Can We Do What the Saints Did?

Sunday of All Saints, June 11, 2017 Hebrews 11:33-12:2; Matthew 10:32-33, 37-8; 19:27-30 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Today we hear this from Hebrews chapter 11: All the saints through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power…

“Everyone was a saint there”: Who are we in worship?

In a conversation I was having with my wife yesterday, she was reflecting on the funeral of a dear friend we attended recently, especially how, surrounding the funeral services, the love people showed each other and the bereaved was so deep and palpable (she didn’t use that kind of language, but that’s my “translation”!). And then she said this: “It’s like everyone was a…

“God will make him a saint for you”: On Rigidity

I spent the day yesterday at St. Tikhon’s with some of my fellow clergy from the Lehigh Valley Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood, and we shared a beautiful day of brotherhood as guests of the monastery. In one of our conversations, one of the priests was relating time he had spent with a holy elder in Greece (who is still living, though not in good health),…

St. Raphael and Me: On the 100th Anniversary of His Repose

Fifteen years ago, in the month of May, I drove with two of my friends from Raleigh, North Carolina, to St. Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, for the canonization services of a new saint. I knew almost nothing about him at the time. I had been an Orthodox Christian for only two years, I was still a bit starry-eyed about the faith (and…

Can the Virgin Mary “save” us?

Today I read the comments on this YouTube video. I know, I know—YouTube comments generally are the lowest form of discourse on the Internet, and I wasn’t terribly surprised to see that someone thought that the musical line “Most Holy Mother of God, save us” was “blasphemous.” (He preferred to hear his blasphemy in Latin, apparently.) I must admit to being a bit baffled,…

Death and the Saints

Sunday of All Saints, June 15, 2014 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Death and the afterlife are topics which are often on the minds of clergy, but they were especially on my mind this past week, as we not only experienced the death of one of…