Beginning to Pray with Metropolitan Bloom and The Little Prince

Beginning to Pray with Metropolitan Bloom and The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince has long been one of my favorite books. If you are unfamiliar with this modern classic, it is a fable about an otherworldly prince who loves a rose and befriends a fox; the fox teaches him how to be a true friend. Peppered throughout...

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Put Your Hope in God, for I Will yet Praise Him

Put Your Hope in God, for I Will yet Praise Him

Nearly twenty-five years ago, on the cusp of my graduation from college, I had a nervous breakdown. My longstanding identity as a student was being stripped away, and I couldn’t find a deeper identity beneath it. (There were additional, more complex factors as well.) I came back from commencement, locked...

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Bestowing Life

Bestowing Life

“O Son of God, do a miracle for me and change my heart. Thy having taken flesh to redeem me was more difficult than to transform my wickedness.” (Irish, 15th Century) Some people are intrinsically kind and nice, but I’m not one of them. When I was three or four,...

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I Had Not Thought Death Had Undone So Many

I Had Not Thought Death Had Undone So Many

When Dante makes his famous literary descent into the Inferno, he utters these now-famous words: “I had not thought death had undone so many.” Six centuries later, T.S. Eliot included this quotation in his epic poem The Waste Land; it is Eliot’s translation that I here favor. This was my...

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Kisses are Better than Ashes

Kisses are Better than Ashes

My first year as an Orthodox Christian I missed Ash Wednesday. I don’t mean forgot to attend or didn’t notice it on the calendar, but literally missed. Felt absence and longing. I understand why the Orthodox Church generally doesn’t notice Ash Wednesday. My prayers are for God alone and not...

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The Generosity of Saint Brigid

The Generosity of Saint Brigid

Her mother, like St. Patrick before her, was a Christian slave. Her father was a pagan chieftain in Leinster, east Ireland. Brigid was born in ~453 (451-453) and grew into an open-hearted girl whose abundant generosity plagued her father. Multiple stories agree that she was constantly passing out milk, butter,...

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Having Arisen from Sleep

Having Arisen from Sleep

Early in the morning the devout women of the community would rise before the rest of their households and, before beginning any of their daily chores, “wended their way though the gray dawn to kneel in the cold nave of the church, their peripheral vision cut off by babushkas pulled...

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An Orthodox Family Reunion

An Orthodox Family Reunion

I have heard some converts refer to their journey to the Orthodox Church as “coming home,” but that was never my experience, probably because a problematic childhood has meant for me that “home” doesn’t always have pleasant connotations.  My own experience in encountering the Church was more like “Where have...

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The Gift of Time

The Gift of Time

It was last Spring, just after Pascha. A Sunday at the conclusion of Liturgy. Our priest was announcing the forthcoming daytime services for the next few weeks. I wish I could attend a mid-week liturgy, I’d thought. But I was too busy at work. Then, two days later, I learned...

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Rescue Dogs, Lost Sheep, and Drowned Women

Rescue Dogs, Lost Sheep, and Drowned Women

The icon of Christ in my prayer corner is The Good Shepherd; I chose it because The Good Shepherd most aptly describes my journey to Orthodoxy. I’d heard the Parable of the Lost Sheep ever since I was a child in Protestant Sunday School, but as an Evangelical child, I’d...

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The Priest’s Supper

The Priest’s Supper

I came to the Orthodox Church by way of a high-church Lutheran congregation to which I’d supplemented a private study of Irish history, mythology, and the ‘ancient Irish’ church. Irish-American is the heritage I claim although in truth my blood is mixed with Dutch and German too. As a child,...

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