Have You Lost Your Soul?

...  was the last time you heard someone express concern for their soul? When was the ...  a psychologized world-view. And even popular evangelical Churches presume that a born-again life will be a happier life. Jesus has ...  those who would follow Him that they must “take up their cross.” This is not a description of the road to self-fulfillment - it is the ...

The Right Choice

...  the freedom we have in our choices and points to this as a hallmark of its greatness. Contemporary Christianity echoes the same theme ...  in writings that have become the teaching of the Church following the 5th Ecumenical Council, held that there is such a thing as ...

A Cosmic Salvation

...  conversation about Church often turns on history and doctrine. Each ecclesiological claim is ...  up or torn down. In the middle of the fray, it is very easy to lose sight of what is being discussed. Church is reduced to its most ...  in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (Col 1:19-20) This is a vision of the Church as a cosmic unity. That ...

The Cruciform Human

...  my March lecture in San Francisco, I made an assertion that is worth isolating for an article. That assertion is that we are ...  (Eucharist and Baptism), being the birth of His bride, the Church. It is deeply part of the imagery of Christ as the Bridegroom, and the ...

Good Friday and the Irony of Believing

...  is probably too much to ask of youth. If I can remember myself in my college years, the most I could ...  is ever present even within our own heart. The failures of Church and those who are most closely associated with it can easily crush the ...  far too much to say about it. But it is the irony of the Cross: Love enduring all things. If you know the Cross and the Love that there ...

The Mystical Reality of Holy Week

As we journey through Holy Week... For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is ...  humankind with manna. Today the Jews nailed to the Cross the Lord who parted the sea with a staff and led them through the desert. ...  Jordan receives a blow on the face. The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails. The Son of the Virgin is pierced by a lance. ...

Get Out of Hell Free

...  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 ...

A Lesser Atonement

...  has long been known that people tend to see what they think they are seeing. ...  of the “curse.” We in no way avoid the shame of the Cross. Everything Christ says in His teaching to us points us towards union ...  in union with Christ. Everything from the doctrine of the Church (the Body of Christ), the imagery of marriage and the Kingdom (our union ...

Superstition and the Material God

...  gather at the end of Church for a “travel blessing.” A priest chants a prayer and sprinkles water over them with a brush. They cross themselves and have some sense that their travels will now be ...  people watching this procedure would describe the process as “superstitious.” It appears to them that physical actions (sprinkling ...

Forgiving What We Do Not Know

...  first service of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church is "Forgiveness Vespers," served on the eve of Monday of the First Week. ...  appended to it. In this, the priest and the faithful ask forgiveness of one another. Often this is done with mutual prostrations. ...  generous words spoken by Christ are those we hear from the Cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” ...

Sex and the Moral Imagination

As the day draws near for the US Supreme Court to insist on nationwide approval for ...  where the will to act becomes the right to act. For the Church, the most immediate question is not how to regain a culture that it has ...  minimized. Classical Christianity understands that the Cross is the way of life and that its paradox turns the tragic inside-out. For ...

Boundaries, Borders and the True God

...  ago, as a young seminarian, I wanted to paint icons. I knew nothing about icons, ...  a fence, that separates me from the Other. Love does not cross the boundary nor seek to blur it. Love requires a limitation on the self ...  like each other. The modern cultus of seeker-friendly Church is the logical end of a market-oriented life. But it can never heal the ...

St. Mary of Egypt and Moral Progress

...  suggestion has been made several times recently that my criticism of moral progress is not ...  greatest story of repentance and asceticism known in the Church, is that of St. Mary of Egypt. It is worth looking carefully at her life ...  Church of the Resurrection in order to venerate the Holy Cross. The holy day of the Exaltation of the Cross dawned while I was ...

The Last Christmas – Ever

...  Christmas was the last Christmas - ever. Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the ...  and all those things which have come to pass for us: the Cross, the Tomb, the Resurrection on the third day, the Ascension into heaven, ...  with wars and political figures, the persecution of the Church and such. It places last things in the last place, thereby conforming to ...

Does It Matter How I Feel?

...  of our modern culture. For it is certainly the case that much attention is given to “things” – whether making them, ...  material world itself – chemicals and electrons firing across the synapses of the brain yielding the illusion of a soul. Classical ...  praise and thanksgiving to God. In the tradition of the Church, it also offers a measure of self-denial. Learning to recognize ...

Bones, Bodies and Belief

...  the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and ...  turn our attention to the place of relics in the Orthodox Church. From earliest times, the bodies of the saints have been recognized as a ...

The Bible and the Spirit of Democracy

...  first introduction to ancient writings was in my Classical Greek classes my freshman year of college. Most of those ...  original Reformers intended such a radical revision of the Church, but its internal logic was irrepressible. And it spread from the Church ...  ordination to the Orthodox priesthood, I was being driven across town by a group of priests. I was full of thoughts and questions, ...

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 ...

Suffering and a Good Death

...  period were far more likely to develop Alzheimers. I was on the medication for 12 years (and I have ADD). Such statistics are far ...  figure). What’s wrong with such a hope? The Orthodox Church is no stranger to hopes concerning death. At virtually every service we ...

Memory Eternal

...  greatest danger in the modern world is the attack on man as the image of God. That God became man in order to unite man to God is the ...  of Dallas - 1924-2011 I was received into the Orthodox Church under the omophor of Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas in 1998. I am but one ...

The Mystery of Holy Week

As we journey through the Great and Holy Week... For if the dead do not rise, ...  humankind with manna. Today the Jews nailed to the Cross the Lord who parted the sea with a staff and led them through the desert. ...  Jordan receives a blow on the face. The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails. The Son of the Virgin is pierced by a lance. ...

Finding the God Within

...  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 ...