His mother had been careful to make him aware of that

From Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (chapter 4): Suffering at the mercy of the elements was accepted by Jethro as being quite as natural as the hunger for green vegetables and fresh fruit that was always with him during the winter. When one found comfort, he was grateful, but he was never such aContinue reading “His mother had been careful to make him aware of that”

a secret weapon within our divine image

When God made us in His divine image, this included a hidden divine capacity that has been revealed and perfected by Jesus Christ as our salvation. This secret weapon carried within our divine image is God’s humility and His joyful willingness to suffer. We correctly describe God as infinite and omnipotent, but He is capableContinue reading “a secret weapon within our divine image”

He remains in the very thick of it

From Scott Cairns’ book The End of Suffering: Well, the story goes that He has descended into the very thick of it. The story goes that He remains in the very thick of it. In mystical synergia, He collaborates with His Body, now and ever. In appalling condescension, He remains Emmanuel, God with us. WhereasContinue reading “He remains in the very thick of it”

if she ever took to praying it would be for that time and all those people

From Lila by Marilynne Robinson: She meant to ask him sometime how praying is different from worrying. His face was about as strained and Weary as it could be. White as it could be. Now here she was again, worrying over people who were long past help. You can’t even pray for someone to haveContinue reading “if she ever took to praying it would be for that time and all those people”

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”

we all carry within us our places of exile

Whatever we may do, excess will always keep its place in the heart of man, in the place where solitude is found. We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves andContinue reading “we all carry within us our places of exile”

Advent Reading of George MacDonald’s Lilith

George MacDonald’s Lilith is almost entirely populated by mothers and children. Therefore, it was natural to think often of Mary and her child while washing dishes and listening to Lilith during this Advent season. (I used an audio recording made by Pete Williams for LibriVox supplemented by occasional references to a free text download from Project Gutenberg.) Lilith: A Romance wasContinue reading “Advent Reading of George MacDonald’s Lilith”

that their sufferings might be like His

The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like His. George MacDonald in “The Consuming Fire” in Unspoken Sermons [First Series], 1867. [This passage has also been quoted by Madeleine L’Engle in Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art and by C.S. Lewis inContinue reading “that their sufferings might be like His”

invincible struggler

She who hath put on thee, our Christ and God, keepeth her head bowed to thee, along with us. Do thou preserve her as an invincible struggler so as to endure those who bring vain hostility to bear against both her and us; and do thou show forth all as victors unto the end throughContinue reading “invincible struggler”

destroying sin through the instrumentality of death

There is a whole lot in my paltry readings of Maximus the Confessor that I don’t understand. However, I continue, and Maximus rewards patience time and again. Here’s a recent example. Maximus says that Jesus came to give human death a new purpose. He made death into a weapon that we can use against ourContinue reading “destroying sin through the instrumentality of death”