Impressions of a priest’s funeral

On April 20 and 21, 2005, Holy Trinity Orthodox Church performed the funeral services required for a priest for Fr. John Platko. The quotes are from those services, and my thoughts are interspersed. In faith and hope and love, in meekness and purity and priestly worth, uprightly you discharged your sacred functions, O memorable one. Therefore the eternal God whom you served Shall Himself establish your spirit In a place of brightness…

Hanging out at the stone lions’ place

I’m was in Chicago for the day yesterday, and Greg-the-husband had given me a wondrous gift of time. And so I found myself at 10 am on a rainy, cold morning huddled in the doorway of what I think is the best art museum I’ve ever seen — the Art Institute in Chicago. When Greg let me out of the car, we didn’t know that it didn’t open till 10:30. Who would…

St. Mary of Egypt

The fifth Sunday of Lent in the Orthodox calendar is always set aside to commemorate St. Mary of Egypt, though her actual saint’s day is April 1, the date of her passing according to the sixth century account of her meetings with a monastic wanderer that provide our only knowledge of this truly amazing person. When I first heard her story, I was in my early 20’s and had only the merest…

St. Mary of Egypt

In the sixth century, Orthodox monasteries began to circulate the story of St. Mary of Egypt, an illiterate woman with a sinful past whose ascetic labors and gifts surpassed the strictest monastic. She had received no earthly tutoring, lived the majority of her life alone in the deserts of the Holy Land and would’ve died unknown except for her meetings with an extraordinary man named Zosimas who was permitted to see her…