Glory to God for All Things

The Choices We Make

Our culture celebrates the ability we have to choose – and so we think a lot about choices. We are told every four years that we get to “choose” our leaders (though the choices given to us might not be suitable in either direction). As I look back and think of my preaching over the years I can see a … Continue reading

Speaking Ecumenically

A recent note from a young Orthodox acquaintance referred to me as “irenic” in my writings. I was grateful for the description and glad that something I actually intend is also actually conveyed. I learn a lot from other Orthodox bloggers or frequent posters on other sites where the discussions can get heated (I think especially of my dear Catholic … Continue reading

More Thoughts on a Metaphor

Some metaphors are just that: metaphors. Images that are useful for thinking or working our way through something. They are a roadmap – not the road but the map. The image of Christ’s Descent into Hades, though it provides a metaphor, is more than a metaphor. Christ truly died, truly descended into Hades, truly trampled down death by death, and … Continue reading

Watch Your Metaphors

Metaphors are very important when thinking about any aspect of our salvation. People can sometimes state what they believe as doctrine very precisely without thinking about what their beliefs imply about God, the world, or themselves. Metaphors can work in a very hidden way – particularly those that are referred to as “root metaphors.” A root metaphor is the over-arching … Continue reading

With Heart and Mind

When mind and heart are united in prayer and the soul is wholly concentrated in a single desire for God, then the heart grows warm and the light of Christ begins to shine and fills the inward man with peace and joy. We should thank the Lord for everything and give ourselves up to His will; we should also offer … Continue reading

Praying with Icons

In one of our recent services (Paschal Vespers as I recall) we had a handfull of visiting Russian Nationals. I’ve noticed this before – it’s sort of a cultural distinction – but the women (they were all female) came in, and stood for extended lengths of time before the icons, as if waiting for something, and then lit their candles. It … Continue reading

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Today (Wednesday) and tomorrow I am in Dallas, Texas, with my Archbishop, DMITRI of Dallas and the South (OCA). I’m here for a small meeting with him and my fellow deans. Probably more social than practical – but time will tell. The Church in Dallas could have been pulled from the countryside of Russia. Built around 2000, it’s frescoes continue to … Continue reading

The Struggle for Prayer

Fr. Sophrony relates part of his struggle for prayer and the grace he received to help others. The passage is from On Prayer. …On more than one occasion I felt as if I were crucified on an invisible cross. This would happen on Mt. Athos when I got angry with those who vexed me. My wickedness would destroy prayer and … Continue reading

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev on the Descent into Hades

Thank you to LadyMacbeth for the lead to the following link. Bishop Alfeyev is an excellent source and worth reading! http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx  I commend him to you!

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Orthodox Christianity, Culture and Religion, Making the Journey of Faith
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