The following is a letter from Elder Macarius of the Optina monastery in Russia to one of his spiritual children on the topic of death and suffering.  Enjoy. On the 20th of January, the letter announcing to me the sad news of my esteemed grandmother, A.P., reached my hand. Thanks be to the merciful God, Who allowed her to leave this world when she had reached her declining years, in the white garments of sincere repentance and confession of her… Read more

In consideration of ontotheology, it is important to look into the history of it.  Heidegger traces this process of confusion all the way back to Plato, but it is almost undeniable that the high point of ontotheology is (understandably) the period with the most concern for theology and ontology(arguably), the medieval era. This is not to discredit or put down the work and thought of medieval thinkers.  That being said, it is to point some much needed criticism at the… Read more

I would be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t agree that there is something at least a little off with Western thought.  I mean, just look at its results. Some people would likely argue either that Western thought is completely irrelevant (as it’s far too chauvinistic and focuses only on old, white men who’ve been dead for at least a century); however I believe more people would argue that the issues came from “outside” or “began because of a… Read more

“Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy have each become comfortable (may God forgive them!) with the schism, but we, Eastern Catholics, can never truly become accustomed to the schism; there is always a tension within us because in spite of everything, we love both Orthodoxy and Catholicism and we cannot accept separation from either of them. Often that tension is invisible for even long periods of time, but it is always there, and always reappears.” -Bishop Basil Losten In case you’ve… Read more

Now that we’ve all gotten used to Southern Catholics, I’d like to introduce you to a new oddity, the Southern Orthodox.  I really don’t have much to say, other than this is fantastic. Enjoy.   Read more

Work-out mania has always disturbed me.  Perhaps it is my inherent fear of people too buff to touch their face, or my annoyance with some people’s incessant need to post pictures of “the results” via every form of social media imaginable.  Whatever the root of my disturbance, the fitness frenzy contains a  much more concerning issue; not only is it making you thin, healthy, and obnoxious, it might also be destroying your life. This may sound like a pretty serious… Read more

There is a problem I have found within the climate of American Catholics (I’m sure it’s not just us, but still).  It’s everywhere.  Sooner or later, anywhere there has been a discussion, it will appear.  It shows up in articles and comboxes, lurking in the dark underside of the comment thread, where few care to continue reading, waiting to pounce on it’s prey like a pit viper.  It’s prey: the unsuspecting reader. It’s venom: cruel and unbridled absence of charity…. Read more

It’s been said that I resemble a younger version of a certain Slovenian philosopher by the name of Slavoj Zizek. And it’s not just appearance, its even the mannerisms; the hand gestures, the nervous habits.  (Seriously, all I’m missing is the accent.  It’s weird.)  So, maybe it’s this similarity that makes me partial to him.  Regardless, he does raise an interesting question about a very popular author, Dan Brown. Now, the infamous “Da Vinci Code” is far from new, and… Read more

I have what one may describe as an aversion to cards.  I never know quite what to do with them. Keeping them around seems to be hording.  Getting rid of them; an impersonal display of disregard for the sender.  But, what is it about these clever little pieces of folded card-stock that makes any sort of dilemma? Why We Feel Uncomfortable Getting Rid of Them: Whenever we look at the pile of cards after any “card holiday,” be it Christmas, birthdays,… Read more

There is an unfortunate tendency both within the Church and within society in general to feminize religion.  While it’s true that women generally tend to be more religious than men, this trend of feminization has some very costly side-effects.  It means making things soft, and comfortable, including the saints.  This softness exacerbates the problem, driving off men by the droves, because seriously, what man in his right mind wants to sit through Kumbaya and lectures from old hippy nuns. But is… Read more

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