it is enough for me to see you

Select sayings from Abba Anthony on the eve of his feast day (with a few repeats from previous posts): 3. Someone asked Abba Anthony, “What must one do in order to please God?” The old man replied, “Pay attention to what I tell you: whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes, whatever […]

Orthodox Positions on Sin within the Life of Mary the Mother of God

This is a topic that I’ve read about over several years now (primarily online, not having come across it much within books), and I have wanted to collect together a few comments from various online sources into one place for myself as a simple reference in conversations (particularly when I am asked about this topic […]

the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking

Advent Patrick Kavanagh We have tested and tasted too much, lover— Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder. But here in the Advent-darkened room Where the dry black bread and the sugarless tea Of penance will charm back the luxury Of a child’s soul, we’ll return to Doom The knowledge we stole […]

the Mountains rang with it

This is the ending to J.R.R. Tolkien’s short story “Leaf by Niggle.” I love this story of how a modest lifetime is made to be of great worth: “for many it is the best introduction to the Mountains.” It is also noteworthy that Tolkien fills the highest heights of heaven with ringing laughter (in an […]

we search for You in prayer

From a selection of prayers excerpted by Bishop Theophan the Recluse from the works of Holy Father Ephraim the Syrian: We search for You in prayer, O Lord, for all is comprehended in You. May we be enriched by You, for You are wealth that does not diminish with the changes of time. May Your […]

thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers

C.S. Lewis in The Abolition of Man: Hitherto the plans of educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted and indeed, when we read them — how Plato would have every infant “a bastard nursed in a bureau”, and Elyot would have the boys see no men before the age of seven and, after […]

you had to trust sleep when it came

From Lila by Marilynne Robinson: “What?” he said. The worrying had worn him out. He gave a sermon once about the disciples sleeping at Gethsemane because they were weary with grief. Sleep is such a mercy, he said. It was a mercy even then. “I’ve just never had the care of a child.” “We’ll be […]

transform all the old love and make its relics wonderful

How could she know what he had sanctified to that child’s mind with his stories, sad stories that had made them laugh. …As if all that saving and keeping their father had done was providence indeed, and new love would transform all the old love and make its relics wonderful. From Home by Marilynne Robinson.

the social bond itself was enchanted

How (Not) To Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor by James K. A. Smith: Not only were things invested with significance in the premodem imaginary, but the social bond itself was enchanted, sacred. “Living in the enchanted, porous world of our ancestors was inherently living socially” (p. 42). The good of a common weal is a […]