We do not create relationships, nor do we have them. We are relationships and we either perceive this and pay attention or we do not. In as much as we do not, we begin moving towards non-existence – death. It is possible to be very quiet and yet be profoundly aware and responsive to our existence as relationship.
Some forms of Christian spirituality are built upon the false definition of joy as an emotion. For emotion can be induced, especially with music. Singing loudly and long can induce a kind of euphoria and a feeling of well-being, which is then equated with joy. In fact joy is not an emotion, and so can indeed be sustained.
The world is crammed with chaos, with loud distractions, each one screaming like the loud wind on the sea to look away from Christ. But as long as we focus upon the Lord, we can have peace, even in the midst of the storm. The chaos of the world can lash our faces and soak us to skin, but it cannot sink us.
With its multiplicity of rules, canons, and liturgical stipulations, one might be forgiven for thinking that Orthodoxy is primarily about rules and regulations, coupled with a corresponding fear of breaking the rules and regulations. Orthodoxy therefore would then involve going through life fearful of infraction, mistake, misstep, and contamination from […]
A simple means of renouncing wealth is to confess that we own nothing, but only have the use of our goods for a short time. The Christian attitude towards wealth in the early centuries threatened the very halls of empire. The gospel has not changed.
Human beings are created for true personal existence. That existence is a relationship with everything around us. But we begin to move towards non-existence when we nurture relationships with lies. See the truth. Speak the truth. Be the truth.
The most revealing thing within human history is the appearing of Jesus Christ in our midst. In this coming-among-us, we see the face of God. That face alone can tell us who we truly are. We can only know ourselves as we see ourselves in Him.
I am often embarrassed by Orthodox failures, just as I am by my own, and for the same reason. However, I believe our failures are uniquely unmasked by the sublime reality of the sacraments, and the perfection of the gift we have been given.
The mystery of our freedom is found in the condescending love of God. The exercise of our freedom, particularly when used for evil ends, inevitably makes God appear weak or non-existent. We rarely consider the fact that it makes Him look like an equal, and an equal who loves us.
Regardless of how we view the chances of returning the West to the Christian faith we at least must acknowledge that this world is not our true home. Our true home is the heavenly Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God, and at our baptism we took up citizenship in that Kingdom.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7). But it is the irony of the Cross: Love enduring all things. If you know the Cross and the Love that is crucified there, then the verse likely needs no explanation. Christ is His own exegesis.
Scientifically each person was created by the work of mommy and daddy; theologically each person was created by the love of God. And this means that each person bears a tremendous weight of dignity and value, since each person is the handiwork of the Trinity, and (as someone once said) God does not make junk.