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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We give thanks to You, O Lord God of Hosts, Who has made us worthy to stand even now before Your holy Altar of sacrifice and to fall down before Your compassion, for our sins (ὑπὲρ τῶν ἡμετέρων ἁμαρτημάτων), and the ignorances/ sins of ignorance of the people (καὶ τῶν τοῦ λαοῦ ἀγνοημάτων). Accept, O God, our supplication. Make us worthy to offer You prayers, supplications, and bloodless sacrifices (θυσίας ἀναιμάκτους) for all Your people. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, make us, whom You have appointed to this, Your ministry (εἰς τὴν διακονίαν σου ταύτην), free of blame…” (Priest’s “First Prayer of the Faithful,” Byzantine Divine Liturgy)

This “First Prayer of the Faithful,” read (silently) by the celebrating priest right after the Dismissal of the Catechumens, expresses both the humilit...

Friday, April 28, 2017

You search (ἐραυνᾶτε) the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” (Jn 5: 39-40)

So, it is possible to seek “life” in the written words we’ve received in Tradition, while forgetting the Author of these words. I can easily miss the point of the Word of God, if I turn it into some abstract philosophy or “system of moral values,” divorced from the lived experience of encountering Christ; of “coming to Him,” that I may truly have life. I think this approach is often a pitfall, – subtle and yet tragic, – of those of us who study theology. What’s “tragic” about this approach is that it turns us into terrible bores, devoid of the Spirit. It’s what turns us into “people talking wi...

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