Byzantine “O Come All Ye Faithful” — the 2015 update

Isn’t the internet a remarkable place? I originally posted my little fusion between Byzantine chant and a Christmas carol in 2010, but somehow, enough people have been making their way back to that ditty that I have gotten requests for written music and/or an mp3 file. I still don’t have the written music for it — sorry about that! — but if you click THIS LINK, you should be able to download an mp3 file. …

St. Porphyrios: Have Christ’s joy

On this, the name day of the recently canonized St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalivite, I have to share a little of my favorite thoughts of his. A goddaughter bought me a copy of Wounded by Love a few years ago, and reading it was like getting a prescription for a persistent ailment. For those who haven’t read it, the first portion of this book is an autobiographical account of how this amazing man grew up,…

Introducing Queen Abigail!

Fun announcement about something I’ve been cooking up for 18 months or so. I’ve written a book for young Orthodox readers (probably about the 9-12 age range), and I’m launching it today. Queen Abigail the Wise — ta da! It’s my own little answer to the problem that the Orthodox book offerings seem to peter out at the age when kids are picking up Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. That seemed a shame to…

Optimism, pessimism and the ‘little book’

The news right now has been absolutely awful. There isn’t anything that people can really do, and so we reach for social media campaigns and slogans to feel like we’re doing something. In the face of the mass killings in Beirut, in Paris, in Kenya, there isn’t much point in talking … and so we talk more than ever. And what do we say? We want to share upbeat messages, think about peace, reach…

Church fathers on the ‘right use’ of secular culture

In my on-going quest for Orthodox perspectives on culture, I ran across the following excerpt from St. Basil the Great’s “Advice to Young Men on the Right Use of Greek Literature.” This is an Orthodox perspective on the non-Christian “culture” of the time. “For just as bees know how to extract honey from flowers, which to men are agreeable only for their fragrance and color, even so here also those who look…

9-11 and St. Euphrosynos

September 11th has turned out to be one of those dates you don’t forget — it’s telling that the name given for the attacks by Al Qaeda is just summed up by the date: 9-11. No real surprise, then, that a certain saint’s day gets barely noticed. He’s not a particularly well-known saint — we don’t know that much about his life and we have no idea how or where he died.…