Christ in the Desert

On Saturday, I watched good friends carry a miniature white casket up the aisle of our parish church, to be laid before the altar for a funeral Mass. My friends have entered the season of Lent in a profound way. Continue Reading »

After Great Lent

Last Sunday Orthodox Christians around the world finally celebrated Pascha and proclaimed Christ risen from the dead. As in Western Christendom, Orthodox Easter is preceded by Holy Week—the liturgical pinnacle of the Orthodox Church. In this week of preparation and commemoration, our services, . . . . Continue Reading »

A Community Pledged in the Spirit

Mulling my Lenten way through the Apostles’ Creed, I have come to see that in defining what we do not believe, we come to know better what we do believe. While the Creed positively summarizes what Christians believe, it equally fences out what we negatively do not believe. I have been walking the . . . . Continue Reading »

Easter is not a Question Mark

Excavating my desk recently, I found the program notes from a Tallis Scholars concert my wife and I had attended a few months ago. The Tallis Scholars are a marvelous a capella ensemble, but most of their music that night was rather too minimalist for my tastes. In any event, the author of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Social Sins in Lent

The season of Lent is a time of meditation and self-denial, as Christians join with Jesus in his journey toward the cross. Most often, the penitential disciplines of Lent focus on personal sins of greed and indulgence, with an emphasis on abstaining from some private luxuries and exercising a . . . . Continue Reading »

What the Church Does Not Believe

This Lent has me digging through the Apostle’s Creed. Viewed in a certain direction, it not only says what we believe; it lets us in on what we do not believe. The first article of the Creed, my last column, says Christians believe in one God and this one God is the Father who made both heaven and . . . . Continue Reading »

The Man From Kempis

As a matter of fact, he was actually the man from Kempen, but the author of the world’s most cherished Christian devotional would not have cared whether we knew the details of his life. Instead, Thomas à Kempis made it his chief endeavor to direct all attention to Christ. The constant theme of . . . . Continue Reading »