The Story of This Blog

It began as a response to the Covid-19 virus. I had just finished teaching a three-part series on David C. Ford’s translation of Saint John Chrysostom’s Letters to Saint Olympia (St. Vladimir’s Press, 2016). I did not realize at the time how timely the subject of despondency (depression) was. But then the Covid-19 virus shut down everything—even our worship and fellowship at St. John’s the Evangelist Orthodox Church in Tempe, AZ. As I read the many requests for prayers on St. John’s social network, I wondered what I could offer to my hurting fellow parishioners. I decided to post comments on Dr. David C. Ford’s excellent translation of the St. John’s letters. I highlighted each of these entries with a keyword to organize its thoughts. Immediately these posts received responses of gratitude.

When I ran out of thoughts from Dr. Ford’s translation, I decided to continue with commentary on the daily Epistles from the Orthodox lectionary. Again, I centered these with a keyword word that I called “the word of the day.” Once again, I received expressions of thanks for the counsel and encouragement of my posts.

Along the way, comments that I ought to publish my commentaries in a book surprised me. That was not my original intention. But last June, I had attended an “Ancient Faith” workshop for writers. Here was a possibility that I could send something that the Ancient Faith readers could use. I am thankful that my proposal was accepted.

Well, I have written my way through Romans and am working on 1 Corinthians at the moment. But something is happening to me as I write and think about the texts for each day. The message for one day seems to build upon the next. And I am becoming more open to receiving it. I have a deeper sense that the Lord is speaking to me through the living Word of scripture. And gradually, what I hear is guiding and directing me through the day.

I am praying that this experience of the Lord speaking to the heart and mind might be yours as you study the appointed readings of the Orthodox lectionary each day. I do not ask for agreement or disagreement, approval or disapproval. I only hope that you will develop a daily habit of opening yourself up to the Word of scripture. I am confident that your study will enrich and empower your walk with the Lord each day.

Fr. Basil

About Fr. Basil

Now retired, the Very Rev. Archpriest Basil Ross Aden has served as a parish priest, parish pastor, diocesan mission director, writer, and college teacher of New Testament and Religious Studies. He has a Master of Theology and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of Chicago and has published daily devotional and stewardship materials as well as a college textbook on Religious Studies. He also has published papers and/or lectured on the Orthodox perspective on Luther and the Reformation. religious freedom, current issues of religion and society, and St. John Chrysostom. He is married to Sandra and has two sons and three grandchildren. He is still active as a priest as well as a writer of articles and materials on Orthodoxy and topics of faith and life today.

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