Category: The Sacraments

  • More on an Orthodox Hermeneutic

    It is the common witness of the gospels that the disciples seemed to have no clue when it came to the death and resurrection of Christ – until after the resurrection. The classic story of this is to be found in St. Luke’s gospel: Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to…

  • An Orthodox Hermeneutic

    Is or can there be such a thing as an Orthodox hermeneutic (method of interpretation) of Scripture?  I asserted in a recent post that there was such a thing and that the Orthodox would do well to work towards its recovery rather than using the hermeneutics of others who do not hold the Orthodox faith.…

  • The Truth About the End Times

    I live in the South – which means plenty of bumper stickers warning, “In case of rapture this car will be unmanned.” I grew up surrounded by preaching on the last days in a context that was decidedly Dispensationalist, Pre-Tribulation, etc. If you are a reader who does not know what all that means then…

  • The Sacrament of the Present Moment

    There is a wonderful translation of Jean-Pierre De Caussade’s  Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence, which bears the same title as this post. I am borrowing the phrase, not to comment on the volume (though I highly recommend it), but to bring into focus something of at least equal importance. It is the reality of our moment by…

  • A Personal Salvation

    Perhaps the most difficult theological truth to communicate in the modern world is that of personal existence. Modern English has taken the word person from the realm of theology and changed it into the cheapest coin of the realm. Today it means that which is private, merely individual. As such, it becomes synonymous not with…

  • The Alpha and the Omega

    As Christ walked in the midst of the people of Israel an event that was far more than historical took place. The One who was in the midst of them is also the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Strange paradox that you should meet and encounter a person who is Himself…

  • What’s Beneath the Water? Crushed Dragons.

    This coming Sunday (New Calendar) marks one of the greatest feasts of the Orthodox year, the Feast of Theophany, Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan river. Across the world Orthodox Christians will gather after the Liturgy to bless the waters: the ocean, a river, a spring, etc.   Every feast day in Orthodoxy is connected to…

  • The Grace Given To Us

    From the writings of the Elder Sophrony: At Vespers during Lent at the Monastery of Old Russikon-on-the-Hill the Lord allowed a certain monk to see Father Abraham, a priest-monk of the strict rule, in the image of Christ. The old confessor, weaing his priestly stole, was standing hearing confessions. When the monk entered the confessional…

  • In the Secret Place of the Most High God

    He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 There aren’t many secrets anymore. I live in a city that is known as the “Secret City,” because in the Second World War it was one of the main sites of the Manhattan Project…

  • Zizioulas and the Church that is Communion

    One of the more profound writers and thinkers in the Orthodox Church today has to be Metropolitan John Zizioulas – who has taught for years in Scotland and England – and is known to be one of the closest theologians to His Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Zizioulas [as he is commonly referred to without…


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  1. About those “Christian Romance” novels you mentioned: there is a certain irony that properly-written romances with strong Christian undercurrents aren’t…

  2. The consumer-driven religious life has resulted in Churches that major in personal fulfillment with little attention to doctrine and sacrament.…

  3. Fr. Stephen, At times like this I find it helpful to remind myself that God promised the fullness of life,…


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