Zacchaeus and the Salvation of Sinners

Zacchaeus and the Salvation of Sinners

Zacchaeus lives in the Church, abiding as an image of us all. In some sense, everyone of us is Zacchaeus, for everyone of us is a sinner at heart. That is why Zacchaeus is invoked and his example recalled every time the priest enters someone’s home to invoke the presence...

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The Reality of Demonic Possession

The Reality of Demonic Possession

A great gulf separates those who read the Scriptures over the shoulders of the Fathers and those who read over the shoulders of modern secular academics. The former are open to the possibility that the ancient worldview might have something to teach us, while the latter dismiss it utterly as...

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How Ecumenical Are You?

How Ecumenical Are You?

My guess is that nothing can stop Orthodox conversation and divide a room quite so fast as someone loudly asking the question, “How ecumenical are you?” If ever I was asked the question, I think that I would feel compelled to answer the question with my own counter-question, “What do...

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The Calendar Question

The Calendar Question

Lately, for whatever reason, I discovered that the clock on my wall was running slow.  It might have been a fading battery, or it might have been gremlins, but anyway, it was running slow and needed to be fixed.  One day many, many years ago, scholars and astronomers in Europe discovered that...

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Newsweek Scholarship: So Sloppy It’s a Sin

Newsweek Scholarship: So Sloppy It’s a Sin

Just in time for Christmas, Newsweek continued the media’s predictable and venerable tradition of trashing the Christian Faith. (Expect the next instalment just around Easter time.)  To be precise, on December 23, it published a piece by Kurt Eichenwald entitled, “The Bible:  So Misunderstood It’s a Sin”.  The intended victims of the annual seasonal assault are...

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St. Basil:  A Proper Bishop

St. Basil: A Proper Bishop

St. Basil lived and worked in the fourth century, when the Church was just starting to work hand in glove with the Roman state.  The new relationship took some getting used to:  before this, the Christians tried to avoid the State and its police whenever they could, since the coming...

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Saint Stephen:  The Death of a Revolutionary

Saint Stephen: The Death of a Revolutionary

Saint Stephen is usually hailed as the first Christian martyr, but he is more than that. His death was also a boundary, and the blood which flowed from his body as the stones hit him became a river, one which separated the faith of the Christians from the religion of...

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Fifty Shades of Normal?

Fifty Shades of Normal?

Predicting future trends is a risky business for anyone who doesn’t possess a good crystal ball.  Nonetheless, on the basis of past experience and history, we may confidently declare that trends and changes which one generation grudgingly allow the next will enthusiastically embrace, especially if these changes involve a downward moral...

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Mary Magdalene as Mrs. Jesus

Mary Magdalene as Mrs. Jesus

You can tell it’s almost Christmas by observing any one of three things: 1. lots of cars in the mall parking lots; 2. inane secular Christmas songs blaring from the mall loud-speakers, and 3. even more inane articles on Jesus in the media. Foremost in this year’s inevitable crop of...

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A Second Look at the Rejuvenation of the Ministry of the Ordained Deaconess

A Second Look at the Rejuvenation of the Ministry of the Ordained Deaconess

Of late, a pan-Orthodox organization of Orthodox women called “St. Catherine’s Vision” has issued a “Call for the Rejuvenation of the Ministry of the Ordained Deaconess”. The call is addressed to the Ecumenical Patriarch with the hopes of being blessed and acted upon by the upcoming Great and Holy Council,...

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The Feast of the Entrance and the Protoevangelium of James

The Feast of the Entrance and the Protoevangelium of James

Much of the hymnography adorning our Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple causes the raising of eyebrows—talk about Mary being escorted into the Holy of Holies by Zechariah the high-priest and remaining there, being miraculously fed by an angel.  How is it that any female was...

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The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever

The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Our experience of living in North America today is very different than was the experience of living in Byzantium in the fifth century, or in Holy Russia in the nineteenth century—or even in post-Soviet Russia now in the twenty-first century. Every culture is different, and these differences profoundly impact on...

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