Feast of St. Panteleimon the Great Martyr & Healer
FOR THE LAST two years I’ve been emphasizing the importance of a “Dialogue of Love” (see our review of an important book by the same title). I think we’ve done a good job at embodying and facilitating this at Eighth Day Institute. As we continue forward I’d like to propose an equal emphasis on the “Dialogue of Truth.” As we... Continue Reading
Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, the Holy Myrrh-bearer and Equal to the Apostles
TOLKIEN described The Lord of the Rings as “a fundamentally religious and Catholic work.” Is it possible to summarize this dimension of Tolkien’s magnum opus in fewer than six hundred words? You better believe it!
The connections between The Lord of the Rings and the Catholic faith are numerous. There is a connection symbolically between the One... Continue Reading
Feast of Sts. John and Symeon the Fool for Christ
GREGORY the Great, the sixth-century pope and saint, described scripture as “a river broad and deep, shallow enough here for the lamb to go wading, but deep enough there for the elephant to swim.” The same might be said of C. S. Lewis’s use of scripture in the Chronicles of Narnia. Some of his references are obvious to anyone with... Continue Reading
Feast of St Macrina the Righteous, Sister of St Basil
ST NICHOLAS Cabasilas, the medieval Byzantine theologian and master of the Mysteries (sacraments), offers a very interesting way of thinking about theosis. He writes, “As nature prepares the fetus, while it is in its dark and fluid life, for that life which is in the light, and shapes it, as though according to a model, for the life which it... Continue Reading
Feast of St. Aquila of the 70
IN TOLKIEN'S Silmarillion the material universe comes into being by means of a song, the Music of the Ainur.
Actually, the song preexists creation, and Eru shares it with the angelic Ainur, the “Holy Ones.” As they sing under Eru’s direction, the world is “made visible before them . . . globed amid the void.”
I was a teenager when The Silmarillion appeared... Continue Reading
Feast of St Sisoes the Great
NOT MANY readers of C. S. Lewis know that, despite his well-known sympathies with the major texts and theologians of the West, he embraced a radically Eastern vision of the Christian life as a pilgrimage toward total transformation called theosis. This is a Greek word that does not actually appear in the New Testament. Yet like Trinity and Atonement, as terms also absent from... Continue Reading
Feast of St Julian the Martyr of Tarsus
ERIC HOSMER made an uncharacteristic mistake in Game One of the World Series on October 27, 2015. He misjudged the angle of the ball’s bounce near first base and allowed Wilmer Flores’ groundball to get by him. The Golden Glove winner let the Mets score the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. He had sinned against the standards of his position and... Continue Reading
Forefeast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos
AND JESUS, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, He was hungry. The devil said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus... Continue Reading
Feast of St Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem
I RECENTLY read two books with very different articulations of masculinity: The Way of Men by Jack Donovan and the book that launched John Eldredge's ministry, Wild at Heart. I want to distill what they share in common, where they differ, and where I fall.
Donovan is a self-confessed atheist who nevertheless draws material and inspiration from religious (often though not exclusively Christian) and Classical... Continue Reading
Feast of the Holy Great Martyr Photine, the Samaritan Woman
I'M BLESSED to be a part of a group of women who study the lives of saints and wise women (artists, writers, mothers, and more) who have walked the ancient paths of holiness. My friends and I study them because we believe they have a great deal to teach us about renewing our lives and living our faith in a... Continue Reading