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Daily Meditations

Members of One Another (Part II) »

May 10th, 2012

Despite the striking parallels between the Russian novelist and the Athonite monk, it is highly unlikely that St Silouan had ever read Dostoevsky. More probably, the similarities arise because both are shaped by the same living tradition, and both are drawing on the same sources. St Silouan (almost certainly) and Dostoevsky (possibly) have been influenced by a Mesopotamian hermit of the seventh century, St Isaac the Syrian, who writes in […]

Become Like Children (Part II) »

May 9th, 2012

TRULY, I SAY TO YOU, UNLESS YOU TURN AND BECOME LIKE CHILDREN, YOU WILL NEVER ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. —MATTHEW 18:3 Here is another way that grown-ups corrupt the innocence of childhood: They teach the child to imitate someone. The moment you make the child a carbon copy you stamp out the spark of originality with which it came into the world. The moment you choose to become like […]

Become Like Children (Part I) »

May 8th, 2012

TRULY, I SAY TO YOU, UNLESS YOU TURN AND BECOME LIKE CHILDREN, YOU WILL NEVER ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. —MATTHEW 18:3 The first quality that strikes one when one looks into the eyes of a child is its innocence: its lovely inability to lie or wear a mask or pretend to be anything other than what it is. In this the child is exactly like the rest of Nature. […]

Jesus’ Rules, Jonah, the Holy Spirit »

May 7th, 2012

All of Jesus’ rules of ministry, his “tips for the road,” are very interpersonal. They are based on putting people in touch with people. Person-to-person is the way the gospel was originally communicated. Person-in- love-with-person, person-respecting-person, person-forgiving-person, person-touching-person, person-crying- with-person, person-hugging-person: that’s where the Spirit is so beautifully present. The challenge is to preach a gospel that is livable, believable, and life-giving. Perhaps that is the most simple criterion by […]

Members of One Another (Part I) »

May 4th, 2012

‘Love all creation,’ says Starets Zosima in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov: ‘Love all creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand within it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.’ This ‘divine mystery’ of which Starets Zosima speaks is precisely the interdependence, the reciprocal coinherence, […]