Tag: Orthodox Christianity

  • A Patriarch Unknown to the World (Pavle of Serbia)

    This is a reprint of an article by Fr. Barnabas Powell. It was published in the Pueblo Chieftan. Fr. Barnabas is the priest at St. Michael’s Orthodox Church in Pueblo, Colorado. He was a classmate of my sons-in-law at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and a fine young priest. The following article is republished with permission of…

  • To Believe the Truth

    I have to confess as I begin this post that I find myself reaching for words. I reach for words to say something I know, but which is hard to express. To believe the truth is not the same thing as having a correct opinion – indeed the two have almost nothing to do with…

  • Florovsky’s “Limits of the Church” Added

    I have added Fr. Georges Florovsky’s seminal article, “The Limits of the Church,” to the Pages section of the blog. This article is one of the most thoughtful and oft-discussed treatments of St. Cyprian’s statements on the Church and the limits of grace. Florovsky’s understanding both takes St. Cyprian seriously as well as the canonical…

  • In the Shadow of the Grand Inquisitor

    Perhaps the most famous chapter in all of Dostoevsky’s novels is that of the “Grand Inquisitor” in The Brothers Karamazov. It is a “poem” according to the character Ivan Karamazov, a fanciful tale that embodies all of the cyncism that Ivan can muster. In a previous chapter, “Rebellion,” Ivan had mounted a devastating complaint against…

  • Why We Fast

    This Sunday, November 15, marks the beginning of the Nativity Fast (40 days before Christmas). The following article offers some thoughts on the purpose of fasting. Fasting is not very alive and well in the Christian world. Much of that world has long lost any living connection with the historical memory of Christian fasting. It…

  • A Relationship With God?

    What is the nature of a relationship with God? It is commonplace in our modern parlance to speak of a “personal relationship” which is either redundant, or a way of weakening the true meaning of “personal.” I suspect that the modern meaning of “relationship” is in fact not capable of bearing the true weight of…

  • St. Nektarios of Aegina Sings (or wrote hymns)

    Today is the feast day of St. Nektarios of Aegina, whose hymn “O Virgin Pure,” is among the most popular modern hymns in the Orthodox Church. Here it is sung by monks of Valaam Monastery (in Russian). An English translation follows. Saints sing. O Virgin Pure by St. Nectarios Plagal First Tone (Tone 5) Refrain:…

  • Talking Theology

    I learned during years of theological study that it is possible to give a “theological account” of almost anything and even make it sound cogent. Of course everything that sounds cogent is not necessarily true. In my morning paper I read the following account from a local Church. It was under the heading, “Cafe Worship”:…

  • I Don’t Know About That

    A hermit advised, “If someone speaks to you about a controversy, do not argue with him. If what he says makes sense, say, ‘Yes,’ If his comments are misguided, say, ‘I don’t know anything about that.’ If you refuse to dispute with his ideas, your mind will be at peace.” +++ There is an element…

  • Wrong Turns and the Providence of God

    The following is, in part, a response to a comment posted earlier today. It seemed worth sharing more prominently, since not everyone reads comments. These are some thoughts on the Providence of God and its work in our lives. I think there is absolutely such a thing as Providence (not that we have much of…


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