Article – Jesus: The Prayer (The Episcopal New Yorker, Spring 2016)April 25, 2016What’s in a Name? What’s in a name? Do names have power? Well, the U.S. Supreme Court certainly believes so—ruling in 2002, and again in 2010, that people’s “Miranda” Rights do not include the right to withhold their names. There’s much information in a name, and the justices recognized that it is the key to its owner’s legal history: Our names can tell a lot about us—not only who we are, but also where we’re from, and even what we’ve done. Names do indeed have power. The Prayer’s History For centuries in the Church, especially in Orthodox Christianity, there has...
Fridays in Lent: Quote of the DayMarch 25, 2016IV The wounded surgeon plies the steel That questions the distempered part; Beneath the bleeding hands we feel The sharp compassion of the healer’s art Resolving the enigma of the fever chart. Our only health is the disease If we obey the dying nurse Whose constant care is not to please But to remind of our, and Adam’s curse, And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse. The whole earth is our hospital Endowed by the ruined millionaire, Wherein, if we do well, we shall Die of the absolute paternal care That will not leave us, but prevents us...
Fridays in Lent: Quote of the DayMarch 18, 2016“Question from [a monk, who was also a priest, in the community of Seridos] to the Other Old Man (John): When I give to my body more than is necessary, it does not help me during the Liturgy; and if I give it less, I am afraid it will collapse completely. What should I do about this? And in regard to Holy Communion, since I want to partake of this every day, is it a burden to me that I approach Holy Communion as a sinner or should I continue to partake of it? And, again, how can I protect my...
Fridays in Lent: Quote of the DayMarch 11, 2016“I shall never forget the tormenting feeling that I experienced on the day I received communion for the first time in many years. The service, the priest, the rules of prayer, were all something I could understand, and created in me a joyful realization that the meaning of life was being revealed. The communion itself I interpreted as an act performed in memory of Christ, signifying the purification of sin and the full acceptance of Christ’s teachings. If this explanation was artificial, I failed to notice its falsity. As I bowed down and humbled myself before the confessor, a simple,...
Fridays in Lent: Quote of the DayMarch 4, 2016“John’s gospel is haunted by the idea of the ‘time’ or the ‘hour’ for which Jesus waits….The ‘hour’ is the time of humiliation, betrayal, and murder: as John puts it, this is the time at which the world is judged, when its fears and its lies are dragged into the open. In the betrayal and slaughter of Jesus, we are shown what it is we do to one another and ourselves in our self-justifying, self-defending terror, our refusal to penetrate to and face out inner divisions and their destructive effects….The judgment is beginning, then: the painful glory of the mercy...
Fridays in Lent: Quote of the DayFebruary 26, 2016“When a man leaves on a journey, he must know where he is going. Thus with Lent. Above all, Lent is a spiritual journey and its destination is Easter, “the Feasts of Feasts.”…Is it necessary to explain that Easter is much more than one of the feasts, more than a yearly commemoration of a past event? Anyone who has, be it only once, taken part in that night which is “brighter than day,” who has tasted of the unique joy, knows it. But what is that joy all about? Why can we sing, as we do during the Paschal liturgy: “today...
Fridays in Lent: Quote of the DayFebruary 19, 2016“The dark night is God’s attack on religion. If you genuinely desire union with the unspeakable love of God, then you must be prepared to have your ‘religious’ world shattered. If you think devotional practices, theological insights, even charitable actions give you some sort of purchase on God, you are still playing games.” — Rowan Williams, A Ray of Darkness
Fridays in Lent: Quote of the DayFebruary 12, 2016“The word for ‘confession’ in Greek (exomologesis) suggests something more than simply accepting, acknowledging and bearing witness to an event of act. More than a matter of admitting a hitherto unacknowledged sin, to confess means to accept and submit to the divine Logos (ex-omo-logesis) who is beyond and above the nature and condition of humanity. It is this Logos, the Word of God, in whom the repentant soul seeks salvation. To repent and confess is not so much to recognize and expose a failure as it is to respond from within to the call of God in whose image and...
Sins I’m Giving Up for Lent: None!February 10, 2016I recently did a “thought experiment” on my Facebook page. I asked the question (to my 1000+ “friends”), “What sins are you giving up for Lent?” In parentheses I added the qualification, “trick question.” I really did not think that many people would “fall for it,” or “take the bate.” Frankly, I thought that folks would (rightly) object to such a public display of a personal, spiritual matter. Now I won’t list for you the various answers, but suffice to say that folks chimed right in with a battery of sins, some of which you could guess. Think with me,...
Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s “Progressive” Straw Man (Part 1)January 27, 2016Last week while trolling through Facebook I stumbled on a Patheos blog post by Fr. Dwight Longenecker entitled, “Twelve Reasons Why Progressive Christianity Will Die Out.” After skimming Fr. Longenecker’s 12 reasons, I was baffled how this former fundamentalist/evangelical, turned Anglican priest, turned Roman Catholic priest could not see the obvious holes riddling his 12 points. One would think that a man who has had access to as much of the Christian tradition as he has had would inevitably recognize his category mistakes. Before I address Fr. Longenecker’s 12 reasons point by point, I wanted to first highlight his problematic starting point. His overarching category...
Collect of the Day: Sixth Sunday of EasterMay 1, 2016O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP, 225)
Collect of the Day: Feast of St. Mark the EvangelistApril 25, 2016Almighty God, by the hand of Mark the evangelist you have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP, 240)
Collect of the Day: Fifth Sunday of EasterApril 24, 2016Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP, 225)
Collect of the Day: Fourth Sunday of EasterApril 17, 2016O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people; Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP, 225)
Collect of the Day: Third Sunday of EasterApril 10, 2016O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP, 224-225)
Collect of the Day: Second Sunday of EasterApril 3, 2016Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP, 224)
Collect of the Day: Saturday in Easter WeekApril 2, 2016We thank you, heavenly Father, that you have delivered us from the dominion of sin and death and brought us into the kingdom of your Son; and we pray that, as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his love he may raise us to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (BCP, 224)
Collect of the Day: Friday in Easter WeekApril 1, 2016Almighty Father, who gave your only Son to die for our sins and to rise for our justification: Give us grace so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP, 224)
Collect of the Day: Thursday in Easter WeekMarch 31, 2016Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP, 223)
Collect of the Day: Wednesday in Easter WeekMarch 30, 2016O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP, 223)
Collect of the Day: Tuesday in Easter WeekMarch 29, 2016O God, who by the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, who have been raised with him, may abide in his presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be dominion and praise for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day: Monday in Easter WeekMarch 28, 2016Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that we who celebrate with awe the Paschal feast may be found worthy to attain to everlasting joys; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP, 222-223)
Collect of the Day: Easter DayMarch 27, 2016O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. or this O God, who made this most holy night to shine with the glory of the Lord’s resurrection: Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption which is given to us in...
Collect of the Day: Holy SaturdayMarch 26, 2016O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP, 221)
New Patristics Web-ResourceFebruary 25, 2016I recently stumbled on a new web-resource dedicated to patristics study, monasticism and hagiography. The image below describes the vision of their site. Enjoy!
2016 Hulsean Lectures: Professor Lord Rowan WilliamsFebruary 16, 2016Professor Lord Williams of Oystermouth (the former Archbishop of Canterbury) is delivering the 2016 Hulsean Lectures at Cambridge. His topic:”Christ and the Logic of Creation.” You can find the five part series here.
Anglo-Saxon “Our Father” (Trans. from Old English)January 12, 2015Father of humankind, I ask for favor, Holy Chieftain, you, who dwell in Heaven May it be made holy, firmly set up— Your name, that is, Christ, rescuer— Firmly planted in our soul-locker. May your kingdom, wielder of might, Come to us people, right-wise Judge, And your love also, in the day of life, And in our selves in deep-dwelling brightness. And may your will be well-wrought Among us upon earth through earth’s realms, As it is far away in the heaven-glory, Blessed in joys from this world forward. Give us today, Chieftain among your people,...
John Henry Newman (Free eBooks)December 21, 2014Not many Anglican theologians have left the mega-size footprint on the Church that John Henry Newman has. As one of the founders of the Oxford Movement, Newman helped the Church of England in particular and the Anglican Communion in general uncover and rediscover a deeper catholicity in their doctrine and worship. A good number of his works (in bBook form) are collected here.
The Un-Moral LifeDecember 18, 2014By Fr. Stephen Freeman. Original published on the Ancient Faith blog. In recent articles I have challenged the place of contemporary morality in the Christian life. Some have had difficulty with this, wondering how we should then think about the commandments that are directed towards our behavior. Others have suggested that my challenge is merely semantic. There are certainly semantic distinctions being made here – but the reason for them is important and goes beyond mere words. But if it is not proper to think of ourselves as “moral” beings, how should we think? How do we confess our sins if morality is...
The Way of the PilgrimDecember 9, 2014The Way of the Pilgrim is a 19th century Russian work translated into English. The story is about the journey of a begging wanderer who treks across Russia, and while on that journey, practices the “Jesus Prayer.” This form of prayer is also known as inner prayer or prayer of the heart. It employs the short, repeated invocation, over and over: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of god, have mercy on me, a sinner” (or some variation thereof). You can find a free eBook here.
Former ABC Rowan Williams on Advent (Video)December 1, 2014
Mysticism by Evelyn UnderhillApril 1, 2014Thomas Merton, Padre Pio and…? Read a classic work by a great 20th century Anglican mystic: Evelyn Underhill’s, Mysticism.
Lancelot Andrewes: WorksMarch 25, 2014Lancelot Andrewes was a seventeenth century Anglican who not only was involved in the King James translation, but was one of the early post-Reformation mystical-thinking theologians in the tradition. Here’s volume one of his Works where a good amount of his mystical theology, especially theosis, is thought through. Lancelot Andrewes, Works: Sermons, Volume 1
Florovsky: Collected Works, Vol. 2March 18, 2014Here’s volume two of Georges Florovsky’s Collected Works. This volume is entitled Christianity and Culture.
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