The Approach of the Unapproachable Light

[The following was presented at the House of St Michael the Archangel Devotional Conference in January of 2014] What is this unforeseen wonder that is happening even now? Does God now wish to be seen by sinners also, He Who long ago ascended on high, and has taken his seat on a throne in his […]

Mark the Ascetic on an Ordinary Night

There are acts which appear to be good, but the motive of the person who does them is not good; and there are other acts which appear to be bad, while the move of the doer is good. – Mark the Ascetic, On the Spiritual Law, Sentence 35 Concern yourself with your own sins and […]

The Cost of the Holy Spirit

[The following was presented at the House of St Michael the Archangel Devotional Conference in January of 2013] If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept […]

A Holy Selfishness: On Using Evagrios to Read Evagrios and Why I’m Not Called to be a Solitary

The Fathers of the Philokalia and I have not been the best of friends. You may recall my incessant – nigh panicked — questions the last time we read these texts about how I was supposed to incorporate intense fasting and vigil keeping and extreme poverty into my already exhausting life as a nursing assistant. […]

A Reflection on Second Corinthians

My dear sisters and brothers, I write to you in contemplation of our deaths, “for we are convinced that One has died for all; therefore, all have died.” And I write to you in contemplation of our Life, for “He died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but […]

Prayer without thoughts

[The following was presented at the House of St Michael the Archangel Devotional Conference in January of 2012] Attentiveness is the heart’s stillness, unbroken by any thought. […] If we have not attained prayer that is without thoughts, we have no weapon to fight with. – Hesychios Prayer without thoughts. What does it mean to […]

The Pursuit of the Flaming Sonnet

As we have said, from the instant we are baptized, grace is hidden in the depths of the intellect, concealing its presence even from the perception of the intellect itself. When someone begins, however, to love God with full resolve, then in a mysterious way, by means of intellectual perception, grace communicates something of its […]