Through the joy and sorrow of Christian death

A friend of mine lost her mother over the weekend.When I hear of the passing of someone close my mind wanders to a handful of passages I find comforting and reassuring. Though any effort is bound to be feeble and unworthy in the face of such a loss, I've gathered some of those passages here for whatever balm they offer.When someone dies in the Orthodox tradition, the body rests in the nave of the church before the funeral. During the wake, parishioners volunteer to read Psalms over the … [Read more...]

Fr. Peter Gillquist’s angelic welcome

It’s appropriate to contemplate angels rejoicing at our homecoming. After all, if we are the heirs of salvation, and angels are ministers to the heirs of salvation as Paul says in Hebrews, then our final success is their success too.My mind turns to this subject after hearing about the passing of the beloved Fr. Peter Gillquist.Upon the passing of Acholius the bishop of Thessalonica, Ambrose of Milan said something that applies here too. He expressed regret that this “veteran . . . of Chr … [Read more...]

Steve Jobs and the false hope of our time

Two events happened last Monday that stand juxtaposed for me: Steve Jobs announced that he was taking a medical leave absence from Apple, and a priest at our parish, Fr. Seraphim, died.While journalists and pundits frantically asked and answered questions about the health of Jobs and the future of his company, writer Andy Crouch reframed the entire story around the unlikely subject of hope. “As remarkable as Steve Jobs is in countless ways,” he said, “his most singular quality has been his a … [Read more...]