attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity

Simone Weil on her birthday. First, from Gravity and Grace (1947): Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating. …We have to try to cure our faults by attention and not by will. The will only controls a fewContinue reading “attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity”

Life from Inside of Death

“You may be certain that as long as someone is in hell, Christ will remain there with him.” Elder Sophrony gave this famous reply to a question from Olivier Clement regarding those who will not open their hearts to the love of God. In this Easter season, with Christ’s glorious and victorious resurrection preeminent, itContinue reading “Life from Inside of Death”

He provided a new, sacramental mode of presence

From Patrick Henry Reardon’s book Reclaiming the Atonement: An Orthodox Theology of Redemption (Volume 1 of 3: The Incarnate Word). The Divine Liturgy, we may say, is the oven of the Holy Spirit. That grain of wheat which was sown in the earth on Good Friday sprang forth as the infinite paschal harvest and nowContinue reading “He provided a new, sacramental mode of presence”

established our holy fathers as luminous stars upon the earth

From the hymns this morning. Troparion of the Holy Fathers, Tone VIII: Most glorified art thou, O Christ our God, / Who hast established our holy fathers as luminous stars upon the earth, / and through them didst guide us all to the true Faith // Oh most merciful One, glory be to Thee. KontakionContinue reading “established our holy fathers as luminous stars upon the earth”

Adam was made in the image of the incarnate Christ

Irenaeus concluded—amazingly—that Adam came into being as a result of Christ and his passion, that Adam was made in the image of the incarnate Christ, who himself is the beginning and the end. From Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives by Peter C. Bouteneff. Here it is with more context (including severalContinue reading “Adam was made in the image of the incarnate Christ”

ripened with legends

Translated by Stephen Spender and J. L. Gili from “Ballad of the Little Square” by Frederico Garcia Lorca: My heart of silk is filled with lights, with lost bells, with Lillie’s and bees. I will go very far, farther than those hills, farther than the seas, close to the stars, to beg Christ The LordContinue reading “ripened with legends”

a bit of overt pressure from his mother

The Jesus We Missed: The Surprising Truth About the Humanity of Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon (excerpts from chapters 1 and 2): The problem, which is historical, is easily stated: Just where did Matthew and Luke discover the historical material that fills the first two chapters of each of these gospels? Since this material had notContinue reading “a bit of overt pressure from his mother”

the very food of our world became His body

In this world Christ was rejected. He was the perfect expression of life as God intended it. Th fragmentary life of the world was gathered into His life; He was the heart beat of the world and the world killed Him. But in that murder the world itself died. It lost its last chance toContinue reading “the very food of our world became His body”

their faces reflected the light

The early Christians realized that in order to become the temple of the Holy Spirit they must ascend to heaven where Christ has ascended. They realized also that this ascension was the very condition of their mission in the world, of their ministry to the world. Fort there–in heaven–they were immersed in the new lifeContinue reading “their faces reflected the light”

the divine in him contracted to an ache

By Scott Cairns in his “Recovered Body” collection and recently shared here on the Huffington Post. The More Earnest Prayer of Christ And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly… –Luke 22:44 His last prayer in the garden began, as most as his prayers began–in earnest, certainly, but not without distraction, an habitual…what? Distance?Continue reading “the divine in him contracted to an ache”