21 Mar 2018

The Mystery of Honesty and Truth

“I hate going to Confession,” I told my father-confessor recently. “As long as you keep on going,” he responded. Then he added, “Of course you do. It’s not easy admitting to failure.” I grew up in a dysfunctional household where disapproval reigned. Expecting chastisement or even condemnation is a hard habit to unlearn. I’d been anxious enough about making my first Confession that I had postponed my Chrismation and entry into the Orthodox Church for

Guest Author 0
14 Feb 2018

The Fast Before the Feast

The Lenten fast is often neglected or misunderstood. But this season offers the time and place to make us freer and stronger.   There’s a reason why fasting sounds exhausting. There’s a reason why people feel uncomfortable just envisioning a forty-day stretch of abstaining from certain foods or activities. The Lenten season is, after all, a long and tiring period for its participants. It’s hard. That becomes clear in the last days of Lent—the days

Guest Author 0
22 Dec 2017

Advent Euphemisms and the Assault on Language

The commercialization of Christmas is hardly news. Proclaiming a so-called “War on Christmas” is not enough for some, who ante up their virtue-signaling and cultural critique into announcing a “War on Advent.” In 2012, theologian Diana Butler Bass argued, specifically against Fox News, that the shopping frenzy before Christmas degraded Christ’s Nativity more than a cultural shift away from well-wishing “Merry Christmas” toward a more general “Happy Holidays.”  Father Bill Olnhausen, a retired Orthodox pastor,

Guest Author 0
29 Jun 2017

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make me a Match…: St. Phanourios and the long wished for Husband

This is the continuation of my essay series on St. Phanourios.  You can read part 1 here 1 and part 2 here 2. Last time, I wrote about how St. Phanourios helped me through a series of personal crises that, as they often do, all spilled out at once. I was jobless, looking for work, had run out of money, and my health was crumbling, with a 50/50 chance of having cancer.  St. Phanourios’ prayers

Elizabeth Roosje 4
http://store.ancientfaith.com/we-pray/
14 Jun 2017

We Pray (Book Review)

We Pray is a new children’s book from Ancient Faith Publishing. Authored by Daniel Opperwall, a Canadian theology professor, and illustrated by the Serbian husband and wife team Jelena and Marko Grbic, We Pray is a beautiful introduction to the concepts of Orthodox prayer. Wholeheartedly Eastern Orthodox in its approach, each page explores a single concept of prayer, beginning with the Trinity and ending with evangelism. Along the way, we come to understand the purpose

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
31 May 2017

To Those in Darkness

Spirits crying in the darkness that Salvation is at hand Proclaiming to the captives The day of the Lord Songs in the night cause Doors to open Chains to fall off Veils to tear down Foundations to be shaken And earthquakes Prisoners are set free And escape by Staying put and Singing along- Where else to go? There was the word of life They could not save themselves In death’s despair One calls for enlightenment

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 1
17 May 2017

String Theory

Everything is connected at the sub- atomic particle level in a way that I just do not understand, everything crossing and pointing and looping around but I do know the nexus, the crux, the beginning and end of every string. It’s something even the angels understand, although they have no idea why God had to be strung up for those like me all at loose ends, but he felt himself tied by apron strings to

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
03 May 2017

Artificial Intelligence

Let’s face it, most of us live some sort of life online. I’ve been part of the Facebook social community for a long time, and, despite my recent lack of involvement comparatively, it’s still a major feature in my interpersonal connections. But even though people aren’t always there when they are here, sometimes they’re still here well after thay’re gone. But when Facebook reminds you to wish a happy birthday to somebody not there to

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
19 Apr 2017

Reasonable Worship

I know I’m a sinner, of that I am sure I am sick to the death and I need a cure In fact I am dead and must be called forth Totally bankrupt, of less than no worth If there is no savior especially for me If there was no battle to let me go free If there was no righteousness traded for sin There would be no life I could enter in But how

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
05 Apr 2017

Open Your Tab and I Will Fill It

From the same screen come blessings and cursing Like our mouths, they are backlit by hell-fire And fueled by a tube of passion that colors everything We like to look at the likenesses but not be the likeness And we try not to see the prototype looking back at us As we gaze deeply into flesh lit by flames of passion Do your kids really watch Veggietales on that thing? Do you message your mother

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 1
22 Mar 2017

According to the Preacher

According to the preacher We spend our lives chasing the wind The circle of life is not The strong devouring the weak It’s each of us devouring himself Never getting full But getting ever emptier We spend our lives becoming Enormous windbags Work, it does a body good Building it up so there’s More to rot away after Our balloon has popped The wind knocked out of us Without empty chests We could have no

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 1
08 Mar 2017

Fit for a Cassock

Today we’ll see if I measure up, Or maybe it’s more fitting to say I’ll be fitted, But I have a feeling it’ll feel like fig leaves covering up the things that ought to be laid on the altar and burned instead of covered in black lamb’s wool. There’s nobody more fitting to do the fitting for a new skin than the one who made my first birthday suit, and was part of the pattern

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
16 Feb 2017

Round Table: The Purpose of the Local Church

Living in a post-Christian culture appears to be taking its toll on the local church. We no longer reside in small towns where people work together through the week and walk to church together on Sundays. We get in our separate cars from our separate neighbourhoods and homes, convene for an hour or two, and go home. Does this hour of the week change who we are? Does it connect us with the body of Christ?

Various 15
10 Feb 2017

Modern Witness

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13).1 One of my favorite operas is called the Dialogues of the Carmelites, which was composed by Francis Poulenc. The opera is an adaptation of a true life story of the Martyrs of Compiègne, members of a Roman Catholic order of nuns who were killed during the French Revolution of the late 18th Century. The story follows a young

Guest Author 1
08 Feb 2017

Chronicles of the King

It starts with the king Calling for a return to The God who chose the people And not the God chosen By the people for the people It is a call the people Rarely listen to and often Reject over and over Since they hear it so Infrequently, the king Usually being anti- Christ and usually Being so again. But the priests must Listen and begin to Cleanse themselves No longer pleasing the People or

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
26 Jan 2017

Christianity and Truth

“What is truth?” (John 18:38) Pilate’s question from the theological gospel of Saint John is perhaps one of the Scriptures’ most relevant for our time. What is truth? It is a despairing question we ask primarily when presented with a variety of possibilities which compete for the title of “truth,” and between which we find ourselves unable to decide with surety. This was certainly Pilate’s dilemma—presented with, on the one hand, the serenity and love

Micah Carlson 4
25 Jan 2017

St Xenia’s Day

For the past few years, I’ve marked St Xenia’s Day by writing about a topic that has become dear to my heart: miscarriage. Although my family has been through the pain of miscarriage several times, the first stillbirth I was close to in physical proximity was named Xenia, the daughter of close friends. Of our named lost infants, the first, Kaylee Dawn, was born before we knew anything about saints and their celebrations; and the

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
11 Jan 2017

Water and Fire

There’s water in everything and everything is in water— except fire. Fire changes water completely: too much fire makes steam, which returns back to water as it cools; and too little fire makes ice, which melts. We are all steam engines: mostly water, with a fire in our bellies making us do more or less based on temperature and control. We can be hard to keep stoked up and fed with enough coal. Jesus didn’t

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
14 Dec 2016

Dark and Still

There was a universe wrapped in dark In silence and waiting for the “Hark!” Planets moons and stars inside it spun All processing around a rising sun Within this whirling assembly Was a whole world made for you and me And dark and still, and still and dark Waiting for “Let it be” and “Hark!” There was a world wrapped in dark In silence and waiting for the “Hark!” The nations had sent their wisest

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 1
17 Nov 2016

Saint Phanourios: a Friend in Suffering and One Who Finds What is Lost

This is the continuation of my essay series on St. Phanourios.  You can read part 1 here.2 As it is for many, we often spiritually grow through suffering. Elder Sophrony3, when writing to his sister Maria, writes about what suffering can give us: Do you really think that my in my years of monastic life I have escaped periods when the vision of my ruin was so petrifying that it is not permitted to speak

Elizabeth Roosje 3