Category: Saints and Tradition

  • The Tradition of Being Human

    Being human is a cultural event. No one is human by themselves and no one becomes human without the help of those around them. This is so obvious it should not need to be stated, but contemporary man often imagines himself to be his own creation. The exercise of individual freedom is exalted as the…

  • Mary as the “Secret Joy” of the Church

    Fr. Alexander Schmemann wrote: …When investigating the history of Mariological piety, one discovers that it is rooted not in any special revelation but, primarily, in the experience of liturgical worship. In other terms, it is not a theological reflection on Mary that gave birth to her veneration: it is the liturgy as the experience of…

  • The Mother of Us All

      A young friend recently lost his mother. It has been an occasion of reflection for me, thinking about the emptiness created by such a loss. Despite all of the confusion and conundrums in our contemporary culture surrounding gender issues – they only serve to underscore the fact that male-and-female, on the most fundamental level…

  • Traveling the Old Roads

    In C.S. Lewis’ book, That Hideous Strength, the character of Merlin (the ancient “wizard” of Romano-Celtic Britain) is awakened from a timeless slumber in an underground chamber. There is a group of evil men who are searching for him, thinking they can use his magic for their own schemes. As it turns out, Merlin is…

  • The Hidden Gospel

    There is a genre of Scriptural writings that are described as “apocalyptic.” The book of Revelation, in Greek, is called “The Apocalypse.” Ezekiel and Daniel also have very strong passages described as apocalyptic. The term is very straightforward: it means “revealing what is hidden.” These books are described as “making known hidden things,” because their…

  • The Communion of Tradition

    That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life–the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and…

  • The Limits of Holiness

    I saw a commercical recently that proclaimed, “Freedom has no limits!” It sought to capture the modern imagination with what is a patently absurd statement. Everything in creation has limits – that is the nature of created things. It is nonetheless the case that we can imagine our life without limits – a shameless existence…

  • A Virgin Gave Birth

    I was browsing through some online material recently and came across a conversation between a non-believing sceptic and a Christian apologist. The question was asked (right off the top): “Why a virgin birth?” The apologist did a decent job of responding, giving a fairly common explanation of “why Christ had to be born of a…

  • Have a Dickens of a Christmas

    In the late 1600’s in colonial Boston, the celebration of Christmas was against the law. Indeed, anyone evidencing the “spirit of Christmas” could be fined five shillings. In the early 1800’s, Christmas was better known as a season for rioting in the streets and civil unrest. However, in the mid-1800’s some interesting things changed the…

  • A Cultural Feast

    I read somewhere that, prior to the Protestant Reformation, there were over 50 feast days in England on which people did no labor (these were in addition to Sundays). If you do the math, it adds up to over seven weeks of vacation per year. The Reformation abolished all but one or two. I have…


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