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 the Messiah The myrrhbearers loved Jesus Christ the Messiah; through that personal service/duty they found the true God John (14:6-7)  “Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.” God is perfect love; we know and live in that love not through love of the idea of God – or even the idea of Christ – but through the constant nurturing of our … [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 fried salo, a sort of bacon cut so that it isn't anything but but pure unadulterated pig fat  (salo is surely one of the greatest delights of being Ukrainian Orthodox!).  And is there any better sandwich in the world than a toasted BLT?   What Do You Mean, God Doesn't Like Bacon?For me, bacon is one of the ineffable proofs that God is real.  When a nice greasy chunk of it melts in my mouth, I have no doubt about God or His love for me and all mankind.  But that's not the way it is for … [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]

Becoming a Peacemaker

How can I become a Peacemaker?  Come, ye children, hearken unto me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.What man is he that desireth life, that loveth to see good days?Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.Turn away from … [Continue reading]

Homily on St. John of the Ladder

Every Sunday of Great Lent is dedicated to person or event, with the sequence of these commemorations designed to prepare us for a deeper participation in Christ’s passion and resurrection.  This Sunday is dedicated to the life and work of St. John … [Continue reading]

A Plea for Pastoral Gentleness

Eko using his "Jesus Stick" (from "Lost").

Thoughts on the calling of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew Matthew was a tax collector.  When Jesus gave him the invitation to “follow me”, he responded with hospitality.  He opened his house to the Lord, his disciples, fellow tax … [Continue reading]

Homily on the Cross (notes)

St. Mark 8:34-9:1 Context:  Christ has told his disciples about his coming passion.  Peter rejected it; and Christ widened the coming persecution to include Himself.  He had done this in his greatest homily saying “Blessed are you, when people … [Continue reading]

The Challenge of Post-Hoc Moral Decision Making

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The Rational Decision-makerIn the post-enlightenment west, we have this idea that man is rational; that when he approaches a decision, he gathers the available data, calculates the costs and benefits of each alternative, and selects the one that he … [Continue reading]

Homily on St. Gregory Palamas (notes)

What God do you meet in those moments of transcendence? Humans are built with the ability to enjoy and bask in the glory of God (brief warmth of sun after a long winter) Was meant to be a permanent reality; but we chose another way But we still … [Continue reading]

Homily for the Sunday of Orthodoxy: Extreme Orthodoxy (notes)

A Note on Extremism Extremism is the only way to become perfect in God  Extremism?  Yeah it can be dangerous That’s why we’d better get it right What does Extreme Christianity look like? Orthodoxy!  But what does that mean? Danger of … [Continue reading]