May 10, 2021

What we know of God, we know through God’s energies, that is, God’s operations. We do not know what God is by nature. Those operations, those energies, provide us the means to describe God, indeed, to predicate names to God: From this we see the necessity of giving to God many names. For, since we cannot know Him naturally except by arriving at Him from His effects, the names by which we signify His perfection must be diverse, just as… Read more

May 9, 2021

No doubt about it; people often are the cause of their own afflictions. Someone who drinks alcohol, drives a car and has an accident is responsible for whatever injury they or others suffer. If they end up paralyzed, they only have themselves to blame. Sin, likewise, produces its own consequences (which we often understand punishments). Nonetheless, we must be careful and not assume all suffering is the result of sin. The fact that people are responsible for some of the… Read more

May 5, 2021

God, the unapproachable light of truth, draws us in; the more we engage the light, the more we are brought into it. The more we discover how great it is, the more we realize how little of it we have attained in relation to what is there. The light transcends us and yet it comes to us, so that we can call upon God and be heard. God is there, all around us, dwelling with us, indeed, is nearer to… Read more

May 3, 2021

The divine nature’s transcendence leads to all kinds of paradoxes for us when we try to apprehend the truth of God. The complications which arise when a five-dimensional object is apprehended in a two-dimensional manner is far less than those which arise when the absolutely, and therefore infinitely, transcendent divinity is approached by us. God is great and yet simple. God is eternal, beyond time and space, and yet interacts with the those contained in time and space. We do… Read more

May 2, 2021

As Christians, we proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah. That is, he is the Christ, the Anointed One.  What does this mean? He is anointed of the Spirit. It rests upon him. It is the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Son. But as the Spirit of the Son, it does more than rest upon him. Christ shares the Spirit with others, allowing them to partake of  his anointing. Those who are united with Christ find themselves anointed, like… Read more

April 30, 2021

There is a rather humorous story written about Abba Pambo in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. In it, we are told of a group of demons wanting to distract him from his spiritual discipline by making him laugh: They said of Abba Pambo that his face never smiled. So one day, wishing to make him laugh, the demons stuck wing feathers on to a lump of wood and brought it in making an uproar and saying, ‘Go, go.’ When… Read more

April 28, 2021

(This is the second part of a two part series;  you can read part one here). It is important to realize what the sacraments are so that we do not make more or less of them than they really are. It is important to recognize their value but also not to misconstrue them, thinking either they are insignificant because of their symbolic nature, or that they are absolutely necessary and we cannot receive grace apart from them. They are vessels… Read more

April 26, 2021

Signs, symbols, and figures. Often, one of these words implies the others, as can be seen throughout the marginal notes of a medieval translation of Pseudo-Dionysius’s Ecclesiastical Hierarchy:  “Symbols – figures and signs” (Symbolorum – figurarum et signorum.). [1] “Symbols – that is, signs or figures” (Symbola – id est signa vel figuras). [2] “Symbols – that is, signs.” (Symbolis – id est signis). [3] Signs, symbols and figures all are used to communicate. Those who use them want to… Read more

April 25, 2021

When Jesus rose from the dead,  he conquered and overcame the powers of sin, and so, he overcame death itself, the final enemy. “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:25-26 RSV). Before the resurrection, creation was paralyzed by the power of death and the sin which caused it. Sin disrupted creation, using the impermanence of temporality to try to destroy and annihilate… Read more

April 22, 2021

The story of Balaam should serve us all as a warning this Earth Day. Balaam, it seems, had some level of prophetic ability, but he used it for his own benefit, and not for the glory of God. He was selfish to the core and cared not who he hurt so long as he benefited from it. He did not consider the value of his beast of burden, his ass, but abused it when it angered him Thus, we read,… Read more

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