Feast of the Righteous Fathers Sergius & Herman, Founders of Valaam Monstery
LAST FALL, I attended a wedding for a work friend of my fiancé. It was an unofficiated union for two women who had fallen in love and were deeply committed to each other. In my heart, I wished them well.
But I didn't tell anyone at the time. I didn't want to seem either approving or disapproving; I... Continue Reading
Feast of St Agrippina the Martyr of Rome
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, which has five porticos. In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for 38 years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to... Continue Reading
Feast of St Moses of Optina
OF LATE I have often found myself reflecting on why I choose to read the particular books I read, and also why others choose the books they do. And (as is my wont) I have also found myself reflecting on the larger cultural and intellectual trends connected to our individual reading habits.
I tend to read a book based on its author more than... Continue Reading
Feast of St Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria
IN HIS ESSAY “Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind”, Christopher Dawson argued that, contrary to the prediction and hope of Marx, the Proletariat never truly revolted against the bourgeois, despite its increasing misery and growing hostility. Instead it was the bourgeois, said Dawson, representing not so much a body of men but rather a mindset, culture, and lifestyle, which rose up over time and... Continue Reading
Feast of Holy Pentecost
A DREAM THAT would eventually bloom into Eighth Day Institute (“EDI”) developed while I was serving as a short-term missionary in Latin America. In 1994, shortly after my twenty-first birthday, I left for Mexico with the intent of serving for two months. I ended up staying three years. During my second year, while serving in Colombia (1995-1996), the initial idea for what would evolve into EDI... Continue Reading
Feast of St John the Russian of Evia
JESUS SAID to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Truly, truly I say to you, when you were young, you fastened your own belt and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will fasten your belt for you and carry you where you do not wish to go.’ (This he said... Continue Reading
Feast of St Julian the Martyr
ON EASTER Sunday morning I woke up and thought, “It’s Easter. Christ is risen.” Yawn. I rolled over and slept a little more. Then I dragged myself out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen, and with a thrill it hit me: Lent is over. Lent is over. No more drudgery. No more self-denial. No more penitence. Now I was really excited.
I chastised... Continue Reading
Feast of St Pelagia the Nun-martyr of Tarsus
IN THE SEVENTH century A.D., while the queen of Northumbria was observing Lent on Palm Sunday, the king broke the Lenten fast to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. The queen, who was from Kent, followed the Roman dating for Easter; the king followed the Celtic dating. In 664 A.D., the king called a council at the monastery of Whitby... Continue Reading
Bright Thursday and Feast of the Holy Martyrs Agape, Chionia & Irene
I RECENTLY FINISHED Christopher Beha’s debut novel, What Happened to Sophie Wilder. I’ve never felt myself so addressed by the conclusion of a book. Or maybe I should say conclusions, because the book ends on a sort of more-sophisticated version of a choose-your-own-adventure novel. But that doesn’t mean it’s juvenile. Far from it. Rather (and, here be spoilers,... Continue Reading
Feast of the Annuciation
THE MISSION of Eighth Day Institute can be summed up in eight words: “the renewal of culture through faith and learning.” This phrase seemed to be a clear, concise, and simple way to summarize my intentions for the development of what was still only an idea back in 2008. However, the more I’ve reflected on this simple statement as the idea has grown into a reality