On What Is Only Mine To Give

Mother Alexandra, formally Princess Ileana of Romania, back in 1960 wrote a little booklet called “Our Father: Meditations on The Lord’s Prayer.”  The booklet is divided into fourteen prayers each focusing on a phrase from the Lord’s Prayer and arranged to be prayed with one’s morning and evening prayers over a week (so there’s a morning and an evening prayer for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.).  In the very last prayer, the prayer…

Some Thoughts on Fear

For a while, when I was in my 30s, I was into rock climbing.  I never scaled any really large faces, although I did do a few three pitch climbs (a pitch is a little less than the length of a rope—50 metres). There are several levels of fear and even kinds of fear that one must encounter and work through as one climbs. There are irrational fears, like the fear of…

Shedding the Fear of God’s Wrath

Sister Vassa in her post on the Sunday of the Last Judgement says that the fear of God, when it is healthy, is manifest in us by the fear of disregarding our own conscience; for, as St. Isaac the Syrian says, our conscience is the voice of God within us. Many people struggle, however, with a different understanding of the fear of God. For them, fear of God refers to a fear…

Love and Fear and Love

“For even true and genuine sons, ten parts of love should be mixed with five parts of fear.”   St. Isaac the Syrian The world is an unequal place. Some are born, as they say, with a silver spoon in their mouths; some are born into a world of need and instability. Some are born slaves, St. Isaac says, and some are born free; some are born into circumstances conducive to the…

Hebrews 10:24

“And let us consider one another to stir up love and good works.” (NKJV) “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (NIV). For many years—most of my adult life really—I read the NIV translation of the Bible. This verse in Hebrews played an important role in how I understood relationships among Christians were supposed to work. That is, I thought we were supposed…