St Makarii of Optino, quoted in “The Orthodox Way”

[St Isaac the Syrian] also says, "God's grace comes of itself, suddenly, without our seeing it approach. It comes when the place is clean." Therefore, carefully, diligently, constantly clean the place; sweep it with the broom of humility. … [Read more...]

From “The Orthodox Way”

Perhaps apatheia can best be translated "purity of heart." It signifies advancing from instability to stability, from duplicity to simplicity or singleness of heart, from the immaturity of fear and suspicion to the maturity of innocence and trust. … [Read more...]

From “The Orthodox Way”

Our aim in the life of prayer is not to gain feelings or "sensible" experiences of any particular kind, but simply and solely to conform our will to God's. "I seek not what is yours but you," says St Paul to the Corinthians (2 Cor 12:14); and we say the same to God. We seek not the gifts but the Giver. … [Read more...]

Your Profession of Faith Is Not the Catholic Church’s TOS

Walk with me through some possibly ill-formed and definitely ill-informed thoughts about what it means to profess one's faith. I had to do this when I was becoming Catholic--I think this took place during Confirmation? probably that's wrong--and there was a set formula which I always misremember but which was probably actually, "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God."What (on earth) did I mean? What should I have … [Read more...]

Out of the Closets and Into the Pews!

My piece for AmCon on gay Christians coming out is online! Coming out of the closet is the simplest tool of the gay movement, yet it’s proven to be the most powerful and even the most spiritually profound. On the political side, Pew Research data this year found that knowing someone who is gay was the most common reason people switched to supporting gay marriage, and the percentage of people who know someone openly gay has risen over 25 points since 1993.But on a more personal level, coming … [Read more...]

From “The Orthodox Way”

Man is not just a logical and eucharistic animal, but he is also a creative animal: the fact that man is in God's image means that man is a creator after the image of God the Creator. ...It is likewise significant that, when at the Eucharist we offer back to God the firstfruits of the earth, we offer them not in their original form but reshaped by the hand of man: we bring to the altar not sheaves of wheat but loaves of bread, not grapes but wine. … [Read more...]

From “The Orthodox Way”

Consciously and with deliberate purpose, he can do two things that animals can only do unconsciously and instinctively. First, man is able to bless and praise God for the world. Man is best defined not as a "logical" but as a "eucharistic" animal. He does not merely live in the world, think about it and use it, but he is capable of seeing the world as God's gift, as a sacrament of God's presence and a means of communion with him. So he is able to offer the world back to God in thanksgiving: … [Read more...]


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