Category: Mystical Theology

  • The Erotic Language of Prayer

      The very heart of true prayer is desire, love. In the language of the Fathers this desire is called eros. Modern usage has corrupted the meaning of “erotic” to only mean sexual desire – but it is a profound word, without substitute in the language of the Church. I offer a quote from Dr.…

  • 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…

  • The Liturgy of Life

    In the earliest years of my Orthodox parish, we rented a “warehouse” space. Essentially, it was a store front with warehouse storage place in the rear. It was a daunting task to stand in a bare, concrete room with heating machinery hanging from the ceiling and an overhead door gracing the back wall with the…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • The Song of All Creation

    “The world has been disenchanted.” This is a sentiment first voiced by Max Weber in 1918. Nothing since has been able to convince the world otherwise. There is, however, an increasing awareness that a disenchanted world is less than desirable. We want elves, orcs, wizards, and demons. We want magic. This is an observation that…

  • Around the Corner

    Among the most appealing aspects of CS Lewis’ children’s fiction is at the point that I would describe as “turning the corner.” It is not that he creates a fantasy world, but that the fantasy world he creates somehow intersects with the world in which we live. It is the discovery that at this moment,…

  • The Useless God

    The statement, “God is useless,” is, undoubtedly, sure to strike someone as an insult, not a statement of a faithful believing Christian (much less, a priest). That reaction tells me much about how we feel about the word, “useless,” rather than how we feel about God. In current American parlance, “useless,” is mostly a term…

  • 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…


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Latest Comments

  1. Matthew, My apologies for the late reply–such a busy last few days (and another, very wonderful, article posted)! Michael is…

  2. Fr. Stephen, “The mystery of the Incarnation of the Word contains in itself the meaning of all the symbols and…

  3. Matthew, Given some of your own comments about the negative effects of certain Protestant theology you have experienced, I would…

  4. Thanks so much everyone. So … I have been hanging around here regularly for about 6 months now. I have…


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