Sit in Your Cell and Your Cell Will Teach You Everything
There is a story about one of the great Desert Fathers, Moses the Black: It happened that Abba Moses was struggling with the temptation of fornication. Unable to stay any longer in the cell, he went and told Abba Isidore. The old man exhorted him to return to his cell. But he refused, saying, 'Abba, I cannot.' Then Abba Isidore took Moses out onto the terrace and said to him, 'Look towards the west.' He looked and saw hordes of demons flying about and making a noise before la
The Fear of God
Recently I was asked a good question: “Why should we fear God if God is good?” On one hand, the question presumes a proper theology: God is good! There is no evil in God, and God is not a human being with passions that can be fickle or change from moment to moment, something we ourselves experience all too often. And since God is also all powerful, we should be thankful that he is also good. Can you imagine if he were all-powerful but, like the mythical gods of Olympus, given
Zacchaeus: To See and To Be Seen
Every year I experience the same surprise when I realize that the coming Sunday is Zacchaeus Sunday, the first Sunday that “officially” announces the approach of Great Lent. Although there are no hymns from the Lenten Triodion for this Sunday (the sole expression of the day is the reading from St. Luke concerning Zacchaeus at the Liturgy), it is nevertheless the harbinger of the arrival of the season of the Great Fast. Wouldn’t it be something if we greeted the Great Fast wit
Who is this Child?
In keeping the feast of the Meeting of the Lord this past week, we were, once again, treated to the beautiful and spiritual riches of the Church’s hymnography. More than simply thoughtful reflections on the feast, the hymns of the Menaion prove, again and again, to be profound spiritual interpretations of Scripture, dogma, and the experience of the saints in encountering Christ, the Lord of Glory. Here are two examples from the feast of the Meeting of the Lord: On this day Sy