There is a patience and a humility that comes in a traditioned existence. It assumes that age and experience hold the possibility of wisdom, and that the wisdom of earlier generations is a treasure. Just as our DNA is a treasure, representing countless generations of survivors, whose inherited immunity makes life possible.
Author: Fr. Stephen FREEMAN
If we want to pray, then we will have to live as though we are praying. We cannot live in the abstract and suddenly attend to the real. We cannot “care” and then turn to love. “To live” is an active verb. The passions of mass experience are something else.
The soul is a difficult thing to speak (or write) about. First, the word is used so commonly and widely that its true meaning becomes obscured. Second, the soul is largely unknown to each of us, despite its primary importance. So, I will begin by giving its simple meaning: the […]
Among the most uncomfortable feelings is that of “not belonging.” It is one of the forms of shame, for, when we do not belong or are “out of place,” we feel exposed and inherently vulnerable. It is not a feeling that we sustain for any length of time without engaging […]
The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church, is dedicated to St. John Climacus, the author of the ancient work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. It is a classic work describing “steps” within the life of the struggling ascetic. There is an icon associated with this work, picturing […]
Few things are as difficult in the modern world as fasting. It is not simply the action of changing our eating habits that we find problematic – it’s the whole concept of fasting and what it truly entails. It comes from another world. We understand dieting – changing how we […]
As verbal beings, we live in a world of icons. We experience the world in an iconic fashion. A major difficulty for us is that we have lost the vocabulary of iconic reality. We have substituted the language of photography. The dissonance between reality and our photographic assumptions has led […]
For many, the “mythical radiance” has been lost. What has taken place is the privileging of the secular account of reality. It is felt that we must win on the ground defined by secular materialism. The result is a modernized faith, even if the “facts” embraced are antique.
We live in a culture of strong feelings. How we “feel” about something is generally taken to mean “what I believe.” This is not at all the case. Most people have a set of feelings or sentiments that largely serve the purpose of supporting the story they tell themselves about […]
The Feast of Christ’s Baptism is called “Theophany.” It means the “showing forth of God.” It is so named because, in the event of Christ’s Baptism, we see Christ, the Son of God, hear the voice of the Father (“Thou art my beloved Son…”), and see the Spirit in the form of a dove.
In Dostoevsky’s The Demons, the character, Kirillov, is insanely fascinated with freedom. He cannot bear the fact that he did not choose his own existence. Life is a “given.” In what must be seen as a parable of the radical thought of the 19th century, Kirillov determines to kill himself, […]
Human beings seem to be created with a longing for meaning. We not only experience the world, but want to make sense of it as well. That sense-making is a thread of continuity that joins every religious tradition in history.