Category: Reflections

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • The Apocalypse of Christmas

    Few people think of Christmas as the End of the World. We have one set of feelings and thoughts for the former and another set for the latter. Christmas, taken by itself, seems quite harmless and able to be adopted or adapted (in one way or another) by cultures at large. Indeed, some cultures adopt…

  • 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…

  • God and the Self – Dragons and The Treasuries of Grace

      Beloved, we are children of God, and it doesn’t yet appear what we shall be. But we know, that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (1John 3:2) You are dead, and your life is hid in Christ in God. (Col. 3:3) Whoever seeks to…

  • Utopia, Progress, and the Kingdom of God

    Near the dawn of the modern period (1500’s), the Reformation set in motion a world of ideas. If the old world of Medieval Catholicism was to be discarded (reformed), what should take its place? The earliest answers were largely those allowed and dictated by the various political states of Europe: Lutheranism, Anglicanism, Calvinism, etc. On…


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