The Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Today’s saintly commemoration is the conception of John the Forerunner, known to most English speakers as John the Baptist, which is narrated for us, along with his birth, in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. A major thematic element for today is the Voice. Zachariah, not believing the archangel, is made bereft of his voice until such time as he participates in the naming…

Who is God (Part 5 of 8): God is Our Priest

Sunday of the Adoration of the Holy Cross, April 3, 2016 Hebrews 4:14-5:6; Mark 8:34-9:1 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Today is our fifth meditation in our eight-part series asking the question, “Who is God?” Today is also the third Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday…

Is It Wrong to Want to be a Priest?

Every so often I encounter the idea that anyone who wants to be ordained a priest—or, especially, a bishop—never should be. Such a man is probably a control freak, vain, naive, etc. People like that should never be allowed anywhere near the priesthood. St. John Chrysostom’s famous flight from ordination may well be referenced with nods of knowing approval. And certainly, a young woman…

The Priesthood Is… (Anonymous Comments from Orthodox Priests)

I recently had the idea to ask Orthodox Christian priests to give me a short sentence or two about the priesthood—something honest and anonymous. I was delighted at the responses I got, from experienced priests, from those ordained only a short time, and from those somewhere in between. Some were heartening. Some were painful. Some were paradoxical. And some were a bit humorous. Some…

Lenten Evangelism #7: The High Priest on the Cross

Sunday of the Adoration of the Holy Cross, March 15, 2015 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. The cross which we adore today, the third Sunday of Lent, is most often discussed in the Orthodox tradition in terms of the conquest of death by Jesus Christ. It…

St. Gregory the Great: The Sincere and the Insincere

Today is the feast of St. Gregory the Great (called in the East “Gregory the Dialogist”), pope of Rome. He is mostly known in the Orthodox Church for his association with the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (with which, it is my understanding, he probably didn’t have any real connection). One of his most beautiful gifts to posterity is his work Pastoral Care…

Fr. Matthew Baker: Priesthood and Sacrifice (Homily for Sunday of the Holy Cross)

I committed to blogging every day for 40 days this Lent, but I have to admit that I don’t feel like writing about almost anything right now except trying somehow to keep my friend Fr. Matthew in my immediate memory, as if that somehow holds off the reality of his shocking departure from this earthly life. (For more on Fr. Matthew and also for…

On the Altar of the Cross

Sunday of the Adoration of the Holy Cross, 2012 In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. In today’s reading from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, we read his further elaboration of the dominant theme of the work, namely, the priesthood of Christ. The book, being written to the Hebrew people, that is,…