Converting the Heathen

In the 1996 edition of National Geographic magazine (paged through in a waiting room) I found an article on my old hometown of Toronto, in which a Torontonian commented on how the great urban city had changed over the years and become more multi-ethnic. The aging Torontonian delighted in his city’s diversity, and compared it to the more monochrome Protestant Toronto he had grown up in prior to World War II: “I grew up…

Rejoinder to Dr. Ladouceur

One dubious joy of publishing anything more controversial than a cookbook is that of attracting critical responses. One such critical response came lately from Dr. Paul Ladouceur, resident of Quebec, Canada, and a distinguished teacher at the Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College, Toronto. Dr. Ladouceur’s negative critique of my 2012 book Feminism and Tradition was published in a recent number of the St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, which is perhaps a…

Understanding Pascha

In recent months I have come to the conclusion that the best place to understand the significance of Pascha is in a cancer ward, or a hospice for the dying, or by a deathbed. When one stands in any of these terrible places, one enjoys an immunity from the lies of the world. For the world tells each one of us that we are a race of immortals, destined never to die.…

The Apostasy of Judas

The hymns of Holy Week travel straight like arrows to the heart. There we learn of the harlot’s gratitude to Christ, she who formerly lived in the dark and moonless love of sin. We learn of the one who laboured long to serve the Master and increase the talents given to him and who was finally summoned to enter into the joy of his Lord. And also we learn of the apostasy…

Palm Sunday: Where are You in the Crowd?

Come away with me; let us leave our world and travel back together to the first Palm Sunday in the first century. Stepping out of our time machine, we see the bright sunshine beating down on us, the dusty road, the jostling, joyful, shouting crowds. And there, coming down the road from Bethany, with the Mount of Olives towering above on His right, Jesus of Nazareth entering the Holy City with His…

“It is Time for the Lord to Act”: the Significance of Assembling

According to the official OCA service book, the Divine Liturgy begins when the deacon “bows his head to the priest and says, ‘It is time to begin the service to the Lord. Bless, Master’”. (The words translated thus are rendered in the venerable Hapgood version as “time to sacrifice unto the Lord”) The Greek original is καιροζ του ποιησαι τω κυριω/ kairos tou poiesai to kurio. In the Septuagint of Psalm 118/…