The Grace of Just Showing Up

There has been a tendency in much teaching about the notion of salvation by grace to ground the image in a legal or forensic metaphor. Thus, we are saved by grace in the sense that someone else’s goodwill and kindness (God’s) has now freed us from the consequences of our actions. Thus we speak of grace as the “free gift” of God. There is no denying that grace is a free gift…

Whose Feast Is It?

Some years back I had opportunity to celebrate the feast of Our Lord’s Presentation in the Temple with His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas (retired). Afterwards, several of us were sitting around and Vladyka asked, “Whose feast are we celebrating? Is this a “feast of the Lord” or a “feast of the Theotokos?” This is a relatively technical question within Orthodox liturgics. None of us present were liturgical scholars and thus he…

Formed in the Tradition

Thinking of raising Christian children (in the light of St. Silouan’s family experience), I offer these few thoughts. The Nativity season offers many opportunities for families to be guided by Holy Tradition – just as we are also swamped by the distorting demands of commercial culture. May God guard our children and keep us all by His grace. +++ Sometime back, I watched a group of linguistic-psychologists (of varying sorts) in a…

Another Story of St. Silouan and his Father

This is another wonderful story told by St. Silouan of Mt. Athos about his peasant father.  His father was clearly a man of great faith. St. Silouan thought his father to be wiser than many so-called spiritual fathers. The following story is an interesting account of how a father dealt with anger in correcting his son. This excerpt is from the Elder Sophrony’s St. Silouan the Athonite. Young, strong, handsome, and by this…

Raising a Saint

Most of us would be satisfied to raise children who remain faithful believers. It is not always an easy thing and every parent who has such a child should rejoice constantly. There is no method to raise a child to be a saint, for God alone gives the grace that results in the mystery of such wonderful lives. However that may be, I am often struck in reading the writings of St.…

What Do You Say When You Turn Out the Light?

From my childhood, I have had a habit of prayer at bedtime – whether formal or informal. There were nights as a child that I prayed with great fervency in fear of what was taking place around me. There were times as a teenager that I prayed with no confidence that anyone was listening. As an adult and parent, some of my most fervent prayers at such times of day have been…

Raising a Saint – St. Silouan on his Father

Most of us would be satisfied to raise children who remain faithful believers. It is not always an easy thing and every parent who has such a child should rejoice constantly. There is no method to raise a child to be a saint, for God alone gives the grace that results in the mystery of such wonderful lives. However that may be, I am often struck in reading the writings of St.…