From the Archives: Baptism and the Baptismal Liturgy

Homily: Baptism and Baptismal Liturgy Welcome guests. Beautiful day. I am so happy that the [family] agreed to allow us to Baptize [their child] during Divine Liturgy. Nothing wrong with doing it after Liturgy: this is the way most of you were Baptized, and (as it was the way all the parents until now have preferred) it is the only way I have done it since I was blessed to begin serving this parish. The water is blessed in both cases; in both cases the child is brought into a more direct union with God through the sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation, and Communion. In both cases, the ceremony is performed with the whole Church. Both ways set the child up for success. So I love all baptisms. But since this tradition [of the Baptismal … [Continue reading]

On My Leaving St. Michael’s in Woonsocket (from the bulletin)

Why I Asked to be Transferred from St. Michael's in Woonsocket(From a Summer 2015 Bulletin) When Pani Matka Tina Marie and I look back on the eight years we spent with you here, I expect that we will recognize them as some of the best years of our life.  These years together have been good for us, for you, and for this parish.  So you should know two things starting out.  First, there is nothing here pushing us away.  All the challenges that have come up here have been normal and I have been pleased at how well we have been able to work together (glory to God). Second, the bishops are not pulling me away to serve somewhere "better".  We have many wonderful parishes, but there is nowhere "better" and they have no interest in messing up a … [Continue reading]

Homily: On the Need to Ritualize Gratitude

Reflection on the Rich Young Man St. Matthew 19:16-26 Prologue What would you give to inherit eternal life?  Because we are here together right now, I know that you are at least willing to give up the best two hours of the week for worship on … [Continue reading]

Homily – All Saints of Kyivan Rus’

Today we are remembering the Christian nation of Kyivan-Rus not just because they created a nation that built churches where they got baptized, married, and buried.  We remember them because they accepted Christ and they filled their lives with him. … [Continue reading]

Humanitarianism and Orthodoxy – a theological reflection

The Problem: the world (and humanity) groans in agony It’s a hard world.  It chews people up, divides them, deprives them, hurts them, and does its best to take away their hope.  It does its best to demean and dehumanize them.  We have all seen this … [Continue reading]

Homily Notes – Pentecost

Today is Pentecost, also known as Trinity Day.  Today we celebrate both the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Disciples and the unity that is found in the One God who is Three Persons. The reality of today’s feast is not some abstract theology, but a … [Continue reading]

Homily Notes: Living Water Must be Shared

John 4:5-42 St. Photini (the woman at the well) Main lessons:  The example and result of Christian ministry. We are all called to it Not complicated; sacrifice of love and attention Leads to repentance and the ability to love Not the love of … [Continue reading]

Homily Notes – Myrrbearers (and Consecration)

Acts 6:1-7Mark 15:43-16:8 Intro:  Giving your life over to the idea of God vs. giving your life over to Jesus Christ. Compare to marriage: love the idea of marriage (or whatever) vs. unity with love through a relationship Judas loved the idea of … [Continue reading]

The Illiberal Demand for Kosher and Halal Bacon

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The Joy of BaconWith just a few days left before Pascha, the dominant logismoi distracting me from proper prayer (and analysis) is ... bacon.  I love it.  I especially love the really fatty kind that just melts in your mouth.  The best of the best is … [Continue reading]

Problems with Talking to the Rider

Ritual is a great way to train the elephant!

In a previous post, I shared the strong finding from psychology that many of our moral decisions are made pre-cognitively (i.e. by the elephant), with the active mind (i.e. the rider) pretending to play the role of objective and pious investigator … [Continue reading]