‘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 […]

Lazarus, the Friend of God

Saint Lazarus, the Friend of Christ

The Saturday before Palm Sunday is commemorated as the Saturday of Lazarus. In our hymns, we refer to Lazarus as “the friend of Christ” and “the four days dead.” This Saturday is celebrated with a Divine Liturgy in honor of Lazarus and his resurrection, which serves as a type of not only Christ’s resurrection from […]

The Canon of Christ

The Canon of Christ

For the earliest Christians—the first two generations or more—the ‘Bible’ was what we now call the Old Testament. The ‘memoirs of the apostles’ and four canonical Gospels spread more widely by the middle of the second century, but before this there was no consensus on which scriptures of the New Testament were canonical. This is […]

Saint Patrick and the Emptiness of Revenge

Saint Patrick and the Emptiness of Revenge

Apart from the self-sacrificial love of God, there is only revenge. Considering the message of most Western literature and even Hollywood today, a lust for revenge might seem the dominant meta-narrative of our culture. From the Iliad to Hamlet to the anti-heroine of True Grit, revenge satisfies a sinful passion that infects our souls apart […]

Judas Maccabeus and the Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman means a great deal to me. As an actor, he was one of the finest of his generation, and set a new bar for the acting profession. He worked with some of the greatest directors the industry has ever produced (including many of my personal favorites). And yet, he was a troubled person. […]

An Orthodox Reflection on the 12 Days of Christmas

From Birth to Baptism: The Glory of Christmastide

A wonderful part of the Orthodox celebration of Christmas is the period of Christmastide or the 12 Days of Christmas. This is one of those rare times in the life of the Church where all fasting is suspended, and the fulness of Christ’s incarnation is on full display. Thankfully, people have come to understand more […]

Did You Know that Jesus Was Born in a Cave?

Did You Know that Jesus Was Born in a Cave?

Growing up, the day after Thanksgiving was the day our Christmas decorations were brought down from the attic. My grandmother is skilled in ceramics, and she long ago gave us a Nativity scene that she lovingly made herself. I fondly remember taking these pieces out of storage and arranging them on our coffee table. Most Nativity […]

The Attributes of the Church by St. Justin Popovich

The Attributes of the Church by St. Justin Popovich

I have drunk heavily from the following words for the better part of the last two years. It helped transform my spiritual life, my understanding of the Church and Her purpose as the Body of Christ, and my appreciation for Orthodoxy as a light in the relativistic darkness of the modern era. An excerpt from The […]

The Lamps of the Wise

The Lamps of the Wise

Despite the invention of both electricity and modern light bulbs, oil lamps remain a key aspect of Orthodox worship. Much could be said about the physical arrangement of these lamps in our churches as well their symbolic meaning and significance. Of their literal place in our churches or home prayer corners, this has been Christian […]

The Messiah and Gift-Giving

The Messiah and Gift-giving

The giving of gifts is an ancient custom found in practically every society. It has, and does, serve many purposes: to cement alliances between kings; to pay tribute by a lesser nation to a greater; to convey thanks; as a cultural gesture of appreciation at the first visit to someone’s home; to mollify an angry […]