Some thoughts on miracles…

[written for the 2016 Great Lent Giveaway] On Miracles in the Holy Bible and Now Miracles in the Old Testament Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.  Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of heaven, over the cattle, and over all […]

Wisdom from St. John of the Ladder (on prayer)

From The Ladder of Divine Ascent, St. John of the Ladder. Step 28:  On holy and blessed prayer, mother of virtues, and on the attitude of mind and body in prayer. What is Prayer?  The Union of Man with God 1. Prayer by reason of its nature is the converse and union of man with […]

Homily: On Repentance and Facing Death (and Suffering) Well

Theophany comes up this week: today’s readings help us prepare. Gospel:  the ministry of St. John the Baptist (St. Mark 1:1-8) Son of Zachariah and Elizabeth; a miracle child Gabriel announced: “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his […]

J.R.R. Tolkein on Mythopoeia

From To one [C.S. Lewis] who said that myths were lies and therefore worthless, even though ‘breathed through silver’. Philomythus to Misomythus You look at trees and label them just so,(for trees are ‘trees’, and growing is ‘to grow’);you walk the earth and tread with solemn paceone of the many minor globes of Space:a star’s […]

Homily Notes: The Widow of Nain (Tears, Childolatry, and the Resurrection)

Homily Notes: St. Luke 7: 11-16 (The Raising of the Nain Widow’s Son) Warm-up.  The Holy Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils and the revelation of the Harmony of God. The ContextScriptural Context:  Because the Lord, while not even present, had healed the centurion’s servant, H now performs another even more remarkable miracle.  He does this […]

From the Archives: An Explanation of the (Christian) Heresy of Islam for Orthodox Believers

A friend of mine has been encouraging me to put something together on this for a church publication.  I wanted to write so much more (e.g. presenting more of the patristic work on the subject), but time and space didn’t allow for it.  I am guessing that some of the audience will find the title […]

Notes from a Baptismal Homily – Baptism as Cosmic Spiritual Warfare

Welcome Guests.  Congratulations. What is it that just happened?  What is it that baptism accomplishes? There are many ways to look at it: In secular terms, the community of St. Michael’s welcomed a family into formal membership.  This is, of course true, and while happy as we have been so happy them as worshipping and […]

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 and we are here because we want to do […]

The Illiberal Demand for Kosher and Halal Bacon

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 […]

Problems with Talking to the Rider

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 but actually playing the role of marketing guy for the decision the gut had […]