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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

     “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved.” (St. Serafim of Sarov, +1833)

     These well-known words of St. Serafim of Sarov, whose repose we celebrate today, help me to keep things simple in complicated times. In this particularly-divisive year of the US-presidential election, I find it more helpful to focus on peacemaking, first and foremost within myself, rather than defend vocally whatever decision I make at the voting-booth. Why? 1. Because the political “race” going on is not a contest of Good vs. Evil (“pace” the claims of both sides that it is); and 2. As a Christian, even as I vote my conscience, I am not obliged to “wrestle” with other Christians about it, unless I happen to have the vocation of being a politician, – which I don’t....

Friday, April 20, 2018

     “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (Mt 7: 6)

     What does our Lord mean here, 1. by “what is holy” and by our “pearls,” and 2. Who are the “dogs” and “swine” before whom we are not to offer these? 

     1. The “holy” and the “pearls” in us are our God-like and God-given gifts, like love, faith, wisdom, desire (both spiritual and physical), beauty (both spiritual and physical), creativity, compassion, etc. 2. The “dogs” and “swine” on whom we might be tempted to waste our God-given gifts and energies are not other people, because we are never to regard other people as “dogs” or “swine.” They are the evil spirits that may entangle us in sinful obsess...

Sunday, April 1, 2018

     “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Mt 5: 21-24) 

     This is not my Church’s reading for today, when we are celebrating Palm Sunday, the day on which our Lord enters Jerusalem, where He is soon to be killed on a cross. Nonetheless, I am thinking about th...

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