Category: Union with God

  • Assimilating the Gospel

    A pilgrimage is reduced to tourism if it does not become a part of the pilgrim himself. I have been home for a little over 24 hours – most of it in the stupor of “jet-lag.” I have sat down to write several times, only to find that I was too tired to say much.…

  • Healing the Heart

    The heart itself is but a small vessel, yet dragons are there, and there are also lions; there are poisonous beasts and all the treasures of evil. But there too is God, the angels, the life and the kingdom, the light and the apostles, the heavenly cities and the treasuries of grace—all things are there.…

  • The Habit of Prayer

    Though created in the image of God – man has fallen far. The image is not demolished, but we have not fulfilled the likeness and we frequently distort the image beyond recognition. Part of the true human life described in Genesis, are the “walks in the Garden” with God. Man and God converse – they…

  • Why the Intercession of the Saints is a Dogma

    Biblical interpretation and doctrine based on Scripture have certain parameters that anyone rightly handling the word of truth must observe. The particular rule that I have in mind in this posting is the simple avoidance of anachronisms. That is, if an idea did not exist at the time of the New Testament, or shortly thereafter,…

  • Sacraments: The World as Mystery

    My recent post on Pentecost and Evangelism occasioned several thoughtful responses. One of the responses seemed to me particularly worth further reflection. I start with an excerpt: Truly it is God we need and want, nothing less. I experienced in my heart, but didn’t realize in my head until I began to study Orthodoxy, that in…

  • Is a Relationship with God What We Want?

    An excellent question was raised in the comments of my previous post – the question being about the nature of relationship. It is commonplace in our modern parlance to speak of a “personal relationship” which is either redundant, or a way of weakening the true meaning of “personal.” I suspect that the modern meaning of…

  • Kinder, Gentler

    The following quote (of St. Seraphim of Sarov) is framed and mounted in the narthex of my parish. I first obtained the quote from my Archbishop: You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives…

  • How to “Read” the Church

    If, as I have wrtten, the Orthodox Church itself is the proper interpretation of Scripture – then one might ask, “How am I supposed to read the Scriptures if their interpretation is the Church?” It is a good, even an obvious question, but one which points us to the very thing at hand: the nature…

  • At the Annunciation – The Cause of All Things

    I treasure the small volume of George Gabriel,  Mary the Untrodden Portal of God. Gabriel occasionally strikes hard at the West and the book would perhaps be strengthened with a less combative approach to the differences of East and West in the faith (my own opinion), but I liked the book and found Gabriel addressing many…

  • He Burst the Yawning Gates of Hell

    Whom have we, Lord, like you – The Great One who became small, the Wakeful who slept, The Pure One who was baptized, the Living One who died, The King who abased himself to ensure honor for all. Blessed is your honor! St. Ephrem the Syrian For the West, today is Holy Saturday. Thus I…


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