Category: Communion

  • Boundaries, Borders, and the True God

    Years ago, as a young seminarian, I wanted to paint icons. I knew nothing about icons, only that I liked them and that they were holy. The vast wealth of books and materials on their meaning and even on the technique of painting them simply did not exist. My knowledge of painting was also non-existent.…

  • On Earth As It Is In Heaven – And Deeper Still

    We live and move in a sea of others. Our first breath (having emerged from a womb of maternal otherness) is drawn from air that has been breathed through timeless years by trees, animals, whales; whistled by birds, and passed through last words of dying lips; life-giving breathed by God in the First Man. The…

  • The Night in Which He Was Betrayed

      “The night in which He was betrayed,” are the deeply familiar words with which St. Paul begins his relating of the tradition (“that which I have received”) of the Last Supper (1Cor. 11:23). It is a phrase so familiar that its import is quickly overlooked as we leap forward to the words, “This is…

  • Suffer the Children

      In 1994, Jonathan Shay wrote a ground-breaking book on war and PTSD, Achilles in Vietnam. Those who have read Timothy Patitsas’ The Ethics of Beauty will be familiar with some of his observations. Shay worked directly with veterans who were struggling with the emotional consequences of their war experience and the process of their healing.…

  • Everything is in Motion

    For years I have been told that the meaning of the word hamartia (translated “sin”) means “to miss the mark.” This is certainly accurate. However, the image I have always had in mind has been an arrow aimed at a target and missing the bull’s eye. Thus I have thought of my life as a moral effort…

  • A Day Off Versus The Day Of

    In medieval England, just prior to the Reformation, there were between 40 and 50 days of the calendar (apart from Sundays) that were feasts of the Church on which little to no work was done. Historian, Eamon Duffy, describes this: As important as fast days were feast days, in particular the festa ferianda, on which…

  • The Communion of Giving Thanks

    Whom should I thank? The question is normally a matter of polite acknowledgement. A gift was given and received. Who gave it? Whom should I thank? It is inherently the nature of giving thanks that thanks must be given to someone. I cannot give thanks to nothing or no one. As such, the giving of…

  • Alone – You Are Not

    “Alone – You Are Not” This is not a quote from Yoda. It is a simple statement concerning the nature of our existence. The fullness of existence is only found in communion, a mutual indwelling in which our lives are known and experienced not just in their self-contained form, but in their Interrelation to others…

  • The Sweetest Name of Jesus

    Some years back, I was given instruction on saying the “Jesus Prayer” by Archimandrite Zacharias of Essex. We spoke about the form of the prayer, and the pace it should be prayed. But it was his final instruction that touched my heart: “Pay particular attention to the Name when you pray it.” It is, after…

  • Are We Connected?

    How connected are we? Do your actions, thoughts, feelings, have an effect on me even if I am unaware (or on the other side of the world)? Is my existence bound within the existence of other human beings, or are we simply sharing the same planet for a period of time? Connections between people, particularly…


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  1. Greetings, Father Stephen, Thank you so much for this reflection and all of the tremendous amount of work you have…


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