The Age of Morality (Anthropology of Antichristianity, Part 7)

My most recent article in this series advanced a rather grim argument: that modern man, having rejected the Cross and having pathologized obedience, has thereby not merely renounced his own humanity, but has even begun to make war openly upon it. The traditional Christian understanding of what it means to be human — to be formed in the image and likeness of God — is now considered by our culture to be…

Where Might I Hide My Heart?

Today we celebrate the Synaxis of the Holy and God-bearing Elders of Optina Monastery. These fourteen saints, forming an unbroken chain spanning a century, were at the heart of the last spiritual flowering of Holy Russia before the coming of the Communist yoke. Thousands upon thousands of people of every walk of life came to Holy Elders from all corners of the Russian land. These visitors would wait days – sometimes even…

The Age of Desire (Anthropology of Antichristianity, Part 6)

When the Lord was taken down from the Cross, the Cross remained on Golgotha, and then it was thrown into the pit that was in that place, where this instrument of execution was usually thrown, together with other refuse. Soon Jerusalem was razed and all of its edifices were leveled to the ground. The pit containing the Cross of Christ was also filled over. When the pagans rebuilt the city (the Jews…

On Allegations of Orthodox Fundamentalism (Part 3)

Tradition, Fundamentalism, and Modernity In my two most recent posts, I responded in depth to an article from Public Orthodoxy about fundamentalism. The first response concerned the view taken by the article toward the Holy Fathers and Holy Tradition, and the second had to do with the relationship between Orthodoxy and the modern world. There is one section of the article that I have not yet discussed, and that is its conclusion. In this case…

Seeing is Not Believing

At first glance, the Gospel passage appointed for this Sunday appears to be about two separate events during the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ: the healing of two blind men, and the casting out of a demon from a dumb man. Yet the Church in Her wisdom has joined these two events together in order to draw out a deeper meaning hidden beneath the surface of today’s Gospel reading. The…

Morality and Truth in a Secular Age

It sometimes seems that each new day brings with it another assault on traditional Christian morality from yet another front. The dust had barely begun to settle after the Supreme Court of the United States descried a hitherto undetected right to gay marriage hidden somewhere between the lines of the Constitution, when immediately the forces of radical secularism began the fight to promote and normalize the transgender ideology. To give some context…

The Unknown God

I would like to begin by telling two stories. The first is a story from the life of St. Silouan of Mt. Athos (in the story, Fr. Sophrony of Essex is the narrator and St. Silouan is the Staretz): I remember a conversation he had with a certain Archimandrite who was engaged in missionary work. This Archimandrite thought highly of the Staretz and many a time went to see him during his…

Truth, Compassion, and the Transgender Movement

The Atlantic recently published a front page article about kids with gender dysphoria. Among other things, the article tells the story of so-called “detransitioners”: people who at one time considered themselves to be transgender and decided to “transition”, but later regretted that decision and attempted to transition back. In some cases, however, the surgical and/or hormonal procedures which they had undergone proved to be tragically irreversible. The article itself is far from…

On Doubt

I was not always a Christian. For many years of my life — may God forgive me — I viewed Christianity as something primitive and simplistic, something irrational and even immoral (like so many of the children of modernity, I considered the entire concept of the Last Judgment as theologically and morally indefensible — such was the enormity of my pride). And for many years, like the young St. Augustine, I wandered…

Will Our Children Keep the Faith?

The Catastrophe of Modern Education I have already written on multiple occasions of the urgent necessity of creating Orthodox parish schools in America. Our nation’s public schools have degenerated into prison-like institutions which have outlawed all mention of Truth (the Second Person of the Trinity), which forbid any public prayer to the Lord God, which teach sexual propaganda and promote infanticide to kindergarteners, which lead students to believe that they will likely be…