitive Church proclaimed a message about the Old Testament itself that was as ...

A Simple, Great Soul

...  a variety of reasons, I have been spending a fair amount of time with A.I. Solzhenitsyn, the ...  exiled in 1974, eventually settling in Vermont. Hailed across the world as a champion of freedom, he nevertheless found that the ...  entrance into Christ (and into the fullness of the Church) rarely asks such efforts on our part. At the time of my conversion to ...

Living the Apocalypse

...  world ended last Sunday (Pascha). No. You weren’t “left behind.” But you might not ...  now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to ...  his conversation with Pontius Pilate. While hanging on the Cross he was taunted with jeers: “If you really are the Christ, the Son of ...

The Pilgrimage of Holy Week

...  apex of the year for Orthodox Christians is easily Holy Week and Pascha. I had the opportunity in 2008 to make a pilgrimage ...  even sensual. Set in the context of the worshipping Church, it carries us into the mystery that is set before us. Just as the Holy ...  were spoken: If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up the Cross and follow. If you are crucified with Him as a robber, acknowledge God as ...

The Death of Christ and the Life of Man

...  years ago, someone wrote and asked, "Why did Christ have to die on the Cross?" It is the question that prompted this article. Recently, we have been ...  Though the Scriptures use these images, the Fathers of the Church have been consistent in understanding that this language is figurative ...

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 ...

Justice, Forgiveness and Bearing a Little Shame

...  In the relentless cycle of the daily news, the report was of the discovery of a young woman who had been murdered. It seemed a ...  as Lord and Savior,” meaning that His death on the Cross has done something for them, external to their own actions and path of ...  our communion with Christ, and in the bosom of the Church, it is possible to know the safety sufficient for forgiveness and ...

It’s A Crying Shame

...  of Cheesefare. The ritual expression of forgiveness can easily and often be little more than a ritual. It reminds us of the need to ...  of Christ accepting the shame that was His death on the Cross. I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who ...  at the beginning of our Lenten journey, the Church invites us into the shame of the Cross. It can only invite, because the ...

The Act of Veneration

...  spiritual activity permeates Orthodoxy as much as veneration. For the non-Orthodox, veneration is often mistaken for ...  is far more than the acts of bowing, kissing, crossing oneself, offering incense or lighting candles. Those things become ...  hides our own face from them. At some point, the Church’s use of iconography became distorted and became the Church’s use of ...

Modern Illusions

...  grind wheat into usable flour. At some point, that method was replaced with larger grinding stones that worked on the basis of a wheel. ...  that such a description or self-understanding makes the Church just one more partner in the common secular effort to make the world ...

Unecumenism – The Saving Union

...  recent articles on the Church drew attention to the topic of union and its importance within the life ...  the Church. Orthodox theology, when rightly considered, has a “seamless” quality: everything fits and one thing enlightens another. ...  communion” (so-called) was the normative practice across all denominations with only minor exceptions. And it had been the single ...

Un-Ecumenism

...  living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by ...  if we do not see it for what it is. How we think of the Church is a crucial part of the modern project - for, in large part, it was in ...

Why the Orthodox Honor Mary

...  is the place and role of the Mother of God in the Church and in my life. It is, on the one hand, deeply theological and even ...  beyond the bounds of conversation. I am convinced, as well, that the Orthodox approach to Mary is part of the apostolic deposit, ...  be revealed. (Luk 2:34-35) Here, Mary is linked to the Cross of Christ in the piercing of her soul. I describe these stories as ...

Male and Female Created He Them – Part One

Please note that I have made some changes in this article, in listening to comments ...  Testament and preserved in the teaching of the Orthodox Church. Christ is born of a woman, the Virgin Mother of God. And this portion ...  first a union in the womb of Mary, but also a union on the Cross and a union in the Resurrection and the Ascension. There is no ...