November 13, 2018

As California faces the deadliest wildfires in its recorded history, with forty-two people confirmed dead,[1]  President Trump has taken the opportunity to attack “forest management policies” as the reason for the fires, the Los Angeles Times explained: “He said poor forest management policies caused the fires plaguing the state, even though the massive Woolsey fire didn’t occur in a forest.”[2] This, likewise, was said on purpose, so that Trump could threaten to cut off funding to California, as the Wall… Read more

November 12, 2018

Kataphatic and apophatic theology are two ways we can talk about God. Dionysius, having expressed several apophatic denials for God, understood that apophatic theology has its limits. It does not present God to us any more than kataphatic theology does. God transcends either approach. Indeed, as we deny something to God, we begin to establish a new definition for God based upon those denials. What is left after such denials forms the basis for what we think God is to… Read more

November 8, 2018

When theologizing and philosophizing, we like to use reason to produce unconditional results. We gravitate to arguments based upon necessity. Metaphysically, anything which cannot be shown to be necessary seems questionable, and indeed, unlikely to be true. This desire for arguments which lead to necessary conclusions, alas, demonstrates egotism and pride, expecting too much out of ourselves and the ability of human reason. We think we can know it all.  What we don’t know yet, we have the potential to… Read more

November 7, 2018

In the early years of the Christian faith, Christians found themselves in a rather unusual state of political being. On the one hand, many of them were Romans, but on the other hand, they often found that Rome was hostile to their very existence. As Romans, they had pride in the good they saw in Roman history, though they often felt Rome in their time had become corrupt and needed to be changed.  They offered to support Rome as long… Read more

November 5, 2018

When we seek after God, we must realize that we can never comprehend him. Then, we can let go of our attempts to do so. We will silence our mind when it attempts to establish God based upon its limited capability, so that we can go to God in that silence, letting him reveal himself to us without any interference from our mind’s attempt to define him. But even then, we must be careful. It would be tempting to misconstrue… Read more

October 31, 2018

In the reflections recorded in his book, My Life in Christ, St. John of Kronstadt (1829 – 1908) noted that negative, hostile passions could spread through society like a disease: Passions are contagious owing to our spiritual organization; for instance, malice, even when not yet expressed in words – not expressed by acts, but still concealed in the heart, and reflected slightly in the face and eyes – is already transmitted to the soul of the an against whom I… Read more

October 30, 2018

In Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, Ivan Karamazov was the cool, intellectual brother whose nihilistic rationalism provided the encouragement his half-brother needed in order to kill their father. It was only after the realization of what Smerdyakov had done that Ivan came face to face with his inner demons, to recognize the evil which he had promoted, and accept as a result, his own place in the murder of his father. Likewise, it was only in the recognition that his father’s murder… Read more

October 29, 2018

God, being beyond all exiting things, transcends human reason. Any attempt to define God using reason to establish names by which God could be called would lead us away from God as it would not be God but some simulacrum of God which is established. For this reason Dionysius said that neither is there expression [λόγος] of It [God], nor name [ὄνομα], nor knowledge [γνῶσις] which comes from human attempts to logically express [λόγος] who they think God is. God… Read more

October 24, 2018

This week, Trump declared himself to a nationalist. “America First” is, as many have known it to be, a right-wing nationalist cause. Trump and his followers selfishly reject the common good in the world, seeking their own gain at the expense of others. By saying, “America First,” we must not think Trump will treat everyone in America equally. As his policies have consistently shown, he supports the rich over the poor, and so when he says “America First” he means… Read more

October 23, 2018

Scripture warns us that those who do evil make for and establish the means by which they will face the consequences of their actions: Behold, the wicked man conceives evil, and is pregnant with mischief, and brings forth lies.  He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole which he has made. His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own pate his violence descends (Ps. 7:14-16 RSV). Evil is self-destructive; those who engage evil… Read more

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