Reading The Baptism of Christ icon

Today my Church celebrates one of the Great feasts of the Church. The Baptism of Jesus or "Theophany." Like all Great Christian feasts it points back to the saving work of God through Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. In the baptism of Christ we see a prefigurement of his death as he enters the water, and a promise of his and our own resurrection in his emersion from the water. I thought it might be fun to take a look at the icon of Theophany today as we celebrate this feast.In the … [Read more...]

Mother of God

Yesterday was the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God in the Catholic Church.If this title for Mary seems funny to you don't worry. The early church had problems with it too. Just look at what went down at the First Council of Ephesus!Many of us protestants get nervous when we here the title. We think this is used to put Mary on too high a pedestal. Interestingly the term emerged less as a way of exalting Mary but as a way to assert the Divinity of Christ.The Greek for "Mother of God" is Θεοτόκος (T … [Read more...]

The Massacre of the Innocents

“A voice is heard in Ramah,weeping and great mourning,Rachel weeping for her childrenand refusing to be comforted,because they are no more.”(Matthew 2:18, Jer. 31:15)This week the church remembers the The Massacre of the Innocents with "Holy Innocents' Day." Here we remember the fallen children murdered by Herod.Most of you have heard the story. Some wise men show up in Herod's court and tell him they saw a star that says a king is born. Herod Freaks out and orders the execution of all young mal … [Read more...]

St. John Chrysostom, “Homily on Christmas Morning”

While many from Eastern Christian traditions are failure with St. John Chrysostom and his writings (his Paschal homily is read every year in the Orthodox church). We in the west often overlook him. As we continue to celebrate Christmas I thought it might be cool to post another famous Homily (sermon) by St. John Chrysostom. This was has been called "the first Christmas sermon"St. John Chrysostom’s Christmas HomilyBEHOLD a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no … [Read more...]

The 12 Days of Christmas: A Coded Catholic Catechesis?

This week I ran into an article over at snopes. That talks about how some people are saying the 12 days of Christmas song is actually a series of codes used to teach Catholic children about the faith during the times in which being a Catholic was outlawed in England. The true love in the song is God, and the gifts he gives can be decoded as follows:A Partridge in a Pear Tree = JesusTwo Turtle Doves = Old and New TestamentsThree French Hens = The Three Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope, and … [Read more...]

The light has come! – Rejoice

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He … [Read more...]

Christian Disciplines – 195 AD

Spiritual disciplines are the things that a person does to stay connected with God in their lives. Spiritual discipline would include prayer, attending church, bible study, and any number of different ways someone might live out the faith they profess. They are an essential part of any Christian life. As Thomas Merton once said "The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived." However many of the disciplines the church has had are … [Read more...]

Better know an Icon – Iconography -

Iconography is a Christian practice that is unfamiliar to many protestants, and often misunderstood. It involves the creation and use of religious images that depict Jesus, the saints, scenes from the Bible, and always points to something else of greater significance through literal or figurative meanings. Iconography comes from the Greek word εικoνογραφία which means "image writing." An Icon(or "ikon" or "eikon"), although an image, is not painted but is written. They are not simply artistic ex … [Read more...]

Christmas Vs Hanukkah

John Oliver and Jon Stewart gave me a moment of zen the other day... I thought you might enjoy it!Happy Hanukkah! … [Read more...]


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