On Changing our Nature

There are things we never refer to because we presume they are settled once and for all. Nonetheless, they cast their spell over everything else we think, say and do. The small collection of first principles I referred to in an earlier post (Losing the Evidence) are among these, but they are few and shared […]

Love and Union – synonyms?

It was 37 years ago that I spent two hours conversing in Kalady, India, with this monk of the Ramakrishna Mission. I had been sick for six weeks before this meeting, so I was a bit thinner and paler than usual. The monk was gracious and eager to chat, so over tea we discussed the […]

Old Light

I have always been fascinated by old things. Even as a boy I found it easy to relate to the elderly. And when in college I befriended a lady in her 80s and a man well into his 90s, they became possibly my best friends before I left the States for good in ‘74. The […]

Coda to the Apocalypse

As vital as it is to our basic sanity to honor our senses’ report regarding the centrality of our Earth – both in our daily experience and as concerns our ultimate salvation – it is a necessity of modern sophistication to also acknowledge the one trillion galaxies beyond our own, and the vastness of God’s […]

On Binary Boors

C.S. Lewis once commented that a language was losing its heart when more and more adjectives became mere synonyms for “good” and “bad.” It is tiresomely well documented in digital culture in the famous like/dislike option, where nuance is a nuisance. Utter the word “progressive,” and watch a subtle sneer spread across the face of […]

Angels and the City

According to Scripture, our first explicit encounter with the holy angels was after the expulsion from Paradise. At its gate, we stood face-to-face with the Cherubim, with their burning swords pointing our way. We were no longer welcome. Between us and Paradise these august spirits flourished the “word of God … living and active, sharper […]

So Much We Don’t See

Before talking about angels, we should be reminded that a consideration of invisible realities need hardly be arcane, or the subject-matter as “supernatural” as one might suspect. Reflect, for a moment, on a few dimensions of the world we take to be quite real, but cannot pick up with our senses: 1) spatially: there is […]

Melchizedek and the Magi

Two seemingly peripheral figures in the pages of Scripture look somewhat enigmatic when viewed alone. But they begin to glow with meaning when considered together. In contrast to the two towering protagonists – Abraham and Christ – who stand at the center of the main Old and New Testament stories, these two ostensibly minor figures […]

On the Meticulous Ritual of New Year

Even in my adopted country of Brazil, where a massively endemic unpunctuality rules the land, nearly every soul will be awake, seconds before midnight on Dec. 31, glaring at a clock and scrupulously chanting the countdown to the new civil year. Beginnings of church services, school classes and appointments of all sorts are missed by […]

Feast of the Restless Family

Each time we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, I am reminded of my trip to Egypt, several years ago, and the visits I paid to a few of the multiple Coptic Christian sites dedicated to that Family. The Flight to Egypt (only mentioned by St. Matthew) does receive abundant attention from Christian art, […]