How My Mother’s Life Interprets Mine

The following is an excerpt from a longer talk, titled “We’re All Absalom: Emerging Into Adulthood Alongside Our Parents,” which can be heard on Ancient Faith Radio. I delivered the talk at the 2017 Antiochian Archdiocese Convention for the Young Adult Ministry. The photo above is of my mother on her wedding day in 1972. Her name was Sandy, and my mother was always…

From Darkness, Light

At this time of year, we Christians begin thinking about the shining of the Light in the darkness. The Lord Jesus will soon be born in our festal calendar, and He is lauded in our hymns as the Sun of Righteousness, the Orient from on high Whose coming at this moment begins to enlighten the nations. And this lines up poetically quite beautifully with…

The Struggle of True and Pure Citizenship

With the national election now (mostly) in the rearview mirror but yet not so distant, we are again in a time of reflection on national service and what it means to be a citizen, most especially on our duties to our fellow citizens. Unfortunately, most of the reflection is of a rather cynical and externalized sort, trying to figure out why this candidate won…

Shouldn’t This Thing Just Work? An Intentional Christianity

I get frustrated at machines sometimes, especially computerized machines. They do the most inexplicable things at times. When I was a stagehand, we called this IWF (Intermittent Weird Failure). IWF when I was a stagehand was eminently addressable—in most cases, we just switched out the offending part and went on with our lives. But I don’t always have that option out in the world…

No One Ever Gets the Problems He Can Handle

Another bit of wisdom today from Edwin Friedman’s A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix: Where parents are willing to take responsibility for their own unworked-out relationships either with their own parents or with one another, children rarely develop serious symptoms. Symptoms in a child are most likely to develop in the areas of the parent’s own traumatization where…

A Shakespearean Thanksgiving

Since most Americans are relaxing at home today, I thought I would shift gears a bit and share a little humor with you. For several years now, I’ve been collecting quotes from the works of William Shakespeare that amuse me to misconstrue as being applicable to Thanksgiving. Here’s the full collection: Shakespeare’s militant vegetarian complaining about the other guests eating turkey for Thanksgiving: “Why…

This Good News is Who I Am

Comments upon Elevation to the Rank of Archpriest, October 2, 2016 The Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick Your Grace, Bishop Thomas, Very Reverend Fathers, Family, Friends, beloved Christians, When I graduated from St. Tikhon’s Seminary now almost ten years ago, our commencement speaker was Metropolitan Philip, now of blessed memory. Some of you here now were present for that speech. In his address,…

You MAKE Me So Angry: How Do I Acquire the Spirit of Peace?

Why is it that some people so easily make us mad? It seems that even some person we don’t know on the Internet can drive us crazy, stir up anger, inspire our scorn and derision, etc. Or some people can send us spiraling into anxiety, despair or depression. When this person or that does (or doesn’t do) that one thing, well, I just get……