Feast of St. Nicholas of Myra
I KNOW factually that Santa Claus existed, in the past tense: St. Nicholas of Myra was born on the 15th of March, A.D. 270, and died on the 6th of December, A.D. 343. A Christian bishop in what is now Turkey, he attended the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) and, according to tradition, was so zealous for the orthodox belief in the Deity of...
Feast of Sts Cleopas and Artemas of the 70
FRIGID, fallow, the fainting, frosted earth
in silence sullen, souls of sylvan shorn;
wraiths and whispers upon now welter wastes
creep carefully out from crags and caverns.
Ancient arbors, by alien asters
luminous, by lore lyric leering lure,
issue imps in ire instructed idly.
Ghouls from gaps in Gaia’s greenish garment
emerge, ennobled evening ended,
vandals vicious, violence varied.
Feast of the Martyrs Zenobius & Zenobia
IN THE MIDDLE Ages, Halloween was known as All Hallow’s Eve. Though today a festival to celebrate the creepy, carnal, and calamitous, historically it was the vigil for All Saints Day (also called All Hallows). On All Hallow’s Eve, the local parish church would hold a vigil and then process to the local cemetery to offer prayers on behalf of the departed. On...
Feast of St Cyprian of Carthage
I'VE BEEN thinking about the way that Christianity relates to other religious traditions ever since I was in Middle School. A topic of perpetual interest for me, I have arrived at the following conclusions. (What follows is largely a summary and expansion of Fr. John Anthony McGuckin’s dense but excellent introduction to Orthodoxy, The Orthodox Church, and his treatment of Orthodoxy’s relationship to other...
The Mystic Dimension of Marvel Movies, Part III of III: A Reflection on Christian Cosmology and Cosmography
Feast of St Julian the Martyr
IN THE FACE of such a broad cosmos, full of so many different kinds of beings with any number of attitudes towards us, all of them dangerous in their own right, one indeed desires to ask with the Psalmist, “what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man...
The Mystic Dimension of Marvel Movies, Part II of III: A Reflection on Christian Cosmology and Cosmography
Feast of St Germanus, Archbishop of Constantinople
THE CONTEMPORARY failure of many Christian traditions to engage in theological cosmology—possibly in large part due to the significant advances in scientific knowledge of the universe, which has presented challenges, though not necessary ultimatums, for faithful readers of Scripture who seek to embrace its worldview—has led to some misfortunes in on-the-ground cosmologies. We no longer make...
The Mystic Dimension of Marvel Movies, Part I of III: A Reflection on Christian Cosmology and Cosmography
Feast of St Pelagia the Nun-martyr of Tarsus
DOCTOR STRANGE is yet another excellent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe ("MCU"), and allows the MCU to finally incorporate the Mystic dimension of Marvel to its visual comic book world (which also includes the Terrestrial and Cosmic dimensions of Marvel). The MCU is to be applauded as a superlative adaptation of the Marvel Multiverse—in all of its integrated, overlapping, and simultaneous...
Feast of St Stachys and Companions of the 70
TODAY IS All Hallows Eve, a liturgical remembrance of mortality in the historic Western Church, and the commencement of Allhallowtide (including All Souls Day and All Saints Day). In Classical Judaism and Christianity, the human person is understood as a composite of different parts—the main two of which are breath or spirit and body or flesh—which come together to form a...
Feast of the Holy Seven Maccabee Children, Solomone their Mother, and Eleazar their Teacher
HOW DID C. S. Lewis understand the concept of salvation, and how does it relate to his overall theological vision? In one sense, this question yields a simple answer: Lewis’s soteriology can be summed up as theosis, or the deification of the human person in Christ, coming to share in divine life. The present essay seeks...
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...