Category: Dostoevsky

  • Conversion to the True and Living God

    I grew up in a culture where religious conversion was frequent as well as often short-lived. Religiously, the only remedy to many of the ills of life was conversion. On the face of things I could hardly argue with that now. However, the deeper problem within that particular religious culture was a very truncated view of conversion.…

  • Paradise in a Single Moment

    The Exapostelarian for the Matins of Good Friday is the hymn, “The Wise Thief.” It draws our attention to the mercy of God – who promised paradise to the wise thief, “This day.” Thoughts on the nearness of paradise are also a theme in the writings of Dostoevsky. If paradise is so near – why…

  • It's Nothing Personal

    One of the most frightening phrases in the English language is: “It’s nothing personal.” It almost always precedes something bad. For someone to tell me that what they are about to do is not personal is already a confession of sin. But why should the word personal carry such weight? In the life of the…

  • Of Whom I Am First

    In the Divine Liturgy, it is customary for this prayer to be offered by all who are coming to receive communion. I quote a portion: I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I…

  • Dostoevsky on the Individual

    The following passage from The Brothers Karamazov is taken from one of the “Talks and Homilies” of the Elder Zossima – one of the key characters in the novel. His thoughts echo earlier articles here that contrast man as “individual” (isolation) to man as Person (brotherhood and communion). Look at the worldly and at the…

  • Favorite Thoughts

    Any reader of this blog will very quickly notice certain ideas and words that come up repeatedly in my writings. Some of my parishioners say that I only have one sermon – so perhaps it’s also true that I only have one blog article… But I have been meditating on some of my favorite words…

  • What Is Man – That Thou Art Mindful of Him?

    In 1839 the eighteen-year-old youth Dostoesvsky wrote to his brother: “Man is a mystery: if you spend your entire life trying to puzzle it out, then do not say that you have wasted your time. I occupy myself with this mystery, because I want to be a man.” From Konstantin Mochulsky’s Dostoevsky: His Life and…

  • Beauty and God

    This is a reprint of an article from earlier this year. I found it worth re-reading. Everything is beautiful in a person when he turns toward God, and everything is ugly when it is turned away from God. Fr. Pavel Florensky I come to the end of a day that has been filled with other…

  • Crises, Dostoevsky and the Gospel

    There is something of a common thread that runs throughout the novels of Dostoevsky, the 19th century Russian writer: personal crises. Dostoevsky has long been recognized as a genius of psychological perception, writing at a time before psychology was a formal academic discipline. Many of his novels carry a relgious theme, particularly Crime and Punishment…

  • The God Who Is Beautiful

    I suggested this as reading in a comment yesterday and decided to re-post it so that it would be more readily available. It belongs with the question of God and beauty that I started in yesterday’s post. Everything is beautiful in a person when he turns toward God, and everything is ugly when it is…


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Latest Comments

  1. Michael, There’s nothing in the word itself to indicate the “necessary activity of the human will.” That understanding has to…

  2. Father, how much did we the Greek word for repentance, metanoia, signify the necessary activity of the human will to…

  3. Father I am trying to contribute to the building fund but my billing address is in England. When ασκς με…

  4. Father Stephen, Although my attendance at St. Anne’s was anything but regular, the last few times I was there when…


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