Category: Cross

  • 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.…

  • What’s with the Kingdom of God?

    Thy Kingdom Come Blessed are You on the throne of the glory of Your Kingdom, seated upon the Cherubim; always, now and ever and unto ages of ages. It was You Who brought us from non-existence into being, and when we had fallen away You raised us up again, and did not cease to do…

  • Before the Judgment Seat of Christ

    For a Christian ending to our life: painless, unashamed, and peaceful; and a good defense before the dread judgment seat of Christ, let us ask of the Lord. From my childhood, I have memories of the phrase, “Great White Throne of Judgment.” It comes complete with an abundance of frightening images and threats. It is…

  • 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…

  • The Way of Shame and the Way of Thanksgiving

    The language of “self-emptying” can have a sort of Buddhist ring. It sounds as we are referencing a move towards becoming a vessel without content – the non-self. Given our multicultural world, such a reference is understandable. It is, however, unfortunate and requires that we visit the true nature of Christian self-emptying. Our self-emptying is…

  • The Cross Within the Church

    The Church is the Cross through history. St. Paul wrote that he had determined to restrict his preaching to the Cross. (1 Cor. 2:2) This was not an effort to diminish the gospel. Rather, it was an effort to rightly understand the gospel. One of the great temptations of Christianity is to allow itself to…

  • The Frightful Path of Judas

    I recall the first time the phrase, “On the night in which He was betrayed,” struck my heart. I was attending the evening service of Maundy Thursday at my Episcopal parish when I was a student in college. There was communion, followed by the “stripping of the altar” that symbolized the arrest and scourging of…

  • Conformed to His Image

    One of the most distinctive doctrines in Orthodox theology is that of theosis – divinization – becoming “like God.” Those who inquire into the faith likely stumble across this teaching fairly early, and, no doubt, some are drawn to it. Of course, there are those who run away from it and fear that it is…

  • It’s a Lying Shame

    The story of the first sin begins not with a choice, but with a lie. As much as we tend to emphasize “free-will” as the origin and dominant factor of human sin, we do well to remember the true nature of our lives. Things are much more complicated than freedom can account for. Rather, we…

  • How Powerless Are You Willing to Be?

    “My spiritual efforts don’t do anything, they merely bring me to the place where I know I can’t do anything, to the place where I am utterly naked before God!” -Fr. Silviu Bunta Sometimes I run across a quote that strikes my heart so deeply that I’m surprised it wasn’t me who said it. The…


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  1. Matthew, “finding those firm foundations of goodness of which you speak can, sometimes, be difficult especially when we read something…

  2. Just want to add that I believe that Father has said many times (please feel free to correct me) that…

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  5. As I re-read the post and the comments, one word comes to mind as the fundamental reality and substance: Mercy.…


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