Teaching Theophany

This post appeared previously as a Raising Saints podcast episode. Whether we celebrate on the Old Calendar or on the New, in our beautiful Orthodox tradition, we follow our 40 day fast with a feast that lasts not just one day, but several days.  We prepare ourselves with the fast, pulling ourselves away from the comforts of rich foods, and showing some self-discipline, so that we can focus not on making ourselves comfortable…

Christ is born!

This time of year, we celebrate the Nativity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is breathtaking to think that the Word of God, immortal and all-powerful and invulnerable, would take on human flesh, humbling Himself to be born into His own creation. He loved us enough to become one of us — vulnerable like us. Subject to heat and cold, to pain and suffering, so that He could reveal Himself to us,…

Merry Christmas!

I’ve been thinking about what it means to be Orthodox in America this December and it’s kind of making me chuckle. Forgive me, but we’re a little bipolar. Not in the medical sense, but insofar as we are vacillating between two states of mind, two cultures — you might say we are caught between Nativity and Christmas! I wouldn’t wish you a blessed Nativity today, I won’t call out, ‘Christ is born!’…

Giving in Secret

This post originally appeared as a podcast episode in 2012.   From Christ’s own parables to the teachings of the desert fathers, some of the very best lessons we learn in Orthodoxy are the simplest ones. When I think of St. Nicholas — whose feast day is coming up shortly — it seems to me that his story offers a beautiful and simple truth that our kids should spend some time considering.…

Gratitude

This originally appeared as a podcast episode on November of 2012. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This is such a beautiful holiday — all the more so because it’s so rare for just about everyone in the United States to stop moving, gather together with family and loved ones, and express gratitude to our Creator. In recent decades, our nation has begun to struggle against sharing religious experiences; freedom of religion is being reshaped into…

Orthodox Children’s Book wins National Award!

Orthodoxy may be the second largest Christian Church in the world, but in America, we are largely unknown — so when an Orthodox children’s book is a finalist in a national book award, we should all celebrate! Glory be to God! If you are not already reading Charlotte Riggle’s Catherine’s Pascha to your children at bedtime, you may want to take a moment to get to know this rich and beautiful book, which…