Exploring the paradoxes of suffering and salvation in Orthodox Christian spiritual life. +++ Suffering Hell for the Sake of Heaven Part 1 Suffering Hell for the Sake of Heaven Part 2 … [Read more...]
Elevation of the Holy Cross
The Gospel reading the Holy Fathers have chosen for the Sunday before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, which we will celebrate with the Divine Liturgy on Wednesday, is part of the dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisee Nicodemus, a member of the ruling body of the Sanhedrin whom we are told comes to Jesus “by night” as an ally and tells him, “We … [Read more...]
Send That Annoying Foreigner Away!
Early in his ministry, Jesus sent the Apostles out two-by-two with instructions to “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” They were instructed to preach repentance saying “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand; heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast … [Read more...]
My God, My God, Why have we abandoned Thee?
Today I sat in one of my favorite spots in the middle of my walk around Cooper Creek. It's a stone picnic table sheltered under some tall pine trees overlooking the lake. Carolina Tarheel sky blue above with a whisp of clouds over the green earth and the undulating brown waters of the lake. Light infuses everything and as I collect my attention … [Read more...]
The Church is Not Organized Religion But Communion to be Constantly Pursued
How often have I heard variations on the theme of 'I’m spiritual, but not religious? You can be spiritual without going to Church. I don’t like organized religion because the church is full of a bunch of hypocrites.' It sure is. Got that right. There is no one alive on the earth who is not hypocritical. We say one thing while thinking something … [Read more...]
For the Love of Tuna II
On the Greek island of Kefalonia in the Church of Markopoulo, every year on August 6th, the Feast of the Transfiguration, the “snakes of the Panaghia,” as they are called, make an appearance. They move freely throughout the church especially favoring the icon of the Panaghia, remaining until the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on the feast of the … [Read more...]