Category: Prayer

  • 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…

  • The Communion of Giving Thanks

    Whom should I thank? The question is normally a matter of polite acknowledgement. A gift was given and received. Who gave it? Whom should I thank? It is inherently the nature of giving thanks that thanks must be given to someone. I cannot give thanks to nothing or no one. As such, the giving of…

  • The Despair of Modernity – It Might Not Be All Bad

    It is a commonplace in the Fathers to describe despair or sadness as the result of failing to get what we want. It sounds quite simple, but it cuts to the very heart of our sadness. There is a melancholy of our age that is born from the expectations of modernity. The mantra of progress…

  • The Sweet Smoke of Prayer

    Let my prayer arise in Your sight as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.  Psalm 141 My parish has a fairly steady stream of visitors from outside the Orthodox experience. Among their first questions are ones concerning the use of incense. There is virtually no Orthodox service that does not…

  • What Happens When We Play (Pray)

    In my previous article I compared children’s use of play to the place of ritual words and actions in the life of the Church. I absolutely did not mean to imply that one thing is like the other. I mean to say clearly that they are very much the same thing. And I say this…

  • Playing with God

    There are things that children understand instinctively. And the things that children know and understand are worth consideration. They have much to teach us. Among the most natural things children do is play. Depending on how you define play, it is among the first activities in which we engage. It comes to dominate the lives…

  • 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…


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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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