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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Lk 2: 1-7)

What was the Most Blessed Virgin thinking, throughout this difficult, week-long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, seated...

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

We bow down before Your Cross, O Master, and Your holy Resurrection we glorify!“ (Byzantine Hymn, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross)

Why the cross? Why would God choose a “cross,“ of all signs, as the sign of His (and our) victory; as the instrument by which He trampled, and we, in Him, continue to trample, death and darkness? 

For one thing, when I make the sign of the cross, I become bigger than myself. Because the cross branches out, extending beyond me. As Chesterton noted in his brilliant comparison of the (Buddhist) circle and (Christian) cross: “The circle returns upon itself and is bound. The cross opens its arms to the four winds; it is a signpost for free travelers.“

Indeed, paradoxically, the “yoke“ and “burden“ of the cross-carrying Way make me “free.“ Free of what, exa...

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