Daily Meditations

The Finest Exposition of the Bible is our Life

This God of the new creation is the God who is working today and who was at work in the original creation. And the Word into whose image we shall be transfigured is the same Word who presided over the birth of the universe and who unceasingly stirs up in us the birth of the ‘interior person’. This is the background against which the Fathers range any problem. At root it has the unity of

Father Maximos on the Fruit of Faith

“Fr. Maxime, why do you suppose St. Paul placed the fruit of faith at the bottom end of his hierarchy?” Michael asked. “This is an important point. Paul did not place faith at the top part of his hierarchy but in the bottom triad, namely faith, gentleness, and self-control,” Fr. Maximos replied, extending three fingers of his right hand. “Why? Because, the apostle claims that a time will come when faith will be transcended. It

Taking Up our Crosses and Going Home

Taking Up Our Crosses Jesus says, “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him … take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). He does not say “Make a cross” or “Look for a cross.” Each of us has a cross to carry. There is no need to make one or look for one. The cross we have is hard enough for us! But are we willing to take it up,


It is said that only a few find the narrow way that leads to life and that we must strive to enter by the narrow door. For many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able (Luke 13: 24). The explanation is to be found precisely in our unwillingness to persecute ourselves. We overcome after a fashion, perhaps, our serious and dangerous vices, but there it stops. The small

Living Prayer

Worship to me means a relationship. I used not to be a believer, then one day I discovered God and immediately he appeared to me to be the supreme value and the total meaning of life, but at the same time a person. I think that worship can mean nothing at all to someone for whom there is no object of worship. You cannot teach worship to someone who has not got a sense of

The Untamable Textbook and Its Handouts: Ruminations on Scripture—Tradition Relationship (Part V)

REV. DR. EUGEN J. PENTIUC Scripture’s polyphony is a pastorally more efficient way to cope with the tough questions of the suffering of the just and the silence of God than any flat statement such as creatio ex nihilo. When Tradition fails to give an adequate explanation, untamable Scripture through its ambiguous, enigmatic language and imagery offers us alternative routes of inquiry and further meditation that may at least provide an authorized word on the

The Untamable Textbook and Its Handouts: Ruminations on Scripture—Tradition Relationship (Part IV)

REV. DR. EUGEN J. PENTIUC Still, there are biblical writers who are not satisfied with such a quick fix to man’s cry of inquiry regarding suffering and evil. For instance, the author of Job 40-41 suggests that God Himself created these monstrous creatures that are to be blamed for all sufferings because He wanted to be challenged so that His power might be eventually made manifest. This is God’s puzzling answer to the lengthy complaints

The Untamable Textbook and Its Handouts: Ruminations on Scripture—Tradition Relationship (Part III)

REV. DR. EUGEN J. PENTIUC Just prior to the first powerful fiat (Genesis 1:3, “Let there be … “), we are informed rather abruptly of some enigmatic realities whose origins are unexplained.  “Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, with God’s Spirit hovering over the waters” (Genesis 1:2). According to the Priestly author, “darkness;’ “deep” and “water” were neither created by God nor had any existence of themselves. In

The Untamable Textbook and Its Handouts: Ruminations on Scripture—Tradition Relationship (Part II)

REV. DR. EUGEN J. PENTIUC Scripture, most especially the Old Testament, is an untamable textbook. Holy Tradition in all its avatars—conciliar statements, writings of Church Fathers, liturgy, iconography, ascetic teaching, etc.—functions as its guiding handouts. Following this analogy, one may note a certain complementarity. Handouts summarize and explain the salient points of a textbook. Similarly, Tradition, based on Scripture, complements the latter by condensing and illuminating its content. Nevertheless, the handouts, however complete they may

The Untamable Textbook and Its Handouts: Ruminations on Scripture—Tradition Relationship (Part I)

The Bible is a scented garden, delightful and beautiful … Let us seek in the fountain of this garden “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” We shall taste a joy that will never dry up, because the grace of the Bible garden is inexhaustible.  ~ST. JOHN OF DAMASCUS, AN EXACT EXPOSITION OF THE ORTHODOX FAITH, 4. 17  REV. DR. EUGEN J. PENTIUC The fourth-century exegete and theologian St. Gregory of Nyssa passionately