Despondency, Beauty, and Activism

Last week, my husband forwarded a video to me called Ακτιβισμός και ακηδία. My Greek is just good enough to understand the title–Activism and Acedia–but not good enough to understand much of the speaker’s point, and we have yet to sit down and watch it together. Nonetheless, it got me thinking about the intersection between this pernicious spiritual…

Meeting Vulnerability in the Presentation of Our Lord

February 2, the Presentation of our Lord, the marks the next of the twelve major feast days on the Church calendar. It’s a time we commemorate the Jewish ceremony of the redemption of the firstborn as well as the ceremonial purification of the Theotokos after childbirth. In Greek, the feast sometimes referred to as the Meeting. In that…

Announcing my book: Time and Despondency!

So, this came in the mail last week. I guess that means it’s official… I’m writing a book! Actually, to be more specific, I’ve been writing a book–my deadline is now only a month and a half away. (Because all good things take TIME–including the logistics of hammering out book contracts–I haven’t been able to let the cat out…

Adventures in Holy Water: What a leaky font taught me about sacramental reality

Note: This essay was originally written in January 2015, after a particularly memorable Eve of Theophany.  For Orthodox families like ours, today is Theophany: the commemoration of Christ’s baptism. Liturgically, it marks the end of Christmas, and the beginning of something new—a turn from Christ’s infancy and towards His life on earth. And so, we’ll take down the lights,…

The love of God and the calendar of shame

Happy (belated) New Year from Time Eternal! There are few times of the year that carry more collective hope and shame than the beginning of January. On the one hand, hope. That magnitude of stepping into a fresh, brand-new year summons within us a surge of new hopes and expectations. Like clockwork, we find ourselves inspired to be(come)…

Why we might want to stop blaming 2016

I don’t know when it started, maybe all the way back last January when Alan Rickman and David Bowie died. Personally, it didn’t hit my news feeds until sometime this summer, when the election cycle was spinning off into utter absurdity (not that it had been particularly sanity-inducing before that). Whatever the case, at some point it became…

Christmas Eve with Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Well, Saturday is upon us and this evening, we will embark on the Great and Holy Feast of the Nativity of Christ. Call me crazy, but there’s always a bit of grief when you know a fast is ending. Believe me I’m looking forward to Christmas and all that entails (cough Bacon cough). But the fasts are always such a…

The Holy Friday of Christmas? What we remember when Christmas falls on a Sunday

Christmas being on a Sunday this year is kind of messing with my sense of time–I keep thinking it’s holy week. On this last day of the work week (perhaps last working day of 2016), time feels quiet, still and contemplative, like things are winding down. Like we are in the sad but peaceful eye of a storm…

Waiting for Christmas Bread: Orthodox-ifying an Old German Custom

Yesterday, we were talking about perfectionism and Christmas. At the end of the post, I mentioned something I was doing to help curb the all-or-nothing attitude of perfectionism during the holidays. Something to help prepare my heart for the Feast of the Nativity of Christ. That thing is making Kletzenbrot (dried pear bread), a German fruit bread that contains many…