Reading Spiritual Texts: Knowing That You Don’t Know

ā€œWhat brings sweetness is harder to perceive than that which brings bitternessā€ Abbess Arsenia I am reading a collection of letters by Abbess Arsenia, a nineteenth century Russian nun who acted as a spiritual mentor for Peter Brianchaninov, brother of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov.Ā  St. Ignatius Brianchaninov is perhaps most famous today for his book, The Arena, in which he lays out some very practical and insightful advice for monks and anyone zealousā€¦

For fear of the Jews

One of the phrases that repeatedly appears in the biblical and liturgical texts surrounding the death and resurrection of our Lord is “for fear of the Jews.” This is a very misleading, though accurate, translation of the text. It is accurate because, well, that is what the text says. It is misleading–and, I might add, has been used to justify terribly inhuman behavior to Jews throughout Christian history–because it gives the impressionā€¦