Category: Saints and Tradition

  • 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…

  • 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 Vindication of the Mother of God

    At Christmas time, the Virgin Mary gets a bit of attention in the wider culture. A woman gives birth in difficult circumstances: Mother, baby, ox and ass, the manger. It’s a very touching scene. She quickly fades from the scene however, with some five centuries of culture desperately afraid that she will get too much…

  • The Last Christmas – Ever

      This Christmas was the last Christmas – ever. Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Wherever He is, there is the beginning and the end of all things. If Christ is truly present in this year’s Christmas, then it is the last Christmas – and the first Christmas. And…

  • Mary: The Blessing of All Generations

    In my childhood, it was not unusual to hear someone ask, “Who are your people?” It was a semi-polite, Southernism designed to elicit essential information about a person’s social background. The assumption was that you, at best, could only be an example of your “people.” It ignored the common individualism of the wider culture, preferring…

  • I Will Go Into the Altar of God

    Most of my early Church memories center around Sunday School (I think that we did not “stay for preaching” very often). The small Baptist church that we attended was about a mile from our house and was conveniently connected by a railroad track, generally inactive on Sundays. My older brother and I often walked along…

  • Fleeing Paris with Vladimir Lossky – and Some Afterthoughts

    I posted this article a year ago, thus the reference to events in August of 2020. Times of relative peace and prosperity are far more rare than we realize. Our present difficulties reflect stresses and strains that have been common in many parts of the world and through time. I have found some comfort in…

  • The Verbal Icon of Christ

    Any number of times, the late Fr. Thomas Hopko recounted how his predecessor as Professor of Dogmatics at St. Vladimir’s, Serge Verhovskoy, extracted an oath from him prior to signing off on his assuming that position. The oath was straightforward: never to present his own opinion as the dogma of the Church. If you’ve ever…

  • Right Glory – Orthodoxy in Its Own Language

    When I was in grad school, I had a term paper graded and returned to me. In it, was a phrase, circled in red, with an explanation and an exclamation mark. It read: “Double modal!” The offending phrase was “might could.” I looked at the phrase, which seemed perfectly acceptable to my ear, and puzzled…

  • Put the Dickens Back in 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…


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Latest Comments

  1. Fr Stephen, About editing older versions of your posts. Yesterday, I came across a most excellent post from 23rd May…

  2. About those “Christian Romance” novels you mentioned: there is a certain irony that properly-written romances with strong Christian undercurrents aren’t…

  3. The consumer-driven religious life has resulted in Churches that major in personal fulfillment with little attention to doctrine and sacrament.…

  4. Fr. Stephen, At times like this I find it helpful to remind myself that God promised the fullness of life,…


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