Mar
19

A Plea for Pastoral Gentleness

Eko using his “Jesus Stick” (from “Lost”).

Thoughts on the calling of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew Matthew was a tax collector.  When Jesus gave him the invitation to “follow me”, he responded with hospitality.  He opened his house to the Lord, his disciples, fellow tax collectors, and unspecified sinners.  Just to make sure everyone had a good time, this was all done within view of some local Pharisees.  The Pharisees spent their whole lives dedicated to Read more…

Feb
10

A case for wearing the cassock (or even the collar)

Men in Black with Abbot Tryphon

This documentary explains how Orthodoxy studies the world in order to understand and speak to it, but witnesses to it by remaining true to itself.  Abbot Tryphon makes the case for clerics wearing recognizable clerical garb because it allows them to image Christ to others (even if the best cultural referent people have is "wizard"!).  While this is a divisive issue within Orthodoxy, the logic he describes works for both the collar and Read more…

Jan
28

Gifts and Talents and the Road to Hell

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it Read more…

Jan
23

Evangelizing Men without Chests – can it be done?

Professor Esolen writes for Touchstone Magazine - subscribe now!

Professor Anthony Esolen has a real gift for juxtaposing the depravities and weaknesses of modern culture with the strength of traditional Christianity.  While his critiques are strong, one of the things I appreciate about him is that he is criticizing western civilization from the inside.  As such, I think of him as a sort of Roman Catholic David Bentley Hart or C.S. Lewis. In this article, Professor Esolen makes the case that we Read more…

Dec
05

Reality Check: Your parish has a sinful leader

From Logos 6 (awesome software!)

A pastor friend forwarded this to me at an opportune time: the day after I had responded to someone's challenge with acerbic sarcasm.  It happened at a board meeting, and I knew I had gone too far the moment I loosed my tongue.  It became more obvious when that board member left the meeting in tears.  The rest of the board looked on in shocked amazement.  They may have been surprised by the meanness of my response... but I wasn't.  Like Read more…

Nov
15

40 Days of Blogging: Rules and Vocational Discernment

From OrthoAnalytika, by Fr. Anthony Perkins (15 November 2014) With thanks to Fr. John Peck (Preacher's Institute) for setting up the 40 day challenge. I have been the Director of Vocations for the UOC-USA for about a year and a half now. It has been a real blessing to help men and women understand, discern, and live their calling to serve God and His children. There are challenges, though. One of them is that in order to Read more…

Nov
08

People Want Loving, Active, Joyful, and Evangelical Leadership

Image from http://bibleyp.com/verses/joy/

A couple of months ago, Pew Research announced a finding that surprised me: 49% of Americans want preachers to speak about "political issues."  This was roughly the same percentage that do NOT want them to do so.  I have not looked closely at the data, but I am willing to bet that people who go to church are more heavily represented in the first group.  All this is to say that the majority of people in our parishes *want* their priests Read more…