17 Jul 2020

Covenant, Ascesis, and the Wedding Industrial Complex: Confessions of a #COVIDBride

I’ve attended a dozen weddings over the past decade. I’ve been a bridesmaid five times (and a grooms-maid once), so if there is a trend in modern weddings, I’ve probably seen it. Before I started planning my own wedding, I was frequently judgmental of the large, ostentatious weddings with six-figure price tags. When Joshua and I got engaged last October, we knew we wanted what I called an “overtly religious high-church wedding.” I was more

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28 Jan 2019

The Erotic Gift of Self-Denial

“The word ‘God’ defines a personal relation, not an objective concept. Like the name of the beloved in every love, it does not imply separation and distance. Hearing the beloved’s name is an immediate awareness, a dimensionless proximity of presence. It is our life wholly transformed into relation.” —Christos Yannaras, Variations of the Song of Songs THE EROTIC GIFT OF SELF-DENIAL         Love transforms existence into relation. Without love, the created order exists in a

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31 Aug 2015

What Do We Want?

The rich man of Matthew 19:16-26 frightens me because I am like him in so many ways. Not because I’m rich: and make no mistake when it comes to material things I have more than I need. But because I have the same attitudes as the rich man. I want a list, I want a legal document that I can present at the pearly gates that says “admit one.” I think in my mind that

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21 Apr 2015

Unique Characteristics of Eastern Orthodox Spirituality (Part II)

Having discussed these differences between Eastern and Western forms of spirituality in general terms in my last post, let us turn now to some of the defining characteristics in Eastern Christian spirituality. I think you will recognize all or most of them, although this is not a complete listing of all the characteristics! Deification / Theosis What lies at the foundation of Eastern Christian spirituality? Its essential theological foundation is the idea of deification or

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16 Jun 2014

Way Of The Ascetics by Tito Colliander | Book Review

Way of The Ascetics, by Tito Colliander, is a profound little book that should be a required reading for every Christian. Simple and clear, Colliander proffers the experience of the Orthodox Church together with the fathers about the inner life of the Christian. The book begins with an exhortation to rise to the challenge of living the Christian life, for “Faith comes not through pondering but through action” (Colliander, 1). The “action” he is referring

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