the human vocation to make the hundred thousand billion galaxies with a hundred billion stars into paradise

This is from “Darwin and Christianity – Part 8: The Genesis Account (part 2)” recorded as a podcast on “Speaking the Truth in Love” for Ancient Faith Ministries by Fr. Tom Hopko. Here he is talking about the first chapters of Genesis and describing how God made the Garden of Eden: So there’s a realContinue reading “the human vocation to make the hundred thousand billion galaxies with a hundred billion stars into paradise”

On the Death and Birth of Aragorn

“The funeral-boat of Boromir.” Anke Katrin Eißmann. 1999. One month ago, my fourteen-year-old daughter told me that I should write a tribute to Aragorn for March 1st, the date of his birth and his death. I was proud that she had March 1st associated with Aragorn in her mind and flattered that she would want me to write aContinue reading “On the Death and Birth of Aragorn”

this hope and longing of creatures should be fulfilled

John Amos Comenius (1592–1670) was a great educational reformer (called father of modern education by some). He suggests that the Garden of Eden was a school for the childlike souls of Adam and Eve, and Comenius says that all schools should be modeled on that first example. Essential to this holistic vision, Comenius holds aContinue reading “this hope and longing of creatures should be fulfilled”

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, whateverContinue reading “it is enough for me to see you”

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 topicContinue reading “Orthodox Positions on Sin within the Life of Mary the Mother of God”

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 stoleContinue reading “the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking”

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 anContinue reading “the Mountains rang with it”

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 YourContinue reading “we search for You in prayer”

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, afterContinue reading “thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers”

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 beContinue reading “you had to trust sleep when it came”