Being a Faithful and True Witness

Being a Faithful and True Witness

According to the Scriptures, being a witness for Christ is, in most respects, synonymous with martyrdom. While not all Christians face literal martyrdom in their lifetime, the call to carry a cross is a call to each and every one of us. Jesus Christ was the first true and faithful Martyr (Rev. 1:5), and all Christians should […]

Reparative Therapy in the Life of the Church

Reparative Therapy in the Life of the Church

Directly following the astonishing revelation in the Sermon on the Mount (as recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel, Matt. 5–7), in which Our Lord most fully taught about His Kingdom and its characteristics, He immediately begins to show us the Kingdom he spoke of in action. And what is the first thing he sets about doing? Healing. The next two chapters record […]

Ripe for Metamorphosis: The Great Feast of Transfiguration

Ripe for Metamorphosis

Transfiguration is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church. It comes forty days before the Elevation of the Holy Cross, and is the next-to-last feast of the ecclesiastical year. In this feast we are reminded of our calling as Christians: to be transfigured, to mature into ripened fruit, and to be glorified […]

Salvation as Theosis in John 1

Salvation as Theosis in John 1

Theosis or “Christification” is what I’ve come to believe is the end-game of salvation: to be united with God and so be restored in His image and likeness. St. Athanasius summed it up by saying, “God became man so that man might become divine.” He didn’t mean that we cease being creatures, but that we […]

Desire, Stillness, and the First Murder

Desire, Stillness, and the First Murder

When all the pain and misery of this world is considered, there is often one attitude at the heart of it all: a lack of contentment. Generations of Americans were raised on the “American Dream.” Many of us were taught from childhood that we could be and do anything we wanted. We were told to expect and even demand as much, stopping at nothing to […]

Carrying the Cross and Suffering in Hope

Carrying Our Cross in Hope

Jesus didn’t suffer so that we wouldn’t have to. He suffered so that we could handle suffering with him. In other forms of Christianity, one is often told that Christ suffered and died so that we could be freed from a similar fate. A focus in Protestant theology is Christ appeasing the wrath of the Father, freeing us from a […]

Remember Us In Your Kingdom

Remember Us In Your Kingdom

To be “remembered” by God is vitally important in Orthodox spiritual life. But what does this mean? Before receiving the holy Eucharist at a Divine Liturgy, we confess: I will not reveal Your mystery to Your adversaries. Nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas. But as the thief I confess to You: “Lord, remember me in Your […]

A Time to Weep and a Time to Laugh

A Time to Weep and a Time to Laugh

Reading the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, I came across the following: A hermit saw someone laughing and said to him, ‘We have to render an account of our whole life before heaven and earth, and you can laugh?’ While this probably strikes most as curmudgeonly, for us Christians, a reference to the Last Judgment ought to inspire sober […]

‘What Would Jesus Do?’ and the Feast of All Saints

'What Would Jesus Do?' and the Feast of All Saints

This past Sunday was the feast of All Saints in the Holy Orthodox Church. On that day, we commemorate all the Saints of God, fruits of the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, commemorated the Sunday prior. On this day we especially seek the intercessions of these holy men and women, and set them before […]

A Thin Veil Between Heaven and Earth

A Thin Veil between Heaven and Earth

As faithful Christians, believing the scriptures to be reliable and true, we are called to pray to both saints and angels. There are a number of biblical passages which suggest the following: Some of God’s people, both on earth and in heaven, have the ability to see and hear things which happen far away. Based […]