The Flying Inn: Chesterton on Alcohol & the Sacramental Imagination

Feast of St Lucian the Martyr of Antioch

CHESTERTON anticipated many of our problems in 1914 when he published The Flying Inn, just before the outbreak of the First War. It’s a very funny book that deals, among many other things, with the question of alcohol. To say the least, alcohol is no less a problem in our time than it was in his time. In fact, it’s a... Continue Reading

A Piece of Chalk

Feast of St James the Apostle, Son of Alphaeus

I REMEMBER one splendid morning, all blue and silver, in the summer holidays when I reluctantly tore myself away from the task of doing nothing in particular, and put on a hat of some sort and picked up a walking-stick, and put six very bright-coloured chalks in my pocket. I then went into the kitchen (which, along with the rest... Continue Reading

A Plea for Prohibition

Feast of

AFTER A careful study of the operations of Prohibition in America, I have come to the conclusion that one of the best things that the Government could do would be to prohibit everything.

That the story of Mephistopheles, the fiend who tempted Faust, is in reality an allegory of the story of Prohibition in America, is admitted by all serious scholars whose authority carries weight in the modern world.... Continue Reading

Notes toward an Eighth Day Definition of Culture

Feast of St Euphrosynos the Cook

CERTAIN lineaments can be identified that set the parameters for a definition of culture. ‘Culture’ seems to describe a particular way of being human shared by a society or community over time. Among others, it includes elements such as:

1. Language: a shared language with embedded perceptions and nuances unique to it.

2. Religion: a mode of relating to... Continue Reading

He Has Seen the Stars ... For Us: The Vicarious Humanity of Christ, the Priest of Creation

Feast of the Holy Martyr Agathonicus

THEY HAVE not seen the stars,” speaks Ray Bradbury of the non-human creation in his poem of the same name (They Have Not Seen the Stars: The Collected Poems of Ray Bradbury, 259-60). Of all the creatures in the world, humanity is privileged to know what it is seeing, to give voice to mute creation. So also, patristic and Orthodox theologies speak frequently... Continue Reading

Doubt and the Vicarious Faith of Christ

Feast of the Prophet Samuel

THE PAIN would be unbearable if the joy were not indescribable. Doubt is a problem of living with two realities: unbelief and belief, or pain and joy. Doubt is a problem, but it not just an intellectual problem. It is an agony of the soul, of our very being. Pain is bad enough, yet it is truly pain because of the joy in life,... Continue Reading

Rashkolnikov's Question and the Reality of Salvation

Feast of St Myron the Martyr of Cyzicus

IN DOSTOEVSKY'S classic novel, Crime and Punishment, Rashkolnikov’s meeting with Sonia leads him to believe that the girl is quite feeble-minded. He believes that her belief in miracles and in God is an indication of insanity. Rashkolnikov prods her, “So you pray a lot to God, Sonia?” Sonia is silent, then quickly responds, “What should I be without God?” Rashkolnikov’s suspicions... Continue Reading

Kneeling Beside Mary through Byzantine Imagery: The Mystery of the Incarnation

Feast of the Translation of the Image of our Lord & God & Savior, Jesus Christ

THE VIRGIN Mary has been embraced and esteemed by the Church ever since her encounter with the archangel Gabriel and his glorious annunciation: “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you” (Lk. 1.28). Elizabeth’s exclamation that followed shortly thereafter – “Blessed are you among women” (Lk. 1.42) – and Mary’s prophetic response... Continue Reading

Spiritual Homily 1: An Allegorical Interpretation of the Prophet Ezekiel's Vision

Feast of the Holy Seven Youths of Ephesus

WHEN EZEKIEL the prophet beheld the divinely, glorious vision, he described it in human terms but in a way full of mysteries that completely surpass the powers of the human mind. He saw in a plain a chariot of Cherubim, four spiritual animals. Each one had four faces. On one side each had the face of a lion, on another side... Continue Reading

Inaugural Eighth Day Institute Florovsky Lecture: On Memory, Hope & Cultural Renewal

Feast of the Holy Martyrs Proclus & Hilary

"…that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me" (John 17.21).

In January of 2015 the noted author James K. A. Smith visited Wichita as the keynote speaker for our fifth annual Eighth Day Symposium. Around a... Continue Reading