she will carry to her rambling race that bright and living fire

God’s Mother was born today, the first of the twelve great feasts in the church year. These poor thoughts rattled around in my mind over the last few days, so I set them down. Those familiar with the feasts connected to Mary’s life will see that my words are just clumsy responses to three ofContinue reading “she will carry to her rambling race that bright and living fire”

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 ultimate mystery of evil must also be a personal one

Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism by Alexander Schmemann. It is not our purpose to outline, even superficially, the Orthodox teaching concerning the Devil. In fact, the Church has never formulated it systematically, in the form of a clear and concise “doctrine.” What is of paramount importance for us, however, isContinue reading “the ultimate mystery of evil must also be a personal one”

it is built primarily on the double rhythm of preparation and fulfillment

Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism by Alexander Schmemann. We must realize first of all that preparation is a constant and essential aspect of the Church’s worship as a whole. It is impossible to enter into the spirit of liturgy, to understand its meaning and truly to participate in it withoutContinue reading “it is built primarily on the double rhythm of preparation and fulfillment”

religion does not want Christianity

For it falsifies the Christian message to present and to preach Christianity as essentially life-affirming–without referring this affirmation to the death of Christ and therefore to the very fact of death; to pass over in silence the fact that for Christianity death is not only the end, but indeed the very reality of this world.Continue reading “religion does not want Christianity”

strange vacuum covered by this truly demonic word

Today no one, except the peculiar and esoteric race of men called “liturgiologists,” is interested in what was in the past a major preoccupation for Christians: the feasts and the seasons, the cycles of prayer, a very real concern about the “kairos“–the time of liturgical celebration. Not only the average layman, even the theologian seemsContinue reading “strange vacuum covered by this truly demonic word”

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”

celebrants of the sacrament of life

This is the first meaning of our bringing to the altar the elements of our food. For we already know that food is life, that it is the very principle of life and that the whole world has been created as food for man. We also know that to offer this food, this world, thisContinue reading “celebrants of the sacrament of life”

joy of recovered childhood

The liturgy is, before everything else, the joyous gathering of those who are to meet the risen Lord and to enter with him into the bridal chamber. And it is this joy of expectation and this expectation of joy that are expressed in singing and ritual, in vestments and in censing, in that whole beautyContinue reading “joy of recovered childhood”

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”