Category: Doctrine

  • Knowing the Knowledge that Transforms

    “If only I had known…” These are, not infrequently, the words of an apology. They are also an explanation of why we are sometimes the way we are. Ignorance is, in the mind of the Fathers, a major cause of sin. Of course, if sin is understood in a legal/forensic framework, then ignorance would be…

  • Praying for the World That Lives Within You

    This XXIX prayer of St. Nicholai of Zicha from Prayers by the Lake, echoes the kneeling prayers of Pentecost, or perhaps, the Prayer of Manasseh… The “collective” voice that characterizes its petitions echo St. Silouan’s prayers for the “Whole Adam.” In a time of trouble (such as our days), we do well to learn this…

  • Candlewax and Hedgehogs

    Candlewax and Hedgehogs—a peculiar way to entitle an article, I’ll admit. But both have their associations with the second day of February. The first is more important so we’ll begin there. The second day of February is one of the 12 great feasts, and is also celebrated by Christians in the West. The feast is…

  • Robed in the Glorious Garment of Salvation

    “My soul shall rejoice in the Lord, for He has clothed me with the garment of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of gladness; as a bridegroom He has set a crown on me; and as a bride adorns herself with jewels, so my God has adorned me.” With these words from Isaiah,…

  • 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…

  • Crushed into Recognition

    This is a reprint from 2019. I was looking for something where I quoted George Herbert’s “The Agony,” my favorite poem. So, here’s one of several such posts. This morning I was crushed beneath a flood of memories – not the memories of good things, but of sad and shameful things, petty things, wasted lives…

  • Baptism and the Final Destruction of Demons

    “Final” is not a word you often hear in Christian teaching. Most Christians leave the final things until, well, the End. But this is not the language of the fathers nor of the Church. A good illustration can be found in the Orthodox service of Holy Baptism. During the blessing of the waters the priest…

  • The Apocalypse of Christmas

    Few people think of Christmas as the End of the World. We have one set of feelings and thoughts for the former and another set for the latter. Christmas, taken by itself, seems quite harmless and able to be adopted or adapted (in one way or another) by cultures at large. Indeed, some cultures adopt…

  • 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 Song of a Good Universe

    “My whole life is a mess…” I am a priest and I have heard statements to this effect any number of times in my ministry. It usually comes not after a single misfortune, but after multiple problems. It also reflects that the problems have moved beyond their external boundaries and have now become the framework…


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Latest Comments

  1. Bonnie, for me the description of the warehouse reminds me of the original emptiness of my heart and the work…

  2. Father Freeman, Your description of renting a space could be a metaphor reflecting the task facing Christians who seek ways…

  3. Janine, I’ve been thinking about the veil of Moses as well. I love taking “deep dives” on such things.

  4. Oh silly me again 2 Corinthians 3 — esp verses 7 – 13 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians%203&version=NKJV

  5. I found this sort of interesting excerpt on the web, but I’d need a subscription to get the rest of…


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