Homily – The Pharisee Can’t See – or Love – Himself

The Publican and the Pharisee St. Luke 18:9-14 The theme of Great Lent is repentance. More than learning to say “sorry” (although this is important) More than promising to “do better next time” (although this is important) It is the process of making a real change; of becoming something else – something even better Review […]

Homily – Seeing Your Neighbor through Faith

  Homily on St. Luke 18:35-43, the healing of the blind man.  How does faith in Christ heal our blindness?  Enjoy the show! Check out this episode!

Academic Talk: Ritual Actions and the Development of Moral Instinct

Paper presented at the International Orthodox Theological Association on 9-12 January 2019 in Iasi, Romania., 2019. What is the relationship between ritual actions and moral development? How does Orthopraxis mold believers into virtuous people? More specifically, what role do common Orthodox practices like prostrations, prayer rules, fasting, and kissing the hands of priests and bishops […]

Homily on Spiritual and Psychological Blindness

The Sunday of the Man Born Blind (St. John 9:1-38) Psychologists and theologians agree: In their default setting, our minds are wired not for discerning truth but social standing.  The path to objectivity involves humility, immersing ourselves in discerning communities (e.g. of science and traditional Orthodox faith), and developing a relationship with the source of […]

Parish Talk – Home is WHAT the Heart Is

We often hear that “Home is where the heart is”, and this is certainly true.  But what if the longing we felt towards home could be satisfied not by a place, but by a condition of being?  What if we could “be” in that place where we find joyful contentment at any time and at […]

Homily on the Publican and the Pharisee

We live in a fantasy world. A world in which there is no need for us to change. But we are not well, we are simply deluded. May the Lord God protect us from the Pharisee in our minds that wants to tell us lies about ourselves and our neighbors and give us the humility ? […]

Homily on Romans 15:1-2: On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand!

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. (Romans 15:1-2) This is one of the most wonderful pieces of advice in the Bible, but it goes against our culture and some of […]

St. Thomas Sunday Homily; A Meditation on Love (and doubt)

Gospel Reading:  St. John 20:19-31 Love is Always Personal There is no such thing as love in the abstract; it is not a phenomenon that can be measured in a laboratory, isolated from everything else.  It is always personal.  You all know what sacrifice looks like.  You have done it in your lives and you […]

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 […]

The Challenge of Post-Hoc Moral Decision Making

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 determines is most likely to be the best (i.e. expected utility maximization).   Very few people […]