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…

What is Spiritual Discipline Actually For?

Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh is one of my favorite modern writers because, even though I have not really even begun to read all of his that is available in English, whenever I read something by him, I immediately feel a sense of hope in Jesus Christ. His transparency and peace are immediately accessible in all his writing. And since there is still so…

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…

Fix Your Spiritual Life with This One Weird Trick

I wanted to pass on one piece of wisdom that was given to me by more than one spiritual mentor: Go to bed on time. I know that may seem small and obvious, but I continually talk to people (and am a person!) who don’t get enough sleep. In some cases, there’s little that can be done about it—children, work, insomnia, etc. But in…

Salvation Costs Nothing. And Everything.

Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost / Thirteenth Sunday of Luke, November 27, 2016 Ephesians 2:4-10; Luke 16:19-31 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Many people who are introduced to the Orthodox Church for the first time, especially if they come from a Protestant background, may be rubbed…

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…

The Key to Growth is Not More Data

Just a few quick thoughts for today from Edwin Friedman, whose works I’ve been getting to know over the past few years—all three from his work A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix: Even the United States Government Printing Office has pamphlets about “A Teenager in Your House” which, like “Termites in Your Basement,” is designed to teach parents…

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…