Orthodox Paradox

Orthodox and Paradox. The two words have much in common. The “dox” that ends both terms has its root in the Greek word doxa, which means “belief” or “opinion.” It will be suggested in what follows that these words share much more than just a linguistic root, but glancing at the root word is a good place to begin. In its later Christian usage, doxa comes to mean “glory,” but only as an extension of

Nineteenth Day of Christmas Advent: Great Martyr Barbara (Feast Day: Tomorrow, December 4)

The Holy Great Martyr Barbara lived and suffered during the reign of the emperor Maximian (305-311). Her father, the pagan Dioscorus, was a rich and illustrious man in the Syrian city of Heliopolis. After the death of his wife, he devoted himself to his only daughter. Seeing Barbara’s extraordinary beauty, Dioscorus decided to hide her from the eyes of strangers. Therefore, he built a tower for Barbara, where only her pagan teachers were allowed to

The Waterwheel of God’s Love

A Threefold God totally lets go of any boundaries for the sake of the Other, and then receives them back from Another. It is a nonstop waterwheel of Love. Each accepts that He is fully accepted by the Other, and then passes on that total acceptance. Thus indeed, “God is Love”! It’s the same spiritual journey for all of us, for it takes most of our life to accept that we are accepted—and to accept

Recapturing the Experiences of the Church’s Youth

From Abraham onwards, through many centuries, God has prepared the chosen people to receive the Messiah. Despite that, when the Messiah appeared, the greater part of the Jewish people rejected him.  In the Church of the Nations, that is to say, among the pagan peoples, the opposite happened. The soil that seemed to need more cultivation received the seed of the Gospel and brought forth the hundredfold. Already, in the middle of raging persecutions, Christianity

Resting in God

The final word for mysticism, after the optimistic explosion that we usually call hope and the ensuing sense of safety, is an experience of deep rest. It’s the verb I’m told that is most used by the mystics: “resting in God.” All this striving and this need to perform, climb, and achieve becomes, on some very real level, unnecessary. It’s already here, now. I can stop all this overproduction and over-proving of myself. That’s Western

The Art of Letting Go

It is good to remember that a part of you has always loved God. There is a part of you that has always said yes. There is a part of you that is Love itself, and that is what we must fall into. It is already there. Once you move your identity to that level of deep inner contentment, you will realize you are drawing upon a Life that is much larger than your own

Pentecost: The Descent of the Holy Spirit

In the Old Testament Pentecost was the feast which occurred fifty days after Passover. As the passover feast celebrated the exodus of the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt, so Pentecost celebrated God’s gift of the ten commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. In the new covenant of the Messiah, the passover event takes on its new meaning as the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection, the “exodus” of men from this sinful world to

Saint Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople

This great Father and Teacher of the Church was born in 329 in Arianzus, a village of the second district of Cappadocia, not far from Nazianzus. His father, who later became Bishop of Nazianzus, was named Gregory (commemorated Jan. 1), and his mother was named Nonna (Aug. 5); both are among the Saints, and so are his brother Caesarius (Mar. 9) and his sister Gorgona (Feb. 23). At first he studied in Caesarea of Palestine,

Theophany (or Epiphany) and Christmas (Part I)

Theophany is one of the great Feasts of the Lord of the ecclesiastical year. It is also called Epiphany and the Day of Lights and is celebrated on the 6th of January. The names of this Feast indicate the understanding of the ancient Church concerning this Feast. This understanding is connected with the revelation of God, that is, the manifestation of the One God in Trinity through the Incarnation of the Son of God, our

Persons in Communion: Singular and plural (Part II)

The idea of a truly trinitarian anthropology is chiefly associated with St Gregory of Nyssa, the most speculative of the Cappadocians. In little tracts dismissed rather hastily by his detractors as works of philology he attacks the ‘erroneous custom’ whereby Man is spoken of in the plural and God in the singular; in both cases personal plurality is quite consistent with unity of essence. We ought to say that in Christ, the new Adam, ‘Man