The Change of the Most High

As we celebrate Christ’s Paschal victory – these thoughts are offered on the nature of our deliverance. One of the Psalms appointed for use in this season declares: “Now is the change of the Most High.” Pascha is indeed God’s change – which is why we ourselves are not the “agents of change.” As inhabitants of our modern culture, we find ourselves trapped in a world of “cause and effect.” It is…

The Mystery of Pascha

In his Revelation, St. John describes Christ as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (13:8). It is one of many interesting statements within that book of images and wonders. However, his description of Christ has much to say about the mystery of Pascha (Christ’s resurrection). First, it is clear that Pascha is more than a historical event. It is certainly includes the historical death, burial and resurrection of Christ.…

Candlewax and Hedgehogs – 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…

The Shape of Heaven

This post from 2007 continues thoughts on Holy Space and its place in our lives. I am feeling my way forward with this post – that is to say – I have some thoughts that are probably still in formation – so bear with me. That human beings have a particular relationship with icons is, to me, part of the dogma of the Church. It is not an expressed dogma – the…

The Heavenly Spaces

“The Church is the earthly heaven; in these heavenly spaces, God lives and walks about.” In these words of Patriarch Germanus, we get a glimpse of the dizzying heights of the church building’s significance. The Byzantines treated space as God’s dwelling place. Their architectural problem was to create harmony between the natural scale of the human and the transcendent scale of the infinite. Recent attempts to find forms adapted to the modern…

The Light of Beauty

Everything is beautiful in a person when he turns toward God, and everything is ugly when it is turned away from God. Fr. Pavel Florensky +++ In thinking about darkness and light – and their role in our apprehension of the truth – I cannot but think about Beauty, which is a primary place in which the light of God made manifest among us (if rightly perceived). The heart that is full…

Having Then Gifts Differing

A brother asked a hermit, “Tell me something good that I may do it and live by it.” The hermit said, “God alone knows what is good. But I have heard that one of the hermits asked the great Nesteros, who was a friend of Antony, ‘What good work shall I do?’ and he replied, ‘Surely all works please God equally? Scripture says, Abraham was hospitable and God was with him; Elijah…

What’s In The Cave

It is traditionally understood that Christ’s nativity was in a cave (not in a stable). The cave served as a stable – not unusual for the area of Bethlehem. However, the traditional icon of Christ’s nativity reveals the cave in an unmistakeable manner. The cave of Bethlehem resembles the cave of Hades into which Christ descends at His death. It also resembles the space framed by the rocks in most icons of…

Christmas Throughout the Ages

I’ll have to ask for forgiveness at the outset on this post – mostly because of its speculative nature – something I generally prefer not to engage in – at least not for others to read. The Incarnation of Christ is significant in the course of our salvation – but we all too easily look at the story from a mere moral or soteriological point of view and fail to stop and…

To See the Heavenly Country

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they…