With God’s Help

A brother became tired of his community and the behavior of others often annoyed him. He decided, “I will go off somewhere by myself. Then I will neither talk nor listen and shall be at peace. This anger I feel will depart.” He went out into the desert and made his home in a cave. One day he placed a water jug he had filled on the ground. It rolled over, spilling…

Grief Observed

As regular readers of this blog will know, I buried my mother last week. Her passing was a very godly event. I have no particular thoughts on my grief (that I care to share) – only the abiding comfort of the prayers of the Church and gratitude for the prayers of friends. I wrote the following article on grief in February of 2007 and found it of interest. Surely, He has borne…

Prayer – It’s Something Personal

I have long been intrigued with the notion of our common responsibility, or rather, that I am “responsible for the sins of the whole world.” I think I first came across the notion in a quote from the Elder Zossima in The Brothers Karamazov. And even there, Dostoevsky was only putting on the lips of his fictional Elder the sentiments of the saints and the common teaching of the Church. At one time…

Revisiting the Great Crisis

As a companion to the recent post on the Death of Christ – the Life of Man – I offer this reprint of a short article on “the Great Crisis.” The Great Crisis, if I can coin a term, is the threat of non-existence, or relative non-existence. Classical Orthodoxy, following St. Athanasius, does not see humanity threatened with pure non-existence, but with a dynamic movement towards a “relative” non-existence, which some have…

In Him We Live And Move and Have Our Being

St. John of the Ladder wrote: Every free creature lives in God. God is everyone’s salvation. God loves believers and unbelievers, the just and the unjust, the pious and the impious, those free of passions and those subject to passions, monks and those living worldly lives, the educated and the illiterate, the healthy and the sick, the young and the old. God is like an outpouring of light, a glimpse of the…

The Chief of Sinners

A version of this post appeared last January. In light of the recent posts on prayer and communion it seemed timely to rerun this post. Though not on prayer, it carries some of the same thoughts to the commonality of our life as Christians and of our life as human beings. I believe that we will make little progress as Christians nor as human beings (as measured in the Kingdom of God)…