20 Feb 2019

More Than Morbid

April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.[1]   T. S. Eliot “We are the hollow men / We are the stuffed men,” Eliot begins his 1925 poem, “The Hollow Men.” Not the most positive of notes on which to start. But perhaps therein is its haunting power. Reality has a way of pressing beyond our rather feeble attempts at distracting ourselves.

Joshua Schendel 0
28 Sep 2018

The Discipline and Art of Lectionary Preaching

At the heart of vocational Christian ministry is the responsibility to faithfully proclaim the Gospel of Christ crucified and to administer the Sacraments of the Church. In the Anglican tradition, we depict this solemn duty at ordinations by presenting the ordinand with a copy of the Bible alongside a paten and chalice. In a liturgical settings, one tool used to more effectively preach the Gospel is the lectionary. A lectionary is a cycle of readings

Wesley Walker 0
09 Mar 2018

What if the Season is Barren?

They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper. —Psalm 1:3, The Living Bible   What if the season is barren rather than bearing? How if the leaves have curled and the river has curved away—away from from this tree, empty?   “Empty? Why art thou empty?” Asks the Spirit-wind, rustling through parchèd leaves. “Have you ceased to delight

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05 Mar 2018

“Carrying the Cross” in Lent

“The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected   by the elders, chief priests, and scribes,   and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves   and take up their cross daily and follow me.   For those who want to save their life will lose it,   and those who lose their life for my sake will

Benjamin Winter 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
17 Mar 2017

Unless I Die

Unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But, if it dies, it will bear much fruit.   —Jesus   A darkening sky greets the great eye blinking open its shutter to morn— o’erhead, coarse comes a rook’s cry, from here dreams appear bleak and forlorn   Here, in my cramped, close cell I hear the neighbour dog howl in lament— the dirt and the dark I fear, they

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02 Mar 2017

Take From Me & Give Me

“O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.” With these words begins the prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian, which is prayed during the season of Lent. The prayer begins with the acknowledgement that Christ is the Lord over our lives. He is our Master, an unused and unpopular term perhaps but one that needs recovering. After all, St. Paul refers to

Mike Landsman 0
20 Apr 2016

Jesus Prayer Rope

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have mercy on me, the sinner” + Up early in the morning to pray At the hour we can still half believe Our dreams and that the sun Still comes up after the darkness + Like an invalid by the roadside Almost unable to rise up from bed We grasp our rope to pull ourselves Knowing he’s holding the other end + We sit between the Pharisee and The

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 1
06 Apr 2016

Great Lent 2016 Week 2

The poems below were inspired by the Lenten Triodion readings for each day, which can be found here: http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/prayers/triodion/triodion.html Sunday of Orthodoxy 2016 The first icon was written By the hand of God in red clay And the first kiss it received Was to fill it with breath But the first iconoclast Made the icon just a picture Removing it from the temple And preparing it for the fire And so the prototype came In

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
25 Mar 2016

Betrayer

Hushed conversation is weaving itself all around me, yet I am nothing but a loose thread in the tapestry, cut off while still in the picture. A battle is waging within me, to go or stay. Do I keep my promise to the religious leaders, or keep faith with the master? If I break either faith or promise I will break into pieces. My palm craves the silver I have been offered, yet I recoil

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23 Mar 2016

Clean Week

For Orthodox Christians, Great Lent began just a little over a week ago. We begin Lent with a service called Forgiveness Vespers, during which we go around and ask each individual for forgiveness for all of our offenses. After this joyful and cathartic service, we call the next week Clean Week. The poems below for Clean Week were inspired by the Lenten Triodion readings for each day, which can be found here: http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/prayers/triodion/triodion.html Forgiveness Sunday

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
19 Mar 2016

Worthy Reads of the Week {March 19}

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest. Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. —Book of Common Prayer Greetings to our faithful and new readers. We invite you to look over the essays from

Conciliar Post Weekly Reads 0
14 Mar 2016

Lent: Week Five

Judica {Veiling the Icons}   Veiled, all veiled around the sanctuary, from the cross to the icons, to the spiritual Body and Blood: bread and wine   Veiled, all veiled inside my self, from my heart to my mind, will, and emotions; behind the mask of “All’s well!”   Veiled, all veiled within the Disciples’ understanding and hearts; the Master among them as they argue which of them is greatest   Veiled, all veiled in

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12 Mar 2016

Weekly Reads {March 12}

Happy Weekend, Dear Readers! Below is a selection of theological and current events articles from around the internet this week. Rather than providing the final word on a given topic, we hope these articles will serve to spark friendly, yet thoughtful conversations. Consider this your welcome to join (or kick off) those conversations in the comments below! Conciliar Post Finding Yourself in Communion, Part One by TJ Humphrey By the Waters of Babylon by Kenneth O’Shaughnessy

Conciliar Post Weekly Reads 0
11 Mar 2016

Waiting to Rejoice

Laetare: O Rejoice! {Lent Week Four} Here I am— Waiting for God, Not quite ready For rejoicing yet; The shadows flicker, Darkening my soul, Still waiting for The rising sun This dark night —Not wholly black— Sprinkled with stars Streaming on me Diffused silver light, Promises coming Hope, As I wait Here for God I am awaiting With great expectation The rising Son —Myth made real— The glimmering sky Bursting fully alive With glory’s Hope…

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08 Mar 2016

By the Waters of Babylon

The waters of Babylon drip from hanging gardens where All that is beautiful in the world grows down from Heaven The headwaters of the garden river from which life flowed And we sit beside them inspired to refrain from singing Hanging our harps like ripened tears on the weeping trees And cry out for the war-ravaged fatherland we so love We stroke the sweeping willow branches with a rustle Sounding like the spirit of God

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
26 Feb 2016

Remember: Lent Week Two

Reminiscere   Do you recall Our wedding day? Face to face, Clasping hands tightly, Your veil removed— You were mine, I AM yours   Why are you At this corner, Selling your worth, Eyes looking down? Why are you Naked and bloody, Abandoned and forlorn? You are mine   Don’t you remember That I AM Your Maker-Husband Who loves you? O! Let me Take your face In both hands Eyes meeting mine   Call to

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13 Feb 2016

Weekly Reads {February 13}

Happy Weekend Dear Readers! Below is a selection of theological and current events articles from around the internet this week. Rather than providing the final word on a given topic, we hope these articles will serve to spark friendly, yet thoughtful conversations. Consider this your welcome to join (or kick off) those conversations in the comments below!   Conciliar Post A Conversation on the Saving Work of Jesus by Ben Cabe and Ben Winter Fasting by

Conciliar Post Weekly Reads 1
12 Feb 2016

Introit: Entrance

(Lent: Week One) Chill and dank Is my soul —Emotions, mind, will— Closed, under ground; I’m hiding here In my sin Frustrated, and unsure How to escape Holy Doors barred, Soul windows shuttered In many here Sitting on pews Or kneeling down Before the altar In rote movements Receiving the Eucharist Ancient doors: Open! Fling wide all The heart gates And enter in! King of Glory, Illumine what in Me is dark— Be my Liberty

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09 Feb 2016

Fasting

Fasting is easier as a virtue of omission than commission It’s easier to give up meat than to take the meat of the Word It’s easier to lament our sins than to confess them It’s easier to quit wine and whining than to be a blessing   We can save a lot by fasting, including our own souls But it’s much harder to spend ourselves for others I don’t mean alms – giving alms is

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0