Be sure to check out Part 2 as well! “Although it is impossible to give exact statistics, the enormous numerical growth of the church in its first centuries is undeniable. This naturally leads us to ask how it achieved such growth. The answer may surprise some modern Christians, for the ancient church knew nothing of evangelistic services or revivals. To the contrary, worship centered on communion, and only baptized Christians were admitted to its celebration.
Last August, my family and I transitioned into Anglicanism, and I began the process of ordination to the priesthood. For the last several months we have been fully immersed in an environment that is about as Anglican as it can possibly get here in the United States. At Nashotah House Theological Seminary, the Daily Offices are prayed every single day in chapel without exception. A Benedictine way of life is inhabited (as best we can,
This is the continuation of my essay series on St. Phanourios. You can read part 1 here.2 As it is for many, we often spiritually grow through suffering. Elder Sophrony3, when writing to his sister Maria, writes about what suffering can give us: Do you really think that my in my years of monastic life I have escaped periods when the vision of my ruin was so petrifying that it is not permitted to speak
(A Brief Synopsis) What I have been given in the Church ~ The Protection and Shelter of the Saints ~ Part II
Icon of St. Herman of Alaska from Holy Dormition Monastery. Icon of St. Herman of Alaska, made by my Ottawa Parish, from a print from Greece; Picture taken by author. Note: This is a continuation of my series on what I have been given in the (Eastern Orthodox) Church. Part One is found here. The Protection and Shelter of the Saints ~ Part II: Saints Herman and Nicholas Saint Herman of Alaska While at St.
(A Brief Synopsis) What I have been given in the Church: The Protection and Shelter of the Saints ~ Part I: The Mother of God
This icon is called the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God Note: While I am new to Conciliar Post, I am here because of their commitment to dialogue between Christian traditions (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) with respect and Christian love. While I could write (and perhaps will later) on why I think this is the best way, suffice for now to say what I see my writing, including this series, to be about: to
I1 am nearing the end of a really beautiful book, called Dimitri’s Cross.2 Right now I am reading the letters he wrote his wife, Tamara, from his first place of imprisonment. I already know, from reading this book, that he is later sent to Dora, a camp called the “Man-Eater” where Fr. Dimitri is forced to work in horrid, extreme conditions, ages quickly, becomes very ill and at the end, speaks of feeling the abandonment of
Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. – Frederick Buechner1 When I lived in Ottawa, I went through a time when I was unemployed, spent my carefully tended savings to survive and then ran out of money completely. For a few months I did not know how I was going to pay rent or buy food. Scary. Twice in my life I went through
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!1” A few years ago my wife and I went to a Greek festival hosted by a Greek Orthodox Church in downtown St. Louis. As we were walking around the building trying to decide which food looked most appetizing to us, we stumbled across a bookstore right inside the doors of the church.
Have you ever had the chance to take a look at your life with the knowledge that it was about to come to an end? Everything you know is about to change. The world was once a familiar, safe, beautiful, and even happy place, but you are moving on, choosing to let go—exchanging what you don’t know for the promise of something better. Most people come to the end of their life with a firm
The cold sidewalk barely gives way before the resounding thud of polished black shoes that plough a course through yet another mile of city streets where they have no place to rest. Overhead the blue skies melt into dark grey clouds and little splashes of colour where the sunset has begun to announce its arrival. Closer by, the crusty brown arms of sleeping trees wave cheerlessly over the empty sidewalk where they have learned to
Luther and Lutherans have the market cornered on justification, sola fide. Calvin and Reformed thinkers spend all their time trying to elaborate on the notion of election (I wish I had a nice Latin word for it, but I digress). Baptists, well I guess it would be sola Scriptura, at the very least something about the individual conscience of the believer and reading Scripture. These are all traditions that I have been shaped by in
I must confess that I did not begin studying the Scriptures personally on a daily basis until almost two years ago. I grew up having family Bible reading in the mornings and often in the evenings. But, about two years ago, I came to a point when I realized that it was something I really should do faithfully on my own. I readily admit that when I first made the decision to become faithful in
About six months ago I took part in a conversation with a dear Protestant friend and mentor of mine, who likes to give me a hard time about being Orthodox – as she does with believers from any tradition – for the sake of light-hearted controversy. She was saying that, when it comes to beliefs and doctrine, what is important is that one be orthodox – with a small ‘o.’ I completely agree with her
Sitting in my cushy Sunday morning chair, immediately following a fairly lengthy sermon, my Presbyterian church’s suit-clad pastor prepares the congregation for the weekly partaking of the Lord’s Supper. I think to myself, Isn’t it interesting, other congregations from other traditions on this very morning are probably kneeling or chanting or something at this point in their liturgy. And how come the pastor isn’t wearing some special clothing or collar or something? Other traditions do
No Christian walks a different path, but each walks in a different manner on this one narrow path. I love the “Journey” stories here at Conciliar Post. Every testimony recounts how someone effectively turned away from this world by embracing a Christian community and tradition which has stood the test of time. Typically these journey stories tell how someone moved from one historic Christian tradition to another, thereby enabling him or her to cast off
If I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).1 After an extended hiatus, we return for the third installment! This final chapter is a reflection about the past four years of my family’s religious life. I’ll attempt not to get bogged down in theological minutiae (featured prominently in Parts
How does one know if they are following God’s will for their life? How can one discern his will for them? Is there a planned route for each individual that God really hopes they will follow – and we had better be careful that we don’t accidentally miss it – or is everything in life already pre-rigged by him and no matter what we do in life we are still in “God’s will” since it
About this time of year a decade ago, on a moonlit highway that snakes south of Santa Fe through hills of juniper and cholla and dirt, a troubled young man drove an old Jeep Cherokee with flaking red paint and a whining A/C. Night had fallen and his headlights, their luminance obscured by a coating of dead insects, cast a faint light on the road ahead. I don’t know if that young man fit the
One critique that some groups of non-Catholics rail against Catholicism that there are saints for very obscure or mundane purposes. Think of Saint Ambrose of Milan, the brilliant 4th century theologian who is the patron saint of beekeepers, or Saint Isidore of Seville, who anachronistically became the patron saint of the Internet in 2003. Why have saints for such small things, or designate saints to technologies they did not even use? There’s quite literally a
When I was eighteen years old I purchased the film Waking Life, by director Richard Linklater. Its premise, plot, and production epitomize our postmodern moment. Linklater develops a story about dreams within dreams, in which a character travels seamlessly through surreal worlds while witnessing a plethora of philosophical conversations about life and death. The tagline reads, “Are we sleepwalking through our waking state, or wake-walking through our dreams?” Utilizing stunning visual effects,1 a haunting score,