Two verses particularly stood out for me in today’s passage, “
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life… But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but… Continue reading

Morning Gospel: Today, Jesus calms a storm that has His disciples terrified.

“23 𝐴𝑛𝑑 π‘€β„Žπ‘’π‘› β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘  π‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘–π‘›π‘‘π‘œ π‘Ž π‘ β„Žπ‘–π‘, β„Žπ‘–π‘  𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑖𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑠 π‘“π‘œπ‘™π‘™π‘œπ‘€π‘’π‘‘ β„Žπ‘–π‘š. 24 𝐴𝑛𝑑 π‘π‘’β„Žπ‘œπ‘™π‘‘, π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘ π‘’ π‘Ž π‘”π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘‘π‘’π‘šπ‘π‘’π‘ π‘‘ 𝑖𝑛 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘’π‘Ž, π‘–π‘›π‘ π‘œπ‘šπ‘’π‘β„Ž π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘ β„Žπ‘–π‘ π‘€π‘Žπ‘  π‘π‘œπ‘£π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘£π‘’π‘ : 𝑏𝑒𝑑 β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘  π‘Žπ‘ π‘™π‘’π‘’π‘. 25 𝐴𝑛𝑑 β„Žπ‘–π‘  𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑖𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑠 π‘π‘Žπ‘šπ‘’ π‘‘π‘œ β„Žπ‘–π‘š, π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘Žπ‘€π‘œπ‘˜π‘’ β„Žπ‘–π‘š, π‘ π‘Žπ‘¦π‘–π‘›π‘”, πΏπ‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘, π‘ π‘Žπ‘£π‘’ 𝑒𝑠: 𝑀𝑒 π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘ β„Ž. 26 𝐴𝑛𝑑 β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘Žπ‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘š, π‘Šβ„Žπ‘¦ π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’ 𝑦𝑒 π‘“π‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘“π‘’π‘™, 𝑂 𝑦𝑒 π‘œπ‘“ 𝑙𝑖𝑑𝑑𝑙𝑒 π‘“π‘Žπ‘–π‘‘β„Ž? π‘‡β„Žπ‘’π‘› β„Žπ‘’ π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘ π‘’, π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘π‘’π‘˜π‘’π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ 𝑀𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑠 π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘’π‘Ž; π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘  π‘Ž π‘”π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘π‘Žπ‘™π‘š. 27 𝐡𝑒𝑑 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘šπ‘’π‘› π‘šπ‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘£π‘’π‘™π‘™π‘’π‘‘, π‘ π‘Žπ‘¦π‘–π‘›π‘”, π‘Šβ„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘šπ‘Žπ‘›π‘›π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘œπ‘“… Continue reading

Evening Scripture: Finished 1 Kingdoms/ 1 Samuel by reading chapters 30-31 in my two-year Old Testament program. Saul and his sons meet their end at Mt. Gilboa while David rescues his kidnapped loved ones.

What a contrast between Saul and David there is in these last chapters of this book!

In their moments of weakness and despair, each one desperately sought the Lord. But David did so God’s way with an ephod while Saul used a method forbidden by God in consulting the witch of Endor.

The Gospel Transformation Bible sums up some of these contrasts wonderfully:

“The contrast between David and Saul continues to… Continue reading

Gospel: Today the Church’s Lectionary lands us near the end of the Sermon on the Mount,

“15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.… Continue reading

We have just finished the fast-free week of Pentecost and tomorrow we go back to regular fasting in a big way with the Apostle’s Fast for the next month.

Of course, there is testimony in the New Testament that the Christians continued keeping the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, albeit with new nuances to the meanings of that feast. Tertullian, Origen, and others testify to this continued practice in sub-apostolic times.

The fast-free week following Pentecost is also very ancient and is mentioned in the Apostolic Constitutions of the fourth-century, which is a work compiling ante-Nicene practices of the Christian Church.

It mentions the weeklong celebration of… Continue reading

Today’s Gospel in the Lectionary is John 16:23-33. The first two verses read, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

What does this mean? Can we ask for anything willy-nilly and expect our prayer to be heard?

No, we must make our requests in Jesus’ Name, which is to say, according to His character as well as on the authority of His person.

Bl.… Continue reading

In my one-year Bible reading plan, I am coming to the end of 1 Chronicles. David is publically giving the throne to Solomon and giving him and the people instructions. Among these are provisions for the Temple Solomon will build.

In chapter 28, there is an interesting phrase, “David gave all unto Solomon in the Lord’s hand, according unto the understanding given him of the work of the pattern.” (1 Chron. 28:19, Asser LXX)

Brenton’s Septuagint reads similarly, and more explicitly, “David gave all to Solomon in the Lord’s handwriting, according to the knowledge given him of the work of the pattern.”
The KJV, translating… Continue reading

“For the man in Christ, the antinomies of the mind are not irreconcilable opposites; they are simply ruptures caused by the upheaval of original sin in man.

Uniting himself to Christ, man feels in himself a coming-together of fragmented parts, a healing of the intellect, a wholeness and integration that make him capable of integrated understanding.”

-from The Theory of Knowledge According to St. Isaac the Syrian

St. Isaac’s gnoseology held that there were three degrees of knowledge in ascending order of importance.

The First Degree ranges from our animal appetites up to our rational skills in the arts and sciences and is concerned solely… Continue reading

In reading Darwin’s Autobiography and his other writings, public and personal, I think a good summary of the evolution of Charles Darwin’s metaphysical/ religious views would be as follows:

Up to 1830- His seminary days he was a Biblical literalist and a big fan of Paley’s arguments. He says in his Autobiography that at this time, “I did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible.” During his seminary years he developed a love for science and became an Old Earth Creationist.

1831-1836: His Christian faith was “quite orthodox” in his own words when he boarded… Continue reading

Had a fundamentalist attack me this morning because I did not follow biblical principles when reading the Bible. When I asked him what those principles were he said he did not have a list he just “knew it when he saw it.”

So it got me to thinking, “What ARE my general principles when reading the Bible?” So this morning over coffee I put together a list of ten principles I have learned from the ancient Christians as to how to read the Bible properly.

When reading ancient texts it is best to read them as ancient people wrote and understood them and not in… Continue reading

One very common objection to the Orthodox Catholic Faith is that we refer to our priests as “Father”. And at first glance it seems that those who criticize us for this practice have a case from the Bible. When this charge is brought up our interlocutors have in mind the words of Christ in Matthew 23:8-10, “But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ.”

Seems clear cut… Continue reading

Here are a few reasons I believe naturalism undermines rationality and ends up being self-defeating under the claim that the natural world/matter is all there is:

To begin with, naturalism/materialism is one of the most primitive philosophies there is and was popular with the pre-Socratic philosophers until refuted by Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. It has only gained resurgence to the extent modern people have forgotten these great philosophers and their clear thinking on this issue.

The idea of the materialist is that matter is all there is and the universe is causally closed. Everything is to be explained solely in terms of physics, matter and… Continue reading

A verse from today’s Gospel, Luke 17:6, “So the Lord said, β€œIf you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, β€˜Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

A mustard seed is symbolic of the type of faith we need because although it begins very small it is also very tenacious and can grow in very difficult circumstances. Blessed Augustine writes, “A mustard seed looks small. Nothing is less noteworthy to the sight, but nothing is stronger to the taste. What does that signify but the very great fervor and… Continue reading

Read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay on self-reliance and this quote from Zoroaster jumped out at me. A variation of the “God helps those who help themselves” theme: “To the persevering mortal, the blessed Immortals are swift.”

Which in turn reminded me of a Hindu story Joseph Campbell told in Myths to Live By,

“There is a fable told in India of the god Vishnu, supporter of the universe, who one day abruptly summoned Garuda, his air-vehicle, the golden-feathered sunbird; and when his wife, the goddess Lakshmi, asked why, he replied that he had just noticed that one of his worshipers was in trouble. However, hardly… Continue reading

Last night I began reading the prophet Habakkuk. A short book containing only three chapters it is unique in many way among the prophets in that it is primarily a theodicy. That is, it is a prophecy about the impending fall of Judah and Jerusalem and also the ultimate fall of the Babylonians at the hands of the Persians but the main thrust of the book is about how confusing God’s ways can be, how distant He can seem in our trials, how unexpected and even alarming some of His solutions to our problems or answers to our prayers can be.

The prophecy focuses on… Continue reading