Category: Prayer

  • The Work That Saves

    Do we cooperate in our salvation? Do our efforts make a difference? These questions lie at the heart of a centuries-old religious debate in Christianity. Classically, the Protestant reformers said, “No,” to these questions, arguing that we are saved solely and utterly by God’s grace, His unmerited favor. The Catholic Church replied that “faith without…

  • The Bridegroom and Judgment

    Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching; and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless.  Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom.  But rouse…

  • Passionately Drunk

    The Philokalia, that wonderful collection of writings by the fathers on prayer of the heart, has as its full title, The Philokalia of the Neptic Saints gathered from our Holy Theophoric Fathers, through which, by means of the philosophy of ascetic practice and contemplation, the intellect is purified, illumined, and made perfect. Little wonder it is…

  • The Madness of Democracy – A Spiritual Disease

    Dostoevsky’s The Demons tells the story of a revolution within the context of a small village and a handful of personalities. The strange mix of philosophy and neurosis, crowd psychology and fashionable disdain for tradition all come together in the madness of a bloodbath. It is a 19th century Helter Skelter that presciently predicted the century to come. Our own…

  • Forgive Everyone for Everything

    In Dostoevsky’s great last work, The Brothers Karamazov, the story is told of Markel, brother of the Elder Zossima. Diagnosed with tuberculosis, he is dying. In those last days he came to a renewed faith in God and a truly profound understanding of forgiveness. In a conversation with his mother she wonders how he can…

  • To See God

    Across the Old Testament, there are various encounters with God of an unusual sort. Moses speaks with God-as-fire in the burning bush. Jacob wrestles with God as an angel/man throughout the night. Abraham entertains God by the oaks of Mamre. Isaiah sees God, “high and lifted up,” and heard the angels singing the thrice-holy hymn.…

  • 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…

  • Moving Mountains

    I live in a beautiful part of the country – the Tennessee Valley. On one side of the valley are the Smokey Mountains, part of the Appalachian chain. On the other side of the valley are the Cumberland Mountains, ancient relics of a once great sea. The Cumberlands, true to their geological origin, were great…

  • 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…


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Latest Comments

  1. What a blessing. I, too, am on a building committee for a capital campaign- may our endeavors produce great spiritual…

  2. Dear Fr Stephen, So glad to hear that Orthodoxy is expanding so gloriously in Tennessee – praise God! We, too,…

  3. My parish, St. George Antiochian Cathedral began in the early part of the 20th century out of homes and store…


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