February 16, 2019

One of the graces of the Byzantine churches is our habit of echo-feasts. The Feast of the Encounter signals the end of the Nativity season, and that should be the end of it — no more Christ is born as a greeting, no more Christmas decorations, no more Nativity hymns at liturgy — and yet, as if to give us one really last time for a final bash, we have the echo-feast of the Holy and Righteous Symeon the God-receiver and... Read more

February 15, 2019

The Feast of the Encounter is the opening of a new horizon on the Christian calendar. On this day, the trappings of Nativity are taken down; at this time, we no longer say, Christ is born, though we continue to glorify him in our midst. The Lord is borne by the God-bearer – by the ark of the covenant whose own body is itself the temple of the Lord – into the temple. On this another of our Twelve Great Feasts,... Read more

February 13, 2019

The outline for the Green New Deal is out. It’s only 14 pages, and it is very easy to read. Every Christian in our apostolic churches will find that it’s nothing that the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Bishop of Rome haven’t been saying for years, just now in the form of an action plan for the United States. Read it here. Ecumenical Patriarchate, Messages for the Day of Indiction and Prayer for Protection of Creation: EP Dimitrios, 1989, 1990; EP Bartholomew, 1992,... Read more

February 12, 2019

The evangelical preacher John Piper often relates the advice that he received when he attended Fuller Seminary, one of the major educational institutions of the network known as evangelicalism, from a professor incidentally named Dan Fuller (the progeny, of course, of Charles Fuller, the radio evangelist who is the seminary’s true namesake), that one should choose one influential theologian whose thoughts to rethink and follow them through one’s life. Piper chose Jonathan Edwards, though even a cursory reading of Desiring God will reveal... Read more

February 11, 2019

My wife and I were on the lower story of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, the part with the antique magazines and the magic store you descend to after walking past the singing bookstore guy, when we heard it. Don’t know much about geography, a voice crooned overhead, don’t know much about trigonometry. We didn’t talk about it then, but it got stuck in our heads that afternoon, so much so that at home that evening, she asked me what that song was.... Read more

February 10, 2019

The first thing I learned about Zacchaeus when I was in Sunday school was that he was short. The second was that nobody liked him. Because of those two things, he had to climb up the sycamore tree to see the Lord Jesus, who was passing through the town square, the public commons from which he was excluded. Jesus came to the tree and looked up to see this wee little man, a wee little man was he, as the song... Read more

February 6, 2019

As I’ve been working through much of my old work on Cantonese Protestants and getting it ready for publication, I have realized why for a time the process has been so overly emotional, which led at some points to intellectual paralysis. It is, simply put, that I have had a conversion, and it has taken me time to admit it. In brief, it is that where I used to join my evangelical sisters and brothers in eliding the distinction between... Read more

February 5, 2019

About a week ago, someone in my Eastern Catholic readership forwarded an article from LifeSiteNews concerning whether Catholics should celebrate the Lunar New Year. This acquaintance of mine shared in good faith and asked for comment; being of Newman’s persuasion that academics, unlike journalists, should not be commenting on everything, I ignored it. But like Candlemas on the New Calendar, my absorption into my daily secular life, which includes following the Old Calendar, had me forget that today was the... Read more

February 4, 2019

Halfway into the film If Beale Street Could Talk, I said to myself: this is probably one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. It was, I thought, exactly what a Baldwin novel would look like on screen, the way he’d pace it, how he’d score it. My dear sister Grace Yu agreed, pointing out that it was also less intense that Barry Jenkins’s last film, the award-winning Moonlight. Of those among our friends, I’d say that Grace is among the... Read more

February 2, 2019

When a brother of mine in the Latin Church asked about a week ago if Eastern Catholics celebrate Candlemas, it did not occur to me that it was coming up so soon. I’m on the Old Calendar when I’m here in Chicago, so February 2 doesn’t happen for another two weeks. It dawned on me suddenly last night after Reader’s Vespers for Holy Euthymius the Great that everyone on the New Calendar is celebrating the Feast of the Presentation of... Read more

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