The Triumph of True-Worship and Defeat of Iconoclasm (and why it matters)

The Triumph of True-Worship and Defeat of Iconoclasm (and why it matters)A Homily on the First Sunday of Lent: the Triumph of Orthodoxy  Note about length of services. This is traditionally a time of catechetical instruction, so sermons may be longer than usual. Your priest will do what he can to ensure that this is not time wasted. Everyone should rest assured that the Holy Spirit will fill that which is lacking – in your ears if not in his voice.  Because it is Great Lent, we are celebrating the Liturgy of St. Basil. It contains longer Eucharistic Prayers, so this will lengthen the service, too. If your legs are not strong enough for longer services, then you can do something that your ancestors never would have deigned to consider: sit … [Continue reading]

What is a “Peacemaker”? A Reflection

Then Jesus Christ said; “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” (St. Matthew 5:9) We sing this every Sunday as part of the Beatitudes (sung during the Little Entrance, when the clergy process to the Holy Doors with the Gospel), but what does it mean? Let’s start with the promise being made: the Son of God is telling us that if we bring peace to this world, His Father will adopt us as His sons and daughters!  Imagine that: God has more riches and power than any billionaire or king, and He wants us to be His heirs (e.g. Romans 8:17)!  He wants to give us a special inheritance (e.g. Colossians  3:24)!  This as an incredible reward for doing something that should come naturally: bringing peace to the … [Continue reading]

The REAL Reason People Leave the Church!

Why did they leave?  Grumpy cat knows!

Google "why people leave the church" and you will get a bazillion links to articles describing why people leave the church (okay, there may be fewer than a bazillion... I stopped counting at a hundred when I ran the search this morning).  Put the … [Continue reading]

Wolves in the Guise of Prophets: The Problem of Orthodox Fundamentalism

There is no doubt that fundamentalism is a problem, and Professor Demacopoulos provides a good introduction to it in its Orthodox form.   I dare say that the negative reactions to this article will come from two sources: one is the real … [Continue reading]

The Publican and the Pharisee in Film: Leviathan and The Island

This is an excellent review.  Corruption in politics and the Church is nothing new.  Christ is always the remedy, and sometimes he speaks through the witness of the holy fool.  Here is my favorite quote from the article; "If Zvyagintsev has the … [Continue reading]

You do NOT have to hate the west to be Orthodox!

Baptism of Rus'; pre-fire iconography at St. Michael's in Woonsocket RI.

The rhetoric from Moscow - to include from the Moscow Patriarchate and its daughter Churches - may be great at gathering support for Putin's domestic and foreign policy goals, but it is dividing Orthodox Christians in the West and threatens to do … [Continue reading]

A Boring Essay on Culture and Evangelization (class notes)

Fedotov and the Spirituality of Kyivan Rus’ This semester, I am teaching a class on “The Spirituality of Kyivan Rus’”.  It’s a fun course because I get to discuss topics like the dynamic between native cultures and Christianity and the effect this … [Continue reading]

Fr. Stephen Freeman: Gifts and Talents and the Road to Hell

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so … [Continue reading]

Evangelizing Men without Chests – can it be done?

Professor Anthony Esolen writes for Touchstone Magazine (subscribe now!)

Professor Anthony Esolen has a real gift for juxtaposing the depravities and weaknesses of modern culture with the strength of traditional Christianity.  While his critiques are strong, one of the things I appreciate about him is that he is … [Continue reading]

Nazerite Vow Completed – anybody have 2 bits?

In Mufti (i.e. civilian clothes)

The Setting: the church fire brings new challenges At four-thirty in the morning of the feast of St. Michael, the police came to the rectory bearing some terrible news: the church was on fire.  It had obviously been burning for several hours; … [Continue reading]