Unexpected Events in Charleston

2024-6-12 Tommy We planned to go to Charleston for the weekend, to visit Fr. G’s mother (almost 100) and his brother, Tommy. About a year ago Tommy was diagnosed with a cancer in his mouth, and the surgery had disfigured him. Doctors had to replace half his tongue and 2/3…

Trouble with Intercessory Prayer

An emailer wrote saying he felt he wasn’t good at intercessory prayer. My reply: I’m with you about intercessory prayer. I think I don’t know how to do it very well. I have a long list of names I bring before God every night, and a shorter list when I…

Praying for the Non-Christian Departed

[October 19, 2023] Today is the feast of St. Varus, an Egyptian Christian martyr of the early 300’s. Orthodox Christians ask him to pray for our loved ones who have died, who had not come to Christian faith. A Christian woman, St. Cleopatra, recovered his body and buried it near…

Fear of Death

A few years ago, my husband and I asked an Orthodox woodworker to make coffins for us (sorry, he has since retired). They’re beautiful, with the angelic Trisagion Prayer, “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal,” lettered all the way around. Whenever I go in the basement, I pass by these…

“Death to the World” Journal

2005; Regneration Quarterly, Washington Times Death to the World High in a Russian Orthodox monastery in the California mountains, Father Damascene and Father John had a problem. They wanted to place an ad in Maximum Rock and Roll, “the most hardcore” of all the punk magazines, but were having trouble…

Why Would Someone Like Hank Hanegraaff Become Orthodox?

My assistant, Eudora Mathewes (granddaughter), came across this Facebook post I’d written in April 2017, and thought I should put it on the blog here. The occasion was that Hank Hanegraaff had just been chrismated, and there was much misunderstanding in the Protestant press about what Orthodoxy is, and what…

Thinking about Halloween

Every year there is a buzz of controversy among Orthodox Christians about Halloween. It’s my observation that it largely arises between American converts, who grew up thinking Halloween is fun and harmless, and Orthodox who grew up elsewhere thinking it obviously dangerous and possibly demonic. As in many things, I…

So Judgemental

When you accuse someone of being judgmental, you’re doing the same thing. Practice at all times compassion for those you disagree with. Try to understand their reasoning, which is different from yours. Perhaps they have had life experiences that you have not had. Never distort what they are saying in…

Prayer to the Saints

I got an email from someone asked me why we Orthodox “pray” to the saints. This is a question I hear a lot, and from a Protestant point of view it’s a reasonable one. Here’s my reply: I think your hesitation is the single biggest concern that Protestants have about…

When Reality No Longer Gets In

I ran across something I wrote in an email to a friend years ago, about how we become gradually more self-centered, more blind to the real world (and people) around us, as time goes by: <<I thought of the wife’s line from “The Death of Ivan Ilych” (approximately): “He screamed…