Queen, Saint, and Stateswoman: Commemorating the ‘Lion of Georgia’

Queen, Saint, and Stateswoman: Commemorating the ‘Lion of Georgia’

If anyone insists to you that Christianity represses women or that Christian women are always under the control of oppressive male patriarchs, St. Queen Tamar of Georgia’s life and reign (1160-1213, r. 1178-84 with her father, and as sole monarch from 1184-1213) is one of the most profound historical examples...

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Celebrating St. Nicholas: When Santa Went to Jail

Celebrating St. Nicholas: When Santa Went to Jail

The Nativity Fast has begun, and Christmas is just around the corner. Trees are soon to be decorated. Children around the world will make lists, check them twice and anxiously await the arrival of Santa Claus. However, parents beware! Jolly old St. Nick served time in prison. I’m not kidding!...

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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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Musings from a Grateful Convert: A Priest’s Impression of Prison

Musings from a Grateful Convert: A Priest’s Impression of Prison

Recently, I had the privilege to interview Father Nikitas Theodosion, a Priest who visited a prison inmate in August of 2017.  The following is the transcript of an excerpt from that interview. Grateful Convert: Today we welcome Father Nikitas Theodosion, who has served for eight years as parish Priest at...

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The “Opportunity Costs” of Christmas

The “Opportunity Costs” of Christmas

When we were kids, Christmas morning was all about the excitement of waking up super early, running down the stairs, and gasping at all the presents that Santa would manage to get through a window (we didn’t have a fireplace) during the night without being heard. We would then run...

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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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Understanding and Living Our Faith: When Protectors Become Predators

Understanding and Living Our Faith: When Protectors Become Predators

“To give free rein to the senses is to shackle the soul, to shackle the senses is to liberate it. When the sun sets, night comes; when Christ leaves the soul, the darkness of the passions envelops it and incorporeal predators tear it asunder.” (Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia) Powerful men...

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Why I Go to Church

Why I Go to Church

It’s Sunday morning. Maybe it’s raining outside. Maybe it’s a bit chilly. It’s a tempting thought to lay around in my pajamas, sipping coffee, and watching the Sunday morning news programs. When I was a young child, there was no such thing. It was church choir time, and we were...

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Finding Prayer Past the Smoke

Finding Prayer Past the Smoke

The struggle to pray is real. And it is as real for us as it was for all the Desert Fathers and Saints who came before us. Amma Syncletica, one of the Desert Mothers describes our struggle to pray in this way. “In the beginning there are a great many...

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In Defense of Orthodoxy

In Defense of Orthodoxy

“Only Begotten Son and Immortal Word of God, Who for our salvation didst will to be incarnate of the holy Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, Who without change didst become man and wast crucified, O Christ our God, Trampling down death by death, Who art one of the Holy Trinity, Glorified...

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Musings from a Grateful Convert: Baby in the House!

Musings from a Grateful Convert: Baby in the House!

The following is a departure from my usual MO. Here is a poem in free verse that represents a personal glimpse into the miraculous event known as having a baby. I hope you enjoy it. Baby in the House! We had been married only a month and she was pregnant...

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Thanksgiving: The Norm of Christian Existence

Thanksgiving: The Norm of Christian Existence

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 135:1 LXX). My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Several decades ago, a visitor from Western Europe came to the Soviet Union and met with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow at the time...

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