Memory eternal, James Cone. The author of The Cross and the Lynching Tree passed away today: The lynching tree—so strikingly similar to the cross on Golgotha—should have a prominent place in American images of Jesus’ death. But it does not. In fact, the lynching tree has no place in American theological reflections about Jesus’ crossContinue reading “until we can see the cross and the lynching tree together”
“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”
As modern Western people, our dichotomized categories and preconceived notions about body, soul, matter, and spirit are tragically inadequate to the task of engaging with the full mystery and beauty of reality. Ancient people understood reality in ways that we have lost the ability to understand: its full dimensionality, interiority, and microcosmic qualities. As aContinue reading “Honor all Matter and Venerate It”
I honor all matter, and venerate it. Through it, filled, as it were, with a divine power and grace, my salvation has come to me. Was the three-times happy and blessed wood of the Cross not matter? Was the sacred and holy mountain of Calvary not matter? What of the life-giving rock, the Holy Tomb,Continue reading “honor all matter”
The Gospels dramatize the human impossibility by insisting on the disciples’ inability to resist the crowd during the Passion (especially Peter, who denies Jesus three times in the High Priest’s courtyard). And yet, after the Crucifixion—which should have made matters worse than ever—this pathetic handful of weaklings suddenly succeeds in doing what they had beenContinue reading “the people who ultimately overcome the contagion of victimization”
No one can live without sin, few know how to repent in such a way that their sins are washed as white as fleece, but there is one thing which we all can do; when we can neither avoid sin, nor repent truly, we can then bear the burden of sin, bear it patiently, bearContinue reading “the cross of the thief who was crucified next to Him”
The priest, who seemed to be a wise man, had stopped talking now, and only held the cross for the wretched fellow to kiss. From The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
The word of the cross is ultimately silent. When Jesus hangs on the cross, crucified, he’s already dead, and therefore he is totally quiet. …We’re not talking today about the words from the cross. We’re talking about the word of the cross itself. And the word of the cross itself is enacted and spoken whenContinue reading “the silent depth of the cross”
Orthodox Axion for the Elevation of the Cross (Sept. 14): Thou art a mystical paradise, oh Theotokos, in which Christ blossomed; through Him the life-bearing Wood of the cross was planted on the earth. Now at its Elevation, as we bow in worship before it, we magnify thee.
Fr. Thomas Hopko speaking in a ten-part lecture series about the Lord’s Prayer. Here he speaks of praying “thy will be done” as a commitment to love like Christ loved: Therefore the most terrifying part all this has to be accomplished when you are in fact abandoned by God himself. …The ultimate act of loveContinue reading “accomplished when you are in fact abandoned by God”