The Secret is in the Climbing

The Secret is in the Climbing

His name was John (AD 579 – 649). A seventh century monk and eventually the Abbot of the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine at the base of Mt. Sinai, he came to be known in history as John of the Ladder (Κλιμακος), and he left Christendom with a text that...

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Carrying the Cross: How Much Does It Cost You?

Carrying the Cross: How Much Does It Cost You?

One of the most difficult things for human persons to face is rejection. Think of a time in your life when you felt rejected. Think of the feelings you had—sadness, betrayal, alienation and aloneness, and, for even a moment, a bitter lack of love and confidence in oneself. Rejection strikes...

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The Gift of Iconography: How Beauty Will Save the World

The Gift of Iconography: How Beauty Will Save the World

In one of his most famous novels, The Idiot, the writer Fyodor Dostoevsky has the hero of the work, Prince Mishkin, tell the depressed and cynical character Hippolite, “Beauty will save the world.” Prince Mishkin, who, like Dostoevsky, had epilepsy, is a sort of Christ-figure who represents the values Dostoevsky...

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The Hardest Forgiveness to Give

The Hardest Forgiveness to Give

Sunday is the Sunday of Forgiveness, the last day before Great Lent begins. Forgiveness is not a difficult concept to understand—we offend another, we ask for forgiveness, someone offends or hurts us, we are called by Jesus to forgive. Forgiveness is dialogical, involving two persons, as the theologian Martin Buber...

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Loving Others: Be Ye Doers of the Word

Loving Others: Be Ye Doers of the Word

In his poem “The Second Coming,” the Irish poet William Butler Yeats describes the post-World War I atmosphere in 1919. His first stanza is not only gripping, it speaks of so much of what we have seen during the past year. “Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon...

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Approaching God for the Right Reason

Approaching God for the Right Reason

At Vespers last Saturday evening, the Orthodox Church began the use of the Lenten Triodion–a service book that provides the texts for the Divine Services for the pre-Lenten weeks of preparation, for Great Lent and for Holy Week. Last Sunday was that of the Publican and the Pharisee, quite familiar...

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Taking Action and Finding Repentance

Taking Action and Finding Repentance

“The Church will not be pessimistic, nor sit quietly in its handsome houses of worship while war rages outside its churches for the bodies, minds and souls of its people.” These powerful words were spoken by His Eminence, the late Archbishop +Iakovos of blessed memory. The Archbishop spoke the words...

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Exploring the Liturgy of Saint Basil

Exploring the Liturgy of Saint Basil

Throughout the year, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is the customary Liturgy of the Byzantine Church. However, during the Nativity and Theophany seasons, the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is celebrated three times—on the Nativity, the Theophany, and on the feast of St. Basil himself, January...

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Accepting Christ’s Adoration: Look, Listen, and Be Loved!

Accepting Christ’s Adoration: Look, Listen, and Be Loved!

The Washington Post Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Gene Weingarten, wrote a piece awhile ago about a street performer playing a violin at the top of the escalator outside the L’Enfant Plaza metro station in Washington, DC. He played some of the most inspiring classical music ever written, and the rushing...

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Between the First and Second Comings

Between the First and Second Comings

In the early Church, when Christian believers gathered or parted, when they first saw each other or were separating, they didn’t say the equivalent of our “hello” or “goodbye.” They said “Maran-atha!”—an Aramaic expression that means “Come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelations 22:20) The Church Father, St. Hippolytus of Rome, in 204...

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Holy Communion: You Are Invited

Holy Communion: You Are Invited

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you…For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.” (John 6:53, 55). All of us have been invited to some friend house...

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Yet Again…Looking for Hope in Heartbreak

Yet Again…Looking for Hope in Heartbreak

More than a month ago, we experienced another horrific shooting in our nation—the deadliest yet. And this week, we witnessed another mass killing on the streets of one of our country’s greatest cities—this time a vehicle was the weapon of choice. It seems now that we pass from one tragic...

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