Tag: Orthodox Christianity

  • The Heavenly Spaces

    “The Church is the earthly heaven; in these heavenly spaces, God lives and walks about.” In these words of Patriarch Germanus, we get a glimpse of the dizzying heights of the church building’s significance. The Byzantines treated space as God’s dwelling place. Their architectural problem was to create harmony between the natural scale of the…

  • The Light of Beauty

    Everything is beautiful in a person when he turns toward God, and everything is ugly when it is turned away from God. Fr. Pavel Florensky +++ In thinking about darkness and light – and their role in our apprehension of the truth – I cannot but think about Beauty, which is a primary place in…

  • The Opacity of Sin

    “And this is the condemnation: that the light has come into the world and men preferred darkness to the light for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). There is an opacity to sin: we do not see through it. Sin sheds light on nothing beyond itself. It refers only to itself and because of this…

  • Let No Anger Arise

    One of the brothers asked Isidore, the priest of Scetis, “Why are the demons so afraid of you”? ” He said, “Ever since I became a monk, I have been trying not to let anger rise as far as my mouth.” +++ In a culture which speaks and only later repents (if at all) such…

  • There Be Dragons…

    Today marks one of the greatest feasts of the Orthodox year (New Calendar), the Feast of Theophany, Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan river. Across the world Orthodox Christians will gather after the Liturgy to bless the waters: the ocean, a river, a spring, etc. Every feast day in Orthodoxy is connected to the Feast of…

  • Do Not Resent, Do Not React, Keep Inner Stillness

    A very fine essay by Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA on essential practices of the spiritual life can be found among the abbatial essays on the website of the Monastery of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco. It is worth the read – even worth printing out and saving… An excerpt… …One of the…

  • Having Then Gifts Differing

    A brother asked a hermit, “Tell me something good that I may do it and live by it.” The hermit said, “God alone knows what is good. But I have heard that one of the hermits asked the great Nesteros, who was a friend of Antony, ‘What good work shall I do?’ and he replied,…

  • What’s In The Cave

    It is traditionally understood that Christ’s nativity was in a cave (not in a stable). The cave served as a stable – not unusual for the area of Bethlehem. However, the traditional icon of Christ’s nativity reveals the cave in an unmistakeable manner. The cave of Bethlehem resembles the cave of Hades into which Christ…

  • Christmas in General

    “Peace on earth! Good will towards men!” is a common greeting to be found on cards during this season of the Nativity. These are, of course, the words sung by the angels the night Christ was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:14). It is also a phrase which admits of several interpretations. The possibility of various…

  • The Silent Word

    Phillips Brooks, the Anglican priest who wrote the hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” offered a very rich phrase with his observation, “How silently, how silently, the wondrous Word is given…”  The ubiquitous sound of Christmas music has accompanied me into almost every store and restaurant since late November.  At its best, the music is…


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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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